Friday, May 29, 2009

Baby Stuff I Love: New Baby Products

This post may contain affiliate links.
Items to make life easier for you and your baby are always being invented. My three children are each under two years apart, and still I have found new products I just love as each one has been born. I wanted to share some of my favorite new products (or at least new to me!) since McKenna has been born.


  • Video Monitor: Okay, I know this isn't new. My Mom raises horses and she has video monitors so she can watch her pregnant mares from her house. But I never had one until McKenna was born. I had heard moms talk about them, several of you readers raved about them, and so we bought one. I love it! I love being able to look at McKenna. I think it would be a great tool for CIO. McKenna hasn't ever had to CIO, but I know Kaitlyn would sometimes break from her swaddle. Knowing that she had done that would have taken some of the guess work out of the process. McKenna goes in bed and 95% of the time is completely silent. I would assume she is asleep, but when I watch her in the video monitor, I can see how she settles down. This has helped me gauge waketime length to know what length actually helps her fall asleep the fastest.

    When purchasing our video monitor, I turned to the online BW community to ask for suggestions. Overwhelmingly the suggestion was Summer video monitors. There are many different kinds, ranging from color to black and white and also handheld to portable to more of a stationary item. I was told to not bother with the color because at night it is black and white anyway. In the end, the kind we wanted only came in color so it is what we got. We went with a handheld. Cons are that it has a smaller screen. Pros are that it is portable. I wanted to be able to take it around my house. They do have LCD monitors that are easy to transport. Ultimately, I wanted a video monitor I could take outside with me so I could be outside with Brayden and Kaitlyn and yet still see McKenna. You can also buy packages with the LCD and the video.

    The sound is not the best sound for a monitor, but we use our Graco sound monitors for sound and the Summer monitor for video. You can hook these monitors up to a television. You can also buy additional cameras and put them in different rooms. Here is a link to the Summer Infant Video Monitors on Amazon.com. And here is the link to the one we ended up getting: Summer Infant Day & Night Handheld Color Video Monitor 1.8
  • Swaddling Blanket: Again, another item that is not terribly new. I had heard about swaddling blankets online in a Babywise group. I decided to give it a shot. When Kaitlyn was a baby, she loved to be swaddled, but I was literally the only person who could do it the way she liked it. If anyone else swaddled her to put her to bed, she wouldn't go to sleep. She was particular. In order to avoid this problem again, I tried out a swaddling blanket. We went with the Kiddopotomus Swaddleme since it was the least expensive and it looked to be quite easy. We love it! They are typically only $10 each on Amazon.com. Kiddopotomus. (new version is Summer Infant SwaddleMe)

    There are three different materials offered by Kiddopotomus: Microfleece, Cotton Jersey Knit, and Flannel. I had a hard time deciding what to get. I first tried the cotton Jersey knit. We did this since it is coming into summer time and we figured cotton is the most breathable. It works great. Then I decided to get a fleece one for when we go camping or other colder places. McKenna prefers the fleece blanket, but I would say each baby is going to have different preferences. McKenna preferred to be swaddled in flannel receiving blankets; Kaitlyn preferred to be swaddled in knit blankets. Babies are different.

    I read a great review on Amazon. The woman detailed that the flannel material, expectedly, doesn't stretch at all so your baby will outgrow it much sooner than the other materials. The fleece has some stretch. The cotton, again expectedly, has the most stretch and her baby who was at the end of the weight for the Small in cotton was still using the cotton rather than her Large (by the way, weight for the size small is 7-15 pounds). I assume that by the time McKenna is 15 pounds, she will no longer be swaddled.

    Another thing to consider is air conditioning. We have central air. When that air is on, she really needs the fleece. Between her summer outfit and the cold air, the fleece is just right until her last nap of the day, when I put her in the cotton.

    Let me sing the praises of this swaddle blanket a bit more. It has the ability to go in the carseat. When McKenna was a flailing newborn, I would put the blanket on her in the carseat and she was much more calm.

