Product Reviews Needed!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Calling all mothers:  I am (very prematurely) sorting through baby products online so when the time comes to register I will not be so overwhelmed, and I need your help.

What are the BEST things you ever bought or received?  What is it that you could not have lived without?

What are the things that everyone told you you needed and you never used once?

Any votes for best and worst specific products?

Also, there are two specific things I will really be needing lots of advice on, the earlier the better:  1) I am planning on breast feeding, so I need help finding the best breast pumps and accessories, and 
2) I will be using cloth diapers.  I would love shout-outs on your favorite brands and (Arwen, specifically, since I don't know anyone else brave enough to do this!) what the heck you DO ... I mean, disposable is easy.  You throw it in a diaper genie and throw it to the curb.  I will really be needing tips on how people handle the cloth diapers and maintain their sanity.

Thanks, Moms!!  Keep commenting as long as you keep thinking of things! 

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UPDATE:  A very helpful lady pointed out that I should also add some of the "specifics" that I am already looking at so you can rant or rave about them!

So, these are the only things I have found so far that I am somewhat attached to or interested in:

I REALLY (really really) want a convertible crib that moves from crib to toddler bed to full bed.  Jeremy says he assumes they are all "rickety" and fears for our child's life.  I suspect there will be a pattern emerging here ...

Anyway, this is one I found and have been able to actually look at in the store:

Product Image

Thoughts on convertible cribs or this brand in general?

I have very sincere intentions of going the cloth diaper route, and the diapers they make now are freakin' amazing.

My (very) limited research has me leaning toward THIS brand ...

Product Image

... but I REALLY need feedback on this one.  I know they pay for themselves in three months or less, but it is still a big investment.  Especially if you make the investment and then realize you have the diapers and are probably going to use disposable anyway because you are so upset.

So, Internet, what do we think of Bumgenius?

I read so much about car seats that all words lost meaning.  Like when you say one word over and over, and all of a sudden you are pretty sure that it is not a real word anymore.  That is my current relationship with all words.

Anyway, here is the car seat that is supposedly the safest car seat ever:

Product Image

So why doesn't it have little pads on the straps?  Every other car seat in the world has them!

I DO like how gender-neutral it is though.  When I told Jeremy I was already stressing out about the safest car seat, he just laid his hand on top of mine and said, "Oh, honey, we won't be able to afford the safe car seats, so don't even worry about it."  Love that guy! :)

Any thoughts on brands and safety and weight allowances or ... uh oh, the words are losing meaning again.  

I know I will want one of these babies, and, again, I have been reading tons of reviews, desperately trying to find one that people claim has a motor that doesn't burn out and is stable enough that your child will not fall out of it.

This is what I found:

Fisher-Price Nature's Touch Baby Papasan Cradle Swing - Fisher-Price  - Babies"R"Us

I am REALLY hoping people have some rants and raves about specific models, because I don't care how it looks, just how it functions.

I am still totally clueless on the highchair, stroller, and some sort of pack and play device.  But on a last awesome note, look at this!

Product Image 4Moms Cleanwater Infant Tub with Digital Thermometer
Product Image

I know it's hard to read, but it says: "1. Warm water from faucet enters collection area.  2. Warm water flows over temperature sensor and into reservoir.  3.  As reservoir fills, water overflows into bathing area.  4.  Clean water circulates around baby as dirty water exits through sidewall drains."

Seriously?!?!  How long have these existed??  So awesome!!

Thanks again, and I will keep adding to this one.  


Amanda said...

Cloth diapers - I never used them, but I know someone who (I think) is planning on it. I had looked into it, and I do know that there are cleaning services out there, if you dont want to deal with the cleaning of them. If there is a service near you, and their rates aren't too bad... possible registry item/shower request could be x-amount of days/weeks paid diaper cleaning service? Oh, and if you decide to ruin the environment, like I did, DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON A DIAPER GENIE. Expensive, they get all twisted up, and I found I liked my 5-dollar trash can with a lid from Target better.
I will rack my brain on this one for awhile. One item I bought for both children, and loved was my cradle-style swing. Also referred to as papasan(sp?_ swing. Worth the little extra. Has a cool mobile, lots of music/soothing nature sounds, and it can go in EITHER DIRECTION. Cool, huh?
Never found a use for wipe warmers. Come on! Bottle warmers ... maybe might work for you, but since I was a formula feeder, I just made my bottles with warm tap water. Yeah, yeah, I know. Bad. Whatever. :-) They both turned out fine. Oh, and while I am thinking, hop on over to and register yourself. I LOVED that site. I was as addicted to that while pg with Joshy as I am to Facebook now. They have forums on there that are situation specific -- you'll see, but they have all sorts of forums for all sorts of moms. Plus there's a discussion board for the month and year your baby is due, so you can connect with other moms who are expecting around the same time as you. .... so, yeah. I have had just about every baby gadget there is, so if you wanna know something, shoot me an email/fb message. And I will keep thinking for you.
Haha, the MOST important piece of equipment I ever bought, YOU already have. And have an addiction to. And that, my dear, is your digital camera. And buy a portable hard drive to back up all your photos on, and put said hard drive into a fireproof safe. ;-)

