Only what you need for your baby. Really. (OK – and some fantastic things you don’t that are pretty cool.)
I didn’t give the question of how a mini person takes on a slide much thought until my mini person and I started going to the playground. The swings are where things begin and end when a baby can first hold herself upright, but soon after (everything is “soon after” at one, am I right?), the sand and swings beckoned. I didn’t have the faintest idea how to teach a baby to go down a slide without toppling backwards and smacking her head and then being off slides for life for reasons she won’t later understand because kids that young don’t remember things consciously but pick all kinds of stuff up subconsciously, and yeah maybe it’s time to head home now because Mama’s head hurts.
All this was made worse by the New York Times and their blog post on how parents apparently break their kids’ legs all the time by going down slides with them.
And then all of it was made better when I accompanied our former part-time nanny to the park with A., and discovered that tiny kids go down feet first on their tummies. Brilliant. A little bit of an, “I’m escaping down a chute!” vibe to it, but hey, still sliding and with none of the head banging anxiety.
(You have to catch them at the bottom, btw, or they’ll just shoot off and land on their faces. Nobody wins in that scenario, so hot foot it down to the bottom after you get them sorted at the top.)
So there you go. Another one of my, “How did I not know this?” moments as a new parent. You’re welcome.