Why Does a six month old need so much STUFF?
So. Much. Junk.
2 weeks to move?!?
About a week and a half ago, unfortunate and complicated circumstances required we make arrangements to join my husband at the base where he is completing his technical training for the United States Air Force. His base is in Texas, and we live in Ohio. At this point, sorting through our things, I began to realize that my husband and I's belongings had become extremely scant, and had been replaced by mountains and mountains upon mountains of infant clothes, toys, gear, feeding supplies, ect. Since we had found a furnished apartment, we had opted to only take what could fit in the car. Simple enough, from my husbands point of view, who wasn't staring at enough belongings to fill a large tractor trailer. I sorted through our things, storing away things I thought we could do without, and setting aside the effects that we absolutely could not live without. So I thought. Then came the process of loading the car. Everything seemed so much bigger than it had when I visualized where everything could go. So, from my very unfortunate experience, you now get the benefit of learning what you actually CAN do without, and what you can't.
Clothes are by far the most plentiful when it comes to baby items. People can't resist buying baby clothes, they are just too damn cute! Pregnant momma starts buying gender neutral onesies as soon as two pink lines show up. In laws and parents bring a new cute outfit every time they visit. Then the baby shower promises at LEAST one outfit from every person in attendance. The clothes are never ending. Even when you think you have enough, Target has a sale, or a holiday comes and goes and you end up acquiring more and more and more until you have a perpetual pile of dirty laundry because if you don't dress him in these he'll outgrow them! So do you really NEED all those clothes? Of course not. Save yourself the stress and time by narrowing down the clothing. Keep about 2 weeks worth of "essentials" in each size; onesies, pajamas, socks, and outfits. Then pick out a few "special" outfits that are too adorable to not keep around. Notice I say A FEW. Few as in THREE. To be honest, most days your tot probably hangs out in his sleep and plays and the cute 3 piece suits and matching hat shoe pant jacket combos only come out on special occasions. Pick out your faves, then return, sell or donate the rest. If your baby only fits in 6 month clothes for one month, why does he need three months worth of clothes? You can WASH them, ya know. Simplify.
I never realized we had a kajillion and five receiving blankets, fleece blankets, cotton blankets, wearable blankets, hand made blankets, quilts, comforters, and on and on and on....... We have never used a wearable blanket. If you do, keep it, because it is much safer than a loose blanket in the crib. But then why hang on to the other heavy blankets? Keep one fleece blanket for each day of the week to cover up with in the car seat, keep 2 for each day of the week if bambino sleeps with loose blankets. Also keep one or two light blankets for warmer days with a breeze. The rest? Unnecessary. Keepsake and handmade blankets are so hard to let go of, and I don't recommend doing so. Hang on to those even if you don't have a use for them yet... someone put a lot of love into those!! Comforters in my home are only used for decoration. What else would the too heavy to put on baby, to small for floor play, too stiff for much of anything else comforters be good for? As cute as it is to hang your matching comforter from the edge of the crib to complete your nursery theme, it's a completely useless item that is bulky and takes up space when trying to move, and serves no purpose after little one has graduated from the crib.
When carrying the TWO grabage bags full of bottle back inside after realizing they would not fit in the car, I found myself asking the question, "WHY I am washing bottles every day if I have this many bottles????" Your baby probably became attached to a certain brand, like mine, and the rest sat in the cabinet unused. Why are you keeping them? Keep enough to feed your child for three days without having to wash, in case of an emergency or utility outage. For me, my son has four bottles a day now, so I keep 12 ten oz NUK bottles, and donate the rest. Then I keep 2 five oz bottles for juice, water, or medicine. I go from two garbage bags full of bottles to one grocery bag. Much more manageable. Give it a try!
Other feeding supplies I don't have much comment on. My son just began eating baby food, (we skipped cereal, as explained in my prior hub entry,) and we have just enough spoons and bowls. Baby food, on the other hand? WHY do we have an entire cabinet full of baby food? All glass. And I'm supposed to travel with this? We are going to use up what we have, but are never buying baby food again. I realized a little too late that I had already packed up all the baby food and buried it. I went to the store and bought 7 dollars worth of fresh fruits and vegetables, spent 15 minutes at the blender, and made the equivalent of 40 dollars worth of baby food. My suggestion? BUY A BLENDER. Find fifteen minutes a week to make food. Freeze the extra. It will pay for itself the first time you use it!
Bags upon bags upon nags upon bags of them. I couldn't move without triggering a song from Mickey or a giggle from Elmo! It was very tempting to pitch ALL the toys, as I have the opinion that since the greatest minds in history did not have access to these whirling, singing, distracting, colorful hunks of plastic that we don't need them to "develop." But, as a slightly obsessive compulsive stay at home mommy, I am guilty of "distracting" as opposed to engaging in order to refold the towels so the stripes all match. But hey, no one is perfect. So all the hunks of light up musical molded plastic came with us. The stuffed animals, however, are now sitting in a garbage bag at the goodwill donation center. We kept my sons favorites, of course... His soothing sounds monkey, air force bear, and plush blocks found a home shoved under the passenger seat until we reach our destination. But I doubt my son would have ever formed an attachment to one of the 5 rabbit plush that was given to him by every relative in anticipation of Easter, so I don't feel guilty about donating those for a child who doesn't have a favorite toy yet. Plus, there are many more Easter holidays, and undoubtedly even more rabbit plushes, to come.
My son has so much,... STUFF! A swing, jumper, bouncer, highchair, strollers, bumbo, walker, entertainment centers.... There was no way all of this would fit. We decided on the following....
The travel center stroller. Although this is very bulky and takes up a lot more space than the conviently flat folding cheap stroller, the convienience is an absolute must. Even though I have preached about not holding onto items for conveinence alone, this is one that makes me eat my words. Especially when traveling, being able to transport your sleeping child in the car seat, the diaper bag, your purse, plus purchased items or overnight bags all in one trip is crucial to your sanity. The storage provided by the big stroller is simply not something I could leave behind, even if it meant sacrificing some of my own items.
The diaper genie. This one, unfortunately, is in storage. The diaper genie is very nice to have in the nursery, but taking out your trash on a regular basis is honestly just as effective. This is another convenience item, and not a necessity.
The "gear." Although it would have been nice to take all of my sons things, space was just not available. Since our highchair is full sized and solid wood, that was not an option. Instead we took the collapsing walker with food tray. This will work for both entertaining baby and feeding baby for the short time we are without all of our belongings. Everything else? The activity centers, jumpers, bouncers, swings... all in storage. Taking up quite a bit of it, I might add. These items are also completely unnecessary. But they do serve their purpose, so as we could not take them with us we stored instead.
Hope this helped.
If you are a soon to be parent unsure of what all you need, or if you are moving into a smaller home, or traveling with limited space like we were, I hope this review was able to help you compile your list of must haves versus don't actually need. As I was holding my screaming son while typing the latter half of this post, I am sure I have left some things out. If there is anything you want to seek advice on, feel free to ask! Also be sure to check out the mommy hub page on Facebook... still unfortunately stuck with an old URL but its the right place! www.facebook.com/ashleyshubpages