Thursday, November 7, 2013

Baby Gear: Life Savers

After three baby showers, one Christmas, one birthday, fourteen months of Miss Beans, and three sets of grandparents, we have accumulated a lot of baby crap stuff.

Stuff gives me anxiety.

This is why being an elementary teacher made me break out into hives on a semi-regular basis.
Paperwork, memos, paperclips, binders, kiddos' lost items, books, lesson plans, bulletin board letters, colored paper, whiteboards, lined paper, Kleenexes, post-its, and on and on and on.

And here we go with the hives.

So when it comes to baby gear, I obviously wanted the bare necessities. There were *and still are* only two requirements when it comes to baby gear in the Green household:

1. Economical and Practical. We do a lot of research before we buy anything big. We also look for the best deals. But we refuse to spend a ridiculous amount of money on something because somebody from consumer reports says it's the best. Or because it's from Pottery Barn. {I do love you, PB. I really do. But $2000 for a crib? Nuh-uh.}
2. Inconspicuous. We made it a rule the moment I got pregnant that we would really, really try to not have baby stuff take over. Of course there are little hints of Lyla in every room of our house, and of course things will get harder as she gets older and subsequently gets more stuff. But by no means will Lyla's things be the majority, and there will be a place for everything. We rule the house, not our child. {And definitely not her stuff}.

A little side-note, as I realize I sound like slightly like a tyrant. I may tremble in the face of clutter, but I sure can't say no to girly things. Or sweet little memorable things. My weakness is Etsy headbands, and they know me by name at Baby Gap. I mean, it's better to have 50 accessory options than baby gear out the wazoo. Who needs a car seat anyway?

Now that I sound like a big ol party-pooper, I'd like to share some of our very favorite baby gear. Of course we religiously used the usual baby gear like a boppyswing, and baby gym, but these are are items that were either suggested to us or things we wouldn't have otherwise thought of. All were true life savers. Most of them were useful for Lyla's entire first year of life, and some are still being used today. *My kind of stuff*

1. Baby Brezza. I probably wouldn't have spent money on something like this on my own. But my mom bought us one of these bad boys. It made making baby food incredibly easy, quick, and enjoyable. Sundays were baby-food making days, and I would just throw potatoes/veggies/fruits/meats in the Brezza, steam, blend, and pour into freezer trays. Easy peasy. I only wish I had gotten a bigger one!

2. Infrared heater. So this one did break the "inconspicuous" rule in that it's a little big for my liking. However, it was an absolute life saver last winter. Gabe and I are grizzly bears in that we turn our heat down to 55 at night because Gabe is indeed an actual furnace - true story. Most adults, let alone a baby, can't handle those sub-arctic temperatures. So, we bought a little heater for Lyla's room. It keeps her room nice and toasty AND because it's infrared, it doesn't dry the air out {winter alone takes care of that one} which can be hard for babes. One of the best purchases we've made by far.

3. Waterproof lap pads.  So. No one warned me how much newborns poo. For those of you first-timers, it's a LOT of poo. Well my cousin recommended these guys. And after a few days of using them, I went out and bought more. They're simply waterproof pads that I laid down before I changed Lyla's diaper: the floor, the couch, even her changing pad. Because the moment I wouldn't use a pad would be the moment Ly would go everywhere. I even placed them in her crib while she slept {big no-no, but a big life saver}. Otherwise I would have had to change her sheets

4. Moby Wrap. My dear, sweet Moby. I was a baby-wearing machine when Ly was first born. I'm not sure who loved it more! During Ly's colic days, the Moby was often the only solution to the never-ending screaming. I even busted it out a few weeks ago…with my toddler. And it's magic calming powers still worked, only this time, it broke my back.

