Baby Gear: These are a few of my favorite things.

It’s funny I should use that phrase as I deeply hate that song. Why, you ask? How could someone hate a lighthearted number sung by Julie Andrews in her musical voice? Well, dear friends, I hate that song because it is NOT a Christmas Song. But yet EVERY freakin’ radio station plays that stupid song at Christmas. What makes it playable alongside “Frosty the Snowman” and “Little Drummer Boy??” Is it because the songs speaks of mittens and packages and snowflakes? The song also mentions wet roses, Spring, bees, dogs, and kettles. These are not particularly wintery or Christmasy things. Crap. Now the stupid song is in my head.

So onto MY favorite things. Which are not kettles or wet roses or even Spring. Well, those really don’t have anything to do with babies either. So my favorite BABY gear – my must haves…  are as follows:

1) Moby Wrap
I looooove my Moby. Love. Moby. Love love love.  This worked when he was 5 1/2 lbs and it works just as well now at almost 10 lbs. *sniff* He loves it. I love it. It’s a win-win. I get to hold him. He gets to be held. I get to use my hands and not have my arms fall off or go numb and people try to touch him less. See? Wins all around. It’s also “customizable” in that it will fit any body. Or anybody. Either one. Both. It also grows with him and there are no hard buckles or clasps. It offers better support for the wearer and for the bubola than many other carriers too. The only drawback to it is that it is pretty toasty so being outside in the summer with it might necessitate me wearing very little under the Moby or we’ll both die.

2) Boppy
I bought my Boppy while Baby G was still in the NICU. He was so tiny when he started nursing that the Boppy really helped support him (with a little extra help from a rolled-up blanket as he was so small he’d sink into the hole in the middle). Now that he’s bigger (sniff) it’s still awesome for nursing as he’s still not quite big enough to lay in my lap while nursing and it saves my arms from certain death. It’s also good for tummy time (although he can support his upper body really well so he doesn’t really need it for that) and sitting/reclining him in. We have a “waterproof” cover on it and then a decorative cover over that. I have three covers and while the cotton knit one is my favorite (so soft!) the regular ones are cheaper and it honestly doesn’t matter either way. But again, so glad I bought this when he was still in the NICU. It really helped position him and make him feel cozy and their pillows were horrendous and slidey and terrible.

3) Bumbo
Are you noticing the trend of weird baby thing names? The Bumbo, if you are unfamiliar, is a dense molded foamish plasticky seat that surrounds the baby as he is sitting in it, helping support him. It helps them gain strength and when they get older it has a little tray so they can eat or play. Fun stuff. Baby G seems to really enjoy sitting in it and will actually sit and just chill in the Bumbo for much longer than he’ll hang out anywhere else.

4) Fisher-Price Rainforest Melodies and Lights Deluxe Gym with Bright Starts Elephant
I looked at lots of play mats.  Some have lights, most have sound, all have toys of some variety. There are several girl versions and then unisex versions. Which I thought was kind of crappy. But the Rainforest works for boys or girls with bright pretty colors, it has lights and sounds (music or rainforest sounds), and it has nice repositionable interactivetoys. We bought the elephant because he was darn cute (our local Babies R Us went through liquidation so we got a ton of stuff at a great discount) and ended up hooking him onto one of the loops on the mat’s crossbars. Baby G loves to look at the lights and swat at the elephant. He’s not really interested in the other toys yet but I know he will eventually. We try to do a little tummy time on the mat as well as putting him on his back to play every day. I’m very happy with our choice.

5) SwaddleDesigns Lightweight Marquisette Swaddling Blankets
These blankets are awesome. For one, they are huge so they are great for not only swaddling but covering the carseat or draping over the pack n play or swing to keep air from blowing on the baby. They are super lightweight so they are great for spring/summer. We have two and they are the best swaddle blankets I’ve got. And unlike swaddlepods or other swaddle products, once Baby G is past the swaddling stage they are still usable for other things.

