My little sister is pregnant with her first child and I have been meaning to come up with a list of the best baby items which I bought or received at the birth of my first child a little over a year ago. I am a copious researcher on items such as these before purchasing, so I told her I would save her some leg work... Not that she would have done it. She would have just bought whatever looked cutest and was the best price, and probably have been happy with it. As Solomon said, with much knowledge comes much sadness (or something like that, anyway). I know that I might have been happy with some things that were more cost- effective from local stores, but after I saw everything available on the worldwide web, I simply couldn't settle for anything less (or if I did, it was with a sense of resignation).
Anyway, this list is by no means definitive, is merely my own opinion, and any resemblance it bears to real persons, be they living or dead, is merely coincidental.
- Diaper Pail- Neat Diaper Disposal System by Safety 1st. Love it, love it, love it. I've heard horror stories about moms who keep the diaper pail in the garage, but no need to with this one. It stays fresh (mostly) with a bare minimum of stinkyness close to trash day.
- Car Seat- Graco Snugride, with an extra base for Dad's car, followed by the Britax Wizard once baby is too heavy to lug around in his seat all the time. We like the Britax because it is rated for side- impact crashes (who knew that most car seats aren't?) and because it has the same foam that's in bike helmets in the pads around my precious angel's head.
- Stroller- We have the Jeep all- terrain stroller that looks like a jogging stroller because it only has 3 wheels. I like it a lot for long trips or off- roading. For around town it is too big to try and get in and out of my Honda Accord all the time, so I use the Sit N Stroll (which I may devote a whole post to at another time, because I am so in love).
- Baby Monitor- we have the Sony Baby Call monitor and adore it. It has a mode so that if baby is making no noise, you don't hear anything. Nice because it saves batteries if you are using them and so you don't have to listen to kkkkssssssshhhhhhh all night. On the subject of baby monitors though, do we really need them? I could hear my son through a hurricane if he were hungry, sick, or just plain pissed off in the middle of the night. Of course, I still turn the monitor on every night, there's just a good chance I will get up and turn it off before morning when Hatchling decides to start practicing his audition for the next Baby American Idol at 3 a.m. Note- I have seen the new monitors that set off an alarm if your baby doesn't move every 20 seconds or something, and though they look tempting, I am afraid that any false alarm would freak me out enough to keep me from ever sleeping again.
- Diapers- I recently decided that I was feeling cheated by my purchasing of cheap WalMart diapers, so I indulged myself in a box of Huggies. They were nice, but I was actually glad when I ran out and could go back to my lovely White Cloud. They never leak unless you let them get so full you deserve it, they don't seem to cause any rashes, and they are ECONOMICAL. That's all in caps, by the way, because I so rarely choose the economical choice for anything.
- Baby Wipes- I will admit that I am a wipe- snob. If my hand has to come in such close proximity to THAT, I want as much protection as there is. Huggies (unscented and alcohol free, of course) is where it's at.
- Diaper Rash Cream- I haven't found anything that can beat Boudreaux's Butt Paste at getting rid of a rash. My son hasn't had many, thankfully, but when he does, this usually kicks it overnight.
- PJ's- You've gotta have a sleepsack. I can't imagine worrying about everything a mommy worries about PLUS the worry of my baby kicking his covers off! With these nifty little things, worry no more. Some even come with the little logo "Back to Sleep" on the front, just in case you can't remember, which, if you are breastfeeding at 3 in morning, is probably not a far cry from the truth. One note, now that my son can stand up in his crib, he has managed to shimmy and squirm his way out the neck hole by, well, I don't know by what means he does it. I just know that the result is that I come in to see a boy sans jammies and diaper and marking territory all around his crib. What a way to start the day...
- Wipes Warmer- We used the Prince Lionheart wipes warmer and loved it. I admit, it is a total luxury to have a wipes warmer, but if it was your sleepy rear being wiped at 3 in the morning, would you want ice cold or nicely warmed? Need I say more? Anyway, there was minimal browning or drying out and it made me feel like a better mom...
- Bottles- I love the Avent bottles. I didn't try any others, but I was very happy with what I had. Supposedly, they have anti- colic nipples and are the closest to breastfeeding. I don't know about that, but my baby had no colic and no problem going betwixt breast and bottle.
- Formula- At 3 months I stopped breastfeeding and put my son on formula. After lots and lots and lots of research, we went with Nestle Good Start with Comfort Proteins and DHA/ ARA. At the time I was looking into it last year, only Nestle and Enfamil had the amounts of DHA and ARA that breastmilk has and that the WHO recommends. Apparently, the rest of the world has been making better formula for years. Anyway, we went with Nestle because it is supposed to be easier for baby's tummy to break down. Our son had no problems. At about 8 months we switched to Parents Choice with Lipids because of cost. Plus we figured those early months were probably more important. When Hatchling doesn't get into Harvard by a point or so, I guess it will be my fault...