I went to a baby shower on Sunday and it got me thinking about the things I cannot live without now that I have a baby. Here, in random order, are my top faves.
They're Canadian, they're leather, they keep socks on and they are damn cute. And if you shop around, you can get a good deal on them (Can you beat $20 at the Bonnie Togs booth at the Babytime show anyone?) It's never too soon to start a shoe addiction is it?
2. This Fisher Price Monitor
Remember Laser Zeppelin at the Planitarium? This is the baby version. Choice of four songs or wombish/heartbeat sounds and a kickass ceiling light show. Watch your babe zone out with the press of a button. Don't be surprised to catch your grown self tripping out to the adorable, smiley-faced characters too. (There goes that cutey star! Oh, there he goes again!)
Oh yeah, and you can hear if your baby wakes up and freaks out while you're in the shower, blogging on the other side of the house, or getting wasted in the neighbours backyard. Fisher Price Warehouse in Mississauga has them for $30.
3. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
Dr. Weissbluth is my best friend. He doesn't know me or anything, but if I ever met him, I would hug him. He is the reason I have been sleeping well since about 10 weeks into this baby biz. If you have a friend who is expecting, or someone with troublesome up-all-night- toddlers, buy her this book.
4. Yellow Sleepers and Onesies
Shit happens. Therefore, shit stains happen. Thanks to all those moms who came before me and lobbied for gender-neutral yellow. And thanks to the colour yellow, for being so forgiving when I am too lazy or forgetful to handwash poopy accidents right after they happen.
5. Tiny Love Play Mat Thingy
This stays right next to the desk and is the only way I can get emails checked. He barfs on it a thousand times and I can wash it over and over. Fisher Price makes a similar, flashier one with a mirror, so your little Narcissus can fall in love with his own image.
6. Chew Toys/Rattles
The Winkel, by Manhattan Toy and this Sassy rattle are two of Nate's faves. The Winkel rocks for learning to hang on and hold, pass from hand-to-hand and, bien sur, to chew on. (Everything goes in the mouth these days.) The Sassy rattle is textured and has a variety of colours and patterns, making it stimulating to look at, but also fun to chew on. Endless hours of distraction with these two.
7. The Bouncy Chair
I think it was a pivotal moment for all us non-moms watching Sex and the City a few seasons back, when the only thing that would shut Miranda's baby up was the miraculous bouncy chair. (Not to mention the huge belly laughs when the bouncy chair ran out of batteries and Samantha propped Brady up with her industrial-size vibrator.) Being that, at the time, many of us were still getting our stillettos caught in subway grates, this seemingly new invention was eye-opening. in those early weeks of colicky, endlessly needy, crying hell, the bouncy chair allowed me to make myself something to eat, get dressed or watch Oprah in peace. It also makes the perfect chair for feeding Nate (no room for a high chair in this tiny hole).
8. The Digital Camera
What a great gift. As a die-hard film lover, I was hesitant to make the switch. I still don't think that the average digital camera captures the warmth of a memory quite the way your conventional camera does. But the ease with which I can document and share photos of the Natester growing up, rules. And I can take a zillion photos if I want -- guilt-free and with no pain to my wallet.
9. The Skip Hop
A unisex diaper bag that goes with all your stuff. What a novel idea! I mean, it's 2005 people. Dads carry diaper bags too. And they are more likely to carry something that doesn't have teddy bears all over it. Bonus: The convertible straps allow you to clip the bag onto your stroller safely and with ease.
I thought after the pregnancy was over, so too would end my weekly obsession with BabyCenter. Nope. Everytime I am freaking out about some baby issue, from developmental things to how to dress him for the seasons, BabyCenter has the answers from the pros: doctors and moms. Easily the most comprehensive baby site online.