When my firstborn was on the way, I was overwhelmed. What did I need? What did I have to do? How was I going to do it all?
I needed my Mum to tell me what to do. And of course, mom came to the rescue, but she does say that things have really changed. When she was a young mum, she did it all, she says.
“Washing of reuseable cloth nappies, preparing bottles which were usually glass and then sterilizing them, without today’s sterilizers, even manually pumping and preparing home-made food!”
BPA-free plastics were unheard of, car-seats were available but often not prioritized, exercisers and entertainers were limited to swings used to rock newborns to sleep and babies slept in the arms of mum or a grandma.
Mum also says a lot of things were hand-made. Quality toys came from hand creating them at home and there was always that relative known for sewing up baby essentials from clothes to linen and nappy bags, while another relative prided himself on gifting wooden toys to kids made in his personal wood workshop.
Peg Perego, Fisher Price, Stokke and many of today’s leading brands in baby and kids goods were founded in the 30s or 40s but weren’t affordable or available in South Africa as yet so people made their own.