Baby Products We Can't Live Without
Combi Pod Bouncer
Why We Love It: A vibrating bouncy seat can be the difference between showering and not showering, so make sure you have the right one on hand when baby arrives. The hanging toys and calming vibrations keep baby occupied while you steal a few minutes of me-time.
What Real Moms Say: "This doesn't make any annoying noises or play crazy songs like some bouncers," says Jessica from Brooklyn, New York. "In fact, you can use an MP3 player with it to play whatever music you like."
Where to Buy: The Combi Pod Bouncer costs $90. For a list of retailers, visit:
Boppy Feeding & Infant Support Pillow
Why We Love It: Hunching over to feed baby can do a number on your back, so nursing pillows, which prop baby up, are a godsend (plus, they get baby in proper feeding position). Our rec? The ubiquitous Boppy Feeding & Infant Support Pillow. This cushy horseshoe-shaped pillow provides ergonomically correct support, and a new "Miracle Middle" stretch panel fits comfortably around even Daddy's waist. Bonus: As baby grows, the pillow becomes a handy baby prop for tummy time. We love accessorizing with the super-soft Pottery Barn Kids chamois personalized Boppy covers that you can just throw in the wash.
What Real Moms Say: "When you spend a full third of your life breastfeeding in those first few months (my daughter would feed for almost an hour, every three hours!), you just need to be comfortable and the Boppy makes it so easy," Sue from Union, New Jersey, said.
Where to Buy: The Boppy pillow costs $24.99 (slipcovers are sold separately). The Pottery Barn Kids slipcovers cost $25 each.
Glamourmom Nursing Bra Tank
Why We Love It: These totally-can't-tell-it's-nursing camis come with a built-in nursing bra to provide postpartum tummy coverage and easy access to the girls. The tanks come in a variety of colors and styles, including a longer version you can belt. Wear alone in warm weather or under another shirt -- but if your cups runneth over, try the style with thicker straps.
What Real Moms Say: "I loved that I could wear it by itself, or layer it under other tops," says Sasha from Brooklyn, New York. "And it was way better than a nursing bra at minimizing both the boobs and the belly."
Where to Buy: Glamourmom Nursing tanks and tops cost $34-$39 each.
Snoogle Total Body Pillow
Why We Love It: This one's for the preggos: Instead of piling pillows at night to position your out-of-whack figure, cuddle up to this body pillow which will help you get -- and stay -- in a comfortable position. The Snoogle's special shape was designed to give you zzzz-inducing back and belly support. The only problem is that the Snoogle might not leave enough room in bed for your husband. (Hope the couch is comfy, honey!)
What Real Moms Say: "It made it possible to sleep at night," Victoria from New York, says. "I wrapped it around anywhere I felt I needed padding and extra comfort -- it really worked throughout my whole pregnancy."
Where to Buy: The Snoogle costs $50. For a list of retailers, visit:
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Kangaroo Korner Adjustable Pouches
Why We Love It: Baby slings have become the cool-mom way to get around with the bambino, and it's no wonder -- they free up your hands but keep baby close. (They can also sometimes instantly quiet a baby in full-on freakout mode.) We adore Kangaroo Korner's Adjustable Pouches, which are a cinch to put on and get baby in and out of (no wrapping or rings -- perfect for newbie mamas). Choose your fabric according to the season: a cozy Polarfleece; a quick-drying, lightweight nylon athletic-knit mesh; breathable cotton; and a UV-blocking Solarveil.
What Real Moms Say: "What I love the most about this sling is that it's comfortable on your shoulder," says Christina from Providence, Rhode Island, "and I tried many before I got to this one."
Where to Buy: Kangaroo Korner Adjustable Pouches cost $62 each.
Sophie La Giraffe
Why We Love It: Those little chompers coming in cause big-time discomfort (trust us), so a teething toy is a must-have. Do as the French do: Sophie La Giraffe has been all the rage in France ever since its debut in 1961, with its soft, flexible parts to gnaw on (and since she's handmade in the French Alps with nontoxic paint and natural rubber, baby can chew away). Sophie's dark, contrasting spots make her alluring to infants, who see contrast best.
What Real Moms Say: "I think she's adorable and has a sweet old-timey look to her," says Amy from Richmond, Virginia. "My son loved to hold her by her long neck and give her a squeeze."
Where to Buy: Sophie La Giraffe costs $20.
