Friday, December 2, 2016

Essential equipment 2016

"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 owning a cell phone or ipad.
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.

Having a safe place where where your baby can comfortably hang out is essential.
Having them on a comfy 45 degree angle is a bonus.

Dr Anne likes the Boppy newborn lounger

Some of Dr Hurd’s favorites are
the Mamarooand the Snuggabunny

Diane, a mom of twins passed along a tip. “When I started asking other twin parents which products I should buy two of, at least 5 people told me I should get two fisher price rock and plays (with auto rock). They were all correct. The rock and plays are amazing. When my girls are a little bit congested (which has happened a lot in the first 6 weeks of life), the incline helps them sleep better. And on those challenging nights where they are both fussy, I can put them each in a rocker and turn them on and they can rock gently for hours. Make sure to buy the one with the auto rock option, because the regular one you have to rock manually”

If you don’t mind a manual version, You can rock this Fisher Price rocker with your foot (never run out of batteries.) One of the nice things about this is that it is reasonably priced and can transition to be used as your kids grow.
For kids over 4 months, my husband Sandy says I can’t leave the doorway jumpers off the list. Our daughter Lauren absolutely loved hers and would bounce and twirl in that thing in rhythm to music.These of course only work if you have sturdy door jambs. With any carrier or swing, use your common sense and don’t keep the babies in there for ridiculous stretches of time.

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.

Wherever they are hanging out, Dr Anne also suggests checking out the
Summer Infant Snuzzler Infant Support for Car Seats and Strollers- this is terrific for small newborns or babies having a having a hard time transitioning to bassinet in first month.

If you are carrying your baby around with you check out the Nesting Days carrier. These are invented by  San Francisco’s postpartum doula Julie Arvan

Once the babies are over 4 months old, Noe Valley Pediatrics' Lily loved her infantino flip advanced convertible baby carrier

For the Crib:
Dr Hurd suggests that all of her patients get invest in a simple crib wedge.

One of our patients Amy (mama of twins) told me about wonder bumpers

These are one of those “why didn’t I think of that” products

Amy also recommends Dr Brown's mixing pitcher

This is especially helpful for a family with twins who are mixing larger quantities of formula at a time

Many parents and Dr Anne all really like the Merlin Sleepsuit to help with the transition out of the swaddle around 3 months

Elizabeth adds:One of my new favorite baby shower gifts is the Love the Dream Swaddle:

Random Tips:
When asked for his favorite item, Dr. Schwanke put Sophie the Giraffe on the list.

This is a classic favorite of his that has been much loved by generations of  patients.

My niece Lena says that the swaddle blankets with velcro were really useful. These give the option of snugging the arms tight while leaving the feet free to be strapped into a bouncer.

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:

For the tall parents out there -- the Uppa Baby stroller line is great.They  have the Uppa Baby Vista and the Uppa Baby G-Lite strollers and both are great for Riccardo (who is 6'8').

The book "Baby Bargains" - - 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.

The Frenchie Mother towell - is a towel that velcros around mom or dad's neck and makes it easier for you to take the baby out of the bathtub (and keep you dry at the same time.)  So simple but such a good invention!

Mama Regan let me know about the Oogie bear, little scoop for removing little boogies

My super adorable neighbor and patient Sean loved his Zo li sippy cup. His mom Sara says she tried a bunch before they found this winner and that it helped them transition away from the bottle.

I couldn’t do a post like this without checking in with Jennifer of Hint Mama.
She send along the following tips

1.) Glow-in-the-dark pacifiers:

2.) Sleep sacks with loveys attached

3.) These lunch boxes:

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. But there is nothing as great as a cabinet full of food storage containers and lids!)

Beyond equipment, there are now all sorts of apps
Robert, the new daddy of baby Noah says that they find the baby tracker app  really useful

Parenthoods is another great resource. It is available on i phones, but the general website is available to anyone

If your favorite life changer is missing from the list, let me know. All of my posts end up as resources on my blog. I will be happy to keep this one updated.

Thanks to Pediatric Dentist David Rothman for chiming in with a bit of wisdom. His says that his kids favorite was the different colored stacking blocks that kept them happily playing for hours.
Thanks to Nurse Lainey for telling me about the DockaTot

This product has been getting some rave reviews for helping out with the all important sleep issues. 

Thanks to Tiila for sharing about the sleeper hero
After she told me about it, I have passed this tip along and many parents have called it a difference maker

Ash sent me info about a brand new product that I had never heard of:

Recently I took your common illnesses class and have been reading your awesome blog I'm wondering what you think of this UV light cleaning device called Phonesoap (to clean cell phones and other small objects). My mom got me one last year and I'm just now starting to use it and looking at the product info online...
The Discovery Channel video is particularly convincing to me...

I checked out the website and it looks intriguing. 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.

This post lives forever on my blog. If you have some magic tips to share, let me know and I will update the post.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. You could be eligible to get a free $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.