I'd promised to do a post about some of my favorite baby products we've used...the things we've found to be essential in the care of our little ones. Because it's just me here all day, I don't have a chance to gather photos of each thing...I'm sorry for that. But, I figure a list is better than nothing!
1. Some sort of stroller:
With Little P we used an Orbit stroller and car seat combo. We loved it!! But, the bucket seat is EXTREMELY heavy. Nonetheless, we loved it and it even glided through the sand at the beach no problem.
Now, we are using a Joovy Caboose...it's a "stroller and a half" where it fits Noah's bucket seat (a borrowed Graco EasyRide) and has a place for Paige to stand in back. She may also choose to use the little seat it has. It seems uncomfortable for her, but she always likes to sit and doesn't seem to mind. I like that Paige has the option to ride as well, but the stroller isn't as large as a double stroller. It's so easy to open and close too. But, I've found it doesn't glide through the sand at our local beach/pond as easily. Can't have it all!
2. Baby Carrier: I LOVE the Ergo baby carrier. You can choose to hold baby to the front, hip, or back. The down side is that it really is more convenient when the baby is 5 months old and up...so his hips can go to either side of the carrier. There's a way for him to ride inside at a younger age if you use an infant insert. This option has worked out fine, but I prefer to use the Baby Bjorn for these early months. It's just easier to get him in and out at this size. So, we'll use this until he gets much bigger, then it will be the Ergo.
3. Crib: Neither kiddo used a bassinet or anything else. The first night was all about the crib and learning that this is where sleep happens. It's worked out great!
4. Baby Monitor: If you have a larger house and feel the need, we love our Sony 900 MHz BabyCall Nursery Monitor with Receivers. It's not a video monitor (I don't need more to obsess over) and the sound is crystal clear. It's never had any problem with reception and is never "fuzzy sounding." We keep one receiver downstairs so we can listen in the evenings, and one stays in our bedroom.
5. Sound Machine: We live within decent earshot of a freight train that has a different daily schedule. Day or night, I don't need it waking up the kiddos. So, they each sleep with white noise. We LOVE the Brookstone Tranquil Moments Sound Machine for Baby. The quality is absolute and the sound options are great (there's even a "mother's heartbeat" and a "car" option!)
6. Miracle Blanket. I didn't use one with Paige until her 6 week fussies set in. It made all the difference and saved our lives. We used them with Noah from the start and he's never had problems with night-time fussiness and he is sleeping through the night now at under 3 months old. He naps well too. I would say that having 3 is a good number...one to wash and a backup in case of spit ups or blow-outs. Never want to be caught without!
7. Bouncy seat with vibration: You need a place to lay the baby, and perhaps a place that has little toys when the baby is older and more interested. I like the soothing vibration option from time to time...some babies love it, some don't. They even make small swings that also vibrate and act as a bouncy seat in a small footprint! Great for having all the options when you aren't sure what baby will prefer.
8. A place for tummy time:
We use a Fisher Price rainforest theme playmat/Gym. Paige LOVED it and still does at almost 3! She fights Noah for it. LOL! Noah likes to lay there and do his tummy time and flip over to look at the toys. It's a nice place for entertaining.
9. Bottles: We use the Dr. Brown brand. Less gas, more parts to clean, but overall we've loved them.
10.High Chair: We love the Graco Blossom 4-in-1 High Chair. It serves you from the infant months all the way through to the young child years. It even comes apart to be a travel chair! Paige is currently using the booster portion, but we can still rig up the high chair portion for Noah when he's ready. Great if you have a roomy kitchen and plans for more than one child. If not, we like the Phil & Ted clip on chair. It's easy to use, you can take it with you everywhere (love it at restaurants!) and you can throw it in the wash. Part of me is considering just using this option for Noah, but we'll see what happens.
So, these have been our essentials. Don't forget to add a crap-load of bibs and kitchen-towel sized burp cloths (or larger! we like to use those little receiving blankets) and you're good to go!
I'll do my next post about my favorite "baby care" books. I've read a ton and have it narrowed down to my favorites that I still look at again and again and would recommend to every new parent or expecting parent.