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    « Picture this: Reflections from a moon child | Main | Your life... in jelly beans, plus GRAND Social No. 58 »

    5 products Grandma never had that Mommy shouldn't live without

    I went to a baby shower Sunday for my niece Jessica, who will be having her first baby — a boy! — in the next few weeks.

    baby shower   baby shower

    As I watched my niece open gifts, I considered the plethora of new gadgets and goodies that were never around when I was having babies but that new moms today — including my own daughter, mother to Bubby and Mac — couldn't and shouldn't live without.

    gadgets new parents need
    (My great niece, daughter of my nephew.)

    A temporal scan thermometer — These wonders of modern technology are far more safe and accurate than the thermometers of our day.Taking a baby's temperature used to scare the bejeezus out of me when I was a new mom, especially when temps had to be taken rectally. Gah! I was certain the wiggly baby would break the glass thermometer and be ruined forever in some way far worse than just having a high temp. After reviewing one of these — and Megan telling me she truly could not live without it — I firmly believe this is a necessity. (And it comes in handy for checking Grandma and Grandpa's temps any time, too.)

    grandma and granddaughterPrecious gal with her grandma (my youngest sister and mom to Jessica)Baby monitor — Another thing that scared me when I was a new mom was leaving baby to sleep in her own room. I was up and down all night — until each of my babies were at least two years of age, no joke — ensuring they were still safe... and breathing. But keeping the kiddo in the room with Jim and me was nearly as bad as going back and forth to the baby's bedroom, especially if we had the child in the bed with us. With the advent of baby monitors, there's no longer the need to have baby sleep between Mom and Dad (which is rather unsafe anyway) or even in the same room. Monitors keep parents alert to baby's movements and more, day or night, even when stories and stairs separate parents and the slumbering babe.

    Diaper disposal system — Before seeing one in action when Bubby was born, I thought these were silly and an extravagance for spoiled new mommies. Uh, not the case, I quickly learned. These systems — think Diaper Genie and such — are a necessity for reasons beyond the stink factor. For one, with such a thing, diaper disposal is more sanitary and more safe than having to take stinky diapers out after every change, especially for those middle-of-the-night diaper explosions changes when Mommy is oh so tired and trudging out to drop it in a garbage can is downright silly... and dangerous.

    Battery operated nasal aspirator — Oh, the horrors of those blue bulb syringes sent home with every new mom when she leaves the hospital after birthing her baby. I'm pretty sure they're the reason blue is one of the first colors children learn. Okay, I don't know that they do learn blue any sooner than other colors, but I do know they learn right away to turn their head and scream and cry and refuse to let Mommy suck out even the smallest bit of snot. At least in my experience. The nifty high-powered aspirators are, without a doubt, more effective and less traumatic (for baby and Mommy) than those dreadful hospital-issued suckers.

    Multiple car seats — Considering that many moms and dads both work outside the home, it's pretty much a necessity to have a car seat in both of their vehicles. Plus, car seats for daycare providers — which may very well be the grandparents! — are a must, as well. Considering the hassle and importance of correctly installing a car seat, it's much better for there to be a permanently installed carseat (well, as permanently as these things get) in each vehicle regularly used for transporting baby. Yes, the required car seats are expensive. Which is exactly why grandparents may want to consider pitching in and providing a second or third, especially if said grandparents will regularly travel with baby on board.

    baby sticking out tongue 

    Today's question:

    What modern baby gear do you most wish was around when you were raising kids?

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    Reader Comments (10)

    I'm glad that I no longer have to boil baby bottles/nipples in hot water at night. Just throw 'em in the dishwasher. woohoo! While I'm at it, pretty darn nifty that those same nipples have 'sizes' now vs. using a sterilized needle to make the holes bigger as baby grows.

    Should I admit that a Boppy makes me roll my eyes? Granted, Boppies (sp?) are adorable with all the cover choices, but this old-fashioned Gma thinks a regular pillow works just fine. Or maybe I'm just jealous that I didn't think of the idea first? LOL.

