Monday, May 23, 2011

Six to Twelve Months Baby Products: The Yay and Nay

Last time I wrote about my favorite and least favorite baby products many of you were kind enough to let me know you appreciated those posts. I heart feedback so thought I'd write one more review on products that I liked [and didn't] in the hopes that its helpful. I'm not being paid for any of this, just sharing my thoughts in the hopes its helpful for you [though should a company perchance wish to send me a crate full of organic puffs- I would not say no]. If you find this helpful I'll do my best to do a 12-18 month post!

Nay: Johnsons and Johnsons Baby Products. I never intended to really care all that much how I bathed or lotioned my kid. I mean, I buy generic soap and my skin is fine? Plus I got tons of gifts of bath products and they all were of the generic variety and I figured good enough for me good enough for my kid.  I was wrong. All baby skin is surely different. Your kid may have the sturdy stuff impervious to any product or perfume, but my little guy's skin reacted very badly. My doctor suggested we switch to fragrance free and even that didn't work- we ultimately switched to natural lines with minimal chemicals and it was only then that we began to see a difference, though the true difference didn't transform his skin until. . .

Yay:  Babyganics Eczema Cream. I'm not sure if Waleed had eczema or not but the skin thing was becoming very problematic and an increasing issue the more he crawled. I tried it all: lotions, olive oil, almond oil, vaseline, hydrocortisol nothing worked until I bought this- it literally transformed his skin from rough and patchy in spots to sweet baby smooth in a matter of hours and we have never had skin issues again. I'm fairly certain this stuff is made of magic.

Nay: Plastic bowls. They line the shelves of grocery stores and baby stores, each with images of a baby plucking an animal cracker with a large grin while the mother gazes on adoringly so I dutifully purchased a pack, filled it with the requisite cheerios and at our next restaurant put it before him and watched as he promptly took the bowl and began practicing for his future ultimate frisbee championship ring [if rings are infact bestowed on frisbee champs, which they should]. Needless to say, mortifying. And no amount of 'don't do that please' works- that bowl is meant to be flung. Maybe when he's older the plastic bowl will work, and maybe your child will be a bit more sensible with their bowls, but for us, it was a massive FAIL.

Yay: Booster Seat. I never got a high-chair [though we went back-and-forth debating it as if the fate of the world rested on this matter alone] and instead bought a booster seat. He's used it since he was six months old and I love it. It saves space, easy to take off when a guest needs an extra chair, and we take it with us to restaurants so he can eat off the tray instead of a bowl. We just purchased this 'Tiny Diner' suction tray you can also use on the go and folds neatly into a purse. Love it also! The booster seat gets an edge over the 'Tiny Diner' for me since with the seat has a tray which helps contain him more. If you have a more sensible child who would never dream of trying to nose dive from a wooden high-chair then the 'Tiny Diner' could be all you need.
Nay: Earth's Best Teething Biscuits. I love Earth's Best for their jarred baby food. Waleed eats way less pureed babyfood now that he's one-year-old but when I didn't have time to make my own food I always went with Earth's Best. When I saw their teething biscuits- I naturally swooped them up and well, if you want your kid covered in a beige colored goop from hand to arm to hair to face to clothes then this is your biscuit. It was hideous; dunk-and scrub- in-the-tub-for-twenty-minutes hideous. If you have a child that will lift and nibble politely on one end of the biscuit, not putting it down, lifting from the other end, and then the other, then maybe this biscuit will work for you.

Yay: Organic Puffs. I try to do my best to minimize Waleed's consumption of processed foods and while these Organic Puffs are certainly processed since I'm not yet aware of "Baby Puff" trees or bushes, the ingredient list is much shorter with words much easier to pronounce than any of its competitors. They melt in your mouth, and if his jumps, shrieks and claps at the site of the yellow bottle are any indication, they taste pretty good too.
Nay. SUV stroller. Or, Travel Systems, as they are traditionally called. Now I know that some of you wear by these and that's fine for me the sheer poundage made my back ache looking at them as they average out at about 23-28 pounds of pure stroller weight! We used a snap-n-go with his infant car seat and we are thankful we spared our backs the hassle.

Yay. Umbrella Stroller. Because we babywear him a lot, we hadn't had the need to upgrade strollers until now. As opposed to 23 pound strollers, ours is 11 pounds, folds up and can fit into a travel bag you can carry on your shoulder [not sure why anyone would want to carry it on their stroller but the lady on the cover box looks thrilled about doing so]. I don't know if the one we got is the best stroller, but it was affordable and had good reviews.
Agree? Disagree? What are your favorite baby products six-to-twelve months? [And if you have any advice on awesome baby products for toddlerhood and would like to save my pocketbook I will be forever grateful!]

20 comments:

Maleeha said...

Loved the booster seat while it worked, but now that J is 19 months he will no longer stay contained in it. I vowed that I would not feed him unless he was in it to reinforce good habits, but HA! He had other ideas. Now I feed him while he's playing and the booster seat just sits there mocking me.

Also loved my snap and go. I almost wept when it was time to let it go. I have an umbrella stroller now but I dont like its canopy because it doesnt keep the sun from J's face.

