The baby products industry is like the wedding industry – almost everything has a higher than average markup just because. However, the baby products industry is also arguably one of the most innovative market with new trendy products being released each year, since brands know that many parents have a TAKE ALL MY MONEY mindset when it comes to their little bundle of joy.
We knew we did not want to go overly crazy with buying all the latest and greatest baby products out there because let’s be honest, some of them are just downright silly. However, there are some “fancy” (read: not related to baby outfits, diapers, or milk) baby products which really saved our sanity and helped us survive the toughest three months of our lives as new parents.
This product is quite controversial, and honestly, looks like a dog bed. They are also having some issues with Health Canada as many are using this product for co-sleeping, while co-sleeping/bed sharing is not recommended. We had every intention to follow the “experts” guidelines – baby in the crib on a flat sturdy surface, and nothing around her. We installed the crib before the arrival of Baby Y. On the first night back from the hospital, we set her in her crib and…
… the crib is so big and cold and the baby is so small!! I just couldn’t bear to leave her there by herself given that she was literally still cozied up in my belly a few days ago.
Hence, we started co-sleeping with Baby Y in our King-sized bed using the DockATot. Bite me, co-sleeping police. Actually, when we first learned that co-sleeping is not recommended, we were quite surprised. In Japan & Singapore where Y and I grew up, co-sleeping is so widely practiced that it is actually weird to arrange for your baby to sleep in a crib in a separate room! Interesting differences in culture.
So, if you’re considering co-sleeping, this might be a good option. We were deathly afraid of squishing our tiny newborn so the DockATot created some sort of barrier between us and her. Another option would be the the Snuggle Me Organic which I actually did not know about until recently. Again, probably not officially to be used for co-sleeping, but a good option if you want to co-sleep and afraid of rolling over your baby, which might be unlikely unless one is drugged or drunk.
Using these highly popular Aden and Anais swaddle blankets to swaddle my baby was a joke. Baby Y busted out of there so quickly that it probably took more time putting her in the swaddle than her staying in the swaddle. We even tried double swaddling her, as suggested by our midwife but it did not help. She still ninja-ed out of there right away and ended up in a messy swaddle blanket tangle, especially with Aden and Anais’ silky swaddle blankets line. Those are way too soft, so I would recommend just getting the regular Aden and Anais ones rather than the silky soft ones, especially since the latter is much more expensive.
This zipper swaddle was a godsend. This double zipper made it easy to put her in, and easy to do a diaper change without taking her out of the swaddle entirely. Baby Y still has some access to her hands, which naturally wants to be up by her face for self-soothing.
3) Water Wipes
With mostly just water and a little bit of fruit extract, this is the best and softest wipe we have used so far. Many of the generic brands’ (Pampers/Huggies etc.) wipes seem to have chemicals in them that leaves a weird film on baby’s bum. In contrast, water wipes felt light and refreshing.
Through researching about ingredients in baby products, I have started using the Think Dirty app to vet products. It is quite horrifying as brands I grew up using and loving like Johnson & Johnson appear to have many harsh chemicals in their baby products. After the talcum powder news broke, I definitely started paying more attention to the ingredients in seemingly “safe” products.
No need to fret clipping your baby’s fingers/toes by accident as this nail file is so gentle! Even if the filer touches baby, it doesn’t hurt so baby doesn’t mind. The challenge though, is to get baby to stay still! I usually do this while I’m nursing her so that she’s distracted but calm.
There are several files to switch in & out of, so adults can use this too.
This is a gift from my best friend, and it is THE item that allows me to have me-time throughout the day to complete basic human tasks like going to the bathroom or grab a bite. Baby Y has been absolutely mesmerized with this activity centre since about six weeks old, and can keep herself entertained for upward of 30 minutes. Hallelujah!
This might be the only activity centre in the market (that I know of) which allows for adjustable positioning of the toys – genius to keep baby distracted for tummy time. The mirror in the centre makes our baby chuckle as she thinks she’s staring at a “friend”.
There is also a smart phone pocket behind the mirror so we could slip our phone in there to record baby’s action. The downside is that the smartphones nowadays are bigger by the model so the only phone that I can fit in there is my old iPhone 5S.
We call this the “magic pouch” as our baby dozes off every, single, time we put her into the carrier. It was so helpful, especially in the early days when Baby Y would be so fussy and inconsolable during her “witching hour“. This latest model of the ergobaby carrier allows for all four positions (baby facing you, baby facing out, carry on hip, carry on back), and no need for infant insert.
I also like the Baby K’tan, which is a wrap but without all the wrapping. It feels cozier given that it doesn’t have all the snaps and buckles. On the flip side, it doesn’t feel as ergonomic or supported, so I like using the k’tan for short trips or around the house, but the ergo baby for longer trips.
7) Cloud Baby Monitor App
The two things we were constantly advised to purchase for good baby sleep are 1) white noise machine and 2) baby monitor. White noise creates a distraction from all the other sounds going on in the house, and a baby monitor allows you to be human and do other stuff rather than sit there and stare at your baby sleep.
However, we were not sure that we wanted to purchase two separate and specific gadgets for these purposes. I was actually just going to set up two devices (iPad & old iPhone) to skype call each other when I found this genius app. We installed it on the old iPhone 5S and used it as the “child unit”, set it up on a tripod by the crib, then took the other device (iPhone 8 or iPad) with us to use as the “parent unit”. The child unit phone also got connected to Bluetooth speakers as the app allows for various white noise or lullabies to be played.
Only available on iOS though, so my android husband is missing out on the action.
8) Baby Tracker App
This is the most used app on my phone these days. While we were in the hospital right after labour and delivery, the hospital staff got us tracking baby’s feeding times, length of feed, pees and poos, sleep time etc. on a sheet of paper. When we ran out of space on that paper, we thought – there has got to be a more efficient way.
This app does it all, plus development milestones and activities done with baby. One of the most useful feature of this app is that it provides charts (feeding, sleep, diaper changes, weight/length percentile) to assist with analyzing patterns. The chart function is definitely worth the upgrade to the full version. If you have android and iOS devices at home like we do, just upgrade on one device and email the customer support team for a code to get the other device upgraded at no charge.
Best part is that it allows for input from multiple devices, and syncs across those devices. My husband can check in at any time and find out when was the last time Baby Y fed or slept or pooped!
As Baby Y turns three months old, she is getting very curious with the world around her, so I am sure there will be a whole new set of baby products required to save my sanity as she progresses to six months old.
I can’t wait – TAKE ALL MY MONEY!!