If your recycling pile looks like the one above (yes, mine), I strongly suggest considering, alongside a baby college fund, an Amazon Prime fund.
In 2014 my husband and I placed 108 Amazon Prime orders. (I’ll allow a pause for judgement). 90% of those were baby related. I Primed because the idea of finding time to shop will be what sends me over the edge as a working mom in this city. SF is notoriously hostile to big box stores, and shockingly friendly to doggy boutiques. So while you have multiple glamorous one-stop-shops for your pooch, I have to rummage through 3 different half-hearted Safeway/City Target baby sections to find what I need. And a working mom can’t ignore how it’s just so easy to order things. You can be in the shower (if you are lucky enough to be taking one) and realize you have nearly run out of your favorite shampoo, and then Prime it in long before you’ll get around to the next shower. Working moms love efficiency.
There were some obvious themes in my Priming, let’s review the critical scenarios:
- Clothing: You saved the gender for a surprise, and thus didn’t buy any baby clothes you actually needed, thinking smugly “look at all the money I’m saving by not over-purchasing in advance!” And then you realize the 5 white bodysuits you bought to get you through 5 days might get you through 5 hours of pee, poop, and vomit. So you Prime. Oh, and you didn’t buy baby socks, and then you sure feel like an asshole, because who lets their baby’s feet get cold? Cue Prime.
- Baby Sleep. Oh the money you will spend on sleep. First, the books. You will Prime in 8-10 different versions from Ferber to Sears to Weissbluth (because no new moms have the time or will to go to the library, and the working moms might as well scrapbook their library cards as a novelty item from a former life). You will read each baby sleep guide book cover to cover, apply each step with care, and send yourself into fits of anxiety when the “EASY” method or the “Pick-Up-Put-Down” method turn out to be a complete joke for your kid. You will hear Dr. Weissbluth’s voice in the back of your head, scolding you for breaking your child’s future because they were 30 minutes late for a nap, and an infants wake-time CAN’T BE LONGER THAN 1.5 HOURS, and then you will reach a sanity-or-die tipping point, box them all up, and light them on fire. (And that is the night your baby will sleep well.)
- While we are on the subject of baby sleep, let’s review the orders that will be placed for the magic swaddles to help them slumber. There is the Woombie, the Merlin Sleepsuit, various velcro options, the Halo Sacks, the Miracle Blanket, and then, if you get adventurous you might even order the Love to Dream “wing suit”, letting sweet baby keep their arms up. Each item will have at least 4.5 stars with hundreds of positive reviews, and then you will discover that for some reason your kid seems to be most like the children of all the dejected 1-star reviewers.
- The final thing you’ll Prime in for the sake of sleep (because you haven’t had any, so you are totally delirious by now) are all varieties of pacifiers & “lovies”; small soft toys for the baby to get attached to other than yourself (which is against the advice found in the aforementioned books, but in line with real-life advice you heard from friends and moms who actually survived the infant stage) You will pick cute ones, soft ones, options with knots of fabric for chewing, and options with a little extra fabric so it’s like a blanket (but NOT A BLANKET.) And then your baby will ignore all of them, or drop their pacifier 87 times a night, and still insist on nursing/bouncing/rocking in your arms, or just being awake because that is their jam.
- Bottles. I confess, I got lucky in the bottle department. When the Bear was 6 weeks old, I asked a friend for a single recommendation, gave it a try and my baby was like “sure, I like drinking milk!” and we never looked back. (It’s one of my few wins, don’t begrudge me). But I have heard the horror stories of bottle dating. All the flows, shapes, the ones that “reduce colic” or “prevent gas” or “make baby poop gold”. Even with a brand selected, the Priming required was insane. There are the bottles, the nipples, the next level nipples, the parts to make them compatible with a pump, the cleaning parts, and then all the contraptions to make cleaning “easier”. All of this just to get some liquid in a baby belly. Praise the Prime.
Diapers. You will, in the beginning, not have enough diapers because you have no concept of how many times a newborn can really pee and poo in 24 hours. So after sending dad on a late night run to Walgreens, overpaying for those crappy 32 packs, you start Priming in the 264 packs, making sure to put them on re-order to save an extra 2 cents per diaper. (College fund, baby!). And then, because right after you go back to work (and not a moment sooner) your baby will abruptly stop shitting 12 times a day, you will end up with a giant box of size 2 diapers sitting at your office for the next 10 months, never opened. Every cent you saved with your subscription was lost in that box, now crowding up your cube, but conveniently doubling as a shelf for your bag and spare shoes. You make this working mom thing look so classy.
I did make a few personal Prime purchases last year: I ordered 2 novels, several nursing bras, some Spearmint gum, and a new ironing board cover. (As though I am ever going to wear pressed clothing again…) Do you Prime?
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