Sunday, July 18, 2010

Five Must Haves for the First Year

What would a baby blog be without a list of must have products? (Original you say? BAH!) Now that Nate is almost a year old, I'd like to share my short list of things that I've used on an almost daily basis.  In no particular order:

aden + anais Muslin Wraps 4-Pack - Zoo AnimalsAden & Anais Muslin Wraps: Nate started out life as a bigger baby (he weighed 8lbs 13oz at birth), so the typical receiving blankets didn't work for swaddling for very long. I bought these large muslin wraps online, never having seen them in the store, and it ended up being a great move. They come in packs of four, are lightweight, breathable and get softer with washing. I literally use them every single day. I use them on the stroller to shade Nate from the sun and to block out wind and rain. In fact, I have one tied to the front of the stroller at all times to cover his legs in the summer and I use another one on top to block the sun where the visor misses. I call it homeless baby chic. Since Nate hasn't been swaddled in ages, they make a great regular, light weight blanket - Nate loves to chew and snuggle with them. When he was smaller, I also used them to cover the floor for tummy time. Most recently, with the onset of Nate's cold, they have become the world's largest boogie rag. I can't say enough about these blankets. They even come in an organic option if you want to fork over a bit more money.

HoMedics SS-2000 Sound Spa Relaxation Sound Machine with 6 Nature Sounds, SilverSound Machine:  We have a million reasons we why we needed a white noise machine. We live in a two family home under a family of stampeding rhinos. With tempers. And a loud barking dog. PLUS we have our own loud dog. And for months we've had to sneak out of Nate's room once he fell asleep (but hopefully no longer once we return to Ferber after the ear infections clear - fingers crossed). To get out of his room you have to negotiate a slew of creaky floor boards, a door that squeaks occasionally and tiny elves throwing javelins. So we got the HoMedics SS-2000 Sound Spa Relaxation Sound Machine . Lots of nature sounds and the heartbeat mode to choose from. Big knob for changing the volume in the dark and even a timer if you wanted to use it. It's perfect.

Germ Guardian H2000 Manual Ultrasonic HumidifierHumidifier: I think everyone needs one of these, especially in the winter. I got ours when Nate had a crusty nose every morning once the weather turned cool and we started to use the heat. In my opinion, I think it's worth spending a little more for a good one, since it's going into the air the baby is breathing all night long. We got the Germ Guardian H2000 Manual Ultrasonic Humidifier and I couldn't be happier with it. There are no filters to change. You simply fill up the tank with water, turn a knob and you are ready to go. It's not that easy to clean, but truthfully it barely gets dirty. The tiny little blue indicator light makes a great night light too. It's been great to have it during Nate's most recent cold.

Baby Trend Single Snap N' Go StrollerSnap N' Go Stroller: If you drive your baby anywhere on a semi regular basis and you have a travel system YOU NEED a Snap N' Go Stroller. A few different companies make them, but we got ours from Baby Trend. I don't know if there is much of a difference between brands, but I was very happy with ours. The big travel system stroller is great for long walks around the neighborhood. But they generally are pretty bulky and heavy. You want something that you can open and close with one hand while you carry your baby, diaper bag, keys, umbrella and pet monkey in the other. It makes your life so much easier to be able to just pop the infant carrier out of the car and into the lightweight stroller - even if the only place you are going in the beginning is to the pediatrician.

PRIMO EuroBath Pearl White
Primo Baby Bathtub - As I think I've mentioned before, Nate takes a bath every night. He loves them, so we made it part of his bedtime routine. We have the PRIMO Baby Tub and have used it almost every day since his little umbilical cord nub fell off. It's made of polypropylene, which I understand to be a non-toxic material. It's easy to clean and has a great design. One side slopes, which is great for when the baby is little and will just lie there. Now that Nate has turned into a crazy man in the bath he spends most of his time in the "deep end." There's a valve in the bottom for easy draining in the tub. I think we'll continue to use this for some time.

I know every parent has an opinion. What items are on your short list? What things can't you live without? Share!
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