Dear Wendy readers are some of the most intelligent, stylish, super-cool people around (it’s a proven fact), so it’s a no-brainer to feature some of their favorite products. Many of the recommended products happen to be affiliate products, which means I’ll receive a commission on any click-throughs or purchases you make through the affiliate links. As always, I appreciate your support! Today’s recommendations come from a few DW moms who have some favorite baby-related products that make their lives and their babies’ lives easier and happier. If you’re a new mom, a mom-to-be, or have babies in your life or family or friends in your life who are about to have babies, this post is for you!
Lianne is from Salem, MA and just got through the hell that is Salem in October…never has November looked so good! Lianne is a new, working mother and finds she likes that role very much. When she’s not working or mothering, she enjoys beer more than wine, binge watching Shameless (seriously, that show is so good!), and putting up her feet. My, how different life looks on this side of pregnancy!!
Let’s be honest. Socks never stay on babies’ feet. While I was pregnant, someone recommended Zutano booties. They come in fleece, cotton, and velour, are adorable, and stay on their cute little feet! We have already ordered the next size up for my son because he has giant feet. They’re a little pricey, but worth it. [One of my favorite baby products! — wendy].
Get a Fisher Price Rock n Play. The RNP is a lifesaver for newborns. It cradles them and is at an incline, which, after being in a tight little womb for nine months, baby feels familiar and safe with. It also can come with an auto-rock and/or vibration feature, which in our case helped him go back to sleep when he woke up sometimes. Add the swaddle and BOOM. Baby sleeps a long time. My son started sleeping eight-nine hour stretches at eight weeks old thanks to this combo. Unfortunately, he is averaging a five-six hour stretch now with two wake-ups, but who needs sleep once you’re back at work??
With a newborn, you’ve got only a small handful of options of where to put them while awake – in your arms, on a blanket on the floor, on a playmat with activities hanging above them, on a boppy…or in a Fisher Price Bouncer. We used this so much in the first few months with our boy. And despite how BIG he is in it now at five months old, it fits perfectly in my bathroom so he can sit and play with a toy while I am getting ready for work. In the early weeks and months, it was a great spot for him to nap, as well as hang out so I could interact with him in a more upright way. It vibrates and is bouncy, so perfect for soothing, too. And it’s CHEAP!
Two of the best toys for a little baby learning how to grasp is the Oball Infant Rattle and the Green Toys Twist Teether. My son loves playing with the Oball in the car…and often falls asleep with his hand grasping it. The Twist Teether was a gift and he can be entertained by it for hours – it is easy to hold, he can chew on it, AND it makes noise…the American Baby Dream!
Our little babe was a sniffly guy as a newborn. Those mini nasal passages are barely as big as a cocktail straw. So he was very snarfle-y. We were told by the pediatrician that the bulb syringe from the hospital was the best thing to get out the boogies, but not so, my friends. Nose Frida seems gross from it’s usage directions, but it works SO WELL to get out the snot. Basically, one end goes in their nostril and the other goes in your mouth and you suck them out. But there is a handy dandy little filter that goes in between so nothing actually goes into your mouth. (Note: don’t forget to put a filter back when one is used up…there is no protection. I may or may not know this from experience.)
Finally, my little cherub busted out every time we swaddled him. Since I was paranoid about the swaddle blanket coming up and covering his face in the middle of the night, we didn’t swaddle. “He hates it,” we said. “Sleeps fine without it!” we thought. Nope. I was lamenting to a friend from my moms’ group that he wasn’t sleeping more than three-four hour stretches at a time. She insisted I needed to swaddle him. I told her he didn’t like it. She told me, “It’s your job to make him like it. Try the Miracle Blanket.” Game. Changer. It has these little arm flaps that go over the arms and under the body – so their arms are kept down by their sides by their own body weight. Then you wrap them up like a little burrito! It’s amazing. Once we put him in that (still in the RNP) he started sleeping five-six-seven hour stretches (and then all the way up to eight-nine hour stretches until three and a half months old). The sleep!! It was glorious!
