I was asked to write an article about my top 5 favorite baby products for the April 2006 issue of Earnshaw’s, the Infants’, Girls’ and Boys’ Wear Review. (It’s a trade magazine so that’s why you haven’t seen it in the magazine section at Borders.)
Click the extended post to see the products I wrote about and photos of Anya using them!
Swaddle Designs Swaddle Blanket – Swaddling soothes babies by reminding them of the warm coziness of the womb, helps control the jerky motions that wake them up and keeps them warm. Anya spent no less than 50% of her first two months swaddled and we still swaddle her when we put her to sleep. You can use any thin blanket that’s around 42”x 42” but the Swaddle Designs Swaddle Blanket is the right size and thickness plus it includes a label with instructions on how to swaddle. You’ll need it the first few times but after that, you’ll be swaddling in the dark like a pro.
Celeb who has this: Gwyneth Paltrow used SWADDLE Designs Swaddle Blanket with Apple and no doubt will use them with her new baby, due this spring.
More info: http://www.swaddledesigns.com
Buy it at: Cupcake-Boutique.com
Fisher-Price Ocean Wonders Aquarium Cradle Swing – Though my husband initially protested getting a swing saying it would take up too much room, it became our saving grace during the first two weeks after Anya’s birth. Since it takes a little while for babies to figure out that they’re supposed to sleep at night, we spent a few nights wringing our hands when she wouldn’t sleep UNTIL we figured out that putting her in the swing comforted her because it reminded her of being in the womb. The swing allowed us to get a couple of hours of much needed sleep. Later on, it allowed us to put her down and keep her happy while we ate, went to the bathroom, etc. She loved looking at the fish circling above her, the calming ocean sounds, and looking at the orange fish on the canopy on the side of the swing. We also liked that the swing moves in both a traditional swinging motion as well as a side-to-side cradle motion. We’re not so crazy about the bright blue and orange motif so if you’re looking for something a little more toned down, try the Nature’s Touch Baby Papasan Cradle Swing. Our one complaint (besides the color scheme) is that it only takes batteries and we wish it had an AC adapter.
More info: http://www.fisher-price.com
Buy it at: Toys R Us, Babies R Us, Target, Walmart, Buy Buy Baby, Baby Center, K-mart, Baby Depot
The Peanut Shell by Goo-Ga – Though we were initially very nervous about putting our delicate newborn in it, we discovered how Anya loved our fleece Peanut Shell, which is a pouch style baby sling. She didn’t like being put in it at first but then once we started walking around with her in it in the cradle carry, it soothed her and put her to sleep right away. It also made it possible for us to hold her and do stuff around the house. Unlike a Baby Bjorn which has buckles and straps, the Peanut Shell is extremely easy to use and can be used until the baby is 36 pounds in different carrying positions such as tummy-to-tummy, kangaroo, hip and back carries. I now carry her in it in the hip carry when I need to get stuff done around the house. I also recommend the Tummy2Tummy DVD to learn how to use this and other types of soft baby carriers (like Mei Tais, ring slings, and wraps).
Celeb who has this: Heidi Klum, Michelle Branch, the Dixie Chicks
For more info and to buy: http://www.goo-ga.com
Patemm Pad and Skip Hop Pronto changing pads – I have four diaper bags so I can say with some authority that the changing pads that come with them are never big enough. When you’re changing a diaper in public, you don’t want your baby exposed to questionable surfaces so I opt to use my Patemm Pad or Skip Hop Pronto changing pads. Both provide ample surface for diaper changes and pockets for wipes and extra diapers. The Patemm Pad lives in our stroller basket and the Skip Hop Pronto was wonderful when we traveled cross country and to Amsterdam. Both have handles that are perfect for a one hand grab and go.
For more info: http://www.patemm.com and http://www.skiphop.com
Celeb who has this: Courtney Cox-Arquette is a huge fan of the Patemm Pad. The Pronto is so new it hasn’t gathered a huge following but these stars like Claudia Schiffer and Brooke Shields love their Skip Hop Duo bags.
JJ Cole Bundle Me – Anya has never been a fan of being bundled up or her infant car seat but we’re not fans of her being cold or riding unsafely in our car so the JJ Cole Bundle Me makes both of these things a little easier for all of us. The Bundle Me is essentially a sleeping bag that fits in the car seat (there are both infant and toddler sizes) or stroller, enveloping the baby. The fleece shearling version is perfect for the blustery winters of New York while the Lite and Urban versions are good for more temperate weather.
For more info: http://www.bundleme.com/obm.php