As a mommy to be, my husband and I spent hours wandering the aisles of Babies R Us, Target, and Burlington, trying to select only the best items for our registry for our baby girl. Once she arrived, reality set in. So much of that registry I wouldn't use, or not anytime soon at least. Yet so many of the things I really needed I didn't necessarily have.
So I decided to put together my own personal Top 10 list of the baby products that I found I truly couldn't live without. Whether you are expecting, know someone who is, or need ideas for a gift, I hope this list helps you as you wade through the endless baby items that the little one may or may not actually need. So put back that wipe warmer, and read on!
10. Avent BPA Free Freeflow Pacifier
Starting the list off with one of the basics. The bink. Oh how I love the bink, and oh how I stressed over giving Sabrina the stupid thing early in her life. I made it a whopping one night home before shoving the Avent Soothie in her mouth, praying for calm to wash over her. Newsflash- it didn't. Luckily we registered for multiple kinds of binks, and the Freeflow Pacifier did the trick. Sabrina didn't love it from the start, but she sure does love it now, and so does mommy and daddy. (Stay tuned for a future blog post about our woes of Sabrina giving up her bink...)
9. Graco DuoDiner High Chair
We are a Graco family. Sabrina's stroller and infant car seat were Graco, along with our pack and play and many other items. We wanted to have Sabrina sit with us at the dinner table, since we do sit at the table and eat as a family most nights, but we needed a 5 point harness and a reclining high chair initially, since she was still too small to sit up without support. This high chair more than fits the bill. She was comfortable in it from 3 months old when we started using it, and she continues to be comfortable (if inconvenienced by being restrained) at 10 months. It has several heights as well, so it will grow with her.
8. Angelcare Baby Bath Support Seat
I was and still am horribly terrified of giving Sabrina a bath. All I can hear in my head is "Babies can drown in just a few inches of water!". Geez, nothing like traumatizing us new moms (and dads). Were it not for this bath seat, I probably still would never have given her a bath myself. The Angelcare Baby Bath Support Seat does just that- supports. From the age of 2 weeks, and still today, she has used this seat for every bath she's taken. It has a fill line so you know how full you want the tub to be, and it's design does not retain hardly any of the bath water. But most importantly, Sabrina is safe and comfortable and enjoys her baths, and I am marginally less anxious because of that.
7. The Woombie
We didn't use this product for long, but it was the best money we have ever spent. If you've followed my blog, you know that we had a terrible time getting Sabrina to sleep flat, in a pack and play, crib, or anywhere else. After sleeping in her rock and play for the first 4 or 5 months of her life, she wanted to part of laying flat in her crib. She also hated, I mean HATED, to be swaddled. Thankfully my husband does his research, and found the Woombie online. It gave the feeling of being swaddled while still allowing her limited movement of her arms and legs. (as my mom called it, a strait-jacket) It also has an arms in option as well as an arms out option, for once they begin to start rolling over in their sleep. This product got her sleeping in her crib, after some pain and suffering on everyone's part. When baby #2 comes along for me and my hubby, Woombie's in every size will be on order.
6. Fisher Price Discover 'n Grow Twinkling Lights Mobile
I have a confession to make. The minute Sabrina could stand on her own, I heard others' cries of "Take down the mobile!". Guess what? I haven't yet. It is not the old fashioned mobile with actual string so I don't feel she is at risk for strangling herself. She absolutely loves this thing. The best part is, when she wakes up in the middle of the night or I put her to bed and she isn't ready to sleep yet, she presses that magical red button and the lights start dancing and singing to her. It does a great job of soothing her or distracting her when she needs to calm down. One negative to this product- it has a remote that you as the parent can allegedly use to turn it on from outside the baby's room, but that's a bunch of bologna. We never got it to work via the remote. Still worth it though.
