Friday, June 27, 2008

Your Favorite Things!!

Thanks for all the responses! Here are the things y'all have said you could not live without! I'm having to condense your descriptions just a little bit, but tried to get your reviews in there. I tried to put in links so you can buy the products wherever possible. If I happened to miss you, please send me an email and I'll add you in!

Beth K's top two are the Fisher Price Healthy Care Booster Seat and the Koala Baby Thermal Blankets. The booster seat is a can't-live-without item that she says is far superior to a high chair, especially for her son, who is a little on the smaller side. It snaps onto the chair for easy removal, and supported him well at six months and still now at eighteen months. It's also portable and works well in restaurants.

The Koala Baby thermal blankets can be found at Babies R Us and are the best for swaddling--large and stretchy. Her son broke out of every swaddle until these blankets and they were big enough to use until he was five months old.

Kristen A loves the Baby Bjorn bib. It's hard, so you can wipe it off and it has a pocket, so when her older son uses it, it will catch the food that fall off the spoon and when her younger son uses it, wad it up and put it in his mouth like a soft bib. She says they're pricey, but worth every penny.

Sarah F is pregnant with her first baby (a little girl!!) and said that as far as products, she loves any pants with the Secret Fit Belly (on pants from Motherhood, Pea in the Pod, Mimi Maternity, etc) and that prAna maternity yoga pants are very comfortable and bendy for yoga. They have a roll top waistline and she says they are so comfy that she wants to wear them 24/7.

A non-product that she loves is prenatal yoga because she knows she is doing something for herself and for the little one. It helps with bonding and preparing for labor. And naps are a must-have. :)

James and Taylor G sent these faves for their family: Britax Marathon, Born Free Bottles, Born Free Twister Brush Set, Quick Clean Micro-Steam Bags, Maclaren Techno XT, Skip Hop Red Duo Diaper Bag, BABYBJORN Baby Carrier, The Ultimate Crib Sheet, Jumper, Boppy® Rock in Comfort™ Travel Swing, Bravado Nursing Bras, Fisher-Price® Baby Papasan™ Cradle Swing, Rainforest™ Bouncer, Fisher-Price® Rainforest™ Jumperoo, Chicco Polly High Chair.

Jenna R sent this comprehensive list, which I'm posting in entirety because it was a great format. (Plus I like the best baby carrier...)

Best Bottles: Evenflo glass bottles, Born Free bottles and sippy cups. The Born Free line is plastic, but without the harmful chemicals that can leech into the liquid baby is consuming.

Best Products for Eczema: Disney Baby Eczema Cream from Gentle Naturals®, Eucerin Aquaphor Baby Bath Wash

Best Diapers: Pampers Swaddlers

Best Relief for Teething: A combination of icy cold teething rings, a frozen wash cloth, and the most effective: my finger gently rubbing on the gums back and forth.

Best Toy: Taggies Big Soft Blocks. These women are ingenious. It's true that most babies are fascinated and love the tags on toys more than the toys themselves. So they created products that are literally "all tags". Liam loves these blocks. They're squishy and easy to grab and hold, they link together, and he loves it when I link them and hold them above his head so he can bat them. Very versatile toy!

Best Distraction: Bailey [her dog]. He seriously is mesmerized by that dog. No matter how engrossed he is in a toy, or whatever he's doing, if she walks into the room, all play ceases, and he just stares and stares at her. This includes, annoyingly, when he's eating.

Best Baby Advice Book: The Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg. Her ideas and approach really suited me, and worked really well for Liam.

Best Thing About Being Pregnant: It's a tie with feeling the baby truly kick for the first time, and being done with it!

Best Place to Decorate Nursery: www.allposters.com. They literally have everything, and almost every item is just $13 or below. We bought several Hawaii and sea life posters for an incredibly cheap amount!

Best Baby Carrier: My hips. By: God. Seriously. My arms aren't that strong. More often than not I plunk Liam down somewhere, or use his stroller, or even the Bjorn. But for those times when nothing else will do for him, my hip (the left one in particular) is truly a life (and arm) saver.

Katie F sent some favorite things and some favorite links.
Babylegs are great especially for all those diaper changes during the day instead of pants or onesies. Pedipeds are her favorite shoes for little feet--they're cute and hold up well. Squeaker Sneakers are great shoes for toddlers. She loves the smell of the Burt's Bees Baby Wash.

For carriers, she likes the ring sling (for any age), Mei Tai (for 3 months and up), and Ergo or Beco (which can work for infants with an insert, but are bulkier in the diaper bag). She says that several friends recommended wraps like the Moby, Sleepybaby wrap). Her favorite cloth diapers are Bumgenius 3.0 and she also likes Fuzzi Buns and Wild Child Woolies (covers) over prefold or fitted diapers. For swimming, she says the Swimmi cloth swim diaper is well worth the price.

