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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Things to Register For:

  1. Carseat: We recommend a carseat that is designed for kids approximately 20 to 55 pounds. Although it may be a bigger investment up front, it makes more sense to buy a seat with a longer lifespan. The Britax Boulevard model is great. It fits children rear facing from 5 to 33 pounds and children forward facing from at least one year old, from 20 to 65 pounds.
  2. Baby Carrier: If you can, try out different carriers before purchasing. With Baby #1, Francesca was a big fan of the Baby Bjorn. Not quite as in love with the product for Baby #2. The Ergo is another popular choice for child carriers. These are especially useful as babies get bigger. Thuy has seen parents use these with children as old as 2-3. Finally, Kacey had success with the Kangaroo Korner Fleece Pouch. The baby can rest on your chest as a newborn, face out around 3 months old, or lie down as with a traditional sling. It can also accommodate toddlers.
  3. Stroller: So, so many choices. A Maclaren stroller is your best bet for a middle of the road, average weight model. For more expensive models, the Bugaboo Cameleon or Bee, Phil & Ted's Sport Buggy, the Quinny, and the BOB are all fabulous. If you are looking for a great, lightweight, umbrella stroller to use while traveling, the Maclaren Volo is very good. It weighs only 8 pounds and the umbrella construction allows for easy folding. One thing to note about the Volo is that it does not recline. This is something to consider when you want to wheel your baby around and he/she happens to fall asleep.
  4. Baby Skin Care Products: The Mustela line of baby products is great. Francesca particularly likes the foam shampoo for newborns. It is especially effective if your baby has cradle cap (aka dry, flaky scalp). However, Thuy sticks to good, old-fashioned Cetaphil, as soap can be very drying on baby's skin. Thuy also uses organic olive oil for her son's massages after a bath. As opposed to lotion, it warms up the skin quickly.
  5. Baby Care Package: This typically includes a nail clipper, hair brush, comb, etc. You'll use the nail clipper quite a lot because baby's nails are thin, sharp, and grow very quickly. Just remember to push down on their nail flesh as you clip. You'll be nervous, but keep in mind that everyone has nicked their baby at least once. Don't feel bad. Kacey recommends using dull scissors for cutting baby's nails. She found hers at Rite Aid. They were a little pricey (around $15), but she has been able to cut her daughter's nails, even while she is squirming, and hasn't nicked her yet. As a side note, infant mittens are a great way to avoid the trauma of trimming nails altogether for the first few weeks. They are also helpful in ensuring your baby avoids scratching his/her face.
  6. Thermometer: The Braun Thermoscan is a great choice for babies. It is the model used in many doctor offices and is able to measure your baby's temperature in their ear in a matter of seconds.
  7. Gymini by Tiny Love: A must have. The product is recommended for babies 0-10 months old and has won a number of Parenting awards. The Gymini is basically a mat with hanging toys that vibrate, plays songs, etc. Babies can lie on their back and be entertained for quite a while.
  8. Swing: Swings can be a lifesaver when trying to calm a crying baby. Francesca recommends registering for a full-sized swing. There are a ton of different options out on the market, but the Fischer-Price models work well. They usually run around $100. If you do not have the space to accommodate a full-sized swing, Thuy recommends the portable model. It folds up nicely when you are on the go.
  9. Bouncer: Thuy's son loved his bouncer. She bought a $20 model, which worked out great. We recommend that you do not buy swings with too many bells and whistles because there is always the possibility that your baby may not like it. Note that the bouncer is a good place to put your baby when you take a shower.
  10. Bottles: Over the past few years, there have been a series of articles in the news regarding the side effects of chemicals that leach from plastic baby bottles. Specifically, a chemical known as bisphenol A (BPA) leaches from popular baby bottle brands, such as Avent, Dr. Brown's, Evenflo, Gerber, and Playtex, when exposed to high levels of heat (such as in your dishwasher). The debate is around what level of leaching is acceptable. There are several product lines that we would recommend that are BPA free, including Born Free, Adiri, Green to Grow, and Wee*Go. The Soft Landing website is a great place to source all types of BPA free products, from bottles, to sippy cups, to toys. Remember, if you are going to introduce a bottle, do it when your baby is young. Thuy did so between 3-4 weeks and it offered her a tremendous amount of freedom. She was able to sleep in a bit longer, run errands, and get Dad involved more. A real sanity saver.
  11. Diaper Bag: All a matter of personal preference. So many fun colors and designers to explore. Have a ball! We recommend buying two diaper bags. The fun, girlie one that Mom can use and the more conservative knapsack one that Dad will use. A diaper bag for your husband is a must if you are to have any success of him venturing out into the world alone with the baby and giving you some much needed alone time. If you can, splurge a little on a Dad Bag. Petunia Picklebottom sells a handsome bag that just might make your man up for changing diapers! They also sell a line of smaller diaper bags, known as clutches, that are super fun for ladies.
  12. Blankets: Blankets are great, especially when your baby is still an infant. Francesca had success with the Miracle Blanket for both kids. It made swaddling quick and easy. Another option for swaddling are the Aden and Anais blankets. The are made of muslin and are particularly useful during the summer months. Finally, Kacey recommends the Baby Bonkie. It is similar to the Miracle Blanket, but much more stylish and great on the go. Bottom line is that swaddling is a good thing and it really does work. For a non-swaddling option, the Little Giraffe Chenille Blankets are fun. You can't beat how soft they are.
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