What are the products you couldn't live without in your child's 1st year of life?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

[deleted account]

Mylicon gas drops were a definite lifesaver.  And in the very beginning, I loved the infant gowns.  I had a baby boy, and my husband was against the gowns in the beginning, but eventually he came around too!  It's so handy to not have to worry about buttons when changing diapers!  Plus, they usually have the cuff on the end of the arms that can fold over the baby's hand to keep them from scratching.  I found that the little mittens never stayed on.  Otherwise, we had to have the swing and I loved the Bumbo chair!  He started sitting in it at about 4 months and loved it!  He could sit up so much better than in the bouncy seat and it's so portable, we even took it to a professional baseball game so he could sit in his own seat and watch the game!

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Randi - posted on 04/04/2009

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for me and my husband it was the orginal Diaper Genie and Goodnite moon book.He loves that story everynite and the other thing helps his room to smell nice and fresh..

Nichole - posted on 04/03/2009

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OMG- Ladies, Thank you so much! Great tips- I really appreciate this. Enjoy the weekend!

Gabrielle - posted on 03/23/2009

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We have something like that, too. My friend created the Bottlelink (www.bottlelink.com). I love knowing that water cup isn't going sailing out of the stroller in the middle of the zoo.

Angie - posted on 03/21/2009

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The Little Lasso - it secures sippy cups, bottles, toys and blankets to strollers, car seats, highchairs and shopping carts so you never lose them or your child never drops or tosses them again!  Stop playing fetch!     www.thelittlelasso.com

Sondra - posted on 03/19/2009

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Believe it or not, one of the most helpful things was (and is) our Pack n Play. We used it in our bedroom in place of a bassinet (spelling?). We used it for both of our kids until they went into their cribs in their own rooms. Now, we take it with us when we go overnight. My son is too big for it, but it's safe place for my 12 month old daughter to sleep when we are away from home.



One thing that we never used was our wipe warmer. I know some moms who really liked it, but I hardly used ours. One reason is that we're in a two story house and the warmer was upstairs. I didn't always run upstairs to change the baby and didn't want to get another warmer. Fortunately the kids didn't seem to mind.



One other handy item is our booster chair - we bought a chair that straps to a regular chair and has a snap-pn tray. My son still uses it as a booster at the table. I liked it so much that we got one for my daughter. As soon as she could sit up on her own, we put her in the chair and got rid of the high chair. It saves space and is portable.

Brandi - posted on 03/19/2009

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Quoting Jamie:



Mylicon gas drops were a definite lifesaver.  And in the very beginning, I loved the infant gowns.  I had a baby boy, and my husband was against the gowns in the beginning, but eventually he came around too!  It's so handy to not have to worry about buttons when changing diapers!  Plus, they usually have the cuff on the end of the arms that can fold over the baby's hand to keep them from scratching.  I found that the little mittens never stayed on.  Otherwise, we had to have the swing and I loved the Bumbo chair!  He started sitting in it at about 4 months and loved it!  He could sit up so much better than in the bouncy seat and it's so portable, we even took it to a professional baseball game so he could sit in his own seat and watch the game!





buy the gas drops in bulk!  I've used them daily with my 13 month old since he was born! 

Gabrielle - posted on 03/19/2009

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Sleep sacks. My daughter was born with some hip dysplasia and had to be a velcro harness to correct this for 9 months. It meant all she could wear easily was a diaper, onesie, socks and the harness. No gowns, no pants, etc. So, for cold nights, I put her in a long-sleeved onesie and a warm sleep sack, and she slept great. We used them even after she started walking. I loved to see her stroll down the hall (and never trip!) with her entire lower body encased in a fabric sack.



I second the motion on avoiding bottle warmers. We tried several, and none were reliable. So, we used a glass measuring cup to warm some water in, and put the bottle in that. Worked the best, and we could do it at a restaurant by just asking for some hot water in a cup.



