Nomological Net

Stray thoughts from here and there. The occasional concern for construct validity. No more logic. Fish.


faults in the clouds of delusion

Thursday, August 20, 2009

For the Young Consumer

Every once in a while, this blog turns to dispensing unasked-for wisdom. (Don't blame me, blame the blog.) Its patient and tolerant readership scratches its collective head, pops a witticism or two into the commentspace, and moves on. That readership is now a thing of the past. Which leaves me free to unleash the sum total of what I have learned over the past six months.

If you are about to let a Little Someone into your life, here are some things you might want to arm yourself with. Apologies in advance if something on this list is unavailable in the region of your residence. Envy me.

1. "What's Going On In There?".
The single biggest weapon in the armory of the budding parent. There are a million "what to do" type baby books out there, but as far as I know, just this one that explains why. Every chapter has basically 3 sections. It takes a sense (e.g., smell, vision, locomotion), first explains the neuroscience, then the psychology, then how this can be influenced by the parents and the environment. Essential.

2. Ergo It's the *best*. Just pop your baby in and go wherever. The design is fantastic, it distributes the weight over your whole back so there's no stress on your back and it's so comfortable for the baby. The only problem is that until the baby is 15 pounds, they recommend you use it along with an additional insert, and that adds one extra step. The insert actually makes it feel like a plush couch for the baby :-) We stopped using the insert when she reached 12 pounds, and we carry her everywhere in the Ergo. Plus it's so much fun!

3. Moby wrap. We (all three of us) love this as well. It's a little harder to wear than the Ergo, but once you have it on you can just pop the baby inside in any of 3-4 positions -- find the one that your baby likes best and she will fall asleep almost as soon as you put her in. We use this indoors mostly (and our routine has become that TPB wears this indoors, and I wear the Ergo outdoors).

4. Squish toy. A close friend got us this -- he's a father of two and married to a top infant developmental psychologist! Our baby has loved it since she was about 3-4 weeks old, and shows no sign of getting bored of it. Me neither.

5. Lamaze toys. We have a few of these and our baby loves them too. They have all kinds of interesting colors and textures and noises -- no end to how they can be explored. Very smart.

6. Stokke products. This is a Norwegian company that makes high-end "hardware" products for babies. The design is magnificent. We just started using their crib ("Sleepi"). We bought the high chair ("Tripp-Trapp") but haven't started using it yet. We were *really* tempted by the stroller ("Xplory") but decided not to buy it for a while (which turned out to be a good decision because as we now realize, we almost always use the Ergo and not a stroller).

7. Baby Einstein gym. Our baby has spent almost all her leisure hours (when she is not in her bed, or being carried by us) on this. It kept her completely occupied until just this week, when she's finally realized there's a world beyond the mat, and what's more, she can get to it.

8. Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive diapers. These come in yellow packets (not green). The major innovation here is that the diapers have a thin yellow line running through the business district, and even the slightest flooding causes the line to turn blue, so you can see from outside and change at once. No poking inside, no smell tests -- very helpful! If you choose to go with disposables, this one attribute makes these diapers very helpful indeed.

9. "Breastfeeding Made Simple". If you intend to breastfeed (and I believe you should), here's a book that cuts through the clutter and gets to the essence of how to do it and why. All expecting parents should read it.

10. "The Happiest Baby on the Block". And finally, how to get the baby to sleep. I was skeptical when I read this book, but boy did it work or what!

So that's what I have been up to. I'm tempted to add a #11: Canon SX10IS, but that's just me :-)


Anonymous Vivek said...

I am saving this post for possible future use. Thanks!

PS: And you so do have a readership. Google Reader says there are 35 subscribers!

8/20/2009 9:11 AM  
Anonymous blewgenes said...

Thanks for the wondrous list! I'm also saving this for future use.

Good to know about the "Sensitive diapers". Some of us were talking about sticking a piece of litmus paper to the diapers, after seeing a couple doing the puke-inducing smell-tests so often at a dinner party.

8/20/2009 10:34 AM  
Blogger ??! said...

That readership is now a thing of the past.
Oi! All our patience and commitment, aur yeh nateeja?

And awww.

Also, is it weird that I want one of those squish toys? They look so fascinating. Hmm, this does not reflect well on me. Or maybe it does (in touch with my inner kid and all). Oh who cares, I want one.

