Remember that old show? With Penny, Brain (Penny's dog), and Dr. Claw's metal arm with the clenched fist.
Well, there are countless baby gadgets that abound on the market. They may not be as cool as Inspector Gadget's devices (I could totally use an extra pair of go-go-gadget hands popping out of my hat sometimes, for example...), but there are some pretty remarkable inventions out there.
Check out these two products...both created with active parents in mind.
ERGObaby carrier ($105-$120)
I've read all over the Internet (and from friends) that ERGObaby carriers are the very best. I've tried a lot of carriers over the past three years (Sleepy Wrap, BabyHawk, BabyBjorn, Scootababy, Munchkin, PortaMEe, etc.) so, when I received the ERGO, I was curious if it would live up to all the fanfare.
The straps are comfortable. The material is soft. The waist belt lends extra support. The carrier is easy to get on and off without the help of a spouse or friend (this is a HUGE bonus). And the whole carrier is machine-washable too.
The one "downside" is that this carrier is meant for babies who are 6 months and older (I only recently started using mine). That said, there is a corresponding infant insert that you can buy for $25-$38. Or you may choose to wear a wrap, sling, or pouch in the beginning.
The upside, however, is that the carrier can be used on the front, hip, and back - all the way until your child is 40 pounds (and, after 40 pounds, I assume you won't want to be carrying your child around in a carrier much). This really is a truly versatile carrier and, if you buy the infant insert, it could be your only carrier. If you're going to buy just one carrier, this is probably your best bet.
Pictured right: me wearing the Organic Dark Chocolate carrier ($120, isn't that color just the best?).
Pictured left: the sweetest baby ever peeking out from her perch in the ERGO.
BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light ($220-$300, depending on where you buy)
When we first got the BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light for review, I asked my husband to set it up. He's the baby-gear-setter-upper around these parts. I expected it might take a little while because baby gear manuals are notoriously unintelligent and contradictory.
This time, however, I walked out of the room. And one second later (okay, maybe it was a minute...), my husband said, "It's ready." And it was. Completely set up and ready to go. Easy as pie.
I also discovered that the crib is super lightweight. You can pick it up and move it about without using much muscle at all. Plus, the frame is designed to fit well in small spaces (a definite plus!). I also am a fan of the simple royal blue and white color schematic. Very classy.
The mattress is a bit on the thin side (a little extra padding certainly couldn't hurt) and bedding isn't included with the purchase (a fitted sheet or two would have been nice), but - overall - this is a fantastic crib...for at home or for travel. We're not really the "crib type," but we do have our baby sleep in it for naps from time-to-time. I think it's much better than the traditional pack-n-play options out there. The simplicity of it makes it the leader of the pack. Oh, and I should mention that it currently has 5 stars on Amazon (from 75 reviewers).
YOUR TURN: What baby gadgets have you been impressed by lately? Which baby carrier is your favorite?
LOVE LOVE LOVE the Ergo! We never traveled with a stroller until this past summer because the Ergo was FABULOUS for carrying our little boy. I couldn't carry him this summer because of the pregnancy and my husband had too much with all of our luggage so we did end up taking an umbrella stroller but I will be using our Ergo again with our little girl when she's big enough!
The travel crib sounds neat...is it something you think you could take on a plane? Or just for car/road trips?
Have only heard great things about the Ergo. Have to try one! Your little ones are so precious! I love that you are enjoying them so much!
Yep, the Ergo. By far the most comfortable thing I've worn with my chunk of a baby in it. I'm always amazed when I get her on my back how her weight just seems to disappear. My one criticism is that I have yet to master getting her back there on my own, but that's probably just my laziness in practicing.
i have a snugli that has the lower back strap and does all those same positions except the hip one. I have no complaints about it and it was less expensive.
I'd love an Ergo but I can't justify the expense because I have a Mei Tai and Moby wrap. I really like both, the mei tai is my favorite.
My current thing I can't live without is the bed rail I put on my bed. The day after I put it on Lily rolled over after nursing and the rail caught her.
I have only tried the Bjorn carrier. I love it and use it all the time while out and about. It keeps my hands free for my purse, coupons, and toddler.
My favorite baby gear piece right now is my Chicco Poly High Chair. http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2265743
I can wheel my baby around the house in it. The tray keeps the toys within reach (until she tosses them off the side).
I also have the organic chocolate Ergo Baby and I absolutely love it! I really appreciate Ergo Baby's philosophy about facing towards the parents in order to gain necessary reassurance and eye contact throughout the day. This thing is super comfortable, extremely wearable and washable and my baby loves it! We just started wearing it and Evangeline is only 4 months. It's works well, but only in the front position. My husband can't wait to take Evangeline kyaking, hiking, etc. when she's big enough to go on our backs. I can't recommend this product enough! I used to nanny and have used many other baby carriers. The Ergo is the ONLY one that never hurt my back!
That travel crib looks great; ours is so heavy and kind of a pain. While we like it, it certainly would be nice to have one that is a little more portable. I'll have to recommend that one from now on.
My friend has the Ergo, and she let me borrow it to carry my massive one year old on my back. It was AWESOME!
Oh, and by the way I love the picture of your little one peeking out!! So darling!!
I am on my four baby and I have yet to find a sling or carrier that I really love. I liked the Hip hammock, until my babies get too heavy and it digs into my shoulder. I have tried blankets on my shoulder and sometimes this works. You should see how many carriers I have bought and not used! Or ones that others have sworn by and still I didn't like.
As for travel cribs...I don't own one, and I have always wanted one. This one looks amazing!! What I would give to be really rich and buy all these wonderful products. It really looks wonderful and would be perfect for me beside my bed and when I go to my mothers.
Thanks for the reviews!
That Bjorn Crib looks amazing, much better than a hulking playpen. I think Jasper is way too big already, though...
I love my Ergo too. I really like that brown one, very nice. For the small baby stage I like a wrap. My friend made one for me out of a lot of cloth, it's worked great.
For little babies, I love the moby wraps, and for bigger ones the bundleboo wraps. I've heard a ton about Ergo's, and if I ever have another baby, I'm buying one.
I have a Bjorn and it's nice for what it is - but once the baby gets to be six to nine months old it would be nice to have other options on how to carry - rather than just in front. I also used a pouch sling with Sugar when she was really little and that was nice too. Goose didn't like the sling at all, but he does good in the Bjorn.
I have really liked have a baby bjorn. The Moby wrap for me never was tight enough... One reason I love the baby bjorn is when the babies fall asleep it is so easy to unlatch the carrier and take the baby out without waking the sleepy one...
Yay for the Ergo! I can't rave enough about it! :) And I LOVE your color choice. I have the organic chocolate with the cream lining. I used the infant insert and wasn't super impressed with it. But I have seen other ways of using it and think that next time around I will try again. Maybe with better luck?! Also, I definitely used it before 6 months... but my chunker is...a chunker. He reached the recommended 15 lbs somewhere around 4 lbs. And he was long enough that the legs could be spread apart for wearing him in that position. He LOVES it now. It's my preferred naptime routine (or nursing).
Hmmm, that one looks pretty nice. I might have to try that carrier. I'd say for now my favorite is the sleepy wrap. I have another carrier I use, but it's hard to get in and out of when I'm alone, so I don't use it much.
That travel crib is pretty cool. We got a pack and play for my son to take on trips but have never used it because it is too difficult. When he was an infant we used a laundry basket and now that he is almost two we just make a bed on the floor for him to sleep on. In between it would have been nice to have rather than the pack and play which we only use for a changing table. (we could have used the dresser for that)