    When we go on walks, I wrap the blanket around her torso so it covers her legs and doesn't fall off. The shade on the stroller covers her arms and head (plus I put her in a hat), but her legs often will be exposed. I am trying to avoid too much sun exposure. When Kaitlyn was a baby, her blanket usually fell off and I usually didn't notice until the same nice old man in my neighborhood was running after me waving my pink blanket. The Swaddlme stays in place!

    I also take the blanket with us to church and when we are out and about. When it is time for her nap, I lay the blanket on my lap and wrap her up. I then hold her and she goes to sleep. She has a sleep cue that is consistent with home and can be comfortably wrapped up to sleep.

    There are a couple of other swaddle blankets I have seen recommended, so I will list them for your consideration. The Halo Sleepsack Swaddle and the Miracle Blanket.
  • Wet Wipe Warmer: This is definitely not new. We have had this since Brayden was a baby. He was very unhappy with diaper changes and was much happier with his warm wet wipe (in case you are wondering, my Mom got it for him when she saw that her precious only grandchild didn't like cold wet wipes :) ). Kaitlyn didn't mind in the least, so she had cold wet wipes. McKenna came along and took after her older brother in her dislike for cold wipes, so I plugged the warmer back in. But you don't need one of these--you can also warm the wet wipe in your hand for a few seconds before using it.  Prince Lionheart Ultimate Wipes Warmer
  • Baby Sling: Yes, you are still on a Babywise blog :). I have a couple of good friends who had babies last December. They both have this sling. I quickly saw the benefits of the sling. For me, this is mostly at church. After McKenna falls asleep at church, I put her in the JJ Cole Collections Premaxx Baby Carrier where she sleeps. I am actually able to hold scriptures and raise my hand to contribute to the discussion. My arm doesn't go dead after holding a sleeping baby for a couple of hours! It is very nice. I have also used it at the park. I was able to put McKenna in it one day when I took Brayden and Kaitlyn (and McKenna) without my husband. I was able to push Kaitlyn in the swings and admire Brayden as he zoomed down the slide while still having McKenna right with me. I have also been able to use it at parties. It isn't something I use at home, but it is very handy for many situations. If you have older children or have something like church that consistently cuts into naps, you might find this handy also.
  • JJ Cole: This is a brand that I haven't known much about until recently. They have a lot of fun, cute, and useful things for babies. JJ Cole. The range from this easy to clean and transport blanket (JJ Cole Essentials Blanket), to the Bundle Me (JJ Cole Original Infant Bundle Me) to an Infant Body Support (JJ Cole Infant Body Support) to fun accessories like this JJ Cole Diaper and Wipes Pod. A comment about the Diaper and Wipes Pod. Some friends of mine gave me this along with a couple of other things, and I have really come to like it. I have a few diapers in there along with my little wipe carrier. It comes with a changing pad in it. When I need to go change McKenna's diaper at church, I just grab this bag out of my diaper bag rather either A-carrying my entire diaper bag with me or B-carrying the diaper and wipes on their own. Not a huge deal, but it is fun. Also, it is easy to grab this bag and throw it in my purse if I want something smaller to carry around. Not a necessity in life, but a nicety.
  • Snuzzler: I am really loving Kiddopotomus right now. Here is their Kiddopotamus Snuzzler Complete Head and Body Support. It can be used in a carseat, joggers, strollers, baby swings, backpacks, and bike trailers. The bike trailers part is what caught my personal interest. We love to go for bike rides but I knew it would be a while before McKenna could sit up well enough for us to go on a family ride. This snuzzler will make it possible to do it sooner. Take note if you buy one of these from Amazon (because I didn't notice) that different colors and materials are different prices.
  • Kiddopotamus: Kiddopotamus I just had to throw this in here. They have their awesome bibs that you readers first told me about (and I have since purchased--Kiddopotamus Bibbity Rinse & Roll Bib 2 Pack), their handy placemats to use in restaurants (Kiddopotamus Tinydiner Placemat), and their ingenious PiddlePad (Kiddopotamus Deluxe PiddlePad). I find them to have valuable products that are very affordable. No, I have no affiliation, but I love their stuff.
  • Ray Shade: Okay, last Kiddopotamus item, Kiddopotamus Ray Shade. My Mom again gave this to us as a gift upon the recommendation of a friend of hers. It provides a lot more shade than those that come with the stroller.
  • Peek-a-Zoo Book: A friend gave this to McKenna. In my opinion, it is the best touch and feel book I have held. It has a lot of varied textures. Peek-a-Zoo (Little Scholastic)
  • Lansinoh Wipes: I have mentioned in the past that I use Lansinoh nursing pads. Well, in one of my boxes I got a package of Lansinoh "conditioning cloths" to try. They are really nice! They smell great and have lanonlin in them so they condition baby's skin. There is no alcohol in the cloths so they are non-irritating. Lansinoh Clean & Condition Wipes for Breastfed Babies. Oh, and as a side note, if you don't do this already, rip your wipes in half for your newborn baby. A newborn doesn't need a full wipe. You will get twice the use out of them. Also, you can rip them in half for poopy diapers and use the two halves rather than needing two wipes. Try it. You will be glad you did (you can rip most brands in half easily).
There you have my list of new items I love. Please share your items you love also!
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25 comments:

