Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Baby Product Loves

This is a Word Document I put together for some of my expectant mom friends who were finding registering for their baby more then a bit overwhelming. Understandably! While registering for you wedding is so much fun, I think most people find baby registering stressful and/or overwhelming. For such little creatures, the sure do require a lot of stuff! And there is so much to chose from! Some of the choices are high quality and life/sanity savers, while others are gimmicks and a complete waste of your time and trash.

These are the products are what worked for us. I saw their effectiveness even before I was a mom, when I worked as a nanny and pediatric nurse. I have linked most of the products back to Baby's R Us, as I simply pulled them off my registry. I have not been compensated or endorsed to write this post. These thoughts and opinions are mine alone.
Baby Products Loves

The Woombie and Swaddle Me products: Babies LOVE to be swaddled! Even if they seem to fight it first, they really do love it. And they sleep sooo much better swaddled – it helps ease their startle reflex, and makes them feel secure. I love swaddling with Mom’s On-Call’s swaddle blankets (the muslin swaddle blankets on the market do not work!) but eventually the babies start to bust out… and husbands, aunts, and grandparents who don’t religiously practice swaddling can’t do it effectively. J The Woombie and Swaddle-Me’s come in great handy!

  Once a baby can roll over, they need their arms unswaddled. Since loose blankets are still not recommended at this age, so the sleep sacks are a great option that still give babies a sense of security, as well as keeping them warm.

 The Soothies are for babies 0-6 months, and I think worse best for babies who are going to be breastfed. I also think the majority of babies like these, and that they cause the least amount of nipple confusion whether breast or bottle feeding.

Wubbanubs are GENIOUS inventions! They involve the Sooties paci’s (best for breastfeeding babies) with little stuffed animals attached. The stuffed animal can lie on the baby’s chest, etc… to help keep the paci in until the baby is old enough to coordinate the sucking motion to keep the paci in the baby’s mouth. Plus, when the baby gets older, it gives them something to hold onto/play with. You can read about their creation here.

Travel Basinet: this is a great alternative to having to lug a huge/heavy pack and play around! It fits most babies up to at least 9 months. It folds up to about the size of a diaper bag and is super light.

I don’t know how moms survived before video monitors – especially in multi-level homes!? This monitor system has the ability to network with several cameras for when/if you have several kids you want to monitor.  The video aspect really helps when you move the baby into their own room!

I want one of these for myself! The Snug-a-bunny is the best bouncy seat! Its quite large, so the baby can enjoy it for months, and has the all important for soothing vibrating function

You do need a rectal thermometer, but the temporal ones are awesome! This is one of the best – we used it in all the pediatric offices where I used to work

 This is my favorite baby first aid kit, and one of my favorite baby gifts to give! It has everything you need, and its great quality!

 Families with babies must have a cool mist humidifier for those times with the stuffy noses strike.

 We love this travel system. It has awesome reviews, and most of our friends have a version of this system as well. Super easy to use, fold up, and snap in

 The Hooter Hider: Yes, this is really what they are called, and they are genius! The strap around the neck keeps the baby from batting the blanket down, keeping you modest and covered. The neck piece also has structure to it so that you and the baby can make eyed contact during the feeding, which I love. I also think it helps the babies not feel so isolated/smothered as they get older. I am a very private/modest person and wasn't sure how I would feel about breastfeeding in public, but I quickly realized/learned if I only breastfed behind closed doors, I would never  rarely be able to socialize. This thing goes everywhere with me, and Ellie and I have already eaten/fed in numerous social settings. I strongly recommend moms start using this early on in the nursing journey so the baby gets used to eating "covered." 

Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breastpump - On-the-Go Tote: Every nursing mother needs a breast pump - no questions asked! This pump came highly recommended to me by many moms and lactation consultants. Yes, it is expensive, however,  everyone who I  know that has one has been able to use them after all their pregnancies, for years. This is another item, I pack up and take everywhere with me. Don't worry... while I might be comfortable nursing in public, I am not going to be allowing the public to view this "cow-esque" experience anytime soon. Few things make you feel more animalistic then hooking yourself up to a breast pump.

 Medela Bottles and Accessories: I think the Medela brand bottles/nipples are the best compliment to breast feeding. All their bottles attach to the breast pump as well. I am not a huge fan of the breast milk bags, as I think they are difficult to handle and very easy to spill. Once you start pumping, you view your milk as liquid gold and even just a few spilled drops can nearly bring on the tears. 

If you are going to be taking the time to pump, you need the hands-free options! This is what I use, and it is extremely comfortable and secure. While, I don't go around the house vacuuming or dusting while hooked up to my hands-free device, but I can do many sedentary activities while pumping, which is very nice/helpful when pressed for time.

