Bye, Bye, Baby Gear

It is with great satisfaction that a modern mother might clear her house out when her youngest child turns 2 (or 1, or 3). She will gladly wave good bye to the bouncy seat, the gymini, and baby swing. She will cheer as the exersacuer exits. And when she surveys the soon-to-depart pile of molded plastic and colorful fabric, she might wonder, what could she possibly have seen in all this junk? At the time, it seemed necessary for maintaining her sanity, but was it?  Is it possible that keeping things simple, putting a 7 month old on a blanket with a few spoons, might have been a more satisfying arrangement for both mother and child? Didn’t the greatest generation spend their pre-verbal years sitting on the kitchen floor, banging a pot with a ladle and making hats out of newspaper?

While she lifts and hauls and divests herself of these baby-related contraptions, this modern mother might wonder if baby gear is making us all dumb. Perhaps all this gear primes mothers, fathers, all of us, to be dependent on a fix, the "perfect" piece of equipment to bring on the next developmental milestone, an app, a device to keep a child busy, a device to teach a child what we could teach them ourselves. For babies it might be standing or fine motor skills, but it quickly moves on as children get older: the alphabet, numbers, addition, reading. No doubt the list goes on.

Since she has definitively and happily closed the door on the family building stage of life, this modern mother/budding social scientist will not have occasion to test out a pared down approach with a baby, but perhaps she can re-think some of her strategies with her older children.  


Queenie The Bee said...


Kate said...

Good luck with that! I remember being more frantic with the young ones in my quest for something to engage them. Or keep them out of my hair, to be quite honest. My favorite piece of equipment was the johnny jump that I used when my son was 6 months old. He'd jump so hard he'd fall right asleep in it!

Capability said...

I do not miss my house of plastic - the toys are smaller now and more expensive but at least I can borrow my daughter's itouch or ereader!

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