Baby Gadgets: Love 'em or Hate 'em

This is a summary of responses to a question regarding which baby items we found most/least useful. Names have been removed from the summary to protect the innocent.

Headings:

Baby food paraphernalia
Baby Jogger/bike trailer/bike seat  
Babyproofing Gadgets
Backpack 
Bassinet
Bath ring/Tub Seat  
Bath Paraphernalia
Booster Seat
Bottle Paraphernalia
Bouncer seat 
Breast Feeding Paraphernalia
Changing Table Paraphernalia
Clothing
Cordless phone
Crib Paraphernalia
Diaper Bag
Diaper Genie
Exersaucer
Glider Rocker 
Harness
High Chair & accessories
Infant cushion - foam wedge (to keep baby on its side)
Infant car seat carrier  
Infant head support
Jolly Jumper
Mobile
Monitor  
Playpen
Shopping cart covers
Sleep tapes
Sling
Snugli  
Stroller  
Swing
Thermometer
Toys
Trainer cup
Travel crib
Walker


 Comments on each:


Baby food paraphernalia

Baby Food carousel to hold jars of baby food -love it 

JAR OPENER GADGET - Those Earth's Best jars were the worst to
open, this  thing helped a lot.  It basically broke the air seal so it would 
open real easily.

MEDICINE SYRINGE/BOTTLE STOPPER:  This I love, and still use.  The
syringes were given free w/prescriptions but I had to buy one at CVS
while at my parent's house and it came with a bottle stopper.  It makes
filling the syringe much easier!!  The stopper has a little hole in it, you put
the stopper in the neck of the bottle, put the syringe in and turn the bottle
upside down.  Then draw out the exact amount needed!  Otherwise, I was
sticking the syringe directly in the bottle  and would sometimes get a lot
of air, especially when there wasn't much liquid left in the bottle.

Small ice packs: We had about 5 of them, and they were constantly used
to transport milk and food for our daughter.
   
suction cup food bowl:  thought this would keep the food on the 
table/tray, suction portion never did stick, use the bowl though

baby food grinder - never used it (hand me down). 

baby food grinder -- used constantly, she only got the odd jar of baby
food when we were travelling.  i still use it for canned/frozen corn.

Happy Baby manual food grinder.  Wonderful, especially for restaurants.
We used to just grind up whatever we were eating, and she ate that. It
only cost $7, and we easily saved that by not buying as much jarred baby
food.

baby good grinder - Got a special little device for pureeing food which I
never ended up using.  Maybe next time?

baby food grinder- I got a little one and it was great.  Almost never bought
baby food.  Our son ate what we did.


Baby Jogger/bike trailer/bike seat  

jogger - Great for walks on trails but too bulky to put in our car, so we can
only use it in the neighbourhood. Very nice, but not used enough. (it was
a hand me down).

jogger----I don't actually "jog" with it, but it's great for strolling b/c
it has
bike wheels, making it easier to manuever on the sidewalk, grass (we
take it to the park), gravel, etc.

Burley bike trailer.  Just got it as our family Christmas present to
ourselves.  Love it.  It's allowed me to get back on a bike for the first time
since she was born -- we use it almost every day for biking to/from
daycare (weather allowing).

bike seat/helmet  - loved it last summer - we'll see about this summer. 
Accepts the helmet grudgingly.


Babyproofing Gadgets

I must be the only mom that doesn't have her cabinets locked.  In fact,
the only baby proofing we have done is the outlet covers.  Our daughter
is really good about not getting into things we told her not to.  We have
moved all the chemicals to high shelves though.  

Velcro fridge lock- LOVE it

Cabinet Locks/ outlet covers: Couldn't live without it!

Tot-locks brand cupboard locks. Very expensive but I love them because
they can be kept in an open position when my son isn't around. When I'm
working in the kitchen a lot, it saves me from fumbling with locks all the
time. He cannot open these locks and has mastered some of the others.

Stove knob covers:  Love 'em - but we forgot to take them off when we
ran the oven through the self-clean cycle - and they melted.  We had to
replace them!

VCR Lock:  we picked ours up from Safety First for $2.00.  Saves the
day.

VCR Lock: Wonderful. Highly recommend it. It is a lock than goes over
where you insert the tape. He is into trying to put stuff into the VCR and
this has definitely saved the machines' life. About $10.

TV button protector:  A must!  A clear plastic thingy that goes in front of 
the buttons on the TV.  Little hands (mostly) can't get at the buttons,  but
the remote still works!

we still use the lid lock on our toilet -- she considers it her job to latch it
after i use the toilet!

Safety 1st hearth guards.  Have them along the edge of our tile hearth. 
They're great for protecting little heads and adult big toes too.  ;-)

Safety first stair rail netting.  Ugly as sin, but it does keep them from
climbing off the balcony and also from dropping toys onto unsuspecting
victims below.

gate: We love our Fisher Price baby gates. They install in the doorway,
and you can swing them open and shut with one hand.

gate: helps to keep him out of rooms where we don't want him. Saves me
from having to chase after him all day.


Backpack 

She loved it last spring/summer.  Getting too heavy for mom now.

Gerry backpack - Our son is up to about 30 lbs. and still loves the
backpack.   We started using it when he was 6 months and he was 
immediately much happier in there than in the stroller.  

loved the sling & backpack, still use the sara's ride

Back Pack: Love it! We go hiking all the time and she loves the view  she
has from Daddy's back.

backpack - husband loved it, I didn't like baby spit in my hair!

back-pack:  big hit, I love it, our daughter loves it, my husband loves it. 
We've used it since she could sit up - Kelty, Koala model- cheaper than
the Happy Traveller, folds down for easy storage on planes, in cars,  etc. 
She loves to ride around above our heads and see everything.   Use it in
airports, hiking, grocery stores, stores where strollers  don't fit, or there
are breakables at munchkin level.  fortunately,  she is still a lightweight.

Backpack--my husband loves it--I'm not that comfortable with it.  Our
daughter probably wouldn't tolerate it well for long at this age, anyway.

hated it!

