Sunday, December 13, 2009

Random Product Rundown

On a lighter, less "parenthood is hard" note, I thought I would make a little list of some of the slightly obscure baby/children's products that have made life easier. I'm not talking the big stuff like swings and carseats and exersaucers, but rather the things you might not find on a Babies R Us registry guide.

By the way, I have in no way been compensated or asked to do any of these reviews. Dude, I don't have the readership for something like that. This is truly just an FYI of things I actually use.

1. Safer Bather

I'm not one to bath my baby in the kitchen sink. Bath time is supposed to be about making the baby clean, not immersing her/him in germs from food scraps and cat food remnants. And the plastic tubs - where the hell do you store them? What do you do when baby is too big and/or squirmy for it, but can't really sit up on her own in the tub reliably? The Safer Bather gets around all those problems. I used it with Finn, and bought another (the first one didn't make our move two+ years ago) for Lucy. You fill the regular bath tub with a little water, stick the Safer Bather inside, and lay the baby right on it. Baby is warm and wet, not slipping around, and not drowning (don't walk away, of course, never leave a baby unattended in the bath, yadda yadda yadda). When baby is older, you can use it for her to sit on as a way to keep her from slipping around in the tub. Best yet, it comes with a hook so you can hang it up inside the tub to get it out of the way, and it is machine washable. It is necessary to point the latter out as the Safer Bather may occasionally start to smell funky. A quick cycle in the washing machine with some bleach will fix that.

2. Carter's Bubble Socks

These are the only socks that actually stay on. Enough said.

3. Chicco Ct0.6 Stroller

We needed a stroller that was light enough to take through an airport, but comfortable enough for Finn to nap in at Disney World when he was about 18 months old. We had one of those cheap ($15) umbrella strollers you can pick up anywhere, but it didn't have a sunshade or storage basket, didn't recline at all, and looked very uncomfortable (I always feared it was cutting off the circulation to Finn's legs whenever he sat in it). It wasn't going to cut it. So we bought the Chicco Ct0.6 Traveler, which retails for about $60. It suited our needs perfectly, and we still use it all the time. Also, it comes in lots of fun colors. We bought the orange one, of course, since it's Finn's favorite color.

The one drawback is that the sunshade isn't great, but we paired it with this next product:

4. Kiddopotamus Ray Shade

This shade extends as far as you would ever need it to, and it's adjustable. Kiddopotamus also makes a version for side-by-side double strollers.

5. Circo Bibs

I bought two 10-packs of these bibs when Finn was a baby, and they are still going strong with Lucy. At $11 a 10-pack, I have certainly gotten my money's worth. They are terry cloth with a plastic backing to protect clothes. Perfect for solid foods. Machine washable, of course. Love them.

6. CARES Kids Fly Safe Harness

This is the only child restraint, other than car seats, that is FAA approved for children to use on airplanes. It slips over the airplane seat and provides a 4-point harness for kids too small to use the lap belt. It can fit right inside the diaper bag, and keeps you from having to lug a car seat all around the airport. Also keeps you from having to INSTALL the car seat once you get on the plan. No easy feat with a squirmy toddler, especially if you are traveling without another adult. We first used it when Finn was about 15-months old, and still use it now.

7. Gerber Tossables
No picture or link for this one because I can't point to any one product that HASN'T been useful. Gerber makes "tossable" sippy cups (straw or regular, we use straw), plates, utensils, bowls... anything you might need. They are durable, they travel well, they are inexpensive, and you certainly don't need to toss them. We don't. In fact, they are dishwasher safe and you can use them again and again (and again).

8. Fisher Price Rock-a-Stack

Why is it that stacking rings are like crack for babies? This set of stacking rings has given both of my kids countless enjoyment. And folks, I can be "green" and "natural" with the best of them, but please, take it from me. Resist the urge to buy the fancy wooden rings or the natural cloth rings. Simple, cheap, plastic. Let your baby slobber all over these rings AND the ring stand, and joyfully bang them all together. You will not be disappointed. Just look at the kind of photo opportunities they will provide, after all:

Finn at ~7.5 months
(Sorry for the link, Snapfish won't let me save my own damn photo to my desktop. Which is partly why I don't use them anymore.)

Lucy at ~7 months:

There may be more, but this post has already taken me way too long (as M. can attest). Time to go be, you know, present with my family. And drink more coffee. Happy Sunday!


  1. What you need to post is about those items that are definitely useless and a complete waste of money. For example (one we've discussed many a times) the double stroller. Useful for twins or for Irish twins but definitely not any good for children more than 2.5 years think think think and post about these products. BTW used the baby tub all the time with DS2, no issues there and you store it in the tub - and you just know when they are ready to get out of the baby tub to the regular tub.

  2. I completely agree about the bubble socks, Circo bibs and Safer Bather. My MIL was just commenting about how great the Safer Bather is for Cameron. We've used it for every bath from when she was itty bitty up to now (almost 9 months).