Multitaskers + MVPs

May 28, 2013

There is so much gear to consider with a baby that it’s great when items can multitask or simply impress. The following items are my most used and MVP baby items over the past 9 months.

Multitasker: Motherlove Nipple Cream

IMG_6277-2

Mother Love Nipple Cream worked wonders for its original purpose but has also been fabulous for chapped baby lips, little patches of dry skin and cheeks. Way better than lotion and works overnight!

Multitasker: Aden + Anais Blankets

Foodblog-3135

Originally used for swaddling, we have gotten SO much use out of these aden & anais blankets. They are great as burp clothes, nose wipes, cold weather wraps, shade when the sun pops out, nursing covers, blankets to sit on, fabric to suck on, play ghosts, peek-a-boo fun and more. We have gotten so many compliments on our animal series too!

MVP: The Bob

The mac daddy of strollers. SO smooth to push. Great shocks. Huge sun shield. Much easier to run with than expected. Very comfortable for Mazen. Used every.single.day. A must have for exercising mamas.

Foodblog-120053

Multitasker: Boppy Pillow

Foodblog-2952

First it was used for sitting when I couldn’t sit on anything else. Then it was for breastfeeding. Then it served as Mazen’s lounger and finally a sitting training pillow. Multipurpose and so useful.

Maze-085854

MVP: Video Monitor

Foodblog-7472

One of the best investments we made was our video monitor. I know women did not have these 100 years ago and their kids were fine, but this has been so amazingly helpful to me that the cost was 100% worth it. There is so much the eye can see that the ear can’t hear.  [I just asked Matt what his vote for top MVP was and he said the monitor too!] We also use this every.single.day.

Multitasker: Baby Bathtub

Babyblog-5262

I considered getting one of those moldable-to-the-sink bathtubs but when a friend gave us this one we decided to use it instead. It’s been a fantastic baby tub (starting in the sink and now used in the big tub) and also has served as a play station for containing Mazen as well. I hear it makes an excellent water play area too!

MVP: The BumGenius Freetime Diapers

Our Freetimes were another item that was an investment (I spent about $200 on our collection including getting a few used and in sets for a freebie) but I use them every day and love them. We’ve had no problems to date with stink, leaks or wear and tear. Love using the liners with them for #2s. To be honest diapers got a lot easier when we started solids! Less mess overall. I’d recommend the Freetimes to anyone looking to cloth diaper.

And the latest gear added to our collection – a big boy car seat – the Clek Foonf!! Excited to try it out. He seems to love it thus far!

Foodblog-165927

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lauren @ The Highlands Life May 28, 2013 at 9:37 am

I totally agree. I never used Mother Love Nipple Cream but wish someone would have told me about it. And we haven’t switched to a convertible carseat yet so thanks for posting your new one. We’ll check it out.

I absolutely love our B.O.B. too. The best stroller for runners! And my Archie, who is 8 months old (tomorrow!) , and I still use the boppy. I still love using it during nursing to give my arms a rest. And you gotta love cloth diapers. I just posted a cloth diaper post this morning actually. Such a great investment.

Thanks for posting all these. So fun to see what other mom’s find valuable too.

Reply

2 Diana @ frontyardfoodie May 28, 2013 at 9:57 am

I am ALL about multitasking products because my house is super tiny and I don’t need a bunch of baby stuff cluttering up the place. The boppy is a great one and I also love a good jogging stroller. I also babywear and find slings to be incredibly versatile.

Reply

3 Kristi May 28, 2013 at 10:22 am

The BOB, boppy, and A+A blankets are on my MVP list too along with the Ergo carrier. I didn’t expect to still be carring him facing inward at 6mos b/c everyone told me he wouldn’t like it anymore but I guess he’s just used to it and still likes it!

I’ve never heard of the brand Clek. Is the seat something you were given to review or did you buy it yourself? I know carseats are expensive but $400…wow. Is there something special about this seat?

Reply

4 KERF May 28, 2013 at 10:46 am

I bought it myself. It seems to be the mother of all car seats. The Art Of Making A Baby’s post swayed my decision. I was deciding between this and the Maxi Cosi Pria 70 and the Recaro ProRide but since this should last us 9 years (when it expires, hopefully through 2 kids) I felt $400 was worth it for something that lasts so long and is so important

Reply

5 Ginna May 28, 2013 at 10:52 am

It is a great seat for tall and heavy babies getting them to 4 or close rear facing (which is safest) and has some great features (recyclable, stain resistant fabric, magnetic clips for the straps etc). It’s a highly recommended seat if u have the budget for it.

