My Top 10 Picks - Baby Gear
10. Baby Legs - also sold at Target as Not Sox, and a zillion handmade knock-offs through Etsy. They are cute leg warmers that also fit on the arms. They're an extra layer that is so easy to pack, make diaper changes easy for novice parents, and protect little crawling knees on hardwood floors. I also love to use them under the Nugget's snow pants.
9. Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Moisture Cream - wipes out any dry patches and eczema almost on contact.
8. Diaper Wallets - many brands offer them, but I love mine by SkipHop. They combine a changing pad, with a zippered compartment for wipes, a diaper, and ointment. If you're not a germ-phobe, you can also do the Diapees and Wipees clutch (or again, may I recommend an Etsy knock-off), which is the same principle minus the changing pad. Easy to grab out of the diaper bag and take to the public restroom or (gasp) just change the kid in the car trunk. Why not suck it up and carry the whole diaper bag into the restroom? Well, if you're a "prepare for any scenario" mom like me, your bag will be quickly stuffed with changes of clothes, blankets, loveys, breath mints, snacks, tissues, and other items you don't want to fall on the icky restroom floor while you're rummaging through said diaper bag for the diaper.
7. Kiddopotomus Tiny Diner Placemat - this is the most amazing invention and probably has the poorest marketing. Although it's carried at Babies-R-Us, it's packaged in an uninspired cardboard box that doesn't show off the features. A placemat made of colored rubber, it has suction cups to stick to a restaurant table and a little trough that hangs off the side of the table to catch spills and side-swiped food items, all while protecting the table from your child's mess and protecting your child from the table germs. After working at a family restaurant...I would NEVER eat anything off a restaurant table. Especially great for kids who can't reliably eat out of dishes; you can just pile food straight on the mat. At the end of the meal, you wipe it off, roll it up, and wash it at home.
6. Bumkins - makes the best bibs, hands-down. The Nugget was a major drooler (still is when teething), and their organic cotton bibs were by far the softest, most absorbent, and hardiest in the laundry. The Super bibs are lightweight, waterproof, and generally awesome for babies starting solids. When those are too small, graduate to the Junior bib.
5. By far the most boring and practical on the list is the 2nd car seat base if you have two cars. Save your back and sanity. If you are too cheap to buy another, put it on your registry.
4. Sassy Me in the Mirror has been Brady's favorite toy forever. It ties onto a crib or gate and can also be propped up on the floor. It is soft, unbreakable, lightweight, and travels well. It has some fun toys on the side but the main attraction is that mysterious baby inside!
3. Putumayo Kids makes music for adults who hate kids' music. We were sharing our own playlists with the Nugget until I counted up the profanities and innuendos. Chances are he would let a choice phrase fly when he hit preschool, thereby inspiring his teacher to call DHS on us. So we started to invest in a kids' music collection devoid of Barney. But I digress...Their cds are multilingual, and the songs are catchy. Best of all, Putumayo gives back to charities around the world. They make a Dreamland series (lullabies) and a Playground series (upbeat and dance-able).
2. Yes, we do cloth diapers and love them. I don't like to pressure new parents to do them, because they're not for everyone. I'm a SAHM and I don't mind laundry. Plus it saves about $3,000 per kid. I never would have figured out what to buy if it hadn't been for Soft Cloth Bunz. They sell diapers and accessories at competitive prices, but they also educate about the many cloth diapering options available today. Shipping is super fast, which is fantastic when you realize you need the next size up yesterday.
1. Thermos Foogo Leak-Proof Straw Bottle - is my favorite thing of all. It keeps milk, juice, or water cold for up to 12 hours, perfect since we're always on the go, and really, my MommyBrain doesn't have the capacity to remember how long ago I poured that cup of milk. It has a lid that snaps tight to protect the straw from the dog hair that abounds in our house.
Do you have a favorite baby gear item? Leave it in the comments section!