Friday, August 9, 2013

The Baby Stuff - FlashBack Friday

Babies are a marketers dream come true.
As soon as someone says the word 'Baby', manufacturers and Sales teams start rubbing their little hands together and brainstorming new and wonderful ways to guilt the new parents into buying stuff they don't need.
One of my closest friends is having a fourth baby after a really big gap (** read: surprise baby **), and during that gap she gave away all her baby paraphernalia .

The cot, the high chair, bouncer, her sanity...
So we've been looking at what she will need and what is available.
My, oh my, how things have changed in a few years.
The first and most obvious requirement is a pram.
Back in the early 90's when J-man was born, a steelcraft pram was the way to go.
If this looks like you take the baby's bed and whack it on a tray, like a flat bed truck you are 100% correct.
Look at those wheels, perfect for going over, well, not much really. The tiniest pebble could lock one of these up and have you teaching your toddler some very new words.
These had some pretty impressive features like a lap belt (none of this high brow five point safety harness stuff malarkey) and a reversible handle in case you got sick of looking at your little wonder. It required a degree in engineering to collapse, and a car boot almost as big as a swimming pool to fit it in.
These days you can purchase some really cool space shuttles prams with aerodynamic everything.
When I buy my next car I'm just going to buy one of these and install a motor.
Next on the shopping list is a high chair.
Originally we had a timber one, with little metal catches under the tray to detach it for 'easy cleaning'.
Then we upgraded to a schmicko plastic and coated metal chair with padded seat and a flip-over tray. Once again safety was not an issue with a single grey strip of webbing to stop your child sub-marining out the bottom. It was always loose, always covered in 3 days worth of weetbix and had no safety mechanism whatsoever but hey - it was there.
Covered in cutesy pastel kid vinyl which cracked and split within 3 months of purchase, it blended into absolutely No-One's home ever!
The flip-over tray meant that when small child had had enough and was getting cross they could lift and drop the tray repeatedly, sending food and drink all over the floor. Nice.
High Chairs have come a long way. In fact I wouldn't mind a set of six to replace my dining chairs.
Car travel with a new born in the early 90's meant you have one of these wedged into your backseat.
You plonked your baby into the capsule (often still wrapped in blankets) and secured them with a wide strip of Velcro across the belly effectively creating a small torpedo.
When it was time to leave the car you could remove the capsule and take it inside. The noise the Velcro made when undoing it was like a nuclear explosion, and they weighed a tonne .
Car seats now follow a similar principle except they have extras like seat belts! Very pretty.
Even the things to cover their little butts have changed - Nappies in Australia and the UK, Diapers in the US .
When we used cloth nappies they were white squares of towelling. For baby No.1 these were thick and fluffy and absorbent. By baby No. 3 and about 3000 hot washes they were almost see-through and were usually odd-shaped quasi-rectangles.
What's that you see? Nappy pins. Yes! actual sharp edges allowed to go near our precious wee-ones wee.
On freezing cold days in a town not too far from the snowfields of Mt Buller I would hang my little squares of white on the line and watch as they snap-froze like cardboard. I do not miss those days.
The lady at the Baby Boutique in town told me that Modern Cloth Nappies have "revolutionised the eco-aware mothers ability to choose earth friendly options."
Errr , okay.
They still just catch the poo right? I mean the Modern Cloth Nappy doesn't take time out each day to attend Earth Summits or petition the local member of parliament for better green waste disposal options?
Still just poo catchers ! Pretty ones !
And so to sleep - cribs and cots haven't changed much, although the baby hammocks are pretty cool and if I could afford an adult sized one, I would be sleeping in it right now.
However the how-to-sleep-your-baby rules have reversed. When I had my little people the rule was "Always and only on their side". We were told to not sleep our babies on their backs due to risk of choking. In the hospital they were swaddled to within an inch of their life and placed on their sides.
Now it's on the back and minimal blankets.
There were a few miscellaneous items I have found that have, quite frankly left me a little concerned.
Like I said, a Baby is a marketers dream.
Brooke,  if I catch you with a butt fan or bacon flavoured formula I will organise an intervention !
Linking up with the fabulous Cathy from The Camera Chronicles for another Flash Back Friday . Share your memories xxx


  1. When my wife and I were having IVF treatment... We kind of jumped the gun a bit (as the ivf didn't work) and we spent a lot of time looking at baby stuff and what they need..... OMG There are sooo many things and soooo many options of each 'thing'. If we were doing IVF now, lol I think I would find the 'shopping' side just all too complicated!!! lol The only decisions I now have to make is, which toy do I buy my dog this week? lol

    1. The options are enough to make you cry ! And so often the info and safety spiel on one product completely contradicts the next items info. CRazy- they get you at your weakest.
      Hard to stay away from the baby stuff while you wait for IVF to work or not - I used to avoid the baby aisles in Kmart or Target, Once in there it was almost impossible to drag myself out.
      If you manage to find a toy that your dog cannot dismantle please let me know. We have bought everything possible and our Cavoodle removes the squeaker in his enthusiasm within hours each and every time.

  2. Bacon flavoured formula? What kind of crazy shit it that? I remember reading up on all the safety features of baby apparatus for my first born. By the time I got to baby number three, a second hand pram was good enough. Ahem.

    1. LOL yep, or a borrowed pram from the neighbour and some "100 mile/hr duct tape" to act as a seatbelt.

  3. What a fabulous post - brought back many memories of growing up. We survived all those unsafe contraptions lol.
    Those last products are a bit of a worry though!! Who thinks of these things?! Bacon flavored formula?! Really?!
    P.S. Love the new look of your blog!

    1. Thanks Cathy. I am really hoping the bacon formula is a joke. If I start thinking about it as a serious product I get queasy . Who would do that to their kid?

  4. Laughing ROFL at some of the comments. Your comment about the Velcro in the baby Capsule is so true, that sound use to take a sleeping baby to new heights of screaming baby!

  5. Laughed out loud at the eco nappies attending an earth summit Lisa!! And loved the trip down memory lane - my first baby was born 1998 and our products were probably a little more advanced than in the early 90s, but not much!!! I thought those rubbery nappy hooks to hold on the nappy instead of safety pins were REVOLUTIONARY.


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