Been around the block

So as Baby 2 looms large in our thoughts for the next few weeks, I’ve been taking stock of our old baby gear, and deciding what needs an upgrade and what we missed the first time. Here are a few things I learned after doing the minimalist, all-you-need-are-cloth-diapers-and-boobs route with Peanut.

Keep in mind, this is not a complete list, and is only what I have learned from obsessing over every piece of advice I’ve been given over the past five years. Your results may vary.

A baby will grow up to resent you if you don’t have a wipes warmer.
Hand-me-down clothes probably pose a choking hazard. Probably.
If you get wooden, Waldorf toys, your child will go through a really nasty, anti-social period somewhere between ages 2 and 45.
If you have plastic, battery-powered toys, your baby will never learn anything. Ever.
People you don’t know will make sure to tell you how terrible it is to have your child in a stroller, so get a sling.
Strangers will approach you just to criticize your parenting if you wear your child in a sling, so buy a stroller.
Your child will never develop proper self esteem if you don’t have a book custom printed with their name as the title character.
Babies who don’t have a swing and a bouncy seat and a crib music box will cry and cry and cry the first three months.
People in the supermarket will look at you as though you have seven heads if you don’t have a ruffled car seat cover for your child.
People in the supermarket will look at you as though you have eight heads if you do.
Get shoes on your baby immediately after birth, or your child will never learn to walk.
You must teach your child at least one foreign language before it turns one, or you can forget about college.
You will regret, for the rest of your life, not having a pacifier leash.
Your child will be emotionally damaged, forever, if you use a pacifier.
The more expensive the stroller is, the better it is.
If you eschew bibs and just wash the baby’s dirty clothes, the Department of Child Protective Services will come calling.
If you don’t get a video baby monitor, you must not love your child.
You are cheating your child if you do not use the right baby soap, lotion, and shampoo. Every day. Because babies are *that* dirty.
Your baby will eventually need therapy if its sheets don’t match the comforter that you have to keep folded in the closet because comforters are a SIDS risk.
You child will never make friends if you make your own baby food.
You child will reach puberty at age 6 if you use store-bought baby food.
Doesn’t matter what approach you use to potty learning. Without a singing toilet, no child ever gets out of diapers.

This list, by the way, has been brought to you by the number 2, the letter Y, and the American Council on You Name the Life Event and I’ll Show You the Obscenely Long Shopping List of Must-Haves.

(Seriously, if you post a comment that all babies need is a safe place to sleep either with a sober grownup or by themselves; something to wear; a pair of functioning breasts or some non-melamine replacement; and a loving family, I will hunt you down and force-feed you rancid hemp protein. Mostly because we tried that stuff once and now just let it take up space in the guilt cupboard of healthy-food-that-tastes-nasty. Yeesh, it’s gross.)