When Jemma and Laura were babies, everything was pretty low tech. We used terry nappies that were soaked each night in Napisan, feeding bottles and dummies were sterilised in Milton bleach, they slept in a carry cot, were carried around in a coach built pram and amused themselves by rocking the bouncing cradle with their movement. Once in bed, we used to take turns to visit baby’s room to see if it was asleep or not.
Things have moved on a LOT since those days. Laura is now amassing all the things she needs to look after our first grandchild and the list is long! Pam describes this need to get things ready as “the nesting instinct”. I can tell you, from what I have seen so far, no baby will ever have a fuller nest. I just hope there is still room for the poor mite.
I’m not even sure if they sell terry nappies anymore, disposables seem to be the order of the day. They are a lot better these days – I understand you can even reseal them without destroying the backing. Instead of a bucket of Napisan, you now have an electric nappy disposer to shred them and a special basket to hold the fresh supply.
As for feeding bottles, well they are high tech as well and are sterilised in an automatic electric device that takes up a fair bit of space in the kitchen and comes with a hefty manual of instructions.
As for carrying the child around, a “travel system” is a MUST. These come with a three or four wheel base onto which you attach a carry cot or a push chair unit. Then you can add a rain hood, a foot muff, a sun canopy – the list goes on. For gadget lovers, there are plenty of knobs and levers to play with which make them fold and transform in various ways.
Finally we come to amusing the child; baby gyms are the order of the day here. Whilst the precious bundle lies on a mat, a whole host of toys dangle down in front tempting them to squeeze and stroke and generally explore.
Once the baby is thoroughly worn out with all that gym work, you place it in battery powered cradle which gently rocks the mite to sleep to the sound of soothing music. Then you transfer the contented bundle to its cot and monitor every movement made, every last whimper, the ambient temperature of the room and a whole host of other things with a baby monitor.
This is all good stuff, designed to make life for mum, dad and baby a whole lot better but it does make you wonder how we ever managed to bring up children in the old days without it.