Supplemental Nursing System: I recommend purchasing one of these and bringing it, unopened, to the hospital. You may not need it, in which case, you can just return it. However, if you are like me and your milk takes days to come in, this will save your sanity, life, and make your baby much happier. I did not have one, and luckily had a nurse who help us set up a makeshift system, but taping a feeding tube to your already sore bo.ob and attaching it to a syringe that someone has to hold over your shoulder is far from ideal. Either system gets the job done, and I credit this (and our 1.5 hour feedings until my milk came in - ugh) with keeping Ellie from having to use the bili-lights. Another cool use for this system is for adoptive moms who have to use formula but still want to experience the bonding that comes with nursing!

Soothies: these are pricey, but I would honestly pay twice as much for  them, they are that darn good. I realize lanolin is the "healer" of choice, but it honestly did not think it worked all that well for me. Soothies and vitamin E oil were my go to pain reducers/healers. The Soothies are usually good for up to 3 days. Most hospitals have samples of them, so be sure to stock up while you are there!

 The Boppy: My mom is so jealous of this creation! This comfy little pillow is so helpful during those early days, after delivery, to keep the baby in an a comfortable nursing position, saving your back, arms, and shoulders until your "mom muscles" are nicely developed. It can also be used for tummy time for the baby, and as a positioner to help the baby sit up. I recommend getting the plain muslin boppy, and purchasing a cover(s). That way when life's little mishaps spew, spill, and squirt all over the much loved and used boppy, the cover can be removed and washed, and its as good as new

Bumbo seats are great for the baby developementally! They can also double as a feeding chair when you add the tray to them, making they a great travel option.

This is the best infant carrier out there. There are many other options, but everyone I know who has ever tried the wraps, etc.. still ends up going back to the Bjorn. The wraps are great in theory, but very difficult to master alone, and they get progressively more difficult as the child gets older/builder.

Sophie is one of the world’s oldest and most famous baby toys. Its healthy, safe, and a developmentally sound toy. Read why it’s a must have for every baby here:Link

We have hardwood floors making tummy time and playing on the floor difficult… and cold. This mat is great, so soft and plush, and Ellie loves it! It also makes a great backdrop of pictures.

 If you haven’t yet discovered Moms On Call yet, you must! Follow them on twitter and facebook for additional support.  I suggest moms and dads watch the 0-3 month seminar at least twice before their baby actually arrives. These ladies do such a great job decreasing stress and fear and empowering new moms. Their Baby Care book is a home essential, as are their swaddle blankets.  
Another baby-must-have that Moms On Call suggests is a loud white noise machine. Most infant sound machines are not loud enough – the adult ones are better. Or you can use a MP3 player and down load a white noise sound bit onto an iPod, etc.. 

 Pampers swaddlers are my favorites, especially for the infants (I get sensitives for infants). I think they have the most leak protection and they have the moisture stripe down the center (yellow when dry, blue in the presence of urine).  Wet diapers that first week are so small in volume and so obsessed about it… its hard to tell if/when a baby has actually peed, which can stress a sleep deprived mom out. However, this moisture stripe is very sensitive and takes the guess work out of it.

The Nose Frida is one product I have not personally purchased or used yet. However, I live in the allergy capital of the world and know many moms who swear by this. As a nurse, I have seen many babies requiring either frequent office visits or even hospitalizations simply to manage/suction all their secretions. If/when Ellie gets her first URI, we will definitely be using this. I plan on purchasing it soon, so we have it before we need it. Yes, the concept sounds gross, but the mechanics are not, I promise!:) 

I also use an infant sleep positioner for Ellie, which the AAP has ruled against. You can read their reasons here: I feel completely comfortable using this for Ellie, especially while she is still in the room with us. She does not sleep comfortably on her back, and had lots of trouble with reflux when she was first born. The positioner helped keep her on her side, and be much more comfortable. You can still find them at most consignment shops/sales.

I did not register for a swing, as not all kids end up liking them, and I think they are ridiculously over priced. As luck would have it, Ellie ended up loving swings! I was able to purchase a next to new swing at  a consignment sale for less then half of what the swing would have cost retail.

We did not get the play/activity mat we registered for, and I am glad. They are another ridiculously overpriced item. I purchased a washable one consignment, still in the packaging, and could not be happier with it.

Great websites:


  1. Hi! I am fellow Knoxville girl and have been reading your blog throughout your pregnancy and early stages of Mommy-hood. Congrats on your little one! :) I'm not a Mom yet, but these are GREAT recommendations for when I do become one! Your poop chronicles reminded me of a friend who has infant (born Dec 14th) and the crrrazy poop stories she told me! Explosive, shots across the room,etc. It is amazing the blow outs those little tiny bodies can have! I am now fully prepared for motherhood and all the messiness that comes with it. Thanks for these great tips and for truly telling it like it is!

  2. What about the Baby Bjorn? I used it with my older child, but I've been reading a lot of reviews lately about the position of baby's hips. I just switched to the Ergo & LOVE it. I bought a Moby Wrap also before Connor was born & I HATE it. It makes me extremely nervous.