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A Web-Full of Baby Stuff

Author Koren Stembridge
Air Date 9/28/2000

A Web-full of Baby Stuff Transcript

Here’s Koren Stembridge on the Internet with A Web-Full of Baby Stuff.

It all started with an email message announcing the “birth” of the website for the mega baby chain “Babies R Us.” How they got our email address, I don’t know, but as my husband and I are happily awaiting the birth of our first child, I would bet that one of our helpful relatives led the wolf to our door!

Now don’t get me wrong, as a devoted Internet-tarian, I’d been all over the net looking for answers to various baby-induced questions. I’ve been in chat rooms for moms-to-be, I’ve been to the Mayo Clinic for information about my strange tweaks and twinges, and I’ve probably checked out every baby name site on the web. At the Baby Zone, for instance, their baby name creator suggested some of the following names for my son: Omig, Sterreg, Lbrara, or Nnn (spelled big “n”, little “n”, little “n”).

I, personally, haven’t found the Internet to be a very helpful form of parenthood boot camp. But this Babies R Us thing had possibilities – after all, this was shopping! The site became the starting place for a comprehensive Internet search for all the products I would need in order to outfit myself, my home, and oh yeah, our new baby!

In this search I am aware that I am vulnerable. Every site I visit has a different list of “must have” products. They call it “Layette” – which sounds like a suspiciously faux concept designed to make you spend money on stuff you don’t really need, but when I looked up the term, I found out that it’s basically the French word for baby paraphernalia.

The more baby and maternity stores I visited online, the more my sense of proportion was tested. Was I a bad mother if my child didn’t have a DKNY Baby cashmere blanket for $250 – a sort of baby pashmina? Was I a selfish mother if I instead spent that same $250 on a cashmere maternity cardigan from Pea-in-the-Pod? At least I’m reasonably sure that at this point in my pregnancy I won’t throw up on my cashmere item.

My husband and I had a howl of a good time cruising the high-end baby sites. I really liked a $250 gingham diaper bag by Kate Spade – way cool. My husband found $225 crystal alphabet blocks by Stuben, and we both agreed that the $240 madras plaid Moses basket by Wendy Bellissimo was more attractive than the bureau drawer we were planning to use as a bassinette.

But it was the $3,500 circular crib with white organza canopy that stopped us cold. My husband turned to me and said, “the little girl who sleeps in that may get a panoramic view, but how is she ever going to get any perspective?”

We had to ask ourselves, what do babies really need? Love, attention, and great books. So we logged on to Amazon.com and bought Goodnight Moon.

Posted in Parenting