Sorting through all the baby hype
Baby products make lots of claims. There are promises to reduce colic, get your baby to sleep longer, or heal diaper rash the shiny package grabs your attention and the flashing red light at the end of the scanner as you eagerly click and scan the UPC code.
You get home and look at your registry and you’re like what did I just register for? You don’t realize until the items are stacked up in your house after your baby shower or the endless deliveries from the UPS man that you just registered for products that leave you questioning why.
They seemed great when you saw them online, all those glowing reviews, and the big claims. Only to realize there is no purpose. Now you are stuck with returning the product.
So how do you sort through all the hype? The Baby Bargains Book is a great starting point to save 20-50% on furniture, baby gear, clothes, strollers, car seats, and more. You can get some free product information on their website, Baby Bargains, but the book has everything. is a great starting point. It sorts through the hype and makes dollars and “sense” of your money. The reviews are independent, expert, and unbiased.
The book tells you the brands to trust, and the brands that have reliability issues. You don’t have to spend a lot to get a quality product that truly makes caring for a newborn easier.
Even with reading the book, you’re going to make some missteps. That’s okay. Don’t be so hard on yourself mommy. You have to start somewhere in narrowing down all those items.
Consumer News Mom’s Top Baby Products
Here’s a list of my top 7 baby products that made my life easier. Also, a general price guide is indicated with $.
$ – 0 – $20
$$ – 21-$50
$$$ – 50-$75
While these are the top products, there are other must-have baby products you probably forgot that you need to add to your registry, and items you don’t really need. Make sure you register at a store that offers great value.
**Disclosure: All opinions in this post are my own. There may be affiliate links. When you make a purchase through one of the affiliates, you support Consumer News Mom’s ongoing efforts to keep you informed on consumer and parenting issues.
1. Born Free Nursing Light
Babies are confused between night and day so anything you can do to make the baby realize it’s time to sleep when it’s dark is helpful. The Born Free Nursing Light makes feeding your baby a breeze in the middle of the night, while still keeping the room dark so your baby realizes it’s time to go back to bed after eating.
It also keeps mommy and daddy asleep at night. Interrupted sleep doesn’t equal restful sleep. One hour naps are customary for the first six weeks. As tired as you are, it’s still tough to sleep sometimes. I needed as few distractions as possible in the middle of the night to ensure I slept even if it was just for an hour. I didn’t check my phone and didn’t turn on the lights.
This little night light keeps everyone in a slumber-like mood in the middle of the night while providing enough light to change a diaper or feed your hungry baby.
The light is pretty resilient too. Ours got caught in the sheets one day, and accidentally went through the washer. It still works!
2. Bassinet or co-sleeper
If you co-sleep, you’ll probably use the co-sleeper longer. It’s a safer way to put the baby in bed with you without the hazard of rolling over on them. There are also co-sleepers that you put next to the bed. They work like a bassinet, but you don’t have to get out of bed to get the baby because the side sleeper hooks onto the bed.
Bassinets are flimsy. They shake easily, and the cushion is thin. One sheet we bought that supposedly fit in caused the cushion to curve up and created scary gaps on the sides. It made me nervous putting my baby in the bassinet, but it’s also a lifesaver those first few weeks. Borrow don’t buy one.
You’re worried every time your child makes a peep. Was that a hungry whimper or a sign she’s in pain? Let’s face it — you’re paranoid. You react to every sound and want to make sure your baby is safe and still breathing. I still check to make sure she’s breathing if I haven’t heard a whimper out of her in awhile. Having the bassinet is helpful because you can check so easily to make sure the baby is ok without having to walk into another room to check the crib.
Despite the flimsiness of the bassinet, I used it. Others have used co-sleepers that attach to your bed. Whatever option you choose, you need something near your bed.
Having to get up repeatedly in the middle of the night for a feeding is tough enough. Never mind having to go into another room. Get something to put near your bed.
Price: $$ to $$$
3. WubbaNub Pacifier
The WubbaNub Pacifier is so cute, and kids love them. Plus, they are much harder to lose. You’ll still lose it, but it’s more difficult since it’s so big.
I never thought I would be that parent with pictures of their child and a pacifier hanging out of their mouth. Never mind a big clunky one with an animal on the end of it. It took just two weeks for it to happen. LOL
At the recommendation of my pediatrician, we reluctantly but out of desperation turned to a pacifier. Our child was constantly nursing and when not nursing she was crying if awake. To help pacify our child and as in the words of our pediatrician to help me keep my sanity, we turned to the pacifier.
We tried all kinds as many had been given to us for free by the stores and manufacturers. The WubbaNub Pacifier is the one she liked the most. She could hold it as she got bigger, and you can stick your finger in the middle of the pacifier which is helpful to get her to take it and pacify herself.
I hope we can take it away when she gets a little bigger, but it has helped calm her down.
Wrap that baby up like a burrito! It’s a lifesaver especially if you have a very active baby as we did. It calms them down and keeps them feeling warm and snuggly like they were in the womb. Knowing to get one is the easy part. Which one to get is the hard part.
We tried several. I heard the Miracle Blanket was a “miracle.” I wouldn’t go that far, as other cheaper brands we tried worked just as well. However, my husband likes the miracle blanket the best. I think it’s a little hard to use. You wrap the cloth that holds the baby’s arms down under the baby’s back so they can’t wiggle their arms out. However, doing that is not easy when you have a squirming baby who knows you are about to put them in a straight jacket.
I think it’s a little hard to use. You wrap the cloth that holds the baby’s arms down under the baby’s back so they can’t wiggle their arms out. However, doing that is not easy when you have a squirming baby who knows you are about to put them in a straight jacket.
The Miracle Blanket takes some technique to get it just right. Whether we didn’t do it right, or our child truly was the escape artist she easily got her legs out of the miracle blanket. Eventually, I just let her have her legs free.
The thing that worried me about this product is that it’s like a blanket meaning there is a lot of fabric. I worried there was too much excess fabric and my child would get caught up in it. After all, you’re not supposed to have blankets or anything else in the crib. Paranoid or not — just tossing out all the pros and cons.
We also liked the HALO Sleepsack Swaddle. The HALO uses a zipper and is super easy to wrap your child. It also provides freedom for their legs to move freely without being able to escape in the zipped up pouch. However, our child was easily able to get her arms out of both of these wraps.
Price: $ to $$
5. Lanisoh Soothies Gel Pads
The creams are okay but they are greasy and leave stains on clothing. I also didn’t find that they did much healing.
The Lanisoh Soothies Gel Pads take comfort to a whole other level and they work quickly. They are not cheap at $8+ for a pack of two that last just 72 hours. Get past that, though, because you may only need to buy one set. They are miracle workers, though, and I only needed one package to heal the wounds. After that, feeding your child becomes a more enjoyable bonding experience.
6. Blackout shade
Decorating the baby room is a lot of fun. If it’s a girl, you choose light and airy colors. However, you need your child to sleep. Blackout curtains are the key. Make sure to invest in quality curtains that keep the room dark.
You can still buy pretty curtains for on top, but underneath you want a blackout shade.
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7. Bottle sanitizer
Bottle sanitizers are not worth it for some moms especially considering the price. However, I loved our Tommee Tippee Electric Steam Sterilizer. Eventually, we just washed the bottles in the dishwasher but early on the sanitizer is how we kept the bottles clean.