Thursday, January 31, 2013

Best Baby Products to Give and Get

Back three years ago, I was pregnant with my first child. I remember walking into the Union Square Babies 'R Us in New York City feeling so full of anxiety that I literally had to do breathing exercises. I was a soon-to-be parent, and I was a New Yorker! I needed the stuff that was easy to use. I needed the stuff that was convenient. I didn't need a million baby things because we didn't have the room for it all! There I was, struck with panic. So many little gadgets and trinkets. I didn't know what diapers were best, and what type of diaper rash cream to ask for. Would I register for a bouncy seat or a swing? And the clothing! Oh man, the clothing! And the different bottles and blankets and binkies! Whew! It's enough to drive a hormonal pregnant woman (and her husband) mad!

So here we are three years later. We have Harper who is now almost 2 1/2 years old, and we have Adler who is about 12 weeks. The amount of clothing we received for each child before, and shortly after, they were born was just short of ridiculous. Of course, we are grateful for all the generosity, but I have to say that the majority of clothing we received was never worn (and probably never will be worn) because people don't really understand the whole seasonal/sizing thing. And some babies just never wear newborn clothing because they are born at 10 1/2 pounds (like our son was!). Adler will be wearing 12 month clothing in the spring/summer so why do we have 5 sets of fleece sleepers in 12 month size? That's what I'm talking about!

Here I am to tell you THE BEST baby products on the market. Any couple would be super happy to get the items listed below. It's only too bad that we mostly bought these ourselves!

Enjoy our list!

Aden + Anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets.
Back when I was pregnant with Harper, I saw women around Brooklyn with these really cool blankets. They were light. They were airy. They were expensive! "What are these things?" I thought to myself. Who the hell spends $50 on four swaddling blankets?!? Well, listen to me, people. They are perfect for swaddling real tight. They are breathable so I use them as a stroller seat cover when I want the babes to take a nap. THEY ARE THE BEST BLANKETS. Trust me. Spend the money.

Skip Hop Pronto Diaper Changer.
We couldn't live without this thing. New York City is not a kid friendly place. Restaurants and stores do not have diaper changing stations in their bathrooms. And I don't know about you, but I don't want to put my baby on a dirty bathroom floor to change a diaper. Even if there is a diaper changing station, I don't even want to think of the germs on that thing! This gadget unfolds so you can lay your baby down for a diaper change. It also has three different compartments for diapers and creams. It comes with a wipe container. Wah-lah. Easy changing!

Zutano Cozie Baby Booties.
Socks do not stay on newborn baby feet! They just don't. These baby booties do! They look like cute little shoes and they are "cozie" and warm!

Gerber Prefold Birdseye Cloth Diapers.
Don't use them as diapers! Use them as burp cloths! And, I promise you, these are THE BEST burp cloths. Our first child had extreme reflux and these really came in handy.

Aiden + Anais Burpy Bibs.
It's a burp cloth! No, it's a bib! Oh, hell... it's both! I started using these with my second child. They are super long so you can save the front AND the back of your shirt from any spit-up. It has a little neck/shoulder cut out. And it doubles as a bib! Amazing.

Vulli Gnon.
Forget Sophie! Sophie the Giraffe is so 3 years ago! This rubber teether toy is the one to get. The Gnon was created by the same company who made Sophie so it's the same natural rubber. It's super cute! And babies love it.

Baby Einstein Takealong Tunes.
We called this little toy "the boombox". It is the best. Even though our youngest is still a little too young to enjoy it, this thing was my savior with our oldest. It distracted our child during her meltdowns (which was a lot!). If I'm giving a small baby shower gift, THIS is the toy I give. It plays fun music. It lights up. It grabs an infant's attention. AND it's inexpensive!

Jellycat Collection Stuffed Animal.
Trust me when I tell you. These are BY FAR the best stuffed animals to give and get. I've actually thought (a few times) about buying one for myself to put on MY BED to cuddle with. HA! I gave each of my closest friends one of these animals for their children. Our oldest has a medium bunny that is her most favorite stuffed toy. She sleeps with it every single night. They are soft and snugly, and they are just too damn cute!

Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo.
If you have an infant who is four or five months old and you don't have one of these yet, grab your Babies 'R Us coupon (you know, the one you get in the mail every month) and get in your car NOW to buy one. I don't know about your infant, but MY infant (who is now a preschooler) wasn't one to entertain herself. This thing saved my life. I'm really not kidding. Once we got this toy, I was able to start cooking dinner again. Get in your car. NOW.

