Monday, May 23, 2011

The great bribe

If you're still stopping by here every so often, it's most likely in the hopes that I've either a.) posted a pregnant picture or b.) written something riveting about our lives. Meanwhile, I'm busy trying to figure out babyland and what stroller is lightest, whether or not a travel system is necessary, if crib bumpers are deadly or just cute, and what brand of everything is the best.


I'm proposing a bargain.

For every comment you leave that includes a tried-and-true (by you!) baby product recommendation (or stay-away-from-ation), I will post either a belly photo, an ultrasound photo, or an anecdote from our recent lives (and let me tell you, we've been exciting lately). I will also accept life-changing (cannot live without!) baby book recommendations, baby name recommendations (but only the awesome ones will count), and other general tips/tricks that have made your children brilliant and you fabulous.

You might think my proposal's pretty selfish -- that I will get far more out of your recommendations than you will out of seeing my 33-week baby bump.

You obviously haven't seen me pregnant yet.



lease said...

FYI--being the packrats we are, we're trying to streamline our lives right now. Extra credit for any great quality product that is lightweight, multi-purpose, or will save us space. Thanks again for your recs!!

Lindsay said...

So here are my two cents. Get or borrow a nice electric pump. That way you can always be feeding your baby your milk, but sometimes it can be from a bottle. Believe me, this will save your bacon.

MZP said...

the book baby 411 is a must have. you definitely do NOT need crib bumpers, they're worthless.

Jess said...

my favorite baby book- healthy sleep habits, healthy child.
i loved my travel system and used it with all 3 kids.
a swing is a lifesaver and good swaddling blankets. crib bumbers are just for looks but do make the crib look more finished in my world. i would also recommend having two diaper station or baskets if you have a two story. its easier to have everything you need both up and downstairs.

lease said...

Oh you guys are gooood. Great ideas--keep 'em comin!

Paige said...

tried 6 baby monitors over the life of 3 kids becuase I couldn't find one I liked and love this one|1287991011&searchSize=150&searchPage=1&searchNodeID=1038576|1287991011&searchBinNameList=subjectbin%2Cprice%2Ctarget_com_primary_color-bin%2Ctarget_com_size-bin%2Ctarget_com_brand-bin&frombrowse=0

Paige said...

buy things like a swing and exersaucer on craigslist but things like a car seat and crib pay for new unless you have a sister or friend who will let you borrow the infant carrier. my kids got so heavy that if I would carry them in the infant carrier after about 3-4 months it would bust the blood vessels in my 4arms. not very fun or pretty to see.

Sherri said...

--Baby 411 is an excellent resource, especially if you don't know much about babies like me.
--Good breast pump, especially if you're going back to work.
--Graco has a swing that also functions as a bouncer. A swing is a must for the first few months, otherwise you could never shower!
--A mini Sleep Sheep for light music/white noise.

Sherri said...

Oh, the Diaper Genie Elite that has the step-release feature is awesome.

Alexis @ persia lou said...

I made bumpers for both June and Theo because they're cute, but I took em off the crib by the time they could roll over, so they weren't around for long.

I agree that a breast pump is really good to have. Even if you aren't working out of the home.

I like the travel system because it is nice when baby is sleeping to just click into the stroller, but I wouldn't say it is essential.

My number one recommendation: get a moby wrap or baby sling. I LOVE it. I can tell you how to make your own moby wrap if you want. It is so nice to have your baby close to you and still have your hands free. Also June loves it. Never cries when she is in it and almost always falls asleep. Best.

Shannon said...

Ok, first of all, WHAT?!? How have I completely missed that fact that you are pregnant? And 33 weeks already?!? CONGRATS!!!

As for baby advice . . . I actually went through 6 baby monitors too and ended up liking the inexpensive First Years dual receiver model, but I honestly think it depends on your house and what other devices you have operating.

