Not only are there endless amounts of baby supply options out there, but there are also other important decisions about baby-raising that should be somewhat determined prior to Vegas’ arrival, or so suggests Dr. A. Controversies, if you will. You know – breastfeeding vs. bottle-feeding, circumcision vs. non-circumcision, cloth vs. disposable diapers, etc. I suppose there’s a ton of other ones out there as well (organic vs. non-organic?), but those are the few that come to mind that we’ve talked about. Surprisingly, I think we have a significant lean in some decisions, while others, the jury goes in and out.
So here at 18 weeks, let’s see where we stand:
Breastfeeding vs. Bottle-feeding:
We’re planning on breastfeeding, but are also prepared to bottle-feed if someone (me? Vegas?) isn’t cooperating. This is actually a first for my side of the family, as my mother didn’t breastfeed, and neither did my sister with any of her three kids. All five of us were brought up on a soy-based formula. Why soy? I have no idea. I suppose I could ask my mother, but that would involve calling her, and intentionally engaging in a conversation. My wife’s family is a breastfeeding bunch, so I’m looking in their direction for tips and pointers. So we’d like to breastfeed, but overall, we’re mentally prepared to go with bottle-feeding if that’s where things end up. As an aside, identity-wise, I think it would be nice to put these boobs I’ve spent so long resenting to work. Get to work, boobs! Chop, chop!
Cloth vs. Disposable diapers:
We used to feel really strongly about cloth diapering, and I think to a point, we still do, but recognize that since neither of us will be a stay-at-home-mom, Vegas will eventually end up sporting disposables while he’s in daycare. Ultimately, our approach will be a hybrid of cloth and disposables – cloth for the first two months we have him home with us, and a mix of both when it’s daycare time. Since we don’t have a washing machine with a hot water option (seriously?) and we have questionable-at-best 1950’s plumbing, washing the cloth ones or using the flushable disposables aren’t really options, unfortunately. The cloth diapering would be provided by our local diaper service, which is practically run out of our neighborhood. Another reason for the cloth diapering at home is to prevent trash. Oh sure, blah blah landfill blah blah, but it comes down to the fact that we pay for our trash pick-up, per trash bag. There’s no dumpster nearby that we chuck our trash bags into at our convenience, nor are there condo/homeowner’s assoc. fees to cover trash pick-up. The garbage man comes once a week, and will only take bags with pre-bought trash stickers on them, which run $1.05 for a 13- gallon (average kitchen can) and $2.10 for a 32-gallon (large black trash bag) sticker. That shit already adds up. Get it? That shit?
Circumcision vs. Non-circumcision:
This one changes daily. It seems like everyone has a strong opinion one way or the other, but I’m personally just not sold on either. I’m currently taking an informal poll on my endless supply of close men friends whom I can ask these questions, but they are also no help. All of the ones I’ve talked to have been circumcised, but that was “in the 60’s and 70’s, when they didn’t ask the mother – they just did it, man.” And none of them have sons. And all of them would or have made fun of uncut guys they’ve known. All of the lesbian moms we know have gone non-circumcision, after all, there’s no daddy to need to look like. This might sound creepy, but I’m trying to think of teenager Vegas and his first pants-off experience with another person, which is awkward no matter who you are. It could be that, come that time, Vegas is in the next generation of guys whose parents had a choice, and chose to non-circumcise, so there’s less of a stigma. It could be that a girl shudders when he drops trou. But I don’t have a crystal ball, and this is an age-old and worldwide controversy. So yeah – the jury is still out. And mostly, I think we’re hoping Vegas is a girl, thus getting us off the hook.
We reserve the right to change our minds about anything between now and June, and, well, in some instances, we’ll need to make up our minds on some things first before we can go around changing them.