Reply

6 Stacy K. May 28, 2013 at 2:29 pm

I’m curious if you could provide a link to where it talks about keeping babies rear facing until four. Last I read, which admittedly was about a year ago, suggested 2 years as rear facing. My LO is 7 months so I’m just now starting to research convertible car seats and hadn’t heard the 4 year suggestion.

Reply

7 Ginna May 28, 2013 at 3:46 pm

The AAP did come out and say until at least 2 or according to your car seats specs. There is a fb group Car Seats for the Littles that is a great resource or the Car Seat Lady. In Europe they practice extended rear facing and it’s to do with the fact that babies necks/spines don’t ossify until about 4. If you purchase the correct fitting seat for your lo you can get them to 4 or as close to it as possible. Rear facing is 500 times safer in an accident than forward facing. Here’s a great article http://www.thecarseatlady.com/car_seats/rear-facing_seats_6.html. I only discovered this info when joining the fb group when looking for a convertible seat for my lo who is now 13 months. Also check out you tube videos rear facing vs forward facing in an accident.

Reply

8 Josie May 28, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Rear facing until 2 is the minimum. Rear facing until four is NHTSA (national highway traffic safety association) best practice recommendation. They are the people we should be trusting not groups of doctors. :)

Reply

9 Stacy May 29, 2013 at 10:05 am

Wow, I knew the benefits of keeping them rear facing until 2 or as long as possible. Thank you for those resources I will check them out. It seems like sonny families turn those children around so early and I know that’s a personal choice but you would think this information would help them think more about it.

Reply

10 Kristi May 28, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Thanks for clarifying. Admittedly I haven’t even looked at convertible seats yet, I assumed the Keyfit 30 would last us at least a year but many of my friends seem to be switching to convertibles around 9mos. Sorry for a follow up question, but did Mazen outgrow the weight capacity or is there another reason to change seats at this age? Thanks!

Reply

11 KERF May 28, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Mostly comfort – I also though he’d be in the Keyfit until he was 30 pounds, but a lot of my friends got convertibles around 9 months so I started looking into it and figured we could just go ahead and do it.

Reply

12 Josie May 28, 2013 at 3:29 pm

as long as your baby has not outgrown the keyfit (outgrown in 1 of 3 ways, 30lbs, 30 inches, or less than one inch from the shell) and it isn’t expired you can use it for as long as you want.

Reply

13 Ginna May 28, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Key fit is outgrown at 30 lbs OR 30 inches tall OR less than 1 inch from the top of the shell.

Reply

14 Josie May 28, 2013 at 1:44 pm

You made a pretty good choice, the recaro proride is outgrown very early and is known for zero leg room and when there is a goal of rear facing until 4 that’s a big deal.

Just a heads up though I have not been paying attention to mazen’s height, there is a height max of 43 inches for rear facing in the foonf so if he’s taller he may not quite make it to four, but if he’s heavier it’ll be great for him.

Reply

15 Josie May 28, 2013 at 1:45 pm

*and my point was most kids outgrow their seats rear-facing by height, not weight.

Reply

16 Josie May 28, 2013 at 1:51 pm

and I’m sorry I just want all your readers to know that ALL car seats on the market are safe. The Clek Foonf passes all the same tests as all the other seats on the market. So it is not required to spend $400 on something this important it’s just a personal choice.

I don’t want anyone to worry that their seats are less safe because they cost less. :)

Reply

17 tarynkay May 31, 2013 at 2:55 pm

It looks like a great carseat. BUT since safety standards, recalls, and carseat regulations change so quickly, I wouldn’t count on actually getting 9 years out of it. When you think about how much carseats have changed in the last 9 years, it makes sense to predict that they will continue to do so.

If you have $400 to spend on a carseat, that’s great, go for it! I just don’t think that it’s really a long term investment, given how quickly carseat research design and development progresses. That said, I think it’s fine to use for two kids, I just wouldn’t count on being able to.

Reply

18 Eileen May 28, 2013 at 12:46 pm

I’d love to hear more about what went into your decision to buy this particular car seat.

Reply

19 Kate Hewitt May 28, 2013 at 10:44 am

Kath,

I am curious which BOB you got? I looked online and there are 4 or 5 different styles? Is the BOB used as your normal stroller as well or just as a jogging stroller? Thanks for all these must haves… I love posts like this for soon to be mommies! Thanks for all the advice!

