Rock-a-bye Baby

Pregnancy is a humbling experience. For starters, you have to excuse yourself to go to the bathroom every five minutes, which is awesome in the middle of a business meeting. After three or so months — the puffy times — people don't realize you're with child, they think you're with cheeseburger. And by the third trimester, you lose the ability to bend over and tie your shoes.

All of this is a little embarrassing, but the truly mind-bending thing about preparing for your first child — aside from the amazing fact that you've got a little person growing inside you — is that you have no idea what the hell you're doing. This will become exponentially more pressing once the little guy arrives, but for now, that translates as complete confusion while shopping. Given that The Maven wrote a shopping column for 10 years, this is especially disturbing.

Here at The Maven, we go into stores loaded with cribs and strollers and our eyes glaze over. There are too many choices, and they all seem wrong: do we get the super-deluxe car seat with the air-cushion padding or the basic model that's allegedly just as safe? Convertible crib or standard? Jogging stroller or old-school pram?

This is going to sound bizarre, since it's really not as big of a deal as, say, a stroller, but the thing we've had the hardest time choosing is a bassinet. With all of the lights, music and vibration, some of them seem like overkill. Others — like a Moses basket — seem a little too minimalist (baby in a basket? Really?). And then there are days that we don't think we need one at all.

But the Castine Cradle from Penobscot Bay Porch Swings might change our mind. We're pretty sure this isn't intended to replace, say, a Co-Sleeper. But it's a brilliant idea, nonetheless. The Brunswick-based company makes gorgeous swings from weather-resistant Sunbrella fabric. The grownup versions are inspired by the vintage canvas swings that were popular in Maine summer homes at the turn of the last century. For our summer baby, the miniature version — sort of like a structured hammock — might be just the thing.

It is designed to gently rock the baby, comes with a hardwood base and is completely portable for on-the-go parents. Plus, it's as cute as a button — just like the little guy is going to be.

We'd give you more information, but we've gotta run to the bathroom. Find out more online at Penobscot Bay Porch Swings.


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