Category Archives: Must Have Baby Gear

Must Have Baby Gear

Rock N Play Cradle (Fisher-Price) – aka “The Magic Cradle” – Photo Time

Rock N Play Cradle by Fisher-Price
I talk about what I refer to as the “Magic Cradle” (for its newborn baby magical powers) in my  post Top 25 Must-Have Newborn and Baby Items.  I love the Rock n’ Play Sleeper, and I wanted to share a photo show with you of my daughter sleeping in this magical cradle.  I love this thing.  I miss it – she has outgrown it now, but I will definitely be using this with my next newborn baby.



Other Similar Articles:



Rock N Play – Snugabunny Newborn Sleeper 
by Fisher-Price
Amazon.com Link:  Fisher-Price My Little Snugabunny Newborn Rock n’ Play Sleeper

——————————————–

You May Also Like

Make Life With Your Newborn Much Easier – The Newborn Podster

Newborn Podsters and Your Happiness



I want to kiss the inventor of the Leachco Podster.   This is the greatest invention of all time. This is my absolute #1 favorite baby product out there.  THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT BABY ITEM EVER!  Read the reviews on Amazon.com….they are not lying….it is amazing.


I bought the Podster when my newborn was 3-weeks old, and it changed my life. The Leachco Podster trumps all baby swings, bounces and other baby gear that I have tried, and I have tried a lot.  (Note: the Boppy brand makes a similar item, but don’t be fooled – this one is much better).  

“How do people have babies without 
these Podster things?” 

  –   Quoted by my friend, Allison 

The Podster (lounger) is my “go-to” gift for every single pregnant friend that I have.  I beam with pride after my girlfriends call me in their tired postpartum state to thank me and tell me that they have no idea what they would do without this product.  

Newborns fit into the Podster so perfectly.   This thing is a life-saver for the unpredictable nap times of newborns. It’s like LeachCo. had a team of brilliant physicists working in a lab and mastered the science of a newborn’s physical body structure and found the perfect shape that meets a newborn’s sleep-comfort needs.  I put my newborn daughter in the Podster in the center of our bed while we both napped.  My daughter napped in the Podster while inside of her crib. (I watched closely on my video baby monitor with the volume on high to make sure she didn’t roll over).


The Podster is easy to move from room to room.  It is sooo much more portable than a swing or bouncer. The Podster is as portable as baby gear gets.   I took this thing with my everywhere.  I packed the thing in my suitcase when we flew to Grandma’s house in Idaho for a visit.


When my arms and back were tired, I would set her in the Podster on the couch and feed her a bottle.  This thing saved me so much back pain…it brings happy tears to my eyes.  You can set the Podster on the counter or floor of your bathroom while you do your makeup, pluck your eyebrows, etc.  

Great for Bath Time:   You can lay out your infant bath towel on the Podster while your baby takes a bath.  It is perfect for the quick transfer of a wet naked baby and the perfect surface to wrap that wet baby up in a cute little hooded baby towel.



Safety Reminder: Do not leave your baby unsupervised in the Podster.  Your baby can learn to roll over at any time.




———————————————–
You may also like these articles:

Must-Read: “Baby Bargains: Secrets to Saving”

Attention:   Moms-to-Be and New Moms

If you want to know the best way to get the best bang for your buck, the way I learned was by reading the most recent edition of the Book Baby Bargains.  The author updates this book each year, and it seriously has the most useful information for all of us “dummies” when it comes to ways to not overspend on your baby products and/or baby registry. 


(This is not a paid review, and the author has no idea who I am….)


Read this book….



1.  Baby Bargains: Secret to Saving (2015 Edition)


Baby Bargains: Secrets to Savings

LinkBaby Bargains: Secrets to Saving


I highly recommend the book  Baby Bargains: Secrets to Saving if you’re looking to spend wisely during your baby’s first year.  This book has some GREAT ideas and strategies for new parents to save on baby essentials, and other gear, and provides savings of 20% to 50% on baby furniture, gear, clothes, toys, maternity wear, etc. We used this book as a guide when we were registering for baby products and it helped us save a great deal of money (probably about $400) and it helped us to strategically register for the right baby items.  The book guides you through which baby items are safe to cut costs on, and which items are worth spending the extra bucks.  The author(s) update the editions to make sure the book’s suggestions are in line with the current market conditions.  Baby Bargains: Secrets to Saving is an excellent reference manual for when you are registering for baby, and even afterwards.

I give this book a 5 out of 5.  

Sippy Cup Bungee Cords Solve an Annoying Problem

 

I give 10-points to the genius who thought of this idea: theSippiGrip Sippy Cup Bungee Cords.  It’s a bungee cord for your toddler’s sippy cups (my toddler’s favorite thing to do is to knock her sippy cups off of her high chair).  
 
 
Sippy Cup Bungee Cord
Link:  SippiGrip Sippy Cup Bungee Cords
Sippy Cup Bungee Cord

If your baby is like my baby, then she will love to throw her sippy cup on the floor once she gets to the “high chair phase.”  Prevent this with the  SippiGrip Sippy Cup Bungee Cords.  Genius.

