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. ÿ