8/20/2009 3:09 PM  
Blogger Rahul Siddharthan said...

Nice links, we should have read the books much earlier though. The squish toy looks a bit like our institute's logo.

What about a rocker? We plonked the kid in one at home, with a toy or a book, and he was happy watching the world. Worked till almost 10 months I think.

8/20/2009 4:15 PM  
Blogger Tabula Rasa said...

Glad to be of help, best of luck! (I bet Google Reader says that to all the guys :-)

Again, glad to be of help and best of luck! (One of the better kept secrets is that breast-fed babies actually have pretty non-stinky poop... make of that what you will...)

Heh, got a rise out of you :-D
And yeah, those skvishes (I believe that's the proper spelling) are *neat*.

Thanks! Yes, a rocker would work well too. We have this bouncy aluminum chair contraption that she seems to get along with pretty well, but we don't use it that much simply because we haven't needed to.

8/20/2009 6:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And the plural of anecdote is...

1. The book sounds interesting. Shall order it right away. Ditto the Squishy thingie. Thanks!

2. The Ergo is not for everyone. Our baby HATED the infant insert. As a result, we started using the Ergo only after she was four months or so. She LOVES the stroller, otoh.

3. Baby Einstein? You buy something called Baby Einstein? Please don't tell me you've ordered those execrable Your Baby Can Read thingies?

4. I thought the yellow lines were only for the first diapers. I know ours lasted all of two or three weeks. Now its the smell test. Though I heart Pampers. (and for the commenter, no, your own babies shit truly don't smell).

5. The Happiest Baby on the Block didn't quite do it for us. To paraphrase Keynes, babies can cry louder than you can stay sane.

6. Breastfeeding is lovely. I fully advocate it. As long as I don't have to do it myself. And no, our F value was 0.01 for significant differences in poop smells b/w breast and bottle.

But on the whole, nice list! Though I prefer to simply arm myself with copious quantities of wine. For me, not the baby. Though there's an idea there...


8/21/2009 11:41 AM  
Anonymous theinsider said...

Thank you very much for this list. I am sending this to the my monsters right this moment.

However, I do have another question that you can perhaps help me with. What is the "single biggest weapon in the armory" of the yet-to-be-born or just-born spawn? At this point, I am utterly clueless about how to deal with the monsters and would appreciate any help. Perhaps Lebu di can suggest a few things?

8/21/2009 7:23 PM  
Blogger Tabula Rasa said...

0. no idea.
1. yw.
3. it's a freaking *mat*! (we did get an amazing set of books, for kids aged 1 year through 7 or so, from a really cute college girl who was peddling them door to door :-)
4. yellow lines rule. way more than blue lines.
5. i guess we lived on the same block :-D
6. sniff!

the insider:
welcome! the two big things you can do are (a) look cute and (b) not cry louder than the monster sanity level in your locality. (do we know your monsters, btw?)

8/21/2009 10:20 PM  
Blogger Tabula Rasa said...

ps. the insider:
"lebu-di" *rocks* !!!
and pps. lebu-di is at times referred to as lebumonster...

8/21/2009 10:21 PM  
Blogger km said...

I see you don't care for Rock Lullabies?

8/22/2009 12:42 AM  
Blogger MockTurtle said...

Nothing I can use here. But, just so you know, your readership remains.

8/22/2009 6:05 AM  
Blogger Tabula Rasa said...

heh. those landed on my amazon to-buy list.

you never know ;-)

8/22/2009 9:17 AM  
Blogger Phantasmagoria said...

What a sneaky way to slip in a Mommy blogger type post.

We are reading. Now go do a real post.

8/23/2009 9:47 PM  
Blogger Tabula Rasa said...

*not* a mommy blogger type post. hard-nosed product recommendation type capitalist post.

8/24/2009 7:28 PM  
Blogger The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

momblog alert!

8/27/2009 11:41 PM  
Blogger Shyam said...

I sent my bro & sis-in-law a link to this post, thinking it would be useful for their new baby - only to find out that she already knew about this post AND your blog because you're one of her "closest friends from college", in her words.

Small world! :)

9/15/2010 10:51 PM  
Anonymous tabula rasa said...

yes indeed :-)
you'd be happy to know that i visited the couple last month, and they seem to have bought everything on the list as well as whatever else amazon suggested.

wv: bring

9/16/2010 1:41 PM  

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