-Exercise Ball...currently parked on top of our dogs bed - ha! I discovered this thing at my friend Ashlee's house when I was pregnant. She had one at her house and it felt so good on my back to sit on that thing - we headed out to Marshalls and her husband found me one for 10 bucks. Well, this gray one is currently ball purchase #5 because we discovered that owning a big rubber ball isn't really condusive to sharing a house with three cats...and we've woken up to many a deflated rubber ball....but I love it so much and use it so often, we just keep buying them. I sat on it like crazy during my pregnancy, and after Adam was born, we discovered it's excellent for getting him to calm down or go to sleep. I think he must remember that motion from being in my belly or something. For anyone like me who has a baby who likes to be in MOTION and is sick and tired of pacing the halls...get thyself a big bouncy ball pronto because you can bounce your baby and watch Two and a Half Men at the same time....brilliant.
-Tap Lights...they are all over my house. I'm like an infomercial on crack over here. From our second day home we focused on getting AJ to recognize the difference between night and day...and it's hard to do that when you get up at 2am and turn on the kitchen light to make a bottle - or turn on his bedroom light to change a diaper - or turn on the bathroom light so you can stumble to the toilet to pee with big white spots in front of your eyes. So we purchased tap lights (and rechargeable batteries). I have one in almost every room of the house, and they're just bright enough to see what I'm doing, but not bright enough to fully wake up the critter. So he stays sleepy - gets a clean diaper - a full belly -and back to bed without me stubbing a toe on anything. Perfect.
- Colic Calm...this stuff was actually recommended to me by my friend Kelli whom I met in birthing class. You can read the website about it here. Kelli's daughter is a month older than AJ and she had horrible acid reflux and problems with gas. After being put on medication for the reflux, they discovered colic calm and it changed their world completely. She gave me a sample of it and I took it home and tried it out during one of his colicky episodes and it worked like a charm. He almost instantly calmed down and fell asleep after using this stuff. It's blacker than black and looks pretty lethal, but I checked with my doctor and he said it's fine and if it works then USE IT. It's homeopathic and also FDA approved. Kelli discovered quickly that it's messy when using the dropper it comes with, so she bought a pacifier medicine dropper. That's what we use it as well and it's great. Highly recommended for anyone with gassy kids!
-Seventh Generation Diapers...this one was also recommended by Kelli - and I discovered I really like them. They're not cute diapers, just plain brown and boring - but they work well and they're environmentally friendlier than regular diapers. They fit smaller than regular diapers, so I had to go up a size earlier than normal, but that's no big deal. I wish I had the patience for cloth, but I don't - so I'm doing the best I can with these :)
-Dekor Diaper Pail...speaking of diapers! I'd always seen the diaper genie, but never really liked it because you have to open it with your hands. So when we were registering, we saw this hands free one and decided to give it a shot. We love it - and it's got a really neat little bag cutting system inside, so when you need to dump it, it's super easy to change out.
-WhiteBoard...we have this handy little item on our fridge, and I use it constantly. Since becoming pregnant and my brain turning instantly to swiss cheese - I never seem to remember anything anymore. So my grocery list goes on here, phone numbers, when I changed my Brita filters, when I gave the dog her flea treatment...all that stuff that I used to be able to remember and now I can't. VERY WELL USED ITEM!
-Cloth Diapers...this one I've learned just from all my years of babysitting other peoples kids. These things make the absolute best burp clothes/spit rags! They absorb everything, and they're big enough to catch a surprise feeding reversal...you know, that event that follows the BLORK sound your kid makes after drinking a bottle? Also? They're great for dusting furniture...hehe
-Swaddler...sort of like a sleeping bag with velcro....otherwise known in our house as a "baby straightjacket". See, the boy has an intense startle reflex and STILL wakes himself up from his hands flailing around. When he was first born, we became pros at the tight burrito swaddle you learn at the hospital - but as he's gotten bigger, he's learned how to muscle his way out of a blanket swaddle....which is when velcro became our friend. When it's not too hot, we'll put him in this just for nighttime sleeping and he sleeps like an angel.
-Angel BabyCare system...speaking of angels! This thing gives me so much peace of mind at night, I sleep much sounder because of it. It's basically a little pad that goes under the mattress where your baby sleeps and if any movement stops (such as stopped breathing) for 15 seconds, an alarm will sound to warn you. I know it works because 9 times out of 10 when I get up at 3am, I forget to turn it off when I take Adam out of his cradle, and I'll be walking down the hall to the kitchen when I hear BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP...and then hubs groans and turns it off. I'm so not kidding when I say this happens almost every night. BUT, I like knowing that I don't have to check to see that he's breathing 49832 times a night because I'm a total spaz and that's exactly what I'd be doing if I didn't have this thing.
So there you have it - my current list of favorite things. Won't you all please do your own list (whether you have kids or not...) of favorite things so I can learn about stuff I may not know about???? puh-lease???