Friday, December 28, 2007

Top ten must-have baby products

So you are having a baby or buying a baby shower gift. You need to keep in mind the usefulness of the product, comfort and the child’s safety when buying any products. This is a collection of some products other people have rated high. Keep in mind though, every child is different so what works best for you and your child is more important then any rating system, or the opinion of others.

1) Ways to carry or transport your child. This should include a Varity of products to accommodate your needs. A sling or baby carrier, stroller and car seat are a must.

A sling or baby carrier. You may think you are going to want to carry your child in your arms all the time. Try it for a day, you will be looking for some thing to relieve the stress on your arms and back but still let you be close with your child. I found some new innovative sling designs out there. No matter what any one says, test slings and baby carriers until you find the one that is right for you. Every one is different and what fits perfect on one person may not work for you.

My top pick for a sling is The Baby Buddha Together Sling. It supports your baby close to your body and above your waist. It distributes baby's weight evenly. The baby’s weight is taken by your hips, not your shoulders reducing neck, shoulder and back strain. It is free of rings and buckles so no pressure points to deal with. The fabric stretches for comfort and fit but will keep your child above the waist in the best carrying position for baby’s hip and spine development. The fabric is gentle against skin and keeps moisture away. It has a utility pocket for storage and a special loop to hang a soother or toy on.

The Lila Guild rated these baby carriers and slings the highest;
Baby Carrier Original by Baby Bjorn
Baby Carrier Active by Baby Bjorn
Peanut Shell by Goo-Ga
ERGO Baby Carrier by ERGO

Stroller and car seat. These often come as a set these days. There are many varieties of strollers out there to accommodate all types of needs. Only you know what is going to work for you and your family. No matter what brand you go with I recommend getting the set as that way you know every thing fits and works together. Also keep in mind to make sure the height of the stroller is right for you, if it is to low you put strain on your back. How light is the stroller and how easy is it to fold up. Can it be closed one handed if you have the baby in your arm or do you need to put the baby down? How big is the folded up stroller, will it fit into your trunk or closet? What accessories are readily available?

How stuff works Consumer Guide rated these three stroller car seat combinations as best buys based on value, performance, ease of use, features and overall.
The Graco Mosaic Travel System
Graco MetroLite LE Travel System
The Evenflo Comfort Dimensions Classic Travel System with LATCH

The Lila guild rated these strollers the highest
Sit-N-Stand by baby trend
Ironman Sport Utility by BOB Strollers
SnugRider by Graco
Frog by Bugaboo
2) Breastfeeding and bottle-feeding accessories.
Breastfeeding. Nursing pads, nursing bras, nursing pillows, a blanket or shawl to keep your breastfeeding private and discreet, even in the most public places, will help with your comfort and ease of nursing. Pumps and bottles will let others share in the feeding experience and the bonding that comes with it. There will be a point where you will appreciate being able to share the feeding experience with your partner and get some needed sleep. Latter it will let you have a bit of time for yourself with out having to worry about rushing back to feed the baby.
For nursing pads based on consumer reviews on Epinions the highest rated are;
Lansinoh Breastfeeding Collection, Disposable Nursing Pads
Evenflo Washable Nursing Pads.

For nursing bras babycenter ran independent tests and gave the highest rate to;
Lace Nursing Bra from Marks & Spencer # 0845 302 1234
Nursing Bra (428) from Emma-Jane # 020 8599 3004
NCT Comfort Maternity/Nursing Bra from the National Childbirth Trust # 0870 112 1120

For nursing pillows I looked at several different sites and groups that rated just one nursing pillow. Here are the top rated nursing pillows
Boppy pillows rated highest on expo television consumer grapevine, Epinions and the Lila guide
My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow – rated first on InteractiveReviews and second on Epinions.

Nursing cover-ups
Bebe Au Lair Nursing cover – rated on expo television, consumer grapevine

For Breast pumps, Breast Pump Comparisons gave these pumps the best ratings;
Ameda – Purely Yours double electric pump
Avent Isis iQ Duo
Dr. Browns – Natural Flow Electric Breast Pump

The Lila guide gave these pumps the best ratings;
Isis Breast Pump by Avent
Harmony Breast Pump by Medela
Pump In Style Advanced Breast pump by Medela

Bottle Feeding. You will need bottles, nipples, formula, bottlebrushes and some way to sterilize the bottles and nipples.

These bottles and nipples all got high ratings on Epinions

Playtex Kinder-Grip Bottle
Playtex Orthodontic Nipples
Playtex NaturaLatch Silicone Slow Flow Nipple
The First Years Mickey Mouse Slim One 8 Oz. Baby Bottle
Avent Deluxe Gift Set
Handi Craft Natural Flow 8 Ounce Three Pack Wide Neck Bottles
Gerber Rubber Nipples, 3-Hole Design
Playtex Natural Infant Nipple 5443
Maws Heat Sensor Feeding Bottles 9oz - Twin Pack
Handicraft Dr. Brown's Natural Flow Starter Set for Babies
Handicraft Dr. Brown's Level 2 Natural Flow Silicone Nipples

Avent bottles and sterilizer also rated highest on the Lila guide

Sterilizers rated highest on Epinions are;
Avent Express 6 Bottle Steam Sterilizer 501
Avent Express Microwave Steam Sterilizer
Gerber Electric Sterilizer Set
3) Bathing products – baby bath or holder or seat or ring, shampoo’s and soaps, bath thermometer or Heat Sensitive Tub Rugs (a Colorful, non-slip bath mat that lets you know when the water is getting to hot), water spout cover or guard (Securely fits over most tub faucets. Provides padded protection to cushion your child from bumps and bruises), cloths and towels and toys.
Baby Bath’s ranked high on the Lila guide
Euro Bath Tub by Primo
Sure Comfort Newborn-to-Toddler Tub by The first years

shampoo’s and soaps
ranked high on the Lila guide
Head-To-Toe by Johnson’s
Calming Shampoo & Bodywash by California Baby

Ranked high on Epinions
Johnson's Soothing Vapor Bath
Gerber Baby Wash
Johnson's Bedtime Bath
Aveeno Baby Wash & Shampoo
Avent Naturally Body & Hair Wash
Avon Lil Hugs Gentle Body Wash & Shampoo
California Baby Super Sensitive Shampoo and Body Wash
Johnson's Kids Super Sudzer E-Z Grip Soap - Watermelon Explosion

I found Tub Rug Jr. Bath Mat by Kel-Ger and think that it is a must have.