The Parkers said...

Great suggestions! As an alternate to the Snuzzler, I recommend the Boppy Head Support (http://www.potterybarnkids.com/products/k4114/index.cfm?pkey=cbaby%2Dessentials%7Cb). Unlike other products, this has a hole in it to help prevent flat head, and can easily transferred into swings and bouncers (if you use them), in addition to carseats. It also has the ability to adjust as baby grows. The only downside is that the fabric (while very soft) is warm, so baby can sometimes get hot. I would imagine this might occur with the Snuzzler, too.

The Lubbers Family said...

It does happen with the snuzzler. Maybe my daughter is just hot by nature but even in the winter she would get sweaty sometimes in the snuzzler. I like it though!

I also really like this booster:
http://www.amazon.com/First-Years-Go-Booster/dp/B0000A11ZQ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=baby-products&qid=1243619106&sr=1-2
It's so nice to be able to take it with us, it folds up so small. It's nice when we go to friends or relatives who either don't have kids or don't have an extra booster seat!

kelly said...

I really like the swaddle by Kiddopotamus. I just bought the next size so that we can continue to use it. Another baby thing I like is a crib sheet that fits on top of the fitted sheet. There are ten elastic straps that wrap around the crib slats and snap back to the sheet. It is so easy to take off and wash. I don't have to lift the mattress, which is really heavy and difficult. It is called "The Ultimate Crib Sheet" by Basic Comfort. I bought it at Babies R Us.

Emily said...

I agree about the Swaddleme's we'd die without ours! I know it's not technically "baby" gear but my medela freestyle breast pump I couldn't live without! I went to Paris when my baby was only 7 weeks old and I was able to store more than enough milk for him while we were gone AND I pumped (and brought it all home) while on the trip...it's WONDERFUL! Quick, easy and efficient :)

Jasmine said...

I loved your favorite new items. They are some of our favorites too! As for the video monitor, I really recommend the handheld. I had a hand me down larger monitor, and still ended up buying a hand held. Plus you can take it with you when you have naps at other places and can use it for travel. I agree that it really helps you nail down the wake time lengths.

I had to laugh about the sling comment! I was often worried if I should be using one as a babywise person, but I used it the same way you have. I also have a bjorn style front carrier, and I have to say slings/carriers are really helpful when on planes as well.

tobethode said...

I have recently made similar lists. :)

http://tobethode.wordpress.com/2009/05/29/baby-must-haves-part-deux/

http://tobethode.wordpress.com/2009/05/21/must-haves-for-baby-part-one/

The Rooney Family said...

OMG, I would die without the Miracle Blanket!! YOu can get the TIGHTEST swaddle that they can't break out of! Love it!! :-)

Maureen said...

I LOVE the SwaddleMe blanket too. With my older son, we just used receiving blankets, and it was quite a trick to get him swaddled and not have him break out. We were constantly redoing it. With my younger son, we used the SwaddleMe and he could never break out of that thing! I could get him in there nice and tight and like McKenna, it was his sleep cue. One day, I swaddled him, set him on the couch so I could tend to my older son for a minute and by the time I turned back around he was almost asleep! My only gripe with the blanket is the velcro tends to wear away in the wash. So be careful not to do and undo it too much and perhaps not wash it too often. It also helped to fasten the velcro before throwing it in the wash.

