QueercentsLGBT finance blog Queercents has added a parent to their roster of writers:

Dr. Jennifer Natalya Fink is a professor of English at Georgetown University, the author of two novels (V and BURN, both from Suspect Thoughts Press), and, most importantly, the mother of a gorgeous and hilarious baby girl. She and her family live in the DC area, and are interested in helping queer families prosper.

She’ll be covering issues of money and parenting, a topic I cover here on and off, but not as a sole focus. Her first post is titled “Lesbian and Gay Parents Cut Postpartum Expenses.” She offers some useful advice, like “Buy onesies and pants in a variety of sizes,” and “Find a good lawyer.”

I have to disagree somewhat, however, with her advice that “newborns need to be fed every 2-3 hours, and require constant skin-to-skin contact with their parents. . . . Instead of making a fancy schmancy nursery in which baby will be miserable and alone, we made a few adjustments in our bedroom so that our baby could have easy access to us.”

I agree that babies need skin-to-skin contact, but I don’t think that all of them need it to be “constant.” Helen and I put our son in his own room after a few days of keeping him in our room in a cradle (a handmade family heirloom; not an expensive purchase). He wasn’t “miserable” and we slept better, even though he was in the next room over and we could hear him when he needed us. I’ve written more on this in my own list of Baby Gear Recommendations.

Not that Jennifer’s way is wrong, per se. If it works for you and your baby, that’s great. My experience was different, but to each her own. If you’re not sure what you and your baby will prefer, I’d go with Jennifer’s advice to “consider holding off on elaborate baby furniture.” I’d then suggest getting a Pack N Play or the like, a portable crib (often with a bassinet attached) that you can set up in either your room or a nursery until you decide what works best. (Or, like we did, keep it on the first floor where you’ll all be sleeping until your partner’s C-section heals enough for her to climb the stairs.)

I do agree with Jennifer about keeping a rein on the fancy-schmancy stuff. Crib sets (sheets, quilt, and crib bumper) are my own personal peeve, as most doctors will tell you quilts and bumpers are SIDS hazards. Buy just the sheets. (If you get a whole set as a gift, you can buy a couple of curtain rods and some clips and use the quilt and bumper as wall hangings—well away from the crib.)

Despite a difference of opinion here, I hope it’s all in the spirit of friendly discussion. I look forward to Jennifer’s future posts and the financial light she will shed on LGBT parenting.