There are several people in my world who are about to have babies, which means I’m considering baby gifts for them. This got me thinking about all the gadgets and gizmos and stuff out there for babies, what I had (and have), what was indispensable and what proved to be utterly worthless. And so, without further ado, my list of the best and worst baby items…
Aden + Anais Blankets: Yes, they are much pricier than your standard flannel receiving and swaddling blankets, but they are worth it!!!! They are 1000x more worth it if your babies are due in the summer or you live in a hot climate (or, like me, both). Why? Because light, soft gauze trumps heavy, sweaty flannel any day.
A Good Baby Carrier: Without the Moby wrap I used when the girls were first born, there would have been many days when I simply would not have been able to get off the couch. Sometimes little ones just want to be held all day, and a good carrier makes that possible while still allowing you to do important things like use your hands. Now, my Ergo carriers allow me to run errands without an assistant, because I can actually have both babies with me and still push a grocery cart. And don’t think for one moment that having twins means you can’t baby wear, it just requires a little creativity and a little time with YouTube. If you don’t believe me, see my profile picture.
Fisher-Price Space Saver Swing: This swing is MAGICAL. I’m not even exaggerating. I can’t even begin to count the extra hours of sleep this little wonder bought me when the girls went through their “3am is a great time to get up for the day” phase. They were happy to swing and play and listen to the soothing (and, I must add, least annoying to come out of a baby toy) music. Not to mention, it’s small. This bit of magic is smaller than just about any other swing I’ve seen, and smaller than most bouncy seats. I actually felt pangs of sadness when I realized that the girls had outgrown it.
Sleepers That Zip From the Bottom: At first, I was confused by the backward zipper. That is, until my first 2am, January diaper change while using them, when I realized that a sleeper that zips from the bottom means that I don’t have to fully undress my warm sleepy baby in the cold to change them. Brilliant!
And, the Worst:
Pull-On Diapers: In theory, these are supposed to be quick and easy to put on your squirmy, active baby. Only they’re not. In reality, baby either needs to be able to step into them, or be willing to lie still so you can slide both legs through and pull them up, all without undoing the velcro sides. Also, in reality, my squirmy, active baby escaped while I was attempting to put these diapers on her. Twice. Oh and, about those velcro sides, the edges are often slightly exposed, which means the stiff part rubs on little one’s side and thighs, resulting in red, raw spots.
Buttons: Specifically, outfits with buttons that MUST be done and undone for each diaper change. Sure, they’re cute, but is cute worth your sanity when you have a diaper that needs changing, and a baby that is persistently trying to escape said diaper change? May I recommend snaps? Zippers are also awesome.
Car Seat do-dads: What do I have against all those soft little head rests, adorable monkey themed shoulder strap covers, and all the rest of the after market car seat attachments? They aren’t safe. Car seats are very carefully designed and tested for safety, and adding to or altering anything about those carefully designed restraints can potentially nullify them or even make them dangerous. Simple rule: If it didn’t come in the box with my car seat, it shouldn’t be attached to my car seat.
Bonus, because I just consider this weird:
Newborn Socks with Non-Slip Tread: Why do newborns need non-slip tread? Are they secretly roaming and dancing when we’re not looking?