We did appreciate our wipe warmer, though. My daughter did not like cold wipes. Ours was the Lionheart, a shower gift. We had plenty of room for it on our changing table, as we used a dresser with a changing pad that we attached to it.

[deleted account]

Stain Stick...I kept one in each room where I might be changing my daughter's clothes (nursery, bathroom) I also had one in the laundary room. Baby spitup yellowed many of my daughter's clothes on the neckline until I started stain sticking them before I threw the clothes in the laundary.

Morag - posted on 03/18/2009

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Baby wipes. Whoever invented baby wipes... I'd kiss him and have his babies too. lol. I've got a 9.5 year old and I still use them, my husband uses them. What an amazing invention... It has saved us from all out biological diaper warfare on more than one occasion, and can clean sick from black clothing. Baby wipes. Can't live with out them, don't know how people once did.

[deleted account]

Mylicon gas drops were a definite lifesaver.  And in the very beginning, I loved the infant gowns.  I had a baby boy, and my husband was against the gowns in the beginning, but eventually he came around too!  It's so handy to not have to worry about buttons when changing diapers!  Plus, they usually have the cuff on the end of the arms that can fold over the baby's hand to keep them from scratching.  I found that the little mittens never stayed on.  Otherwise, we had to have the swing and I loved the Bumbo chair!  He started sitting in it at about 4 months and loved it!  He could sit up so much better than in the bouncy seat and it's so portable, we even took it to a professional baseball game so he could sit in his own seat and watch the game!

[deleted account]

Something else that saved our sanity many times in the first year...a baby swing and a bouncer seat.  There were times when nothing I did helped get my son to sleep.  But 2 seconds in the swing and he would be out like a light.  We got the Rainforest one that can swing side to side and front to back.  Side to side in the begining and then front to back swing once they can lift their head.  I also used it sometimes during the day to occupy him so that I could vacuum or wash dishes, etc.  Now the bouncer seat?  I'll just say that for the first 4 or 5 months or so (until my son could sit on his own)....I would have had to go all day without a shower until Daddy got home if it hadn't been for the bouncer (also Rainforest).  I would just sit it on the bathroom floor, put him in it and I could usually take as long a shower as I wanted.  Sometimes the steam would even help him fall asleep.

Amanda - posted on 03/18/2009

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Quoting Brandi:

Into Toddlerhood.... Dispossable bibs with pockets (like pampers bibsters) and dispossable place mats that stick to the table for resturants!



Love the disposable place mats!!!  Most babies will throw their plates or bowls straight to the floor, and you definitely  do not want them eating right off of the table or high chair!!  Wonderful product!

Ashley - posted on 03/18/2009

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Gripe water! From night one with my son he needed it nearly everyday for about 2 months! Recieving blankets, we used them for everything, one day as a little toga after my son did his business 3 times and went through his backup outfits. And the Glider my mom and dad bought me. It was great for the many nights I was up with my son.

HARSHA - posted on 03/18/2009

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Lots of burp cloths, receiving blankets and onesies.  I also found the diaper genie to be a blessing..because w/my older daughter I didn't buy one.phew...what a mistake to not have one!

Esther - posted on 03/18/2009

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BTW - I second the moms above who said not to get a bottle warmer. I got one from a friend and I hated that thing. Threw it away after a week. I pumped and gave my son breastmilk in a bottle so we used that bottle warmer to heat it up. One time the milk started to boil and boiled over right out of the bottle and I had to throw it all away. After all the effort I had put in!!!! I nearly cried. When that happened a second time I threw the damn thing away. If we wanted to warm (or thaw) a bottle we just boiled some water, put the bottle in a mug and poured the boiling water around it. Worked much better. Also, they get this nasty brown stuff at the bottom. Obviously you can clean that but it's still nasty.



Wipes warmer same thing - useless.



