Sunday, May 18, 2014

The best baby gadgets out there.

Okay, this post I wasn't sure if it should be here or in my pregnancy and childbirth page since it's kind of a grey area. But I figured since this is more of a products after birth piece I'd put it here. So I've ready a lot of 'best baby products" lists and most of them have left me scratching my head and thinking "WTF" how is THAT on the list, or how is this NOT on the list.    I thought it would be helpful for all of you guys to get a list of actual items LOVED by an actual mom who is getting ready for her second child (and using all of these items).  Now this list is strictly for those "non-essential" luxuries. You know, the items you put on your registry because they look nice and it would be nice to have. So you're not going to see things like layette, swaddles, etc here because those are all MUST HAVES, however I think that of ALL the gadgets out there, there are a few "luxuries" that I think are more on the must have list, and this is what this post is about. You can also check out my post on the worst baby products out there, so you can know what to avoid. If you are interested in getting these items there are links for each in their areas, and if you are doing your registries on or these items are all on those sites.

1) Nail Scissors: Now you can buy these separately or in grooming kits, and I LOVE them.  For my daughter I registered for a full grooming kit (which I really liked) and inside there were the regular baby nail clippers and the scissors.  I tried to cut her nails with the baby nail clippers one time and of course, I nicked the skin around her toe and boy did she scream! There was even a little bit of blood! And I as a mom of course freaked the hell out! I felt SO bad and I was in tears and was too traumatized to cut the rest of her nails.  A few days later when I worked up the nerve to try again I used the nail scissors and they are AMAZING! They are tapered at the end so you can easily get under the baby's nail so you can actually see what you are going to cut (something you can't do with the clippers) so you know you are not cutting skin. I love these so much I still use them for my daughter and she's 3 1/2 and I have registered for another pair for my baby boy.

2) Boppy Pillow: Or any baby support pillow really.  This was so useful when my daughter was a newborn and infant. I used it for everything from tummy time, propping her up to bottle feed her when she was able to hold her bottle.  It was really nice to be able to put her down on the floor supported and be able to answer the phone, or load the dishwasher. This is definitely on my hospital bag packing list.  However, please note DO NOT let your child sleep in this pillow and DO NOT put the pillow on the couch with your baby in it and leave her unattended even for a second.  This is not a substitute for a crib or bassinet, it's merely a convenient place to put your baby ON THE FLOOR for a quick second, or to help during feeding.

3) Baby Q-tips: Now there are a lot of people who are against Q-tips but try doing any of the other wax removal methods with a baby-good luck!  I checked with my pediatrician and she said that baby Q-tips were fine to use.  That is because of their shape, they have a small tip that then expands to a large round ball.  This prevents the q-tip from going too far into the ear canal so it's safe and very convenient when cleaning out ears. I received these as a shower gift that I didn't register for and I was SO grateful!

4) Supplemental Nursing System (SNS): I have not used the SNS but I had a friend who used it for her low milk supply and loved it!  Basically, it's for women who want to breastfeed but suffer from a low milk supply.  This system (and others like it) allow the mom to fill the main compartment with the formula (or donated breast milk) of her choice and it is delivered to the baby via the small tubes as the mom breastfeeds. This allows the mom to provide her baby with her own milk while making sure that the baby is getting enough to eat.  It still promotes bonding and eases your mind. The best part is if you keep breastfeeding, the odds are that your supply will increase and you won't need the system!  I had low milk supply when I had my daughter and pumping so much was very difficult and eventually resulted in me stopping breastfeeding.  I wish I new about the SNS then, and I have already registered for it for this baby.

 5) Diaper Holder: This is a MUST in my opinion. It is so convenient to have a system like this right next to your changing table so you can just throw dirty diapers right in and be done with them.  The diaper holders are air tight so you don't get a funky smell in the nursery and you just take them all out at once.  We did ours once a week and we never had a problem.  I didn't use one that needed special bags because I didn't want the additional cost, so we got one where we could use our own trash bags and that worked great.  We had Oder eater trash bags and I think this helped.  I couldn't imagine having to change the diaper and then put the baby down somewhere and walk outside to the front of the house and throw out the diaper EACH TIME I changed our thank you!

