Friday, June 4, 2010

Pretty Things (The Baby Shower Edition)

Hi everyone!  Hope you're all having a great Friday.  Yay, the weekend is here!  I don't know about you, but generally, a good portion of my weekends are spent running errands, some fun, and some not so fun.  Recently, I feel like I've been doing a lot of shopping for baby gifts - so many friends are welcoming new little people into their families!   Having had my own baby fairly recently, I received - and purchased - lots of different baby-related items, and while most were quite pretty, some were just more useful than others.  Here are the things I find myself reaching for nearly every day - that happen to be super cute to boot!

Bebe Au Lait Nursing Cover ($36)  If mom is planning on breastfeeding, then this will be great.  I have a couple of these, and they're so superior to just blankets, or wearing nursing clothes, etc.  These nursing wraps make it easy to nurse your baby in public, if you so choose, and thanks to the bit of "boning" used at the neck to hold the wrap out and away from the body a bit, mom is able to look down and make eye-contact with baby while s/he nurses as well as allowing for a bit of air circulation to take place (I can only imagine how stuffy it is under the traditional blanket-thrown-over-the-baby-and-mom's shoulder).  Breastfeeding is more and more popular with moms these days ("breast is best!"), and these wraps make it so much easier to do.  Forget the Boppy pillow - buy your mom-friend (or yourself, if you're a nursing mom) one of these.


Trumpette "Mary Janes" Sock Gift Set and Sneakers Sock Gift Set ($26.50)  I'd seen these cute little socks before, but never bought them, or thought to buy them for my own kids.  When Kate was born, I received a box of the Mary Jane socks as a gift (thanks Jeff and Emmy!) as well as a pair of ballerina socks (thanks Amanda!), and I can't tell you how much I love them.  Kate's feet are a little pudgy, and it's hard to get baby shoes (including Robeez) on her feet.  Also, she's such a wriggly baby, that whenever I put her into footed outfits, she somehow manages to wiggle herself around so as to get both legs lodged into one leg of the outfit. Sigh.  Solution? Clothes without the feet attached.  Except that means she has to wear socks, and well, if she has to wear socks, then why not socks that look like shoes?  I can't even keep track of how many compliments I've received from people, about the cuteness of Kate's socks.  These are definitely on my "easy baby gift" list and I highly recommend them.

JJ. Cole Diaper Pod ($16.99)  These come in all kinds of different patterns, and I actually bought mine sort of impulsively, while waiting in line at a BabyGap. When my son was still in diapers, I had and used a "Diapees and Wipees" pouch, which was fine, but not as structured in construction, as JJ Cole's iteration.  Still, impulse-purchase or not, I've definitely gotten a lot of use for it, as it makes it really easy for me to go out with Kate, without lugging along the diaper bag.  Before, with Rowan, I never went anywhere without that diaper bag (which held two changes of clothing, 3-6 diapers, plastic diaper disposal bags, snacks, a bottle with formula, several toys, a notebook, baby sunblock, diaper cream, etc.  You get the picture...) but I find with Kate, I just grab this, my nursing cover (see above), and I'm out the door.

Aden + Anais Burpy Bibs ($8 - $20)  I came across these at a vendor's booth when I attended a local Women's Expo.  I bought them pretty impulsively, because I liked the feel of the muslin and I thought they were cute, but wow, am I glad I got these!  They're combination burping cloths and bibs (hence the slightly silly name) made of 100% cotton muslin, and their shape allows for great shoulder-coverage when you're burping your baby.  Also, when baby is older, and eating solids, it can be fastened (by means of a little snap button that's not visible in the photo) around the baby's neck, so it covers the baby's entire upper half, like a poncho.  This is great, as it means that all of baby's clothes (including shoulders and sleeves) stay clean and dry, and there's nothing stiff or abrasive hanging around baby's neck.  The burpy bibs are machine washable and just really soft and lovely.  I wouldn't mind a couple more of these myself.

ErgoBaby Carrier ($105 - $135).  There are a lot of cuter, sleeker, and admittedly prettier baby carriers out there.  But none are better, for parent or baby, as the Ergo.  I was recently in a local (and completely adorable) baby store, which sells quite a range of high end baby carriers.  There was a new mom in there, trying on carrier after carrier, putting her 3-month-old into each one, with a solicitous sales person hovering nearby to help out with instructions and give her a hand with the baby.  After browsing a nearby display of baby goods, and watching the mother's frustration mount and the baby grow fussier and fussier, I offered some user feedback (I can't help myself, sometimes).  You see, I've gone down this road - I've tried and owned the Baby Bjorn, various slings, and tried out any number of really cute front and back carriers.  It wasn't until I tried the Ergo that I realized I'd found what I was looking for.  Using the Ergo baby carrier, I can wear Kate on my front or my back, and do it for hours without back pain.  It's true.  No exaggeration.  And, Kate is comfy.  Unlike other carriers, the Ergo doesn't suspend the baby by its crotch (ouch!) but allows the baby to actually sit in the pouch, much as you would in a swing.  Anyway, I told the mom that I highly recommended the Ergo, that I'd tried other carriers, and this is the one that was most comfortable, for myself and my baby.  She listened politely, then promptly turned back to all the really cute, sleek carrier designs.  About half an hour later, I was paying for my purchases, and I heard her exclaim, "Oh, this is it!  This is the one!  It's so easy and look, my baby's not crying!" to the smiling and nodding (with relief?) saleswoman.  Which one was she wearing?  I bet you can guess...

