They say motherhood comes naturally to all. That’s like saying withholding opinions is easy for Davisites. It’s simply untrue.
Take me, for example:
Had it not been for a new mothers’ group, I’d still be dumbstruck by the basics: It was there I learned how to diaper, hold, feed, play and pretty much everything else I needed to know in order to keep my baby alive. The group leader even recognized my post-partum depression and intervened.
Nursing was also a nightmare. A month into colic, believing my life was over, I decided to take the advice of a misguided medical professional and suddenly wean my son so I could enjoy a relieving cocktail. This went well for about 24 hours until the pain of engorgement was more excruciating than giving birth.
I needed help, fast, but we were living in Sacramento and it was 5:00 on a Saturday night. My husband scrambled to find an assist in the Yellow Pages (before the Internet). Thankfully, we found a specialized mother and baby store in Folsom where the owner treated our circumstance like an emergency, agreeing to stay open just for me.
The moment we arrived, I was outfitted with a pump, educated about nursing, assured I could have a life and nurse, and emotionally supported to counter my regret and shame. I bless that woman to this day.
When my son was 3, we moved to Davis and discovered Mother & Baby Source (now at 714 Second St.). Just like the Folsom business, Mother & Baby Source is more than a baby boutique. It’s a public resource for new parents, grandparents and supporters of our most precious citizens. A community room hosts classes on all things baby, like child and infant CPR, breastfeeding, baby care, infant massage, new parents support — the list goes on. See for yourself at http://www.motherandbabysource.com.
Even though it’s been many years since I’ve had a little one (I’m now flailing with a teenager instead), I know exactly what to do when I need a baby gift. Little Giraffe Blankets offer unmatched softness, Pea in a Pod Snuggle Pods are as cute as they sound, Bestever Baby Mats live up to their name, Trumpette Socks mimic adorable shoes, and Sophie le Giraffe — well, you’d never know it, but this homely little chew toy is a hit with every teether. Only Lori, the owner, knows why.
Of course, my standard choices don’t scratch the surface of Lori’s creative inventory. Always on the lookout for the latest in baby and toddler gear, she emphasizes safe, local products. But it’s not the inventory, the ease of a quick errand or the free gift wrap that make this business a must-have for Davis. It’s professional guidance for life’s hardest job — trained advice you can’t find in a big box. (Or sometimes anywhere else.)
Which leads me back to the Folsom store I mentioned earlier.
A few years ago, Babies R Us moved nearby. Customers would still visit the boutique and receive personalized assistance, but then they’d use their “smart” phones to find items across the street. The community resource everyone took for granted was soon put out of business.
There’s no app when it comes to raising children; babies still need the personal touch.
So do their parents.
That’s why Mother & Baby Source is an intrinsic part of Davis … just don’t take it for granted.
— Heidy Kellison lives and shops in Davis. Her column appears monthly. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.