I reviewed my fair share of baby-related products this past year and quite a few of them were really wonderful, but I narrowed down my picks to three OUTSTANDING, AMAZING, YOU-WON'T-REGRET-BUYING-THEM products.
I've remarked in the past that shoes are largely unnecessary until babies start walking. Now, however, I have a baby in the winter and I love slipping these little cozy ankle booties on her cute little footsies. In fact, she wears them almost every day of the week. They provide excellent warmth and a nice buffer against the cold tiles in our house. That buffer is especially nice when you have a baby who is crawling and pulling up and climbing all over the house.
Although the booties are extremely practical for chilly weather, they're also extremely stylish. In fact, I would say that they're pretty much the height of baby fashion...the stuff of baby runways and such. Priced at $38.95, you might blink a bit when you make the purchase, but you're baby will likely wear them absolutely everywhere in the fall and winter and early spring.
Here's a word of advice to all expectant parents: DO NOT BUY AN INFANT CAR SEAT. I repeat: do not buy an infant car seat. They're expensive. They won't last you as long. And it's not good to carry your baby around in them when you're not driving anyway (Read: Infants Shouldn't Sleep in Car Seats, Study Says - 9-5-09).
Convertible car seats are sooooo much more practical. Take Safety 1st's Complete Air Convertible Car Seat, for example. It's good for babes from 5-50 pounds. Plus, it comes with an infant body insert, a removable cup holder, a 5 point harness with up front adjustment.
Another "pro" of this seat is that it's a little bit narrower than other seats on the market so it's great for cars...yet it's still comfortable for your little one. Worried about those huge boulders on either side of your baby's face? A. They're part of the Air Protect Technology system, that "diverts crash forces away from a child’s head, the most vulnerable place in a side impact crash." You can read all about it on the Safety 1st website, but it essentially means that those big "wings" will keep your baby super safe on the road. B. My 3-year-old doesn't seem to mind them a bit.
Available at Target, Babies-R-Us, and Amazon, the seat retails for between $200-$250.
I have reviewed A LOT of baby carriers over the past three years. Slings. Pouches. Mei Tais. Wraps. You-Name-It.
Today, my friend Dayna called and asked me which carrier was my favorite. I answered without hesitation, "ERGO!" I didn't have to even think twice. I'm not saying that the other carriers are worthless (in fact, I think it is very handy to have a handful of carriers around to fit your baby's age, personality, and mood), but the ERGO is truly the "best of the best." It is comfortable, easy to put on, easy to take off, and...it makes my baby happy (which makes me happy too).
I've worn my ERGO through airports. At Disneyland. On long walks. At the beach. At the mall. Around our neighborhood. Everywhere. And it is truly amazing. The fabric is butter soft, yet super sturdy. The carrier provides excellent waist, support, and back support (unlike other carriers that will remain nameless, but that rhyme with D-yorn). It also has an absolutely brilliant sun/sleep hood that I use all of the time. Oh, and it has a pocket that is perfect for storing your driver's license, flip video camera, keys, or other small items when you want to be truly hands-free.
What else? It's cool-looking: people often remark on how content she is perched inside. It's versatile: Baby can be worn on the chest, hip, or back. It's truly an innovative and intelligent product. I can't stop talking about it - and I bet you'll feel the exact same way once you have one.
Bottom Line: If you're only going to buy one carrier, this should be it.
WIN IT! One winner will receive ALL of the above-listed products:
ESTIMATED RETAIL VALUE OF PRIZE PACK: $435!
To enter, leave any topic-related comment on this post prior to Monday, January 11th at 11:59 p.m. (Don’t forget to follow the rules…all generic comments like “Enter me!,” “Love it,” and “Cool stuff!” will be disqualified.).
FOR A SECOND ENTRY: Blog, Tweet, or Facebook about my Best of 2009 series (or about this giveaway)…and leave a second comment telling me that you did.
*UPDATE* The winner is #92 Heather. Congratulations!