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Having a new baby is challenging enough, and for first time parents it can be overwhelming. It can be impossible to get out of the house to go shopping and even harder to know exactly what to buy. On-line shopping is a godsend for the over-stressed parent. Below are some quality, affordable products that have made many parents' lives much easier. Many of these have been recommended by American Baby Magazine and others. I hope you find these items as useful as I have. Please let me know if you have new items to add or if any of these didn't work for you.

Reviews | Where to Shop | Links

Newborn Kick Start Gym
by Playskool

Although this toy frigtened our baby the first time she heard the sounds, now she really loves it. It keeps her busy, and you can take off the hanging toys and put your own up if baby gets bored.

Playskool Newborn Kick Start Gym available from Amazon.com

Kick Start Gym
Pack 'n' Play
by Graco

I had one of these for each of my children. Once your baby starts crawling it's important to have a safe place to het him/her down when you can't be right there. The Pack 'n' Play is also great for picnics (no worries that baby may start putting grass or bugs in her mouth) and doubles as a travel crib.

Play Yards available from BabiesRUs.com.

Graco Pack 'n' Play
by Nuk

Of all the pacifiers I've tried, I'm convinced that Nuk is the best. The shape of the pacifier helps it stay in the baby's mouth without popping out. The latex version is shown here, but I actually prefer the silicone version as it is odorless, tasteless, and hypo-allergenic.

 Gerber The Original NUK Orthodintic Pacifiericon from Drugstore.com

Nuk Pacifiers
Vibrating Infant Rocker
by Fisher Price

This chair has been indispensable for us due to our colicky baby. It takes one D battery and will vibrate like a moving automobile. Our baby slept through the night for the first time in this thing. We use it for feeding, sleeping, and everything else. You can take it apart and throw the fabric cover in the washer. My older kids like to sit in it too. Some assembly is required.

Infant Rocker available from BabiesRUs.com.

Vibrating Infant Chair
Wooden Cradle
by Futura

I like this cradle because it is classy-looking, made of hard wood, and rolls easily from room to room. On the downside, assembly is required.

Similar Bassinettes and Cradles at BabiesRUs.com
The cradle shown can be found under Nursery Furniture at BabyCenter.com.

Wooden Cradle
Travel System (Navy Stars)
by Graco

In the olden days you had to put the baby in the carrier, then take her out of the carrier and put her in the car seat, then once you arrived at your destination you had to take her out of the car seat and put her in the stroller--usually with a considerable number of tears in between. Those days are gone. This "travel system" is a carrier, car seat, and stroller all in one. Just snap the carrier into the car seat base, then snap it into the stoller when you're ready to go without ever disturbing baby. Whoever invented this is a genius.

Strollers available from BabiesRUS.com.

Stroller and Car Seat
Open Top Swing
by Graco

A baby swing is an essential item for all new parents. It has literally been a lifesaver for me and my husband as we struggle with a colicy baby. The six speed model is shown here, but I have the three speed model which works perfectly fine and is a little less expensive. It's battery powered, so no winding is needed. Considerable thought has been put into the design of this swing, so don't settle for anything else! Warning: extensive assembly is required.

Swings available from BabiesRUs.com.

Graco Swing
What to Expect the First Year
by Arlene Eisenberg, Heidi E. Murkoff, Sandee E. Hathaway

This book has month-by-month information about when to expect as your baby grows and develops. There are useful breastfeeding tips, and a comprehensive list of baby illnesses with symptoms. Information is easy to find and comprehensive.

Paperback and hardcover versions available at Amazon.com.

Book Cover
Nursing Pads
by Evenflo

Nursing a baby can result in a lot of embarassing dripping and leaking. Don't leave home without some good nursing pads. These are disposable -- change them often and don't get the reusable kind as these can facilitate breast infection.

Nursing Pads icon at Drugstore.com.
Breastfeeding Stuff available from BabiesRUs.com.

Nursing Pads
Mini Electric Breast Pump
by Medela

Medela makes some of the very best pumps I've tried (and I've tried quite a few!). The Mini Electric version works well for me and is affordable. If you plan on doing more heavy duty pumping, you might try their hosptial grade version.

Medela Breast Pumps available from BabiesRUs.com.
Avent makes a good manual pumpicon available at Drugstore.com

Breast Pump
Diaper Genie
by Playtex

Dirty diapers stink and Diaper Genie is the solution. 'Nuff said!

Diaper Genie icon available from DrugStore.com.

Diaper Genie

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This page is for my sisters, Sonya and Katherine, and my cousin Ladee. -Monnica

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 Updated: May 1, 2003