We use no-spill sippy cups most of the time, so even if she knocks the sippy cup off, there is no collateral damages to our floor; it’s main selling point for me: I no longer find myself constantly rinsing off a fallen sippy cup. That was getting annoying.  The cup stays clean, and I stay sane (for the most part).  Love this. I bought mine off of Amazon.com – there are a few different brands that you may want to check out.  The one I bought is great (SippiGrip Sippy Cup Bungee Cords), and it runs about $11.00.  This also makes a great baby gift.

Sippy Cup Bungee Cord
Toddler Sippy Cup Bungee Cord

 

Top 25 Products and Must-Have Items for a 3-Year-Old Child

 

Top 25 Best of My Favorite Products for My 3-Year-Old Pre-Schooler Image

 

My passion in life is finding children’s products that make parenting easier, the child happier and make the entire parenting process more fun for everyone involved.  In Top 25 Must-Have Newborn and Baby Items, we put together a list of the must-haves for newborns.  Now, at this next stage, I have found that there have been products that are once again significant enough to write about.  Below you will find the Top 23 Products that made Age 3 easier for me as a parent and made the life of my 3-year-old more enjoyable.  

 

Top 25 Best of My Favorite Products for My 3-Year-Old Pre-Schooler

 

 
 

1.    Contigo Auto-Seal Thermos

Link:   Contigo Trekker Kids Water Bottle
Contigo AutoSeal Thermos for Kids Image

Contigo Auto-Seal Thermos


The Contigo Trekker Kids Water Bottle water bottles are fantastic – I carry them around in my purse all day and I’ve never once had them leak. The stainless steal version is great for the summer and keeps drinks cool for up to 7-hours.  Otherwise I use the plastic version and put ice in it and bring it along to my daughter’s gymnastics lessons.  I use these myself too, and they make an “adult version.”  If you are looking for an item that is more similar to a Sippy Cups, we talk about sippy cups in Top 9 Sippy Cups for Your Baby and Toddler.  If you want to hear us complain about sippy cups then check out My Battle With Sippy Cups.  

 

 

2.  Play Visions Crayola Bath Dropz Tablets
Link:   Play Visions Crayola Bath Dropz Tablets

2. Play Visions Crayola Bath Dropz Tablets

Bath Dropz Tablets


The Play Visions Crayola Bath Dropz are THE highlight of every single bath that my 3-year-old daughter takes.  You put these in the bath tub water right when you turn on the water, and they dissolve and turn the bath tub water into which color tablet that your child chooses.  My 3-year-old daughter gets so excited to pick out her color every night before bath time.  Whenever it is time to head upstairs for to our bedtime and bath routine started, all that I have to say is, “Let’s head upstairs! What color are you going to pick for your bath tonight?”  (What follows is my 3-year-old running ahead of me upstairs all excited.)  The Play Visions Crayola Bath Dropz tablets come in Blue, Red (pink), and Yellow.  We usually only use one tablet per bath, but on very special nights, I will let her combine to colors in order to create a brand new color (for example, Blue and Yellow to make green, or Red and Blue to make purple).

3.  Crayola Finger Paints 
Link(s):   Crayola Fingerpaints Bold and Secondary Colors and Melissa and Doug Finger Paint Paper Pad

3. Crayola Finger-Paints

Crayola Finger-paints 


We think that Crayola Fingerpaints Bold and Secondary Colors are great for a Saturday afternoon or for when other kids come over to play (assuming you are able to keep a close eye on the kids).  That said, Crayola has lived up to its “washable” promise of its paint thus far.  And our 3-year-old daughter loves this stuff.  It could keep her entertained all afternoon.  We squirt the paint into a mini cupcake tin that we have to separate the colors and we bought a decent set of kids paint brushes as well.  The Melissa and Doug Finger Paint Paper Pad was the best deal that we could find on finger paint paper, so we’ve included that as well.


Melissa and Doug Finger Paint Paper Pad
Melissa and Doug Finger Paint Pad
Link:   Melissa and Doug Finger Paint Paper Pad
 
 
 
 
 

4.  Bumkins Waterproof Sleeved Bib
Link:   Bumkins Waterproof Sleeved Bib

4. Bumkins Waterproof Sleeved Bib

Bumkins Waterproof Sleeved Bib


If you’re going to let your child paint, then it is probably a good idea to have an all-encompassing smock to protect their clothing.  The Bumkins Waterproof Sleeved Bib is the top-rated on Amazon.com.  These bibs are also amazing during the phase when your child is too young to use a fork and insists on using their hands (somewhere around Age 2).  

For more on Bibs, check out our post Top 5 Baby Bibs that Actually Work.


5.  Curious George’s 5-Minute Stories

Link:   Curious George’s 5-Minute Stories

5. Curious George's 5-Minute Stories

Curious George’s 5-Minute Stories


I LOVE 5-Minute Story Books for kids, and there are quite a few different editions.  These stories are perfect because they don’t “commit” a parent to a long bedtime story, but they are the PERFECT length to get your child sleep enough while not over-committing the parent on a night that the parent is tired and in a hurry — everyone should have five minutes to spare for their child for a bedtime story.  We have several of the 5-minute story books, but out of all of them, Curious George’s 5-Minute Stories are definitely our favorite (our 3-year-old daughter agrees).  



