August 11, 2009

The Baby Cage and Other Baby Must Haves

I've been inspired by one of Jack's internet aunties to get off my ass and start blogging again. My excuse isn't because I'm busy at work or because I'm chasing after my 11 month old. I confess. I'm obsessed and addicted to Twitter. I can't stop Tweeting. I can't stop reading Tweets from friends, celebs, news. It is insane. So, on my honor, I will take a deep breath and actually take the time to write something that is more than 140 characters in length. 
I digress. 
I have a co-worker who is pregnant after many trials and tribulations. She has come to me regularly about advice. Mostly, around the realm of "Should I start clipping diaper coupons?" or "Is $399 a good deal on a 3 piece crib collection?" I shudder at my naivety a year ago. I had no idea of the cool gadgets and gizmos that are out there for babies so I have my list. This list of things that I absolutely COULD NOT live without in the past year. So to you, my very few followers, I pass on my wisdom (in random order). 
  • The Itzbeen Baby Timer: It is a timer with 4 different things you can track- how long since the last: bottle, diaper, nap and a 4th button of your choosing (which I used in the first couple weeks to track how often I was taking my Tylenol 3). It also has a nightlight on it. We still use it for the nightlight to take quick peeks at Jack at night. It is like $24 bucks and is absolutely priceless in my book.
  • A bouncy chair. Bouncer. Whatever you want to call it. Inexpensive, I think we paid $50 for the Fisher Price Rainforest one. We were able to strap Jack into it, turn out the lull of the waterfall and he stared at it in wonder for hours on end. Eventually he played with the toys hanging from it. This thing was great though- we could put him on the floor sans dog hair and on the counter when we were making dinner and he would be fully entertained by both us and the stuff on it. All the while, he was safe and strapped in (not like our newborn could actually GO anywhere) but I always felt comfortable stepping away from him to pee and know that he'd be safe in there. 
  • Graco Snug-Ride carseat: I am still using his infant seat (although he is just a few pounds away from outgrowing it). LOVE these because you need just one seat, a couple bases and it is easy to for use between two cars. He was comfy, snug in it. We did the whole travel system- we still use the stroller, but not the carseat IN the stroller. It has come in handy. We'll be able to use the stroller for awhile.
  • On the note of the carseat... if you're having a winter baby, you absolutely need the JJ Cole BundleMe. So much easier than those damn snowsuits and baby bags and they stay toasty warm all winter long. It rocks.
  • Cheat Sheet: onesies in the summer, bodysuits in the winter. Lots of them. 
  • We were partial to the Pampers diapers- swaddlers and now Cruisers and now Overnights. He leaked out of ever generic diaper out there. 
  • The Halo Sleepsack Swaddler. Jack was swaddled in one of these practically right after he came out and we swaddled him with these until he outgrew them and we had to move to the Kiddopatomus ones. Back is best and swaddling works wonders!! 
  • The Pack n Play. Jack slept in our room in the PNP for the first 6 weeks of his life. After that, we started napping him in there in the living room. He still naps in there (he naps best with lots of commotion. Yeah. My kid is strange). They now make PNP's with something called a NAPPER as well. Jack actually slept in his carseat for the first 4 months- NOT exactly the best in safety, but best for sleeping all around. Had we had this NAPPER we would've been golden. 
  • Breathable bumpers. I loved theses because when dude started rolling, he couldn't roll back and he'd get stuck against these in the crib. We never worried with these. Bumpers were a must for us because he loved to stick his limbs out the crib slats. 
  • Jumperoo. He still jumps in this thing. Great entertainment for both you AND baby. 
  • Exersaucer. Jack was absolutely obsessed with this from about 4-9 months. He would play forever in this thing. Even fall asleep in it. We officially retired it this past weekend :( 
  • The AngelCare Monitor. Jack was a belly sleeper from the moment we de-swaddled him. Not just a belly sleeper, but a FACE DOWN sleeper. It scared the hell out of me. We bought this monitor to be able to make sure he is breathing and never looked back. We still use it and it still gives me peace of mind, even though he is old enough to probably not need it. Now I am interested in a video monitor so I can see if when he is crying at night it is because he needs me or because he is crying just to cry (plus there have been a lot of scary stories in the news lately). 
  • The XT SuperYard. OMG. This thing rules. We childproofed as much as we could, but this kid finds every danger in our house no matter what. The SuperYard has allowed him to be enclosed, but still have plenty of room to play with his toys. Plus he has perfected his cruising skills in this thing. WE LOVE IT. We call it The Baby Cage. Sure, sometimes he doesn't want to be in it, but for the most part, he is more than happy playing in his super-sized playpen. 
  • We still warm his bottles using The First Years bottle warmer. I'm sure there is probably a better one out there- this was our 2nd effort and just left it at that. The days of bottles and bottle warmer are quickly coming to a close. 
  • WIPES WARMER. Jack hated cold wipes when he was a newborn. This thing was a savior. 
  • The Munchkin BathDuck. This inflatable duck has been Jack's bathtub since he started being able to sit up on his own. It is big enough for him still and makes bathtime fun and easy. Plus it quacks! 
  • The Kelty Baby Backpack Carrier. This thing is expensive but awesome. We took a long hiking vacation and could NOT have done it without this thing. Well worth it and Jack loved it too! 
I know there are many more things that we have used and will update as I think of them. Perhaps a useful toy post soon??

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