By Kim Walls
Creating a birth plan helps you define and understand your parenting philosophy and preferences—from where you want to birth and who will be in the room to how you will feed this new life. Since certain products are used immediately after birth and throughout the 4th trimester, it is important to think through some of that gear as part of your birth plan.
Who are you? What do YOU care about?
Keep in mind that your values will likely change as you transition into being a parent.
Maybe you are
- an evidence-based researcher
- a coupon clipper
- an all-natural hippie
- a farm-to-table advocate
- a convenience hound
- or a health-nut
Or maybe you are
- super easy-going
- or celebrity-loving
Or some combination of those.
The products you choose are an extension of your worldview. They could have a much bigger impact on both your health and your relationship with baby than you might realize at first blush.
4th trimester birth planning is a great time to start figuring out what you care about most, to help insulate you from marketing hype.
Some products amplify well-being and provide pathways to connect with your new baby. Others are destructive to health and create distance.
Here are a few tips to assist your decision-making about personal style and taste:
Inhalation and contact with synthetic fragrances and harsh chemicals can cause neurological and hormonal problems in little babies, as well as interfere with breastfeeding. They can cause skin rashes, breathing problems, and damage the nervous system.
Synthetic fragrance is damaging. Avoid products and environments with synthetic fragrances and protect your baby from increased risk of
- Hormone disruption
- Autism, ADHD, & other neurological disorders
- Breathing difficulties
When it comes to shopping, awareness of synthetic fragrance can inform your buying decisions about detergents, soaps, lotions, air fresheners, surface cleaning sprays, hand sanitizers, hair products, perfume, and anything smelly.
Synthetic fragrances might be unavoidable out in the world, but they surely don’t have to be in your home.
Babies who see and touch their caretakers more frequently are healthier babies. They are more secure, sleep better, are less fussy, and communicate more effectively.
Whenever you can, choose to use gear that brings you and baby closer rather than separates you. The kinds of products that encourage touch include carriers, wraps, and co-sleepers.
This premise can influence your buying decisions when it comes to choosing gear like strollers, cribs, bouncy chairs, and high chairs.
Luckily, these don’t have to be all-or-nothing scenarios. Just be conscious.
Keep in mind that for many different kinds of businesses—from insurance providers to consumer product companies—now that you have had a baby, you are a most prized and coveted marketing target.
Many of these companies are armed with neuroscientists, market researchers, data analysts, wicked-smart strategists, celebrity figures, and massive budgets. Their singular focus is to capture your dollars with a knee-jerk responsiveness that can only be described as Pavlovian.
Some of the companies vying for your cash truly do have your best interests at heart. Countless don’t.
Statistically, you’ll spend more money on your child in the first year of life than you ever will again, until you begin paying for private school or college education.
Walking through a big box store filled block-to-block with baby gear can be dizzying, and for some, nauseating. Understand how the gear you choose can both influence and express your parenting style.
Decision-making can be complex and overwhelming.
Before you spend umpteen billion hours walking the aisles, scouring the internet, and pouring over countless magazines, take a moment to reduce the number of choices you’ll consider.
Conscious choices are confident choices.
Be a conscious consumer. Make thoughtful product and gear choices from your very own core values. Learn to triage.
Today’s parents are faced with more options than ever before about which products to choose, how much to spend, when to buy, and where to shop.
At the end of the day, you simply don’t need much gear to have a healthy baby.
Filling your closets and hallways with box after box of new stuff will probably not make parenting any easier or more predictable. The right gear can indeed provide convenience, but too much of a good thing can also just get in the way.
The precious time you spend shopping could be better spent taking a walk in the park on a beautiful, sunny day with your baby in a carrier, snuggled to you.
To learn more about healthy parenting, download our free Birth Plan eBook now. After three years of research, collaboration with more than 100 childbirth experts and resource centers from Healthy Child Healthy World to the American Association of Neonatal Nurses, the Best Ever Baby Birth Plan Guide is available for a free download.
This new resource for pregnant families is a compilation of top tips and advice from more than 20 nationally-recognized experts in the field including renowned pediatrician, Dr. Alan Greene and GraceFull Birthing founder, midwife Elizabeth Bachner. These trusted experts offer thoughtful guidance for whatever type of birthing experience parents want, in whichever setting they choose.
Published: December 26, 2017 | Reviewed by: The Best Ever Baby Expert Team | Last reviewed: December, 2017