Friday, April 4, 2014

10 {more} practical baby gifts/registry items

Way-hate one minute, Grace. You already pounded us with an identical post mere seconds ago. We get it. You're pregnant and you have kids and you have advice coming out your drums ... no more.

I know! But! You veteran moms left a bunch of great ideas in the comments of the last post and as I get my nesting bug on and I get it on strong ... I'm realizing these 10 things would be great to have on hand too. These might be a little tiny bit more frivolous but ... I didn't list anything I haven't personally used and loved so ... um, there.

And .. clap clap.
Here we go.



 1. Aden + Anais Bamboo Swaddle Blankets - a few people pointed out that there is a difference between the cotton and the bamboo swaddling blankets so I trusted and I ordered and ... they were so so right. And maybe it's my imagination but these seem bigger? I have these in a basket in the living room and aside from his very beloved fuzzy blankie these are the only thing Theo will nuzzle up with creepily closed eyes and pretend to sleep on. Soft is their specialty. The baby better reca-nize.

2. Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump - I had a serious (serious!!) engorgement issue with Theo that left me in a puddle of tears every time he ate and the lactation consultant only offered a, "maybe try to pump a little?" voicemail in response to my multiple frustrated phone calls so Simon ran out and bought this and holy relief. Along with frozen cabbage leaves. Maybe this could be reserved as a gift for a really close friend ... but it's the best. And some people said their hospital gave them one for free (?!) so maybe check on that?

3. Fragrance Diffuser - Okay, not very practical but SO nice to have. Antica Farmacista sent me a diffuser (with no strings attached) of their new Baby fragrance just to try so I put it in the little wall nook (I think meant for telephones WAY back in the day) in between the kids rooms and the bathroom and it's awesome. I don't love strong or super flowery smells but this helps curb the more pungent effects of certain boy diapers. And it's pretty - it doesn't look like it belongs in a nursery which is one of its best features, in my opinion.

4. aesthetically pleasing basket filled with diapers + wipes - I will admit to love having a changing table just because - it's nice not to sit down on the floor (especially right now, at the gestational size of a Beluga) or wherever (not necessary! I just appreciate the table, okay?) but admittedly 80% of the time I just end up changing the kids in the living room where we generally congregate anyway. And instead of asking the big kids 98 times in a row to please go grab me a diaper and wipes it just JUST dawned on me to have a stash in a basket in the living room. Target has a zillion baskets on clearance (at least here) right now and every time I look ... I can't commit to one but I will soon. Very soon.

5. Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder - All three of our kids have loved these. If you choose to be stupid like I am and throw frozen berries inside ... there might be a murder scene to clean up BUT it's a great temporary teething remedy and awesome hands-free way to introduce solids. I hate that I just typed, "introduce solids" but ... the shoe fits nice and tight over here in mommy blogger land.

6. Amazon Prime Membership - pricey but awesome. My brother gave us a membership for Christmas and I wasn't prepared to love it as much as I do. The speedy shipping is super addicting and I recently discovered the Instant Video situation which has been a disaster because Julia saw that Dora is available and ... blah. I thought we were over that. Culture yourself, child. Anyway - a SUPER generous gift to consider giving to someone you love more than others. J slash K slash sort of.

7. Boppy - I put this on the hospital bag list but enough people mentioned it that I thought I'd throw it up again. Love it. Will use it with every baby. I would go so far as to say this is an essential in the beginning for me. Some people mentioned the Boppy Lounger and (obviously) we haven't tried it but ... the baby in the photo I linked to looks very content which is how I prefer my babies to be. Food for future though, I suppose.

8. Nosefrida Baby Nasal Aspirator - This is the only thing I haven't personally tried BUT lots of people pledged allegiance to it in the last post and I trust you. Looks awful but apparently it works like a charm.

9. Lettuce for food {that you didn't personally make} - homemade meals are great and I'll love them forever. However! Simon's out of town cousins sent us a gift card to Five Guys and it was SO nice to have when Theo was a few months old and it had been a DAY and you know the drill. And some really great out of town friends sent some Pizza Hut gift cards that came in handy many months postpartum. Something to consider for the out of towners, maybe.

