Posts Tagged ‘baby gear’

Once I started writing a list of baby gear must-haves (here and here) I started thinking about all the stuff we didn’t use and lo, another blog post was conceived.

– Burp cloths. They’re not big enough if your kid is a serious spitter like ours was. Dish towels and cloth diapers were far more useful. Get about a dozen if your baby shows signs of being a puker.

– Receiving blankets. I still don’t understand what they’re for. They’re not really big enough to swaddle with, and you’ll have tons of cute blankets to drape over the kid. Get a 3-pack if you must, and then let me know if you used them, and what for.

– Bath thermometer. That’s what your hand is for. Though those ducks that say “hot” on the bottom if the water is scalding are awfully cute.

– Noisy toys. You know the ones. Lots of screechy songs and buttons and whatnot. Old-school teachers call them “busy boxes.” We have a coulple, and I suppose you can argue that they teach the kid cause and effect and build fine motor skills. But for the most part the way the baby plays with them is pretty mindless, as far as I can tell. Also, they are invariably loud, which pisses me off, because I kind of like the fact that my baby can hear, thanks. Caveat: A handheld “educational” toy can be great for keeping a baby happy in the car. This is why an Elmo counting and colors monstrosity lives in the backseat of my car.

– Microwave sterilizer. While we did use this for a while, our pediatrician told us it wasn’t necessary unless we were using well water or had a preemie.

– Baby grooming set. The comb was sharp, the bulb syringe was useless (they give you a good one in the hospital anyway) and everything else was poor quality. Just get a good pair of baby nail clippers (or scissors) and an adult comb that’s not pokey.

– Pacifiers. They give you the best ones in the hospital (Soothies — ask for extras), and many (including me) say you’re better off ditching them by the 6-month mark.

– Baby journal. We have a really beautiful one with a sweet little bunny on the front. Every two or three months I pull it out, marvel that I’m supposed to print photos to go in it, and put it back in the closet. Disclaimer: If you’re a Project Person, you will love it.

– Wipe warmer. Seriously? Warm them in your hands or armpits if you think the baby can’t deal with a split second of chilliness.

– Footie PJs with snaps. Trust me: At 3 a.m., in the semi-dark (because you don’t want to wake the baby any more than necessary), snap-closure PJs become a Rubik’s Cube made out of fabric With a greased weasel inside. Zippers, my friends. Zippers.

I’m sure there are more I’ll think of as soon as I post this…

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Well, naturally as soon as I put up my baby basics post I began to think of things I’d forgotten… And so here we go again:

– Play mat: This is for further down the line, and more for the folks with hardwood floors, but they provide a space of the kid’s own as well as cushioning when they’re first rolling around. This one is fun, and free of the nasty stuff some of them have.


– Batteries: Ds and AAAs. Lots of them. Because not having them when a favorite toy or God forbid the swing runs out of juice when that’s all the baby wants is not a fun scene.

– Sunscreen: You need it from day one, basically. Didn’t know that until one of our early pediatrician visits. And don’t think that your baby doesn’t need it because of their lovely caramel or olive skin. That’s a big ole myth.

– “The Happiest Baby on the Block” by Dr. Harvey Karp: Another excellent, compassionate, sensible book about how to soothe a fussy tot. The basis of his methods is the idea of the “fourth trimester,” i.e., the baby’s first three months of life, during which some of them need a lot of help adjusting to life outside the womb.

– Infant massage: Find a class or watch some videos. This is a wonderful way for both mom and dad to connect with a newborn, and it’s quite soothing for all of you.

– Hand sanitizer: Because there will be times when washing your hands is too much of a hassle. Trust me. Get two or three dispensers and a super-mongo one to refill them from. Keep one near the front door for visitors (and yourself — it’s always a good idea to clean your hands when you come home). If you think I’m being alarmist consider that newborns (3 months and under) who spike a fever get an automatic hospital stay.

– Cart cover. Because there is no way to wipe all the surfaces your baby will touch, and suck, and you have no idea how disgusting or sick the last person to use the cart was. Also, carts are hard, and babies are soft — why not make it a little cozier for them? This article explains various features and reviews popular models.

– Baby hangers. Even if you’re having a boy, you’ll want to hang some stuff, and many store hangers are flimsy. Also: Cute! And handy for air-drying certain items.

– Speaking of hangers: If the nursery is dinky and the closet is of a reasonable size, look into having it customized. You will quickly find that you need to maximize all available space to store your baby’s accoutrements.

– Bibs. Long before you need them for mealtimes, you’ll need them for both drool and spit up. If your baby is like mine, you’ll need a couple dozen if you don’t want to do laundry twice a day. Get snap ones, not Velcro ones (it quickly becomes useless). Terry cloth ones are cool, but the waterproof ones are better. Carter’s makes nice durable ones.

– Socks. Many of them are useless for tiny, wiggly feet, but they make great hand-hiders. See, your kid’s hands will ATTACK and TERRIFY him or her! And you will be too scared of trimming those itty bitty nails to keep them from scratching the bejesus out of that sweet little mug. Bonus: They’re perfect infant mittens.

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