Ramble on

The nonsensical ramblings of a lunatic mind…

A throne for the Queen

Monday, January 8, 2007

This past weekend the wife and I went out in search of a new car seat. Our daughter was almost too big for her carrier seat. And so we went to the place where you go for these sorts of things — Babies R Us. I’m not necessarily saying that they are the best, cheapest, or anything else. That just happens to be where we went (probably something to do with the $100 gift card we got for Xmas from family).

So my advice to you today comes from lessons learned at the Babies R Us. As you probably already know, buying a car seat is a pretty big deal (particularly after the latest Consumer Reports story broke. Luckily we were buying a child seat (versus a carrier) so we didn’t have any stories like that to freak us out.

Anyhow, here’s how it went down. We walked up and down the isles looking at all the various seats. Finally, we asked a service person to give us a brief rundown on all of the seats. It wasn’t until several minutes went by of him describing different seats and varying qualities that he disclosed the valuable piece of info that we should not be purchasing ANY of the seats he’d just spent the last five minutes talking to us about because our daughter wasn’t big/old enough yet. That would have been good information to have at the beginning (I think maybe he would have asked that question at the beginning, since I was holding our daughter in my hands while he talked, but that’s neither here nor there).

So we cut our ties with this gentleman and moved to the appropriate section of seats. There, we found a wonderful service person who painstakingly showed another couple a bunch of different seats, the pros and cons, and – this part is important – actually had them put their baby in the various seats to see how they fit. Apparently all babies fit the various seats differently. I did not know this!

After finishing with the other couple, she repeated the song and dance with us. At the end (and with the help of a personal story and recommendation from the service person), we decided on a fine seat (moderately priced by way of comparison), and left very happy and comfortable in our decision.

Moral of the story? Have you ever called a customer service line and questioned whether or not the person you were talking to actually worked for the company you were calling, due to how completely #&$%ing clueless they were? So you call back and the next agent you talk to is the most knowledgable and pleasant person you’ve ever talked to? I think the same thing goes for in person customer service. If the person you’re talking to seems clueless, just keep finding new people until you actually get one who has a clue.

For a purchase like this it’s worth the extra effort.

Beauty Queen

Friday, January 5, 2007

Here’s some random thoughts for the new new new dad, or the soon-to-be new dad

The Issue: This may not apply to everyone but when I found out we were having a girl, Michelle and I went ape-shit buying clothes. Not to mention all of our family and friends too.

Don’t do it!!!!

As much as you want to, don’t do it.

The rub: It doesn’t matter what you put on them (girl or boy), they are going to spit up all over it within a matter of minutes. Another thing no one tells you is that baby will spend most of his time those first days/weeks wrapped tightly in a blanket. All those cute clothes will never see the light of day (and yes, I used the word cute…dad privelage).

The Tip: Put your stock in onesies®. You’ll burn through them like hotwings and believe me, the more you have, the less time you’ll spend doing laundry.

Same goes for receiving blankets. Nora is 7 months old and she still LOVES to be swaddled when it’s time for bed or a nap.

S-U-C-K-E-R

The Issue: If you don’t have a sibling or close friend with children, then all I have to say is buyer beware. Unless someone tells you otherwise, you are doomed to purchase endless piles of shit that either doesn’t work, isn’t necessary, or you’ll never use.

The Rub: Because parents are the most gullible consumers on the face of the planet, chances are good that at some point you’re going to end up with some worthless piece of shit that you’ll use once and wonder why you ever bought it to begin with. Example – You’re standing in the department store baby section, pricing gun in hand, you say “Oh look a bottle warmer. Do we need one of those? Who the hell knows? Scan it!”

The Tip: Here’s my first short list of sucker buys for new parents to look out for.

1) Aforementioned bottle warmer – useless
The skinny? If it really makes you feel better to use distilled water, then just drop that bottle in the microwave for one minute and you are good to go.

To think of all the hours of precious sleep I wasted hovering over the stove while a cold bottle warmed in a pot of water….ARGH! Your blood will boil faster than that water does when you realize the error of your ways.

Michelle and I took it one further. Our doctor told us that using tap water was actually a good thing because the water has fluoride in it. SCORE! Now we just run warm water straight into the bottle. Shaken not stirred.

2) Bath time
You’re going to lose many things after the baby comes, not the least of which are sleep, hair, money, and probably your sanity. But another precious thing you’re going to see slowly vanishing is space. Toys, strollers, and other such baby gear will rule your roost before you know it, so try to save space when you can.

The bathroom is one example. When you’re shopping, you get sucked in by all of the fancy baby bathing systems and infant tubs and what not. Guess what, the only thing they are good for is taking up space. We got a sponge bath seat. Works just the same, and when bath time is over, it wrings out and neatly hangs over the wash cloth rail.

3) Diaper Genie – fielder’s choice
This one could go either way. Some people swear by the diaper Genie, some people simply swear AT the diaper genie. I fell into the latter. We got one. It didn’t work for shit. We took it back. We use the diaper genie refill bags on their own. Drop in the dirty diaper, tie the bag up (they smell like baby powder), drop the bag into the trash. Case closed. Be your own judge on this one if you want, but my vote is a resounding no.

 

Exorcism Optional

Friday, January 5, 2007

Good to know – There’s something called the lower esophageal sphincter, which is more or less a back-flow valve between the stomach and the throat. For the first several months, your baby’s will not be fully developed, causing spontaneous projectile vomiting or spit up, otherwise known as GER1.

And let me tell you, nothing will ever prepare you for witnessing that kind of projectile puking from someone who hasn’t been pounding 32oz beers for the past 6 hours. Feel free to be grossed out, but there’s no need to be alarmed. This is perfectly normal. From what I understand, despite the milk fountain, your baby is getting all the nutrition needed out of the milk before it’s evacuated.

And knowing is half the battle!

1. Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) occurs when stomach contents reflux, or back up, into the esophagus during or after a meal. The esophagus is the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. A ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus opens and closes to allow food to enter the stomach. This ring of muscle is called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES normally opens to release gas after meals. With infants, when the LES opens, stomach contents often reflux into the esophagus and out the mouth, resulting in regurgitation, or spitting up, and vomiting. GER can also occur when babies cough, cry, or strain.

One thought on “Ramble on

  1. Not only is there the issue of WHICH baby seat to buy but which direction to face the baby seat. How much does said baby weigh? How many inches tall is baby? What age is baby? The maufacturer says one thing and the government safety standards say another. Who do you listen to? Go with the government safety standards. Even if baby gets pissed off that he/she can not look out the front window, you will be happy that he/she has only a cut lip after a head on accident.

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