My Top 10 Most Used Baby Products

5 Must Have Baby Items (from a second-time mom!)

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[Photo credit: Sandy Heit Photography]

This is a guest post written by my sister, Suzanne, a new second-time mom of my three-month-old nephew Gavin. Since I have been out of the newborn world for awhile, I asked her to write about her favorite and most used baby items from a real mom currently in the trenches. Even if you aren’t having another baby soon, I always love useful gift ideas for new moms!  Here is what she wrote…

“I’m sure there must be hundreds of blog posts and magazine articles with this title.

BUT…after making some unnecessary purchasing mistakes the first time around, I couldn’t help wanting to share my (not so!) humble opinions on a few of my favorite baby items.

It’s only been 3 years since I had my first son, and already some great new products have been introduced!

1. Aden+Anais Burpy Bibs

These have been a “must” from day one!  They are made of thick, absorbent cotton and are contoured to actually stay on your shoulder! A bit of a higher price-point for a burp cloth, but the snaps on it mean it can eventually snap around baby’s neck and grow with your baby as a bib. It will be perfect for all those sweet potato and pea purees in our future!  This is a great shower gift for a new mom.

2. Boon Grass Countertop Drying Mat 

Having just remodeled our kitchen, the thought of having a bulky, plastic drying rack be an (almost!) permanent fixture on our countertop was not ideal.

This inexpensive “grass” mat is visually appealing and functional too. You can buy the “trees” separate and they work great for nipples, valves and pacifiers to hang dry from the branches.

It also works great to dry sippy cups and all the plastic items that never seem to dry in the dishwasher.

3. Ergobaby Baby Carrier

Baby-wearing has become quite a movement and I’m seeing the importance of it more with my second child. I’ve been known to put the baby in the Ergo while playing “pirates” with my son in our backyard!

The Ergo is great because it actually distributes the weight of your baby evenly with the additional belt around your waist. There is also an infant insert you can use for smaller babies without good neck control. It’s a great product to invest in as it goes up to 40 pounds!

It’s actually not that bad to put the child on your back when they are that heavy and would be a piece of cake for a strong daddy!

This is the perfect solution for traveling in the airport, as you can wear your child through security and keep your hands free. It was the ideal way to wrangle my crazy 15 month old in the hectic airport. It’s worth every penny!

4. Boppy Newborn Lounger

This was actually handed down to me from a friend after her baby outgrew it (it goes up to 16 pounds), and it has become our favorite “baby placing” item! I

t’s just the right shape and size to put him in after feeding to keep him elevated slightly and allows his legs to kick. I’m also learning with baby # 2 the importance of keeping him “safe” and off the floor or sofa in order to dodge a crazy toddler.

It’s even machine washable, which we all know is a MUST for any baby item!

5. WiFi Baby monitor

OK, this one is a bit of a splurge, but it has been my absolute favorite.

We have used our Summer Infant Slim and Secure monitor for over 3 years now and found that to be a great monitor. However, to buy an extra camera and handset (ours is not going to last us another 3 years) would run us about $200. I found the WiFi Baby on a Zulily special for $200 and figured we might as well try it out for baby #2.

It comes with a WiFi camera that you can use to view your baby through an App on iPhone, iPad or Android. I love that I can check on the baby at any point on these devices without searching for an additional handset!

It also has a “noise meter” so I can see how long the baby has been crying (or hopefully quiet!). I only have it set up now on our home WiFi (which means I can only see the camera when connected to our home WiFi), but I understand you can also set it up to view over 3G outside the home. This will be a nice feature when I go back to work after maternity leave is over (*sniff*). You can also connect up to 4 cameras, which would be ideal for families with multiple children to spy on!

I hope that was helpful to some first-time (or seasoned!) moms out there trying to navigate the world of baby gear.  Feel free to leave comments below and tell me what is YOUR must-have baby item???


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We Love Sophie the Giraffe

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I am slowly making my way through the list of My Top 10 Most Used Baby Items and seeing that I currently have a 7 1/2 month old silly grinning two-toothed baby with more on the way, I have to  include Sophie, the wondrous teether toy!  So, this will have to be my #5 pick!

I was first  introduced to Sophie the Giraffe when I received it as a shower gift for my first baby.   Being a clueless mom-to-be I didn’t really understand the reaction when seasoned moms in the room erupted in a collective outburst of excitement about how much they LOVED their Sophies.   I looked at the little rubber, rosy cheeked giraffe and didn’t get it.  Yet.

Fast forward 6 months later and seeing my little teething baby gnaw with such joy on her Sophie, I finally got it.   And, I got how you can justify spending roughly $23 on a teething toy.

My friend Jenny got Morgan her very own Sophie the Giraffe as a baby gift and it is her favorite.  I don’t know what it is about that giraffe, but she possesses a magical quality of fun and function.  Pick one up as a gift and you are sure to give one of their most used baby items!

