Saturday, January 29, 2011

Putting my faith in a bouncy seat

When River was a baby, our friends had a Baby Bjorn bouncy seat. It bounces only with the babies movement and had sides that enclosed the baby, making it feel more secure. I thought it would be nice to have, but upon looking at the price, and not finding any secondhand models, I decided to skip it.

Then I realized I couldn’t put Willow down and that the swing that was such a godsend with River doesn’t work with her. I started to daydream about the Bjorn bouncy seat. I kept looking for a used one. With no luck, I decided to wait it out. It wasn’t worth spending over $100 for something that would only be useful for a few months.

Then I got desperate. If I could put her down for an hour or two a day, and I multiplied that by a hundred days, it would be a small price to pay for freedom of movement. So I placed the order.

I purchased it from a third party seller on Amazon and it took almost two weeks to arrive. Every day I’d look out the door in anticipation of a box that I hoped would be my salvation. Finally, it arrived today.

When I put her in it hungry, she cried immediately and I despaired. When I put her in just after a feeding, she lasted a good 15 minutes – almost a record.

Today we visited some friends with a three-month old baby and a toddler about River’s age. The mom said she cooks dinner and I asked how she could possibly do it. Then I saw how she was able to put her baby in his bouncy seat, on his play mat, and he sat there contentedly while she ran outside for a minute and did things around the house.

I love my baby, I’m happy to be with her, I’m happy to hold her. But I’m not so good at having my productivity limited to just putting milk into her system. My super long to-do list only seems to be growing.

One person said her mother told her to not let babies “get used to being in arms.” Another said she may need to cry for a few days.

I don’t have a problem with babies crying, especially after six months or so when patterns are being formed and they need to learn what will and won’t work within a family. But it does make me uncomfortable in the first three months, or the fourth trimester. I feel like she’s not so much getting used to being in arms, as she came out accustomed to tight quarters in the womb. It takes time to get used to open space.

I’m hoping that by three months or so, she’ll have adapted and I can put her down more. Or am I wrong? Am I getting her used to something that can’t be maintained long-term? If my uber-expensive bouncy seat fails me, do I have other options besides constantly holding her, letting her cry, or just waiting a while longer?

1 comment:

Cassie said...

Andrew was one of those babies who had to be held all the time -- that is, until I started putting him in the swing. Then that became my godsend.

With Will, who was much more easygoing than Andrew from the get-go, it was the bouncy seat or the Bumbo. He loved this el cheapo bouncy seat.

I definitely agree with you that babies are still trying to get used to the big open spaces for the first few months of their lives. I also don't think there's anything wrong with letting them "get used to" being held. But I do know how great it is to be able to find something that they'll put up with long enough for you to get some things done around the house.

Good luck!