Reply

20 KERF May 28, 2013 at 10:45 am

I bought the CE (the “city” one) because I wanted it to be our primary stroller. The wheels are just a little smaller -that’s the only distance. I knew I’d be walking a ton, but I also knew I wouldn’t be running marathons with it.

Reply

21 Jenn May 28, 2013 at 10:48 am

hi Kath,
I am super curious about your new car seat! My 7.5 month old is still in her Graco Snugride 35 and although she still fits well within the weight requirements, she is super tall and I worry is going to outgrow it soon. What made you switch? Thanks for any information!

Jenn (Elle, 7.5 mos)

Reply

22 KERF May 28, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Just comfort! I’ll do a separate post on it since there seems to be a lot of questions. Want to test it out first though!

Reply

23 Josie May 28, 2013 at 3:30 pm

when you do your post just make sure you don’t go the route of other bloggers and claim its safer due to steal and the price tag. all car seats are safe! :)

Reply

24 Jennifer May 28, 2013 at 11:08 am

Great recommendations! We were a little late getting on the video monitor bandwagon (we have the same one), but I am so thankful for it now that our LO is pulling up and walking in the crib.

Reply

25 Stephanie May 28, 2013 at 11:59 am

I love the use of boppy I am totally trying that!! The only thing I can think of us like is te play mat toys which Lee loves to teeth with now.

Reply

26 Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) May 28, 2013 at 2:58 pm

We love the A&A blankets and like you, use them for everything!! One of our best buys in terms of baby products!

Reply

27 katie May 28, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Hi Kath,
I reread your cloth diapering post this weekend and am still wondering where exactly you found the deals on the Freetime diapers. I’ve looked on FB, craigslist, ebay and haven’t found any discounts. I’d love any tips you’re willing to give on how to find them at a discount.
Thanks!

Reply

28 KERF May 28, 2013 at 9:10 pm

I bought them from Holistic Parent (buy 5 get one free) and a handful used but in great condition from the Buy/Sell/Trade BumGenius group on Facebook

Reply

29 seana May 28, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Hi Kath,
I wanted to know I give you a lot of credit with patience. If I were a blogger, I’d have gone ape-monkey (insert different word) over some of the comments about the car seat. You picked which met your needs. I do not understand why people are so critical. People have different price points, standards, etc. but I don’t get the comments. I enjoy reading your posts about Mazen even though they don’t apply to me (can you say “kids driving?” kind of like snakes on a plane- ha That’s where I’m at in life. Let’s talk about college tuition thank you). If people don’t like it, why do they read your blog? All in all, I guess I’m trying to say is I enjoy what you write. There is too much negativity in this world as it stands and you are a breath of fresh air!

Reply

30 Amanda S. May 28, 2013 at 5:45 pm

I don’t have a stake in the matter either way, but I didn’t read any of the reader comments as being critical at all. Mostly people seem curious as to why Kath chose this particular carseat, and are noting the high price tag. They just want to hear more about it. Nobody has accused her of making a bad purchase or advising her readers to drop unnecessary amounts of cash. Besides, Josie makes a good point by suggesting Kath point out in a future post that a carseat doesn’t need to cost $400 to be considered safe. Her readers will probably appreciate that. Anyway just felt the need to point out that curiosity isn’t the same as negativity.

Reply

31 Josie May 28, 2013 at 10:22 pm

I didn’t intend to be negative but as a car seat technician it makes life harder when people insist a $400 seat is safer than all other seats. All seats are safe and $400 gets you more bells and whistles not safer. It’s not even the longest lasting seat on the market. Its a great seat and I see nothing wrong with her spending $400 but there are other bloggers who have reviewed it and have flat out said its safer. Which does a huge disservice to the parents who cant afford it and the seat has limitations making it inappropriate for a lot of kids. It’s great to have opinions and love your seat but this is a life saving device and everyone needs them and leaving them discouraged and concerned due to not having a particular one is unfair.

I look forward to Kaths review and I am sure she has no desire to tell everyone if they love their kid they will get one, no negativity intended. I spend my day correcting misinformation and I hate to see more spread around is all.

