Baby B’s 5 Must Have Baby Items – But the Poop Smell is Killing Us

One of our friends asked us, “After almost 3 years, what are the 5 baby items you couldn’t do without?” I said: “I’ll have to think about the top 5 baby items, but I’ll tell you one thing we haven’t figured out – the poop smell is killing us.”

But before I regale with my poop anguish, I did think about what our Top 5 list would be. It’s not the coolest or most original list, it’s just the ones that really stood out for me.
I’d love to hear what your top 5 list is (and as a bribe – yes, I’m not above that – I’ll give a $50 Paper Culture gift card to the best response by EOD Sunday):

  1. Angel Dear Blankets:Angel Dear Blanket
    These are Baby B’s security blankets. One of the best pieces of advice I got as a first time parent seems so obvious now: pick a security blanket that’s small, easily washable and easily replaceable.  Angel Dear has a whole set of animals. We have some friends who rotate animals, but Baby B is only about the elephants. We literally have 20 of the blue elephants (excessive perhaps). It’s not so much that we’re fooling Baby B into thinking there’s really only 1 blue elephant, it’s that she’s accustomed to swapping them in and out. In fact, she’s become addicted to our fabric softener so she demands a new one after a few cuddles. And when one gets lost, a few clicks on Amazon and we’re fully replenished.
  2. Zoli’s Buzz B Nail Trimmer:Buzz B Nail Trimmer from Zoli
    Have you ever wondered how your baby’s fingernails grow so fast? I remember when Baby B was a wee one and it was never the diapers I dreaded, it was always cutting her nails. I felt like one bad snip and my poor Baby B would be a four finger wonder. The Buzz B is the ultimate solution. Imagine a circle shaped emery board that spins and is soft enough to not hurt your precious one, but has enough grit to file down your baby’s nails with its battery powered spinning action. Just touch the spinning head to the nails and you get a beautifully filed and perfectly trimmed nail with no worries about hurting your little one. But it is true that I worry I’m turning Baby B onto Mani-Pedi’s waaaaaaaay too early!
  3. Halo Organic Cotton Sleep Sack:
    Halo Sleep Sack Organic Cotton
    As we moved from the swaddle to a sleepsack, initially I thought it was cool just because it was easy and quick. I soon learned that a sleep sack has a lot of ancillary benefits as well. Yes, it does dramatically reduce the worrying you do that your baby is getting cold because her blanket fell off in the middle of the night, but that’s the predictable part. The part I didn’t expect: as your baby grows up and becomes a climber, the sleepsack makes it darn difficult to scale the crib barriers. So, we have an almost three year old that hasn’t even started to attempt to climb out of her crib. Our friends who have long since converted to a toddler bed are jealous. The secret is the sleep sack – and organic cotton to boot!
  4. Orbit Stroller:Orbit Stroller
    For the first year with Baby B, I LOVED the Orbit Stroller. With one hand carrying Baby B and the other hand free, I could collapse the Orbit stroller with a quick flick of the wrist and shove it in the trunk in under 5 seconds flat (try that Bugaboo owners!). And in the constant suburban car rush, it seems like life is about getting into and out of the car. The car seat that snaps off the base instantly and just as easily snaps onto the stroller is especially awesome when you have a sleeping baby that you’re moving into and out of the car. The only complaints about the infant stroller was that it was a bit heavy and if it’s value you’re looking for, this is not your leading candidate. But, eventually, Baby B grew out of her infant seat and the concept that she’d grow up with an equally modular Toddler Car Seat was cooler in concept than reality. You see, the toddler car seat weighs a ton (almost literally) and is NOT something you want to be moving in and out of the car. So, we actually have one, but it sits in the car permanently anchored to the seat no different than any other car seat that’s half the price. In theory it snaps onto the stroller base, but I don’t know of anybody (at least in their right mind) that would actually move that thing in and out of the car.
  5. Paper Culture Stationery:
    Paper Culture Stationery
    OK yes, I’m TOTALLY biased, but I kid you not, I never realized how much stationery we would go through. My wife and I have always loved stationery, but we’d send maybe 30 cards a year typically. With the arrival of Baby B, the number of thank you’s for baby shower gifts, for housewarming gifts (we moved when Baby B was born) and for birthday parties seems never ending. It’s fun to create a design that captures your little one’s personality and so convenient to have them on hand at any time. We don’t just use them for thank you cards, but we also use them as actual birthday cards when we’re in a pinch.

But if those were the 5 things we loved, there were 2 that seem indispensable, but that we never really found the product we loved. We’re married to the concept, but are still in search of the ultimate one. We’d love your suggestions, who knows, we may do this again someday!

  1. Baby Monitor:Baby Video Monitor from Summer
    We have baby monitor addiction. We are the classic undisciplined parents that if we heard Baby B scream, we would be checking in on her every 5 minutes if we didn’t have the video monitor. However, we have the Summer Infant Handheld monitor and the battery is dead so it only works when it’s plugged in. To me the priorities are long range, good night vision. Color is a nice to have and if you have an infant, the new features that have motion detection might be nice, though we’re far beyond that with Baby B. Any thoughts?
  2. Diaper Disposal: We have the diaper champ, and let me tell you, it definitely is appropriately part of the diaper discussion because it always smells like poop and functions like the much more un-PC term for “butt.” We initially picked that one because we could use it with any other bag (unlike the Diaper Genie which we’ve tried and not liked any better), but the diaper flipping mechanism always gets caught and it does next to nothing for the odor. It doesn’t even look good – at least if it doesn’t function, it could have some redeeming quality as a piece of furniture, but no.  Our only saving grace is Baby B has been basically potty trained for about a year. But if we ever do this again, we need to find a better solution! Any ideas? (No, I’m not providing a link because you really should NOT buy this product). Just think, we’ve lived for almost 3 years with that terrible poop smell. Help!

And don’t forget, leave your Top 5 list in the comments below and I’ll pick my favorite one for a $50 Paper Culture voucher.

UPDATE: And the winner is Christina Taylor who said:
1. Boppy pillow – Not only was it a back/shoulder/arm saver during nursing, but I turned it around and propped my lil one in it when she was an infant. As she’s grown, she’s used it as a pillow in her playroom.
2. Ergo and Baby Bjorn baby carriers – Ergo worked better for mom, Baby Bjorn fit dad better.
3. Sophie the Giraffe – This teething wonder never left my daughter’s side. And because she started teething at 3 months, it’s her oldest friend :)
4. Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe blanket.
5. Newmann’s Nipple Cream – Kinda graphic, I know, but this handmade salve worked much better than lanolin and didn’t leave the sticky residue.
I went over these with my wife and we were marveling that we could have added almost all of those things to our list – and yes, I had to consult her on #5 ;). I’m still amazed at how many people have Sophie the Giraffe – you’d think how hard could it be to produce another chewable toy? But, somehow, Sophie is everywhere! Christina, email us at contact@paperculture.com and we’ll send you your $50 voucher. Congrats and thanks to everyone who participated.