We had both and sling and a snugli.  I liked the sling better, my husband
liked the snugli better.  But she got too heavy for these rather quickly, so
then we moved to a Sara's Ride for me (a livesaver when I took her to
Israel at 7.5mo) and a backpack for Daddy -- and they're both still in use
at 18mo (though not the SR so much, because it's uncomfortable now
that her shoes dangle around my knees!)

backpack - we really liked the backpacks.  She liked the view from up
high and it was an easy way for me to carry her around.  Once she could
walk on her own, though, she was less patient about just sitting anywhere
- including in the backpack.

We have the Tough Traveller.  Holds up to 60lbs.  The weekend before
last my husband carried a 6yo in it when she got too tired to finish a 3+
mile hike.

backpack- borrowed one, used very little. I had problems getting it on my
back, though she seemed to like it. 

Back Carrier: something I found too awkward & heavy to use.  Took too
much effort to put the baby in for a short trip; too heavy to use for a long
trip.

Backpack - loved it over the summer, but haven't used it much this winter. 
Will try it again once it warms up.

still loves it but only Dad can use it - I can't hold 24 lbs with one hand
while lifting it onto my back.

wonderful, although that shifting weight can be interesting to deal with.
Someone mentioned problems getting into it - I just put our son in it while
it's on the floor (ours has a "kick-stand"), sit down in front of it, put the
straps on and then stand up.

he loves it, but we don't use it much - stroller is usually easier to deal with


Bassinet

perfect for the first 6 weeks when our daughter slept right beside us.   We
moved her to a crib in her own room at 6 weeks.

Very nice for teeny-tiny babies  if you're not family-bedding or if you want
a convenient place to put a teeny-tiny on down to nap. Borrow one if at all
possible, because they get outgrown *fast*. Ours was borrowed, and is
already on it's 4th baby since she
outgrew it.  :-)

Was great when we came home from the hospital. I had a c-section and
this way I could keep her close to the bed at night and I didn't have to go
far to get her when she would wake up.

Bassinet - this was great for the first month then she started making so
much noise I had to move her into the crib in the other room

MOSES BASKET - Borrowed.  Used a lot when he was real little and
we'd visit relatives.  Used as a portable crib.  Outgrew it very early.

We borrowed one of these and it was nice in the beginning.  Once she
out grew it we put her crib in our room, then at about 8 months moved
her to her own room.  She is a great sleeper and usually goes to bed
without fuss and sleeps through the night.  So having her in our room for
a long time didn't hinder her ability to put herself  to sleep.

used one when very little, I would suggest borrowing one if possible as
they outgrow them so fast.  Now used as handy storage for stuffed
animals.

Napped better in the bouncy seat.


Bath ring/Tub Seat  

Seems like we are the only ones that like this thing.  Still uses it
everyday, and love it! 
she tolerated it for a little while 

I hated the bath ring.  Used it once and then gave it to Goodwill.  :-P  We
have a teddy-bear shaped contoured sponge.  Bathed it on her when she
was a wee little baby, and now she sits on it while I dry her. We have
non-skid stick-on pads in the bathtub, and I trained her that she must
sit-down while bathing.

used it until she was 11 months and we loved it although she didn't care
for it much

I like this one too.  We are still using it.  I found that our daughter would
rather be in the ring than on the tub with no ring.  I guess it's a sense of
security for her.

tried it at my MIL's and it was a big flop.

Bath ring - we like this.  I felt a lot more comfortable knowing that she
wasn't going to slip in the tub and she didn't mind it.

she still uses it, and likes it.

used once.  I prefer to be in the tub with baby.

Used once, our son hated it, hard to clean him while he's in it.

Our son didn't mind it but it made me very nervous - only used it once or
twice.

used it for awhile, but our tub has a non-skid bottom so the  suction cups
of the ring didn't stick too well.  A couple of times he  almost went over
backwards in the thing!

got all scummy on the bottom and I finally threw it away.

Bath tub ring- didn't work, kept standing up.


Bath Paraphernalia

hanging mesh bath toy bag works great to keep bath toys contained &
still let them dry off

BABY BATHTUB, SPOUT COVER, DRAIN LEVER COVER, TUB WIRE
RACK FOR TOYS -  Love(d) all of 'em

Bath Ring, faucet covers:  She liked the bath ring ok, but prefers the
sponge seat we started using around 11 months.  The faucet cover has
never really been necessary and we got one, but water was leaking into
the garage below when we used it so my husband took it off.  Although
when I suggested this was the reason for the leak, he told me that it
couldn't be.

Hooded baby towels.  Don't know why people use them -- they're too
small and not particularly absorbant.  Better to use regular bath towels.

The store bought hooded baby towels are worthless.  But, we have a
couple made by a friend that are wonderful.  She used a regular full sized
bath towel and sewed a terry cloth hood in the middle. She probably used
the same type of towel and got several hoods out of each.  She sewed
ribbon around the edges of the towel and ribbon and lace (not too frilly)
around the hood.  It looks really cute and is warm and comfy - our
daughter loves it.  When she gets out of the bath tub, I put the hood on
her first then wrap each side of the towel around her - then I pick her up
so she can see in the mirror how cute she looks all wrapped up.  It
always makes her smile :-).

I do use the hooded baby towels on our son.  What I find nice is that I
can drop the hood over his head as he's running out of the bathroom and
the towel goes with him.  Then as I catch him I can get in a few drying
wipes with the towel before he takes off again.  It's just easier for me to
have the towel go with him.  Also the ones we have are basically square
so with one corner on his head, you can wrap the other two corners
around in front of him and wrap him up in the towel.  With a regular,
rectangular towel, I could never get him completely wrapped up in it.


Tub foam bear that he sat on in his tub. We used a baby bath for the first
few months because we have a HUGE jacuzzi in our bathroom that he
can now swim in!! No kidding - he does!!

Spout cover for bathtub - he bit a hole in it early on and we didn't replace
it. The tap is really high up though.

Baby Bathtub: Only used a few times for clean up.  Mostly I took the baby
in the bathtub with me.

Plastic 1 gallon pitcher- for washing hair in the tub.

