Okay Wise Mama’s this little guy is a lady killer – how cute is he?!? Those curls! Anyhow, his mama, Linda just so happens to be a wise and savvy lady who is sharing her favorite baby products with us today. She is an awesome list full of great tips – a few that have made the list before (note, the Boppy Newborn Lounger makes the list for the second week in a row!) and also some new products like the all natural massage cream. Enjoy Linda’s list and her handsome little guy, Evan! If you are interested in sharing your favorites, I would love to have you. Email me for the easy details!
I have a sweet and very active 1-year-old son named Evan. He was a big baby, weighing in at 9 lbs 13 oz and literally went through a new size of clothes every month until he hit the 24 month/2T mark a few months ago. So, I am an expert on big babies! We have 3 large dogs and live in St. Louis City in a century old two-story house that we absolutely love!
I have to say it was SO hard to come up with just a few products that I’ve loved this past year, but here are my absolute favorites. I hope can save some other families time searching for products and avoid the trial and error I went through!
1. Nuby Silicone Teether with Bristles and Zoli Gummy Sticks . Evan started teething super early and now has (last time I checked) 14 teeth at age 1! Yikes! He had a lot of pain and I literally tried every teether I could find to give him some relief. The two he liked most were the Nuby Silicone Teether with Bristles–which was great for front teeth!–and the Zoli Gummy Sticks Baby Gum Massager for those pesky and super painful back teeth. The nice thing about the Zoli is that you can attach a pacifier clip to the end (there’s a hole!) and take it with you in the stroller or attach it to his/her shirt. LOVED both of those!
2. Real Bodywork Santa Barbara Cream in Lavender. Okay, so I know this is odd. Yes, it’s a massage cream. I discovered it when I went for a massage at a holistic center near my house. We started using this as a lotion when Evan was about 8 months old but I wish I would’ve found it sooner! I had tried several different lotions which either had an odd smell, were full of chemicals, or just didn’t seem to moisturize his skin. This cream is literally just olive oil, bees wax, coconut oil, essential oils, and vitamin E, and it smells like heaven! The best part, other than the great smell, is that you only need to use a very small amount–like a teaspoon or less for his entire body. So, at about $14, an 8 oz jar will last for a really long time, unless you’re like me and decide to use it on yourself too! 🙂
3. Boppy Newborn Lounger. I bought this on a whim at a garage sale from someone who said that “I would really need this.” I was a bit skeptical–after all, it looks like a big pillow–but it turned out she was right! This lounger was perfect for when Evan was little and couldn’t move around too much. I used it exclusively in place of a vibrating bouncer (even though I had one of those too). I know it says not to put it on your bed, but that’s exactly where we used it so we could watch a movie or cuddle in peace while keeping an eye on the baby. We were right there the whole time, so it was a nice place for him to lay without us worrying about him rolling or getting covers stuck over his head. Also, it kept him slightly elevated and secure in the middle. I even put it on the floor in the bathroom so I could take a much needed shower once. It was a really great and much needed purchase. By the time he was getting more mobile, he was ready for the….
4. Fisher-Price Deluxe Rock N Play Sleeper. This was recommended to me by a friend who I called in the middle of the night crying because every time I got Evan to sleep and laid him down, he would startle awake again and start screaming…over and over again…all night long…for weeks. This sleeper is elevated and keeps baby in the middle. It literally saved my sanity and allowed me to get more than 2 hours of sleep per night. A bonus–it’s lightweight and easy to move from one room to another and it folds for easy storage or transportation. Evan loved this so much that I bet if he still fit in it he would STILL use it!
5. Dr. Brown’s Breastmilk Storage Bags. Another product I wish I would’ve found earlier. These bags are waaaaay thicker than competitors. Translation–these will not burst open when thawed thus spilling and wasting ounces of valuable milk which was lovingly pumped at work when I could have been doing about a million other things. Just sayin…save yourself the heartbreak and tears and just get these bags to begin with.
6. Another two-fold favorite product–First, Earth Mama Angel Baby Organic Angel Baby Shampoo & Body Wash. This comes out as a foam and rinses off so easily. This would have been perfect when Evan was still getting bathed in the kitchen sink. while he was crying. and it was taking forever to rinse off liquid soap. In fact, since finding it, this has been our regular body wash which we still use to this day. Both scents are great. I would just caution you in advance that this is not tear-free so use care on your little one’s face. I just put a little on a wash cloth and that fixes that problem. The other body wash I would recommend is California Baby Bubble Bath, Eucaplyptus Ease. Even though I breast fed him exclusively through 6 months, Evan still got several colds. This bubble bath was wonderful in easing his discomfort and helped to loosen some of his sinuses so I could suction the mucus out. There’s not much you can do for little babies other than “supportive care” and this definitely made a difference so he could breathe. Take it from me, there’s nothing worse than nursing a baby who can’t hardly breathe through his nose!
7. bumGenius cloth diapers. I started using various cloth diapers when Evan was about 3 weeks old. I started with two different brands but quickly realized with a growing baby that a one-size-fits-all is MUCH better than sized diapers (small, medium, large, etc.). Both the all-in-ones and the pocket inserts work well. I know some people have a preference of one or the other but I actually like both equally. They have saved us so much money by not having to buy disposable diapers and they hold a LOT of liquid, which is especially important at night!
8. Ergobaby Performance Carrier. I finally broke down and bought this even though I consider it ridiculously expensive. But let me say it was worth every penny. Do you like to do laundry? Make a sandwich? Work in your garden? Well, then you need a carrier unless you like operating with one hand. (I learned this very early on!) The breathable mesh helps release heat, the strap around the middle helps to support my back (a must with a big baby!), and the way the Ergo is made helps to position the baby’s hips at the proper angle for comfort and development. I have actually used this more than my stroller and can use it around the house to get things done without him having to be in his high chair or pack and play. And while you’re giving half your paycheck to Ergo, go ahead an purchase the organic teething pads too which save your shoulder straps from being bitten by a teething baby.
9. Pandora One. If you use Pandora you know all about the ads, and you also know there are a lot of them. I decided to try a subscription (at $3.99/month billed directly to my cell phone provider) and it has been the best! I have a station just for nap times. Early on, I found out that Evan likes the sound of the ocean, so I created the station “Ocean Waves for Deep Sleep.” It’s so relaxing that I even like listening to it. Plus, it drowns out environmental noises like dogs barking, construction, mail coming through the slot in the front door, etc. I can also customize the station using the thumbs up or down feature so it’s exactly what he and I want to listen to. Without the ads, I don’t have to worry about waking him up and he can rest peacefully.
10. Shea Moisture Mango & Carrot Kids Extra-Nourishing Conditioner. As you can see, Evan was born with more hair than my husband and it has continued to grow at an alarming rate. His hair gets super tangled and can even get matted together in the back. I tried various conditioners, including adult and deep conditioners, but nothing seemed to work well and I felt like I was always yanking his hair in the bathtub when I was combing it. This conditioner smells great, is lightweight, and best of all–works! It has a pump so you can use it one-handed and after leaving it on for about a minute, I can easily comb through curly locks