Friday, March 23, 2012

Things you didn't know you need - Part II

Before buying anything, throw baby showers, lots of it. Chances are, your friends (many are existing parents) already know to get you important items you didn't know you need. It's that simple. Now, on to Part II of "Things you didn't know you need" for newbie parents.

Keyless entry cars. When you have a baby, you will constantly be moving in/out of the car and moving the stroller, carrier, bags, and all the stuff left and right. It is very inconvenient trying to find a key/remote in your purse and wallet. However having a keyless entry car where you can open doors using your bare hands makes your zombie life (from lack of sleep) 10X easier. Just make sure to tell your parents that you need a new car before throwing your baby shower.

(Another one that will make your life 10X easier for city folks: living on the first floor and make sure you have at least 2 bedrooms with in-unit washer/dryer. Living on the first floor will make your life easier because you will be carrying your baby and purchasing tons and tons of stuff (diapers, formula, calming toys, rocker, etc) in and out of the car almost every day. Having 2 bedrooms, well, this one is obvious. One of you needs to sleep through the night so he/she can go to work right?)

Medela Freestyle Breast Pump
This is the most compact and portable pump out there today. We've looked at many different pumps and this is the top of the line. The older pump (Pump In Style) is really out of style as it is heavy and big. When you hold the FreeStyle, you'll be surprised at how light it is. Give the gift of freedom. Give Freestyle. It is the best.

In the old days, people lived in close quarters with other family members. When the baby starts crying, people played "hot-potatoes" and passed the baby from one person to another. Come 21st century and gone are the days of living with other family members. Modern parents have no one else to rely on except themselves (and technology).

This particular swing is very very compact, making it very handy as a carry-along-swing or a secondary (backup) swing. We love it. It's cheap. Give the gift of portable baby swing. Give the gift of giving a new couple some break that they dearly need. Give the gift of the portable swing.

Babies need attention, lots and lots and lots. Keep your baby occupied with the mobile. It'll buy you a little bit of time (to go to restroom or take quick 1-2 min cat-naps). Get it. Every minute of rest you can get is a pound of gold, and this mobile is worth every penny.

Lutron TT-300H-WH Electronics Plug-In Lamp Dimmer, White
This is my favorite and the most over-looked item. A baby starts to distinguish light/darkness by 3-6 months. This is the right time to regulate his/her sleep schedule using light/darkness. The earlier you start sleep training, the earlier the baby learns that darkness=rest, and light=wake. This means MORE REST for you in the future.

This dimmer is a perfect tool to use at night when you breastfeed (but don't want to wake up your baby), or need to turn the light down to calm down the baby before he/she sleep. This dimmer is CHEAP and worth every penny.

At about 2-4 months you'll need to put the baby down (belly on floor) to build his/her neck muscle for a few minutes at a time. This is a really really great exerciser and mind stimulator.

Well, this is just nice to have. By about 4-6 months the baby will have enough muscle to sit, and that is when you can safely put him/her in the water.

By about 5-7 months or so, your baby will know how to play the jumper. My baby could be here for 30 minutes or so. These are really really really precious 30 minutes that you can use to nap (and every minute of rest you can get seems like a pound of gold!!!)

Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether
Your baby will start teething between 6-12 months. He/she will cry frequently because teething hurts! This is a really great teether, superior to the other cheap Made In China teethers.

Fisher-Price Precious Planet Sky Blue High Chair
By 6-12 months you should be able to sit your baby on the chair and start training how to eat.
Dreambaby F160W Swing Close Gate with F159W Extensions, White
By about 8-15 months, you'll need a gate. The baby/toddler is curious and will try to go everywhere. We've looked at MANY gates. This gate is better -- it opens both ways, and it requires a special way to open that toddlers have problems with (but easy for adults to open). The other brands suck because they're too easy to open by toddlers, and/or only opens one way.
Vital Baby Unbelievabowl Set, Blue
By 8-15 months your baby is curious and wants to play with food. Food training is difficult because of all the mess a baby makes. This unbelievable bowl sucks to the surface very very well. We've tried other brands with cheap suction cups, but this one has a very specially engineered suction base, making it impossible for a normal baby to grab and toss the bowl. This bowl is truly unbelievable. It is cheap, and worth every penny.

That's it for now! Next post: Completely useless things you don't need.