Disagree with the plastic bowls issue. I feel like I need more because I never have enough since they get dirty so fast bc I use them a lot.

What toys do you like for Waleed? J loves the ones that light up and talk/sing to him, especially his toy blackberry and laptop. The technological brainwashing has already begun in this house.

jenicini said...

Love love those puffs and the booster. The booster had five stars on amazon witg over 1500 reviews. I figured all of this people couldn't be wrong! Lol. I live that it is so inexpensivetoo. I've been using cetaphil cream on baby e which works wonders. I'm glad you found something that works. Cracked up on your perception of EB teething biscuits! Did you find any that didn't do this?

Umaira said...

Thank you for this post. I am sure I will be refering back to it in the future months.

I plan to wear my upcoming baby therefore I have some questions pertaining to that. Do you still baby wear? How long did you wear him for or plan to wear him for in terms of age and weight? In your opinion what have been the pros and cons of baby wearing. People keep telling me not to pick up the baby a lot as they will get used to it and it will do a number on your back when they are a little older and heavier. Did you find this to be the case with Waleed?

Sorry for asking so many questions, I just don't know anybody personally who wears their baby and I want as much info as I can get on the subject before she comes.

Thank you.

sprogblogger said...

Thank you for this post! I always love seeing what works for other people -- and I'm totally getting the umbrella stroller you recommend for our Manhattan (subways with TONS of stairs!) junkets. Also the lotion? I've tried everything else, next up - Waleed's favorite!

Sadia said...

hahaa, so true about the teething biscuits - my 10-mo-old loved them at first, but the mess was insane, but now i give them to her and she just immediately tosses them aside! Thankfully. Have you tried Happy Baby Yogurt Melts? My daughter eats bags a day, especially of the Banana-Mango flavor! I hate J&J products with a passion - they bill them for babies but put terrible chemicals in them!

On a side note, I finally had a chance to de-lurk thanks to a 5-minute free window in my day! Which has ended :(

Aisha said...

Maleeha, such a testament to how each child is different, thanks for sharing! Also, when did J start using the bowl? Did he never toss the bowl or did you teach him how not to [tips appreciated!].

Jenicini, have you tried Mum Mums? W tried one a friend's son was eating and he liked it, I was just leery of the ingredients but it was definitely not nearly so messy!

Umaira, sure Id love to help! Did you read my babywearing post? It's linked in this post and on the right side- bar- check that out first, and then check out www.thebabywearer.com [I think- the link I refer to has the definite link to that site which has GREAT comparisons on how long to wear etc and lots of reviewer feedback] First, let me tell you though, people said the same thing to me, if you wear him and carry him a lot he'll get "godhi ki adhat' [used to the lap] and I'll spoil them and to all them I'll say WHATEVER because that did not happen, I think some kids are godhi kids and some aren't. I wore Waleed all the time until he was five months old- while I cleaned, while I went shopping, out for a walk- he loved it and I loved it. I would hands down say invest in an ergo and pre-ergo you could look on craigs list or somewhere for a used moby or bbay bjorn but ergo is what you'll use most and is hands down the easiest on the back. Dr. Sears theory is if you hold your child when they want to be held when they're very young they actually grow more independent when older because they know you'll be there when they DO need you based on past experience. In my own experience this is definitely true. I held him WHENEVER he asked. He practically slept on someone the first month of his life- and he is now independent and happy and still very affectionate [alhamdullilah]. I really think its not about how much you held them, its personality- I mean, Dr. Sears argues that you could make them MORE clingy by depriving them of your lap and your arms because they are afraid and needy for it more and grow up like that. Dont know if THAT is true either- but please my one advice is DO WHAT YOUR HEART tells you to do when it comes to this topic and don't worry- as my friends and doctors told me, your child will not get spoiled from being loved too much- and definitely wont be spoiled in the first 8 or so months of life by anything. I am against spoiling, I mean you shouldn't give him anything he wants toys, ice cream, etc but when it comes to his/her mother's arms and her love that should be one thing that is never ever withheld. As for how long I wear him, I used to war him up to an hour at a time and still wear him in my Ergo sometimes but its getting less simply because he's mobile and walks and would rather walk, honestly once he began crawling and exploring his desire to be carried fell drastically, plus Ergo faces inwards, and so he likes the ease of sitting ina stroller and glancing around at the world in front of him, but the ergo is comfortable enough that I can carry him even now at 20 pounds. When shopping for a carrier, make sure to try it on and make sure you don't feel too much pressure on your upper back and shoulders because that is when back problems happen. Hopet hat is helpful??

susan, I heard the McLaren are the best from K's co-workers but it was $70 more than the one we got for $70 total. Will let you know if we continue liking it! Glad this review was helpful :)

Sadia, thanks for delurking :))Happy Baby Yogurt Melts, have not heard of them thanks so much am going to check that out!!!! And- Sadia just out of curiosity are you still working with the two kiddos? I'm so on the fence now that he is one [mind syas go back to work, heart- breaks] was wondering what you were doing.

Maleeha said...