Bath Net/Faucet Cover - Both things have been very handy.

our hand held tub hose for rinsing/washing hair broke, but it was really
useful when it was functional

hanging mesh bath toy bag - we now have THREE of them

Bath toy bag and faucet cover - both great investments!

i like the elephant tub spout cover & matching bath mat that indicates 'too
hot' water -- i still always check it, but our daughter likes the elephants
(points out the eyes,  ears, nose, mouth & loves to hang/put things in the
trunk of the spout cover


Booster Seat

have the Evenflo Ultara with the bar in front. My son learned how to
unbuckle the 5-point restraint on the other one I had.


Bottle Paraphernalia

BOTTLE PLUNGER - I used Playtex bottles and this was great to push
the  air out of the bags when it was less than a full bottle.

Electric Bottle Warmer - a shower gift. It probably would have been very
useful for nighttime feedings, but I nursed.

BOTTLE WARMER:  Not recommended for Playtex bottles, too bad I
didn't read that before I bought it!  Same thing for the car version that
plugs into the lighter.

Gerber Bottle warmer: Worthless to me. He wanted his bottle right Now.
That thing took 3 minutes!

Thermos:  We had one of those nice Nissan ones.  It was great during
those formula days.  It kept the water warm for DAYS.  We always
packed the formula powder (measured) in the bottles, and took a thermos
full of hot water with us. 

I really like those dishwasher baskets that you use for washing nipples,
bottle rings and bottle tops. I still use mine for pacifiers, and now I also
put sippy cup tops into it. Its great for containing any items that might
normally end up at the bottom of the dishwasher!

We used our dishwasher baskets for nipples and rings, and now use
them for sippy-cup tops and the little regulators from the Playtex cups. 
Also for jar-lids, measuring spoons, coffee scoops, and other small items.

I saw a gadget at Walmart for drying bottles, etc.  It's a drying rack put
out by Safety 1st.  Something I would have loved when my daughter was
using bottles all the time.  All it is, is a plastic base 4" x 6" (maybe) with
eight or so thin plastic posts.  You just set your bottles, nipples, rings and
caps on it to dry.  I think it would be great for those of us who are the
dishwashers.  I think it was only $3.00.  

I had this drying rack from Safety 1st and, since we don't have a
dishwasher, it was great.  I used it to store and dry the bottles.


Bouncer seat 

 We used to put her in it on the dining table when we had dinner... Oh,
she was so tiny then.... 

She loved it.  I used this a lot in the mornings so she could sit up and
watch while I got myself dressed in the mornings.

Bouncy seats- always used them, they are perfect when you have other
children, it is a safe place to strap in baby and let their adoring siblings
entertain them.

bouncy seat:  fed our daughter in this, sat it on the table while we ate so 
that she could she us and we could see her

We made our own and it saved our sanity when he was 0-3months. We
used the clamp on the door frame of a jolly jumper and attached (by a
belt of ours) an infant carrier (like a car seat but not for the car) and
would bounce him while he lay in there. It got him to sleep many a times!

Always thought these were a great idea & have given them to several
friends as gifts.  However, I found we didn't use it much.

best investment ever for when he was little (really used the toys that were
attached)

Complete bust.  He _had_ to be held all the time.

Infant bouncy-seat.  A necessity -- especially since she always wanted to
see around her (we used to call her the looking-around baby) and she
hated being left to lie on her tummy for the first 7 months of her life.  She
was only happy either being carried or in one of her bouncies (or
sometimes, for very short spells, while lying under her Sesame Street
Baby Gym -- another lifesaver!)

This she loved!!  We used it all the time.  Did anyone see the episode of
America's Funniest Videos when they had shown a clip of a baby
bouncing in the chair, making the chair practically flat on the floor? That's
how she was, too!

we got a lot of use out of this until he started trying to sit up.  I was afraid
he would throw off the balance of the seat and tip it over at that point.  It
was very handy to sit him in when we first started feeding him solids.

love it

hated it. Our daughter fought to get out of it and cried whenever we put
her in it.

He loved it, napped well in it, and we would put it on the table (in the
locked position) to feed him when he started solids, before he was big
enough for the high chair.

She never really stayed in it very long. She would always twist her body
around and start protesting to be taken out. Her brother on the other
hand, always  enjoyed making himself bounce.

great when he was little, especially when he started eating solids.  We
would put it on the table and he could watch us while we ate.

used it but not that often.  The chair from the swing was removable and
she preferred that one.


Breast Feeding Paraphernalia

Medela Lactina:  I pumped at work for a long time, and I couldn't have
done it without a double pump.

Breast feeding cushion. - It was a life saver. At first I used it because they
thought my pain in the nipples was from positioning. By the time they
figured out it was yeast, I was addicted to the cushion. Since he was a
frequent nurser and a poor sleeper, it was nice to have a place for him to
sleep so that I could get some stuff done with my hands since I didn't
actually have to hold him.

nursing pillow -- she was small & i used it for probably 6-8 months.  i
could read, fold laundry do some craft projects while she nursed (which
was about 20 out of 24 hours for quite a while there!)

I'll second the usefulness of the nursing stool.  I got mine when pregnant
with #2 and use it all the time. Now that #3 is nearly here it's very
comfortable for me
to put my feet up on at work.

I use the Medela footstool every day at the office -- not for nursing but for
computer work.  And when I get home in the evening my back doesn't
hurt (like it used to before I got the footstool).  It's absolutely wonderful. 
:-)  :-)  :-)


Changing Table Paraphernalia

changing table tray - love it

the thing to hook on the rail of the change table didn't fit our change
table, but it seemed like such a good  place to store that sort of stuff

Little tikes table top changer- put on top of dresser and still use it. 
Worked out well

A giant basket on the dresser to get diaper wraps and rubber pants, and 
water proof pads, kept them very handy.

Little Tykes portable changing table- actually not very portable, more 
like a top to go on a dresser, but since I am very tall it worked 
better for me on top of a chest then a changing table. We do keep it in 
our room on the floor when we have overnight company since they would 
sleep in the girls room. It is very easy to wash the pad and the frame.

Terry-cloth changing table cover.  Waste of money.  An old towel worked
just as well, and stood up better to a bazillion launderings.