We also have the JJ Cole Essentials blanket. I love it. We take it on picnics. It folds up easily, has a handle and is waterproof. Love it!

Funny about the wipe warmer. I have one but never really used it. It dried out the wipes too easily. My kids had to suffer with cold wipes.

Oh and I used the HotSling. We had an old ring sling that we used with William but I wanted one that was a little more hip. I love the HotSling. Again, he was so tightly snuggled in there he could easily sleep in it. We often would walk for his last nap of the day and he totally did fine in it. Even in winter, I would put him in and wrap my coat around him to keep him warm. This makes me miss those tiny baby days!

Becca said...

I noticed on Amazon that the JJ Cole carrier can be used as a hip carrier for when they're older. We fly a lot, and sometimes to very UNfriendly stroller locals. I've been looking for a good hip carrier. Do you think it would work well and be comfy for both mom and baby for an older baby in the hip position?

angie said...

Ok, I have a swaddle question. My 16 week old daughter has been swaddled in the Kiddopatamus swaddle me blanket since she was a month or so old. She stayed in nice and tight with her microfleece one, but we wore the velcro out and got a cotton knit one (fleece is too hot for the summer months). She is VERY strong and very strong WILLED...she gets her arms out of this swaddle almost every time! It's much stretchier, so it just doesn't hold her in the same. We have to wash them every week or so b/c they get so stretched out!
SO, she gets her arms out and then doesn't sleep well. I go and put her arms back in, wrap her as tight as I can...and if she starts fussing she pulls those arms right back out of the top. So I'm wondering if we should just start weaning her off swaddling or what?? She seems to sleep "ok" if I leave one arm out, but definitely not as well if both are out.
Any suggestions?

Plowmanators said...

Parkers, thanks for that! The snuzzler also can get hot. I think it is just the nature of such things.

Plowmanators said...

Lubbers, thanks for that! I will have to look into that. We have a booster, but it doesn't fold up and is not convenient in the least!

Plowmanators said...

Kelly, Thanks for reminding me about that! My friend has one of those, and I forgot about it. I hate changing sheets in the crib. This will be nice!

Plowmanators said...

Thanks Emily! That sounds nice!

Plowmanators said...

Jasmine, that is a good point about taking the handheld with you when you travel.

I have really enjoyed having the sling. I think it helps preserve naps when we are out, which makes the disruption of being out less of an impact on her overall.

Plowmanators said...

Thanks tobethode, I also love the jumperoo. Very fun.

Plowmanators said...

Rooney Family,

I have heard good things about it. I decided to try the swaddleme first since I am, ahem, frugal. But I would have gone to miracle if I swaddleme didn't work.

Plowmanators said...

Maureen, our velcro is still okay so far. Hopefully it will last through our need for the blankets :)

I love the JJ Cole blanket!

The wipe warmer...I haven't had a problem with drying out. I just re-wet the pad every time I add new wipes. Today, actually, there were some almost dry wipes. We have been out of town a lot so I guess I wasn't going through those wipes as fast. I got the little pad wet and by the next diaper change, the wipes were all moist again.

Thanks about the hotsling. It is good to hear what people like.

Plowmanators said...

Becca, I am honestly not sure. If I can figure out how to work it, I will try it on Kaitlyn and see. I got mine from the JJ Cole outlet store, so it didn't come with any instructions. I will see what I can figure out and let you know.

Plowmanators said...

Angie,

Honestly, I would buy another one so you can wash them. I personally have two fleece (we use fleece at night and for the first nap of the day) so we can use them 4 days/3 days. We also have three cotton ones. I keep one in the diaper bag and two are for naps. I think the cotton ones do stretch out faster. I sometimes dip into my third for naps if she is wiggling one arm out.

If you don't want to do that, you could start weaning. But I don't like to wean until they are able to sleep well (unless they absolutely will not stay swaddled).

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Plowmanators said...

Susan, thanks! I am glad you like it.

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