For a list of our favorite books for babies, check out Top 10 Baby Books.

 

 

 

6.  The Nest Cam Security Camera
Link:   Nest Cam

6. The Nest Cam Security Camera

Nest Cam 


If you’re looking for a hybrid between a nanny came and a baby monitory, then the Nest Cam might be right for you.  This camera operates through WiFi, and has night vision, and connects with your smart phone.  We have the “DropCam” (the version prior to the  Nest Cam which is now owned by Nest) and we LOVE it.  We get an alert on our iPhone each time that there is motion or sound in our daughter’s room – which is perfect for a 3-year-old who needs to be in bed sleeping and for parents who want to make sure that their child isn’t getting out of bed.   Additionally, the camera has a “recording” option for an additional fee each month – I’ve found this feature useful for not only security reasons also to be able to check on our daughter if we are away from home and have a babysitter.  Another fun feature of the Nest Cam is that it integrates with the Nest Learning Thermostat (which is a thermostat that you can wirelessly control with your iPhone or Smart Phone) – and it also integrates with the Nest Protect Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm (which alerts you on your iPhone if there is ever an alert in your home).  All three of these are control through one single app on your phone.  NOTE:  The Nest Cam is better for older children (in our opinion) because with babies, you probably want to have a separate device to be able to constantly look at your baby. 



If you are looking for a baby monitor, then I would highly recommend looking at our post  Top 25 Must-Have Newborn and Baby Products where we constantly update the latest baby products and a baby monitor is always included.   

 

7.  Play-Doh: Toolin’ Around Playset

Link:   Play-Doh: Toolin’ Around Playset

7. Play-Doh: Toolin' Around Playset

Play-Doh


This is an old-school toy, but Play-Doh is highly effective when it comes to entertaining my 3-year-old daughter.  I am actually going get a new set of Play-Doh for my daughter for her 4th birthday.  I am not a fan of the Play-Doh kits that imitate food (that just seems confusing…and I don’t want my child to want to eat Play-Doh!).  The reason we like the Play-Doh: Toolin’ Around Playset is because it allows for our 3-year-old daughter to practice her skills with scissors safely.   If you’re looking for toys recommendations for baby’s first years, check out Top 25 Baby and Toddler Toys.
 

 

8.  “Good Deeds” Stickers
Link:  PAW Patrol Stickers and Tattoos Party Favor Pack

Stickers for Good Deeds


We left our daughter with Grandma Mia while we went on a much-needed vacation, and when we returned, we realized that Grandma had uncovered something genius – a motivational method for 3-year-old children that required only a sticker book with a variety of stickers and construction paper.   Grandma Mia calls it the “Good Deeds” board — it is pure genuineness.  When our 3-year-old does something that is worthy of a good deed, we get all excited and tell her to go pick out a sticker, and this is truly one of the highlights of her day.  If she helps us dust, or helps us find the remote if it’s missing, then this is worthy of a good deed sticker.  These PAW Patrol Sticker Pack is the perfect sticker set for my daughter – she loves Paw Patrol.  Stay tuned for another post on more about the Good Deeds poster stickers.

9.  Get Ready for PreK – Activities and Illustrations Book

Link:   Get Ready for Pre-K (Get Ready for School)

9. Get Ready for PreK - Activities and Illustrations Book

Get Ready for Pre-K Activity Book


Mr. Mia bought the book, Get Ready for Pre-K (Get Ready for School), for Little Mia when she turned 3-years-old, and we love the book because the pages are fun and educational – it’s a great mix of games, letters, and visual teaching pages that actually keep our daughters attention span (which is fairly short) – it’s age appropriate (age 3 and age 4) and still challenging at the same time.  We had several different Pre-K workbooks, and this is by far the best one.  




10.   Fineline Ultraclean Markers by Crayola
Link:    Crayola Ultraclean Fineline Classic Markers

Fineline Ultraclean Markers by Crayola
 
The fine-line ultra-clean markers by Crayola were recommended by my daughter’s pre-school teacher because these thin-sized markers are perfect size for the first steps of helping your pre-schooler learn how to hold a pencil (i.e., these markers are the same size as circumference as a standard pencil).  I also love these markers because my pre-schooler can see her progress while she traces the letter of the alphabet in her activity books – the bright colors make her tracings on the paper so much more visible than it does with a standard pencil or even colored pencils.  The bright colors are so much more fun for her at this age too, so I think it helps her stay motivated during the learning-to-write process of preschool.






11.  Side-Walk Chalk
Link:   Crayola Washable Sidewalk Chalk
10. Side-Walk Chalk

Crayola Washable Sidewalk Chalk


During the warm seasons, the Crayola Washable Sidewalk Chalk kept our daughter highly entertained on our driveway and in our backyard on the concrete patio.  I actually had a lot of fun playing with her.  I have several photos on my phone of our creations on our driveway (many of them feature Olaf from the Disney movie, Frozen….these photos are available upon request).  If you’re looking for toys recommendations for baby’s first years, check out Top 25 Baby and Toddler Toys.


