When I was expecting I was always asking parents for their favorite baby product recommendations because there is SO MUCH out there to choose from that it can get really overwhelming. I wanted to get real, practical answers from parents who had "been there" instead of getting lost in the hype.
Having "survived" the first three months of twin parenthood I decided to make my own list of items that made our lives easier as a new family. My criteria for picking these items was as follows:
1. Must be something that was used frequently.
2. Must be something that made life easier and more efficient.
3. Must be under $30.
4. Must be for infants 0-3 months.
Disclaimer: These items are just from my family's experience with our babies. Obviously every family is different, so these may not work for you...but it is my 2 cents for what it is worth.
1. Sleepy Bee. This is a portable sound machine that comes with or without vibration. It is small enough to fit in a purse or diaper bag and can attach to the arm of a carseat or stroller. It is perfect for drowning out the noise of a loud restaurant or mall, etc. It is wonderful when you need a baby to nap on the go. There are some downfalls: It eats AAA batteries. There is no automatic shut off, you have to press it off yourself. It is loud. This sounds like quite a few drawbacks but when you see the almost immediate calming effect it has on a fussy child, you will think this product is worth its weight in gold. I use it to help with bedtime too, not just on the go. Link
2. Boppy Loungers. These are the Boppy pillow, but with a center. They are a perfect safe and comfortable place to set a newborn when you need a free hand. They seem to be molded in the perfect shape for newborns to lounge comfortably unlike other products that are often too big and the babies get all slouched over or scrunched down. Also very machine washable and will hold their shape. Link
3. SwaddleMe infant wraps. These are fool-proof swaddle blankets for infants. They are secured with velcro and make for a snug swaddle. No fuss swaddling for parents, and babies love them. Link
4. Fisher Price Precious Planet Whale of a Tub. Simple, straightforward infant tub. Best part about it is the green insert in the middle that props up baby's bottom and keeps its upper body out of the water. Very comfortable for even very small babies. We started bathing Chloe and Brady in this tub at two or three weeks old and never felt like they were uncomfortable or unstable. Has a drain in the bottom for easy clean up. Link
5. Medela Quick Clean Micro Steam Bags. These bags are used to sterilize bottle or breast pump parts, as well as pacifiers and nipples. Very easy to use, just rinse what you want to sterilize in warm soapy water, then put 2 ounces of water in the bag with your items and microwave for 3 minutes. The first few weeks we were sterlizing things several times a week and these bags were a lifesaver. I believe a pack comes with 5 bags and each bag can be used 20 times, so you get 100 uses per box. A great deal and a real timesaver! Link
6. The Mommy Hook Stroller hanger. Hanger stays in place on your stroller and holds lots of bags. We learned quickly under-stroller storage is at a premium and is not always easily accessible. We actually use the Mommy Hook to hold our diaper bag (with a cajillion things in it). Inexpensive and great product. Link
7. Babies R Us Multi Use Pads. These are waterproof pads that come in packs of three. They are great for putting on top of your changing pad to protect your cute (and probably expensive) changing pad cover you bought to match your decor from the inevitable accidents. Also can be used in the crib or bassinet. Only irritating thing about these is that they have a tendency to bunch up in the dryer. Since they really aren't meant for aesthetic value, I let it slide. Link
8. Johnson's Bedtime Lotion. Disclaimer: Per our infant care class at the hospital, it is not recommended to put any type of product on an infant under 6 weeks old. So we didn't start using this lotion until they were 6 weeks old. The big selling point of this lotion is that it is supposed to help babies sleep better. We use it every night as part of our bedtime routine and so far we've had a lot of success with sleeping (crosses fingers big time since I am going to totally jinx myself now). Regardless of whether it helps with sleeping or not, it keeps the babies' skin soft and smells wonderful on babies and mommies too. Link
9. Gum Drop Pacifiers. Pacifiers are really a baby by baby preference type of thing. Brady will pretty easily accept any kind of pacifier. Chloe rejected every pacifier we tried with the exception of these. They seem to be the pacifier for the picky pacifier baby. They are the same nipple shape as the Soothies that are used in the hospital, but the outer shape seems to help babies hold it in their mouths easier. Comes in packs of two in all different colors. Link
10. Zip Up Pajamas. There is not a specific brand (but I do know that Carters does sell zip ups). Most baby pajamas come with a million snaps. Not fun trying to find all the snaps, especially during the 2 AM feedings/diaper changes. If you can find pajamas that zip up, get them! My link is for a set from Carter's but honestly it is more about the zipper than what brand it is. Link
Well, that's all folks. I hope maybe this list will help a new parent or maybe will be a good gift guide if you know someone who is expecting.