Shanna lives in Baltimore with her husband and their two adorable kids – two-legged 5-month-old son, Wesley, and a four-legged fuzzy maltipoo, Buffy. She loves cooking, reading, watching TV, and day drinking with friends, and she cannot wait until she has the time to do those things again! She is obsessed with politics, social issues, history, and podcasts about those things and everything in between, and will happily give you podcast recommendations as well! Here are her favorite baby products:
From my vast parenting experience with a 5-month-old (hahaha), I have a product recommendation – the Keekaroo changing table. I have a baby who LOVES to pee and poop while I am changing him (he has calmed down a bit on that though) and just being able to wipe down the changing pad instead of washing and changing something else has been AMAZING!
I LOVE this one-piece outfit. The zipper makes it a great item to wear around the house and while sleeping because diaper changes are a breeze. Plus, the fabric is lightweight enough for summer but thick enough for fall and spring.
My son demanded to be held for the first three months (and never napped) and only when I put him on the The Fisher Price Kick and Play Piano Gym was I able to get ten minutes to run to the bathroom and do some quick tidying.
My best friend gave me her co-sleeper and I thought Wesley would sleep in that from the beginning. He actually spent the first six weeks sleeping on me, until I borrowed my neighbor’s rock n’ play. Then I was able to get a couple hours sleep a night without a baby on my chest! I think the incline helped him sleep much better. I will definitely be purchasing one for my next baby.
As I mentioned, my son loves to be carried, so that fourth trimester I used the mesh K’tan, which was great for the hot summer months, and I am now using the Lillebaby carrier, which he loves being able to see from and nap in.
The Feed Baby Pro App is a great way to track Wesley’s feeds, diaper changes, naps, medications, and other things, and you can set up alarms to let you know when you should be feeding or changing a diaper. In addition, you can sync it with other caretakers, so you don’t have to ask, “When did you change his diaper last?”
TinyBeans app is a great way to add pictures and memories and to track milestones so that family members who aren’t nearby can see all those moments you capture without your having to add them all to social media (since you don’t want to look like that crazy mom you swore you would never be).
Zombeyonce lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and 10-month old baby Isadora. She works on a website and tries to get new pages up instead of checking on Reddit’s latest posts, but it’s a daily struggle. Oh, and chocolate. Something about the importance of chocolate (you get it). She loves:
Wubbanubs, which are adorable pacifiers with small, cuddly stuffed animals on the end. They make it easy for tiny babies with no hand coordination to get pacifiers back in their mouths, and the babies look really sweet cuddling the little animals.
I did exhaustive research (well, read hundreds of Amazon reviews) before giving birth since I planned on breastfeeding, and then I bought the Philips AVENT Double Electric Comfort Breast Pump. I ended up not being able to breastfeed, so I pump exclusively and use this thing at least five times a day. It comes in a discreet looking bag (good for pumping at work) and is easy to disassemble and clean. It’s got a closed system so that milk doesn’t go through the tubes and get all full of bacteria. Note: Change the tubes every three months for maximum suction.
We needed some sort of exerciser to put the baby in to keep her occupied for a time without our having to watch her like a hawk, so I bought the very popular Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo bouncer. It’s covered in bright colors and has little animals all over it, and it comes with the requisite annoying noises and blinking lights (thank god you can turn them off). She loves to bounce like a crazy person in it or just sway in drunken-looking circles. [This is a game-changer, and it happens to be seriously marked down on Amazon right now – Wendy].
I received the Jane Austen BabyLit books as a gift and absolutely love them. They’re adorably abbreviated versions of classic books in primer form, and without the messy adult plots. I ended up buying practically every book so the baby can now enjoy classics like Frankenstein (an anatomy primer), Wuthering Heights (weather), and Don Quixote (Spanish).
