Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Best and Worst baby products

My SIL is due the same week I am and was asking our opinions on best and most useless/worst baby products we've purchased in the last 5 years. I am interested to hear all of your responses. She wanted top 5 of each, but give me whatever you want to give me. Oh, and for my NY friends, she lives in NYC, so you may have some ideas of what does or doesn't work in the city that I'd never think of.

A few of my best/ most used:
white noise machine
diaper geenie 2
bumbo seat
bjorn carrier
jogging stroller

My worst/least used:
Regular travel system
high chair that can't fold up
Small store bought flannel receiving blankets
Medela Harmony Breast pump


Ashby Family said...

best/most used
- lansinoh nursing pads (I tried all the other and they SUCK!)
- baby swing
-jogging stroller
- high chair that clips to table
-that stupid key ring that cost $2, best toy ever.

worst/least used
-baby washcloths
-pacifiers (neither of my kids took them)
-those baby towels that you get from the store that don't absorb anything
-baby shoes

Jodi said...

I think everyone is different when it comes to this.

I couldn't do without pacidiers. I also loved my travel system, but I am not a runner, walking is more my speed. I love the exersaucer. A changing table is a must, in my opinion as well as the diaper pail. I also loved my breast pump and since I struggled with breast feeding, that is how my babies had the breast milk.

The worst items would be a baby swing, they take up too much space for the little time they are used. Baby shoes are silly. ALl the clothes, you don't need them all. People love to give them to you, but ask for larger sizes so you don't have a ton of 0-3 months and then nothing past then.

Him, Her & The Wee One said...

This is funny because something that is best/most used is on someone's worst/least used and vice versa...

best/most used: boppy, swing, big homemade flannel blankets for swaddling, the lazy-boy in Clara's room (I don't know it that counts, but I love it that much) and exersaucer (just barely stopped putting Clara in it while in the shower)

worst/least used: for someone reason, I can't think of a single thing. So either I ended up using everything I bought/received or I have a really bad memory.

ps I had a Medela Harmony breast pump and I didn't use it a ton, but I I didn't mind it when I did use it.

Celia Marie (W.) B. said...

Something like the exersaucer depends a lot on space and your baby's temperament. Dean hated being confined in that thing and didn't care one whit for the toys. Plus, it's so freaking huge and doesn't fold down. He liked the jumperoo much better, but still got bored of it fairly quickly.

The pump worked fine to relieve engorgement in the beginning, but I remember trying to use it a couple months later and it was totally useless and I couldn't get it cleaned well enough it eventually grew mold inside.

Oh, and I totally agree on the big homemade wrap blankets. That's why I give those as baby gifts now!

C & A said...

it is interesting what works for different babies' temperaments and mothering styles. all five of my babies have LOVED exersaucers. but since they are huge and a pain to store, we have either borrowed from someone (who was happy to get it out of their storage space) or bought one at a thrift store for $5 and taken it back to the thrift store when we were done.

other than that, pacifiers were a must for my babies, and when we lived in the city, almost everyone had those chicco strollers that are durable but lightweight and fold up to a very compact size. you can even carry them down into the subway without taking the kid out.

and the flannel 45 inch square swaddling blankets (that Celia makes!!) are hands down my favorite baby item. big enough to nurse under for as long as you need it. big enough to swaddle a baby as long as they enjoy being swaddled....could go on and on.

also, i got a diaper genie for my first and got rid of it because it just grossed me out so much to have to deal with that big sausage link of diapers. seriously.....i like the system of wrapping it in a grocery bag and putting it in the kitchen garbage that gets taken out every day much better.

C & A said...

oh, also, on my last baby someone gave me a portable swing that worked SO WELL and only took up about 1/4 the space as a regular swing. i would highly recommend it!

Celia Marie (W.) B. said...

I got one of those chicco umbrella strollers from Kid to Kid for $20 (the same price as the totally crappy ones at Target)and it is pretty awesome. Dean actually prefers it over the jogger. The only thing with that stroller is it is made for short people pushing. It fits me perfectly, but Matt can't push it comfortably at all.

Kristeee said...

My favorite items:
I loved my travel system - this one was the lightest one they had at Babies R Us.

Waterproof pads - they have a small size (like this that we put across our laps during
feeding/burping. We saved ourselves a LOT of laundry this way.

Ergo baby carrier with an infant insert.

The Ultimate Crib Sheet.

Sheet saver like this.

Totally Toddler is the best stuff for getting out formula & poop stains (sold at Babies R Us).

Bag Balm is great for preventing diaper rash.

The Pampers sensitive wipes didn't tear our baby's bum apart like some other wipes.

We had a baby bathtub that was nice - we actually used it in the real tub so that the water stayed warmer longer.

A quick read thermometer. Less than 10 seconds (ours is 7-8).

Things we didn't use so much:
The swing. Kate hated it.
Mylicon drops - they made her hyper.

randa_joy said...