6) Nasal Aspirator: These are SO useful.  In all honestly, I think my hospital gave me one when we left so I didn't even need to register for one.  It's so convenient when your little one is stuffed up, or when  you can see those icky boogies, you can just suck 'em up easy peezy! 

7) Bottle drying rack: I originally thought that I could just throw my bottles in the dishwasher, wash 'em up and that would be the end of it.  BUT, what I didn't realize is that when you are exclusively bottle feeding, babies go through A LOT of bottles and they go through them quickly!  I tried to do the dishwasher thing for about two weeks after becoming an exclusive bottle feeder and it was just too much to keep up with.  I was running the dishwasher all the time with the smallest loads in them just so I could have clean bottles, and I had a lot of bottles.  It was just easier to hand wash them, and if you do that then a drying rack is essential so you don't have a huge wet mess on your counter. Now if you don't end up being an exclusive bottle feeder then you may be able to use the dishwasher and not need a drying rack.

8) Walker: In the past this has always been an after thought for new mommies ( I know it was for me). But when my daughter started cruising it became apparent we needed a walker.  This is another thing that depends on your situation, if you have a smaller house where the furniture is close together so your little one can easily move from space to space, then this is not a necessity. However, in our house there is a lot of open space so Isabella couldn't easily move from space to space. Now you don't necessarily need a walker like the one pictured above, we bought a cheap stand on walker, the ones where the child holds onto a handle and pushes the walker around the house and can just let go and crawl away whenever she wants. That worked very well, and I think it was like $20 at Kohl's so those are great for people on a budget.

9) Wipe warmer: Now I have seen people bash wipe warmers like crazy on other lists, but this was a serious must have for me.  I think this is one of those things where it depends on your situation.  If you live in Hawaii or another place that is always really warm then this is a silly expense and so not needed.  However, when we had our daughter we lived in the high desert and she was born in the middle of December so it got REALLY cold, especially at night.  I remember it even snowed a few days after she was born.  The wipe warmer was really nice, especially during night time changes so I didn't completely shock her awake by wiping her tush with a cold wipe. And then when we hit summer and it was really hot, I simply unplugged the warmer and it still kept  the wipes damp. I really liked it

10) A vibrating baby chair: I'm not sure what the actual name for this thing is but my husband and I called it the "baby shaker' lol.  We had an old school one like the picture above, it was given to us by my mother in law and we LOVED it.  It was the only thing that would soothe her on a consistent basis.  This is child specific so unless someone gives you one of these or a swing or the like as a registry gift, I would suggest sticking to cheaper second hand items until you find the one your baby will like, that way you won't waste a ton of money finding the one she likes.  Once you know your baby's preference you can always by a more advance model.

11) Forehead thermometer: These are awesome! I received a medical kit as a shower gift and part of that included rectal and arm pit thermometers. Well I was completely freaked out about the rectal thermometer thing, and good luck pinning a wiggly infant down long enough to get a reading on the arm pit.  Then a family friend told me about these nifty forehead thermometers.  You simply place the tip on the baby's forehead and it gives you and accurate reading in 30 seconds! So much easier!!!

12) Diaper organizer: I had one of these and LOVED it.  It was so convenient to have my wipes, diapers, ointment, etc all together.  I even had her q-tips, brush, and lotion there too since we always did our after bath grooming on her changing table (it was just easier for me). I am a HUGE neat freak and love things to be organized so this was the first thing I purchased after my baby shower.  It was so nice having everything in one convenient location, especially during night time changes when I was half asleep. There are a bunch of different sized side compartments so everything had it's place. I kept my extra diapers and wipes in a bin under the organizer so when I ran low it was really easy to just quickly swap them in all while still holding my little one!

Well, I hope you like my list, remember that how we raise our children is very specific to the lifestyle we lead so there is never going to be a list that completely covers everything you need, but I hope this helps any expectant mommies looking for ideas. If you guys have any other items you think should be on this list, please let me know what they are and why!  I hope this was very helpful, and please check out my other post on the worst baby products out there for a comprehensive list on the products you don't want to waist your money or registry space on.

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