5. Sleep Sheep. This thing was such a life saver. All mamas out there understand the desperate need to sleep, and in order to do so, you need a baby who sleeps. To help support our sleep training techniques, we used the sleep sheep. It's a super-cute sound machine with waves, a heartbeat {to help simulate the womb}, a sound I can't remember, and whales {yes whales. I think it's weird too.}

6. SwaddleMe Blanket. So I love Aden and Anais blankets just like Princess Kate and the rest of the western world. But I also like convenience and ease. Especially with a newborn. These little blankets were also helpful in our desperate desire to sleep. And Lyla really hated swaddling at first, but I'm pretty sure most babies do. You have to keep encouraging it. And once we got the whole swaddling thing down, Ly slept like a baby. These just allowed no-fuss swaddling.

7. Wubanub Pacifier. You couldn't have paid me to purchase something that goes by the name of Wub a Nub. So thank goodness a friend got this for me. This sweet little monkey soothed Ly when absolutely nothing else could. It was incredible. This was the only pacifier she would take. And once she turned about 6 months, she could see him and stick him back in her mouth. Pure genius!

8. Bouncer. I could go on and on and on about our bouncer. Although, it didn't really bounce. But that's beside the point. This little "seat" was the perfect place to put Lyla when I had to cook/clean/pump. We used this until she was about 9 months old. An absolute must {for us at least}.

Now that newborn-hood is a thing of the past, I'm able to look back and honestly say I would pick the same things we got on all fronts all over again.

There are a few things that I wish we would have purchased in addition to what we had.
That would have made life a little simpler.
Or would have made Lyla a little happier.

Some Wish-We-Would-Have-Hads:

1. Car seat cover. Luckily, we were able to borrow one of these from a friend. And we had no idea babies can't wear winter coats in their carseats. And obviously baby needs to stay warm while transporting to and from the car in the dead of winter. So this saved us - but only because we had generous friends who let us borrow!

2. Wipe warmer. Gabe would not agree with this one. He thinks wipe warmers are absurd. And it's definitely not a necessity. But all I know is that GiGi used to warm Lyla's wipes with her hands before wiping her bottom. And Baby Ly sure liked GiGi changing her diapers more than mom and dad.

3. Baby Bjorn. Yes we LOVED our Moby. But a Bjorn would have been a nice addition for once Lyla got older and heavier. They're just a little sturdier.

4. Nap Nanny. Well. Scratch that. As I went to look for a picture of a Nap Nanny, dozens of articles came up saying that these got recalled due to infant injuries and deaths. {However I have friends who swore by them}. It's just something portable that baby can nap in, and it's slanted which would have been helpful for Lyla's reflux/colic. We did, however, use scrap pieces of wood to raise her crib in those days. Worked like a *free* charm.


Kelly said...

I gotta say THANKS for this post and most importantly for linking back to your sleep schedule post!! My husband is traveling right now but decided to throw the Baby Wise book that has been on our to-read list into his carryon and he's been texting me all sorts of things since he's been gone-- which is definitely stressing me out!! (without being able to read it right now and just hearing from him that for example, the Mamaroo swing that I'm MOST excited about registering for might not be the best thing for independent sleeping hah!)

Anywho, I just sent him the link to that post and I'm excited to discuss it with him when he comes back! Thanks for such a wonderfully, specific post :-)

Kathryn said...

So glad you posted this! Definitely bookmarking. You should do a detailed post on the Moby. I feel like people love it or hate it, but those that hate it, couldn't figure out how to wrap it right.

Brittany said...

This is great! I was for sure one of those people that swore by the nap nanny. We didn't turn ours in for the $$ back because we figured we'd keep it and try it with #2 if needed!

Laura Koiner said...

Love to follow your posts. I will say, it is much much easier to have an inconspicuous baby home when they are babies. We actually have more sitting about now that baby #1 is 3 yrs old , add in the almost 1 year old and forget it! Our house is definitely the home of 2 children. I also stay home with the kids...therefore its necessary. We never used a nap nanny, pacifier, wrap or sleep trained. Every single baby is so different! I see this even in my own children....all I knew from baby #1 essentially got tossed out the window with baby #2.
P.s. your sweet pea is soooo cute!

Sarah Gries said...

You posted this just in time for me to register... Thanks friend!!!