Ok...after having 3 kids in 4 yrs, I have what I consider real experience with little ones. We travel a ton, and I am crazy about fun and inventive products. There are a couple of things that I want every mom to have, products that have been essential for our family, and I wanted to list them here. These are the things that I tell friends about when they want baby or kid gift ideas.
The first of these things is the Miracle Blanket. It is our favorite swaddling blanket and is good for newborns up until they are old enough to wiggle themselves out...way older than for a normal swaddle. We call it the baby straight jacket!
Next is Hooter Hiders. This is my favorite cover up for nursing!!! I had one last almost 3 years (2 kids nursing for a year and a half) and loved, loved, loved it. Before the Hooter Hider, I would break out into a sweat if I had to nurse in public, it was so stressful! I care a lot less now about nursing in public, but it allowed me to be discreet...always important!
We also adore our Tiny Diner. This is a rubbery placemat that you roll up and back out and it has suction cups that stick it to the table with a little trough at the bottom. Awesome for restaurants where you little ones can eat off the table w/o either getting some gross disease (haha) or messing up the restaurant's table with mac and cheese and ketchup! We just wipe ours off with a baby wipe at the restaurant and wash it when we get home.
Every busy mama needs a good sling! I can't find mine on-line, but here is one that is close: The Maya Wrap
My favorite sippy cup is the Learning Curve sippy cup. It can be hard to drink from, but if you cut the valve slit a little bigger w/ a razor it is THE BEST! It is the only sippy cup that has lasted in this house. The kids can't chew up the valve, and I don't have to have a dishwasher or a sterilizer to get the valve clean. I LOVE IT!!!
I seriously recommend that every mom get some cloth diapers. Two of my favorite cloth diaper stores are Cotton Babies and Green Mountain Diapers. Cotton Babies gave me a diaper grant because I'm a missioary, and it was the only way I would've ever gotten started with cloth diapers! They are a very cool store. Green Mountatin Diapers has the best selection of inexpensive cloth diapers and they give free evangelism stuff with an order! Love them, as well.
My latest love is the GyroBowls. These are AWESOME! No, they are not completely spill proof...a kid, if trying hard enough, can get the stuff to fall out of the bowl, but my 2 yr old can walk up and down stairs, carry the bowl in the car, walk around the house with it, and not a bit spills. GET THESE! They are really super cool.
Our favorite toys are the Little People sets and anything LeapFrog. Both of those brands have held up to years of hard play and the kids LOVE them. When I need a gift for a little person, I go first to check out those products.
For older kids are the Leap Frog video series and the TAG reader system.
Ok mamas - and it is always good to know of a good store to shop the coolest mom invented products: Check out Mom 4 Life. It is owned by a Christian mommy who has a really cool store. She also has free shipping on all her stuff, which is AWESOME! It is an awesome store just to browse in.
Now...go do some shopping!