One other thing that I do highly recommend is the puzzle mat that they sell at www.onestepahead.com. It's great for tummy time, when the baby starts to roll over and when they start to crawl & pull up. It has saved my son from many bumps and bruises and it makes it more comfortable for us to sit on the floor with him. He has now been walking for several months but his latest thing is jumping off the kids chair that we have in the living room so the use of this mat (we now have about 40 tiles) lasted beyond even that first year alone

Esther - posted on 03/18/2009

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It's not a product that lasted a full year, but it did save my sanity during the first 4 months: a miracle blanket. It's a swaddling blanket. Withouth it, my son did not sleep for more than 30 mins at a time. With it, he slept for 6 hours. I wish it would have lasted longer (you have to stop using it when they start to roll over) but if I had not had it those first few months, I think I would have absolutely gone insane.

Brandi - posted on 03/18/2009

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Into Toddlerhood.... Dispossable bibs with pockets (like pampers bibsters) and dispossable place mats that stick to the table for resturants!

Brandi - posted on 03/18/2009

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Medela Ultra Thin countured Breast pads, footed sleepers, Infant useable jogging stroller (I have a dog that needs to be walked or he has too much energy!) that you can drive with one hand, Cloth Diapers make the best burb clothes, and the Fisher Price Jungle Friends jumperoo (the one with a stand of it's own, not the one that hangs from a doorway!)

Timmi - posted on 03/17/2009

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I found that I loved my products for nursing. Like my cream I always had a couple of tubes around cause I know I would lose one, I also used washable breast pads. These are much softer than the disposable. Cloth diapers were also my best friend, I would use them for burping and spit up messes, and also stick them in my tank tops when I would sleep so I would wake up in a puddle from leakage. Oh yeah and my pump, my sister bought me a very nice electric pump and just loved it, I also had a manual one that I would keep in the diaper bag just in case.

Dawn - posted on 03/17/2009

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I get all my new mommy friends what I call the Holy Trinity of Motherhood - The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD, the book The Baby Whisperer, and a Miracle Blanket (you can order online). Those - along with gas drops - were my lifesavers. Otherwise, she really loved this ocean wonders mobile that attached to the side of the crib, and dangling toys that attach to her carrier. Like Mandy, I do not recommend an expensive high chair. I got the portable one that attaches to my kitchen chair. I can take it to restaurants, grandma's house and can remove it quickly and easily when company comes over. The best part is they're only about $35. A play mat with dangling toys is great too.

I didn't find any use for a bottle warmer, wipes warmer or diaper genie. My tap water heated up more quickly than the bottle warmer, so there was no point. The wipes warmer dried out the wipes (plus I didn't want to have a screaming baby on my hands should I ever be out without a wipes warmer!). As for diapers, I use my grocery store bags. After a poopy diaper, I tie up the bag and throw it in the garbage can in the garage. No hassle at all.

[deleted account]

Spit up rags, books, the music player on the back of the passenger seat so he could be entertained in the car, his elmo blanket (bed time was miserable without it.

Mandy - posted on 03/17/2009

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I wrote this a while back and am ecstatic you're in need of this! Hope it helps





Items to Help a Parent Out



And Which Don’t



 



When I first became a parent, Babies R Us scared the shit out of me. So many things to buy and not enough money it seemed. Of course, two kids later, I’ve discovered many valuable items I have purchased has helped me thoroughly, but some was just a waste of money.



First of all, the most important things are for the nursery. What belongs in the nursery and what you can do without. First of all, fu-fu decorations are really not necessary. The baby will not care either way. Everything doesn’t have to be matching. Cribs have come a long way in just the last few years that I have had kids. I would recommend a crib that of course is up to government safety standards. Beyond that, it would be very wise to buy a crib that converts from crib, to toddler bed to a full size bed. What a great investment; to buy a piece of furniture that will last your child through at least college. The next biggest item that is on the nursery list is a changing table. A very handy item indeed. However, I don’t think a $400 table is really necessary. Most of the changing tables look like a dresser with a contour pad on it. So take the hint and find a dresser that you really like and put a contour pad on it. Beyond those items, no other furniture is really a need. A rocking chair can always be a good investment though.