 






12.  Children’s Bath Robe 
Link:   Children’s Animal Hooded Bath Robe – Princess Cat and Children’s Animal Hooded Bath Robe and Too Cool 2 Sleep Boy’s Plush Sports Bathrobe

 

12. Children's Bath Robe 112. Children's Bath Robe 2

Children’s Bath Robe 


Our daughter LOVES her Children’s Animal Hooded Bath Robe – Princess Cat, especially during the winter time when it’s cold – she loves that she has a robe just like mommy and daddy have a robe.  On the weekends, she throws on her robe in the morning as soon as she wakes up.  The photos shown above are the Children’s Animal Hooded Bath Robe (in pink) and the Too Cool 2 Sleep Boy’s Plush Sports Bathrobe (the sports robe).

 

13.   Window Markers

Link:  Crayola Window Markers with Crystal Effects

13. Window Markers

Window Markers


Grandma Mia brought these markers for our 3-year-old daughter while Mr. Mia and I went on vacation.  The Crayola Window Markers are fantastic because they wash off of your windows very easily and as long as you explain to your child that these are “special markers” and that she cannot draw on the windows with ANY other markers, then these window markers are a huge hit.  

 

14.  The Kalencom Potette Travel Potty

Link:   Kalencom 2-in-1 Potette Plus

11. The Kalencom Potette Travel Potty

The Kalencom Potette Travel Potty


I cannot say enough amazing things about the Kalencom 2-in-1 Potette Plus.  Our 3-year-old is fully potty-trained; however, this device makes traveling with our child so incredibly easy.  The Kalencom 2-in-1 Potette Plus not only can it be a make-shift potty that our child can sit on alone (you use liners if you need to use it this way), but you can expand the sides and have it be a potty seat on a regular toilet.  I am not a big fan of our daughter touching public restrooms, so I bring this thing along with us whenever I can.  It is an amazing size to travel with too – you can easily fold it up – I carry it in the backpack that I bring for my daughter whenever we travel.  I store it inside of a shoe bag in a separate compartment of the backpack.  This is without a doubt my favorite potty item out there.  If you’re looking for a good book to inspire your little one for potty training, check out The “Potty” Book (by Leslie Patricelli).






15.  Munchkin Secure Grip Bath Caddy

Link:  Munchkin Secure Grip Bath Caddy

14. Munchkin Secure Grip Bath Caddy
Munchkin Secure Grip Bath Caddy
 


If you didn’t get a good bath toy holder when you set up you baby registry, then I HIGHLY recommend the Munchkin Secure Grip Bath Caddy.  It is expandable so it can fit various sizes of bath tubs (we have a wide bath tub and it expands perfectly to fit the width.  I like that it has holes in the bottom to help drain the water and it hangs over your bath tub – I feel like every other bath toy holder that we have had eventually produced mildew in the bottom – but not this one.  I’m a big fan.  For more of the best baby care items, check out the top 20 items to keep on hand for baby during flu season.

 

 

 


16.   Play Tent 
Link:  Liteaid Rocket Ship Tent and Girl’s Pink Princess Castle Play Tent with Glow in the Dark Stars by Pockos
16. Play Tent (Indoor/Outdoor) 116. Play Tent (Indoor/Outdoor) 2

Play Tent


Doesn’t every kid love a tent?  Children at the age of 3 especially love a tent.  You can always go the old-school way of building a tent – using a blanket and chairs, but I like these tents because you can bring them outside.  Warning: these tents are relatively small compared to other toy tents; however, they take a up a large footprint in your home.  I would only recommend these to somebody who has enough space.  The  Liteaid Rocket Ship Tent and Girl’s Pink Princess Castle Play Tent with Glow in the Dark Stars by Pockos seem to be very popular on Amazon.com right now.  


 

 

17.  Mega Bloks – Building Blocks
Link:  Mega Bloks
17. Mega Bloks - Building Blocks 2

Mega Bloks First Builders Build’n Go Wagon


The Mega Bloks toy blocks have consistently kept our daughter entertained – beginning at age 1.5-years and still today (she is almost 4-years-old).  They are fantastic and much better than Legos for the young toddlers because these toy blocks are significantly larger than Legos.  I highly recommend the Mega Bloks First Builders Build’n Go Wagon as a supplement for your child to have a platform to build on.  

 


18.  Toy Lawn Mower
Link:   Little Tikes Gas ‘n Go Mower Toy
18. Toy Lawn Mower

Little Tikes Gas ‘n Go Mower Toy


We do not own this item, but I think we should.  Our daughter loves to help Mr. Mia mow our lawn, and it would be so adorable to watch her alongside her daddy.  This product also comes in pink.  The Little Tikes Gas ‘n Go Mower Toy would be a great gift to give to a little 3-year-old boy or girl.   If you’re looking for toys recommendations for baby’s first years, check out Top 25 Baby and Toddler Toys.