Clothing

Hanna Anderson's pilot caps: love these.  Our daughter does not mind
having that on her head.  She would take other type of hat/cap off.

my #1 most valuable item:  buttery-soft old cloth diapers bought from a
diaper service ($40 for half of a *huge* bag, plenty for sharing with all my
new-mom friends).  Absolutely invaluable as bibs, napkins, urp-rags,
drool-catchers, parental shoulder protectors, carpet stain soak-up rags,
instant changing pad, highly-absorbant wipers for cleaning up any kind of
spills and messes.  I think I would give up all the rest before parting with
my diaper rags.  :-O  :-O  :-O

Newborn sized clothing - a total waste (of course, our son started at 10.5
pounds, so what could we expect)

A 0-3 month very pink and lacy dress my MIL bought for my daughter to
wear home from the hospital, well she was over 9lbs and it was 100
degrees outside, the tag never came off of it, I passed it on to my sister.

Those little baby girl headbands, I have a bunch, I never liked the mark
they made on their heads.

CLOTH DIAPERS: I had about 4 dozen (really!)  I always had one over
my shoulder for burping (he was a big spitter) and I also would put one
under his head on the changing table, bassinet, etc so it was easier to
clean up after the spit ups.  Now they make great dust cloths :-)

ONESIES: I always had a dozen of each size (spare ones kept at
daycare, my in-laws, in the diaper bag, etc) and I hate to do laundry (see
above).  I'm sad that he's in the x-large size now and will be outgrowing
them soon.

Onesies: Much better than 2 piece underwear sets.

Onesie extension snaps - love them

NEWBORN/3 MONTHS SIZED CLOTHING - Waste, waste, waste.  His
size 3M  outfit I brought to the hospital was too small!

Infant clothes/infant car seat/cradle - borrowed from a friend.  All of these
items were very useful/necessary but I was very glad that we were able to
borrow them since we used them for such a short period of time.


Cordless phone

Wouldn't want to be home with an infant without one.  ;-)


Crib Paraphernalia

Flannel crib sheets that velcro to the crib bars - It's a flat sheet that goes
on top of a regular sheet. Very easy to change.

crib toy: this is the toy that straps onto the rails and has things to push
and turn etc... he liked this more than his crib and for awhile it was
hanging next to his bed. He also loved the mobile in his room till he could
pull it down.

Dream Scenes (I think it's Fisher Price)---attaches to the crib.  You wind it
up & it lights up a moving screen & plays music.  He still likes to have it
on to fall asleep to at night.

Starlight Pooh----on the same order as above.  It has adjustments for the
length of time it will play.  This one is easier for him to turn on by
himself---you just push the stars on the front, instead of winding it up.  I
often hear it first thing in the morning!

Night light/music box for the crib: HATED IT, HATED it, HATED IT!!!!! At
first I thought it was a wonderful idea. It is motion and sound sensitive
and if the baby wakes up or moves, music come on to sooth him/her back
to sleep. But, he turned out to be a "tossy-turny" baby when he sleeps.
So, being in the same room as him, I was subjected to multiple rounds of,
"lullaby and good night..." every night. I finally got rid of it big time. I had
that song stuck in my head for weeks! ARGH!!!!!!

Stuffed animal that you pull and it plays music - Great!  He still pulls it
when he lays down to go to sleep and when he wakes up.  We have it
tied to the crib.

Busy box and crib mobiles- they all loved them, twins still spin the busy
boxes.

crib toys, mobiles - She really liked watching the Bears on Blocks  mobile,
and she loved looking at herself in the  crib mirror.

CRIB TOYS - We had the mirror and the busy box.  Finally took them
down this weekend.  He never was into either of them much.


Diaper Bag

Diaper Bag Organizer: Its this hard plastic container, about 10"x10",  and
1.5" deep. The inside is broken down into about 5 compartments, and it is
a great place to store all those little items that tend to float around in the
bottom of the diaper bag: pacifiers, thermometers, tylenol, combs, etc.   It
snaps closed, and the latches would be difficult for a toddler to operate.

Large Diaper bag : I got this HUGE diaper bag and I love it! It holds 4
bottles on the outside pockets and has separate compartments inside. I
couldn't live without it!

Small diaper bag: Holds only 1 bottle and a few diapers. Perfect for trips
to the doctor,store, etc.

Washable diaper bag- have two Carter's ones, have been the best.


Diaper Genie

love it

another "worth every penny" purchase.

another worthwhile purchase.

lifesaver!  I really like it.

Love it, bought two (one for upstairs, one for down).

Great for dealing with smelly diapers but it just doesn't hold enough! 
Keep having to empty it.

I have a trash can outside my door by the basement stairs. I put the
poopy diapers in a separate plastic bag (recycled grocery bags) and
throw the trash away every other day.


Exersaucer

Loved it! Our daughter would still get in it if she fit! :)

love it 

Loved it!  She still uses this also some times.  She doesn't like to sit in it
any more, but she loves to crawl under it  and play peek a boo.  She also
think it is funny to hit her head against the inside plastic rim.  She also
was one who wanted to stand very early so she started using this at
about 3 months and loved it.

when our daughter was about 4 or 5 months old she decided that if she
was awake she wanted to be upright.  You know how with kids that age,
they love it when you take their hands and pull them from lying down to a
sitting position?  She insisted on going directly to standing--she'd stiffen
her legs and there was no avoiding it, and she 
was *so* pleased!  We got the exersaucer so that she could be upright on
her own--it was one of those "worth every penny" things.

couldn't have made it without one,  she loved rock-a rooing in it

We had the Graco Rock & Bounce which we liked better than the
exersaucer (we bought an exersaucer, but took it back in favour of the
Rock & Bounce).  This was invaluable.  We had 3; one in the living room,
one in the kitchen & one for the nanny's house.  It folds up nicely, so we
took it EVERYWHERE with us.  Used from 3.5 months to 9 or 10 months.

I didn't want to get a walker because of all the bad things I had heard
about them, and this seemed to be a good alternative. She really liked it
until she started to cruise. We don't have moldings, so there was nothing
to hang a Jolly Jumper on.

he also enjoyed this but we didn't get much use out of it since we didn't
buy it until he was about 4.5 months.  We used it only occasionally once
he started sitting up at 6 months. I really wish we had it earlier since he
has reflux and it was important to keep him in an upright position,
especially after eating.

he had one at daycare and apparently liked it.

