I rarely go shopping in the malls or big box stores, purely because I am LAZY. Just the thought of trying to find parking, walking around in the malls trying to find what I’m looking for, fighting the crowds and screaming children in the big box stores, lining up and waiting to pay, and walking all the way back to the car already exhaust me. Look, I’m already working up a sweat from all that exhaustion in my head!
I love to shop on-line. I can read the ratings and user comments, and base a lot of my purchasing decision on experience that other people have shared. I can do the shopping anytime of the day, without ever fighting the crowds.
Choosing baby products can be a dauting task, but it really helps when you can check out the consumer ratings on-line before buying. I ended up buying quite a few things just based on recommendations made by other people, and have loved 95% of them.
So, here’s a list of things I found VERY useful as a mom from the newborn to toddler phase. These would be things I would buy a good friend for a baby shower because of how much I rely on them. They are listed in totally random order. I hope you find something that may be useful to you.
1. NoseFrida, the snot sucker
Yes, I know how weird this sounds, the “snot sucker”. And honestly, the idea of it is a bit gross. You suck your baby’s snot out with a tube. But this is the only thing that worked for Joshua before he learned to blow his nose a few months ago. We used it since he was a newborn, sucking out the milk that was coming out of his nose when he has a major spit up. We used it a lot when he’s sick and stuffed up. The relieve for him has always been instant.
There are many versions of this product, made by a lot of companies. Some are better thought out than others. We use the Munchkin ones and love them. At least most of goldfish crackers stay in the cup while Joshua walks around the house shaking the cup.
At one point, Joshua loved to throw his teething ring on the ground when we were out for walks. I needed something to keep his ring off the ground, so I googled for a product that will secure the teething ring on one end, and his stroller on the other end. This string works great. I’m sure I could have used whatever string available at home, but this product has snap buttons on both ends, making removal/securing easy. We still use these today, not for securing teething rings, but to secure his snack trap to the car seat so that he can always reach his snacks.
A friend recommended this mirror, and we love it. It’s great because it has a pivoting mechanism, so you can easily adjust the angle of the mirror.
5. Aqueduck faucet extender
We recently bought this product to put on our bathroom faucet, bringing the water much closer to the edge of the sink so Joshua can reach the water more easily. Then we got a stool for Joshua to stand on. This way he can wash his hands without being held up by one of us. I think the faucet extender is ingenious!
Out of all the swaddling products I’ve tried, the Miracle Blanket is my favorite. It’s one of the easiest to use, and stayed on the best regardless of how much Joshua wiggled.
A baby carrier is almost a “must have” item. It frees up your hands so you can water your plants, buy groceries, make dinner, or go for a walk without a big stroller. There are so many choices out there. The Ergo is my favorite, because your baby doesn’t hang by his crotch on it, it’s machine washable, and it’s well designed. We have just the basic model, and it’s so comfortable to use for both mom and baby. YouTube has some really great videos showing you how to use it.
We didn’t actually buy a bouncy chair for Joshua, but a friend lent us hers. I hesitated using it because I didn’t want it to be used as a “baby container”. A baby container is something you stick your child in so you can have a long chat on the phone with your BFF or neglect your baby in general. At some point I realized that I needed somewhere to put Joshua when I need to pee or fold laundry. The bouncy chair became a life saver.
To be honest, this bottle rack is ugly. It just is. Ugly green arms stick out from the middle. Man, it’s ugly. But it’s the best one I’ve used after trying a few. It takes so many bottles without taking up your entire kitchen counter. If your kitchen counter space is prime real estate like ours, then space saving is important. This thing works great. The cup in the middle takes all the Dr. Brown bottle vent tubes and sippy cup straws.
10. The ScratchSleeves
When Joshua was a newborn, until about a year old, he had this insatiable need to scratch his face and scalp until he bled. Mittens never stayed on his hands long enough to do any good. Even if I duck taped the mittens to his hands (kidding, I never did that!), he will scratch himself through the mittens and still cause damage to his skin! He was one determined scratcher! I searched high and low for something to help. And I found the answer: The ScratchSleeves.
They are made in the UK by a family who invented this for their son. I bought one to try it out, and it did miracles. There’s no way for Joshua to wiggle out of the sleeves so they always stayed on. The mitten part has 2 layers with a soft silky later on the outside. So when Joshua tries to scratch himself through the mitten part, the silky side just slides across his face and head with his hands rather than giving him enough traction to dig into his face.