 

19.  Tricycle
Link:  Fisher-Price Harley-Davidson Motorcycles Tough Trike
19. Tricycle

Fisher-Price Harley-Davidson Motorcycles Tough Trike


A tricycle is a staple item when it comes to toys (in our opinion).  Our daughter loves her ladybug tricycle.  My best friend’s son (who is almost 4-years-old) loves his motorcycle tricycle (Fisher-Price Harley-Davidson Motorcycles Tough Trike) and it is adorable when he rides it.  Don’t forget to buy a helmet!

 

 


20.  Toy Grocery Shopping Cart
Link:  Little Tikes Shopping Cart
20. Toy Grocery Shopping Cart

Little Tikes Toy Grocery Shopping Cart


Grandma has a toy grocery shopping cart at her house, and this toy is a huge hit with our 3-year-old daughter every time she goes there.  Little Mia (our daughter) runs around the house carrying her animals and toy baby-dolls in the Little Tikes Shopping Cart and pretends that she is grocery shopping and it is adorable.

 





21.  Playtime Fruits and Veggies, by Melissa and Doug
Link:   Melissa and Doug Playtime Veggies and  Melissa and Doug Playtime Fruits
21. Playtime Fruits and Veggies, by Melissa and Doug

Playtime Fruits and Veggies, by Melissa and Doug


Our 3-year-old daughter loves to pretend make us dinner with the Melissa and Doug Playtime Veggies and  Melissa and Doug Playtime Fruits.  She will go on and on about how we need to eat healthy, which is amazing and adorable and hilarious to hear.  If you’re looking for toys recommendations for baby’s first years, check out Top 25 Baby and Toddler Toys.
 
 
 
 
 

22.   SmartyPants Gummy Vitamins

Link: SmartyPants Gummy Vitamins
22. SmartyPants Gummy Vitamins

SmartyPants Gummy Vitamins


The SmartyPants Gummy Vitamins with Omega 3 Fish Oil and Vitamin D are my favorite not only because they contain Fish Oil and Vitamin D, which I really like my little 3-year-old to have, but also because they are delicious and I sneak a couple too.  The SmartyPants Gummy Vitamins are fantastic “treats” for my daughter if she behaves well (which she will at the threat of not being able to have her “vitaminins”, as she calls it), and I have somehow tricked her into thinking that these are dessert.  



For more on the best baby care must-have items, check out our recommendations for the best baby humidifiers or for more information, check out the top 20 Tips and Essentials to Keep On Hand This Flu Season.

 

 

23.   Corduroy – Board Book 

Link:  Corduroy – Board Book 

23. Corduroy - Board Book

Corduroy – Board Book 


I’m not sure who loves Corduroy book more – my 3-year-old daughter or me.  Much like the 5-minutes story books, this is a book that I am more than happy to read to my child each night – it’s probably about a 3-4 minute read.  For a list of our favorite books for babies, check out Top 10 Baby Books.  
 
 
 
 
 

24.   Music, Music, Music

3-Year-Olds Love Music Image
 


If your 3-year-old child is similar to mine, that child will LOVE music.  From Taylor Swift, to some questionably appropriate rap music, to Disney songs, my child pretty much loves it all.  If you are looking for a gift for a 3-year-old, something with music would be fantastic.  


 

 

 

 



 

25.   Kid Ear Phones with Volume Control

Link:   Kidz Gear Wired Headphones For Kids

 

25. Ear Phones with Volume Control for Kids

 

Ear Phones with Volume Control for Kids

 


When we went on a family vacation last year, we bought the Kidz Gear Wired Headphones For Kids for our 3-year-old daughter to use on the airplane.  We wanted headphones that would actually stay on her head, and that wouldn’t put her at risk for hearing loss due to loud volume.  The Kidz Gear Wired Headphones For Kids are perfect for this because they not only fit her 3-year-old head perfectly, but they have a volume control feature that helps us not worry too much about the level of volume that she is listening to music (or watching an episode of Paw Patrol) on my iPad.

 

 

 

————————————————————————————–
 
ANOTHER NOTEWORTHY ITEM MY THREE-YEAR-OLD LOVES:
Where the Sidewalk Ends

Link:  Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings

15. Where the Sidewalk Ends

Where the Sidewalk Ends

The book Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings is Mr. Mia’s book that he reads to our daughter when he does the bedtime story.  For a list of our favorite books for babies, check out Top 10 Baby Books.

 




————————————————————————————–

 
What’s your favorite product for a 3-year-old? Share it with us by commenting below!

 

————————————————————————————–


You May Also Like:

 

Top 3 iPhone Apps to Temporarily Distract Your Baby

1.Elmo Calls’
Elmo Calls is my favorite smartphone app, by far  You can “Face Time” with Elmo.  This app is awesome.  It’s just a quick call and they have a wide-variety of pre-recorded Elmo fun.  Works great when you need to distract your little one quickly. I pull this app out when I need to give my daughter saline spray up her nose (she’s not a fan of that, but this usually does the trick).   