Best thing going!  He lived in it from age 3 - 11 months,  usually in it
whenever we ate meals.  We would load up the tray with a ton of toys
and he enjoyed spinning around,
finally bouncing towards the end.  My parents even bought one for their
house.

loved it! She enjoyed twirling herself around in the seat.   Although she is
too big for it now, we use it for a snack  tray for her. She thinks it is her
own personal lazy susan and spins it around until the snack comes to
her.

hated it but I think we tried it too late.  She was already 9 months when
we decided to try it out.  It was quickly returned.

briefly liked the exersaucer (for about 3min at a time)

great, for about 15 minutes at a time (gave Mom a rest from holding him
upright before he could stand, though)

Walk 'N Roller This is a stationary walker.  It has the treadmill on the
bottom so that the baby can walk, but can't move anywhere. She didn't
really have any opinion on that one.  The only thing she enjoyed about it
was bouncing in the seat.


Glider Rocker 

I still spend about 30 minutes a day rocking in it. It was a big splurge, but
it was definitely worth it.

Glider rocker.  Heavenly for nursing or rocking to sleep, or just sitting
there and staring at your perfect baby and thinking how very lucky you
are.


Harness

tried using it 1 or 2 times -- causes our daughter to lose muscle control &
collapse in a heap on the floor, totally unable to stand up or walk  ;-)

encourages rage and loud protest.

love it, don't use it for walking much yet since there's still too much snow
but it has attachments to strap your child into a shopping cart seat so he
can't climb out but still has room to squirm

just bought one so that we didn't have to fight over holding  hands in
parking lots or on sidewalks.  She loves it!! Sense of 
independence/autonomy but still safe.  Gerber, converts to wrist strap for
older children

bought it but my husband objects every time I want to use it. How can I
convince him that it's less confining for our son to have the harness than
to be forced in a stroller or our shoulders all the time.

the Gerber brand (as mentioned previously) which converts. Seems my
son likes to travel VERY fast, and since I broke my toe, I can't catch him 


High Chair & accessories

cloth thing to strap them into a high chair -- didn't fit on lots of high chairs
in restaurants & we stopped trying  to use it.  not very useful

Highchair - we have an Evenflo one.  I really like it and recommend it.  It
is on wheels (which can be locked) so I can easily move him from room
to room.  It has a nice big tray that comes around the sides of him.  Tray
comes off easily.  The chair can be adjusted to several different heights. 
The downside is that it doesn't fold up or become more compact, so it
isn't one you would want to have to move very often.

chair that clamps onto table: more trouble than it's worth.  I tried using it
at my parents house a few times and they finally ended up just buying a
high chair.

cloth thing to strap them into a high chair - WE LOVE IT and use it
constantly!  I even got one for my mom who uses it on a daily basis on
the highchair.  I am in the process of looking for some spandex material
(bright pattern) so that I can make more!

Gerry Three-In-One High Chair - My son now using it as a regular chair,
with the tray still in front. It's down low to the ground so he can climb in it.
When the tray is on and he's not in it, I put his sippy cup (Playtex) on it,
along with some goldfish crackers, for 
snacking whenever he wants. The table part I have in his bedroom to
hold his diapers and other things.

Soft cloth to tie into a chair- Someone mentioned this and said it was to
tie into high chairs. It may be different but the one I have is for use when
there is NO highchair. You tie it on a normal chair to keep your child there
safely while you feed them and I LOVE it!

BOOSTER CHAIR W/TRAY - Got two as shower gifts.  One is kept
permanently        at my in-laws, the other travels with us.

       
Infant cushion - foam wedge (to keep baby on its side)

hated it - she REFUSED to sleep in that position.

Infant sleeping wedge: He hated it when he was first born. I know it is to
keep them sleeping on their side but he put up such a fuss, it wasn't
worth it.

hated it

Sleep Pads:  I really liked the one we had.  It had 2 foam rolls; one on
each side of the baby.  They could be adjusted for width.  I found that  
they created a small space for the baby within the crib which perhaps  
wasn't so frightening.  We took the pad when travelling & it was a safe  
place to put the baby on a bed (also familiar to the baby).

FOAM WEDGE (SIDE SLEEPER): Loved it, used religiously for his 1st 3
months for all naps and overnight.

LAP PADS: Worked great for putting under his head in the crib while he
was still using the side sleeper.  When he spit up, I'd just change the lap
pad instead of the crib sheet.

sleep safe wedge thing for side sleeping -- she put up with it for a very
short while.  a rolled blanket would have been just fine.


Infant car seat carrier  

It's great but a bit heavy for me

we borrowed one and it *was* really nice not to have to wake our
daughter when getting her out of the car.  She sat in it in the house quite
a bit, too--had her first spoon-fed meals there, in fact.

Infant car seats- always used, easy to get out of car when sleeping.

this was great too.  Very convenient not having to wake her up after a
ride in the car.

wonderful for letting them sleep when they are small

A must-have item.  But see if you can borrow one, because she outgrew
hers at about 6mo.

Infant carrier - she spent alit of time in that as an infant.  It was perfect
when she started eating baby food, and was too small for the high chair.

We borrowed the one we had.  I will buy one for the next baby.

LOVED IT!  Our daughter slept in it for 3 nights when she had a horrible
chest cold and couldn't breathe when lying flat!

Used this alit before she was mobile, especially when  she had a cold
and she couldn't sleep unless she was upright.  Since  she is still under
20 lbs, she will occasionally pull this out of storage and sit in it.

Easier getting a sleeping child in and out of the car. She out grew it too
quickly.

Loved it.  For the first couple of weeks, that was the only place he liked to
be if he wasn't being held - I think it made him feel secure.  He napped
very well in it at first, then colic hit with a vengeance.  It was great for
taking him in and out of the car without disturbing him.  I just wish I'd
gotten one of the ones with a stroller base as well.

didn't have this with our son but got it for our daughter--well worth it! 

great until it got too heavy to carry.

