The Real Reason Your In-Laws Don't Want You (and Your Baby) to Visit

Filed under: Relatives, Opinions

Got a mule handy? Great! Because here's what one of the parenting magazines suggests you take along if you're traveling to, say, your brother-in-law's house for a long weekend with your baby:

  • A portable crib
  • A baby monitor
  • Stair gates
  • Covers for faucets
  • Covers for door handles
  • Plastic zip ties to secure cabinets
  • An inflatable tub
  • And a night light

If that's too much to "lug," the magazine suggests you do the sane thing and just get on the plane with some diapers and a Zip-Loc of Cheerios.

No, no -- it doesn't really say that. It really suggests that when you get to your destination you rent all that equipment, right down to the door handle covers.


Apparently because your child cannot survive for a couple of days without an inflatable tub, especially if your in-laws are among the many Americans without a sink.

And of course, without a monitor your kid would cry for days and you'd be none the wiser. And you are completely incapable of saying, "Don't touch!" and instead have to personally tie shut every single cabinet in that home where you are going to spend such a relaxing couple of days. (And your brother-in-law will really appreciate this when he goes to get breakfast and can't open the cereal cabinet. Or, for that matter, the door to the kitchen.) And by the way, without a faucet cover for three days, god knows what would happen!

That is precisely the point of this article and so many others in the parenting magazine world that suggest you take two tons of hats, snacks, and "rash guards" to the beach, and day tents on picnics and highchair covers to restaurants: Your children cannot survive without mountains of merchandise, because ...

Well, apparently just because. Even the reporter couldn't think of anything to say in defense of all this stuff, and thus ended up lamely insisting you bring a portable crib because, "the floor is not safe."

Not safe? The floor is not safe to sleep on? Because a kid could roll off and ... and what? She's already on the floor! There is nothing safer than the floor. Put down a blanket, make a little wall out of pillows and if that's not safe, well then the crib is a virtual pit of terror. What if the bottom fell out? What if your baby gnawed through the rails? What if a wild puma jumped in?

Hey -- maybe that's an article for next month's issue: "Puma-Proof Your Portable Crib!" To be safe, it would say, just make sure it has a tin roof, ringed with cowbells.

And if you don't have one, rent one.

Related: Would You Buy a "Mud Pie Maker"? For $40?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.