Bath thermometer or heat sensitive tub rug, waterspout covers or guard rated high on Epinion
Safety First Floating Bath Pal Thermometer
Safety 1st Inflatable Sof' Spout Cover
KEL-GAR Faucet Friends
Sassy Super Soft Spout Guard

Bath Toys, cloths and towels Rated high on Epinion
Fisher Price Big Splash Aquarium
Kids II Bathtime Foam Toys
Gerber Washcloth
Safety 1st Comfy Bear Bath Sponge
Avon Kids Bath & Body Bath Time Body Paint
Lamaze Turtle Scoops Bath Toy
Finding Nemo Bath Cups from The First Years
Carter's Little Ladybug Infant Hooded Towel
Quiltex Precious Moments Wash Cloths
4) Portable playpen. This is important for when you go visit friends and families. Not all places are child proofed, nor do they all have a safe place for your baby to sleep. A portable playpen can provide both.
Portable playpen rated highest by the Lila guide
Pack N Play by Graco
5) Baby/diaper bag – You are going to need a lot of things whenever you go anyplace now. Having a good strong, large baby/diaper bag. One that is also usable to store bottles at a safe temperature is the best way to keep the number of bags you have to carry down.

Rated highest on Epinion;

Eagle Creek Parent Survival Pack
Lands' End Deluxe Diaper Bag
Gerber Diaper Bags Basics 5 in 1 Diaper Gift Bag Set
Baby Bjorn Diaper Backpack

6) Swing – Gives you baby comfort, great way to get them to sleep and it gives you a little bit of a much needed break.

Rated highest on Epinion
Graco Open Top 3-Speed Swing
Fisher Price 3-in-1 Cradle Swing
Graco Open Top 2-Speed Swing
Fisher-Price Ocean Wonders Aquarium Cradle Swing

7) Health and Safety products for babies and children. You need to baby and child proof your house. Child safety locks, baby gates, a first aid kit for babies and children. There are different requirements for babies and children, make sure you have the right tools. A digital ear thermometer is worth the money.

Baby monitors rated high on the Lila guild;

2.4 GHz Ultra-Range Monitor by The First Years
900 MHz BabyCall Monitor by Sony
Safe Glow 2 Receiver Monitor by Safety 1st
Sounds 'N Lights by Fisher-Price
Angelcare Movement Sensor with Sound Monitor by Unisar

Other safety products that rated high on Epinion

Safety 1st Top of the Stairs Wooden Gate
KidCo Safeway Gate G20
Fisher Price Step Lock Gate
Evenflo Walk-Through Stair Gate
Safety 1st Finger Pinch Guard
Safety 1st Expandable Table Edge Bumper
Safety 1st 55-Piece Home Safety Set
Rev-a-Shelf Tot-Lok
Safety 1st Ultra Clear Outlet Plugs

I did not see the safety 1st door handle locks rated, but we use them and they are great.

8) DVD’s designed for your baby’s entertainment and brain development. They give you some needed time for your self by keeping their attention and stimulates their brain development threw music, sound, colour, movement, and images.

Baby Einstein seems to be the one every one uses and talks about.

9) Their own place to sleep. You do not want to have your baby sleeping with you. It is unsafe for the child. It also starts a habit that is hard for both the parent and child to get out of. It can become disruptive for both the parent and children sleep patterns. Children need to learn how to fall asleep by themselves.

Rated high on Lila guild and Epinion

Stokke Sleepi Crib
Mini Co-Sleeper Bassinet by Arms Reach

Though I like the Ikea cribs.

10) Ways to capture and display your memory. Time moves so fast in your child’s first years, it is easy for us to miss out on capturing moments in time. A camera and photo album is a great way to capture and display every moment of your child’s first years. I think the best product out there now is the new hand and foot print sets. It is a great way to show how small your baby was. You Preserve your child's hand or foot print in air-dry clay as a keepsake in a frame with your child’s picture. A camera and photo album is also a great way to capture and display every moment of your child’s first years.

The most popular set seems to be Baby Casting Kits and BabyPrints Handprint Footprint Impression Keepsake. Though you can find any number of kits in craft stores and baby stores or baby departments.


  1. *FYI* I have a B.S. in family sciences and I have read many studies that have actually shown that co-sleeping with your baby can help prevent SIDS, help a fussy baby sleep, and aid in healthy bonding. It is also easier to nurse which helps mom and baby to get more sleep in those first weeks of life. Yes, on rare occasions babies have been smothered by their parents, but in almost all of those cases the parents were either obese or under the influence. Granted, it is important to help the child transition into their own bed, but there is nothing wrong with co-sleeping with your baby. There is simply a social stigma associated with co-sleeping and it has become taboo - it is actually the norm in MANY cultures around the world, western culture simply rejects it as a normal thing to do.

  2. Baby carriers, an essential accessory for comfort and security of baby!