I've found a few things that I've seen other parents use and they have RAVED about them. I have to admit these are some of the products I'm really excited about. Some of these I've already purchased for myself and others I'm waiting to see if people might indulge me and baby.
One of the items is a nursing cover. The one I had for Terryn SUCKED. It was WAY too small and not long enough. This one from Bebe au Lait had good reviews and looks like it will be big enough. I really need a cover since I have a housekeeper and we're having a friend (a guy) from church living with us for a few months. I need to keep my modesty around the house and if I go out on the town with baby in tow.
This is one I actually just purchased because I found it for like 50% off. It's just about the coolest diaper bag I have ever seen from Go Gaga. One of the best features is the unique shoulder strap that distributes the weight of the bag across your shoulder and your back. I've heard that it's super comfortable. It also fits a TON of stuff inside. The bottle holders on the side are insulated and your bottles will actually stay inside because of the shape of the pocket. There are also stroller straps (in the picture the lady is using it to hold a yoga mat). I watched a couple youtube videos about the bag and just fell in love with it. Hopefully I will love the bag when I actually get it and use it. In fact, I will probably use the bag for myself after I don't need a diaper bag anymore.
This one I also purchased for myself. These strollers are AWESOME. They are from Phil & Teds and they are about the most innovative strollers on the market. The really cool thing about these strollers is that they keep their retail value really well. Don't believe me? Go look on eBay or Craigslist and see how much people are selling the used strollers for. I needed a tandem stroller and a side by side model is definitely NOT an option here in Vietnam. I needed a really compact, robust stroller that I could take around a city with small doorways and rough sidewalk. A lot of ex-pats here have this stroller and I was able to talk to them about it and ask lots of questions. I also love the fact that you can kind of "hide" your infant when you have it in the reclined position. People are too touchy here and I'd rather them not put their hands all over my young baby. The other thing about this stroller is that you can customize it for your needs. You can buy the second or tandem seat only if you need it. You can purchase other accessories for it too like a storm cover, travel bag, food tray, stroller caddy, etc. The items that compliment my stroller like the food tray, travel bag, sun shade and saddle bags are items I'm really coveting. I'm hoping someone will get me the travel bag because I HAVE to have it. I'll probably end up having to buy it myself before we fly back home. The stroller also has a travel system for car seat adaptability.
These are innovative and "green" little products. This particular snack bag is by Itzy Ritzy but can also be found at Target. I love the fact that these snack bags are washable and reusable. For me in Vietnam, we can't always find the right size zip-lock bags... and they aren't always very good quality. Something like this is a good option for someone like me. Itzy Ritzy also features other items like wet bags that would also be awesome to have.
This product is by Innobaby, but there are other similar products. I have to say I'm a fan of the stackable snack containers. How many times how you been digging through your bag for your kids snacks? This way they are all together and will end up taking less room in the diaper bag... in fact you could probably just put it in the bottle pocket on the side of the bag. You can also store formula (dry) in here if you want.
These bibs are by Dex Products. My cousin used them for his kids and they rock! They are huge and the snap out bottom pocket catches everything. I really hate the bibs designed for babies because they are generally WAY too small. These bibs really save your kid's clothes from getting stained. The kiddo can also look down and go for seconds from the pocket that caught all their dropped food.
This will be the first time that I will probably be exclusively breast-feeding AND making my own baby food. Baby food here in Vietnam is EXPENSIVE. It's imported and frankly... I'm not willing to spend $3-$6 a bottle for baby food when I can just make it myself. Something like this will help me make baby-sized portions (any lidded ice cube tray would do) and the cookbook will give me baby food recipe ideas (which I could also find online).
So now the question to all of you is what was your FAVORITE baby product or item that made your life so much easier when the new arrival came? Please let me know because I am very interested to hear your ideas.