Baby Products – What on Earth Is That and What Does It Do?

We’ve all been there at one point. Even the Duggars started somewhere. We weren’t always in the know about all things baby and with the constant recalls, updates, and inventions – we will never know what every thing does, how to use it, or if it’s necessary for our baby.

There was a recent episode of 30Rock where our lovable, bumbling Liz Lemon is in a baby store, picks up a breast pump, calls it a «baby megaphone» and proceeds to play it like a horn. Or how about that Friends episode where Rachel, at her own baby shower, points at her new Diaper Genie and the following dialogue ensues: Rachel: Ooh, what’s this? Katherine: It’s a diaper genie. Rachel: Oh, it dispenses clean diapers! Katherine: No, it’s where you put the dirty ones! Rachel: Well, that’s gross. Why don’t you just take it outside and throw it in a dumpster? Mrs. Green: Well, are you going to do that ten times a day? Rachel: It goes ten times a day? What are we feeding this baby, Indian food? From what I remember, what follows is tears and panic and her own predictions of being a horrible mom because she doesn’t know what any of this «stuff» is.

Here are the most popular baby registry items («stuff») at Babies «R» Us followed by and short and sweet explanation on what on earth they are and do.

1. Diaper Genie II Elite Diaper Disposal System — an updated version of the very one pondered by Ms. Rachel Green. The Diaper Genie is not a clean diaper dispenser, but instead a way to toss the dirty diapers without having to touch them much or without them just sitting there stinking up the place. Just press the pedal down with your foot, drop in the offensive package, and the Genie takes care of the rest with its Double-Lock Design that seals in odors. It holds up to 30 of those things.

2. Boppy — Feeding Assistant/Baby Lounger/Tummy Time Buddy/Baby Propper-Upper. It’s all that and a…well you get the picture. I myself actually had one of these when my little one was a littler one and found it to be invaluable to my arsenal of baby gear. I used it to help hold the baby up while feeding her, I used it to prop bottles up once she got a little older so she could hold the bottle herself, I used it to help her sit up straight – great for building those tummy muscles! These come «bare naked» or you can choose from a variety styles and colors of covers.

3. Baby Swings — There are ton of these out there. The more features the better. Trust me. You want SLS, CLS, XML, VR6 version of these. These things are lifesavers to tired and overwhelmed parents. They have mobiles, mirrors, or attached toys to help entertain baby. They have different swing and vibration settings to help calm baby. They play music, or nature sounds to help soothe baby (and mom and dad) and they give the parents a nice chunk of hands-free time to catch up on the laundry or to finally get that bathroom break.

4. Baby Bath Tubs — Yes, babies need special bath tubs. Huge, slippery adult tub plus small, wiggly, slippery soaped-up baby equals disaster waiting to happen. Baby tubs are specially designed to keep little ones safe by having things like «baby stoppers» and non-slip surfaces and can fit in most sinks to allow Mom or Dad stand while bathing the baby and save their back.

5. BabyBjorn Baby Carrier — You’ve probably heard about these before but either thought «What is a Bjorn?» or didn’t care enough to register it, but these are pretty popular in the baby world. They are simply put — something to carry baby around in. They free up the carrier’s hands to do such mundane tasks as washing dishes or brushing their teeth to the more important ones such as checking Facebook or updating the baby blog.

6. Baby Monitors — These handy little things give the new parent back at least some lost freedom. The baby is sleeping (finally) now they catch up on some sleep themselves or watch some TV or whatever else their heart desires within a thousand foot range. They have sound and light alerts that let them hear and «see» their baby coo, cry, or squeal and then take appropriate action. There are many out there, so do some research on which are the best.

7. Receiving Blankets — Receiving blankets are lighter weight blankets that are large enough to wrap up baby, but not so large and thick that they become cumbersome. Moms and dads like to keep a bunch of these around the house for swaddling, laying baby down on surfaces other than their crib mattress, shielding their little eyes from the sun while strolling, nursing covers, burp cloths and more. Excellent multi-purpose item. Make sure your know the preferred colors or go neutral (whites, yellows) if you’re not sure.

8. Diapers — What every new parent needs. Seriously, you can’t go wrong. Disposable diaper costs average to 25.5 per diaper and the average child will cost about $1,600 to diaper for two years in disposable diapers. Why not help the new parents offset some of this cost? Not sure what kind they would prefer? How about a gift certificate from Diapers.com?  

9. Wipes — Along the same vein with diapers are baby wipes. I don’t know if you’ve every witnessed an actual dirty baby bottom mid-diaper change, but that stuff is messy. Sticky. Icky. Sometimes partially dried on. One of the products designed to help make this job not so horrifying is baby wipes. Get them a ton. They’ll need them.

10. Wipe Warmer — Would you like your bottom wiped with a cold, wet, baby wipe? No? Neither do they. Be a pal and get them a wipe warmer.

Well I hope this has helped shed some light on what stuff is and don’t worry — Knowing what «stuff» is doesn’t make you great parent, Uncle, or family friend, but it does help you make appropriate choices and may even help prevent you from pulling a Liz Lemon on that nasal aspirator. Oh just Google it.

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