Monday, January 16, 2017

Top 5 Baby Products That We Love (0-5 Months)

To say that the amount of items available for new moms and babies that are out there is overwhelming would be an understatement - rockers that can soothe your crying baby for the price of an arm and leg, floatie that looks like choking hazard but it really isn't and diaper changing pad that doubles as a cone of shame... And, for new, (exhausted) mothers, it's easy to just drop money if the product will do as promised: make baby happy, give mommy more sleep.

Now that we've passed the newborn stage and have probably tried (and returned) countless of products, here are some of the notable ones that have actually helped us. And no, I did not get any form of compensation for these shout-outs! I am just a firm believer of really great, noteworthy products that need to be shared in a non-compensated way.

1. Fisher Price Rock And Play

This is quite possibly the best item that we received. When my husband's friend found out that Mikey was spitting up a lot, she immediately gave us her baby's old rock and play. This little gear sits baby in such a way that his upper body is elevated.

So, every time Mikey eats, we will put him down on his "rocker" as we call it, so he can fully digest his meal, and, with the way he is positioned in it, his spitting up has dramatically lessened.

Although there's an on-going online debate whether or not this product can be used for overnight sleep or, if it's ok to overuse it given the risk of flat spots that it has supposedly given babies, well, from our experience, Mikey spends a long period in it and his head is perfectly round, no issues whatsoever. Then again, every baby is different so, what works for Mikey may or may not work for another child.

No flat spot for this cutie - though, I am still very cautious and bought him the anti-flat spot pillow, as seen in photo (blue pillow)

There are variations to this product, there are those that you manually rock (like the one that we have) and, there are those that automatically rock with batteries/electricity. I've debated getting the electric one. Then again, I did not want Mikey to be too dependent on the automatic rocking action to get him to sleep, so, I manually rock him and stop when he is sleepy and I allow him to doze off on his own.

2. DockATot | Swaddle Me

The first time we tried putting Mikey in his crib was when he was 1.5 months and tiny. Needless to say he hated it, which I never quite understood until I was told by someone that it's because a tiny baby feels so overwhelmed when they are placed in an area with too much space since they've spent a significant time inside a tight, snuggly womb. Space gives them the feeling of free falling (poor baby!) and that's why they do better when they're swaddled inside a bassinet until they're big enough to see and understand the concept of a crib. 

Mikey being overwhelmed by all the space. Once he grows up to realize how much it costs to live in a tiny apartment in NY, he will love all the space he can get.

So, what worked for us is swaddling him nice and tight using Swaddle Me (read my separate post here) and, placing him in the DockATot. The DockATot is a European brand that's designed as a sleep dock for infants - they also have a size that's big enough for toddlers too! According to their website, it's for supervised co-sleeping, tummy time and lounging... Well, in my opinion, it's the miracle worker of baby sleep.

Happy, well slept baby = happy, well slept mommy

Imagine cozying up, surrounded in a cushy, breathable pillow - anyone would love to sleep that way and that's why Mikey loves it. It's so soft, warm, relaxing and it reminds him of the cozy womb. The DockATot helped our baby sleep through the night. Ever since we got him the co-sleeper, he gave us 5 hours of sleep (at 2 months!) which eventually turned to 8 - something that's completely unheard of for a 2-month old!

This item is pretty pricey though - It goes for $165 for the Deluxe (for babies 0 - 8 months) and $260 for the Grand (for babies and kids from 9 - 36 months). I bought ours on out of a whim... You know, during those 3 AM kind of night when you pray for a miracle product that will help your baby sleep longer. Well, my prayers were answered and the sleep gods of Amazon delivered us our DockATot. It was well worth the money, I tell ya!

Now, I am unsure of buying the Grand though once Mikey outgrows his DockATot Deluxe. He does not really rely on it to sleep through the night now, so, hopefully, our crib transition will go well.

Though, should we encounter problems without the DockATot, you know I won't hesitate to drop the $$$.

3. Angelcare Bath Support Bather

Mikey loves bath time. When he was teeny tiny, I bathed him in a big, plastic fruit bowl in our kitchen sink. Now that he's much bigger, we had to transition him to the tub. I was always hesitant to purchase a baby tub for him because a lot of times, he would pee during bath and, that means using the same water that he peed on to wash him. Not exactly ideal.

So, when I saw this blue Support Bather, I just had to purchase it (it's only $17.86 on Amazon, as opposed to $29 at Babies R Us). It can be placed directly in the tub, is ergonomically designed for comfort and safety and the best part is that the mesh material lets water drain quickly... So no more bathing in pee!

4. Kneeling Pad

While bathing is Mikey's favorite activity, they are not my knees' favorite. So, a thoughtful mom friend gifted us with Munchkin Dandy Dots Kneeler ($12.99) making bath time fun for both Mikey and myself - He gets to enjoy the water while I bathe in his giggles and kicks without hurting myself!

Bath time set-up! The kneeling pad is a blessing!

5. Fisher Price Soothe & Glow Seahorse 

Mikey loves staring at anything that lights up so we Santa, got him this Seahorse doll that glows and makes soothing sounds. He plays with it, bearhugs it to sleep and completely just loves it! While it's hard to really shop for toys for his age, it's fun to see him appreciate this little thing.

These are just 5 items that we discovered were amazing for our 4-month old. I am pretty sure we will discover even more as he grows. Do you have products that you swear by and would recommend to newbie moms? What are they?
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