Wasn't going to get one since it seemed like we'd  only use it for a little
while and the larger seats seemed to have more protection.  Got one and
*loved* it!  Great for getting sleeping babies out of the car without waking
them!

Loved it, was sad he outgrew it by age 3 months.   Very convenient to
cart him everywhere when he was sleeping.

Infant car seat - just had a regular one affixed to my front seat that I
never took out. I just put him in a stroller.


Infant head support

love it 

THOSE U SHAPED HEAD SUPPORT THINGS - Used them extensively
in the carseat, swing and bouncy seat when he was little.

U-shaped pillow for baby's head while travelling - we used this a lot in
those early months.


Jolly Jumper

hated it until about 9 months old and then loved it till she crawled

loved the jolly jumper for 10 min at a time

jolly jumper - he liked it for short periods but hated being laced in. I
wished we had one you could just pop him into

a borrowed gadget that I gladly would have spent money on.  Our son
just loved it from about 4.5 months until he was about 7 months.

Johnnie Jump-Up - She loved this and spent lots of time jumping and
giggling before she was able to walk solo (then it lost its charm).

My son was scared of it and never used it.

Never used it much, primarily since the doorways in our house are few
and not located where we usually are.

We hung ours off a ceiling beam in the middle of the living/dining area.
We used finishing nails to nail 1/2"x1"x8" wood pieces along the beam to
hold it up (and they came right off with no marks left behind when we
moved).  It was a lifesaver -- she was happy to sit and spin and bounce
and watch us for the better part of an hour so that we could eat dinner or
do chores.

hand-me-down stand alone version, she liked it, a  real pain to lace and
button the harness on her though, the kind with  the plastic form
supporting the harness must be much better

Jolly jump up- got as gift -took back, didn't work well with our door trim

Still unopened, ped. recommended against using it (due to our son's
weight and concern about his joints).

 liked it ok.

 hated it..

loved it for a while.

Our son loved it!  Well, except for the occasions when he got frustrated
because he couldn't *go* anywhere.

The jolly jumper was a gift and our son loved it until he was a cruising
kind of guy and then it was too restrictive.

never really got into it (maybe 5 minutes at a time, and it took that long to
get him strapped in)

OK, but she liked the Johnny Jump-Up better.  I think they work better on
wood/linoleum than on carpeting.


Mobile

love it 

He loved it until he could pull it down, then I took the mobile  down and
left the music windup part for another few months until he could reach
that too.

Had one over the crib, but barely ever used the music part.  Baby wasn't
very interested in it.  

We had a mobile given to us but the music box part broke quickly.  We
used a bungy cord with toys suspended from it entertain him in his crib.

Crib mobile - we were always hitting it just as we were getting him into
bed. It got thrown into the closet one night in a fit of pique, never to
emerge!!


Monitor  

Can't live without it!  Still uses it today.  It's really cute that she knows
that if I am in her room trying to put her to bed, she can 'yell' 'Daddy' at
the monitor to get him to come in. :-) 

particularly useful when baby was sleeping & I wanted to be outside.  
Not really needed in the house as our house is small enough that I could
hear her cry from pretty much anywhere.

we used it when we were living in a 2 story house but now we don't need
it

A must have, still used daily in my 2 story house.  We don't have to use it
overnight, since we can easily hear him from his bedroom to ours.

I used it a lot when she was really little, but not at all recently.  We have
the "Lights and Sounds" Monitor that allows you, not only to hear, but to
see lights when the baby is making noise.  This was great for my early
paranoid days as a parent when I wanted to take a shower, but was
hesitant to leave my baby unsupervised for even a few minutes - I could
put the receiver right outside the glass shower door and be confident that
I would at least see the lights flashing, even if I couldn't hear anything, if
the baby needed me.  It was also great for afternoons when I wanted to
work in the yard while she was napping.

Lights and Sounds was and still is great.  We don't use it as much
anymore, but it has gotten high mileage.

used it everyday and still do.

didn't use much since we have a bungalow and hi's room is close to main
living area

used it alit, still do, essential in a two story house.  Also used it when I
was outside and she was inside.

baby monitor-  we have two -- one for upstairs (our bedroom is at the far
end of the hall from hers) and one for downstairs.  They don't interfere
with each other, despite Fisher Price's warning that they might.  Oh, and I
really love the sound-and-lights version, because you can watch for the
lights and not have guests disturbed when she starts to cry (I just slip out
and get her).


Playpen

big waste of floor space - both hated it!

never really used it as a playpen, but it is handy as a portable crib when
we are out visiting.

Playpen- didn't start using it early enough, she didn't like it

playpen -- never used much; I don't particularly like them, and it tended to
only be in use if I was slinging pots of boiling water around

We still use it and he still tolerates it since it is only used for at most 10
minutes in the morning while we get ready for work.   We also used it as
a portable crib when we travelled to relative's.

play pen -- used maybe 4 times outside while i hung up laundry, not
worth the $$ spent on it

Used this only for toy storage.  It made a decent toy box, though the deep
shelves we've replaced it with work better.  ;-)

Worked great for naps.  We didn't use it for much else though.

Playpen, used it alit for to put them out on the porch, it was not large
enough for two active babies, although it was a safe place for them to
sleep from dogs and siblings( when downstairs)

He still goes in it briefly without complaint, but we've never been in the
habit of dumping him in there for any real length of time - which is
probably why he still tolerates it.  A godsend for mornings, when my
husband puts him in there while shuttling stuff out to the car, or when I
need to duck downstairs to get something out of the freezer (He is _not_
safe to leave alone - he'd be on top of the counter in 2 seconds).

he liked it but for minimal times only - it was especially fun when he
learned to cruise and the first time he pulled himself to standing position
was in his playpen. 

use it for a travelling crib and works great.  I have it open during the day
now and it has become a huge toy box that my daughter likes to get into
and play in for short periods of time.


Shopping cart covers

the thing that covers the front part of shopping carts was  useless once
our daughter could twist around -- she'd then  mouth the sides/back of the
grocery cart  8-('  but it worked great on the baby swings in the park to 
keep her mouth off the bar 

SHOPPING CART PADDED VELCRO THING - This worked great, but
was hard to setup when I was all by myself.  It supported him sitting in
the shopping cart and kept him sitting up before he could sit well on his
own.  I continued to use since it cushioned both his bottom and his back
until he was about 11 months old.