My favorite space saver is my fold up baby bath. It just tucks away in the closet and is perfect for sink bathing for the first 3-5 months. I have this one:

Another favorite baby item that I just can't live without and can't have too many of are these Gerber flannel burp cloths. They are big enough to cover your whole shoulder, but not too thick and very cute. I actually like the patterns I got at Walmart better than the patterns I got at Babies R Us. You'll want at least 8! :)

I'm not much for baby books. Not necessarily anti baby books, but I've never read one that helped me in my individual situation, so no recommendations there. Sorry.

I'm sure you will come up with a brilliant, adorable, classic yet unique name. :) Can't wait for that belly pic you promised! Love you!

Shar said...

bumper pads: we've used them and i love them. when they're not on, my kids get their arms and legs stuck poking out of the crib. when they're on, no problems.

book: babywise. people will disagree, but you know how i feel about parenting books: you read a lot of them and take from each the information that best helps your family and your individual child. this one has a lot of great info, and i know it helped my kids sleep through the night (6 to 8 hours) by 2 months. i've recommended it to several friends who've had the same results.

sling/carrier: talk to my sister nicole. she's used and made several and has her favorite (but i can't remember the name - ergo?). and she'll explain what she likes and dislikes about each one. i used a baby bjorn and neither of my girls really cared to be carried around all the time in it, but it was comfortable and useful when we went on long day outings.

pack'n'play: i'm wishing i had the GRACO MINI. (in fact, i'm searchign for it on craigslist every now and then to replace ours.) it's perfect size and doesn't take up too much space and is great for traveling - it can fit in skinny bathrooms or small spaces for when you're at other people's houses.

whoever said to get most things on craigslist is right - you can find awesome deals that way. a new carseat is about the only thing i would get brand new.

stroller/carseat set combined: i LOVED being able to latch the carseat into my stroller, especially with the first baby. it just makes errand-running so much easier when they sleep all the time.

i have a few other items i highly reccomend, but i'm seeing your bribe and raising you one: i'll post another comment with the rest of my list, but not until i see that belly photo.

lease said...

Touche, Shar. You got me. Now no holding out! :)

Elisa said...

so many baby items are out there, selecting which ones are "necessities" really depends a TON on the temperament of your baby. With Gwen a bouncy chair was a necessity because that was the only place she'd sleep. For Caroline the cradle-swing is the best place for her to sleep, so it becomes a necessity.

that said, if your child struggles to nurse AT ALL, you absolutely have to try a My BrestFriend instead of a boppy. They help sooo much. Might be a luxury if your baby turns out to be a champion eater, but still a luxury worth considering. I absolutely ADORE mine!

Emily Heider said...

The Medella Pump in Style Advanced is worth it's weight in gold. Buy one. ;-) LOVED the Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child book- VERY good for sleeping tips, etc. We used the same baby monitor Paige mentioned: Sony 900MHz BabyCall Nursery Monitor, had no complaints. Really like the Chicco carseat- it's worth being able to get baby in and out of the car without waking them up. Crib bumpers are for cuteness only, we used them but they were gone by the time baby was rolling (around 4-6 months.) Have you seen the infant carseat covers people have started using? I didn't use one with Benjamin, but made one for this baby (very easy.) They look super convenient vs. blankets that fall out of the carseat and blow away in the wind. I made it short enough so that it won't drag on the ground though. The other thing I didn't have with Benjamin that I really wanted with this baby was a better sling solution for when they are really little. I used Baby Bjorn and liked it, and it worked really well for Jonathan, but I wanted something with better back support-I think some styles have more support (I should have paid more and gotten the ones that did!) I got the Moby wrap to use with this baby. I know Kristen used it, so you can ask her what she thought. I talked to someone who really loved the ERGO carrier also, particularly for kids that are a little bigger. It's worth having a nursing cover if you are breastfeeding, they hold themselves up so your hands are free and once baby gets a little older they get more curious about whats going on OUTSIDE the cover and love to pull it down to look around while they are eating. ;-) I made one that was circumferential and liked it because if I was somewhere like a park my back was covered also (I usually was just wearing a normal t-shirt and pulled the whole thing up.) Here's an example: Also, someone recommended the Baby Bargains book to me before I had Benjamin, SUPER helpful, they talk about what baby products are worth spending money on, what is nice/convenient to have, and what you don't need either way. They also rate and review specific brands and products based on their own testing and hundreds of parent reviews. It's worth buying, I used it a TON when I was getting things ready for Benjamin, and still reference it occasionally, even though it's a few years out of date now. They talk about everything from cribs to carseats to clothing brands to bottles to strollers. It sounds like it would definitely answer the question you are asking here (what is worth having, etc.) Good luck with everything! :-) Hope you guys are doing well!!

