It has been said that when children are born, “They do not come with instructions!”
However, I have evidence to the contrary….
With just the basic needs for our newborn daughter we have accumulated enough Manuals and Instruction Booklets in the early months of parenthood to keep a small team, from Ikea, busy building things until early spring!
We have gathered 3 Strollers; Our daily stroller has 4 separate books of instructions alone. A Snap and Go, which I term the Airport Stroller. And an Umbrella Stroller (this name is mis-leading as it does not hold an Umbrella), though my wife swears that’s the name for it.
A car seat that is essentially assembled yet includes a 66-page Instruction Manual. This car seat is so durable that you can strap a Watermelon inside and drop from any NYC building and come 4th of July your fruit is still ready to serve.
We have several contraptions that hold your baby at different angles and heights. Among them are options that; sing, swing, soothe, rock, turn, swivel and tilt. Our early favorite, a Rocker, included all of the aforementioned; we call it “The Flying Saucer”. You place it under a warm window and your baby rocks to a soothing beat until and they drift off to hours of uninterrupted naptime. The Instructions for this item mimicked a kids coloring book as the options for final use varied… Some seats simply sit and hold your child in one place just above ground level, definitely a must have and the instructions were basic, “Place Seatbelt on child”.
Children should be belted and strapped into all seating units and the Instructions are very clear on this detail.
We have 4 on-person Carriers/ Slings, two for in-house. One that my wife wears and an option that did not make the rotation. The outside option is all black and I use it to take her to the park daily. This option also comes with a Sleeping bag attachment to keep her warm in the severe weather; instructions are drawn in pictures on tag. The final option is so structured it allows me to take my child high up the Himalayas, with enough storage space to carry a weeks worth of survival gear. The Manuals for said items are pretty basic and straightforward.
We have attained 3 High Chair/ Table seating devices; Your ordinary A- Frame style that we use next to our dinner table. A travel unit that connects to any table, and another “Sturdier” (as told by my wife) travel unit that she assures me we will need at some point (editors note: this chair has yet to witness daylight). These items are a bit more in depth with instructions they secure your children and attach to fixed furniture.
Bottle warmers, I’ve learned, come in varying extremes as well. We have the Deluxe Bottle warmer that offers recommended times and concise cleaning measures. This is our go to unit. And a second option, should we need to warm two 8-ounce bottles at once. Surprisingly this warmer has never left the box. We also have the “Six Bottle Steaming Sanitizer”, for those babies that drink 6 bottles back to back to back to back … you get the picture!
As we approach the heavier furniture, we have 3 night sleeping units. A Master Crib sits adorned with all of her stuffed animals hanging from each corner, was put together in the early days of pregnancy. The Instructions were many, yet straight-forward enough to understand the different stages of Crib to Bed. As she grows from months to years. We have a Co-Sleeper that, I’m guessing by its name, aides your child in sleeping, dependent of the parents? Our daughter slept in it one evening, next to our bed, until mommy decided it was easier to take care of our child if she lay in our bed. Should we need to explore the different heights of this unit the manual and its photos were a bit tougher to decipher.
As the seasons have changed and the blooms kick in we have had to utilize the nose suction device that pulls the runny snot from inside the nostril, fun for the whole family… This is not a favorite of our little girl but its effective. I did not view the instructions for this device but I imagine the pictures are worth a thousand words!
There are of course many other useful items; Toys, First Aid, Soothers, Clothing, to name a few, that have made the cut for daily/weekly use. All are accompanied with pages and pages of many words that I have kept in a very specific drawer. And while I prided myself on never reading instructions on home goods, prior to her birth, I am now certain to follow all Manuals letter by letter when assuring the safety of our little one.
They keep us all sleeping soundly!
Well, most of us…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Robert Brawley is a West Coast kid who moved out to NYC in 2004 to further his career; most recently managing a Multi Unit Luxury Retail Company throughout the USA and Canada. Robert and his wife have been together for 12 years and are the proud parents of an 8 month old beautiful baby girl. As his profession had him traveling 50% of the time, he decided to put his career on hold over the summer and spend the first year as a stay home father, caring for his working wife and child.