2.  ‘I Hear Ewe’
My baby loves animal sounds with this app.  You just tap on different animals and they made a different noise. This is fun to do with your baby.

3.  ‘Alphababy’
I can’t locate artwork for this app, but just search for “AlphaBaby” on your phone.  In the Alphababy app, your little one just taps on the screen and a different letter of the alphabet, or a number, will pop up each time baby taps.  Each letter or number will be in a different color.  This app is great for the waiting room at the doctor’s office, because the app is still stimulating for your bored baby even when the app is muted (numbers and letters still pop up the screen). 


“Elmo Calls” iPhone App



Top 12 Must-Have Clothing Items for a Newborn and Baby

 Top 12


Must-Have Clothing Items for a Newborn and Baby

A critical element of surviving the first 12-weeks with your newborn baby (and maintaining your sanity) revolves around practical, efficient clothing for your newborn. If you’re a first-time mom, knowing what those clothing items can be difficult to predict until you actually have a newborn, which is why we put together this list of newborn clothing items that made our life substantially easier. Don’t waste your money and/or store credit on newborn clothing items that you will not actually use. Below is a list of clothing recommendations for your newborn. For more must-have gear for your newborn baby, see Top 25 Must-Have Newborn Baby Items.


Top 12 Must-Have Newborn Clothing Items

1.  Footie Pajamas with Zippers
Links:   Organic Cotton Interlock Footie – With Zippers 

Footie Pajamas (With Zippers)


Emphasis on the zippers Using footie pajamas with zippers for your baby, as opposed to buttons or snaps, will make the world of a different to you in the middle of the night when you change your baby’s diaper and don’t feel like aligning and snapping ten different buttons.  Finding and aligning ten different buttons when you are sleep-deprived and standing in a dark room at 3:00 AM is annoying.  The Gerber Sleep N Play Zip Front Pajamas are a good, reasonably-priced choice, and the Organic Cotton Interlock Footie – With Zippers are great if you’re looking for organic cotton material.

2.  Side-Snap Bodysuit Onesies, Long-Sleeve
Link(s):   Zutano Boys Side-Snap and Kate Quinn Organics Kimono Bodysuit and Zutano Girls Side-Snap

  

Side-Snap Onesie Bodysuits (Long-Sleeve)


Side-snap onesies, such as the Zutano Print Long Sleeve Wrap Body, help take the pain out of dressing your newborn because you don’t have to worry about pulling a shirt over your newborn’s wobbly little head.  Remember: they must be SIDE-SNAP onesies.  

3.  Side-Snap Bodysuit Onesies, Short-Sleeve
Links:   Zutano Short Sleeve Wrap, Jungle Dream  and Zutano Short Sleeve Wrap – Stars 

Side-Snap Onesie Bodysuits (Short-Sleeve)

Don’t forget to grab a couple of short-sleeved side-snap onesies, such as the Zutano Unisex-baby Infant Stars Screen Short Sleeve Wrap.  I like to keep a few long-sleeved and a few short-sleeved on hand, but if your baby is born in the middle of a Wisconsin winter, I’d focus on the long-sleeved side-snap onesies; whereas if your baby is born in the middle of July in Phoenix, Arizona, then I would gear towards the short-sleeved onesies (depending how how cold you keep your air-conditioning unit).  Personally, I had a few of each the short-sleeved and the long-sleeved, because indoor heating and air conditioning can make a pretty big temperature difference.

4.  Nightgowns 
Link:  Baby Soy Kimono Bundler

Nightgowns (Side-Snap)


Nightgowns are great because they don’t require buttons or zippers.  The Baby Soy Kimono Bundler has an extra bonus because they are side-snap (allow you to by-pass the scariness of dealing with your newborn baby’s wobbly little head).



5.  Side-Snap T-Shirt

Link:  Babysoy Kimono Tee
Side-Snap T-Shirts

Clothing changes and diaper changes do not get easier than Side-Snap T-shirts.  The Babysoy Kimono Tee are fantastic summer outfits for days when a full outfit is not needed, such as days when you lounge around your house (which may very likely happen quite often when you have a newborn).



6.  Dresses With Built-In Bodysuit (for Girls)
Link:  Carter’s Girls Bee Polka Dot Sunsuit Set


Dress With Built-In Bodysuit


Since I am not motivated nor organized enough to keep track on microscopic-sized baby bloomers, I really love and strongly prefer “rompers” (a.k.a., sunsuits), such as the Carter’s Girls Bee Polka Dot Sunsuit Set, because the “bloomers” are sewed into the outfit (so it’s basically a dress that is secretly a onesie).  That way, you never have to worry about loosing a pair of bloomers.  I love dresses for my daughter, but as she transitioned from a newborn to a toddler, I tried to make sure that I brought her out with “bloomers” underneath her dress whenever we went out in public.  I would order the Carter’s Girls Bee Polka Dot Sunsuit Set at least one-size up – that way it will last all summer.


