- Family and Parenting
10 Great Baby Products For Your Baby's First Year
There are some baby and infant products that just stand out above the rest.
Playtex® Ortho-Pro™ Pacifier
The Playtex Ortho-Pro Pacifer is designed to help baby's teeth develop naturally by reducing the pressure placed on gums. The stem of this orthodontic pacifer is narrower then other pacifiers.
My daughter started with whatever pacifier was available at the time. Once I found these I never went back. They are available in two packs and can be found in 2 sizes. One for preteething babies and one for older babies.
Dr. Brown's Natural Flow Bottle
Dr. Brown's Natural Flow bottle uses a patent internal vent that eliminates the vacuum effect and reduces air from passing through the milk. With less air going into the milk or formula, not only will the Dr. Brown's bottles reduce your babies gas and burping. These bottles prevent fluid in baby's ears and allow even colicy baby's to feel more comfortable. These bottles are built tough and live up to their claims.
Munchkin Deluxe Bottle Brush
Your hand is definetly not going to reach the bottom of the bottle and those cheap foam bottle brushes aren't going to cut it either. Muchkin Deluxe bottle brush uses durable and strong bristles that remove milk and formula build up but are gentle on babies bottle.
For nipple cleaning, the suction cup base pulls out from the brush and reveals a smaller brush just for this purpose. Munchkin Deluxe Bottle Brush works great for other dishwashing too.
Johnsons Baby Bedtime Cream Wash
Johnsons Baby Bedtime Cream Wash is a fantastic smelling baby wash. It's Lavender and chamomile scent helps soothe and relax tired babies. It uses the Johnsons No Tears Formula and is a perfect way to end the day and prepare baby for bed.
Looking for a body wash alternative for yourself? Because it's made for babies Johnsons Baby Bedtime Cream Wash will do well on sensitive skin and the scent is very pleasant and not overly purfumy. I used this regularly as my own body wash as well.
Mesh Baby Feeders
Mesh baby feeders are my favorite feeding tool. Solids can be introduced to babies without worry of choking. My daughter was a big fan of her baby feeder. We used it for fruits mostly.
Anytime I wanted her to try our dinner I would scoop up whatever we were eating and put it in the mesh bag. She could not get much more then a little mush out of the feeder so I let her have whole green beans, pieces of chicken, etc. For hot days, she loved pieces of popcicles in her mesh feeder.
Frozen fruits are great in the mesh feeder for teething babies. The cold numbs their gums and the flavor is a whole lot better then that frozen chew toy in the freezer.
Lamaze Infant Toys
One of my favorite brand names for infant toys has always been Lamaze. I was an infant teacher years before I became a mother myself, and I made sure that these were always available and in reach of my sitters and scooters.
Lamaze toys feature bright bold colors and black and white contrasts. The toys squeak, squawk, beep, shuffle, and more. My daughter still has that firefly pictured on the right. It was a splurge purchase when she was about 4 months. It became her favorite toy to have in the car seat.
There is a lot to explore with Lamaze toys. Flaps, mirrors, cord pulls that wind back up, different textures, and sounds keep baby busy and entertained.
Baby Einstein Dvd's
When I needed to go run and do something like laundry or just make myself something to eat and my 5 month old daughter would not grasp the concept of "mommy time" I started playing the Baby Einstein Dvd's.
Before these, she was uninterested in anything on TV. We started with Baby Van Gogh. The show is like a kaleidoscope of colors. Each of the rainbow colors are introduce individually and toys, paintings, and more are used to express things that are that color.
What I love most about Baby Einstein movies, especially the ones meant for the littlest Einsteins, is the lack of distracting backgrounds. Without the disturbance of excessive movement in the background of the show, babies can focus on what is in front of them. The backdrops are famous paintings, or nondistractive colors that don't take away from what is being show.
Boppy Pillows and Slipcovers
I first started using Boppy Pillows when I worked as an infant teacher. These are essential for babies. They are multi-functional and come in so many fun colors now that slip covers have been introduced.
Boppy pillows were originally created for nursing moms to wrap around the waist. This was to lift baby up closer to the breast and reduce the strain on mom for holding baby up. This does work for this purpose but they also are great for:
- feeding baby with a bottle
- elevating very young babies head on the ground for toy play
- making tummy play more interesting
- Helping support baby when learning to sit (always supervise, babies can fall forward)
Washing the entire boppy is possible, and yes I did it many times both in the infant room and in my own home. My daughter had a boppy without a slip cover. When it got messy the whole pillow went in the wash. It does retain the original shape.
Now slip covers can be introduced so that for small spills or stains, it can be removed and cleaned easily. Plus, when you get bored with one pattern, just switch to something for a few dollars.
Fisher Price Ocean Wonder Aquarium
This is the biggest lifesaver for moms during the night time fussy moments. We had the Ocean Wonder Aquarium attached to my daughters crib and each night would put it on so that the sound of waves played while the dim light slowly went on and off.
Nothing could knock out my daughter and keep her sound asleep the way this could. There are multiple sound settings and volume control. The lights can be on or off and the fish movement and bubbles can be controlled too.
As my daughter got older and could sit up, she loved to play with the small levers that would move and spin the fish.
Pullover Towel Bibs
The best bibs for babies over 5 months are pullover towel bibs. No strings pulling on baby's neck and no snaps or velcro easy undone and pulled off by small hands.
They soak up the mess and slip right off the head for easy clean up.