As you approach that final month of pregnancy and you start preparing for Life as a Mom,
choosing the best baby
products out from the thousands of not-so-good-but-found-everywhere products is daunting.
Fortunately for you, you're not the first mom to have traveled this path! After surveying groups of moms, and
consulting my own piles of baby-junk, I've come up with a basic list of items that will serve you well in the
busy year ahead.
In fact, I wish someone had shared this list with me 5 years ago! It would have saved me mounds of cash, and plenty of headaches.
SIDE NOTE: I did not put these in any order. After all, if they're the "best" then they're the
best, and who cares about the order. I also have not included the obvious items like cribs, baby bottles, diaper pails, car seats, and strollers.
You can see product reviews of those products here.
I know The Boppy is all the rage right now, but I must dissent. I found the Boppy pretty much useless.
It didn't wrap all the way around me (I'm not a size 4), and I was constantly having to prop it up with pillows in order
for Lauren to reach my breasts.
With my second, I ditched the Boppy and chose something else.
My Brest Friend Nursing
Pillow is an excellent replacement. It wraps all the way around and supports your (no longer aching) back.
More importantly, it stays in place. There's a pocket in the front for tissues or anything else you need on hand.
The Brest Friend is by far the best nursing pillow on the market. It is also extremely valuable for mom's recovering
from a cesarean section because it sits above your incision, eliminating any discomfort.
Don't let "Nursing Pillow" deceive you. This pillow is excellent for bottle feeding as well (as many husbands can assent!).
When Elena was born, she was the must-be-touched-all-the-time kind of baby. We tried her in the Baby Bjorn, which she
liked a whole of 10 minutes. We ended up purchasing a sling, and never looked back.
The Hotslings baby
carrier is easy to put on, super comfortable, and can be used for newborns and beyond. The comfort your
baby receives by being close to you and the convenience you receive by being able to use your hands is priceless.
Of course, not all babies like being carried. Lauren hated it. She was a curious newborn and didn't like staring at
my chest all day when she could hear exciting things happening around her. Because the Hotslings (in
my opinion one of the best) is expensive (like all slings), You may wish to wait until your baby is born before spending the
money on it.
If I could go back in time, I would add the Germ Guardian on my baby shower list. Disinfecting toys is a royal
pain in the pa-tooshey. It's one of those have-to-do jobs that gets pushed aside (rather conveniently) for the sake
of a busy schedule.
This amazing tool uses dry heat (not chemicals) to kill 99.9% of the germs on bottles, nipples, pacifiers, and toys
(even the cloth ones!).
It doesn't warp plastic or fade fabrics. It's been proven to kill the germs that cause
RSV, colds, flu, ear aches, diarrhea, and other common infant maladies.
When I registered for my first baby, I mocked those moms who "wasted" all that money on a baby video monitor. 5 years
later, there's one sitting on my dresser. And I honestly can't imagine life without it.
First of all, it was wonderful when Elena was a newborn, because I was constantly wanting to check on her
while she was sleeping. Before the video monitor, that meant I had to go inside the room. A big no-no.
She would invariably wake up. After mounting the monitor on the wall, I had a great view of the crib, and what she
was doing inside it.
As she's gotten older, I find the baby video monitor even more helpful. I can see if she's actually
sleeping during nap-time, or wandering around the crib searching for trouble. I can watch her stand up in her crib at bedtime, allowing me
to walk in, lay her on her bed with a quick "Nigh-Nigh, Elena" and walk out. No more sneaking around the door, trying
to peek in without being caught.
Learning to swaddle your baby is an ancient tradition with astonishing sleeping results. Using logic, it makes sense
that your newborn would respond favorably to a tight wrapping in a blanket. After all, he was tightly wedged in your
uterus up until recently! Simply put, swaddling = sleep!
A good swaddle will keep your baby tightly bundled, without the chance that he may free himself. Loose blankets in
the crib increase the risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Using a swaddle/sleepsack
eliminates that risk.
The Halo swaddle is also the only swaddling system that is available for Preemies. It's made of a soft, breathable, washable
fabric that keeps baby cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It's flame-resistant and has a thoughtful zipper in the
front for quick and easy diaper changes. They even thought to have the zipper inverted - making it close from top to bottom! I love this product.
Of course, when my first was born, I had no idea the Halo swaddle system was out there. So I had to swaddle the
'ole fashioned way. If you want to give it a go on your own, this book on baby-wrapping covers all the details on
how to get your swaddle nice-and-safely tight.
There are few things in this world as frustrating as changing a poopy diaper on wiggly baby.
Distraction is the key. Since you shouldn't leave the changing table while your baby is sitting on it, having a
container of toys within arms reach is a must.
This innovative toy makes that bucket-o-junk irrelevant. I love that it's set up all the time, and that Elena can
look forward to diaper changes because she knows that's the only time she gets to play with those toys.
The attached toys aren't cheap knock-offs, either. The Wonderfun has a big mirror for self-gazing (always a favorite at that age),
retractable and shaking bee, and even plays "You Are My Sunshine". They are all interchangeable. It is easily packed
away and can be used for bouncy seats or as a traveling floor play-gym. It's easy versatility make this another best-buy of the best baby products.
The Brest Friend, Changing Table Toy, Germ Guardian, and Video Monitor are all things I found on one of my favorite
sites, One Step Ahead. They are currently running a promotion until September 30, 2008. Save 15% off orders over $100 when you
use coupon code BABY15P.
I'm so thankful to be a mom in the 21st Century. What wonderful tools we have to use! I'm constantly amazed at the
brilliance of the new baby products they are continually developing.
These are just a drop in the bucket of useful baby stuff out there, but in my opinion they are some of the best
baby products out there. You probably didn't know these existed, but now that you do, I hope you find them as helpful
as I did.
Other Best Baby Products to Catch
I'm a sucker for cool baby things and coupons, so it makes sense that I should include a few pages about both!
This is where I post new, up-and-coming, and hot-off-the-press baby items I've stumbled upon. Every quarter I update the
list and put the old one in the archives section, so you can browse to your heart's content. It's truly mind-
blowing how creative and useful these products are!
I'm constantly getting promotional emails and coupons from companies selling baby items. Since I can't possibly
use all of the coupons myself (and my friends got tired of my constant "another coupon" emails), I've added a section
of the site to share all these online coupons and specials with you.
Of course, to stay relevant, these pages will also be updated and arranged every time I get a new coupon (which is pretty
much every week).