Reply

32 sarah (the SHU box) May 28, 2013 at 8:37 pm

so funny – we just bought our carseat too! i debated the clek but in the end went with a peg perego thinking maybe we’d need to fly with it and the clek would be so heavy! but i have heard great things about the clek and it’s very visually appealing to me :)

and yes BOB for MVP of all baby gear! so, so soooo in love with the BOB.

finally, i’m thinking about succumbing and getting a video monitor once we move. i’ve been spoiled by being able to simply hear a’s every move in the current setup but am SO looking forward to being able to keep her room quiet (at night, in the AM, etc). i know josh won’t want to get a video monitor (for the reason you mentioned about 100 years ago . . .) but i will probably do it anyway!

Reply

33 Grace May 29, 2013 at 8:37 am

We have the Peg Perego and LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I was also going back and forth between the Perego and the Foonf, but since the Perego is rear-facing to 45 lbs, got much better review re: comfort (the big complaint w/the Foonf is that the padding isn’t very soft) AND it’s almost $100 cheaper (and I got it on sale cheaper than that) it was a no-brainer. I have to move it back and forth from my MIL’s car to mine a few times a week and it’s light-weight, and super easy to install.
If people are looking for a “high-end” convertible seat for extended rear-facing but don’t want to spend over $400, the Peg Perego is around $300 (and like I said, you can get it on sale even cheaper, I think I paid around $250 for ours) and I have nothing but good things to say about it.

Reply

34 Stacy May 29, 2013 at 10:13 am

Sarah you should look into the infant optics video. We wanted the video monitor for basic needs and this one was affordable on amazon (99 on sale) it just doesn’t have all the bells and whistles like zoom, being able to talk to the baby etc. we’ve been really happy with ours. It was a good compromise and you can still add cameras over time.

Reply

35 Meagan May 29, 2013 at 10:13 am

The boppy was the “must have” item I was most skeptical about when I had my first (I didn’t even buy one, just happened to receive a hand me down from a friend).. but it has had real lasting power. It went through all the uses you suggested for my first, and then on into his toddlerhood as he uses it for a “cuddle pillow” – snuggling up inside of it to sleep in his bed. When I was expecting my second I had to get another one, because I could take his beloved cuddle pillow from the first!

Reply

36 Elizabeth May 30, 2013 at 9:22 am

I’m excited to try out the Freetime diaper. I put it on my baby registry after you raved about it on your blog. I’m going to try newborn prefolds and covers for the tiny baby stage, they try out a few different options (Best Bottoms, Pockets, the Freetime AIO) when the baby outgrows the prefolds I have.

Reply

37 samantha May 30, 2013 at 11:56 am

Just wanted to say we switched our little guy to a Clek Foonf and we love it! So does he! We switched from a graco snugride at 6 months because he loves to watch so this car seat sits up nice and high and he can watch out the window.

Reply

38 Shanna May 31, 2013 at 7:43 am

Hey Kath, As a mom-to-be this is incredibly helpful. I love reading your reviews and always bookmark them for later. Thank you!

Reply

39 Katherine May 31, 2013 at 1:28 pm

We bought the Motorola monitor based off your recommendation and LOVE it. There really is just something about being able to see and not just hear your baby! We also got the Bob CE with the infant car seat adapter (our son is 4 weeks old) and it is wonderful. Such a smooth ride on our daily walks.

Reply

40 Lindsay June 3, 2013 at 3:36 pm

I have to agree with almost all of these (the ones we have used that is). I love our Aden & Anais blankets and stil use them all the time! Also the BOB is amazing! Looking forward to hearing what you think of the Clek carseat!

Reply

41 Wendy June 4, 2013 at 11:41 pm

I totally agree, and had the same experience! For my 1st child the Boppy was given to us, and like you (and Kath), we used it for sooooo many things! When I weaned my son, he became attached to the pillow (I think because he was used to it during nursing), and now wants it as his cuddle pillow too! He’s 2 1/2 now, and STILL loves to snuggle at night with that pillow :) Also, when I was prego with my second, had to get another one as well-yeah for the Boppy!

Reply

42 Chelsea June 13, 2013 at 11:42 pm

Kath, I’m really curious about how the foonf fits in your car. We also have a Toyota Highlander (which I love), and I’ve heard that it is a big seat when rear-facing. If you’re going to do a review, I really hope you can incorporate that information. Thanks!

Reply

43 KERF June 14, 2013 at 9:59 am

So far so good! I did buy one of those pads to protect our leather seats because the front-facing latch clips were REALLY digging down in the seat. But it fits about the same as the Keyfit did in terms of space. Love it so far!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Current day month ye@r *

Previous post:

Next post: