I covered the topic of must-have baby items a while back (as well as the must-avoids), but I’ve been thinking about the topic again lately since we have friends who are expecting their first child. I put together a box of outgrown (but clean and cute) infant clothes for them, and am thinking ahead to a useful gift or two once the baby arrives.
Now that I’ve been baby-wrangling my second child for the last five months, I actually have a different list of What Baby Products I Can’t Live Without than the list I posted back in January. Turns out babies are individuals! And what works best for one may not necessarily work for another one, even if they’re siblings! WHO KNEW. So take my new advice with a massive grain of salt, but here are my current suggestions for awesome baby products every new parent should consider:
Remember all that talk about baby carriers? I ended up using a Mei Tei wrap for the first few months, and it was really nice. Once I got it on and assembled the baby in it, it was by far the most comfortable way of carrying Dylan around the house, much easier on my back than the Baby Bjorn I already had. My only complaint about it has to do with the long, long straps, and the challenge with throwing it in the car and putting it on once you’re at your destination — the Bjorn was much handier for that purpose.
I think slings and wraps are awfully subjective, though, and the best thing you can probably do is try a few on for size in a store if possible — or borrow from a friend. What I’d really like to recommend is the Deuter KangaKid Backpack Carrier, which we use ALL THE TIME now that Dylan’s upright and not so wobbly.
We used it for many months with our first boy, and we’re getting just as much value out of it now. It’s relatively easy to wear, baby gets a good view of the world, and you can actually carry other stuff in it too, since it’s a backpack in addition to a baby carrier. (Longer review here, if you’re interested.)
Nature’s Touch Baby Papason Cradle Swing. I’ve done some complaining about the fact that this swing has an audio feature that turns itself off after something like 5 minutes, but now that Dylan’s past the newborn stage we never use the audio anymore — but he still sleeps in it, a LOT. It’s our silver bullet for naptimes, and if he’s fussy at night I know I can put him down in the swing (usually not swinging) instead of the crib and he’ll go out like a light. It is almost the best baby-related purchase we made this time around, with the exception of . . .
The Miracle Blanket. Holy cats, this thing really IS a miracle. I swear the first night we used it Dylan slept longer than he ever had before, and we’re still cramming his roly-poly self into it on a daily basis (he no longer fits in the bottom half, but we use it to swaddle his upper body). This product makes swaddling a breeze, even more so than the Kiddopatomus wraps I’ve previously adored.
Swaddlers Diapers. Diapers are a no-duh, obviously, but now that I’ve been through two early infanthoods I really have to give a shout-out to the awesomeness of the Swaddlers diaper. They feel really soft, they’ve got great coverage, and best of all: NO BLOWOUTS. No, seriously. NO BLOWOUTS. We haven’t even had any diaper rash with Dylan yet, and Riley didn’t get that many when he was little. Best disposable diapers ever, I wish they made them in larger sizes for older babies.
Out of these things I’d say any of them would make a fantastic gift (even a box of diapers is nice if you know they’re using disposables since it lets them try out the brand, you could combine it with a couple cute outfits or something) with the exception of the swing — it does take up some space and not everyone wants a big old piece of baby gear if it’s not on their registry.
What sorts of great gift ideas do you have for new parents?