Sunday, April 6, 2014

A few of our favorite things

We just sent a care package to friends who are expecting their first baby very soon, and it inspired me to write about our favorite things - things either friends gave us or that we stumbled on that have become our must haves.

Gas drops - whether they actually work or its all in my head, we love these.  Alexandra was born with grunting baby syndrome, and giving her a dose of this seems to help her right away.  I've also heard from parents who had colicky babies that they thought this helped with gas related fussiness, too. The babies love the berry flavor, which I think is weird, like the gate way to candy!

Butt Paste - You will likely (hopefully/thankfully) get about 15 tubes of this stuff as shower gifts. This totally helps with diaper rash, and if you use it diligently, will prevent the rash to begin with. We try to remember to put it on ever other change. Unless there is a rash then we use it every change, and the rash goes away in about 2 days.

The same person who gave us the gas drops as a shower gift also gave us this book. This book probably saved us about 15 calls to the pediatrician's office to ask "is this normal" - guess what? The answer is always "its normal." It has also helped me figure out sleep schedules (and when to start implementing them), and how much the babies should be eating. I easily reference this book several times a day. MUST HAVE.

Carter's bibs - these were a gift from my cousins whose babies are a few months older than J and A. These soft bibs have a waterproof layer sandwiched between the cloth, and this prevents any drool or spit up from also wetting the clothing underneath. Not only great for protecting the clothes, but also keeping the baby dry and comfortable. I remember opening this gift and wondering why they sent bibs, then totally understanding when a week later the spit up started. I've now purchased about 20 more of these.

The Zo-Li nail trimmer - this is basically a little nail file that spins, and you hold it up to the baby's nail and it files it down. The girls have no problem with me using this on them, and sometimes zone out while I am "doing their nails."  Once in a while they will fight me, which is when I am really glad I am not using clippers! There are files for up to 3, 6, 9, and 12 months included. I will say this thing gobbles batteries so have some AAs on hand.

Gerber pre-folds - these "diapers" would be terrible for diapering. Don't use them for that. What these are amazing for is for feeding and burping. I don't start a bottle or breast feeding without having one on hand to wipe down any stray milk (babies are messy eaters) and definitely for catching any wet burps or spit up. They are amazingly absorbent. They fit perfectly over your shoulder and seem to get softer with each wash. We go through our supply of 10 every two days. I should get more.

More from Gerber - their zip up sleep n plays are a game changer. When we brought the girls home, we had a million newborn onesies - the kind you put over baby's head, then snap at the crotch for easy diaper changing. What SUCKS about onesies is that you then have to put pants on the baby. Then you need to put socks on the baby, that will probably fall off. Then you have to take all of this off again to change the baby's diaper 12 - 14 times each 24 hours, which is not only a pain in the ass, but maybe your baby HATES DIAPER CHANGES (ahem, baby Josie). Not to mention, your baby's head is covered in that "soft spot" and putting something over its head is uncomfortable for you and the baby hates it. There are other sleep in plays, but these are my favorite because they have zippers, and the material is thin so you can adjust the baby's temperature with swaddles and blankets. Also a 2 pack is $6 on Amazon.

The Fisher Price Rock n Play - I am a member of an online community of moms whose babies were all due in January 2014. They were all buying this Rock n Play and crazy about it, but I kept poo-pooing it because we were going to have our babies sleep in their cribs and not in our bedroom. When spit up started and we would wake the girls up in the morning and their faces were covered in spit up, the Rock n Play was recommended for sleeping at an angle. Since we moved the girls into these (still in their bedroom) there is no middle of the night choking. We also LOVE these for day time and having somewhere to put the girls during the day for naps and just hanging out. The Rock n Play is very portable and folds up nicely.
Napping in the Rock n Play

The Kick n Play piano - or "Kicky Piano" - or "Crack Piano" - At about 2 months old, you start to think your baby might want to do something other than sit in a seat all day and stare at nothing. So you put the baby down in a play mat gym type thing. If you are going to buy one of those, this is the one. The baby LOVES the danglies and the mirror right above them, and even better, when the baby kicks, the keys make noise then play a song. While you may be haunted by the 4 tunes that play over and over while you shower or drive or try to sleep, one good thing about hearing the music is if you have to run to another room (ahem, bathroom) you know your baby is still playing/breathing because the music is going (probably not recommended to leave unattended when they can move around, but at 2/3 months, that isn't happening).
The girls in action on the Kicky Piano

The Munchkin Bottle Brush - This genius product has a little brush hidden in the handle that can get into the bottle nipple for tight space cleaning. It also makes quick work out of cleaning bottles. And wine glasses. Seriously, this should have become a staple in my kitchen about 10 years ago.
The Halo Swaddle Sleep Sack or Summer Swaddle Me - Finally, the swaddle sleep sack. This isn't a MUST have, since you can swaddle a baby in a blanket, but this product is perfect for people like ME who suck at swaddling. (James was an expert swaddler and SHOULD HAVE put videos of his swaddle methods on Youtube.) You can't put blankets on babies anymore, so they have to sleep in these sacks, or "wearable blankets," so they don't suffocate themselves. They also like to be tucked in tight when they sleep, apparently to avoid waking themselves with involuntary movements, and to mimic the womb.
Josie in her swaddle sleep sack - she liked being swaddled with her little hands out.
Lexie in her swaddle sleep sack


  1. Additional must haves: LOVE our boppy pillow for breast feeding, and now bottle feeding and also as a smash pillow when learning to sit up. We also liked our Aiden and Anais swaddles and use them for everything: swaddling, blankets, covering the stroller, burp cloths, and now for covering areas of the carpet to protect it from flying food!

  2. Thank you for letting me know about the Gerber sleepers!