Modern Mothercraft includes a number of suggestions about what baby gear you should acquire, such as the fancy schmancy draft-preventing screen I added a photo of here, the enamel chamber pot, and this very heavy looking pram. It also has the following recommendations for a bassinet:
At first, I was overwhelmed by its size. The Moses basket may have been cute, but neither of my children fitted in it past three months. The old-school bassinet is much bigger. Given it was used for four children in my family, and many people before me, it was also in pretty good shape. The 2011 Moses basket still looks good, but based on its slight creakiness and some straw bits protruding from its side, by my reckoning the weave will only last one more baby.
|The poor old bassinet was probably pleased to have a child in it again|
This raises the question: have I had bad luck with my Moses basket, or were things made to last much longer back in the 1940s? If it's the former, lame for me. I suspect, though, that it's more likely to be part of the trend toward planned obsolescence, combined with people of my generation being more accustomed to buying thing new rather than second hand. We Gen-X's and Gen-Y's would probably also be much more forgiving of a product breaking than our grandparents who lived through the Depression. It could also be that our standards are higher as well, and that many parents today are scared to put their babies in old cots and bassinets for fear that the babies will get hurt in some way. It could be part of what some commentators have dubbed 'Kiddy Consumerism'. The poorer-quality product could also be a recognition of the fact we are having smaller families now, so on average a new bassinet need only last for 1.9 children. That's far fewer than in the mid-1940s when the Baby Boomers were booming their way into existence.
Either way, I don't expect that my 2011 Moses basket will be sitting in anyone's garage in almost 70 years, having been used by many babies. It will probably be somewhere in a landfill. Possibly even under that bizarre orange inflatable contraption filled with jingly beads.