Munchkin Snack Catcher Snack Dispenser.
This is definitely something you will want once your child is able to pick up finger foods. It is perfect for Cheerios on the go. These things have soft tops so a little hand can reach in and grab a treat without it spilling all over the floor! I have to admit that our preschooler eats her breakfast out of these things every morning while she is sitting watching Sesame Street. This is a MUST HAVE.

Tommee Tippee Explora Sippy Cups.
So while we are talking about the prevention of spilling food, why not talk about the prevention of leaky cups. I've tried many many sippy cups and these are THE BEST. I know, I know, Tommee Tippee, what? But trust me on this one. These things DO NOT LEAK. They don't. They don't. THEY DON'T.

Stokke Tripp Trapp High Chair.
And while we are on the subject of food, why not talk about what to eat the food in. This high chair is amazing. I felt guilty guilty guilty about getting this high chair (expensive!). But now, I'm so happy I did. High chairs are so clunky and ugly. Not to mention, hard to clean! This high chair has a sleek design. There are no nooks or crannies to get between to clean spaghetti sauce. It grows with your child and it looks like a big kid chair.

Fisher-Price Newborn Rock 'n Play Sleeper.
We didn't have this product with our first child, but man, how I wish we did! I promised myself I'd remember this thing for when we had our second. It's amazing. It's compact and small. It's perfect for New York City apartment dwelling. It fits right beside our bed. There is a slight tilt in the seat, so the baby's head is elevated. Perfect for middle-of-the-night feedings where you just want to lay your newborn right back down and not worry about the spit up. There is a slight rocking motion which makes it easier to rock your baby back to sleep.

Boppy Nursing Pillow.
Everyone knows about the boppy! A must for any breastfeeding mother. But also a must for a bottle fed baby! A mother can't go without this thing!

PRIMO’s EuroBath.
We tried quite a few baby tubs before we found this one. I'm not gonna lie, it's big. But it's great! Give this thing as a gift and fill it up with baby supplies! This tub has a perfect tilt, and the bump at the butt is in the perfect position so your infant doesn't slide down.

Burt's Bees Baby Products.
We got so many bath products when our first child was born. Everything from plain old Johnson&Johnson to Aveno - from fancy schmancy Lavanila to Noodle and Boo. While I'd LOVEEEE to use Lavanila every single day for my newborn, it's just too ridiculous to spend that much money! Burt's Bees smells like baby and it's sensitive for skin, hair and eyes. We don't buy anything else.

Uppababy Vista Stroller.
We looked at the Bugaboo with every intention of getting it, but after a lot of research, we decided the Uppababy was a good fit for us. When a couple has a child in New York City, a stroller is by far the most important purchase. It was very important that we get a stroller that will last. With all the walking we do, we knew we needed a stroller that would hold up in crazy winters and horrible sidewalks. We loved the Uppababy, and we still love it. It's such an urban stroller, but when we brought it a little ways down south to Virginia Beach, people were stopping me asking me about it. The frame of the stroller comes with a bassinet (which we used at night for our little one to sleep in!) and a stroller seat. With an adapter, you can click a car seat into the frame also. The basket underneath is massive. And the wheels are like a dream - so smooth, and they are perfect for the Northeastern winters. What's better is the stroller upgrades to a double stroller (with purchase of something called a rumble seat) when you decide to have another baby! We've been using it 2 1/2 years and plan to be using it another 2 1/2. Amazing. Amazing. Amazing.

Pampers Sensitive Swaddlers
We've tried our share of diapers. For a newborn, there is nothing else to say other than, these are the best. It's not fun, but it's a necessity. And diapers, well, diapers are EXPENSIVE!

Desitin Diaper Rash Cream.
We've also tried our share of diaper rash creams. Desitin is the best. It takes the red away almost immediately. I have to say that I can count on one hand how many diaper rashes our first child has had. And it's because we use this stuff! Stock up, you're gonna need it.

White Noise App.
New York City is loud. That is all there is to it. We live off of a main street and there are constantly sounds of alarms, buses, sirens, dogs barking, drunk people walking out of the bar across the street, etc. White noise is essential for a baby. Oh, and this app costs NOTHING! Download it now. Save yourself midnight wake ups from whatever noise there is in your neck of the woods.

Books! Books! Books!
You can never have enough of them. There is no better advice I can give than "Read to your child!". Read as much as you can. You can never read too much. Our 2 1/2 year old is an amazing talker, and I believe it's because we turned off the television for the first two years of her life and we read to her. We read so so much. It's so important. I can't say it enough.

Carter's Onesies.
And if you are just DYING to get something to clothe your child (ha!), this is what you should get. Some super basic, snug fitting, go-with-everything, ONESIES!

There we have it, ladies and gents. Have I missed anything? Please tell me about your favorite products. I'd LOVE to try them. Good luck. And happy baby. xo.

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