He never really tossed it though now he's starting to dump its contents on the floor because he thinks its fun. He does it just sometimes though, not always. When he does I just get down to his level and tell him no firmly and have him help me pick up everything off the floor. He follows directions most of the time. If he starts throwing a tantrum I let him calm down and let him play with other things for a bit and then bring him back to the stuff he threw on the floor and then have him pick it up and give it to me. This method works pretty well I think. Honestly its just a lot of trial and error!

PandaBear said...

I love that you called travel systems SUV strollers. Its so true! We have a really nice BOB revolution stroller that was from my husband's cousin who so generously let us use it after she was done having kids, which is too large to fit in my car! We don't really do many baby "products" We just reuse whatever people have given us. We are cheap that way! We did splurge on a really nice crib, which we then sidecarred to the bed, and we got the Rolls Royce of car seats, a Britax :) I hate travel systems too though. They seem so unnecessary.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review!!

Aisha said...

Maleeha, good boy then mash'Allah! Mine thinks things provided in his hand are meant to be tossed to the furthest spot possible, lol. Love your parenting methods Maleeha you are a great mom mA [no surprise!]

Panda, BOB isn't that a jogging stroller? I heard great things about it but yeah I've heard its huge [that's a $400 stroller!] Reusing is the best thing ever- I wish we had that possibilty because that's the smartest way to go about it!

Anon, your welcome glad you enjoyed it!

Maleeha said...

You are too kind! You are an awesome mom too mashallah. Waleed is one lucky guploo muploo :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks again for the info!!! I took a lot of your advice when I was filling out my registry!

I had a surprise this weekend. My little girl decided to make a 7 week early appearance! I had her Sunday and she's 4lbs. and doing great! Hopefully won't have to stay in NICU too long!
Pixie

Sadia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sadia said...

Sorry, last post got cut short so i deleted it!

It's such a tough decision (working vs. being a SAHM) - I have a really great situation in that I'm able to work part-time from home (helps to have your boss also be your big sister!) but I debate it too, in terms of going back to work full-time. It wouldn't be with the family firm, since that's based in Atlanta and we live in Florida now. I've decided that I'm willing to do it only when the youngest kid - if that's Inaya or if we end up with a third - is around 3. If you're able to maintain some type of a life outside of momdom, and there's no other pressing need to go to work, my personal rec would be to wait a bit before going back to work. These years really do go by so fast, and we've had so many precious moments over the past few years! Having said that, it's such an intensely personal decision, with so many factors involved, that ultimately you just have to do what feels right and not let anyone else pressure you one way or the other!

Publix just started carrying the Happy Baby melts, before then I think I was able to find them at Target - so good!

Baraka said...

Umbrella stroller, booster seat, & puffs FTW! :)

Interesting how babies can be as expensive as you want them to be. Just look at the variation on stroller! (I understand that certain lifestyles call for the mega strollers, but am glad we can get away with an umbrella type).

We try to focus on fewer items of higher quality, whether in toys, clothes, or other baby accessories. Target and H&M carry affordable organic clothing now, for example.

Re: the yogurt melts - they are handy for travel (& tasty for Mama too :) but they're also high in sugar, which negates the value of the pre/probiotics. On a daily basis, I give the baby plain yogurt instead.

Miss you - let's talk soon.

xo

Aisha said...

Pixie!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!! And it sounds like youa nd baby are doing well- Insh'Allah my duaas are with your little darling that she gets out of that NICU ASAP- wish I had your e-mail address or something to send you my well wishes in that method but this will have to do. I'm sorry you're going through NICU type of stuff :( But I am praying for a healthy and happy future with your long awaited daughter :)

Sadia, thanks for weighing in on this- I am going to be writing a post on this soon to sort through my feelings on the topic but your advice is exactly what keeps me from sending my resume out- it will go by so fast- and I'd hate to miss out :(

Baraka, why is it that all the baby food organic or otherwise like oatmeal, cereals, yogurts are ALL full of sugar [organic- but STILL]. If I want to add some sugar to my oatmeal cereal or yogurt I Will! It's longer and more time consuming but like you I just do it myself for that reason- and yes- a baby can be as expensive or affordable as we want. Miss you too!

awomanmyage said...

When we went to San Francisco, we discovered the Baby Puffs. Or Baby Crack as I called it. The Precious couldn't get enough of it. That phase passed however, he tends to go crazy for certain foods and snacks and then he hits a wall and refuses to eat them again. There's a food I wish I could have gotten here,I think it's the same make as the baby puffs. It was puree in tubes. That would have been extremely helpful when travelling and the kid loved it.

rickshawdiaries said...

You're so right. Part of it is the American penchant for sugar, but they do it in other parts of the world too. If a baby is exposed to a variety of tastes (sour, bitter, sweet, etc) from early on, they are more likely to be open to different foods later. But we end up skewing them toward sweet because almost every processed food has sugar in it. It is more time consuming, but worthwhile to make sugarless food at home whenever possible.

Aisha said...

Hm, that sounds familiar- I'e seen that at Whole foods, A woman my age- next time I go I will keep my eye out for it and remeber the name for you!

Baraka, amen to that! I feel better knowing what is going in his body!

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