10. Alcohol - rightright after Theo was born Simon had to go in for a call weekend which went about as well as you can imagine. Anyway, some super sweet friends texted asking if I needed anything from Target and in the very harried moment, I jokingly texted, "tequila" and ... they brought it! Hilarious and truly the best gift ever. Jen's husband Joe has a killer (!!!) margarita recipe that Simon and I enjoy and the bottle of Patron has served us well over the past year (there's still a lot left because ... we are 30 going on 87).

People seemed to have strong opinions on swaddling blankets and carriers but I think that really all comes down to personal opinion but if I come across any new ones in the flesh that I can't live without ... I'll let you know. It's how I do. Always.

Anything I missed? I always do.

41 comments:

  1. Well I'm going to out on a limb and recommend you use your Prime subscription and 2 day shipping and get yourself a nosefrida pronto. They work. They are somehow slightly less traumatic than the blue hospital bulbs and they work better than those too. You'll be wondering why you even bothered once you try it. And I may add, it's one of those things that when you NEED it, you need it right then, you don't want to waste 2 days or 20 minutes.

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    1. I LOVE the NoseFrida. Only stumbled upon it after our second was born. We spent days going back and forth to the hospital when he was just under 3 months old because he had bronchiolitis, RSV and pneumonia all at once. They needed to repeatedly suction out his nose and lungs and we jokingly suggested to the doc that such a device should be available for home use. So I went looking for something and decided on this one. He's two now and we still use it often. So worth it!!! Run, don't walk! :)

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    2. I seriously don't get the Nosefrida love. I have that and the standard blue bulb and when I tried to use the Frida on my 12 month old, she wriggled away from me easy peasy while I was trying to keep the bits of the Frida together so that I could almost faint of oxygen deprivation while I tried to suck hard enough to actual get auction going at the nose piece. Maybe I just got a bad one?

      But HECK YES to the Amazon Prime membership. We're a one car family now and Prime has made it SO much easier!

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    3. LOL suction not auction. Although I'm sure all the toddlers would be lining up for booger auction action.

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    4. My kids hate it, but it works. We have to hold him down but it does the job and does it fast. You can actually blow into it instead of sucking. Then the crud just comes out the other nostril, kinda like when you blow your nose. And if nothing is coming out, sometimes blocking the other nostril while you suck works better. :)

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  2. Good list...great list!! I didn't know the difference between the swaddle blankets either until baby number 3. But the bamboo are oh so luscious! And the Baby scent diffuser is a fav, ours is currently freshening up the boys' room :)

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  3. Great ideas! My friends that just had a son now have a 5 guys gift certificate headed their way!

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  4. I LOVE our . Aden + Anais blankets! I used some blankets from Babies R Us for our first, and they lasted for...a day? before I gave up on them. The Aden + Anais are DEFINITELY bigger and easier to use than most swaddle blankets.

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  5. So much yes about food gift cards. My baby is 8 weeks old. We have eaten SO much delivery pizza in those eight weeks. It's just so tempting when Pizza Hut has ten dollar deals, they deliver, and you can toss the box. Plus, since I'm already a camel in regards to water, what's a little (lot) salt.

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  6. I just bought a nosefrida for my #3 who has the worst congestion of all time 24/7. i think the nosefrida device saved his congested life! it's my favorite.

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  7. I am a firm believer in the Aden & Anais blankets!! The bamboo are great, but I think the original are great too. The Target version though is NOT!!!! They are made by Aden and Anais but they are a 'for target' version. Much smaller and the are not nearly as soft. They don't hold up as well either. Huge difference - which totally annoys me. The product should be something you can count on no matter where you buy it.

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  8. Kidsme make a silicon feeder that is WAY easier to clean (no murder scene necessary). We use it with Henry and he digs it. I need to try it with some ice in it for his apparently worse than childbirth teething pain.

    I love Aden and Anais and almost leaped (lept?) for joy when I discovered the bamboo swaddlers. And then about cried when I found out they had an adult size version of the dream blanket in bamboo. It may have been the only thing I got for Christmas... totally worth it. I don't share it with Henry.

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  9. My hubs gave me the fixings to Long Island Iced Tea as my "push present" after our first. He knows how to speak my love language.