Baby Bjorn Soft Bib
Why We Love It: Messes during mealtime are inevitable, but this molded bib helps keep pureed peas off the floor (and cuts down on your laundry, too). The extra-wide pocket catches all the dribbles -- and you can just pop it in the dishwasher when you're done.
What Real Moms Say: And here's another unexpected bonus: This bib can buy you some time at the dinner table. "When our baby is done with her dinner and has essentially cleared her plate, she goes back to review the contents of the bib," Melisa from Austin, Texas, says. "Lost that hunk of goat cheese? Yum! There it is again."
Where to Buy: Baby Bjorn Soft Bibs cost $10 each.
Why We Love It: You want minimal interaction with your diaper pail, so we love the Diaper Dekor, which is 100 percent hands-free -- no stuffing, twisting, pushing, or prodding necessary. Simply step on the pedal, drop your deposit in, and be done with it.
What Real Moms Say: "I liked the idea that the bag was continuous and you could tear it off with just a few -- or a full can -- of diapers in it. Less waste," Ann from Ann Arbor, Michigan, said.
Where to Buy: The Diaper Dekor costs $29.95.
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Baby Bjorn Baby Carrier Active
Why We Love It: Running certain errands is so much easier when you're sans stroller, so this sturdy, easy-on-your-back carrier is a must -- especially since it has padded shoulder straps and lumbar support. Once you get the hang of it, it's easy to move baby in and out -- and it can be used up to 25 pounds.
What Real Moms Say: Like a sling, the Bjorn can also go a long way in calming a fussy baby. "I had a colicky baby," says Heather from Queens, New York, "and it saved my life."
Where to Buy: The Baby Bjorn Baby Carrier Active costs $120.
Tea Collection Kimono-Style Onesies
Why We Love It: Most babies hate things being pulled over their head -- a big problem when you're changing their outfit for the fourth time today. Make dressing wail-free with kimono-style onesies, which snap across the front and are easier to pull arms through. Our fave? These cozy, organic-cotton versions from Tea Collection.
What Real Moms Say: "I love Tea's fabrics and mod, baby-animal-free patterns," says Amanda from Philadelphia. "I would totally wear it too!"
Where to Buy: Tea Collection kimono onesies cost $25 each.
Zutano Fleece Booties
Why We Love It: Those little feet need to stay warm, but socks seem to mysteriously disappear off feet. Zutano's cozy cotton-fleece booties are kick-proof thanks to wraparound snaps -- and they come in cotton for warmer months.
What Real Moms Say: "These are the coziest booties out there, and seem so much warmer than the leather ones," says Jenny from Seattle. "I was so sad when my daughter grew out of them."
Where to Buy: Zutano fleece booties cost $18 for a pair. For a list of retailers, visit:
JJ Cole Bundle Me
Why We Love It: The hassle of wrestling your infant in and out of lots of layers can be enough to make you want to never leave home. But the super-cozy shearling lining of the Bundle Me -- which works with strollers and car seats -- means you just pop baby in, zip up, and get on your way. Once indoors, just zip off the top part of the blanket to keep baby from overheating.
What Real Moms Say: "It made it possible to take an infant out in public in the dead of winter without struggling to stuff him into a coat," says Christine from Providence, Rhode Island. "It's washable, snuggly, and keeps you from dropping blankets all over the place."
Where to Buy: The JJ Cole Bundle Me costs $39.95 for infant and $49.95 for toddler. For a list of retailers, visit:
Miracle Blanket and Snug & Tug Swaddle Blankets
Why We Love It: It's a strange new world for that babe of yours -- and he might express his discomfort by fussing up a storm. Swaddle blankets recreate the feeling of the womb, calming them down and helping them (and thus you) sleep better. Two swaddles that even Houdini babies can't wiggle their way out of: the aptly named Miracle Blanket, whose arm flaps hold flailing arms in place to limit the sudden movements that startle and wake newborns and the Velcro-laden Snug & Tug swaddle
What Real Moms Say: "For us, the Miracle Blanket truly was a miracle. Both kids slept through the night by 7 or 8 weeks, and I think this swaddler helped," Kris from San Francisco says.
Where to Buy: The Miracle Blanket costs $29.95 and the Snug & Tug costs $34.99.
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Buying Products As A New Mom
If you're a new mom, get tips on how to buy the baby products that's right for you. See advice from Ilana Wiles, blogger of MommyShorts.com.