Emily Heider said...

Hum... looks like the nursing cover link I posted isn't circumferential after all. ;-) Picture two sewn together front and back I guess!

Anonymous said...

I haven't read all these comments yet... but I LOVE this post.

Because for one I have been researching and wondering about all of the same things. Yes my free thinking has turned to babyland. And second I will be tagging myself on and taking on the advice.

So yes I admit it, I will be tagging along on this post! Excited to see a pregnant picture now too. I've been wanting to see one!

Kristen said...

SWADDLE SWADDLE SWADDLE. Preferably the ones that look like baby straight jackets. And I was a fan of Babywise. It's a little controversial I guess, but it worked for Georgia and I was getting a full night's sleep by two months. Love the pic, BTW! You are adorable!

bex said...

Travel systems are worthless if you are active. Get a jogger that has a car seat adapter. ( I recommend a bob stroller) You can't run or jog comfortably with a travel system. Medela freestyle is a super nice pump. Worth every penny. I also hate graco and evenflo car seats. There are such better ones. Like chicco are super highly rated. Bumbo chairs are a must! Newborn nightgowns are awesome for changing diapers in the middle of the night. And everyone told me don't buy any newborn clothes- but I still like having clothes to fit my baby, even if it's just for 1-2 monthWit just my humble opinion:) I'm so glad you posted your belly shot. So cute:)

Us said...

A bit late...but here are my thoughts just for fun. Bumpers on cribs are cute, but I found that my little babies didn't like them because they couldn't see over them. Once they were 3 months and a bit aware of their surrounding, they wanted to pull them out of the way and see out. Plus, I didn't really put the baby in the crib much until he was a year. Babies are so cute and small for such a short time that I wanted to treasure every moment, so I slept with baby and carried baby. I got a Moby Wrap and other baby carriers so that I could have baby always with me. The Moby Wrap you can even discreetly nurse baby--check youtube about Moby Wraps. I honestly don't think you really need much when you have a baby. People in poor countries have nothing and they do fine. I often think there is too much junk with babies. So don't think you need all the baby stuff out there. I didn't use half of it. The most important thing is tons of attention and love. My favorite baby stuff is the all-in-one car seats. That go all the way from infant to toddler, one car seat the whole time. I had a highchair but hated it, so I got one that is strapped into a chair complete with feeding tray its called the Fisher Price - Healthy Care Deluxe Booster Seat--they are like $20 a Wal-Mart and they are small, portable, easy to clean. love it. We are taking it on our camping trip. Strollers are really nice, I don't have a favorite, I have tried several over the years and they were all great. So just get the basics: Stoller, Crib, highchair/booster seat and you'll be all set. I avoided toys with lots of lights and sounds because I don't feel like we need to be constantly entertained. Don't feel too overwhelmed as soon as you have the baby you'll just instinctively know what to do! You're going to be a Mother! Mother's Day will never be the same! I LOVE being a mother--its so special. I am so happy for you!


Glen said...

My two cents- if you're looking to streamline and avoid bulky, do NOT get a travel system. My travel system stroller was WAAAAY too bulky for my taste. This time around I have a car seat stroller frame and love it bazillion times better. It only works while the baby is in the car seat, but by the time baby can sit up, you can just use an umbrella stroller.

And I agree- craigslist is da best.

Katie said...

whups. I don't think Glen actually has strong opinions. Go ahead and imagine that last comment was from your darling old roommate.