By Kathryn Peck
You’d think by baby no. 4, there would be no surprises; that everything would be easy because I’d already crossed that bridge three times before. It’s true that perhaps I didn't jump at every tiny sound my baby made anymore, but each baby is different and in many ways, it’s all new again. (Or, maybe I’d just forgotten!) Breastfeeding is new again; where one baby had mild cradle cap, another had severe eczema; I still did not sleep and that transition time from swaddles to sleep sacks was just as hard as it was each time before. But there are a few great products I came across the fourth time around and thought: Why didn’t I have this before? Here are a few of my favorites that may not necessarily be new, but they were new to me the fourth time around.
Booker Coat. Where was this adorable and cozy fleece jacket before? Designed by NYC-based mom of three, Sarah Clark, this slim-fitting coat (vest $105; coat $148) can be worn three ways: as a regular coat, as a maternity coat, or as a coat to wear over your child in a separate baby carrier. It has multiple zippers and drawstrings that make the coat super adjustable around growing baby bumps and front carriers. There’s also a Booker Vest available for milder temps.
WaterWipes. I’ll admit, I had never heard of these until my 4-week old had developed pretty severe diaper rash and our pediatrician recommended them. Now I’m hooked. Newborn skin is often so sensitive and WaterWipes are made with 99.9% water and a drop of grapefruit extract.
Dockatot. I discovered the beloved Dockatot with baby no. 3, and I still use it religiously the fourth time around. Created in Sweden, it’s a multi-functional lounging, playing, chilling, resting and snuggling dock for your baby. I originally bought the Dockatot with two toddlers running around, I needed a safe place for baby no. 3 to be, and that still holds true. My baby can safely be on the bed or couch, and I’m not too worried about all the chaos that unfolds on a daily basis around him. I also use this for co-sleeping in bed, as a travel bed instead of a cumbersome travel crib, as a safe place for baby after baths, and a cozy place for baby to nap in rooms throughout the house.
Happy Baby Carrier. By now I feel like I’ve tried them all. Ergo, Moby, K’Tan, Lillebaby, but the Happy Baby Carrier ($148) was by far the easiest (and cutest) one yet. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my Lillababy soft-structered carrier, but there’s something about the simplicity of the Happy Baby Carrier and the fit that I love. It’s lighter than most on the market while still being very comfortable thanks to the soft material, 100% organic bamboo and luxurious linen. The simple design means it just holds your baby snuggly against your body. Suitable for newborns up to 45 lbs, no infant insert needed – a minimalist’s dream. There is a purse holder on each strap, but I was more thankful for the zippered pocket for my keys.
Zutano Booties. These have been a mainstay for all of my babies, and I have yet to find a baby bootie that rivals Zutano’s ($21-$24). They are uniquely designed to stay on your baby's feet and come in cozy fleece for colder months; soft lighter cotton for warmer months.
Momcozy® Electric Baby Nail File. I was complaining recently about how I couldn’t get my baby’s nails short enough to prevent him from scratching his face, and a friend suggested an electric nail filer. Why hadn’t I thought of this before? This safe, quiet nail file ($16.99) has a foam cushion under the nail file so it won’t hurt your baby’s fingertips. There are two speeds and two direction options. It’s very quiet and there are six interchangeable heads (three for baby, three for kids/adults).
L’oved Baby. These organic cotton basics have two features that make them stand out in my mind from other newborn clothes: 1) the side-snap kimono-style feature on their shirts, onesies, and footies, a must in my book for quick and easy diaper changes (plus I never liked pulling shirts over babies’ heads when they’re so small); and 2) the fold-over sleeves for added warmth and the prevention of self-scratching, which unlike many other brands, continue through size 3-6 months. I have big babies in general so this is a nice feature, and my no. 4 has a bit of baby eczema on his head, so the fold-over sleeves are even more important.
7AM Enfant Car Seat Cocoon. Having braved the New England winters for a number of years now, I’m a huge fan of 7AM Enfant’s winter accessories. I use the 212 Evolution Blanket and WarmMuffs religiously, and while the NIDO blanket is adorable and warm, it was replaced this year by the brand’s Car Seat Cocoon for me. I love that since it fits over the car seat, only one size is needed. And because it fits over the car seat like a shower cap, the cocoon is easier to get on and off when baby is sleeping. Loads of zippers make it versatile, too. The Car Seat Cocoon also blocks wind well, too.
Jane Foster’s Board Books. There are lots (and lots) of baby board books out there, but there’s something about the simplicity of illustrator/textile designer’s Jane Foster pages and the bold but visually pleasing images that babies love. “Jane Foster’s Black and White” is a great starter book, but following this there are colors, numbers, holidays, cities, and more. I found it hard to not buy every one!
Uppababy Vista Stroller. Why did I wait until baby no. 4 to get a Vista? I’ve had practically every other stroller in the Uppababy lineup, yet I fear I purchased them in the wrong order. Cruz first, then G-Luxe, then Minu, and now Vista. But in the better late than never department, I’ve never been happier. This solid stroller has large shock-absorbing wheels that are perfect for city sidewalks, a large, easily accessible basket underneath, reclining seats that can face forwards or backward, and the genuine leather accents are soft-to-the touch and look really nice. I also added the RumbleSeat to convert this stroller into a font-to-back double stroller with the Mesa car seat on top. All kids are accounted for, and we’re off.
About the author: Kathryn is the owner of Bicycle Pie and mom of 4 little ones. Also a writer, editor, and former owner of one of Boston's premiere baby boutiques, she continues to write about motherhood, children's products, family life, and all other things that test our skills and patience as parents.
Photo credit: B&Me