Sleep tapes

Baby Go To Sleep tape--didn't work for us  

Lullaby tapes!  She loved them then and loves them now.  She's one of
those music fanatics


Sling

The baby sling was useful when he was really small but only when he
was sleeping.

I never felt safe using it--was afraid she'd fall out as soon as I stopped
holding on to her, which kind of defeated the purpose of using a carrier.

Sling- loved it easy to use, able to carry 2 infants

Sling- received on as gift, never got really good with it though like
concept.  Was always afraid she would suffocate.  Also hot in the summer

someone mentioned that she never felt safe using the sling.  I had the
same experience until I used the Over the Shoulder Baby Holder.  The
NOJO brand would never pull tight enough for me.  Now I *love* the sling,
still use it quite regularly.  I recommend the OTSBH for all you pregnant
mommies - for the next one.  I mostly love it because it seems to provide
such a nice transition from womb to world.  The baby can be totally in the
fetal position like  before, and can nurse with a minimum of shifting
around.

much used, in many positions.  also used as seat belt in  grocery carts -
soft and could be stuffed with padding to prop our daughter up when she
was just learning to sit up


Snugli  

I got one as a shower gift. I barely used it, because it took me so long to
get my daughter into it and put it on.

loved it until he was about 5 months old.

used it a couple of times while washing clothes, but found it a pain when
he got bigger.

Front carrier--used it once or twice but didn't like it-she faced us and
seemed to have trouble breathing with her chest pressed against ours

Snugli (front carrier):  Used it a lot till he was about 3 months old, when
he outgrew it.  Very hard on the back - all the weight was at the base of
my neck - but sometimes that was the only way he would calm down.  My
husband used it more than I did.

snugli and backpack: you've got to be kidding!!! I didn't know a two week
old infant was old enough to have preferences but he hated the snugli
and the backpack was a pain.  He put up such a fuss when he's being
put in it that it's not worth it.  Other than racing around his favourite mode
is going on our shoulders.

my daughter was colicky and everyone suggested I try the snugli.  She
absolutely hated being carried that way.

snugli: hand-me-down, used a few times, difficult to get baby in and  out
of and me in and out of

Snugli/sling: We all hated these!

Snugli- we used it some, while she was small, too hot in the summer
though

Snugli - She hated it.  We never were able to make even a single outing
in it - she screamed as soon as we tried to put her in and throughout the
time we experimented with carrying her around the house in it.

only had one where our son faced inward - he didn't like that because he
wanted to see what was going on.

Snugli - had the infant size and then the larger size. She hated both.
Mostly
didn't like being confined.

used it a couple of times but never really seemed to like it

only lasted about a month. she hated being confined in anything!


Loved the Snugli for when our son was from about 4 months to 10
months.  We wore it backwards all the time with him facing out.  Never
used it with him facing in.

Snugli- yuck hurt my back, too many straps

Snugli - great - until about 3 months (at 15-18 pounds, he was a bit heavy
for it)


Stroller  

Spent a lot of money on a light one (gift), well worth the money!

Stroller- travel-lite kind, very good for sidewalks and malls

Umbrella stroller - great to keep in the car for times when we don't expect
to do something, and great for use in airports since we have done lots of
travelling with him.

stroller I can't imagine surviving those first few months without one. My
mum would come over and take him for hour long walks so I could sleep.
I have a big "pram" style one#, a convertible style one* and an umbrella
one. 

UMBRELLA STROLLER - Outgrew infant carseat so early, so this was a
life- saver. Kept permanently in the trunk of my car.  Big sturdy one
reserved for neighbourhood walks

Travelite Stroller - I got rid of my humongous stroller and got one of
these. They are great! And they have a BIIIGGG basket underneath,
great for those shopping days!

like it.  I received a huge Graco model which I find way to bulky - takes
up all the space in the trunk of my car.  I think I'll buy an umbrella stroller
this year.

We walk alit.  Love our Graco Brougham -- agree with it's best-buy rating
(Consumer Reports, July 1994).  It's a bit heavy, but that doesn't matter
unless you're walking some place hilly (and for that we'd use they
backpack anyway).  I love the way it folds down completely flat so little
ones can sleep comfortably.


Swing

 It was OK, she never liked it as much as all the other kids seem to have.


good for a while; she wouldn't tolerate it all that much though

Another great one. It helped soothe him tremendously.

 *loved* it!  Great during those colicky days.  She used it for 12 months. 
We have the wind up one which was good enough although it would have
been nice to take a nap with her and not have to get up every 15 min to
wind.

Swing - number one best thing when one's knees are buckling after
having worn a
hole in the carpet from walking around

We got a secondhand windup one.  LOVED IT!!!!  He outgrew it by 4
months.

we received one as a gift and it was great, our daughter liked it a lot.  It
was battery-operated and was in fact what inspired us to get Renewal
batteries!  About the time she grew out of it was when we got...

She "tolerated" it for a couple of months, before she started grabbing one
of the supports and stopping the swing.   She rarely fell asleep in the
swing.

LIFESAVER!!! Guaranteed to put him to sleep in 10 minutes.  We had the
wind-up kind and used it till he couldn't fit in it anymore.

Battery operated Swing - A LIFESAVER!  until that little hand could reach
out and stop it!

swing- got used battery kind, she did pretty well in there but she learned
how to stop it pretty fast

My life saver until she could stop it herself by grabbing the leg.

we had the battery operated kind.  This was a life saver!  She would
swing in that thing now....if she fit.

Regular outside swing - my neighbours have one, and He loves it! I think
I'll get one for our tree.

(wind-up) - Used this until he got too big. It was great for putting him to
sleep. I had one w/the bassinet, too. It was good while he was really tiny.

Baby Swing (wind-up) - A definite lifesaver! 

She was not wild about this, either - didn't hate it, but was sort of bored
with it.  

all four loved them, battery operated wins hands down. 

he liked this most of the time and he would occasionally take a nap in it. 
We had a manual crank one and that worked fine for us. He stopped
using it at about 5.5 months because he was trying to sit up and he would
throw his body forward trying to accomplish that.  I was afraid he would
topple the whole swing over.

