There are lots of things to worry about when you are a new parent, but there are a few things that occupy your thoughts the most:
1. What should I feed my baby? Is my baby eating enough?
2. How can I get this baby to sleep longer (so that I can sleep longer)?!
3. What do I do to get this baby to calm the heck down?
Let’s talk about things related to the first question in this next installment of the “Hits and Misses” series.
Avent Natural Bottles
When I was doing the research to set up my registry, it seemed that the Avent Natural Bottles and Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow were consistently recommended. Both of them claim to reduce colic and make the transition easier if you are going back and forth from breast to bottle. So, I decided to register for a set of each so that we could see what B would prefer.
Breastfeeding didn’t work out for us, so we ended up relying exclusively on bottles. It quickly became clear that B did much better with the Avent variety. She seemed to be pretty uncomfortable after a feeding anytime we used Dr. Brown’s and the valve system that supposedly prevents air bubbles just meant that we had more little parts to clean at the end of the day.
I definitely recommend having a few different types of bottles on-hand in the beginning to find one that works for your baby. And, once you find the one that works, stock up–you might be going through six bottles a day at the beginning! We used four-ounce bottles at first and then transitioned to eight-ounce bottles when B started to drink a bit more at each feeding.
Dr. Brown’s Bottle Warmer
A bottle warmer is really not an essential item. Obviously, you can just run a bottle under warm water before offering it to your baby. But, we use ready-to-feed formula, so I feel that warming the bottles when they come from the refrigerator is just a nice thing to do for Little B (For a while, I regretted this decision since B would sometimes refused to take a non-warmed bottle when we were out and about during the first few months. She has since become less picky). If you choose to use one of these, this model is a good option since it fits most brands of bottles and takes up minimal counter space. There is a handy chart on the back that tells you how many minutes to set the timer for, based on the number of ounces in the bottle, so you know that the bottle is warmed evenly.
Baby Brezza One-Step Baby Food Maker
If you choose to make your own baby food, you can certainly do so with the basic kitchen items (steamer, food processor, etc) that you likely already have on hand. But, I have enjoyed the convenience of being able to steam and puree food using one item, without dirtying multiple dishes.
I usually make a batch of food for B a couple of times a week. But, most of the time I don’t get a chance to do it until almost 10 p.m. So, the less mess that I can create, the better. In about 30 minutes or less, I can whip up a batch of fruits or veggies that will get us through three to five days.
I also would give a shout-out to the company for good customer service. Shortly after we purchased the machine one of the parts malfunctioned. I sent an e-mail to the company and they sent a new machine out to us in less than a week.
Wholesome Baby Food
This book has been an excellent resources since we started B on solids at 5 months old. The sample feeding schedules were helpful in understanding how to incorporate solids into her diet. And, it includes plenty of recipes, broken down by age, that provide creative ideas for introducing various foods. There is a companion website with additional recipes and resources that I have referred to from time to time, as well.
Happy Family Products
When B first started eating solids, Chester and I spent a lot of time in the baby food aisle at Target considering all of the products. It was important to us that we could pronounce all of the ingredients on the package and that the items were made in the US. We settled on this line because of the tasty sounding flavor combinations. B loves the rice cakes, puffs and pouches (well, almost all of the pouches. The Hearty Meal variety with pureed chicken and quinoa was not well received at all).
OXO Tot Items
We have the bowls, a plate, a snack pod, spoons and a straw cup from the line. They are sturdy and have non-slip bottoms to minimize spills. My only gripe about the bowls is that the lids don’t seem to fit very well. So, I wouldn’t recommend them for storing food while traveling, but we haven’t had any issues with them at home.
Neat Solutions Bibs
I don’t love the cartoon-ish looking characters on these bibs, but they have a basic, velcro closure so they are easy to put on a squirmy baby. And, they fit close to the neck, so they actually do minimize the mess on B’s clothes.
Skip-Hop Drying Rack
I picked this drying rack because it looked kind of cool and it had a small footprint (again, counter space is an issue for us). I hate it. It just doesn’t fit all of the bottles, cups and associated accessories and things are always falling off of it. Next time, I’m getting this model by Boon, which seems to be highly rated and looks even cooler.
I bought these to use during the transition to solids because liked the idea of being able to give B chunks of real food without worrying about her choking. Plus, I had heard that these were good to help with teething pain. But, we just never got around to using them. Then, I heard that they were a pain to clean, and I was glad that we had one less mess to deal with.
Take and Toss Straw Cups
These cups were recommended for babies learning how to use a straw on several blogs that I frequent, but I have been finding that the liquid spills out of the hole in the lid, even when the straw is inserted. Perhaps this is because B is still learning how to use a straw, but I tend to think that it’s just an annoying design flaw. Maybe a curved straw would work better?
Tommee Tippee Explora Bib
I go back and forth about whether I like these bibs or not. I do like that they roll up easily for travel and wipe off easily. But, the closure is not very secure and, they gap horribly around the neck, even on the tighest notch, so food always ends up on the collar of B’s shirt.
Baby Brezza Octo Storage System
This system does help to keep frozen baby food organized and the cups also fit in the bowl of the Baby Brezza Food Maker for quick defrosting. But, they have not held up well. In the five months we have been using them, three of them have cracked. I switched to Glad storage containers, which have held up much better and are cheaper.
Looking for a high chair recommendation? Check out my baby gear post!