Thursday, September 22, 2011

Baby Gear I Love

As the twins are getting older there are a few baby things I have come to love. I thought it would be great to share for those mommas-to-be out there. These are just my opinions so please take them as that.

Miracle Blanket

This has by far been one of my favorite items that has brought us many sleep filled nights. I had heard about them on other blogs before the twins and knew we had to try them. At first we didn't not use them properly since the twins were so small (make sure you read the directions) and they were ok, but as they got bigger and I read the directions we have learned to LOVE them. They fought the swaddle at first and could get out of velcro one but with this the arms are pinned and until recently they have not been able to free themselves. We are still using it for Jackson and have recently stopped for Riggs since she can escape and roll-but I truly feel this has brought us many nights of sleep.

Avent Bottles
We have had great luck with these. I was torn when registering if I wanted Dr. Browns or these but ultimately decided on Avent because it does not have the straws to deal with and I have heard the fatter bottles are easier for the babies to learn to hold. We recently got the addition of the handles and Jackson with a little burp rag propping can take his bottle mostly on his own. Riggs is working on it but normally can't sit still long enough to manage this. I also like that they can grow with the baby-you can get new attachments that turn them into sippy cups I believe and when you have made the investment we have in bottles this is great.

MAM Pacifiers
Originally we went with the standard Avent pacifiers and they worked well but seemed hard for the babies to keep in their mouth. One day I came upon a pack of these that my sister had passed along and thought I would try it out. Well we are converts now. The sucking part is bulb shaped so it seems easier for them to hang onto which means less of us putting it back in. Also I really like the style pictured above because as the twins have improved their motor skills they can easily grab on and have even been successful at putting it back in their mouth when it pops out.

Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Carrier
We debated long and hard on this item when we were registering. My sister actually gave me my niece and nephews old car seat as well as another one she had acquired. After some research we realized the second car seat had expired so we were going to have to buy at least one. We wanted to have two of the same brand so we could interchange which seat went on which side. We originally registered for a different brand but kept going back to the Chicco it just seemed so much more sturdy and well made. After some thought we felt this was one of the most important purchases we would make since it was for the safety of our babies and we had to go with what we felt was most substantial regardless if it cost more. We have been so happy with these and feel that the twins are safe and secure while in the car.


Having twins made this an extremely hard decision. Did we want a side by side or a tandem stroller, how easy would it be to maneuver, what was the weight, how would it fit in our car?...the list went on and on as we tried to pick a stroller. We research and searched for months for the perfect stroller as we plan to use this for many years. We finally decided we need 2 different ones to meet our needs.

Double Snap 'n Go
 We almost decided against this and thought we could just transfer the twins from their car seats to their stroller on outings-man were we wrong. We would have had such a tough time without this. I can easily and quickly get them out of the car and snapped into this stroller without much effort. It drives fairly well and the best part I got it for $40 off of eBay. At first we had a hard time "snapping" the Chicco car seats in place but once we figured that out we have been nothing but happy with this purchase.

City Mini Jogger
 This is what we ultimately decided on for our "Big" stroller. As I said above we agonized over this decision for months. Double strollers are not cheap so we wanted to find one that would not break the bank but would also meet our long term needs. We picked this one and then I randomly found it on sale at BuyBuy Baby for a great price-we were able to pick it up for just under $300 (normally it runs about $450 I think). This stroller has been great. It is easy to steer and one of the best features is how it folds. There is a strap in each seat that you just pull and it literally folds in half. They say you can do the single one while holding your baby. My one complaint is the basket-it is pretty much impossible to get to. I can get blankets and baby b'journs in there but have not figured out how to get a bag in. Well I guess I have 2 complaints there is no caddy system in the handle bar so there is no where to put my phone, keys, drink etc. But overall we are extremely pleased with this purchase.

Baby B'jorn
We were so lucky to get two of these handed down to us by my sister and one of my best friends. We have loved the flexibility that they give us when we are out and about with the twins. I have a few other baby wearing apparatuses but nothing has the ease of use as these do. We can quickly get them off and on and the babies feel very secure when they are in them. That has been one of my concerns with other ones where you have to twist and tie to secure it-with this I know if everything is snapped together correctly they are safe. When we are out we try and always keep one if not both in the stroller for when we have an unhappy rider. The twins love to be in the b'jorn especially since we have turned them front facing.

Fisher Price Cradle Swing
We got a hand me down from my sister and at first I was against putting it up, I did not want my babies to be those that had to be in their swing to go to sleep. Well around 10 weeks I got to the point where I just needed somewhere to put at least one baby. So I climb through the storage room found all of the pieces and put it together myself. Let me tell you that was one of the best decisions I have made. They both really liked it but Jackson loved it so much in fact that we ended up buying a matching one so Riggs could have a chance to swing every now and then. I think the best features of this on is that it swings side to side and you can turn the seat and it will swing front to back. The seat can recline in a cradle position or it can be adjusted to sit up. Jackson became quite vain staring at himself in the dome mirror that is above the seat with the mobile attached. This became his sanctuary and in many ways mine as well. Invest in a swing it is worth every penny!

As the twins have become more active we have needed to be able to provide them more stimulation-this has been our answer. For the first few weeks they would just sit in it and maybe bounce a little but now they are full blown jumpers. I really like this because it helps them build neck and body strength. We knew Riggs would love this since she is never still but were not so sure about Jackson. It was comical the first few times we would put him in one he would just sit there and stare at the swing wishing he could be laid back watching himself in the mirror. Recently he has become a crazy jumper and loves this toy. It is especially great for him as we continue therapy for his neck.

Medela Breast Pump

Last but definitely not least is my Medela pump. We have become very close over these last few months. As you should now know my twins were preemies and were in the NICU for just over two weeks. I had fully intended to breastfeed them or at least try my hardest to. With their prematurity came the need for me to pump from day one so they could get milk while they were still growing and learning how to suck. I pumped 8 times a day for many weeks. Once they were home we tried for a while to breastfeed but we had gotten in such a rhythm with the pumping and bottle feeding we continued on this route-it was just so much more efficient and with me returning to work seemed like the best option. Well 5 months later I am still pumping 3 times a day. The twins are getting a mix of milk and formula and this works well for us. Also I work for a great company that has a mother's room where I can go to pump in private. If you plan to pump at all make sure you invest in a good pump you won't regret it.

Well as I said these are the items I have found that we truly love. I hope they were of some help to you. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.


A Scrappy Design said...

We have the Chicco Keyfit carriers too! We, however, went with the Chicco Cortina Together stroller. I liked that it would transition up through the toddler years.

Catherine said...

LOVE that jumperoo... well, my son LOVES that jumperoo! It's hilarious to watch him jump in it. We also have a Baby Jogger City Mini (just not a double!) I love that thing! I always like reading about baby reviews and must haves. We never tried the Miracle Blanket, but I did end up getting my son a woombie. He's still in it, but I think we're going to transition him to the Halo sack soon.