Thursday, July 30, 2009

"Bubble Babies"

Last night I picked up one of the many Readers Digests that we have stockpiled in our bathroom. I happened to just flip straight to a specific story without even knowing it was in there - it was titled Bubble Babies. You should take a few minutes to read it, but here is the gist: The author describes some 'extreme' products out there that parents are buying in to to protect their children from life's littlest bumps and bruises. My opinion was mixed - some did seem like extremes, but others seemed like common sense and even necessary in my eyes.

As I was reading the article I started to cower a little bit. I was actually a little embarrassed because the $19.95 kneepads that the author discusses early on - and makes fun of - were spread across my laptop screen just one day earlier after having looked at Riley's poor little red knees - her badge of honor of crawling like a maniac. I didn't order them, but I did think about it for a little bit. But making light of something like baby moisturizer (read: baby lotion)? I've skipped putting lotion on Riley some nights after her bath, but the result has been eczema-like spots on her arms. Sure, babies are soft already, but just like any other human being, I think they need extra moisture. This article may make me roll my eyes about some of the extremes, but it won't shame me out of using my (incredible Aveeno) baby lotion!

Sure. I ate dirt when I was a child. And my brother and I literally fried eggs on a hot sidewalk one summer and ingested our fair share of gravel and dirt and bird poop while eating them. And there was the time that I couldn't wait for my mom to get off the phone and pour me a glass of water that I drank directly from the watering can ... without knowing it was loaded up with MiracleGro (cue frantic phone call to poison control). And there is the disgusting story that my brother seems to love to tell when I actually ate a small piece of ... I can't even say it. And how about all of those imported toys from China that we put in our mouths time and time again and - so far - I haven't had any lasting effects from lead poisoning.

But still - my pledge and responsibility to protect my daughter as best I can is at the forefront of my mind. If that means spending a little bit more money to give her a little more safety or protection, I'll do it. And yes - even before she was born I had a cart cover sitting in her closet, just waiting for her first day sitting in a shopping cart or public high chair. You won't find me buying gLovies, or slapping a Thudguard helmet on her noggin' the minute she starts toddling around (however a helmet for tricycle and bike riding is a completely different story), but I will continue using my cart cover ... and wiping her hands and feet down with HandiWipes after she comes in contact with gross, public surfaces (or people ... another post for another time). Heck - maybe one day I'll get crazy and sit beside her as she fries an egg on the sidewalk. But only after I sweep it and wash it down first. ;)

What are your thoughts? What extremes (or lack of) have you gone to to protect your child?

4 hugs and kisses:

Madison on July 30, 2009 at 9:58 AM said...

I'm not too extreme. I do use a cart cover about 30% of the time (I always forget it between juggling all the other gear). I wash E's hands after touching something yucky. But we don't have any table corner protectors, etc etc. around the house. Just a baby gate for the stairs. Some people go above and beyond, but I wouldn't lump people who use lotion on their babies in with bubble-baby-mamas =P

Megan Balaban on July 30, 2009 at 11:16 AM said...

Agreed Madison - I think that throwing lotion-users in there was really stretching it a bit!

Brittany V. on August 3, 2009 at 12:23 PM said...

I use a shopping cart cover all the time...the few times I have skipped it Taylor's mouth was all over the rusty shopping cart metal. Soooo nasty! People at stores always say stuff like "oh the things you kids buy into these days" or my inlaws will say "we didn't need any of this stuff when we were raising kids" ....sure you don't need any of it...but it's sure nice to have!!! I made the room Taylor plays in safe enough to feel like I don't have to follow her around the whole time she's in there I can kind of just sit and watch her. I can't make my stone fireplace go away and I can't keep her from putting her mouth on everything...but I can put a soft guard around the sharp edge of the fireplace and make sure to clean the room. I am totally a germaphobe...I understand that as Taylor gets older she's going to go outside and play - and get dirty and germy and she'll probably even break some bones- and that's part of being a kid...but for right now if you can prevent your little baby from getting sick or getting hurt, shouldn't you? Taylor gets her fair share of bumps and bruises now that she's walking - she trips over toys or stumbles and bumps her head ...but that's all part of the process.

Megan Balaban on August 4, 2009 at 4:24 PM said...

Brittany - I agree with you 100%. If you really wanted to argue it, the only thing one NEEDS is food, shelter and water. But I am just like you - if there is something out there that I can do to protect my precious one a little more, then I am most likely going to do it!!