Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Things I Like A Lot: Baby Edition

When I was pregnant, I read a ton of posts where moms talked about baby stuff that they found worthwhile--what they use and what they don't. And I found those posts to be really helpful, because they talked about things that I hadn't thought of. So I thought that I'd do a post about what has been great for us, and maybe it will help someone else out :)  Let me tell you about a couple of things that have become crucial in my day-to-day life in terms of baby stuff. Seriously, I use all of these things just about every day.

1. Angel Care Monitor: This thing is far and away the best baby purchase that we made, in my opinion. Basically, it's a baby monitor, but it also has a sensor that goes under the crib mattress that alarms if it detects no movement for 15 seconds--in other words, if the baby stops breathing. We don't use the monitor part--just the sensor part in the Pack N Play. It is literally the only way I sleep at night.Obviously, this isn't a necessity. But I have some serious anxiety about SIDS, and this really helps me keep that under control.

photo from Amazon

Some people complain that the monitor gives off a lot of false alarms. Personally, I think that actually taking the time to adjust the sensitivity and putting a board between the springs and the mattress really helps. We have had one false alarm, but that was when Lizzy somehow escaped the "escape-proof swaddle", AND her sleep positioner, and had wiggled herself to the edge of the Pack N Play, where she was trying to chew on the mesh sides. I picked our monitor up off Craigslist for about $40, and I am so happy that I did. Now, I see them at second-hand kids stores all the time, so be sure to check out those options if you're interested, but don't want to pay full price for a new one!

2. Cloth diapers to use as burp rags: Seriously, do yourself a favor and pick up a pack or two of plain white unfolded cloth diapers to use as burp rags. They are so much more absorbent, and much wider than the ones they sell in stores. I also like these much better than the little flannel ones. My awesome sister in law Renee gave me these for a shower present:

She just took the white cloth diapers and sewed strips of cute fabric to them. Isn't she crafty and awesome? I love them to pieces. The only time I use anything else is if all of these are in the wash!

3.Seahorse/Gloworm/Noise Machine: We've had the Seahorse for some time, and would play it at night as Lizzy was going to sleep. But it's only been recently that she's really started to become fascinated by it. Now, she'll stare at it. And stare at it. And stare at it, until she falls asleep. And for that reason, it is glorious.

 And no, obviously I don't let her sleep while burrowing her face and nose into a pillow. 
That said, she likes to fall asleep like this on the Boppy. 
So I let her fall asleep like this, and then I move her later.

4. Boppy Pillow: To be honest, I didn't get the fascination with this at first. Lizzy was so little, that the pillow didn't reach high enough to be of much use. Now that she's about 10 pounds, I use it every time I nurse. I didn't get a cover for our Boppy though--I would definitely recommend buying one. So far, it's avoided a spit-up explosion, but I'm sure that can only happen for so long.

Image from Costco.com

5. Nursing Cover: I bought a simple cotton nursing cover at Target. I think it was on sale for about $8, which I figured was probably cheaper than I could make it for. Plus, I had a newborn then, and had no desire to sew. I wanted a nursing cover then. The cover I have is similar to this one: 

It does NOT have wire around the neck, and after using it for awhile, I'm glad that it doesn't. I often find myself nursing in restaurants, and if there were wire around the neck, if I were nursing while sitting down, everyone walking by could see...well....everything. I like the soft neck, and can just pull it out away from me if I need or want to look at Lizzy. 

6. Activity Mat/ Play Gym: We didn't own one of these until recently. But Lizzy was getting to the point where she needed some independent/ self-driven play time. After keeping an eye out at the second hand stores and not seeing anything, I broke down and bought a new one. When Lizzy is in the mood to laugh and play, this is great: 

This next picture is blurry, but I still think it's cute. And you can see how much she loves this:

7. Legwarmers: I know, I know. It's very 80's. And before I had a baby, I thought they were totally ugly and didn't understand why all these moms were gaga over them. But now? I totally get it. See, if you have a baby that doesn't like having their toes covered (which is especially true when they're getting to the scooting/crawling stage), these are wonderful--better than pants, because you don't have to take them off when changing a diaper. I just bought the store brand from Target, rather than the name brand.

