These hands-free must-haves need to be on your baby registry. Just click on photos and/or product names to find out where to purchase. FYI: I have not been compensated by any of the brands endorsed below. These are my own recommendations, baby-tested and mom-approved.
1. Fisher Price Cradle Swing – We didn’t register for a swing, but we absolutely should have. Everyone told us your baby either loves or hates the swing. Ours LOVED it, and I don’t see how any baby could possibly hate it (IMHO, with a good tight swaddle, a baby can be happy anywhere). My daughter napped more in her swing during her first six months of life than in the rest of her life combined. That might be an exaggeration, but she would take 3-4 hour naps, twice daily in her swing. Not all parents will get that lucky, but wouldn’t you be happier with an hour of peaceful/content/distracted baby than nothing? Side to side and front to back swinging options, multiple speeds, plus flying birds and a sound machine — this is the cadillac of baby swings.
2. Baby Bjorn Bouncer Seat + Attachment Play Bar – I love our Bjorn Bouncer for its simplicity and chic design. It blends so well with our furniture that I never minded having the baby up on the dining room table with us while we ate. We’d also often set her in the bouncer on the coffee table and with just the perfect tap of a toe, we could achieve enough bounce to keep her happy while we caught up on a show. The play bar was the perfect distraction once she was able to start batting at/playing with things at a few months old. It would easily buy me 20 minutes to pump in peace.
3. Tiny Love Gymini Play Mat – This is one of the least offensive play mats I’ve seen out there. The animals are sweet, the hanging toys are soft, there are a bunch of cool textures and lights and the music (Mozart or nursery rhymes) is soothing. This mat has baby-stimulating longevity — great for gazing while on their backs, perfect for some super-fun tummy time and even entertaining for new sitters, too! It’s machine washable and folds up flat. A+.
4. Fisher Price Jumperoo – Another product we didn’t register for, but couldn’t live without. The Jumperoo is so fun I can hardly stand it. Before she was even tall enough to reach the floor (on the lowest of three height settings), Madeline was rocking the Jumperoo (a box underneath her feet to give her some traction). The seat spins around to a bunch of neat toys, the colors are cute and the music and sound effects are addicting (you’ll start hearing them in your sleep). Sometimes Maddie would spend so long in her Jumperoo, I’d start to feel neglectful. Then I’d check on her and she’d be smiling away, shuffling her feet and laughing. Best mother’s helper ever.
5. Bumbo – At about 3-6 months old, a Bumbo is a great way keep a less active baby in one place (my niece was a more active baby who would arch her back and try to jump out of it, so…not for everyone). But I guess even I would call them a nice to have, not a need to have, since they have a relatively short window of use. Register for one and if you get it — great. If you don’t, you can easily pick these up for under $10 on Craigslist or at a garage sale or just borrow one from a friend.
Hey, moms and dads! Tell me…what are your hands-free must-haves?? Leave your suggestions in the comments below, and I’ll compile them all into my Ultimate Baby Registry: You Can’t Live Without It! post! XOXO, Allison
Check out the rest of the Ultimate Baby Registry here!