Baby & Toddler Favorite Finds & Must Haves

Even though I’m an “experienced” parent, I find myself constantly learning new things that make my life as a parent, easier. Recently I also found myself thinking that it would’ve been great to have known about some of this stuff sooner. Seriously, why did it take me so long to discover disposable bibs for when we travel?

So, in an effort to help all of us, below is a list of some of our “Favorite Finds and Must Haves” (Graco products included, of course!) that will hopefully make life a little easier, cleaner and more fun! Enjoy and please send along your own “Favorite Finds.”

freezetimeAmy Sleep
Weeblock it’s a fun way of keeping the pee from squirting up at you during those challenging, little boy diaper changes. I got one for Boog when he was a baby and he will forever be embarrassed for it.

Myselfbelts – belts for kids with Velcro so they can get them on and off themselves. There’s a great range of styles so they’re fun belts that little kids WANT to wear in addition to making sure their pants don’t end up around the ankles (a problem we frequently had with Boog before buying a couple of these belts)

Disposable bibs – I never knew what to do with the super messy toddler bibs when we were traveling. Then I found disposable bibs! These aren’t something I would want to use all the time (don’t feel great about the environment), but they’ve been a lifesaver a number of times (good to keep a couple in the diaper bag in case you forget to pack a regular bib) Wish we had some when we took this shot!!

Graco Sweet Slumber – This sound machine has all sorts of sounds and is so easy to use that our 3 year old actually set it up and works it (to ease them to sleep) most of the time. Seriously.

Amy Trice
Baby Loopies Sneaker Brights – Since Slick is a boy, I couldn’t buy Trumpette socks for him. I searched the internet high and low for cute boy-friendly socks. At that time, there wasn’t much selection. No one was really making them for boys. But, I found Baby Loopies Sneaker Brights and they are so cute.

Karen Hartzell
Pacifier Wipes – I found these pacifier wipes while searching for spare pacifiers. They are food grade and so much more appealing to me than the old “pop the pacifier in the parent’s mouth to clean”.

Morning Sickness Lozenges – Morning sickness, my eye! More like all day sickness for some of us! When I first tried these I was extremely skeptical that a piece of “hard candy” would help my nausea. Was I surprised! It’s actually a non-prescription vitamin supplement and tastes like a sour apple Jolly Rancher. It did wonders for my nausea and energy level.

Grocery Cart Cover – An amazing find for me since I was always taking Baby shopping with me. It was extra wide, nicely quilted, and covered all the holes in the cart so Baby’s toys and blanket stayed put next to her. I am convinced that cover helped me keep Baby seated in the front of the cart well past the usual age.

Kim Lefko
Doorway Jumper – My shameless plug that’s provided great entertainment for my girls (and for us!)

Responsibility Chart – Great for 3 year olds!

Teach your Baby Sign Language – excellent guide for helping us communicate with our girls early on.

Disposable Placemats – perfect for eating in public when you’re not so sure about the cleanliness of the table

Kristin Deloach
Peanut Shell – I found the Peanut Shell absolutely indispensable for LadyBug’s early months. Unlike most newborns, she was incredibly alert and never wanted to nap, so using the Peanut Shell not only helped create a cozy, warm environment for her and the gentle sway from my movement often helped her doze off when I needed my hands free to get things done like grocery shopping, laundry, dishes, etc.

Heather Ward
Graco SnugRider (SO lightweight for strolling with an infant car seat), Swaddle blanket(s) an absolute MUST, a “Breast Friend” nursing pillow, Soothie pacifiers, a play gym, should I go on? (don’t forget the 90 changes of clothes that you need for newborns!)

Lindsay Lebresco
OK- since the SnugRider, swaddle blanket, sweet slumber, nursing pillow, grocery cart cover, video monitor & disposable placemats have already been mentioned, (seriously- those are ALL on my list too!) I have a few more to add to this list…

Baby Legs- Not only were these great for keeping Jagger & B’s legs warm under pants, skirts & snowpants, but triple them up over the knees and they were great crawling knee pads and pair them with some big-boy underpants, they make a great potty training helper (though it does look quite silly!)

Thermos - Great for toting around a picky eaters warm chicken nuggets for instant lunch on-the-go!

Wee Target- Another potty training ally. (admittedly my husband uses it too!)

Pack n Play- This was on my must-have list when my kids were babies. Had one next to my bed at night for the first 3 months, used one as the “nursery in the living room” so I didn’t have to climb the stairs 10 times a day for diaper changes and a great product to travel with for a little home away from home for your baby.

Melissa Parlaman
Baby Einstein Baby Neptune Playmat- Since the day I brought PP home we started her Tummy Time on this mat and continued using it until she was about 9 months old (some of the pieces come off and can be used as seperate pieces and can be used even longer). I even bought a second one to keep in our bedroom because we used it so much!

Friends & fellow Bloggers who contributed their thoughts via Twitter & Facebook (thanks guys!)
2WorkingParents Gripe water. It’s a colic cure!

• Fran — VIDEO MONITOR. I credit the video monitor for “N” being such a great sleeper. We know how and when he falls asleep, and when he wakes up. He’s so quiet that a sound-only monitor would have never worked. It’s also a great way to keep an eye on “L”, to make sure she is falling asleep, and not messing around in her room. We don’t have to open her door and risk waking her up. We just look at the screen. I wish we had bought one when “L” was first born.

• Shelly — big fan of the Leap Frog music table and any sort of activity center.

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4 Responses to “Baby & Toddler Favorite Finds & Must Haves”

  1. Kim @ What's That Smell? May 19, 2009 at 8:57 am #

    We use and love a number of the things listed!

    I don’t go anywhere without a shopping cart cover and we still use the Pack-and-Play when we need to contain my 18 month old daughter – like when we are doing yard work. We have a Leap Frog music Table that my son loved and now my daughter does too, even though with all the brutality is has withstood it now is “possessed” because it will make sounds even when no one is near it, my kids still love it.

  2. Ares Vista May 19, 2009 at 1:23 pm #

    Our Pack-n-Play is the most wonderful thing ever! We take it EVERYWHERE! Our daughter is 1 year old now, and she still loves being in there.

  3. May 19, 2009 at 10:54 pm #

    I love the peanut shell!


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