This week's Mommy Talk Tuesday is on Best and Worst Baby Items. There are so many baby items out there it's hard to know what you really need and what you don't! When we were expecting RC it was overwhelming. Did we need a swing...if so what kind? What about car seat/stroller? Teething toys? Furniture? Etc, etc, etc. We decided to try and limit the amount of baby stuff. Here are the things we opted for:
Ocean Wonders™ Deep Blue Sea™ SpaceSaver Swing & Seat was a total score. We got this at a resale shop for just $25! It lasted up several months until RC was more mobile. There were times he would swing for 2 - 3 hours during nap time. We found the key, at least for him, was the vibrating seat. If it turned off while he was napping, he would start to stir. We actually loaned this to a friend that had bought a super expensive, high tech swing that didn't vibrate. They found this one helped their child to calm down and nap! This is a definite must have.
Luv U Zoo Jumperoo was by far the best thing we purchased. We bought it brand new, so we spent a decent amount on it, however, RC jumped and played for an hour or more at times. It didn't last us as long as it could have but that is because RC prefers to move freely around now. I would suggest this to anyone having a new baby.
Cloth diapers...we decided fairly soon after we found out we were expecting RC that we wanted to cloth diaper. They are a huge money saver, better for the environment, and just plain cute compared to disposables! There are so many options out there. I went to Abby's Lane and found out tons of information about cloth diaper and what I would need to get started. Best thing we could have done for our pocketbook, the planet and our son!
Sophie the Giraffe is a teether that I wish I would have been told about before I spent $20+ on other teether that RC hated! Sophie is soft, great to chew on, and squeaks! RC loved his when he was first teething. He doesn't use Sophie too much now to chew on, but he sure loves to make her squeak!
Baltic Amber Teething Necklace is another one of those items I wish someone would have told me about BEFORE RC began teething! I was skeptical at first, but after having RC wear one, I have seen teething symptoms decrease. It doesn't take away all pain...at least not for molars, but for the smaller teeth it works great. I love that I found a natural pain reliever than having to give RC tons of medicine to help.
Baby Carriers are another one of those I wish someone would have told me about. I most likely would have skipped the whole infant car seat thing. In fact, whenever we decide to have a #2 we won't be hauling an infant seat around stores anymore. Baby carriers are so much easier to tote your child around in. It gives them that sense of security, allows you to bond with them, and when they are feeling down allows them to be close but let you be hands free for other tasks! My first carrier was a Moby Wrap. I hated it...well sort of. For a plane ride with a 1 month old, it was great. RC slept the whole way. The problem....dealing with 6 feet worth of fabric to wrap around you when you have no wear to set the baby!!! I finally decided a wrap wasn't for me. My carrier now is the Beco Butterfly 2. It is awesome. You can carry an infant to a toddler up to 45 lbs! I use it around the house if RC is feeling down or just wants mommy time and I have things to do. I use it for hiking and shopping as well. You can even nurse in it, though I never tried that as I didn't end up having the need for it. There are a ton of carriers out there. I suggest attending a babywearing class if there is one near you to test out various types. There are even some companies that will let you rent them to see what you like before buying!
When it comes to worst baby items, we really didn't have much of anything that we hated. We steered clear of products that just seemed silly; such as a cover for a boy while your changing them. We opted for a wash cloth! After all it doesn't take long before you either get quick at changing them or they out grow the stage that they pee almost immediately when exposed to the air!
Now that I am becoming more familiar with certain products and how they worked with RC I would tell any new parent that:
1. you don't need it all!
2. sometimes you can make due with what you have. (Such as a changing table. You will probably end up changing them on the floor, the bed, etc.) We did opt for a changing pad in our bathroom but it did make sense with doing cloth diapers and cloth wipes and having everything right there and not wanting to lay RC on the cold, hard counter top.
3. wait and see how your kid reacts before you go buy high dollar items. You might be able to borrow a friends swing to see if your child likes it. If they don't you can save your money!
4. Check out resale shops before buying brand new. You might just score an amazing deal...like a $75 swing for $25!
5. Get a baltic amber necklace and sophie the giraffe for teething!!! It will save you money rather than buying a ton of other teething toys and medicines!
6. Invest in a high quality carry. Don't just opt for one at the discount store. It will end up hurting your back and your child may just fuss because it hurts them too!