When Addison and Lincoln wake up from their morning nap, Claire loves to rush in and say hello to the babies before I get them out of their crib. We usually spend a few minutes cooing at the babies, and then we get them out and have a few minutes of playtime in the nursery before we change diapers, do bottles, and head to whichever outing we're going on that day.
Last week I snapped some pictures of our weekly morning playtime - the babies are happy (until they remember they're hungry and their mood switches drastically), Claire loves to chat and play with the babies, and I love to see the twins' post-nap gummy smiles.
Details about this gallery wall can be found here, and a tutorial for the DIY growth chart (just out of frame) can be found here.
In fact, when the twins were just born, I got a fancy decorative bottle dryer that was supposed to sit on your counter looking cute and air drying all the clean bottles. You guys, it did NOT work for me. It took up so much space, didn't actually dry very many bottles, and was a huge pain in general. I used it for two weeks before I realized I was working for the product, instead of the product working for me.
And now that's become my mantra when it comes to baby products. Get products that make your life easier, not harder. Make sure they work for you, instead of you working for them. Basically, every baby gadget you buy should baby you and your baby; you shouldn't have to baby the product to make it fit into your life.
Exhibit A: the Playtex Diaper Genie® Complete that we picked up at Babies "R" Us. (Remember when I raved about the Diaper Genie here?) We go through so many diapers around here, and there ain't no way I am going to take them all the way to the outside garbage every single time. I love the foot pedal, so when I have a dirty diaper in one hand and a baby in the other hand, I can just use the foot pedal and plop it in. No manually sliding it down the same chute hundreds of others of dirty diapers have been slid down. It's the hero of the room with a neutral, sleek design and Ultimate Odor Protection - so I never have to worry about how the twins' room smells. In fact, Diaper Genie is the #1 selling diaper disposal brand.*
One thing pregnant moms can agree on is that figuring out what baby products you need is HARD. It's overwhelming to sift through the literally thousands of brands, products, promotions, and testimonials. Then you have to think about price and convenience, how it will fit and look in your nursery, and whether or not your baby will like it.
If you're an expecting new mom, head to your local Babies "R" Us the first Saturday of the month so registry experts can help you get your registry started in a stress-free way, and then head back the third Tuesday of the month for a registry completion event after you've had your baby where you can get a discount on every single thing on your registry that hasn't been purchased yet.
Here are three questions I ask myself before buying any baby product. They help me determine ease, convenience, shelf life, and usefulness of baby gear and gadgets before I buy them.
1. Is this product low-maintenance?
When you have a newborn, the last thing you have time for is baby product maintenance. Think about whether you have to invest lots of time to assemble, clean, store, and move the product - and how often you'll have to replace parts or batteries. The bottle dryer I was talking about earlier was not low maintenance, because I kept having to clean it, move it, and rotate bottles through it.
2. Will this product get a lot of use?
Think about the shelf life of a product. I only buy one sleep sack per size, for example, because I know each one will only fit for a month or two at the beginning. The Diaper Genie, on the other hand, I'll use every single day for two to three years, which makes it a lot more worth it to me. Baby swings are only used for about the first six months, but since my twins used them multiple times every day for hours and hours during those six months, it was totally worth it to me.
3. Does this product simplify motherhood for me?
Anything that helps my children sleep better (pacifiers, swaddle blankets, swings, a white noise machine) is definitely worth it in my book. I also have two diaper changing baskets around the house (each filled with diapers, wipes, cream, hand sanitizer, etc.) that simplify motherhood and save time because I can change a diaper wherever I am. Strollers that just click in and go are worth it for me too, because it saves the time and hassle of moving your child from place to place, buckle to buckle.
What are your favorite baby gear must-haves?
*based on Nielsen scan data