Baby Gear

Sometimes I think buying stuff for a baby is one of the more difficult parts of parenthood.  I do my best to buy things used whenever possible, but even then, there's often enough choice on Craig's List that you can afford to be picky!  Here are some recommendations for things I ended up getting and liking.

Things that I thought I wouldn't need.  But did. 
  • A bottle warmer.  Gosh, that's a silly product, I thought, smugly.  People are soooo lazy these days.  What's wrong with just running the bottle under some hot water?  Well, lemme tell you what's wrong with that idea.  The main thing is that many people these days breastfeed on demand.  That means that you don't know, except in a general sense, when your baby is going to be hungry--so you can't tell your husband or whoever else is taking care of the baby "make sure you have a bottle ready at 3!  She'll want to eat!"  Oh no.  And in fact, anyone besides you isn't going to pick up on your baby's hunger signals that quickly.  So she's probably crying by the time they start warming a bottle.  And if it's a frozen bottle?  And it's glass?  Yeah, that tap water's gonna take a while.  This Avent iQ bottle warmer is pricier than some, but I think it was worth it.  You just tell it if the bottle is room temperature, refrigerated, or frozen, and how many ounces; it warms it up and beeps when it's done. It's pretty great.  Your husband and other caregivers will thank you.
  • A rubber floor mat, printed to look like wood!  I also used to think these floor mats were silly.  What's wrong with putting down a blanket for baby?  Or putting her on the rug?  Well, the rug is hard because she will spit up and pee, and then you will be sad that you can't put the rug in the washing machine.  And it can just get annoying to constantly be putting blankets down and washing them.  I got this floor mat when my daughter was about 4.5 months old, and I love it.  You can just wipe spit-up or pee up easily, it's a really comfy surface for her to play on, and best of all, it looks pretty good.  It's printed to look like wood!  No ugly pastel or primary colors here. 

Things you will want if you're going to try infant potty "training"/elimination communication:

  • A little portable potty.  This one is small enough for a 3 month old to sit on, held up by you of course, comes in a variety of colors, and is easy to wash.  I keep one in the car and one in the nursery; sometimes it's easier to offer my daughter an opportunity to pee in this than it is to take her to the bathroom.  Plus she'll be able to sit on this without me holding her long before she can sit on the toilet.  

Cloth diapering?  I like:
  • Thirsties duo wraps come in two sizes, one for small infants up to about 15 pounds, another for upwards of 15 pounds.  I mostly like these to use at night, when I use a slightly bigger cloth diaper for more absorbency; the adjustable rise accommodates that easily.  And they come in cute colors and prints! 
  • Bummis SuperBrite diaper covers are one of my two favorite all-around covers; the other is below.  I like the colors they come in, but mostly I find that the fit works really well for my daughter.  It's also important to me that it's easy to take on and off quickly, since my daughter uses the potty.  

  • Imse Vimse diaper covers are the priciest diaper covers I have, but I really like them.  They're extremely easy to take on and off, but they also look really nice.  They have a more geometric cut somehow than other diaper covers, so you get less bubble butt.   Which means that clothes fit better.  They also feel really soft compared to some other covers.
  • Wet diaper bag.  You'll need one of these to keep in your diaper bag for bringing home dirty diapers.  This one works great, and it's easy to just throw it in the wash and dry cycle with the diapers.  It comes with a pacifier bag, which I never use.  Oh well.  Also useful for non-cloth diapering moms, to stow outfits that have been the victim of spit ups or poop explosions!
  • Bed bumper.   This was great when my daughter was still a tiny infant.  I didn't want to put her between my husband and I, because he's a big guy and a very sound sleeper, and I was worried about him rolling onto her.  So we needed something just in case she squirmed off the bed (although she always wakes up in the same position we put her to sleep in, so not such a worry).  But you can't use a bed rail until they're a bit bigger.  This is just a foam bumper that goes under your fitted sheet.  Worked well, although it does dramatically decrease the size of your bed, since you need a few inches between it and the edge of the bed, plus it's about 4-5 inches wide.

  • Natural rubber teether.
  • Bells.
  • Wooden rattle.
  • Lamaze-type toy.
  • Hand puppet.
  • Ball.
  • Stuffed animal.
  • Soft mirror that can be propped.


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