Next, the wardrobe was an issue. If you’re not as fortunate to get the millions of hand-me-downs that other parents are willing to pass down, go to department stores such as Kohls or JC Penney and shop out of season clearance prices. Sometimes you can get amazing outfits for less than a dollar! Also, invest in bibs that are button closure only. The Velcro are awful and stick to everything in the washer and dryer.



Some of the other good investments that I made was a Bababib if you plan on bottle feeding. This unique little wedge pillow wraps loosely around the baby’s neck and has a strap that holds the bottle in place. This item is to be of course used with adult supervision, but is great when you have to push a stroller and drive the car. However, if you plan on breastfeeding I suggest that you spend any extra money and get a really good breast pump. It’s better to buy one good one that buy two in intervals that don’t work very well. Also during breast feeding, I never had to use the Boppy Pillow. It seems I was more comfortable just placing the baby in my lap without any extra support. That is just my case. I have had friends that took their Boppy Pillows everywhere.



Other items that I found completely unnecessary for infants included the baby bath tubs. A sink worked better and was less messy.



On the other hand, some surprising amenities that I did use was a car-adaptable bottle warmer. For winter babies I would recommend getting a car seat cover where just their face can peek out.



Approaching toddler hood there is so many more things you have to consider: baby gates, high chairs, and cups. We bought a few baby gates for our house, but they never seemed to be just right for the job and they are awfully expensive. My husband is quite the handyman and has built us very simple baby gates from wood. We stuck with wood bars that the kids can’t get more than an arm through. And to latch it we use a outdoor gate clip.



As your child gets closer to the eating stage I would recommend getting a small portable highchair that you can strap onto any chair. They are all plastic with no fabric that you have to clean, and in two minutes you can pack it up and be ready to take it somewhere. How handy! I would stay away from any chair that attaches to the table as it doesn’t take a child long to not be able to fit in it anymore.



Cups, cups, cups, cups! So many to choose from and all with the promise of being leak proof. I promise you quite a few are not leak proof. They may not spill out of the spout, but a lot will leak where they thread together. The Advent brand has many great cups that can easily switch from baby to toddler ready. I like the spout that sticks out so a younger child can find easily where to suck out of. My favorite brand of cups for toddlers is the Playtex Insulator cups. These are great for any season as they are insulated. They normally come in plain colors but they have some great designs. These tend to run around the $4-$6 range per cup but well worth the effort. The two cups that I have mentioned also have replaceable parts that you can purchase separately. You’ll mostly have to replace the plastic valves, but are really inexpensive to do so.



Moving on to health and wellness for babies, I have found some interesting things that are out there to help parents out. Some of the most unique items I have found have been at drug stores. For babies running fevers, I would definitely have the Vicks Thermometer Patches. The patches stick right under the arm, near the armpit and can stay on up to 24 hours and can even be kept on during bathing. The thermometer works on a dot system and you just read the last green dot to get the readout. So you can always have a thermometer that you can instantly read without torturing your child every time you want a reading. The other items I have in my baby cabinet include, baby Motrin, baby Tylenol, teething tablets (natural), humidifier, and Johnson’s medicated bathing gel (for plugged sinuses and such).



 



[deleted account]

For me, it was the simple things I couldn't live without.  We wasted money on a bottle warmer and a few other things that are supposed to make life easier for moms.  But what I found to be necessary were things like having a ton of recieving blankets.  They can be used as blankets to swaddle, burp cloths or even a changing pad if needed.  Something else I found essential was a set of those plastic keys for babies.  Those things have entertained him in the car, grocery store, waiting in line at the bank...basically every where I go they go because it's the ONLY thing guaranteed to entertain my son just about EVERY time lol.  Also, the light and music machine we got for his room.  It plays lullaby's and puts stars and sun and moon on the ceiling and helps him sleep.  Hope this is what you were talking about lol.

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