7.  SwaddleMe Velcro Blankets

Link:  Summer Infant SwaddleMe Blankets 

Summer SwaddleMe Blankets


My baby loved to be swaddled, so Swaddle Blankets are a definite must-have in my book.  Swaddle blankets with built-in Velcro, such as the Summer Infant SwaddleMe Blankets, are significantly easier to handle than traditional swaddle blankets – Velcro swaddle blankets are certainly more “user-friendly” when it comes to first-time, inexperienced moms.  I personally felt like the Velcro helped to make the blankets significantly safer than non-Velcro blankets because there was a lot less worry about the baby undoing the wrap.  The Velcro in the makes the swaddling process significantly faster and easier for tired moms and dads.  



8.  Summer Sun Hat (with chin tie)

Link:  Zutano Candy Stripe Sun Hat, Orange and Zutano Candy Stripe Sun Hat, Blue 

Chin Tie Baby Sun Hats

Don’t forget to cover up your bald babies little head during the summer with a sun-hat.  I like sun-hats that have strings that have chin ties, such as the Zutano Sun Hat, Orange (or the  Zutano Sun Hat, Blue), because one of my baby’s favorite things to do was to take her hat off and throw it (the ties help keep the hat on baby’s head).

9.  Cozy Winter Hats
Links: Mud Pie Baby-boys Infant Football Hat (left) and Trumpette Minnie Hat – Pink (middle) and Zutano Cozie Fleece Hat (right) 

Cozy Winter Hats


Don’t forget winter hats for your little one who is born in the winter season.  Again, I personally do not think you can go wrong with baby hats that have ears, but that could very well be a strange personal preference of mine.  The hats shown above are from Amazon, but I have found that Etsy.com has a ton of absolutely adorable hats that are reasonably priced.  

10.  Cotton Newborn Hats 
Link:  Baby Booties and Hat (Pooh Bear)

Cotton Newborn Hats


Don’t let your newborn baby’s head get cold!  Cotton newborn hats are part of the fun of having a baby!  I am personally obsessed with any baby hat that has ears – newborn hats with ears are so cute that whenever I see a baby wearing a hat with ears I experience a temporary moment of insanity and start considering having another child.

11.  Long-Sleeve Onesies (1224 months)
Link:  Carters 24-Month Long Sleeve Bodysuits 

Carters 12-24-Month Long-Sleeve Onesies


Once baby gets older and you no longer fear the newborn his wobbly neck during changing time, it’s time to graduate to “over-the-head onesies.”  We love the Carters 24-Month Long Sleeve Bodysuits for Girls (and Carters 24-Month Long-Sleeve Bodysuits for Boys).  We love these bodysuits because they are (1) reasonably priced, (2) versatile (i.e., easy to match with most colors of pants), (3) easy-to-wash (i.e., easy to treat stains), and (4) have soft/comfortable fabric.  And (5) the neck of these onesies is wider than other onesies and easy to stretch which makes is easier to pull over baby’s head during changing time.

12.  Short-Sleeve Onesies (1224 months)

12-24 Month Cotton Short-Sleeve Onesies


For short-sleeved onesies, we like the American Apparel Infant Baby Rib Short Sleeve One-Piece (these are more pricey than Gerber, but sometimes go on sale), because the neckline makes for easy on-and-off changing.  A lower-priced short-sleeved onesie that we really liked was the Gerber Short Sleeve Onesie Variety Pack.  The Circo brand from Target is also great (economical and extremely soft).

More Newborn-Related Posts:



Top 12 Must-Have Clothing Items for a Newborn and Baby

 


Top 10 Easy Baby Books

Top 10 Baby Books

As you have probably heard over and over again: it is never too early to start reading to your child.  Making books part of your bedtime routine is a great way to get your child on a consistent schedule, and this helps them sleep better (which is great news for you!). Here is a list of my Top 10 (or Top 15-ish) books that have been my favorite to read to my little one during the first years of her life; more importantly, my daughter loves these books!



Top 10 Baby Books

1.  Little Giraffe Finger Puppet Book

Little Giraffe Finger Puppet Book


The Little Giraffe Finger Puppet Book is great if you want to see your baby or toddler fascinated by a book, then you need to pull out this finger pupper book.  My little one gets so excited each time we pull this book out.  She kisses the giraffe every time.  The author makes other finger-puppet books as well.


2.  Goodnight Moon


  
 Goodnight Moon


The reliable classic Goodnight Moon truly is great for getting your baby or toddler into a bedtime routine.  I have this book memorized – word for word.  My little one loves this book, and everything in it from the “quiet old lady whispering hush” to the bowl full of mush.


3.  The Going to Bed Book


 The Going-To-Bed Book

The Going-To-Bed Book is PERFECT for when you need a quick nighttime reading.  It’s catchy, and Sandra Boynton is hands-down one of my favorite children’s authors.  Her books are so catchy and fun for both the parent and the child.  When my little one was a young baby (and when I was a very, very tired mommy getting a Master’s Degree), I would grab this book when I needed to shorten my little one’s bedtime routine.  I can also recite this book by heart.



