Monday, April 2, 2012

Ten Baby Items I would Bring to a Deserted Island

I just want to say that I am not paid by any of these companies.  I just really appreciate well made, useful products. The baby products market is vast and can be very confusing if you have not had and children to "test" out the items for usefulness and durability.

I spent hours and hours on the internet researching baby products when I was pregnant. Reviews, recalls, recommendations. It's enough to make you go nuts! The Baby Bargains Book was very helpful, but I found it after doing most of my research.  If you have no idea what brand of car seat, crib, stroller, etc. to start researching it has a good ranking system, and can point you in the right direction as far as what brands to research and what brands not to bother with.  I don't know if it saves you any money as they claim, but I think it does save you some time researching.

These are my top ten items ranked from- "Oh yes we really needed this!" to "OMG if we didn't have this item, it would be cataclysmic!"

The Countdown:

10.) KidCo Go Pod I have mentioned this one before in my post  Bubba's in the Kitchen. It has really been useful. It folds up like a camping chair so it is super portable, it is adjustable to multiple heights so it will grow with him, and it has attachment loops so you can rotate in different toys and Bubba doesn't get bored with it.

9.) First Years Swaddle WrapSleep Sack-
This item is actually two, but the swaddle wrap is good for newborn to 3 mos or so, and then we switched to a sleep sack. Perfect for babies too young for a blanket or to squiggly to keep one on them when they sleep. I actually made a couple of sleep sacks out of fleece for winter following instructions off this blog. Not too hard.  She does have you use an existing sleep sack as a template so it is helpful to have one already, but not totally necessary.

Bubba escaping his swaddle
Sleep sack

8.) Bath Kneeler  Thank you Auntie T for this wonderful baby shower gift! You never think of it but, wow does kneeling on a tile floor during bath time do a number on your knees!

7.) Boppy Pillow  This one I have also mentioned before in a previous post, Moo!  This pillow is amazing.  It fits perfectly around you while nursing or bottle feeding.  It took my husband a couple of months before he tried it giving Bubba a bottle and the first time he did he said "that pillow is awesome."  Totally worth the $35.  Also when you go to the hospital to have the baby, bring the boppy!  I did not, but I really wish I did.  Piling up a bunch of hospital pillows while you are learning to breast feed is a pain!  It also worked great for "tummy time" for Bubba.

6.) Sophie Giraffe and Razberry Teether  both of these teethers are great!  They were recommended to me when I was pregnant. I have no idea why, but kids love that crazy giraffe!  It has a squeaker in it that I could do without, but squeaking is better than crying. The razberry is also one of Bubba's favorite teethers, he likes to hold it backward and chew on the handle instead of the berry part, but I figure "hey, whatever floats your boat".


5.) Medela Swing Pump (or any breast pump!) I really like the customer service at Medela.  It is really top notch.  Now not only did having a breast pump enable me to pump milk so my husband could feed Bubba while I wanted to sleep for more than 1 1/2 hours in a row, it also allowed me to take a shower with out pre-planing around the feeding schedule and leave the house for an hour to do fun stuff like go to the grocery store, or maybe even lunch with a friend! [The first time I left the house after Bubba was born I went to Target (for diapers). I know, I'm WILD!]  I love Bubba, but sometimes you need to get out even if you spend the whole time wondering how it is going at home, and forcing yourself not to call "just to check in".

4.) Baby Hawk Mei Tai Wrap
There was a time when the only way to get Bubba to take a nap during the day was put him in the sling and walk around.  I still bring it with us every time we leave the house (the weight limit is up to 40 lbs so it will be useful for a long time).  You can tie it on as a front carrier, or a backpack style carrier for bigger kids.  Any one in the Chicago area can check out a DuPage Slingers meeting, and they will let you practice with one and teach you how to use it. They even have a lending library that allows you to test carriers for a month before you buy them.

3.) Mamaroo by 4Moms Dubbed "The Magic Chair" by my husband and myself, this is the ultimate swing chair.  It is expensive, but when we bought it it was so worth it!  The sleep deprivation was starting to get to us.  We did "baby shifts" because Bubba would need rocking for hours to get settled, and then he would only sleep for an hour!  The first day with this chair he took a 2.5 hour nap.  That doesn't sound like much but after weeks of 1/2 hour naps the "sleep when the baby sleeps" advice sounds like crap. How can you sleep when he sleeps if it only lasts for 30 minutes?!?! By the time you drift off to sleep he wakes up again. This chair was amazing.  We just packed it up a month ago because the weight limit was 25 lbs, but Bubba was making it skip a little at 19 lbs. (Though he had not used it very often after about 5 months of age.)

2.) Yoga Ball   I originally got the yoga ball for prenatal yoga, and for sitting on during labor. It was great for that, but the surprising and incredibly necessary use for the yoga ball was bouncing Bubba to sleep.  (Which was a workout in itself for a while)

1.) A Nukie  We call it the "crack nukie", and it is an absolute necessity for going to sleep and leaving the house.  It used to be needed even more to calm a fussy Bubba, but now it is only for the doctor's office and other times of distress: really long car trips, naps, and bed time.  I dread the day when we will have to give crack nukie up, it will be really hard (for everyone).

Honorable mentions-

Nuk scoopin' spoons  Nice flexible spoons with wide handles so Bubba can feed himself, perfect for Baby Led Weaning.

Ikea Antilop high chair  This high chair is great for the price, $19 for the chair $5 for the tray. It is all plastic, and can be hosed off outside.  I repeat: the whole chair can be hosed off outside.  If you don't get how cool this is, don't worry, you will.

Boudreaux's Butt Paste  Very good for stubborn diaper rash.  Just remember to dry the baby off after wiping and before applying the paste.  It is similar to Desitin, but has a Vaseline base in it as well, so it will seal in the wetness instead of creating a barrier for it if you don't dry them off before applying.  Also, it wipes off of your hands much easier than Desitin does.

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