So, this is different from our usual sort of post, mostly because it focuses on babies/children.  What do you think?  Was it useful?  

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  1. This was very useful, Carol! I have seen the nursing covers before and definitely want to use them when it's time for me. I also love the idea of the baby carrier. I think it's the cutest thing when the dads carry their babies that way. :) Chris and I will be getting one of those for sure. What do you suggest in terms of baby strollers? My mom got us a hand me down (she has grandson fever...we're not even married yet!!!) but I want to be able to get something that works well. Thanks!

  2. Yay! Baby posts! I'm LOL because I have all items with the exception of the JJ Cole Diaper pod (I just have a few other brands - Patapum, Fleurville). The Aden + Anais blankets are the BEST swaddle blankets I've ever owned, and my youngest uses them as his loveys, so they are well worth it. I will profess my love for my Ergo and all babycarriers, but that's mostly because I'm a strong advocate for babywearing and even belong to our local babywearing group which teaches advocacy and awareness for attachment parenting as a whole, but with a focus on babywearing. Goodness, if you think fashion is addicting, you wouldn't believe the obsession I have with baby carriers as fashion accessories!

    Trumpettes are the only socks that stayed on my kids feet as infants. So much fun! And my Bebe Au Lait is so old - mine is the original incarnation, still has the Hooter Hider tag on it! LOL!

  3. Hi Carol! This was super helpful! My big sis is having a baby boy (Henry! I am sooo excited!)at the end of June and I am throwing her a shower next week. I haven't bought her gift yet, but this will defintately help me. Thanks Carol! I always enjoy your blog.

  4. Hi, Carol. Love reading this post... it's so helpful. I have two liitle youngest is 16 month old, wish I had read this when I was expecting. Do you think it's to late to buy the Ergo for my youngest? BTW I really enjoy reading yours and Kathryn's blog.

  5. @Annie - No, it's not too late to buy the Ergo for your youngest. I actually first learned of it from a woman who was carrying her sleeping 3-year-old on her back (!!!) at a shop in Ithaca, NY. It's rated to carry children up to 40 lbs. And thanks! I'm really glad you enjoy the blog. =)

    @Ashley - congrats to your sister and you (Aunt Ashley!). I'm so glad you found the post helpful.

    @Michelle - Why am I not surprised we have the same stuff? =D

    @Cindi - There are a million strollers out there, but in terms of ease of use and general utility, while the baby is still in it's infant car seat, I'd recommend a Snap 'N' Go. It's basically a stroller frame, without a seat, that lets you fit the infant car seat (practically all brands) right into it. And it's got a giant (shopping) basket which is really convenient. I'm actually using my old one (the one we bought 5 years ago for Rowan) for Kate right now, and it's still great. I'll do a post on strollers sometime in the future (since we have some time 'til your first little one comes along, haha). Your mom is so funny. =D

  6. Usually I'd say this isn't applicable to me... but I'm entering that stage of life now and actually have a shower to attend next week! I think these posts are fun because you ladies have good taste, and it clearly extends beyond Anthro... and try as we might, we all still have to deal with the realities of everyday life, so I figure it's always good to get recommendations on other things too!

  7. I've recently been following this blog and really love visiting daily to see updates. Today I just had to post a comment! I have a nine week old and two year old and have almost every single item you posted (I have a different diaper/wipe holder but same concept) and totally agree about loving them all and finding them very useful. My favorites are the nursing cover and the Ergo. You did a great job on this post and I hope people shopping for baby showers take your advice!

  8. My third baby is 7 months old, and it *never* stops being fun to shop for baby things - loved seeing some of your favorites!

  9. Yes, very helpful! I'm 19 weeks pregnant with my first and my head swimming with all of the options out there. Everything is just so darn cute.

  10. I enjoyed reading this post. I had never heard of the Ergo. Too bad I wasn't aware of it or I would have gotten that instead of the one I currently own. Going to look into the diaper pod so I can eliminate having to lug the big diaper bag around. Thanks Carol!

  11. love the post, many years past the baby stage and am always at a loss for cute/hip/helpful gifts and know they don't need another GAP outfit. I have two baby gifts to get so this is great.

  12. Keep posting the good work. Some really helpful information in there. Bookmarked. Nice to see your wrap