-I've noticed while shopping for this new bubbins that regular companies like graco and evenflo now have stroller frames to snap your carrier into. When I was pregnant with my last one that type of thing was only available in very high end brands. I would definitely skip the "fancy" bulky stroller esp. if I had a baby that slept in her car seat.
-Also my most used item throughout the past 2 yrs is our pack-n-play.
-Addie's Britax seat is cool because it has side impact protection as well as being usable for 5-65 lbs. Though like I said before, if you have a normal baby that sleeps in cars it would be worth it to buy a carrier first.
-In the early months the baby swing offered much relief. We had a Graco lovin' hug, which I liked because it reclined, but I think it would have been nice to have the 2-direction kind and if you're planning to just use it inside I would try to get one that plugs in.
-I still use my monitor but if I were buying again I would get one with more channels as not to hear the neighbors and wonder if they are listening to me and also one that the BASE as well as the recievers can plug in or run on batteries.

I could have lived without our BebePod, Bouncer, kick and crawl play gym and baby tub but they were nice to have for brief periods. There wasn't anything I had that I didn't use at all.
Also 0-6months I had way too many clothes, I didn't buy any of them but it seemed like such a waste when I mostly wanted to dress my babe in cozy onesies and swaddle her up.

randa_joy said...

Also I meant to ask if you ever found a breast pump that worked for you? I believe the one I borrowed (I know, I know "no sharesies!") from my SIL was a Medela Harmony and I could never get more than an ounce at a time and gave up. I'm really hoping to be able to pump this time around.

randa_joy said...

Correction I just looked it up it was the "pump in style." whatevs, the point is, it didn't work for me. any suggestions?

Erin said...

For city living, you MUST spend the bucks and buy a MacClaren stroller. They are lightweight, making trips up and down subway steps much easier. They also work from birth on.

My list of musts are:
- Fisher Price Take Along swing
- Booster seat for chair or table(don't buy a high chair)
- Rocking Chair
- Chest of Drawers with changing pad on top (not a changing table)
- Baby Bjorn or other carrier
- Boppy
- Carters open-end nightgowns
- Food processor (for making baby food)

Like the other commentor, I don't really have a list of dislikes because we waited until we needed something before we bought it. I would suggest that so you can be sure you'll use what you buy.

Lindsay said...

Here's my top NYC list:
- Ergo carrier. It's the easiest on my back for long city walks
- MacClaren stroller. It's super lightweight, which is a must for the subway. We have a Volo, which is their lowest end model, but I love it so much, and since it's pretty much been worn to the ground, we're thinking of getting another one this Sept for Baby #2 (though this time we'll probably get the model just above the Volo (the Triumph?) so that the seat will recline).
- linking rings. For months, they were the only toy Garrett would play with. Except for maybe his silky blanket. That's been a lifesaver. Fussy baby on a sweltering hot, A/C-less day? Just strip them down to a diaper and swaddle them in the silky side. Happy baby in no time.
- A&D ointment. Hands down, it's the best diaper rash cream around. Also works when baby inherits his mama's dry skin problems.
- SMALL diaper bag. If you're in the city, you only want to be toting around the absolute essentials. On short outings, I'd just cram a diaper and a sandwich baggie filled with a few wipes into the pocket of the Ergo carrier, along with my keys/phone/wallet. On longer outings, where more stuff is required, I take a backpack. Really, though, less is more, and make sure you equip yourself with the ability to tote it around as easily as possible.

There are lots of other things I couldn't have done without, like basic washcloths (which are great for wiping snot and drool off of sensitive faces), scented diaper sacks (which we use only for stinky diapers, and which take up a lot less space than a diaper pail), infant's tylenol and a basic thermometer for rectal readings...I could go on, but I'll stop. The wheels are now turning, I might do a more in depth list of my own on my blog one of these days...it might help me feel more prepared for Baby #2. Bottom line, though: if you live in a small urban space, prepare for your baby accordingly.

leethie said...

I also love a food processor for baby food. Along with that, I use the silicone cupcake liners to freeze portions of babyfood instead of ice cube trays - its much easier to remove them and its a more hearty serving. I also was glad to find baby food grinders at Kmart (Munchkin brand) for on the go babyfood.

I agree with Erin about the Fisher Price Take Along swing. I think that must be the portable swing someone else was thinking of - its lower to the ground and more reclined for the babies, too.
Also to go with a booster seat on a regular chair instead of a high chair if you're low on space!

I was happy when I found that I could buy formula in 4oz packages. I mainly breastfed, but wanted to have some on hand if necessary. The sample cans from the hospital worked, but once they were opened they were only good for a short time.

I wish I had known earlier that you can buy cloth breast pads that you can wash and reuse.

I love my moby wrap - I always got stopped by people at the grocery store asking where to buy one.

I had tons more bath towels and washcloths than I needed, but now its nice to use the washcloths for after meal clean-up. I only needed 2 bathtowels I think.

I didnt use a changing table for my second child, and I think we only used the diaper genie until we ran out of the special bags. Then I think we put regular bags inside it?

My babies didnt need drool bibs at all. I used them for feeding instead and it was a big mess. I wish I had found some of those bibs with waterproof material on the front. I think Ikea makes some really heavy duty ones.

Juls said...

Duh I just noticed you changed your background...I am sure it has been like this for a long time, but I like it.