    As for the breast pump, I say blow $20 and rent it for the first week from the hospital as you are going home because holy engorgement, batman-- having breasts the size and shape and hardness of cantelopes scare my babies and me alike and we both cry, and my hands can't siphon enough milk out of of them.

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  10. Have you ever heard of the woombie? Its amazing, its basically a stretchy sack with a zip. We discovered it for our 5 month old who still needs to be swaddled but is so strong he could break of of every kind of swaddle known to man, cue the woombie. Its really saved our sanity. And hubby loves not having to deal with folding and fabric, just place the little dude in it and zip it up. Happiness.

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    1. I love the Woombie too! By far the best swaddle because they can't break out, but still have free range of motion...no straight jackets!

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  11. I used the medela manual pump first thing each a.m. when Elden would only nurse from one boob. So simple to use when mostly still asleep. Preferred it to my electric.

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  12. I don't think the aden + anais blankets we have are the bamboo ones, but I love them anyway. Also, the Halo sleep sacks are awesome, we really liked those for when we were out of the newborn stage. About the Prime memberships: if you have a generous friend who pays their own subscription, they can add you as a family member to get your own free shipping, even if you're in a different state. No streaming, but just having the free shipping is awesome enough.

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  13. I loved the mesh feeders with our first but totally disgusting to clean. Now they have a silicone version, so much better!

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  14. You know that Amazon Prime has every episode of Mr. Rogers ever made, right? It's my sanity saver. It chills my 2 year old out, and it's so quiet and soothing, it makes me calmer too (unlike her other favorite show, Yo Gabba Gabba, which is terrible).

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  15. Second the woombie. It's like giving the gift of sleep. Also love Robeez shoes. I always buy a pair for my babies and they each have worn them just about everyday for the first year of life. No worries about socks coming off.

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  16. Target gift cards! Always need something in those first weeks cooped up at home and Target is a maternity leave Mecca!

    Carter's sleep n play footie pjs with a zipper- nothing worse than trying to figure out snaps when baby is angry, you're sleep deprived and scared to turn on a light, because you're praying to go back to bed...

    There's a teether paci contraption that looks like a raspberry and worked great for my kiddo with orajel smeared on it. Called a Razberry, I think?

    Netflix membership would rock- I binge watched all kinds of guilty pleasure tv series on my phone when I was home with the baby.

    I got a digital photo frame for my desk at work before I went back and I still love it. Mine rotates pictures of my kiddo every 30 mins and is easy to add new shots to :)

    Dunno if it's practical but I loved the little Trumpette pack of socks that look like little shoes (Mary Janes for girls, Converse for boys) for that age when shoes are just silly, but they need their feet covered!

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  17. Just looking at the Nose Frieda makes me dry heave (seriously, not kidding). Will not be trying that one. Can't even look at it at the store. I get that the snot can't get to you, but that doesn't make me gag any less. Love all these suggestions, especially ten!

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  18. Oh! And if she's a picture-taker, maybe an Eye-fi card for her camera? It automatically uploads pictures to the computer via wi-fi and even sends them to sites like shutterfly for quick printing or sending to friends and family :) I love that my pics go to shutterfly where I can grab them on my phone and edit them with fun apps while my little one watches an episode of Curious George!

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  19. Never needed the Nosefrieda with #1. But #2 had serious congestion for a couple weeks after birth, to the point where I was afraid for him. This is one of those things that husband was sent out to Target to pick up in a last-ditch effort to save my sanity, and it DID. So the bulb can be all you need, but when your kid is congested to the point of concern, I haven't found the bulb as helpful. But whatever method you choose, nasal saline baby spray makes it work one thousand times better!

    And I agree about the murder scene post-frozen-berries in those mesh things. Never again. And Amazon Prime just sucked the most worthwhile $84 of my year out of my account when it renewed on Wednesday. I've never been so happy to give up $84 dollars. Amazon Mom is also awesome -- I order ungodly amounts of Huggies wipes and 80-roll boxes of toilet paper with the 20% subscribe and save discount.

