At the fancy dinner-out we had the other night, I promised Beth and Todd that I would make a list of baby gear that I had found to be useful. Having made that promise, I went on, in typical Gemini fashion, to vacillate wildly between being too busy to think and unable to rise above The Torpor to think. Allow me to try and make amends:
Things What Worked
In no particular order:
Big Blankets for Swaddling
•You know those packs of flannel receiving blankets? They are not created equal. We got spoiled with the generous size of the Amy Coe flannel blankets we got from our Target registry. I was too lazy/busy to measure them but no other brands we bought were ever big enough—and in the early days we went thru about 3 or so every 24 hours.
*Sootheez (otherwise known as Those Green Gummy Pacifiers)
Minimum of hassle and you can use your old grocery bags.
Friends from Germany
• Our friends Caroline and Karsten sent us a bunch of swag that had gotten them thru the babyhoods of their two lovely daughters. Such is the quality of German engineering that several of the items made it into our everyday favorites list. Part of the appeal with the German clothes was that they were’nt so freakin’ gendered (tho I did send a sports themed onesie to Amy and Grant for Stella that made people think lovely young Stella was a boy)
o Unpainted wooden ring with three wooden clackers. I like to think of it as Baby’s First Abacus. One of the failsafe “Please Stop Shrieking” toys.
o Three melamine spoons. I prefer them to the rubber tipped spoons as they don’t skid across the bottom of the bowl when I’m trying to scrape up the last of the prune purée.
o Galleseife Soap! This bar soap is for laundry and it has gotten out all sort of, as Caroline called them in her accompanying note, “secretions.” I have the original bar she sent me and its still going strong.
o Beth liked the box that Caroline and Karsten gave us. Caroline explained that it’s the sort of box that “German schoolchildren use to take their bread and cheese to school.” The one we have can hold 6 small Babycubes (see below) and a plastic spoon (see above), which makes for good traveling. Extra points are given for the adorable animal picture on the lid of the box that is neither gender specific nor licensed. I swear, I’ve never even seen Dora but I’m already sick of her…
•I’m selective in my Ebaying for Baby but I did score the one thing I really wanted for the nursery: a John Lennon Crib Mobile. A strict swaddling/mobile regime was what got us all thru those early days of the baby learning how to sleep.
•That is the brand name for the little plastic cubes in which you are to put and refrigerate/freeze your homemade babyfood. I got two sizes (ordered thru Amazon) and we are still using the smaller of the two. You could use the icecube tray approach and save some $, but the cube with their connected, snap-close lids travel very well. This is good when you need to pack up the bag for daycare. I keep expecting the lids to tear off but they have proven to be nice and sturdy.
Colours are Brighter
•This is a CD of children’s songs that Amy and Grant sent us. Its very smart and very sweet—standouts include Snow Patrol covering a Pete Shelley Song, a techno song about putting things away when you’re done with them, and Belle and Sebastian singing about what happens when the monkeys escape from the zoo.
Enfamil with Iron
•I won’t preach. I’m just sayin: of the formulas we tried once we had to start supplementing, this is the one that worked.
That which did not work
Cradle Cap Cures
•I don’t know the brand but it cost about $7.00 and left my poor baby’s head all greasy and sticky. The tough as nails visiting nurse who came to check up on Donny told us to use Selesin Blue and that did the trick. We still have about 7/8’s of a bottle left if you need it…
•Donny “Dainty Digestive Pants” could’nt deal with it. Plus, it smelled.
Halo Sleepsack Swaddlers
•I think that’s the brandname—it’s the zip up sleepsacks with the detachable Velcro “wings” to wrap around. Donovan always struggled out of them and, besides, did you ever try to do a load of wash with a 6 inch by 6 inch square of Velcro floating around in it? I could never figure out a way to wash the damn things that did’nt put the rest of the wash at risk—the Velcro was maniacally magnetic even through a mesh bag. Just buy some big ol’ flannel blankets and be done with it.
Del Monte Baby Food
•I hate to dis the products of a local company but the hospital gave us some jars for Donovan when he was in for the croup and the carrots were like water. Complete lack of texture, at least for the first stages set.