Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A few of my favorite things: Baby Edition

If you know me, you know I am a total product/gadget junkie. And when it comes to babies, there are more products and gadgets out there than you can shake a stick at. Seriously, baby gear could easily overrun your home if you let it. So I wanted to write a brief overview of the most-used and most-loved things that have made our daily lives infinitely easier since having a baby. In no particular order, the nominees are:

Medela Freestyle Double Electric Hands-free Breastpump 
Being a mom: hard. Being a working mom: really hard. Being a working, breastfeeding mom: insanely, ridiculously, all-consuming levels of hard. That's why this little pump and I are BFF. I haven't met the Medela product I don't like, and the Freestyle is no exception. 10 minutes, twice a day in my office and I have enough milk to send with Sweetie Pea to the sitter's. All while leaving me able to check my messages and write emails. Love.

Chicco Cortina Keyfit Travel System in Luna
Hubs and I researched travel systems quite extensively before registering and finally decided on this one both for its outstanding safety ratings, ease of use and the fact that it's so very pretty ;-) And it has not disappointed. It has tons of great features that make it comfy and stylish, plus it grows with my child so he will be able to stay in the carseat probably until his first birthday. The fact that he's in and out of the car with a single click has made my busy life so much simpler. And it doesn't hurt that the fabric matches our kitchen ('cause let's face it that seat gets stored on the kitchen table half the time) and the interior of my car.

Diaper Champ
The diaper champ beats the diapers off the diaper genie. Seriously. Now you may be thinking, what's the difference? They're both just poop receptacles. Au contraire. We initially had a diaper genie, solely based on the fact that everyone seems to have one. But it was yucky and expensive. Somehow I always ended up having to stick my hand into the overpriced blue plastic refill that held all the dirty diapers. Nasty. Then friends of ours turned us on to the diaper champ. It is far superior for three very important reasons: it holds more diapers so you're not emptying it every other day, it uses regular old garbage bags, not pricey refills, and you never have to touch the inside, which I am well aware is probably crawling with bacteria. One turn of the handle and the stinky dipe is history. That's ingenuity, folks.

Graco Sweet Slumber Sound Machine
Sweetie Pea has been a troubled sleeper since birth. We have a small house. And a large dog. All of that adds up to a very bad equation for sleeping. What was I told over and over again to remedy this problem? White noise. First I tried a humidifer but it wasn't loud enough. We also tried the Sleep Sheep, which is a great product, except it shuts off after 45 minutes (we now use this when traveling). But this sound machine has been a sleep-saver for us. It plugs into the wall and runs continuously, providing an array of nature sounds or lullabies (for the record, Sweets loves the ocean sounds). For the techies among you, you can also sync it to your iPod and create a bedtime playlist. Zzzzzzz...

Johnson and Johnson Bedtime Bath Products
Speaking of sleep, I am addicted to this line of products. I use them on myself and my kid daily. I don't neccessarily buy into the whole "proven to help baby sleep better" marketing ploy, but I do know this: they smell delicious, they are part of Sweetie Pea's bedtime routine and he now associates that smell with going to sleep. Whenever I get a whiff of the lavender-inspired frangrance I always, always think of him as a teeny tiny newborn.

Amazon Mom

I've always been an Amazon fan, but now even more so! This program is free to enroll in, they give you up to a year of free Prime shipping, and the baby gear you order from them arrives on your doorstep the next day. Plus, when you set up a subscription to things you purchase frequently like diapers and wipes, they'll give you 30% off and ship them to you overnight for free. Please. That's a no-brainer.

Once Upon a Child 
I have developed an unhealthy obsession with this place. High quality consignment baby gear and clothes that happens to be right around the corner from my house. Perfect for finding "seconds" of items to keep at Grandma and Grandpa's (second exersaucer, high chair, bouncy seat, etc). Then I realized they will buy your gently used baby stuff and give you cash on the spot (where do you think that unwanted diaper genie went?) and I was hooked. I almost never leave with cash in hand though - I leave with a bag of Carter's, Osh'Kosh, and Ralph Lauren clothes, some so new they still have the tags on. Babies outgrow things so fast it doesn't make sense to spend a fortune on clothes and when you have items to sell, it's almost like getting stuff for free. Now that just makes good fiscal sense. This is a franchise, so you may have one in your neighborhood too!

Twilight Turtle
I thought this guy was adorable before having a baby, and shortly after Sweetie Pea was born his Uncle K and Auntie L brought one up for him as a gift when they visited. Turns out it's not just adorable, it's one of my very favorite baby items. I often nursed him what felt like a thousand times a night and this cutey little turtle put out just enough light for me to see what I was doing without waking Hubs. It casts an adorable blanket of stars on your ceiling too. He lives on our nightstand, but I carry him from room to room when I need just a wee bit of light (and to perform my nightly check on SP before I go to bed myself).

Coming soon
 A few of my favorite things: Mama Edition

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