Herding Goofballs: New parents need all the right stuff

Josh Farnsworth
New parents need a lot of stuff for their new babies, but maybe not all THIS stuff.

When you first hear that you are about to become a new parent, you have a few initial reactions.

There is shock, excitement, panic and joy - and that is just the first five minutes.

Those are the most significant thoughts. Once those wonderments start to settle into your now-overloaded brain, practical questions and conclusions start to appear. One of those conclusions: you are going to need stuff. Baby stuff. Little kid stuff.

Luckily for new parents in 2021, if there is one habit pandemic living has reinforced it is this: we have unprecedented access to stuff.

That stuff. This stuff. All the stuff.

I don’t think enjoying stuff was ever in doubt, but with social distancing becoming so important, we also made sure to bring the stuff to us via delivery services both large (hello, Amazon, my old friend), specific (I can get a calzone to my porch in 15 minutes. Go ahead and tell me we live in a drab age. I dare you!) and downright bizarre (delivery of a single potato with text or a photo of yourself added as inspirational or a reminder of how amazing you are).

I am not expecting any new babies in my life, but recently got extra curious about what stuff exists out there for parents now. Most products available make sense and seem like genuinely amazing gizmos or are funny prankish gifts your obnoxious relative might send you.

And then there are the ones that leave me with questions. Mostly, “Why?”

It can be confusing out there for new parents on what to and what not to purchase. I can help. For all the new parents out there, there is nothing specifically “wrong” with the following “stuff,” but know these are certainly the last gifts to consider for your baby registry...

Baby perfume. I am not talking about the gentle wafting of lavender-smelling lotions. Plenty of companies produce top-of-the-line, expensive perfumes and colognes that look like they come straight from designer catalogs. Many come packaged in authentic, hard glass perfume bottles to impress all the other babies visiting you.

Do most newborns have hot dates these days?

Some of them have French-sounding names, so you and your child can presumably condescend to others and correct everyone’s pronunciation of these elite products. Also, some can set you back hundreds of dollars.

Babies smell. Powder and lavender lotions. That’s your move.

Thermometer monitoring system. For those of you craving a little more unsettling panic in your life, let me introduce the baby thermometer outfitted with a 24-hour fever monitoring device that has attachments to attach straight to your bundle of joy’s armpits.

If the prospect of a feverish baby isn’t enough startle in your life, you’ll be happy to know that flashing lights and sounding alarms start blaring at the first moment of a slightly high temperature.

Babies get temperatures. Certainly buy a thermometer and pay attention, but maybe cut your blood pressure a break.

Bum brush. Any combination of words I use here will drive you away (not just from my column, but perhaps parenting in general for the squeamish).

Speaking of gross, your kids will be super gross. I feel it is a mandatory rite of passage that when little Johnny needs you to care for those stinky regions, you dive in.

As previously stated, babies smell. And a brush will not save you from that.

Self-pushing stroller. Maybe I just forget all the exhaustion of late-night rocking a kid to sleep. Targeted for those who live in fairly hilly terrain (I see you, Worcester County), the electric-motor strollers automatically propel your child forward as they link to your smart devices.

Some of the descriptions on these contraptions’ wheels, suspension, motor, etc. read like you are at an auto dealership. One such setting allows the baby stroller to match your speed while jogging. I guess you could dress up your child as your personal trainer to motivate you to keep running?

Babies aren’t heavy and these strollers aren’t cheap.

Taco-shaped baby booties. Look, your kid can’t walk for a while and has no appreciation of Mexican cuisine.

That said, they are hilarious. I take it back. Buy these booties and see if they have slippers in a size 11.5 for me.

Baby body mop. Shopping for baby clothes can be a joy and filled with lots of questions about particular brands. Apparently, some brands also offer your child up as a cleaning method.

These baby body mops are soft-bristle-having onesies that allow for a scrubbing and buffing of your floor while your child attempts to crawl and have tummy time.

That has to be uncomfortable crawling on top of an awkward looking mop, right? I guess the floor will be clean enough to eat all that spilled cereal off now.

You got this. Whatever you choose for your stuff, I hope you find it useful - or at least amusing enough during what will be a busy time in your life filled with shock, excitement, panic and joy. We all need levity at times, especially these days.

And to all the new parents out there in 2021: congrats! I wish you and your growing family a happy and healthy life, because that is the only stuff that really matters.

You’re going to do amazing. I’ll send you a potato to remind you of that.

Josh Farnsworth is a husband, father of goofballs Cooper and Milo, goofball himself, and award-winning writer and columnist living in Worcester. He can be reached for column ideas at josh.farnsworth@yahoo.com.