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  20. I'm totally out of touch with the baby stuff but how awesome is Five Guys? The closest one to us is about 45 minutes away but we still make the trip every couple of months just to have those amazing fries dipped in vinegar!

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  21. Grace,
    Your lists are amazing for a soon-to-be mom. I am constantly editing my registry based on your recommendations. (E.G. 4 Moms should just give you one of everything they have for free since you are the one who introduced me to them and many of their products are not on my list. Hello baby rocker thingy)

    I have a question for you or any moms who have done this before...
    I hear lots of feedback about the amount of swaddle blankets one needs. Do you have a realistic number for the amount you would recommend. Also, do they work a burp cloths, nursing covers, etc...Should I invest in burp cloths as well?

    Thanks a million!
    Amy

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    1. Definitely invest in the burp cloths, because you'll go through a ton of those everyday and you won't care if they get stained or whatever. I can't comment on the cover, because I always used my clothing to cover what I needed to cover. I know you can use swaddle blankets as a cover if you decide not to go with a fancier one. I would get at least a couple swaddle blankets, I had at least five with my newborns (but I wasn't using an expensive one, just the cheaper ones from Target). Maybe get a couple nice ones and then have two or three of the cheap ones to use if you need them.

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    2. I picked up a pack of the A+A swaddles at Target and a swaddle me wrap second hand- I'd go that route until you figure out how much of a houdini your baby is (and if they even like swaddling). You'll need an excuse to get out of the house later to get more! We ended up going with the SwaddleMe for our little (3 was a good number) because she could bust out of the well tied blanket. I definitely still used the A+A blankets as a quick nursing cover, light cover in late summer or fall (for buggy nights or to cover her car seat while sleeping).
      Burp rags - get a million. Or maybe at least 10-15. We use the Gerber 6 ply diapers (not the 3 ply birdseye). All cotton, get softer every wash. Super absorbent. Also found at Target. Worth the $15. Not fancy, but the best!

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  22. Best gift - Bacon of the Month club for 3 months. Kid you not.

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  23. Just FYI, if you have health insurance it must, by law, pay for 100% of the cost of an electric breast pump. So if call them and find out which ones they cover and which ONLINE (the online part made my life so much easier) medical device suppliers you can order through. I used a manual pump with my oldest. It was not fun. Got a free Medela electric pump with my third (free if you don't include the cost of the premiums we pay the health insurance company...) and it's so amazing.

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    1. Except if you have Tricare. As the Department of Defense, they will not - some crazy legal loophole. :(

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  24. If this is a place where we can toss out our baby advice willy-nilly and not look like an ass, then this: http://www.amazon.ca/Baby-Led-Weaning-Essential-Introducing-Foods-/dp/161519021X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396755713&sr=8-1&keywords=baby+led+weaning

    That is my favourite favourite baby tool. That and boobies. I'm sure everyone on the internet has already heard of it, but I have such love for not having to spoon feed zee bay-beeeees.

    Hope you're feeling all sorts of good!

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  26. number 10 really made me laugh, lovely post!

    http://www.pixieronn.blogspot.co.uk/

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  27. NOSEFRIDA. YES. It totally works and it's weird but it's awesome.

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  28. The fact that you put tequila on here is pretty much why you're my parenting guru. Thanks for another great list—I appreciate every one!

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  29. So happy we are pregnant at the same time because I am gobbling up these posts and adding all the things to my "to-get" list.

    Also, we have one of those old telephone things in our apartment and it's my favorite :)

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  30. OHHHHH, Five guys gift cards...that's brill. Just added that to the baby list registry. I am very close with the Guys. When my husband was deployed, Five Guys became my second home and the little cheeseburger my food of choice.

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  31. #5 . Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder is seriously one of those things you don't think of until your baby is starting to eat foods. But they also work great to put ice cubes in when they are teething! I didn't even know about these when I was pregnant. They work great!

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  32. I have that mesh feeder thing. My son just looks at me crazy when I tried to give it to him! I put frozen peaches in it (to try to avoid the mess of something red/blue/berry colored!) and... I dunno, maybe he just doesn't like peaches? or maybe the cold is weird for him? Tried it twice and no go. Maybe I'll put some actual food in it so he can figure out your supposed to suck on it.

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