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Best Parenting Products of All Time
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When nursing turned out to be so much harder than we envisioned, we reached for nursing pillows like the Boppy to make it a little less WTF, so even if our babies weren't latching or we were exhausted or experiencing thrush, we were a little more comfortable. Plus, nursing pillows make it possible for Dad to help out with feeding, and we'll drink to that.
As the cloth vs. disposable diapers clash rages on, those of us who side with the throw-aways are infinitely grateful these diapes came to be. There are some moms who don't mind washing and reusing, and more power to them. But some of us, no matter how much we want to recycle, and no matter how much we want to do things the natural way, we gladly dispose of used diapers with wild abandon. Sometimes we wonder how many diapers we've actually thrown away, but then we quickly realize we don't wanna know.
Moms have relied on baby carriers since the beginning of human civilization, and since then, they've been able to keep baby close and comfort her while they multitask, multitask, multitask. We may not have to farm the fields with an infant strapped to our backs anymore, but our lives can get way crazy. And the baby carrier helps us do it all at once.
Whoever invented sippies got it right the first time. The spill-proof drinking cup weens toddlers off bottles, introduces kids to the whole concept of liquid in cups, and gives mom a break from feeding. Some companies have added additional parts or other bells and whistles to improve upon the sippy cup's design, but we don't think it gets much better than the simple, classic version moms have been relying on for years.
Since babies sometimes have an innate need to suck, but nursing moms aren't always quite so psyched to give up their breast 14/7, the pacifier is a beloved by moms, dads, and especially babies. Researchers have found they might even reduce the risk of SIDS. The downside: they can get in the way of breastfeeding and may cause dental issues down the road. Just be sure you can get them to stop! (And that can be way harder than it sounds.)
Pack n Play
The Pack n Play has become a staple for parents who are a bit uncomfortable letting their babies take free range of the house (read: all parents.) And the good ol' Pack n Play packs up easy and is super light, which makes traveling with kids much easier.
Technology blessed us with baby monitors in the '30's, and they've been more and more James Bond-esque as the years go by. Now they come cordless and in 3-way versions with hi-res and LCD screens and night vision, and they fit in the palm of your hand. What's up next? A chip parents can implant in their brain?
Photo Courtesy of JJ Cole
Car Seat and Stroller Cozies
Before there was the Snuggie, there was the BundleMe, a pouch that keeps babies warm in their carseats strollers when you're out and about. City moms especially appreciate the snuggly fleece and two-way zippers that keep babies temperature at just right. And we have to admit, we get just a little jealous to see them all bundled up!
They're something magical about bouncers and how they're able to soothe babies and get them to sleep almost anywhere. And since they're easily portable, they're a godsend.
Safer than walkers, ExerSaucers let babies hang out in their own stationary play centers, so they can practice being upright and playing before they're mobile. The toys on top--which come in tea party themes, symphony themes, airplane themes and more--aid in important developmental milestones like hand-eye coordination, cause and effect understanding, and motor skills.
With the bazillion (give or take a kabillion) diapers your baby churns through, her baby bottom is bound to be plagued by diaper rash once or twice. Who knows how many times diaper rash would strike without crèmes like XX XX XX which can be used preventatively or to clear it up.
We know breastfeeding is good for our babies, but for working moms, moms with low milk supply, or moms experiencing breast pain from engorgement, it's a challenge. So anyone who owns a breast pump, funny looking as it is, is grateful to have the gadget that makes being a new-mom a little easier.
Trying to keep food off a baby while he's eating is a pretty futile effort--sometimes you just have to let the food fly. Since wipeable bibs can always be quickly returned to their original, pristine condition, we can dare our babies to bring it on with smears of mashed beets, milk, or spit up.
Newborns need to breastfeed up to 12 times a day, so unless you plan on spending your baby's infancy in your house, you're going to end up doing it. That's no big deal, thanks to nursing covers. And some of them are pretty cute, too!
New parents: just what would you do, exactly for an extra hour of shut eye tonight? We know swaddle blankets aren't a magic sleeping pill, but since they prevent babies from too much squirming and crying (which ends up waking you up), they sleep just a little bit more. And that means a lot.
Nursing Bras and Tops
Nursing bras and tops are so nifty these days, they definitely help on those days where you start doubting that your breasts are actually part of your body. Whether your boobs are growing, shrinking or hurting, or you need quick access for feeding, the nursing bra's your go-to. And whoever thought of one-handed fastening deserves a standing ovation.
Take advantage of the days before kids start worrying about what looks cool, and make footie pajamas a nighttime staple. The snuggly, loose fitted fleece (that even has room for a diaper) has slip-resistant footies and is pretty easy for kids to put on themselves. Our favorite part? Kids look stinkin' adorable in them.
Babies drool, bite, throw up on, and try to eat anything they can get their chubby little hands on—paper doesn't really stand a chance. But board books let them "read" (baby-style) while they drool, bite and chew. A multitasking product if there ever was one.
When you're a new parent, you're nervous about everything, and for lots of us, that goes double for sleeping next to our newborns. If you're into co-sleeping, bedside bassinets might allow you to get a decent night's sleep instead of having nightmares that you're rolling over your baby.
Pre-baby swings, when moms used to have to push their babies in swings for hours, one mom thought, "someone should invent this to push this baby for me." And thank goodness someone did!