I remember buying many, many items for our kids. We did all we could to welcome them with everything that would make baby care easier. We certainly did okay, but looking back, I am quite sure that there were a lot of changes I myself would have made to that baby gear. I dream of a very parent friendly world.
High chairs would be made with a silicone outer layer, to prevent food bits from morphing from a colorful vegetable based puree into, well, a tar-like substance which resists all half hearted attempts to clean it off. While we are at it, can someone explain to me why kitchens for families do not come with a drain in the middle of the floor? Just think how easy hosing off that high chair would be! Not to mention how much more calmly we would live our lives if a pitcher of juice spilled on the floor was just a sluicing away from being all clean and shiny. I bet we would fight for the privilege of hosing down the kitchen.
No, few things are built to fully meet the actual needs of parents. For example, a truly family friendly vehicle would have carpet inside that is the EXACT color of goldfish crackers, with brownish yellow contrast, so the fossilized French fries would blend right in. Cup holders? No, try a built-in diaper changing table with wet wipe dispensers and an optional heater for cold weather. This is because every single one of us has needed to give our child a head to toe bath with baby wipes, while balancing between the car seats, holding the baby and juggling around the diaper bag trying to find the diaper, shirt, missing sock, extra pacifier and a meals’ worth of Cheerios.
We love our kids and want them to be happy. We buy pacifiers to help them when they are upset. These should be cheap, come in packs of 18, and be available from all gas station minimarts in every permutation, because baby only likes ONE shape. Instead they are sold one or two to a package, and they get lost faster than Dorothy in Oz. Ideally the pacifiers would be bluetooth enabled, for easy location with a smart phone, and equipped with a tiny jet so you could just hit a “home” button and it would come to you, saving you roughly 3 years of your life which will, instead, be spent hunting for a small plastic object worth far more than it’s weight in gold if it stops the baby crying.
Another single-purchase item that should only come in 8 packs are those blanky/lovey/favorite toy/teddy bear sort of items which become the OBJECT OF BABY ADORATION. We were never ashamed to drive two hours BACK to the house where the favorite teddy bear had been left. We did it again when it was a favorite blanket. Knowing what I know now, I would still give them the beloved item, but I would have 17 extra identical blankies rotating in and out of use, because they matter. The crying when said item is lost is truly heart wrenching. And loud. Really really loud.
The biggest innovation that has yet to arrive for parents is the Drive-Thru Baby Service. It would look a great deal like any fast food restaurant, but it would work very differently. Exhausted Mom and/or Dad just drive up to the window and hand in the colicky, screaming, unhappy baby. Fill out papers, or maybe log them in with a retinal scan, but however it works, the baby would be whisked away to a room full of grandmother pediatric nurses. Women with skills and the ability to adore babies for hours at a time. Once handed over, the parent/s simply drive to the other side of the building and park. This side looks amazingly like a hotel. You walk in, get your key, and go to a darkened, sound-proof room, where you get to sleep until you are fully rested. Then you get in your car, pick up your happy, well loved baby, and resume life as normal.
There is a lot of controversy over breast feeding in public or using formula and bottle feeding. I am in favor of the method that keeps the baby from crying. As for the whole debate, lets be honest: Method is not the issue. We want every single building, on every floor, to have a special room with an easy chair for mom’s to use while feeding baby. It would be equipped with a toddler play area full of well sanitized toys, and magazines featuring fully planned, highly nutritious menu’s requiring only 4 ingredients each, complete with shopping lists, and guaranteed to be at least equal to a 5 star restaurant……with an optional in-home chef, who promises to hose down the kitchen as soon as he is done cooking.