8. A travel system: I wasn't going to buy a travel system, because I figured that by the time Lizzy was old enough to use the stroller, we'd just get one of the cheap-o ones. Boy, was I wrong. It might be partially due to the unseasonably warm weather we've had this year, but we go for walks in the stroller almost every day. And I actually really like the stroller that came with our system--I can open it one handed, which is a huge plus. It also turns really easily, which is awesome. We have this one from Graco:

9. A swing: We didn't have a swing at first. But it quickly became apparent that Lizzy wants to be moving 24/7, so we thought that a swing would be a good solution. Justin's mom found one for us at a second hand store. And for about a week, it was a God-send. However, Lizzy has now figured out that the swing puts her to sleep, and screams hysterically any time we put her in it. So it's out of rotation for awhile, but still really helpful when it works!

***Because I believe in the disclosure of this stuff, let me say that nothing I discuss in this post was a gift from a manufacturer in exchange for review, nor is anything a paid advertisement. Everything in this post is something that I either purchased, or was given to me as a gift by friends and family.


  1. We also have the seahorse for Emma and put it in her crib too, she loves it! We also have the MyPal Puppy that is sooo stinkin cute, I bet you would like it. It plays music and you can download their name on to it so it will say and sing and spell their name. Emma loves it. And that's good to know about the cloth diapers, I would have never thought of that! :)

  2. Great info! We got a singing lamb that is similar to the seahorse that I can't wait to use.

  3. I agree with every single thing in this post! However, instead of the angel care monitor - we got a video monitor for a gift. At first I thought I'd hate it...but now...OH THE LOVE I have for that video monitor! But yes, yes, yes on everything else. I may steal your idea and do one of these posts myself. I did a "Pregnancy Must Have" list when I was pregnant...

  4. I am so loving the leg warmers! :) Also, I would totally love to rip up some cloth diapers and sew in some cute fabric! I'll have to look into doing that sometime between driving half way across the country and finding a place to live ;) Ha! Oh, and LOVE the seahorse. We have a little puppy that sings when you pull his tail, but I think I'm going to have to look into getting one that glows/does something other than sings! :)

  5. I still can't get used to leg warmers LOL. I look at them on babies and think uhh, what were they thinking? ( sorry!) Maybe that will change when I have a baby. I do love boppy pillows! I used them all the time with my nieces and nephews.

  6. Great post! I would have to agree with ALL of these items! :)

  7. I love this kind of post! It's great to hear what real moms actually use and find helpful!

  8. #1 - I LOL'ed about Lizzie gnawing on the PNP mesh. :)

    #2 - Those burp clothes are adorable! I just use cloth diapers too...I didn't realize there was any other choice, haha.

    #3 - I can't believe you are surviving without a Boppy cover. I have two and sometimes that's not even enough. And I had to laugh that Lizzie is just now big enough for you to use it. Isaac has been big enough since we brought him home from the hospital!

    #4 - Love the legwarmers. :)

  9. I love these posts too -- they help me see what I really need and what I can maybe do without. I'm thinking of going playmat-less, or at least waiting until mine is a little older to get one. I just can't seem to find one I like!

  10. Swaddling is a hilarious word. Think about it. Swaddle.

  11. I absolutely love her face in the floor mate picture. Just love her so much, she looks so happy.

  12. Jillian loves her seahorse although to the Homedics sound machine has taken over as far as noises that lull (sometimes) to sleep.
    We also have the angel care monitor and have had a few false alarms sinse we do not have the masonite board yet, just a piece of cardboard for now which is obviously not as effective. Love this product though. I registered for it shortly after my sister's friends baby died of SIDS.



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