Saturday, July 23, 2005

Shopping Online for Baby Gear

Shopping online for baby related gear is one of the best outcomes of having the Internet. New and expectant parents can shop from the leisure of their homes. For those who happen to live in an area that does not have a lot to offer in the way of baby gear, beyond the basic Wal-Mart and other assorted discount shops, the Internet also provides access to items some of us may not even be aware exists.

During a recent online browsing session I decided to do some shopping for an upcoming baby shower I have been invited to. I always try to make a gift, such as a crocheted blanket and sweater set, but I also like to include an item or two that can be helpful or just plain fun to the new parents to be. I typed in 'baby gear' in the Google search engine, and was provided with more matches than I would ever be able to use, but did I ever have fun looking through some of the hits that the search had provided.

It is constantly amazing to me how fast things change. When I gave birth to my first child nearly a quarter of a century ago, there were some interesting things available for babies, but the basics were comparable to what they had been for the previous quarter of a century. A basic layette of undershirts, bonnets, booties, sleepers, and an outfit or two for going out to church or having visitors in. While fancy clothes for babies existed, rarely would you see a baby dressed in fancy clothes unless the parent's were well to do or for a very special occasion. Furniture consisted of a crib, dressing table, maybe a playpen and swing, and a stroller.

Today's parents have choices between dressing their baby in nearly any clothing style that they themselves might wear, from baby Gucci to Armani, to blue jeans and t-shirts, and parents of even modest means do just that. Baby gear still includes all the basics from years gone by, but much has been added to the basic list, items such as Diaper Genies, Baby Bjorn Baby Carriers, musical light show swings, and strollers especially designer for use when a parent wants to take baby along with them while they jog. Even baby gates have evolved from the wooden gates that would pinch both adult and baby fingers indiscriminately, to soft touch, easily expandable ones, and an improvement surely.

New parents today have enough options before them to provide an expansive list of gear for baby. For those who want to give a gift that is fun and useable, the large array of baby items makes the gift giving part very enjoyable for both the giver and the receiver. Ultimately, though, what will matter the most at the end of the day is the love the new parents provide their newborn, and the love given with any gift family and friends may provide. I still have to pick out a gift, as I have been having so much fun looking at the new and exciting things available, but I know I will have plenty of gifts to choose from, thanks to the Internet.

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