|Rock N Play Cradle by Fisher-Price|
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|Rock N Play Cradle by Fisher-Price|
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).
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.
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(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)
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|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.
|Toddler Sippy Cup Bungee Cord|
1. 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.
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
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.
4. Bumkins Waterproof Sleeved Bib
Link: 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
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
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
8. “Good Deeds” Stickers
Link: PAW Patrol Stickers and Tattoos Party Favor Pack
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)
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
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
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
14. The Kalencom Potette Travel Potty
Link: Kalencom 2-in-1 Potette Plus
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
22. 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
24. Music, Music, Music
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.
Link: Kidz Gear Wired Headphones For Kids
Link: Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings
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.
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).
| “Elmo Calls” iPhone App
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 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
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.
Link: Baby Soy Kimono Bundler
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
6. Dresses With Built-In Bodysuit (for Girls)
Link: Carter’s Girls Bee Polka Dot Sunsuit Set
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
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
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)
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)
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 (12–24 months)
Link: Carters 24-Month Long Sleeve Bodysuits
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 (12–24 months)
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:
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!
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
3. The Going to Bed Book
4. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
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
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 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
8. Love You Forever
9. 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 Jersey, Good Night San Diego, and many more locations around the United States.
11. More of My Favorites from Author, Sandra Boynton:
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?