I am one of those moms that is always on the hunt for a perfect baby product that I can turn to without questions. Whether I need hypoallergenic baby wipes or leather baby shoes, I’ve done some homework and would love to share my insights, opinions and overall critiques that will hopefully help you in your quest for stocking up on all your baby’s needs.
There are many different realms of thinking and purchasing in just this simple category. Many parents go completely high-tech and want to know everything from temperature and humidity as well as see in full night vision mode. I personally never had nor wanted a baby monitor, not for the reasons you may be thinking: I thought they were a waste of money, and overall unnecessary. For the first few months, I had my children in a basinet next to our bed, which made it easy to know what was going on with them, even in the middle of the night. And, when they got to be a little older and moved out of our room, I still didn’t rely on one to help me hear what was going on with them.
If your situation is different, if you aren’t a light-sleeper or the baby’s room is not close to your own, a monitor could be helpful. When money is not a concern for your family, go all out and buy what makes you comfortable; if that means buying something with all the bells and whistles, go right ahead. More than anything, it is important that you feel comfortable as a parent, no matter what.
Disposable Diaper Pails
I happen to get one of these from a baby shower and thought this was the greatest thing since sliced bread. I began using it right away and noticed a couple of things that I didn’t like:
- It didn’t hide any of the smells (in fact, the pail held the smell and didn’t let go!)
- The twisting after every diaper didn’t always happen, sometimes it would slip back and so the next time it was opened up, the smell would hit you like a ton of bricks.
- Unloading the pail when it was full was difficult, nasty and downright disgusting.
The concept was amazing, the actual product never lived up to the hype. I did much better when I had a stash of plastic grocery bags that I would grab from and tie the diaper up in. This also meant that I was taking out the trash more often and the smell wasn’t an issue. Maybe designs and functionalities have changed over the last couple years, but I would avoid these or regift them if possible.
If your baby has allergies, or if a particular brand causes a rash, go off of that experience, but as for my children, we consider ourselves extremely lucky in that fact that there were no rashes or reactions with every brand that we tried. Because you will be going through a ton of these not only for changing diapers but for everything imaginable, from sticky fingers to spills in the car. My advice, find a brand that you like and buy a plethora of them. I stuck with the cheapest brand that I could find, whether there was a sale at Walmart or if Costco had a deal going on them.
Baby Wipe Warmer
This was another concept that I thought was absolutely essential, especially for those midnight diaper changes. I quickly found out that not only could holding the wipe in my hand for 10 seconds do the same job, but the wipes at the bottom of the warmer began to cook. I had to keep adding a little bit of water every couple of days, probably because we live in the desert and all the moisture was wicked away, and the brown wipes at the bottom sometime became rough and unusable.
Maybe I’m being a little harsh with this and other items, but there is usually an old-fashion solution that costs little to nothing and does the same job. If you like the idea of grabbing a wipe and taking care of business, this is for you. I’m not sold on this, so you’ve been warned.
Baby Bottom Cream
Without fail, you can change diapers whenever necessary, you can air things out, bathe them often and some how or another, they end up with a diaper rash. I had everyone giving me advice on what to do and what to use. Some things worked well, some never made a difference.
I found a product that always made a difference, did it quickly and never caused any issues, other than it didn’t smell like the sweet scents associated with many baby products; it’s called Bag Balm. It’s been around over a hundred years and is now available much more readily. This product I can attribute to my mom’s great expertise and knowing the right product for the right situation.
Baby Developmental Toys
Whether it comes to buying a playmat, a shape sorter or baby walker, it comes usually at quite an expense. What I have found, especially after our oldest was that the toys have a very short life use. Some of them only were used or interesting for a couple of months, others were a little better and lasted up to a year, but then they sat in a closet or under the crib until I felt like there were too many and weren’t going to get any more consideration.
If money isn’t much of an issue, and you can afford to keep up with your childs’ curiosities, go for it! I guess we fell more into the starving student with new child category and so everything was purchased with a lot of thought.
Sometimes it is difficult to pass up on things that you would like to provide for your child, so I looked at different options that could help you provide these toys and not necessarily break the budget:
- Check out garage sales – especially if they advertised and want to downsize their baby product collection
- Craig’s List – this helps you to stay local and most people advertising are usually selling just a couple items at a time, so you don’t have to take on too many toys
- Other Internet Sales Sites – if you don’t mind internet shopping, there are a ton of sites that have used baby products at amazing prices, this includes bigger sites like Amazon, too
- Thrift shops – it is shocking what people are willing to donate, and some of them are in almost new condition. You have to be willing to check around and check often, especially if there is a specific item you are interested in
- Mom group swaps – if you have a good group of mommies that you can get together with, especially if you can bring new moms in, you can work out ways to swap out toys among you. This may take on unique characteristics, such as exchanging toys for babysitting time or carpooling older children, but it could be very helpful in the long run
There are many parents that would never consider using any type of shoe before their child is walking, and there isn’t anything wrong with that. In fact, most pediatricians would tell you to give your child plenty of time outside of a shoe so as to go through self-discovery, feeling their toes curl, biting on them and when learning to walk to feel how their muscles work and strengthen.
If you are like a great majority of people and don’t live in warm weathered locations year-round, you must use socks or booties for a portion of the day. These can also be very helpful when it comes to crawling and addition a layer of protection to the top of their foot.
I am very particular to leather baby shoes when my children were up and walking. There are a few reasons that I have always gone back to the leather: I know that having a soft-soled shoe is extremely important to the growth and development of the foot in that they don’t constrict or try to form the foot into a particular shape, they add a layer of protection on the bottom of the foot while not muting the input from the foot too much, and they take on the footprint of the child the more they walk in them. I have saved most of the leather shoes from each child as a sort of timeline of each one.
Making Your Own Decisions
No matter how much advice you read, hear or internalize, you will make your own decisions, have your own plans and discard everything else. This is what parenting is all about and what makes this all amazing and challenging at the same time. You are the person/people that know your child the best and will fight for whatever they truly need. Take that as an empowering thought and make sure that you do the best for him or her, but don’t forget to take some time for your spouse – you will still be married to him/her after that baby is grown and out of the house.