    June 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNonnieKelly

    Along with the diaper genie I would have loved to "really" have disposable diapers. in 1973 when my daughter was born they were just coming into Vogue but they weren't as good as they are now. They didn't fit well, the tabs/tapes came off when you tried to secure them. I used diaper service but still......

    June 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGrandma Kc

    I am totally amazed at all the things Jessica has in her little boy's nursery, don't even know what half of it is, just know I didn't have it.

    Anyway, my seven children made it into adult-hood so I must have had enough stuff of some old-fashioned things for them, and me, to survive, glad it's somewhat easier for new mommies these days. It's still a lot of work.

    June 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnn

    What a great post....absolutely for Grandparents too! Top quality car seats in both parents car (3 in their case) and 3 more in my car was expensive but so worth the peace of mind! We just swapped the 5 point seats for high back "big kid" seats that are anchored in; but kids can buckle in with car seat belts! YAY
    Can you believe we didn't have monitors? Or that we might have put them on their tummies?
    Joan @

    June 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoan Stommen

    I am SO envious of the new twin strollers I see effortlessly gliding through the stores these days. I especially wish I had had the type that you can just pop the infant carseat into. They look so lightweight and seem to turn on a dime. My twin stroller was a tank, a heavy, large, hard to fold contraption that didn't take corners very well. I kept those wiggly boys locked in that thing for almost 4 years while shopping, pushing the cart ahead with one hand and pulling them behind with the other. It was easier than letting them run loose. I remember they were around 5 or 6 when the first shopping carts with the plastic "car" on the front came out - 5 or 6 with the height of an 8 year old. They screamed with glee and crammed themselves in, knees to chins and heads stooped over to fit. It was the only ride they ever took in one of those carts, they were just too tall for it. Darn, they came out 3 years too late for us!

    June 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Hollis

    Multiple car seats....huge. We moved one car seat back and forth and back and forth and you are so right in suggesting that the chance if it not being secured only rose as you were fiddling with it and holding a screaming baby. Such a good idea, as are all the others.

    June 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGrown and Flown

    Great question. My youngest just turned 30 (30!), and it seems to me that every year since he was born they've come out with at least one thing that would have been nice to have. Now, I have a grandbaby, so I'm even more amazed at all of the options. But, I didn't even use everything that was available way back in 82 when my first was born. I settled into using the things that worked for me and that were my go-to's. I advocate simpler rather than too much stuff for a baby.

    Having said that, I love the new swaddling blankets and clothes and the permission to use them. Swaddling was a no-no when my kids were born, but an older woman showed me how to settle my children down with a blanket and a diaper safety pin. It worked! Now, swaddling is embraced and is so much easier now that you don't have to manage a pin and a blanket.

    I also like the new thermometers. I agree that it's so much safer, not to mention more comfortable for mom and baby. When our babies were tiny, my husband used to have to help me with the old glass ones. It was a two person process. :)

    I also had to laugh about the twin stroller comment. Mine was a hand me down, and it was a tank, too! The newer side-by-side ones are cool.

    June 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

    Sorry that I have not been around for such a long time. Since I last posted here Norman has been to New York & back, thankfully he made the trip safely.

    We have spent hours & hours at the hospital. Norman having various scans, seeing oncologists both for radiation & chemo. Unfortunately at the moment radiation is out because it will be too toxic for him. We are discussing whether chemo is going to be an option. It won't cure him but may give him a few more months. His next step is to have a kidney test, this is to see if his kidneys can handle chemo.

    It has been a hard time for all of us. A couple of weeks ago we told Bella & Lucy about his cancer. Lucy has asked many questions, Bella hasn't really asked many.

    Please continue to pray for Norman.

    June 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSally Kabak

    My daughter-in-law got all that you listed at her baby shower! I would've loved a baby monitor back in my day. Your great niece is adorable!

    June 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie E.

    The thermometer would be number one on my list. We did get multiple car seats for the grands after one day of driving around trying to find the other car with the car seat in it so I could then go back home and pick up my passengers. Yes, things for new moms have sure come a long way and that is a really good thing.

    June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJudy@grandparentsplus2
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