6) JJ Cole Collections Car Seat Canopy
Essentially this is a fabric cover that velcros to the handle of the carseat and completely encloses it with a velcro opening in the front. I bought this after Baby G came home and I wanted to be able to cover him completely during the few errands we ran and the visits to the pediatrician. The fit on my car seat (Britax B-Safe) is a little different than what I expected but I still love this thing. It has elastic around the bottom so it can’t get blown around by wind and the velcro opening is nice so people of the unwashed masses can’t stick their dirty faces near him unless I open it for them. This was especially important when he was just home and still negative 2 1/2 weeks old. We spent a lot of time at home to keep him away from people but when we had to go out, he was either in the Moby or enclosed in his car seat. Him being so tiny and cute made it even harder to keep people from looking at him.

Baby Gear: Diapers and Wipes

So now that we are almost out of newborn-sized diapers, I thought I’d write a review of the diapers and wipes we’ve tried so far. This amounts to three brands: Pampers, Huggies, and Parent’s Choice (Wal-mart’s brand). These will be rated on a scale of 1 to 5 hearts with 5 being the ideal diaper/wipe and 1 being something I wouldn’t even give as a gag gift because they shouldn’t ever be regifted to anyone that might attempt to actually use them for their intended purpose. Commentary will follow ratings. We’re using hearts because my blog thing doesn’t offer stars. Oh, and you might not want to refrain from eating while you read this. Unless you can read about poop and eat without gagging at the same time.

Diapers (Newborn Size)

Pampers Swaddlers ♥♥♥♥♥
Pros: They fit very well – nice and slim, without getting bunchy in the front. They hold a LOT. Like all the way through the night, lot. Like 11-12 hour lot. Now, they stop resembling diapers at this point and kind of look like over filled water ballons but we only had 1 leg leak one night in these. Also they have that cute yellow to blue “wetness indicator.” Although I don’t normally need a stripe to tell me if the diaper is wet. Pretty much because his diapers are always wet. Oh, they also absorbed the poop mostly too. They have a weird weave material (see also in “Cons”) between the baby booty and the absorbent core. By the way, breastmilk baby poop, if you are unfamiliar, is pretty liquidy with a “seedy texture.” Basically it has little chunks and is the color of bright mustard. Hopefully you’re not eating a turkey sandwich right now.

Cons: The weave stuff holds the seedy parts of the poop onto his skin so it dries out some and is harder to get off. Also they are the most expensive of the diapers and it’s hard to find coupons for them.

Bottom Line (Get it??): These were by far my favorite of the three brands we tried. But due to the cons they cannot be the ideal diaper so they are docked half a heart. Sorry, Pampers. {Edit: I have since gifted Pampers back their other heart half. I don’t care about the cons. After revisiting other options, they’re my favorites by far.}

Huggies Snugglers ♥♥♥½
Pros: Stretchy bands at top and back that give a nice snug fit. They have a good umbilical cord cutout that would have been nice if he’d have been a little bigger when he was born. We had to fold the band down for awhile because he was so little even though he was in Preemie size. By the time he got big enough to unfold, his belly button was all tiny and cute and sorta half-outey and we didn’t need the cutout. Sorry… his belly buttion is totally cute though. These also have good absorbency and a wetness indicator. They do a good job absorbing the poop and don’t  seem to leave dried out spots on his booty as much as the Pampers. These were best when he was skinny as the stretchy spots, now that his belly is a little bigger, don’t lay very flat and end up with a boodgy (yes, that is a perfectly acceptable made-up word when it comes to diapers) spot in the front. This gets worse when wet.

Cons: The boodgy spot, of course. Also, even though these have an elastic-y back band to them, we still had a blowout on an overnight diapering. Plus, the tapes on the front are skinny and accentuate the “waist” effect on him. And now that he’s bigger he umbilibal cutout makes them a little short in front, resulting in a less than ideal fit.

Bottom Line: The Huggies are mid-priced and generally you can find coupons more readily for them but I prefer the fit and function of the Pampers.