Mad Mrs. E said...

I agree w/ the diaper genie thingy. I wouldn't waste the $. The other thing that comes directly to mind is USED. Anything and everything-clothes, toys, exersaucer, bouncy seat, walker, bumbo seat, Bjorn, high chair. WHATEVER YOU CAN FIND. Because these babes grow and outgrow things fAST! And, after spending $140 on a fancy swing -my son HATED IT, I wished I had borrowed one first to find out his son is and was a VERY HIGH NEED baby/toddler. What saved me was the BJORN. I wore that baby all DAY...
I used the Medela breast pump -it was a couple hundred dollers (don't buy used!) but worth it! I pumped for 9 months.
Don't worry about having EVERY LITTLE thing in the'll discover what you need, what works for you, and the baby will also let you know! ;)

Veronica Marcetti Dimick said...

Amanda -- thanks for all the advice!! Here is the swing I am looking at:

Does it look like the kind of thing you had?

I spent 5 hours the other night reading reviews on swings trying to find one that people liked and said the motor didn't burn out and their baby didn't almost fall out of. Sigh ...

Mad Mrs. E -- That is my fear!! (the high need baby who doesn't like all the fancy things I spent days and days and days researching) :)

Thanks for the tip on the breast pump. I was looking at that brand, and it IS pricey, but I figured if I got the thumbs up from a few moms, it is probably one of those "you get what you pay for" types of purchases.

I am looking for a good Bjorn too. I already bought a sling because I found it on clearance, but my husband comes from a line of huge babies, so I will probably have to upgrade to more support soon!


Melissa said...

I thought of you when I saw this:

(Wife of someone I went to grad school with.)

My mom used cloth diapers for all of us...I'll have to ask her some questions for you. :)

nicole said...

Ok, so congrats on the peanut. This is such a special time for you and your husband, cherish every moment because before you know it that baby will have grown into a mouthy pre-teen! and be sure to take lots of prego pictures because I didn't and I have always regretted not having pictures of that special time in my life. Anyways, as a mom of 4 munchkins I have tried many many things. First of all, the papasan is nice, but with my 3rd/4th babies I truly could not live without the portable/travel swing purchased for me by a dear friend. It was great because I could move the sleeping child to different rooms with me, and the swing was small enough to take when we visited the grandparents. Also, the carseat is good, but I have read that the infant carseats with the handle that you can take the baby in/out of the car in (the ones for babies up to 20-30 lb I think) are safer and that you should leave the child in that seat as long as possible. There is also the great perk of being able to remove the sleeping child from the car without having to wake him/her. I loved my carseat/stroller set that came together so that the seat fits right into the grooves on the tray of the stroller, soooooooo nice. Also, a great thing to do is go to one of those clinics held sometimes at carlots or dept. stores where police officers will strap in your car seats in the correct manner and instruct you on proper use. The majority of infant fatalities are due to incorrect carseat installation - not the type of seat being used! The crib is a HUGE deal, many cribs get recalled after babies are injured due to faulty parts. Do some research. My last simplicity crib (which, by the way was convertible AND yes, when turned into the toddler bed was rickety) was recalled because the drop-down siderail could partially detach and the baby could get stuck between the rail and mattress and suffocate. And, a new nurse thing for you, recent research says that pacifiers can prevent SIDs by maintaining the baby's airway! Lastly, I love love loved the sleepsack pajamas and the swaddler blanket. I have a friend who used cloth diapers and loved it will have to inquire for you. Another major thing I could not have lived without and still use for my 3 yr old is the baby monitor!! you can even get them with little cameras now so you can see the baby. sooo cool. As far as breast pumps, I actually got a little freaked out by the electric one I got (i'm probably just weird) so I went back to the aveda handheld and actually had better results. Don't forget the lansinoh ointment and breast pads though because I don't care what they tell you, you will still get sore. And so do the babycenter thing, you will be addicted, also I recommend the books what to expect when you're expcting. Full of answers and tips, there is also what to expect the first year. I read them all, several times because each pregnancy was different and full of exciting new things. congrats and good luck!!

Ellie said...

All good advice just remember what works for some doesn't work for others. Now that I have two children I can say that no child is like another, things that worked on the first did not on the second. I love the swing you picked out. I didn't use one like that but Logan loved to swing and Layten hated to swing. Portable swing is nice, but child out grows that one sooner then the larger one.
Breast feeding is really good, and it also saves a bunch of money. It also might not work for you, and don't stress if it doesn't you are not failing as a mother.TIP: see if insurance covers all or some of the breast pump. If the breast feeding doesn't work out for you, you don't waste all that money on it. I really wanted to breast feed my children, I was a stay at home mom and only bf Logan for 8 weeks pumping for the last 2 weeks. I tried again with Layten but was way to exhausted. I had a really hard time(emotionally) , because it was something I wanted to do. I look at my boys now and realized no matter if its breast milk or formula they are healthy and were fed. I did love my pump it was a Medela breast pump.
Other products that I loved are the boppy, not only good for breast feeding but everyone that held the baby loved it. The baby can be held longer cause your arm doesn't fall asleep.
The bumbo, is also a nice seat. helps them to sit so they are up and in new position. You can start using after 3 months when child can hold there head up on own. Would take this into the store stick it in the shopping cart, or at restaurants, slide in the booth so the child does not have to sit in gross baby seats, another thing is nice is a seat cover that goes over the shopping cart and restaurant high chairs. TIP: Good baby shower gift. One of them things you don't want to buy your self but great to have.
Pacifers, not only do the reduce sids but it is a calming/soothing for baby to suck. However it is tricky to find the right one, so many out there. I had tried every kind and both boys like the same one MAM ones. If you decide to use a pacifer take it with you to hospital.
Infant tylenol, gas drops, and ori-jel, your not going to use them right away but nice to have on hand for that first middle of the night fever or painful gas, and teething.
Don't stress yourself out to much looking for the perfect products. There are tons of baby product out there that are very nice, just remember most of it is only used for a few months and the child out grows it only using it once or twice. Do research the crib, car seat, stroller, and high chair these few things you constantly use and they need to be safe. I would recommend going into stores to see these products assembled and try them out.
I am sure you already have it but if you don't get it, What to expect when you're expecting. What a huge help that was with both pregnancies. Good luck with the disposable diapers, I was not that brave that and Scott would not of helped with those.

Arwen said...

Veronica, I have one zillion things to tell you (including my surefire ways to reduce pregnancy nausea!) so I am going to send you an email. Actually, a series of emails, to break up the screed for easier reading. Aren't you excited?

Having know-it-all friends is just SO fun when you're pregnant, isn't it? You should just be glad I don't know your phone number!

First up, the nausea stuff. And then I'll talk about cloth diapers, I promise.

Tall Girl said...

Cloth diapers? UGH! Oh honey (as I metaphorically put my arm around your shoulder) you have no idea of how much more work, and how tired and stressed out you will become WITHOUT the added stress of piecces of cloth filled with crap and pee that YOU have to wash and clean and fold and put away. I like going green too, but this is one landfill item you are going to want to throw in tehre. Seriously, you can ignore this stranger's comments of course, but don't buy too many. You can use them for burp rags when you finally scream uncle and buy those disposables.

Veronica Marcetti Dimick said...

Melissa -- Thanks for the blog tip! I signed up for her giveaways! And please do ask your mom for diaper advice!

Nicole -- thanks for all the great tips!! I am DEFINITELY worried about the crib. I am already having dreams about SIDS-related incidents. Also, that is crazy about the pacifiers!!! That is GREAT to know! And it will drive my mom crazy, because she is the biggest anti-pacifier person on the planet! Haa!

Ellie -- thanks for reminding me that different things work for different babies. I mean ... I KNOW that is true, but I feel like I will have to keep reminding myself of that a lot! I am going to try VERY hard to breastfeed, and I have a boppy on the list, but I am definitely worried I will be hard on myself if it doesn't work out. Sigh.

Arwen -- THANK you for part one of the e-mail series!! I am waiting with bated breath for part 2!

Tall Girl -- I know, I know, but I am also a cheap bitch, and if the diapers pay for themselves by three months and I have to diaper for year, I will be thinking about that all the time and high-fiving myself! I hope it works, but we will definitely see!