Saturday, June 4, 2011

Top Ten: Baby Edition

My good friend K's sister is having a baby.  Apparently, she is relatively unconcerned about what she needs to buy before baby month...

We were chatting about this last night, and I got to thinking about what my "must haves" would be.  Now that I've got a few months of motherhood under my belt, I can appreciate much more what I actually use versus what I thought I needed prior to Gabe's birth.

So here goes.  My personal Top Ten Can't Live Without Items of Baby Paraphernalia (also known as Go Get This Stuff For Your Kid- For Realz).

1. The Miracle Blanket
I don't know about you other moms (and dads), but I think swaddling a baby in a receiving blanket is kinda hard.  Those nurses at the hospital are AMAZING at this task, but even though they showed us how to do it, we just couldn't get baby G tight enough in his little burrito to avoid escape.  And believe me when I say, you want your baby swaddled tight to sleep (if you also like to sleep, that is).  We tried other swaddling blankets, but our little Houdini got his arms out every time.  The Miracle Blanket is the best.  It wraps each arm individually, then wraps the whole body.  It's like a little baby straightjacket.  A straightjacket of awesomeness.  Gabe's afternoon nap is 15-20 minutes long without the MB, or 3 hours long with it.  Need I say more?
Buy yours here.

2. Activity Mat
We use this  In the morning, when J and I both need to be hands-free to get ready for work, Gabe needs to entertain himself.  This is difficult for one who is a mere three months old!  But as it turns out, babies are like goldfish.  They don't remember that they've been looking at the same sight every morning for a month.  Or if mine does, he doesn't seem to care!  He adores looking up at the lights, listening to the music, and kick, kick, kicking away while he babbles to himself.
We love this one

3. Burt's Bees Baby Bee Diaper Ointment
Seriously, this stuff is AH-MAZING.  Clears up any hint of diaper rash in no time flat.  Put it on baby at night, rash is gone by morning.  No joke.
Buy it here.  (Or if you're a local know what to do!)

4. Travel System
I've heard various thoughts on travel system vs. convertible car seat, but for us, the idea of waking a sleeping baby is sheer and utter madness.  I love that if Gabe falls asleep in his car seat (which is inevitable), I don't have to wake him in order to get out of the car and run errands.  His car seat just snaps right into his stroller, and away we go!  The stroller is great on its own, too.  And a word to the wise: if baby will consistently be traveling in two cars, invest in an extra base.  The convenience factor is SO worth it. 
We love this one.

5. Bouncy Seat
Making dinner?  Put it on the counter and carry on.  Need to take a shower?  Put it on the bathroom floor and carry on.  Folding laundry?  Put it on the bed and carry on.  We put Gabe in his bouncy seat whenever we need the use of both hands.  The activity mat is rather large, and requires a fair bit of floor space.  When you can't sit on the floor with baby, this is a great alternative.  Take it with you wherever you are in the house.  Bonus: ours vibrates and plays music.  Baby lurves the vibration.  Naps have been had in this seat.  Additional bonus: ours folds down flat, so it's easier to take with us when we travel.
Get it here.

6. Car Mirror
This is great for two reasons.  First of all, it's nice to see if baby is sleeping, why he is crying, or where that lost pacifier went.  Second of all, baby is occupied, even whilst all alone in the back seat.  Looking at himself in the mirror gives Gabe minutes upon minutes of entertainment.  Believe me, when you're driving, you'll positively treasure those minutes.
Choose one here.

7.Pink Noise
I had never heard of such a thing prior to a few weeks ago.  It's kinda like the cooler older sister of white noise.  Much more pleasing to the ear, but has the same effect: calming baby.  It's like mama shushing her baby- constantly and without pause.  Babies love shushing, no?  If Gabe is screaming, this will calm him and put him to sleep.  Download this noise, burn it onto a CD, put it on your iPod, buy a noise generator, or yeah, there's an app for that.  Just find a way to get this noise into your baby's life.  You won't regret it.

8. Hats from The Children's Place
I never knew how difficult it would be to find a hat that would fit a small infant.  Even little babies go out in the sun, and they need a hat to protect their little faces from sunburn!  So far, The Children's Place is the only place I have found that sells (non-beanie) hats for those heads under six months of age.  Unfortunately for me, I had to order many super gargantuan hats in vain before making this discovery.
Fortunately for you, you can find several cute ones here

9. The Boppy
Yes, it looks ridiculous.  But if you are nursing, this thing is da bomb.  That's right.  It positions baby perfectly, saving your poor upper body strength.  You think it sounds simple to hold a 7 pound lil' lump, but try holding it in the same exact position for up to 30 minutes at a time.  Lemme tell ya, it ain't so easy.  The Boppy solves this problem.  Also, it's a comfy pillow to rest baby on.  Ssshhh...don't tell the people at the Boppy company that I let my child nap in this cozy little nook a time or's frowned upon.
Buy a Boppy Bare Naked and choose a cover (or two, if you're smart!) here.

10. Video Monitor
I really, really hate to call this a need.  And truth be told?  We'd probably live without it.  But it is so nice to have.  There have been many times when Gabe has been whining and making noise, but not really been awake.  Had we not been able to see this on the video monitor, we would have barged into his room and really woken him up.  This was also really great in the very beginning, when new moms just want to see for themselves that baby is breathing.  This goes back to our personal rule: never wake a sleeping baby.  The video monitor has allowed us to follow that rule much more easily.  Favorite feature?  Ours has two-way communication capabilities, allowing us the option to talk back at Gabe without entering his room.  Not such a big deal now, but I can't wait until he's older, so I can freak him out when I know he's out of bed when he's not supposed to be.  I may actually be able to convince him that moms know everything.
We're fans of this one.


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  2. I ditto all those things! Altho, I like swaddling the old fashioned way, it DID take a long time to master (and I am on baby #2..) I have the same stroller/seat system and love it! Used it with my oldest, now on #2; great investment! The only thing you didn't mention is a swing, and I couldn't live w/out my swing. :) Great list!



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