Saturday, February 15, 2014

Baby Product Top Picks

Before baby K arrived, I did a lot of research on the best rated and most popular baby products out there.  I really wanted to make sure I had the necessities without going overboard.  I'm not sure that I succeeded in the "keep it simple" department, since we do have a few items that really serve the same purpose.  It's so hard to not get wrapped up in all the cuteness!  Live and learn...

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to come up with a list of our favorite baby items so far.  So here goes, in no particular order:

1)  California Baby: Calendula Cream - This stuff is so rich!  I'll admit that K's skin hasn't become so dry that she needs this cream yet, but after her first real bath I did lather her up with this stuff.  It definitely doesn't have that signature "baby" scent, but that's not a deal breaker for me.  And here's the kicker... I have had terrible eczema on the tops of my hands, which started to spread to my wrists.  My hands were dry and red, and embarrassing for the longest time.  I used this cream after each hand washing for three days straight, and it totally cleared everything up.  I'm sold!

2) Angelcare Bath Support - I love this because it's so simple.  It does it's job and that's that.  You just place this support in your tub and fill the water to the marked fill line.  It's all plastic with lots of air vents, and has hanging tab for drying/storage.  I'm not concerned about this becoming moldy like baby baths that have fabric. 

3) Avent Soothie Pacifiers - Nate and I really wanted to avoid using a pacifier if we could, but one of the first lessons we've learned as parents is that things don't always go the way you want.  Miss K was not the best eater while we were still at the hospital, so the nurses suggested we give her a pacifier so she could teach herself how to suck.  The good news is that their suggestion seemed to work.  The bad news is that now she just wants the pacifier sometimes.  We tried giving her the ones that match the Tommee Tippee bottles we have, but she wasn't interested at all.  Now these Soothies are all she wants, and she really seemed to like the vanilla scented one from the hospital.

4) Cloud B Sleep Sheep - This is not something that we use all the time, but it does come in handy at times.  K's swing ( #11 on our list) is in her room and also has a sound setting, so sometimes we just use that.  The point is that her room happens to be against the same wall as our TV (which we keep at a pretty low volume anyway) and our front door, and it faces the road.  If she's napping in her room or having trouble falling asleep, sometimes I'll turn on her sleep sheep.  She likes the ocean sound (or the river sound in her swing), and normally it relaxes her enough to doze off.  It also blocks out enough noise to keep her sleeping.

5) JJ Cole Diaper Clutch - We use this all the time! For some reason I have always had an easier time changing diapers on the floor.  We planned on putting a changing pad on the shorter of K's two dressers.  However, once her furniture arrived we discovered that the shorter dresser is still too tall for me to use as a changing table.  We don't have a lot of extra space in her room, so we opted to not get a changing table.  I just keep this diaper clutch unfolded on her floor and change her there.  I can wipe it down with disinfecting wipes, and fold it up when I "clean" her room (not that it's ever really messy).  Plus it folds up neatly enough to fit right in the front pocket of our diaper bag, and I love the colors/pattern!

6) Gerber Side Snap Onesies - We received one of these onesies in a box of hand me downs from Nate's sister in size 0 - 3 months.  I couldn't wait for K to grow into it so I could try it on her!  I don't know what it is, but I think she is so cute in these!  I love the colors they come in, and I think the snaps down the side give them a little feminine touch.  I put her in these with a comfy pair of matching pants and she is good to go!

7) Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Microwave Steam Sterilizer - I'm not sure that a bottle sterilizer is really required, especially if you're washing your bottles in the dishwasher.  However, this is something we use all the time.  We didn't want to stockpile bottles, just in case K didn't like the bottles we picked.  Luckily she had no problem with the Tommee Tippee bottles, and we haven't had a problem only keeping a minimum number on hand.  We normally just hand wash them and sterilize.  Then we can keep them stored on the counter in the sterilizer until we need them.  It doesn't take up that much space, and we keep the formula right next to it so we can make bottles quickly.

8) Summer Infant Swaddle Me - I read a lot of conflicting articles about swaddling, and was really confused about what was best.  I had decided to wait and see what kind of a sleeper K would be before I tried swaddling.  It turned out that she had a little case of the jitters in her first few days, and was really comforted by being swaddled.  My swaddling skills became pretty strong while we were at the hospital, but once we got home I decided to try out these swaddles.  They are so much easier than trying to use a receiving blanket, and I'm not worried about them coming loose and suffocating K while she sleeps.  K tends to sleep a few hours longer at night, while she is swaddled.  Plus, the prints are pretty cute, too!

9) Baby Gap Bodysuits and Pants - What I love about the clothes from Baby Gap is that they are adorable and soft, but the prints aren't too baby-ish.  I recently bough these two outfits for baby K, but they can also be mixed and matched with other things she already has.  Gap has some really cute things I've got my eye on for Spring, too!

10) Motorola Digital Video Baby Monitor - I am so happy that we got a video monitor!  I don't know why, but I have always been paranoid about what babies are up to when they are sleeping.  I knew I wouldn't be able to keep going into her room to check on K without waking her up, so this was the solution.  The screen is clear enough that I can zoom in to make sure she is breathing OK, and the monitor pans the whole room!  I can adjust the position if she's napping in her swing or view any other part of the room if I want.

11) Ingenuity Automatic Bouncer and Cradle & Sway Swing (in Shiloh) - Other than in our arms, these are two of K's favorite places to be.  During the day she naps in her bouncer a lot.  The bouncer is great because it bounces on it's own, in two different patterns.  It also has several different music and "nature" sound settings, which match the sound settings on her swing.  I don't normally put her in the swing to sleep, but she usually ends up falling asleep if she's in it.  She likes to watch the ceiling fan while listening to music.  It also has a vibration setting, which sometimes helps calm her down a little.  The swing also adjusts to rock side to side or front to back.  The only regret I have about these items is that they could have been combined to save space by getting the 4moms mamaRoo, instead.  The swing is very wide, so it can't be moved room to room very easily.

12) Fisher-Price Snugabunny Musical Gym - I really didn't think we would use this until K got a little older, but I decided to give it a try one day and she loved it!  She's been playing on her play mat since she was only a few days old.  She likes to lay and look at the lights, and we use it for tummy time, too.  I tried to get a lot of our bigger items in neutral colors, so this turned out to be perfect.  Plus it matches her swing, bouncer and pack and play pretty well too.  I'm kind of a matchy-matchy type of person...

13) Precious Firsts Bodysuits - I like to put a lightweight bodysuit on baby K underneath her sleepers, and these are perfect.  They are so soft and I love the prints.  I found these ones by Carter's at Target and plan to keep getting them in her size as she grows.

This list is definitely longer than I expected it to be, but there were also some items I thought about including and changed my mind.  Like I said, we could definitely live without a lot of these products but they have made life a lot easier and have become some of our favorites!  I'm thinking about doing a follow-up to this post on products we thought we had to have, which ended up being returned.  We'll see!

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