{If you consider buying online at Land of Nod Tiny Oranges is an Affiliate – Click HERE for the product link!}

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Skip Hop Diaper Bag at The Land of Nod

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My friend Pam is my mothering guru.  As a mom to three (ages 7, 4 and 2) she has been through it all.   She is my sanity when I am having one of  THOSE days. I can always call her and say “you ever have one of those days/moments when…” and the answer is always “yes!”  Her advice has gotten me through many rough parenting times!

In her 7 years in the mommy trenches, she has been though many diaper bags. Out of all of them, her absolute favorite are the super functional (and pretty reasonable!) Skip Hop bags.   Pam was nice enough to get me one of these great diaper bags as a baby gift for Morgan and I absolutely love it.  That’s why it is my #4 pick on my list of “My Top 10 Most Used Baby Products!”

It has large pockets on the outside for easy to access items, a side mesh compartment for a bottle, a rear pocket with included changing pad, two top zipper compartments to secure your keys and wallet, and inside pockets too.   There is also a separate side compartment on the outside made for your cell phone.  This feature to me is key as it always seems like my cell phone can get lost in the abyss of my bag.

DiaperBag_alt2 But my favorite feature is the strap.   You can wear it over the shoulder, or messenger style, and the design is made to be placed over the stroller bar.   You can even detach the big strap, and use the included stroller attachments, so that the bag hangs directly on the stroller.   Very easy to get in and out of your bag.  It can be used on single bar strollers or double handle ones like the pic on the left.  Brilliant!

You can buy it at the Land of Nod, it’s called  “Diaper Bag # 1 and # 2.”   Highly recommend it.  And, at $54, easy on the wallet too!  And, while you are there, make sure to check out their newly expanded baby section!

Happy Friday everyone!

{Tiny Oranges is a part of the Land of Nod Affiliate Program}

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Glamourmom Nursing Tanks

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My number 3 pick in my “Top 10 Most Used Baby Products” is a mom product, not baby product, but I have used them so much, they deserve to be on the list!   If you are a nursing mom or mom-to-be, these tanks are a MUST!

The Glamourmom long nursing tanks are absolutely fabulous!  I have LIVED in them.  In fact, in the early days, I literally wore them every single day. 

In the beginning, when you are nursing around the clock the “easy access” design is just SO convenient.    They are also great when you are out in public so you don’t have to fumble around with the nursing cover, a top and a bra. 

Also, in those blurry sleep-deprived days, it is nice to not have to pick two clothing pieces (a nursing bra and separate top.)   Too much effort and too many decisions for a delirious mom!   So, it was great to throw on one of these tanks and be good to go.

I am tall, so I LOVE the long style, as they don’t ride up.   Plus, it has that nice little bunching effect around the mid-section, which is very forgiving post-partum!

They were awesome for the hot summer months as you can even wear them on their own because the material is thick enough.   But now that it has cooled off, I have been layering the tank with a blouse or sweatshirt over it. 

I have to tell a funny story about these tanks you moms will appreciate!

When I went to a Milkalicous event last spring they had a buy two Glamourmom tanks, get one free promotion.   The free one was a black one with the “Glamourmom” logo in glittery silver writing on it.

On one particularly bad day, Morgan was inconsolable. Cried and cried and cried.  I was at my wit’s end, exhausted, and looked like I had gotten hit by a train.    I had the logo one on that I normally saved for wearing around the house.  Since I was desperate to help her stop crying, I put her in the stroller and took her around the block.

There I was, shuffling around the block with a screaming baby, hair throw up in a tangled pony, no make-up, teeth un-brushed wearing a tank top that said “Glamourmom.”  For a moment I thought about what I must look like to those driving by.  Then I started laughing to myself so hard I started crying because I really couldn’t have been farther away from being described as “glamorous.”     However, it reminded me that I still had my sense of humor which ended up getting me through that day!

{If buying online, consider supporting two of my wonderful sponsors that sell these tanks!  La Dolce Mama & Milkalicious}

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Aden + Anais Blankies

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Since all of this stuff is so fresh in my mind, I wanted to do a series on my personal “Top 10 Most Used Baby Products” – and the things I use about a gazillion times a day!   So, if you are a mom-to-be looking for items to add to your registry or a mom looking for a super practical (yet still fun!) gift for a baby, these items are pretty much guaranteed to get a ton of use!  BTW, they are in no particular order!  The first one in my list of 10 is the Sleep Wrap, see previous post.

My # 2 pick is the Aden + Anais Muslin Baby Wraps.  They came in a pack of 4 and I use them every day.  They are this wonderful gauzey (is that even a word??) type of material that is super light weight.  For a summer baby, they are amazing.  I use them for swaddling, as well as for covering the carseat when we are out on errands.  

I bought mine at Milkalicious in Aliso Viejo (you can also shop online.)  My sister just told me she saw them at Target.  I am interested if they are the same quality?  Anyone have the Target ones?  Are they the same? 

Since they are a TAD pricey, for a gift you can even buy a 4-pack, and give only one or two at a time  with something else.  I like to wrap mine with a little raffia ribbon when I split them up this way.

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