top baby stuff

Okay, dear family and friends, I am becoming baby-obsessed, frantically e-baying at every opportunity, flipping out over shoes and pants of the extra-small persuasion. Since we have been true to our "reuse everything" mantra, all of our son's things have long been passed on to other children...our leaning toward having only one child was overcome by the evil trappings of procreation's sneaky ways. At least we're having a girl (husband told me), because if we were replacing all of our boy things, it might hurt a little more. But I don't really love looking on Craigslist and eBay for the exact papasan and bumbo seat we owned when Artie was a wee lad. However, as a hyper-obsessive lister, it  occurred to me that there are several baby items that were so invaluable they wre worth replacing and that I should make a list and put it online for my currently prego or soon-to-be-so grrlfriends and anyone else who happens to stumble upon it. 

That's you, Sarah.

So here goes.

1. Fisher-Price vibrating baby papasan. Little boy slept in it all the time. We would pop it up on the table, take it to friends' houses, stick it between us on our bed and let him sleep...he was always in this thing. Anytime we had trouble getting him to sleep, we'd put him in this little vibrating happy place and boom, he was out. He fit it until about three months, and it was a sad day when his toes just hung over way too far. Definitely sixty dollars well spent...we'll be buying another.

A week old in his special chairy

2. Also pictured above--swaddlers. Kiddopotomus Swaddlemes were the ones we picked up the most, simply because they weren't terribly pricey (about 12 to 15 cheese) and everywhere. They have extra-thick. warm plush ones or just the regular little soft cotton ones seen in this pic. We have about five of them for little babies and two for bigger kids...Arthur didn't outgrow swaddling for a long time. We had to ween him off of it at about five or six months. What can I say, he's a cuddler! Anyway, the reason we love these is that babies need to be swaddled (they love it and it lowers the SIDS risk), and back when Justin was learning to make top-notch baby burritos with receiving blankets, I was on a morphine pump watching Seinfeld reruns at St. Francis. When it was finally my turn to swaddle, J was a champ and I failed miserably. I was so thrilled to have these little velcro rock stars to help me do my job at three in the morning when I was dealing with a Borg-esque tube in my belly.

3. Dr. Brown's bottles. Good for nursing moms who need to not have a baby on their boobs every second or for moms who (like me) find themselves with a milk problem and needing to supplement formula. These didn't give Arthur much gas and were very easy for him to use. The key to their magic is in the little vent system for "minimizing oxidation," which the manufacturer says also keeps vitamins in the liquid gold you pumped for little one (very important to me since I was only serving Arthur one to two ounces at a time mixed in with his formula--it killed me!) . We loved them and used the BPA-free polypropylene, but now there are glass bottles available (hurray for technology). We'll be buying these again!

4. Babylegs. My friend Sacha did a post on how awesome these are a couple of weeks ago. I was super stoked to see that Target now carries the newborn version. They are incredibly handy, come in all colors, and even work as arm-warmers in a pinch for a little boy who refuses to change out of his favorite "scary ghost" (Ghostbusters) shirt.

Daddy picked out my rainbow babylegs!

5. Bumbo seat. We love portable things, things that don't take make the whole damn living room look like the baby designed our decor. This little seat, from Africa, rocked below by our little Who, props the little dudes up for playing or eating when they still need a little help. They fit baby until about five months, a short window but worth buying again.

6. A Parents as Teachers parent-educator. Back in my grad school days while working in the pre-k at Bryant Elementary in Tulsa, I first learned about this program to prep kids for school. Justin and I are huge advocates of public school (I graduated from a really awesome private school that I loved the heck out of, so I am not by any means knocking private education, but as an educator, I really support public school) and for us, we have always known our kids would attend public school, at least until my book goes meta and we have to put them in private school to keep out the paparazzi. PAT is a terrific program to help prepare kids for school; our parent educator comes by once a month, plays games with our boy, and teaches us how to teach him. It's pretty rad, and it's free. We're excited to already have plans for Lucy with PAT.

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