Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

My, how baby care basics have changed March 11, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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One of the many baby items my daughter and son-in-law received.

One of the many baby items my daughter and son-in-law received.

AFTER WATCHING MY DAUGHTER and son-in-law open gifts at the baby shower I hosted for them recently, I’ve concluded it takes a lot to care for a baby now days. A lot of equipment, that is.

When my daughter told me she and her husband were getting a Jenny Lind crib for their baby girl, I reacted with enthusiasm. "That's the kind of crib I wanted for you," I said. My daughter was surprised that I knew about the Jenny Lind style.

When my daughter told me she and her husband were getting a Jenny Lind crib for their baby girl, I reacted with enthusiasm. “That’s the kind of crib I wanted for you,” I said. My daughter was surprised that I knew about the Jenny Lind style, which has been around for decades. It was the dream crib I never had for any of my children. They slept in generic garage sale cribs.

When I delivered my three babies 30, 28 and 22 years ago, the essentials included a crib, changing table, diaper pail, high chair and car seat. Nearly all items were second-hand, purchased at yard/garage sales. The crib wouldn’t meet any safety standards today. I doubt the car seat would either. But we managed with what we could afford and what was available. It was better than nothing.

A niece slept in a dresser drawer as a newborn because her mom couldn’t afford a crib. I shopped garage sales to clothe my kids. I used cloth diapers not only to save money but also because I didn’t want a zillion diapers going into the landfill.

Another baby care essential which the parents-to-be received.

Another baby care essential which the parents-to-be received.

Times change. If they didn’t, we’d still be setting babies on the floor of the car, like I did my niece once. Now I shudder that I ever did that. How irresponsible.

If improvements hadn’t been made in cloth diapering methods, parents would still struggle with diaper pins, trying to avoid jabbing the baby. We’d still have bumper pads cushioning cribs and teddy bears stuffed in corners. We’re wiser than we once were about safety issues.

Yet, one care essential remains unchanged. It’s the most important. Babies still need love. Lots of love.

TELL ME, IF YOU’RE a parent or grandparent, what baby care product/products did you find especially valuable?

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling