Sunday, March 15, 2009

More "Baby Stuff Love/Hate/Want List"

I'm actually glad we're marking down all of the baby items that work for us. Even if we don't use this list again, we can share it with friends or use it as a guide when shopping for the next baby shower. Considering that three couples we know just got married last summer, I'm expecting some of them to be "expecting" sooner rather than later, so this will come in handy!

Baby Bjorn Baby Carrier + Cover: (more details)
This is AWESOME. We tried the Infantino front baby carrier, but it had two major problems: (1) almost impossible to get the baby into/out of it; it always took two people, plus several minutes of contortions and wrangling, to enter/exit the thing, and by then the baby was upset (along with mom & dad!); (2) it held the baby too loosely, so that he flopped all around unless we were holding him with one arm-- kind of defeating the purpose, when you think about it. The Baby Bjorn, on the other hand, is super-simple to use. Once you get the straps on, you just hold baby against your chest, slide a tube into a slot & snap a button on each side, and boom! You're in. Getting the baby out is even easier, and you can do it while he's asleep without waking him. Perfecto! We use it all the time, even while working in the yard or around the house, and he loves it. We couldn't get one right away because he had to be 8 pounds before fitting into it, but he's perfect for it now. We can't wait to be able to turn it around later and let him see the world on our walks! :)

Sleep positioners:
We started to use these because Ethan got sick at around 8 weeks old, and we wanted him to be elevated without having to worry about him sliding over to the side of the crib (which he kept doing). Unfortunately, the positioners have been a pain in the tookis since day 1. The first one we bought ($25) worked okay at first, but (a) the velcro-mesh "bumpers" that are supposed to keep him positioned correctly are somewhat loosely covered and so they are easy to push out of the way, negating their purpose, and (b) the baby finds it very easy to scooch down the "ramp" and end up with his head between the two positioner-bumpers, which freaks me out a little bit. Because of those issues, we bought a second positioner ($36) that had more of a cradling shape, and was moldable to his body. The first night we used it, he went to bed at 9:30 or so, and at around 12:30 I heard him making some grunting noises and went to check on him. He had somehow rolled entirely out of the positioner and was on his side with his face completely pressed against the bumper. ACK!!! I almost had a heart attack, I tell you. What if we hadn't heard him and he had stayed against the bumper even longer?!? Anyway-- no more positioner, and no more bumper. I'm thinking about getting the Breathable Baby mesh bumper, which lets them get air even if their face does end up pressed against the bumper.

Baby Trend "Gabriella" Close-Sleeper 6-in-1 Nursery Center, with Bassinet, Changing Station, Play Yard, Co-Sleeper, Comfort Seat, Music & Vibration Station:
I SOOO wish we could have gotten this one right from the start. We just saw it in Babies R Us today, and I was so disappointed that we hadn't found it earlier and gotten one for Ethan. It is a bit more than the usual pack-n-play type play yard; it has the typical features from most others play yards, like a changing station that flips out of the way; a bassinet in the upper layer that can be removed later when you want to use the bottom portion only as a playpen; and a feature that has music, vibrations, and I think also a mobile to keep baby soothed or entertained while he's in there. But the feature that it has that I have never seen before is a removable section that becomes a "close-sleeper" and puts him right up next to the bed. The usual co-sleeper or bassinet is a bit annoying because it is deeper and it's a bit awkward to reach in there in the middle of the night to soothe the baby. This close-sleeper thing puts him much higher so that you can reach him easier, and also can be removed later for use as a baby-sized couch/"comfort seat". All in all, I wish we'd had it about 3 months earlier, so he could have slept in the room with us this whole time, and then we'd also have the bottom section as a playpen now. The bassinet/changing station/close-sleeper are only good for up to 15 pounds, so buying it now would be a waste of money when we can get just a regular pack-n-play for much less. Bummer. Next time, though! :)

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