Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Product Review: Baby Items

Hey everyone, I'm back with my second installment of "product reviews".  I haven't done this since January, can you believe it was that long ago?  I sure can't.  Today I'm talking about all things baby!  Most of these are items that made my life SO much easier when I had kids and now that I've had two, I know these are products I would either try again or ones I could live without.  So, let's get started.

First off this swing:  

I admit, both of my boys are great sleepers.  Liam was sleeping through the night at five weeks.  I'm not sure exactly how old Dallas was when he slept through the night, but I'm sure it was somewhere around that same time.  From day one I had a bedtime routine, (which my sister has asked me to blog about and one day I will) but this swing was a game changer for us.  I let them sleep in the swing and then once they were too big, I moved them into their crib.  When Dallas was born we had a swing that only used batteries.  That is the worst idea ever in my opinion.  We ended up going through so many size D batteries in the first week of his life because it just burned through them like nothing I've ever seen.  So we bought rechargeable batteries and a charger.  We still had to change batteries in the middle of the night!  We were already awake enough with a newborn, who wanted to get up to tend to a swing too?  Not me.  So we returned that swing and bought this one.  Both boys have logged so many hours in this thing, I will be sad when the day comes to get rid of it.

Pros: swings baby in two directions, folds up fairly small for storage, seat comes off to also use as a "bouncy seat", plays music and sounds, plugs in

Cons: it's a little bulky when you have the swing out so you have to make sure you have the room for it

Recommend?: Highly
Alyssa's Star Rating: 5 out of 5 (go get you one!!)

Next are these blankets

The first two are swaddling blankets, first a heavier weight cotton flannel blend and then a lighter weight.  I'm a firm believer in swaddling.  I think it helps baby to sleep MUCH better and it makes them feel warm and cozy.  The third blanket is a "lovie".  Again, from day one, I placed a lovie next to each of the boys heads. And I'm not exaggerating here.  These lovies were purchased while I was pregnant and were placed in the hospital bag.  I know "they" say that babies shouldn't have blankets near them when sleeping, but it was never in a place where they would have an issue.  (I'm not a doctor and don't take responsibility for others and how they use blankets, so please use your best judgement here.) I would simply place it next to the boys so they could feel the soft satin edges or I wold lay it flat and then lay their heads on the blanket.  All of these blankets hold up amazing well in the washer.  Liam has one of each of the swaddling blankets and two lovies he is almost two and they look great.  (Except for one lovie that we lost, sad day.) Dallas has two of the flannel type blankets and two lovies.  He is almost four.  They still look brand new. "Nuff said! 

Pros: long lasting, machine washable, soft, large so they will last years while your child grows, great price for the length of use

Cons: if you are super picky with patterns and colors you may have to wait and check the site often for new ones

Recommended: Highly
Alyssa's Star Rating: 5 out of 5

Ok, so now I have something that I didn't necessarily love, but I want to share the good, the bad and the ugly here.  It's a sound machine, specifically this one: 

While I was searching for a picture I noticed a few changes, so maybe the company has updated the machine since I bought mine and it works better.  Where this one is green, ours was blue.  Where this one says "my baby" on the top, ours was plain. We started using this and at first I thought it was great.  You could position the reflection above the baby's bed and give him something to look at.  This eliminated the need for a mobile on the crib.  It has plenty of sound choices too, which is great.  However, after a few months of using this it would make a grinding sound while the "disks" were spinning.  So I exchanged it because I thought Dallas would start sleeping terribly without his beloved sound machine.  Then it happened again, so I exchanged it again. It happened about three more times before I decided we needed a different plan of action.  We had an old iPod so we loaded it up with sweet lullaby tunes and played it on shuffle all night via a docking station.  Once Liam was born, Dallas was happy to give his sound machine to his little brother and now Liam is going on two years of using it.  

Pros: it works, sometimes!  There are different sounds and different light displays to choose from, it's small so it's easy to travel with

Cons: it doesn't work, sometimes!  The sounds are just continuous, no variety 

Recommend?: No
Alyssa's Star Rating: 1 out of 5

Last but not least...

Now, this is also not the exact system we have, but the fact that Babies R Us still sells the same type of system after four years speaks volumes!  We have used this (again) for both boys and it's great.  A life saver, if you will.  We can push this stroller easily on any terrain.  To the park, grass, mulch, gravel, dirt, concrete, etc. You name it, it goes! And it's not that pricey either.  

Pros: where do I begin...sturdy, easy to fold, gender neutral, long lasting, easy to push, all-terrain, now includes mp3 speakers! 

Cons: it is a little heavy when you first try it, but you get the hang of it quickly

Recommend?: Highly
Alyssa's Star Rating: 5 out of 5

Do you have a favorite product you would like me to review?  Do you have a "category" you would like me to cover?  Share below in the comments! 

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