4.  If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

  If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (If You Give…)


This book was a favorite at one point in my life, and I’m eager to be able to read it to my daughter.  If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (If You Give…) is a great book for children who are in their toddler years, especially considering they don’t make this book in the sturdy “baby and young toddler proof” boardbook form.  I love the graphics of this book.


5.  Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs


Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs


Every 4-year-old that I’ve come in contact with over the last couple of years has something to say about Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.   They love this book. This is for children 3-years and up, but it’s definitely a book you want to have in stock.  


6.  White on Black


  
White on Black

White on Black is a great book for newborns, because many newborn babies love black and white contrast images (starting at around 3-weeks-old).  My little one loved black and white images and it was so fun to see my child fascinate over something for the first time ever.  Read more about black and white images on my post 1 Simple Way to Entertain Your Newborn Baby.


7.  So Big! With Elmo



So Big! (Sesame Street) (Sesame Beginnings)

If your toddler is as crazy about Elmo as my child, then you can’t go wrong with Elmo.  I liked So Big! (Sesame Street) (Sesame Beginnings) a lot when my little one was around  9-months-old, because it helps teach the adorable trick of “How Big is the Baby?”  I highly recommend pairing off any Elmo book with a Stuffed Elmo (see more about the power of Elmo over toddlers at Top 5 Toys for Young Toddlers).



8.  Love You Forever


Love You Forever

If you are a hormonal pregnant lady, then Love You Forever will probably make you cry because you will be overwhelmed with love for your child.  I love this book.



9.  Guess How Much I Love You

Guess How Much I Love You

The book  Guess How Much I Love You is yet another book that is paired well with a stuffed animal friend, like this rabbit character. This is a cute book to read during the day with your child.


10.  Good Night World Series
Great Baby Gift Ideas – Book Theme

These Good Night Our World Series books make great baby shower gift presents because they personal add a touch to the gift.  The book series has books for various cities and states, like  Good Night Chicago, Good Night Philadelphia Good Night New JerseyGood Night San Diego, and many more locations around the United States.


  
 Good Night Philadelphia (Good Night Our World series)

 Good Night New Jersey (Good Night Our World series)

 Good Night Chicago (Good Night Our World series)

 Good Night San Diego (Good Night Our World series)


11.  More of My Favorites from Author, Sandra Boynton:

Here are more of my favorites by Sandra Boynton (who writes one of my favorite bedtime books that mention earlier in this post  The Going-To-Bed Book.







Share your favorite baby book!
——————————-
You May Also Enjoy:


Robot Vacuums and Toddlers: Removing Microscopic Carpet Junk from Your Toddler’s Access

My Toddler Eats Random, Microscopic Debris From the Floor!

My toddler has an eagle’s eye and can spot microscopic debris on the floor that she then sets forth to place in her mouth.  Between two shedding, hyper dogs and my cruising little toddler, vacuuming is not easy (especially considering my little one is terrified of our handheld vacuum).  This is unfortunate because I live in a house full of people with severe allergies.  I could vacuum during my toddler’s naps – sure, or even possibly at nighttime, but there are 100 other things that I need to be doing, such as preparing her meals, doing the dishes, perhaps showering myself if I am so lucky, or cleaning up the house, etc.  I’m not saying that vacuuming should come last, but this process can be easier.  How, you may ask?


Robot Vacuums 

If you can afford to spend the money on a basic model of a robotic vacuum, about $300, it will be worth your time.  The iRobot Roomba Robotic Vacuum has been great for my Toddler who loves to put random stuff in her mouth.  Between random clothing tags and pins that somehow appear on my floor (which my little one always attempts to eat), my shedding dogs, and little one’s allergies, this little robot vacuum has provided me a great deal of happiness in the form of less worry and house chores made easier. I run my iRobot Roomba Robotic Vacuum twice a day and my life with my toddler has been significantly easier because you I don’t have to worry (as much) about what random specs of practically nothing are on my floor that she will put in her mouth!


Here’s a brief video of the Roomba cleaning our living room:


We bought a refurbished  Robotic Vacuum vacuum off of Amazon.com – buying refurbished saved some money and it still came with a limited warranty so we were fine that it.  There are other brands  that are very similar to Roomba and may be cheaper than the Roomba brand (again, we went with the refurbished model to save money). Some features that I love about my robotic vacuum are that it can go over electrical cords (for the most part).  Another thing I like is that it can go underneath your TV stands and sofas too.  Just run the Roomba, and leave the room…but I am telling you that you will probably end up following it around in sheer “ahhh,” staring at and mesmerized by this wonderful creature (oops: I mean vacuum) at it as it cleans your floors the first few times that you use it.  When you come back to the room, there are beautiful vacuum lines in your carpet, without you having to do anything!  

The Roomba self-docks itself too.  It’s like the smartest pet you’ll ever have!  You might even love it so much that you name it (not that I did or anything).  Be sure to set up the “lighthouses” which tells the Roomba not to, for example, go down your basement stairs.   Also, keep your eyes peeled during the holidays and there should great deals going on.



———————————


You May Also Like: