Yes, life was certainly simple when I was 3 months old! Here I am in my classic baby bouncenette – a simple metal frame with a mesh cover and straps to kind of hold me in. You’ll note that it’s even in pink. Either a grown-up type person would apply gently pressure to make it rock, or my own kicking and arm-waving would get the thing to move a bit (and presumably provide a means to exhaust me so that I would sleep).
Fast forward to 2012 and here I am fitting out the “essentials” for the imminent arrival of Bump. A bouncenette would probably be a good idea, but take a look at this:
This is the Fischer-Price Rainforest Deluxe Baby Bouncer which is currently selling on Amazon for £64.78 and is quite typical of today’s baby bouncers. It features “a toy bar with a see-through waterfall created by lights and clear spinning helixes and 3 colourful animals. After a day of rainforest adventure, turn on the calming vibrations and your little one is ready to relax! Suitable from birth. Soothing vibrations. Music. Detachable toy bar. Includes 2 toys. Support strap. Non-slip feet.”
So basically, you stick your child in this contraption, turn on the shiny lights and music and set the thing vibrating and walk away. Meanwhile your child is bombarded with sounds and images and probably kept awake.
Does it seem like overkill to you? It certainly does to me! Don’t get me wrong – the construction looks good, the toy bar is probably a good idea and the colours are gorgeous but music and “soothing vibrations”? That sounds like something I’d expect to see in an Ann Summers catalog, not a baby catalog!
And this isn’t the only thing – we now have nurseries with bumpers all over the cots (which are actually NOT good and can contribute to SIDS) and all manner of things. Muslin cloths… I think I’ll leave that one for another post.
Even if money were no object, most of the things on sale are quite frankly ridiculous. It will certainly be interesting to see if I change my mind in the next 6 months and what I deem to be actually important.