Sarah talks about her exciting but overwhelming experience preparing for the arrival of her first child…
When I first announced to friends and family that we were expecting our first child, everyone spoke glowingly of parenthood. They described the joy, the happiness, and the unconditional love for your new baby. Some, for whom the experience was quite recent, might mention the sleep deprivation, or the challenges of adjusting your lifestyle. So far, nothing we hadn’t expected. However as I look back, they all failed to mention one thing – the overwhelming sense of responsibility, some may even go as far as saying the fear, that comes with knowing that your baby’s whole livelihood comes down to you.
Every mother I know wants the best for their child, and safety is, of course, the number one priority. But when it comes to setting up for the new arrival, the wealth of information, and in some cases the strength of the marketing, can make it easy to second guess decisions. When purchasing the mountain of baby gear required, is price the best indicator? Opinions of the experts? Reviews online? Friends’ recommendations? Products endorsed by doctors, nurses, paediatricians?
For me, the anxiety started creeping in before my daughter even arrived. We hit the shops with the standard list; cot, change table, car seat, pram, etc. The list was long, so we decided to ease our way into it and start small; baby monitor.
Should be easy. Not so.
Would you like a motion detector? Camera? What about a night light? Music? Two-way microphone? How many handsets? Will the transmission frequency be secure? We knew then that we were in trouble. To make our decision, I canvassed everyone I knew, and spent more time than I like to admit Googling ‘baby monitor’. But I was still confused. And we hadn’t even gotten to the big stuff.
As it turned out, in most cases ‘the big stuff’ was more straightforward with the help of standards and regulations. Knowing that what we were buying had a seal of approval from people far more experienced than us took the burden away and gave us assurance that we were in safe hands. And where these weren’t available, for example in the case of our baby monitor search, it was simply a case of researching as best we could, and applying a little common sense.
At the end of our shopping spree, we learnt a valuable lesson. Being a parent is scary. There is a lot of information out there, and if you allow yourself, it can become overwhelming. We know that throughout our daughter’s life, I’m sure we will come across this realization many times over, but by seeking out the right information and screening out the noise, we’ll be able to ensure we’re doing the best thing for our family, and helping make a safer world for our kids.