Nine months ago, I had a baby. I never thought I would have a baby, so when it actually happened I was pretty surprised. Not just surprised by the whole “oh wow, my vagina is ripped to pieces” but also the “oh, I own this thing now, and if something happens it’s my fault.” I’ve had a dog for a while, which I thought was pretty similar, but it turns out that it is not. This is especially true right now, as I listen to my baby sob over our heat-sensing baby monitor, and my dog lays calmly at my feet.
Anyway, beyond all that, parenting has, ostensibly, gotten easier. Whereas before, if my parents are to be believed, it was “Go outside and play until the street lamps come on. Don’t get hit by a bus,” there is technology that makes it easier for us to know everything and do everything. Here are just a couple of things that have made the past few months of my life a little bit easier and a little bit more restful.
Somewhere along the line, I started to feel guilty about feeding the baby pre-packaged purees. Even though I’d been buying the organic, non-GMO, free-range kind, I still started wondering if I should feed him more. So, then I started to feed him items that I’d defrosted: corn, peas, etc. But then I started to feel guilty about that. (Honestly, I think that parenting is just one big guilt cycle, whether from without or within). So then I started to buy stuff at Whole Foods and pre-prepping that, but holy FUCK was it exhausting to cook up a ton of little baby finger foods that we could just then pull out and put on his plate. I know, I know, most people say ‘Feed your kid what you feed yourself!’ but I feed myself garbage, and I’m trying to give him a better life.
Anyway, it’s tiring. I’m tired of cooking more for my baby than I am for myself, especially when half of it just ends up on the floor, tirelessly-prepped food for the dog instead.
Enter Nurture Life. This is a meal delivery service. For your baby. They send you age-appropriate foods (going from purees up to pre-cut finger foods), that you can just GIVE TO THE KID without needing to think about it. It balances all of the different food groups, instead of you just feeding your small human Cheerios and bread with peanut butter on it. My kid likes it because he loves trying new things, and there is almost ALWAYS something that he hasn’t eaten yet. Anyway, it’s not so bad, $50 bucks for 14 meals, which is probably what I would have spent and subsequently wasted from Whole Foods (or on purees, those shits are expensive), anyway.
[Editor’s note: I am insanely jealous that this service exists, to the point that I want my tween children to become babies again so I can use this. Not really.]
When I was pregnant, I got a call from my stepmother telling me that she had been watching Good Morning America, or some such thing, and had seen a crib that she knew I needed and bought it. She sent me a link and I found out that the crib cost A FUCKING GRAND AND A HALF. I was like “wut.” And I told all my friends about it and said that I felt bougie AF. The parents that I knew were on one of two sides: either they thought that it was a pointlessly expensive thing that wouldn’t actually do anything, or they thought that if it did work I would easily spend that much money (and twice over) just for the sleep that I was getting.
Friends, I am here to tell you that it worked. It’s called the Snoo and it’s made by the same guy that wrote The Happiest Baby and made those easy-swaddle blankets. I have videos of me putting my SCREAMING two-week old baby in this contraption and him falling asleep 15 seconds later. It is magic. Basically it mimics the sounds and motions of the womb and listens in on your baby. If it hears your baby starting to cry or fuss, it will amp up the movement or sound as needed. Thank you, Snoo, please robot nanny all of my cares away.
I would buy it again and spend four times that amount of money just to be able to sleep as well as I did in comparison to my friends sans Snoo.
I am neurotic, so take this with a grain of salt. Charts and graphs make me happy. I used a tracking app while trying to conceive, a tracking app while pregnant, and now I use a tracking app for my baby. Every diaper, bottle, breastfeed, and nap gets tracked. It sounds like a lot, but when you use an app that has an Apple Watch attachment, or are keeping up with your tweets while feeding your nugget, it’s not hard at all.
Also, I am forgetful. The app makes it easy to know if, say, I should change his diaper again, rather than me waiting until he looks like the Michelin Man. It also lets me see any trends in sleeping, IE: oh fuck, the baby gets up at 3AM EVERY GODDAMN DAY, maybe I should start going to sleep at a time that lets me get ~5 hours or so of sleep before then.
The daycares that I send my kid to also have these. I think that’s both a gift and a curse. If it’s a good day care, they’ll send you cute photos and you’ll get to feel relaxed about how well your baby is being taken care of. If it’s a bad daycare, you will panic about not knowing whether they’ve mis-tracked or your baby just legit hasn’t eaten a bottle all day. Or at least you will if you’re me.
Anyway, this has been my recommendation of three bougie millennial things that you can do for your baby in the newborn and infant stages. Stay tuned as Malco grows and I have more to uncover!