Sunday, December 7, 2014

Day 64: Do You Really Need all those Baby Products? | Practical Parenting

While I was pregnant I received lots of gifts and goodies from friends and relatives.
One of the areas where I received many things was that of diapering. The top of Cesar’s clothing cabinet was covered with them. There were creams, gels, powders, wipes, liners,… Then you also have a whole range of products on how to go about storing/throwing away used diapers – it’s an industry by itself.

I kept all the products I had been given thinking that I need all this products and that they were given to me because I must have them. ‘If you didn’t need these products for the diapering process – why would they be made?’ – was how I approached it then. The fact that there were so many products and within each product there being so many varieties; this scared me off a little because I perceived that this was an indication of how complex diapering is lol.

In the beginning we tried out different diaper brands and different creams. Diapers wouldn’t sit well or Cesar would develop a skin rash simply because of the materials present in the diapers, so it took us a bit to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Cesar also had sensitivities to some foods that he would react to within my breast milk, such as tomato which would give him very acidy poop and a rash (which we didn’t know yet at that time).
To minimize the effects of any acidy poo and to reverse the rash he already had, we needed to change his diaper often to make sure he stays dry and clean. Interestingly enough, the diapering/cleaning process was actually making things worse.

I then stopped using the ‘specialised’ products that I was using, and started using a simple baby bum balm based on essential oils, and used cotton wipes (which were sold as baby face cloths lol) with some water and little bit of glycerine as ‘baby wipes’, to which I added some Epsom salts if he had a rash (which after the switch became very very rare).

So here what I found interesting is how if you know nothing about babies and diapers, and you go by what is presented to you: you believe you need this wide variety of products which need to be bought on a regular basis.

While, if you look at what works – it’s all very simple things and a down to earth process. And here what’s interesting is that as I took on this more say, ‘minimalistic’ way of working with the diapers, there was this small moment where I saw I was a bit ‘sad’. Where I saw this sadness was related to not being able to participate in trying out different products, getting to know different brands, seeing what brand suits me / “suits my family”. When I was pregnant I’d read up a lot on things in magazines as well as online, and you come into contact about a lot of information about different things/products and images are presented to you of how say ones diaper changing station will look like with all the different little products lined up. So as you are preparing for having the actual baby, you are starting to take in all these images, and the ‘feel good’ experience that is created around these images where you are preparing yourself to also enter this world/reality. So when I realised that I wasn’t going to be participating in any of that because it was clear that it just wasn’t what was going to work for us – I had to also let go of the idea, the energy and the emotions that I had attached to using different products and the image that gets created around the whole diapering process. So here I saw that I was still taking into account images and energies when making a decision instead of simply, common sensically going with ‘what works’; where in this case was making my own wipes which I would wash and some plain old water; you know, this ‘idea’ had never been ‘hyped up’ anywhere so it didn’t have the same ‘feel good’ experience as using other store bought products, where there is a belief that they will bring more enjoyment to the diapering process simply because you bought them and you’ve been into contact with their advertisement.

And sure – this applies to any area where it comes to advertisement and consumerism where you can ask yourself whether you really need something or where buying something really adds additional value to your life; or whether you are creating the additional value through the emotional and feeling experiences you generate within having been in contact with particular advertising or other environmental influences. Though what struck me in this case, is that with parenting/babies – this is something you don’t really get to learn about throughout your life or in school. I didn’t know anything about babies / taking care of another little human until I got pregnant and started doing my research. So here, where a lot of future parents are faced with a big unknown; advertisement becomes a big part of the first information they come into contact with when it comes down to parenting/babies. And since you’re no expert, there’s the tendency to just take the companies word for it, to ‘go with the flow’ in terms of doing and buying what everyone else is doing and buying without really questioning or investigating what you’re getting into.

And then with pregnancy especially, you have your 9 month waiting period where you’re full of anticipation which is 9 months where you delve yourself into information and receive a lot of impressions on which you later base your purchasing decisions.

So here – to always investigate what ideas, images, energies, emotions or feelings one is accessing when dealing with baby items and purchasing things for your baby; to ensure that one’s purchasing things from a practical perspective and to buy things that work, and not allow self to fall for the temptation of buying things because they give you a particular experience and which may not be best for your baby.

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