Have I mentioned to you that the BossLady and I are serious gadget geeks? I'm talking Nerd Central. Some people might call us "early adopters" but we have no problem admitting that we really are total geeks. Prior to the birth of the Peanut, we spent an irresponsibly and disproportionately large share of our income on gadgets. Our apartment is filled with cellphones, PDAs, digital cameras, portable DVD players, electronic board games, DJ headphones, USB devices and tons of other crap. I don't know how but we've already gone through about 4 ipods. It's like a fucking disease, people!
The pending arrival of the Peanut gave us a whole new area in which to express our total geekiness. So after learning that BossLady was pregnant, we didn't waste any time getting started. We've literally got ALL the baby crap that you could possibly envision...diaper genies, bottle warmers, automatic wipe warmers, bottle sterilizers, Sharper Image air filters, self-rolling rocking chairs, humidifiers, Graco Pack-and-Plays, space heaters, baby monitors, motion detectors, etc. We've even got 3 different strollers...one's a car seat adaptor, another's for travelling on the subway, and the third is for terkking on urban terrain or on the slopes.
In a very nominal way, I guess each of these gadgets does make our life incrementally easier. The bottle sterilizer sure beats having to boil water all the time (besides, I melted 2 bottles and ruined 2 cooking pots because I fell asleep while sterilizing.) The baby monitors are great because we can have cocktails at our neighbor's apartment and still keep tabs on the Peanut (plus, you can also use them as one-way walkie talkies.) And the Fisher Price Aquarium Rocker is worth it's weight in gold. It's the only thing that soothes the Peanut to sleep.
So on the one hand, I feel like we're taking advantage of technology and its ability to assist us in caring for our newborn daughter. Anything that makes our life even a little easier is worth it. After all, how much would you pay for an extra hour of sleep every day of the week?
On the other hand, I sometimes feel like a total sucker. I feel like a byproduct of our consumerist culture. Millions of babies have been raised just fine without any of these gadgets. Therefore, their net value must be negligible, right? It's strange because, in a perverted way, you really can justify all the purchases by thinking that they're for the benefit of your baby. You can make yourself believe that these gadgets will make your child happier, smarter or healthier. Of course, that's mostly a crock of shit. But hey, we need to rationalize it somehow, don't we?
Obviously, there's no right or wrong. There are a few baby gadgets that have proven invaluable. There are several more that have proven to be useless. Trial and error will determine which ones work best for you.
I just think it's funny that, despite the technological advances of our time, I still have to hold my baby's butt right up to my nose and take a big old whiff in order to tell if she's pooped her diaper.