For foods, she likes the dried peas, blueberries, bananas and magoes from www.justtomatoes.com--they are great once kids have mastered soft finger foods and have no sugar added, unlike most dried fruits.

Her daughter likes Oompa toys, which has the best website she's found for toys--very few are made in China toys and lots of them are wooden toys. Love all the Haba toys.

Katie's favorite carseats Britax and the SunshineKids Radian. Here is a great site for car seats. The carseat techs are very knowledgeable and can tell you the best seat for your baby based on weight/height and your car. Kellymom is a great site for breastfeeding questions. American Pregnancy has tons of pregnancy info and a great discussion board for try to get pregnant, pregnancy and baby.

Sara Beth from VA Beach Babies sent this list of favorites, though she says that with the birth of her third baby, she learned she didn't like "things." Rather than using a Boppy, she now uses a Nursing Box. This is a box that you make with your older toddler before the baby comes. You buy a box with a lid and let them pick out all sorts of books and puzzles to go inside. Then, when you have to nurse the baby (which takes a lot of time and adds to the jealousy factor) they get to get out the Nursing Box to play with. She likes reading books and doing puzzles with her little ones while nursing, or even vaccuming! [Wow, I hope I can get to that point!!]

She prefers mobiles over the crib to playmats, since her littlest could get run over by the bigger two while they're playing. She does like the travel swing (since it's small and portable), a bouncer, and a Johnny Jump Up. She loves the Joovy Sit and Stand Stroller and says it is one of the best doubles out there, especially as your older child gets older. That way when they want to get off and walk, you don't feel like you have a huge stroller, but when they get tired they can jump on. It does not have a big basket, but a Skip-Hop Saddle Bag attaches nicely to the handlebar making your stuff accessible. Another must as far as strollers is the Snap and Go--she says she never would have made it through pre-school drop off without this. The Britax is a compact, lightweight stroller, much nicer than the cheap umbrella strollers, yet not as pricey as others. A great idea if you think ahead is the Phil and Ted's Most Excellent Buggy Ride-- which has a big price tag but is worth it if you buy it first and use it all the way through. It can be a single, a double, and a jogger--in one stroller--how cool is that?

Sara Beth loves her Chicco High Chair--easy to clean and folds really flat. She says that those space-saver seats that go in the chair are a good idea, but not when you have multiple kids and need all your seats! She likes the Bumbo for on the go eating (although the tray never stays on) but it does not contain her son Sawyer [great name!], who crawls right out.

For outdoor activity, she loves the Radio Flyer wagon with the seats (and buckles!) the canopy, and the trailer you can drag behind. It is great for trips to the park, zoo, and even the beach if you can muscle it through. They also love to bike, so they like the carrier that can go behind the back, though with three kids, they also use the Topeak Bike Seat. She is not a big sling girl because all things halter-like give her headaches, so she loves the Baby Hawk. I really like that you can customize it and that you can put the baby on your back--this works great when you have other little ones to deal with.

One thing she said was that if you plan to have multiples, buy quality products! You get what you pay for and this really is true for baby gear since kids are so hard on stuff. Think ahead as much as you can--that way you don't end up with extra stuff and dusty strollers in the garage.

Beth S loves the Bumgenius 3.0 cloth diapers [a recurring fave] and says she could not have lived without the Kiddopatamus Swaddle Blankets, which kept Ella snuggled tightly!

Kia W sent in these product faves. For diaper rashes, she used Neosporin topped with Taget brand Creamy Diaper Rash cream and even the worst rashes were gone in a day. The Neosporin was the key but the Target brand diaper rash cream is wonderful!
She loves the smell of the Johnson and Johnson lavender scented baby powder. When her son Luke was in his first couple of months, they had a hard time finding a formula that worked with his sensitive tummy, which made him pretty darn fussy and gave her a share of crying herself to sleep those days. They found that letting him sleep in the Papason swing helped him calm down and sleep through the night. The rocking motion settled him down and put him to sleep almost instantly.

Now that they are on to some solid foods, she loves the Gerber fruit puffs. Luke loves bananas so their banana flavored puffs keep him snacking happy. And they come in star shapes that are easy for him to pick up and they disolve quickly so there is no potential choking. Love them! Also, a serving size is 80 pieces according to the label and they don't have much sugar or sodium.

For those dry eczema like patches that occur, there is a Disney Baby Gentle Naturals Eczema Cream that is thick and creamy and really helps moisturize those dry patches of skin.

Carey says that in co-chairing her local babywearing group, she has tried lots, lots, lots of carriers--and finds that it totally depends on age and duration of carry. For total versatility, the lightly padded maya wrap sling or a rebozo (ellaroo makes beautiful fabrics, perfect length) work well. If you're going on a long hike or zoo trip, try the maya tie by maya wrap or mei tei by ellaroo. For toys, she keeps it simple and likes oompa toys online. For cloth diapers, she uses Growing Greens.

Wow--what a lot of great suggestions!! Thanks everyone for sending your thoughts!

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