Now that Ralph and I are now almost 8 months into this parenting gig (Wahhhhhhhhhh – where did the time go?), I figured I would tell you about some of our favorite baby products. Some are items that we love but could totally live without and some have totally saved our lives (like hallelujah style!!) and we can’t imagine parenting before it’s invention.
1. Dr. Brown’s Bottles – I researched bottles like crazy and although these bottles didn’t solve Cayman’s first three colic months, I think the vacuum-free feeding certainly helped. I know some babies aren’t picky about bottles, but when another brand was offered to Cayman – he would have nothing to do with it.
2. Oogaa Silicone Trains, Planes and Automobile Spoon – I received one these spoons in my 5 month Bluum Box and I love it. It’s flexible, heat-resistant and completely non-toxic. Although we’ve done more of a baby-led-weaning approach by introducing more table foods than purees, this spoon is great to let Cayman play with while I’m getting his food ready. I’m not afraid that he will bonk himself on the head or poke is eye out with it. I’m not sure I would have forked over $7 for one baby spoon but now that I have it, I love it.
3. Boppy Nursing Pillow – Ideally I would like to combine the Boppy pillow with the My Breast Friend (stupid name) pillow. I love the shape of the Boppy but would like to add a pocket big enough to keep a binky and my iPad – at least for the first 2-3 months. I pretty much had to set up camp to nurse in the beginning (which nobody warned me about) and I can’t tell you how many times I was stuck in my La-Z-Boy recliner with a FINALLY sleeping baby and a desperate need to connect to the outside world. Heck, lets just add a cup-holder and call it a day.
4. Aden + Anais Swaddling Blankets although the swaddling phase didn’t last long for Cayman, there is no better swaddler than Aden + Anais. Not only are the patterns adorable, but the blankets are large enough that anyone can learn how to do a tight swaddle – just like the hospital. Cayman slept through the night ( a very distant memory now) when he was about 2 months old and it was because we combined these swaddle blankets with a receiving blanket to make a SUPER SWADDLE.
How to do a SUPER SWADDLE
5. Fisher Price Snuggabunny Cradle n’ Swing – The most expensive thing on this list, retailing at $129, I would have spent triple that amount for the relief it has given us. Colic babies especially need motion and Cayman slept in this swing for almost 3 months. He still sleeps in it for naps and when he wakes up too early in the morning (4 or 5 am), the swing is the only way we can get an hour or two more of sleep. It swings from front to back or cradles from side to side. It has two different music settings with volume controls and I think the music makes Cayman feel like he’s not alone. The music is on a 15 minute timer, which is just enough time for him to nod off. The great thing about this swing is that you can use it from birth to 25 lbs. At 7 months, Cayman should still be able to use for 2 to 3 more months.
6. Sound Sleeper App from iTunes – This app is brilliant and covers just about everything. The sounds include: Car ride, fan, hairdryer, hush, market, mountain river, ocean, pond, rain seashore, shhh, thunderstorm, vacuum cleaner and womb. The ‘womb’ sound was Cayman’s favorite which simulates Mommy’s heartbeat sounds and well, other gurglly sounds he heard when he was still doing his time on the inside. I even have the ability to record my own sound and add it to the mix. It’s also great because we can take it with us when we travel without having to pack his white-noise machine. There were more than a few times when I couldn’t calm Cayman down, so I put him in the car, turned on the ‘womb’ sound and drove around until he fell asleep. It also has a sleep tracker, so that when the baby wakes and starts making noise, it turns on for 15 minutes and shuts off again. View it in iTunes here.
7. Go Dog Go Book by P.D. Eastman – Edited by Dr. Seuss – Part of the line of ‘I can read it all by myself – beginner books’ , this is one of Cayman’s favorites. Next I need to get ‘Are You My Mother?’ which is a book my Mom used to read to me from the same line.
8. Evenflo Splash Mega Exersaucer – My Mom did a great job picking this out for Cayman for his Christmas present for several reasons. First of all it has fewer toys on it than most activity centers/jumpers. Not only that, the toys are removable. I’m a big believer that babies shouldn’t be over-stimulated and this is especially true for Cayman. He was born with his eyes WIDE open and it’s been that way ever since. He fights sleep just because he’s so excited about the world, so I don’t feel any need to add to that stimulation. He would be happy with one toy attached to his exersaucer because he gets to stand. He’s been standing and putting his full weight on his legs since he was two months old. This boy wants to GO!
9. Skip Hop Forest Activity Mirror – Wow, apparently, babies are really vain! I had no idea. Cayman looks at pictures of other babies and smiles, but if he sees a picture of himself or himself in the mirror, it is a different reaction entirely! This mirror is very tactile with crinkly fabrics and allows him to admire himself all day long. It has a picture frame stand on the back for tummy-time and velcro straps to attach to a bouncer or infant seat.
10. Camilia Teething Relief – We are just at the beginning of the teething phase (I can barely see them on the top) and so far Camilia has been a great help. Since the product description doesn’t list the ingredients, I wanted to include information about them from the Camilia site:
“Active ingredients in homeopathic medicines are listed on product labels in Latin, which is the international packaging standard. Camilia contains three active ingredients: Chamomilla 9C HPUS (dilution of German Chamomile plant), Phytolacca decandra 5C HPUS (dilution of Poke plant), and Rheum officinale 5C HPUS (dilution of Rhubarb plant). I’ve found that Camilia is also for tummy troubles and it can be given liberally instead of giving Tylenol or Motrin.
11. Sophie the Giraffe – A French toy known as a ‘status teether’. This overpriced (retails for $27) giraffe that closely resembles a dog toy has been a life safer for us early on. It was the first toy he was able to grasp and put in his mouth and it still entertains him for at least half our time at dinner in a restaurant. It’s currently the bestselling baby toy on Amazon and even sells more that snot-sucker thing called the NoseFrida (which I can’t bring myself to purchase).
Want more reviews on how Sophie the Giraffe grants parents deliverance from “the fiery pits of teething hell” ? Read this. If you think Sophie is just an expensive, organic rubber dog chew toy with a cult following, get your validation here. Sophie the Giraffe is like cilantro, either you love it or you hate it, but there’s no in between.
12. My single most favorite baby item so far……PullyPalz – Momo the Monkey an Interactive Pacifier Toy – This adorable little guy attaches to our infant carrier, bouncy seat, stroller etc. and holds Cayman’s favorite binky. PullyPalz use a pulley-like system, so when Cayman grabs the binky in view, the dropped binky is simultaneously retracted. I don’t have to worry about his binky hitting the ground or getting lost. He has been able to retrieve his own binky since 4 months with this contraption and it’s great for his fine motor skills. GENIUS!!
Stay tuned for our next post on Baby-Gadget-Hacking – Tricks on how we MacGyver’d household and baby items to survive our baby’s infancy.