Parent’s Choice
Pros: *Sigh* They were cheap. That’s really the only pro I can give you. They were thin? Sooo…. I could stash more in the diaper bag? Really, I can’t give you much more than that. And that’s a stretch.

Cons: They leaked. Poop, pee, didn’t matter. They absorbed to a point and then just quit and ran out the sides. Or the back. Other than the night leaking (after he’d been in a diaper ALL night) we hadn’t had any other leaking issues until we tried these. The poop just sat on top of the diaper and didn’t absorb in at all. The fit was also terrible. I had a hard time getting the tapes on the front right. Almost like there wasn’t enough to the top of the diaper. They are super thin and papery feeling. *shudders* I don’t like ’em. But I hate to just toss them since I know he won’t be in NB size much longer. So I just change him more often. Unless he poops a lot at one go and then we change clothes too. And forget about leaving him in them overnight. *more shuddering* He’d be swimming by morning. *gack* So we use the few Pampers we have left for nights and these during the day.

Bottom Line: I would never buy these again. If the husband hadn’t had tossed the receipt for them we would have taken them back as they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee. I am not 100% satisfied. But I’m receiptless so I’m stuck with them. And I’m cheap so I don’t want to throw them away. And giving them to someone would just be mean. {Edit: I lied. After a day of two leaky diapers, three onesies and two pairs of pants, I’m done with these things. I think we are going to attempt to take them back regardless of the receipt situation. And a friend of mine’s sister just gave us a bunch of leftover diapers from her baby… whew!} {Update: Wal-mart took them back, no problem.}

[Side note: Just in case you thing I’m a terrible Mommy for leaving my baby in the same diaper all night long, a suggestion was made to me by another NICU mom (that she got from a NICU nurse) to not change him during the night because it adds stimulation he doesn’t need and will hinder him from going back to sleep as fast. We were having trouble with him taking forever to fall back asleep during night-time wake ups. He might do better now but I’m not willing to risk it. No baby booty has been harmed by this experiment so we’ll just keep on keeping on.]

By the way, remember when they had separate diapers for girls and boys? And the absorbent areas were in different places? And the tabs were sticky instead of velcro-y? Weird.

Ok! Now it’s time for wipes. Conveniently we tried out wipes from the same brands.

Wipes

Pampers Sensitive ♥♥
Pros: Unscented and gentle. These are pretty large when unfolded so one will generally work if you can master the whole wipe and fold thing.

Cons: These are super thin and flimsy. They do the job, but I find them hard to work with because they are so thin. It would probably be easier for me to just use two wipes each time but dangit, I’m cheap. Although sometimes I have no choice.

Bottom Line: I don’t prefer these. I’m interested to try another type of Pampers wipe to see if maybe just the sensitive ones have this problem but I don’t see that the sensitive part does anything special for me except not add another something stinky to the process.

Huggies Natural Care ♥♥♥♥
Pros:  Medium-thick and decent sized. While they are thick they are still pliable and seem to do a good job of cleaning him up.

Cons: I don’t really have a bunch of cons for these except they aren’t as thick as the other wipes we’ve used and they are more expensive, even if they are not terribly expensive.

Bottom Line: These are good wipes and I definitely like them better than the Pampers ones.

Parent’s Choice Unscented ♥♥♥♥♥
Pros: These are really thick really heavy duty wipes. I was very pleasantly surprised when we used these. I got a small package at the shower and these have turned out to be my favorite wipes so far. They come in unscented as well as regular scent (why would I want scented wipes?), they can be bought in large boxes like the other brands, and they are cheaper. Wins all around.

Cons: I really don’t have any.

Bottom Line: We will probably return the other box of Pampers wipes we have and get these instead. Because the Huggies ones aren’t a bad second to these we will keep the ones we already have. Yay for finding a less expensive option!

So that’s it for my review on NB diapers and their brand’s wipes counterparts. Tune in next time after we broaden our horizons and try new things.