He loved it, too bad he outgrew it by age 4 months.

Loved our Graco swing.  We bought a used manual (wind-up) one and it
worked well. My husband got rid of the seat that the swing came with and
built a holder for the car seat so we could just hook up the carseat and
our son could swing in comfort.  We ought to patent that idea, it was
great.

a lifesaver


Thermometer

Thermoscan ear thermometer - love it 

Cheap Digital thermometer: Loved it. I can't read a regular one to save
my life!

EAR THERMOMETER: Got 2 as shower gifts, I've never taken his temp
rectally!  I always take it 3 times, and they are usually similar.

Pacifier with temperature-taking device inside (our daughter never took a
pacifier
and our son hated that pacifier style and wouldn't use it)


Toys

Love the push toy!  the favourite right now

Lots of laundry baskets for toys

Sesame St. infant gym----He spent a lot of hours under this thing, batting
the toys back & forth.  Now he likes to use it to crawl through when we're
playing tag!

Links----the plastic multi-coloured "chains" that you can attach toys to on
the stroller, crib, playpen, etc.  They're great to take out to dinner & attach
to the highchair!

Playschool Dream Screen This continues to be a favourite and lately he's
been trying to wind it up himself.  For a while the light bulb was burned
out, and when I replaced it he was beside himself with  excitement!

Yummy Gummy----it's a "discovery toy" that he gnawed on when he was
teething 

Rock'n'Roller - It's a tricycle with a rocker on the bottom which comes off
later when they learn to ride a trike. It's from Safety First. My son loves
this to rock on.

Play-yard a giant 8 side gate we used every day at the pool for the twins,
it was a life saver since it gave them a ton of room.  I just read about a
woman with quads who put two together for her four.  I think this is a very
popular twin item, keep it in mind as a baby shower idea.

toy bar for stroller, carseats -- she loves them, we alternate them around
for interest

Toy Bar- babies lay under it and have a blast

Laundry baskets - great for storing toys!!!! I got mine at Target for $1.99.

stroller toys - likes them more than he likes going in the stroller.

"The" Pooh Chair - this is the foam chair he got for Christmas. He loves
it. It is nice for him to have his own little chair.

Wagon- used instead of backpack, have one with fat tires which works
pretty well on the grass outside.  She loves going in wagons.

Soft playpen/mat with pockets for toys - loved it until he could crawl. 
Wished we had gotten it sooner.

Rub-on decals for walls I bought a Sesame Street rub-on kit with letters of
the alphabet, little figures and big figures, and put them all around the
room, including over his crib.  He loves them and talks to them!  They
come right off the wall and leave no marks, so you can even move them
around.

Pat mat that filled with water and had little fishes in it - dumb toy.

Forgot to mention one thing (a toy, really) that I _HATE_HATE_HATE_.
Those cassette players that are designed for babies/toddlers, that have
an on button and an off button that the child can use.
1.   An adult has to press a smaller button first for the big buttons to do
     anything.
2.   They don't auto-reverse, or have a rewind button.  When you get to
     the end of the tape, you have to take it out and switch it around. 
     This limits the time the child can play with it without intervention.
3.   The one we were given is intended to strap onto the side of the
     crib.  But to switch the tape (see #2), you have to detach it from
     the crib, turn the tape, and reattach it.


Trainer cup

Our son can't suck water out of it and ends up tossing it.

Right start trainer cup - you put on a nipple, then a spout, then use it like
a regular cup.  Great investment - only $5.00!

Rubbermaid sippy cups:  She loves these.  They are shaped like an 
elephant and a tiger and hold lots of juice/water.  They also have a  straw
and although they leak they don't leak a lot unless she tips it over when it
is really full.  We leave these out all evening for her to drink from. 

Rubbermaid Juice Box - this has worked well for us.

Playtex sippy cup - Absolutely wonderful.  We have 6!

Mag-mag cup with 4 adaptor things (nipple, soft spout, straw, and sippy
cup).  A waste of money.  Should have gone straight to the Playtex cups
or other cheaper sippy-cups.

Playtex sippy cup: Likes them and uses them at daycare.  I also have a
problem with the plastic insert falling out or getting too tight on several of
them.

playtex sippy cup: she hated it, had to suck too hard, loves the fisher
price flow control, rubbermaid juice boxes, tumblers with sippy lids

Playtex sippy cup - This is his new "baba." It works great! I just stick the
plastic thingies in hot water and let them soak. I don't have a dishwasher.

these are terrific.  We use the playtex no-spill cups and my family room
carpet is much better off for them.

Playtex sippy cup - Wonderful!  Let's our son have a drink whenever he
wants without having to ask and I don't get stained carpets!

Playtex sippy cup: Likes it, drinks from it okay. Found a new cup she likes
better...a Walmart special .83 cents. The handle works as a straw.  Can
spill alit, but she has learned that if she spills it, we  take the cup away.

we use Cherubs, not spill-proof, but not bad unless shaken upside down

Rubbermaid juice box - not as good as I hoped (was hoping it might
make a good transition from the bottle) - he keeps trying to tip it to drink


Travel crib

Pack 'n Play travel crib - love it 

Pack 'n play   Don't use it enough to have an opinion.

Portable Crib- necessity,  used it for travelling

Portable Crib-Used daily for napping at Daycare.  Also used for trips. 
Wonderful.
The Graco pack-and-play is superior to other brands, IMO.


Walker

Swore I would never get one because of all the injuries, but it was a
lifesaver!  Our son loved being able to get around!

Walker: Never had one. My mom had one at her house though. Hated it!
He used it as a weapon at the daycare. (he drives like his mother, oh
No!!!!!!)

used it instead of a high chair while he was really little. He really never
used it as a walker.

walker - I know how awful they are but I was *very* careful and you would
not believe how my constantly grumpy, hard to live with little guy became
a joy to have around. He only used it for about 2 months before he could
crawl.

Hated it but most likely since we were in an apartment at the time; it
didn't go well on the carpet and we didn't have any concrete area we
could take him.  He did love his pushcart and I think that helped him start
to walk early.