5. Fisher Price Rock and Play (Honorable Mention: Fisher Price Cradle and Swing)
Oh my love/hate relationship with the Fisher Price Rock and Play. Love because it gave us our first real decent nights of sleep after Sabrina's arrival. Love because it kept her head elevated to alleviate her acid reflux symptoms. Hate because she loved it to the point of literally outgrowing it but refusing to sleep elsewhere. So I add this to the list with a word of caution. Use it to help baby learn to sleep, to keep baby nearby, but don't don't don't let baby become too attached to it, or you will find yourself in the same predicament we did, and let me tell you, it ain't pretty!
4. Dr. Brown's Natural Flow Bottles (and Dishwasher Baskets!)
We originally registered for Tommy Tippee bottles because we thought I'd be breastfeeding and we wanted something that closely resembled the breast for when I was at work. Once we moved to formula, we just weren't happy with the TT bottles and opted to try Dr. Brown's, since everyone spoke highly of them. While the many parts were a little annoying, the dishwasher baskets made cleaning the bottles a breeze! Everything fits nicely into the basket and comes up spic and span every time. We had an issue with the smaller size bottles leaking once Sabrina started drinking 4 oz, so the company's customer service department replaced them all with the taller bottles. Tip to mothers to be- just register for the big size. You can fill them at little or as much as you need to and you won't have to buy all new ones when they start drinking more.
3. Britax Marathon Car Seat
Car accidents happen all too often, especially in these times of distracted driving. I did my homework about car seat safety, talked to some friends for recommendations, and decided that while the Britax brand is a little on the pricey side, it's worth every penny for my daughter's safety. She enjoys her seat (except on 6 hour trips to Pittsburgh) and often falls asleep in there, which tells this mommy that she is comfy and safe, a win win combination. Even better, she can stay in this seat until she is 49 inches or 65 pounds, so the investment will pay off in the end.
I know, I know. The idea of sucking snot out of your child's nose is disgusting, appalling, horrific, whatever adjective you'd like to use. In theory, I absolutely agree. But I dare any parent of a stuffy baby to use this product and walk away with the same feelings of disgust as they arrived at. The truth is, while disgusting in principle, this product is actually genius. Bulb syringes are completely worthless. I don't think I ever once got anything substantial out of Sabrina's nose with that thing. I registered for the NoseFrida on a whim, mostly because it was in front of me and the packaging caught my eye. At the time, I don't think I realized what the product actually entailed. Fast forward to a November baby with nasal issues as a result of being in forced hot air all winter long, and you better believe we were sucking snot out of her nose like it was our job. The filter easily stops any nose goo from getting anywhere near your mouth, so you can stifle your gag reflex. At first she HATED it and screamed like we were murdering her, but eventually she got used to it and even would giggle a little. It really, really, really helps, and to my knowledge there is no other product out there that is anywhere near as effective. Combine it with saline spray and a good humidifier and your little one will thank you for it. And yes, I know, it still sounds disgusting.
The moment has come! My #1 Baby Product that I Couldn't Live Without!
1. ErgoBaby Original
I love this thing. I love it like it was a person. After struggling with that dang Moby wrap and it's 20 feet of fabric, on this tiny 5'3" frame, I was ready to scream. I watched videos, diagrams, talked to friends, and I still never got the hang of that Moby. I did some homework online and we splurged and purchased the ErgoBaby. I was intimidated by it at first, but I watched the how-to video on their website and practiced a lot with the hubby nearby to help. The Ergo made everything easier- walks, grocery shopping, trips to the mall, Target, you name it. She loved being snuggled close to mommy and would often fall asleep in it while I went about my business. Now that she's older, we don't get to use it as much, but do still use it grocery shopping. The Original Ergo does have a back position, so someday soon I will try to master that one. The Ergo was so comfortable to wear, never really bothered my back, and took all the weight off of my shoulders and back. I never used the infant insert, as Sabrina was past the weight limit when we got this, so I can't speak to that. If the MobyWrap isn't your thing, I highly suggest the Ergo. It was a life saver for me!
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