When I first decided to become a parent, I told myself that I would be a frugal mommy. I would limit my purchases of toys and baby gear; I would try to maintain a simple-living mindset.
That lasted about a month.
I think it all came down to my desperation to make the day-to-day easier, as my son was not an easy infant. While I would not consider him to have been a full-blown colic baby, he definitely screamed a lot during the first three months of his life.
During many of those scream-filled nights, I searched through Amazon (going to the store was out of the question), reading comments by other parents, hoping to find the “secret” to making parenting more enjoyable and less frustrating.
Alas, like many parents, I realized there was absolutely no product out there that would abate the woes of parenthood. (And I really, really am jealous of those parents who made claims about products that, somehow, stopped their baby from crying — I’m looking at you Happi Tummi.)
Still, there are some products that I did find to be helpful as a new mom. These products did not permanently assuage my son’s crying (sorry if that is what you were looking for!), but I did find them to help maintain my sanity and — at times — help my son turn off the water works.
So, here are my top ten baby product recommendation. (NOTE: The prices listed were as of the date of this blog’s publication.)
1. Baby Bum Brush $6.99
This little tool helps to keep your hands clean during the thousands of diaper changes. There are a variety of tools on the market like this, but I like the ones that have a suction base; it makes it easier to find in the middle of the night when the lights are low.
2. SnoozyPod $59.99
This product earned 3 out of 5 stars on Amazon, and I can understand why. The music it plays is not the best quality and the vibrations are loud. But, I really like that this product can vibrate non-stop with the use of the app. NOTE: You have to use the app for it to run non-stop. otherwise it’ll only stay on for thirty minutes.
3. Fisher Price Fun N’ Fold Bouncer $49.99
There are several bouncers out there, and some are cheaper than this one. (To be honest, I was lucky to find this one on sale at Marshall’s for thirty-five dollars.) If I hadn’t, however, I would still purchase this one. For play, my son can bounce himself by kicking his feet. He can also turn on the lights overhead by kicking the buttons on the bottom. The lights can also be removed if he starts to become overstimulated. Then, I turn on the vibrations and bounce him to sleep.
4. Woozit Activity Toy $4.97
This toy may look a little odd, but my son loves it. It has several different textures and colors, which make it something he will play with for longer periods of time than in comparison to his other toys. It is also really easy to clean (I just toss it in the wash).
5. Boppy Lounger $29.70
The Boppy breastfeeding pillow is great, but I also really like this lounger. My son can nap (while I am observing him) or play in this lounger comfortably. He struggles with reflux (common among infants) and this boppy props him up slightly to help him digest his food better. It also gives my arms a much-needed break throughout the day.
6. Muslin Clothes – Prices Vary
There are many, many brands of muslin clothes out there — some are more expensive than others. Personally, I just buy whatever is on clearance at Marshalls (usually about sixteen dollars for three). These clothes are multi-purpose. They can be used to swaddle your baby and they can be used as spit-up rags. My son likes to snuggle his face in it when he takes a nap (I don’t let him sleep with it at night for fear of SIDS, but I will let him nap with it when I am watching him). I also use these to play games (like peek-a-boo). I think I have two of these in nearly every room of my house. And, they are very easy to clean in the wash.
7. Baby Brezza Advanced Pro $194.00
When I switched to formula, I came across this item on Amazon. At first, I thought this would be waste of money. And I will say, this item is not something you need as a parent. However, it has made my life a bit easier. With the press of a button, I can have a warmed bottle made in less than 20 seconds (you can pre-select the amount of ounces — from 2 to 10 — with a simple push of a button). It is basically a Kerig for babies. The only negative is that you have to wipe the funnel every four bottles (which sounds like a lot, but I found using microfiber clothes makes this really easy to complete in about 30 seconds).