Topic of the Week:
Essential equipment 2017
"stuff" that may make parents life easier
How old are my kids? They are so old that they slept on their tummies in cushy little cribs surrounded by tons of stuffed animals. They survived their early years without a cell phone or ipad to play with. The cell phone that I did have was as large as a briefcase and needed to be plugged into the car cigarette lighter for power. The baby swing that we owned was wound up with a crank. If you are a grandparent reading this, you are nodding as you remember the model that I am talking about. The babies loved it and would be lulled into a contented relaxed state for several minutes of clickety click, clickety clack. Then alas it would wind down and need to be cranked up again. This was a noisy process that more likely than not would wake the sleeping baby who had just nodded off.
Parents of young children have a much wider variety of “parenting hacks” to choose from. There are plenty of new things constantly coming onto the market that parents will refer to as “game changers”. These are the item that really make things feel more manageable. The following products are not personal endorsements; I am simply sharing wisdom from others that may be useful to my patients and readers. This is the third year that I am doing this post. Every year I have added more items. Thanks to all of you who have chimed in.
Having a safe place where where your baby can comfortably hang out is essential.
For the Crib:
Putting them down outside of a crib
Blankets and Swaddles
For some of our toddlers and preschool kids working on their sleeping skills, thanks to Tila for sharing the sleeper hero. After she told me about it, I have passed this tip along and many parents have called it a difference maker
Please never leave kids unattended. Just this week I had a call involving a baby not fully strapped into a little bouncer who managed to flop himself forward and bonk his head (he’s fine.)
Don’t put carriers up on a high surface. Trust me, they manage to fall. You don’t want to be the person calling me about that. This is more dangerous if there is a toddler or large dog that can 'help' the baby get knocked over.
This is especially helpful for a family with twins who are mixing larger quantities of formula at a time
You can wipe it clean and it cuts down on messes
Other Random tips
My lovely patients Rita and Ricardo spend a recent date night trying to brainstorm for me. They reminisced and thought about the most essential baby equipment (especially the first time around). Here's their list:
Other parents let me know about
Thanks Caroline for letting me know about another towel suggestion: I have a pretty random suggestion for essential equipment, but it made my life so much easier that now it’s my go-to gift for new parents. I absolutely loved my apron towel. Especially when Jack was a squirmy, wet baby. It made me feel so much more comfortable bathing him by myself.
You clip the towel around your neck before the bath, and after the bath you just pick up the baby to your chest and flip the hood up.
I couldn’t do a post like this without checking in with Jennifer of Hint Mama. She sent along the following tips
Clive’s mom Kylie says favorite toy as infant and now great distracter in car seat is baby Einstein take along tunes.
(Bells and whistles are fine and entertaining. Not everything needs to be high tech. There is nothing as great as a cabinet full of food storage containers and lids!)
Beyond equipment, there are now all sorts of apps
I don't advocate trying to live in a germ free world, but I imagine that most of us have disgustingly dirty cell phones that would benefit from a good cleaning, especially before we let our babies chew on them.
The book "Baby Bargains" another recommendation from Rita and Ricardo was a great resource to help them find general baby equipment (strollers, car seats, cribs, etc). It's not just about bargains - it's about quality, and they test and know about all the latest products.
Bonus Wisdom tip from mama Megna
One of the things I realized when I was nursing was that if I was stressed my son almost always 'absorbed' the tension especially when I was nursing. This was one of the most direct osmosis affects I've seen of stress hormones. It was a reminder of always being cool calm and composed especially when around your child.
We traveled a lot with our son the first year and although traveling with the a baby it's no picnic, each time we did a trip he grew emotionally so much. We never regretted a single trip that we took whether it was Europe or to see great-grandparents. Traveling is an amazing thing for a child even that age. It made us as parents more flexible and not as regimented about having things a certain way, and socialized our son at a very early age.
This post lives forever on my blog. If you have some magic tips to share, let me know and I will update the post.