Since I’ve had a baby, I’ve discovered my inner paranoia about something happening to my kid, and finding ways to alleviate it has turned out to be pretty important for my sanity. Mr. Zombeyonce and I both have this backseat mirror installed in our cars so we can see the little bugger when we’re driving around and without having to pull over. It’s got a two-fold benefit: I can make sure she’s not actually in trouble if she starts crying, and she can stare at herself in the mirror (which she loves to do, the little narcissist).
RedRover is an engineer working in software development in Ontario, Canada. She used to spend her time knitting and playing the guitar, but she’s got a 5-month-old daughter and a 3.5-year-old son who don’t leave much time for anything else! She’s currently on maternity leave, so here’s a list of things that have made mommyhood easier for her:
The boon Flair highchair is fantastic. All one piece so there are no crannies that you can’t clean and no fabric to worry about, but it’s still comfortable for baby. It rolls so smoothly that I used to put my son in it and bring him around with me while I did chores in the kitchen and dining room. The baby eats right off the tray, which comes with two removable liners that you can just throw in the dishwasher. So easy. Plus it looks cool and comes in lots of colors! [We bought this for Joanie after the hand-me-down we used for Jackson finally bit the dust. Best high chair ever! — Wendy]
If you’re breastfeeding and have to thaw frozen milk, the Kiinde Kozii is perfect. You have to be careful with breastmilk not to overheat it and destroy the nutrients. The Kiinde Kozii it never lets it get that hot; you could leave it in there forever and it would be safe. But besides that, it’s shaped to take not only bottles, but breast milk storage bags, AND, as a bonus, it’ll take pouches of baby food so that you can warm up the food right in the pouch.
I did a lot of traveling with my son, mostly to my parents’ house for some help. One thing I couldn’t have lived without was the Gro Anywhere Blind. It’s a blackout blind with suction cups that let it stick to any window. It can also be resized to fit bigger or smaller windows.
For sleeping, I started out with the Graco Travel Lite, which is a small version of the Pack-n-Play. I got it free from my sister, and not only was it handy for traveling, but it was also perfect as the bassinette in my bedroom until I transitioned my babies to their own bedrooms. After they were too big for that, the next thing I got was the KidCo PeaPod Plus. It’s a pop-up tent that folds down into a circle that’ll fit in your luggage. We took it on multiple trips out of the country. It’s great for hotel rooms because it gives them their own little closed-in area, which helps them with being scared in a big, strange room. We also brought it to the beach as a sun shelter.
Another product from KidCo that I got was this Activity Station. It folds up like a lawn chair and has a bag with a carry strap. It’s really handy when you’re visiting someone and you want to have a place to put the baby. The only downside of it is that I find it’s a little tall. It does have height adjustments, but the lowest one is still too high for my 5-month-old, and she’s tall for her age. I’m hoping to get a lot of use out of it between six and twelve months.
Get a few of these for when you start on solid food. They cover the baby entirely, and you can wipe them down in the sink. Get a few and you’ll always have a dry one ready. I never had to change my son’s clothes after meals. As a treat to yourself, get a few of these Contigo travel mugs. I used them while breastfeeding, and especially during cluster-feeding. I need my cup of tea, but I was afraid I’d accidentally spill on the baby. With this, it’s impossible to spill, even if you throw it in the diaper bag. It does a good job keeping your drinks hot.
If you have a girl (or a boy, I’m not judging), these hair clips are the absolute cutest and they clip into fine baby hair. I’ve had them on my baby and she has hardly any hair. They’re so lightweight and come in a bunch of colors and designs. Adorable.
Thanks, ladies — you guys rock!
If you have some products you’d like to recommend to the DW audience, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with links to five recommendations (write “reader recs” in the subject line, please). Your recommendations can be from any store or website, but need to be accessible online. If your list is a good fit for the site, I’ll ask you to write a brief description of each item/ explain what you love so much about it.