Awesome Baby Items

Things have changed a lot since I helped raise my little siblings. While some items like burp cloths, jumpers, books are basically the same, others, like cloth diapers, are totally different. Here are items that I absolutely loved, but only discovered after I became a mother.

  • Side car a crib. Ok, so my first isn’t technically a new item. It’s just a new way of sleeping with your baby to help everyone get more sleep. Here is a nice little guide with pictures. I used these cribs because they are very light, portable, and adjust easily. This set up allowed me to co-sleep safely, while still being able to escape to spend time with Jon after the boys were in bed. The other nice thing about this set up is that moving the boys into the nursery was a snap. I originally had this crib set up in our bedroom, but once Jon started needing more sleep, we side carred the crib to a bed in the nursery. Once the boys started crawling, I put up the side of the crib so they couldn’t crawl out on the bed. I still sometimes go in and sleep in the nursery if one is sick.
  • Fisher Price Snugabunny Cradle Swing.  Target has a monkey version if you want something more jungle themed. I remember my little siblings tucked safely in swings, but they’ve improved light years since we were all young. This brand can move side-to-side, forward and back, and rotate into a bunch of different positions.
  • Rock n Play Sleeper. I had a lot of debate over this item because it kept popping up in lists of recommendations, but I also saw some scary reviews that said it could cause flat heads and torticollis (where the baby’s head is turned to a side) and had a mold problem. Because so many others kept recommending it, I went for it and I have to say, it is my favorite baby sleep container by far. Not only is it extremely portable, but it was the only thing that helped keep Alan asleep in the early months. With his acid reflux, I was supposed to keep him upright for 30 minutes after each feed. Not going to happen at 3 am. This saved us. I had Eric in the side car crib and Alan in the rock n play by the bed. Alan was born with a flat spot and torticollis because he was squished by Eric and the treatment for it is lots and lots of tummy time. If you do have a child in the rock n play, make sure that they are getting lots of tummy time and that they aren’t only sleeping in the rock n play. It’s perfect for traveling. Wonderful for twins because you can rock one with your foot while attending to the other.
  • SwaddleMes. My friends who had summer babies often swear by the Aden + Anais wraps and their knock offs, but I personally found the SwaddleMes much better. Try out both, although if you have a summer baby, be aware that the muslin wraps are much lighter. My favorite things about the SwaddleMe was that they were very easy to put on, held very well for a lot longer than the muslin wraps, and you could swaddle the baby even after strapping them into their car seat, swing, stroller, etc.
  • Baby wearing carriers. I highly recommend checking out a local baby wearing group because every mom has her own favorite carrier. What works best for me is not what works best for many of my friends. I’ve always wanted, but never got to try a ring sling. Instead, I found the sojourn sling best with the newborns. The Performance Ergo and the Boba 3G remain the favorite for both of us, even though Jon is almost a foot taller than I am. For me, the Moby was too hot and difficult (although I could fit both twins in there).
  • Diaper wet bag. Great for storing diapers, even if you use disposables. Wet and stained clothing can also be thrown in here.
  • Silicone Bibs with Pocket. If my mother-in-law hadn’t bought these, I wouldn’ve have tried it. At first, I thought it was a strange gift since I was used to bibs being used to soak up spit up. Once the boys started solids, I realized that they drop nearly everything down their fronts. Cloth bibs can easily develop mold, especially if they get stuck at the bottom of a laundry basket. These are great for travel and can be thrown in the dishwasher.
  • Nosefrida. They still give out those bulby aspirators, but get one of these or a battery powered one. It’s amazing how much better these things work.
  • White Noise App. They have a free version you can check out to see if it is helpful. I still use white noise with my boys.
  • Baby Connect App. Probably more helpful for mothers of twins, but I’d find this very useful even for singletons because I love how easy it is to record information. When I’m at the dr’s and get new measurements, I plug them in and see how they compare. Obviously, the charts are only as good as the information. See how bad the nurses have been at measuring Alan:  the other features I still use are the medicine tracker and milestone marker. I have a baby book that I fill out each month, but this app lets me know exactly what day everything happened on.
  • Happiest Baby on the Block. Read the book or watch the DVD, but don’t have a kid without learning these life saving techniques. 
  • Baby Signing Time. An easy way to learn signs and, more importantly, how babies do the signs because they aren’t exactly the way adults do them. I sign with my boys and it’s been a huge help.
  • There’s a reason Sophie is the most popular baby toy on amazon.
  • Look, Look! My boys still like this book. Black and White was a huge hit when the boys were younger.
  • SnugaMonkey Sleepy Time. Eric loves this thing. The LeapFrog Pals are a huge hit amongst my mom friends, but I never got one myself.
  • Baby crack. Einstein Take Along Tunes.
  • Boogie Wipes. When Jon’s aunt sent me these, I thought it was an overpriced kleenex. No. They are so much better than kleenex. If you have a child who hates having their face touched as much as Eric, you will understand.
  • Wubbanub pacifiers. They didn’t take pacifiers for long, but when they did, they loved these things. Eric only liked to chew on pacifiers when teething, so he especially liked these ones.
  • Mesh feeders. Perfect for teething or baby led weaning. For teething, you can freeze breastmilk or formula. For baby led weaning, you can put in frozen purees, frozen fruit, cooked meat, fresh fruit, etc.
  • High chairs. They have ones that attach to the table like this that some people use exclusively. They don’t work with my table and Alan dances and shakes the whole table, so I don’t really use mine. Instead, I mostly use these booster seats which I love because they are portable, easy to clean, can adjust to the table height, and also can be placed on a mat on the floor to avoid food being thrown all around the room.
  • Re-usable pouches. Pouches are all the rage now and for good reason. They are a great way to avoid spoon feeding, which is difficult and messy with twins. Kids can learn to use them at a very young age. With the re-usable ones, you can make your own mixes and save a lot of money, whether you make your own purees or use store bought ones. I still use mine since the boys still love pouches. You can make yogurt smoothies in them well into toddlerhood.
  • Strollers. Strollers are a bit like carriers in that I highly recommend trying them out in person instead of buying them online. Everyone has their own tastes. With my twins, I had 5 strollers, all of which I love. 1. The Snap N Go strollers are amazing during infancy when your child is in a bucket seat. I bought the Chicco version for my singleton stroller because I had the Chicco Keyfit 30 car seats since they were rated 4 pounds plus. I used this when I was wearing one of the boys. 2. The Double Snap N Go  was perfect for the Dr’s office or anything where I would need to move my boys around. Once the boys outgrew their bucket seats, I started using 3. A Maclaren Twin Umbrella stroller. I don’t have this exact one since I bought mine off of a local yard sale. I paid a lot less for it and it works just fine. I currently keep my double umbrella in the car for most trips. 4. Single umbrella. I bought the Ignite stroller because I wanted something that worked well in sand. I use it when I travel and wear the other, but it’s not needed if you have a larger car. 5BOB Revolution Jogging Stroller. I bought mine used, but still spent a pretty penny. Totally worth it. I pushed it up a steep hill in 4 inches of snow. It held even when my feet were slipping.
  • Nursing pillows. I bought the My Brest Friend Twin nursing pillow, which was great when the boys were little, but I found it had little use after about 6 months or so. If I did it again, I’d buy something like this. You could also try just using two boppys. 
  • Pacifier clip. Attach it to your bra. If you have just one baby breastfeeding, you can use it to help keep track of what side you last fed on.
  • Bath letters. Not only are they fun in the bathtub, but they make great chew toys.

What products did you find helpful your first year of parenting?

 

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