When I was expecting my first child, back in 2008, I spent all my hours researching baby products. (Well, the ones I wasn’t eating or obsessing about baby names or drinking Gaviscon by the bottle).
I made spreadsheets of buggies’ features, compared prices in different shops (and countries) and read reviews about nappies.
I could identify what shop newborn-sized babygros were from by pattern and design (ironically my first born was too big for anything newborn-sized).
But wandering around a nursery shop last week I was struck with a sense of unfamiliarity. There were grey cots. And ergonomic slings in a mainstream shop. And every manner of monochromed everything.
In a sudden moment of shock I realised, I’m out of date. My product knowledge just doesn’t cut it any more. My state of the art Phil and Teds vibe from 2010 (one of the first in the country) is old news. I don’t know what’s hot in buggyland.
I see emails in my inbox about innovative baby-stuff that I’ve no need for at all. Things seem to have come a long way in less than three years. I wonder if I’d have immediately bought them if I’d seen them in 2008.
Babies born in 2016 aren’t any different though than those born in 2008 though. It’s the stuff that’s different. And while I’m sure there have been some really worthwhile innovations in that time, a lot of it is just stuff. Babies don’t know whether their bouncer is sonic, or their bottles have special grips, they want to be fed, to be held and to be awake when their parents are the tiredest ever.
My baby is turning three, the space in my brain that once held comparative buggy data has been taken over by knowledge of hurling helmets, phonic sounds and Season 4 Shopkins. This information will possibly all be completely out of date in three years’ time too (or Shopkins will be on Season 7 at any rate.)
But I like to think that this is just information about “stuff” and I actually do know a thing or two about babies.
I don’t even have eight years’ experience at this parenting thing, how quickly things move on.
Maybe it’s just my product knowledge that’s out of date. That I can live with.