A while back, we started a series on baby products for the boat. Since boats have limited space, one has to be choosy about what they bring aboard. Here is a list of fantastic baby products we wouldn’t want to live without:
Happiest Baby on the Block DVD by Dr. Harvey Karp – the techniques are for calming down screaming infants. They really worked for Keith, as long as there was not something physically wrong making him scream.
Halo Swaddle Sack – swaddling was wonderful for helping Keith to sleep for the first five months. We could never get it right with a regular blanket, but the swaddle sacks made swaddling easy. We chose the Halo brand because you can position the arms so they are in or out (or one in, one out) and change diapers without taking the sack off. Here is Keith at 4.5 weeks with his arms out.
Natursutten Pacifier—made in Europe of all natural rubber. European pacifier standards are higher than in the U.S., and we believe rubber to be a safer material to suck on than plastic or silicone. Christi would have gone insane without a pacifier! (photo taken when Keith was six months)
Munchkin Pacifier Clip (pictured above): Once Keith started using his hands, his favorite thing to do was play with his pacifier. He’d take it out of his mouth, try to put it back in, usually fail and drop it, then cry. The rubber pacifier would hit the floor and bounce away like a ball. Thanks to the holder, after he dropped the pacifier, he could pick it back up and try again. We like Munchkin Brand because, so far at least, he hasn’t been able to remove it himself (he can remove other brands).
California Baby Diaper Wash – Instead of using the standard pre-moistened wipes, we use this spray with non-sterile gauze pads. It cleans better and is non-irritating. Keith has only had one diaper rash since we started using it, and it cleared up in a day. The bottle seems expensive at $10, but the first bottle we bought lasted us a full 3 months and the second bottle we bought 3 1/2 months ago is still 1/3 of the way full, so when all is said and done, it is much cheaper than wipes (especially since you don’t have to buy as many rash creams or powders.) Another plus is it is made in California, and we like supporting local businesses.
Mommy’s Bliss Gripe Water: Since Keith has acid reflux, he frequently has an upset tummy. This stuff magically makes him calm down within a few minutes of giving it to him. And it tastes good, so he is happy to take it.
Musical Lamb by Infantino: Keith was given this when he was 2.5 months old and he loved it right away. It was the only toy (other than the baby gym mentioned below) that he showed any interest in until he was about 4 months old. Even now, at almost seven months with zillions of other toys that he likes to play with, this lamb is still his favorite. (photo taken when Keith was 5 months)
Taggies Blankets: As first time parents, one of the things we didn’t realize was just how long it takes babies to learn to use their hands. At about ten weeks old, Keith started grabbing cloth. We’d gotten a couple Taggie blankets as baby gifts; small squares of fabric with ribbon loops sewn around the perimeter. They weren’t items we would have bought, but we were glad we had them because they helped him develop hand control. Both blankets were small enough that he could easily grab it and move it around. He also liked to grab the loops, which took more hand-eye coordination than just grabbing the cloth. And when he got sleepy, he’d cuddle with the blanket. We’ve already put up several photos with his Taggies in other posts, but here is one more: Keith at 2 1/2 months.
Summer Infant Digital Video Baby Monitor: We picked this one because we can both hear and see him. The portable handset moves the camera around the room and allows us to zoom in. The camera has infrared so we can see him at night. We can talk to him through the handset. When Keith outgrows it, we’re going to put the camera in the engine room so we can monitor what is happening in there from the pilot house (we’ll have to turn off the volume when the engine is on, though). It will be nice to be able to talk to each other when one of us is in the engine room without having to scream across the boat (when the engine isn’t running, of course).
Fisher Price Baby Gym: We debated about putting this on the list since it is kind of big and won’t fit on most smaller boats. On Kosmos, it only really fits in the cockpit (with a pad underneath for cushion). But we added it to the list because it will fit fine on a catamaran or a larger monohull. Keith started using this at birth and he loved it right away. Until he was four months old, it was the only object that held his interest (except for the lamb mentioned above). Now at almost seven months, he still plays with it, though he doesn’t love it as much as he used to. (photo taken at two months)