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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. (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.
- 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 the items you love also!
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