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- The Showerbaby is probably this single best product that we have come across. It just makes changing the baby so much easier and we recommend it highly. It's not exactly inexepensive, but it replaces a changing table and saves on wipes as well.
- For diapers, we've tried several and finally settled on Kissaluvs Fitted Diapers with Motherease Rikki Wrap Covers
We got them both from Katies Kisses We found them both to work well. We launder them ourselves and after some experimentation, are happy with the results.
- The book Montessori From The Start outlines a great approach to early development that we have followed. A lot of the products here are derived from this book.
- This Infant coordination mirror is a big hit with all the kids that see it. They love to stand up and hold on to the bar and explore the mirror.
- You can get nice acrylic mirror from lots of kid supply houses, but you can save a lot of money by getting it from a plastics distributor like JBC Plastics. The edges will just be a raw saw cut, but a few minutes with a sander rounds them off nicely.
We have gone through a mess of carriers - here's a little bit about them:
- Of course it's like a federal law that you must own a Baby Bjorn carrier. We used ours plenty when Declan was younger, but he has since grown out of it. Great for when they are really young.
- Slings are great and very versatile. We have a Zolo. They take a little more work to get set up, but there isn't another carrier that can be used in as many ways.
- The One Step Ahead Ultra EZ Baby Carrier is one Mike really likes. The child needs to be able to hold himself up, but it does strap them in securely. It's highly portable, so it's a good one to bring with you everywhere. It also has a very handy pocket in front to store keys, cell phone, wallet, whatever.
- The HipSeat is one that is good for when they are slightly older. It's nice in that it gives support without having to strap them in, so it's easy to put them on and off of it.
- For hikes and just around the house, we use a Snugli Cross Country Backpack. It's the most comfortable way to wear Declan for a long period since he's so heavy. This one is fairly cheap, but you can spend way more on one if you like. We've been quite happy with it, though the hipbelt doesn't adjust down far enough for Mike, who is 6'3".
This is Mike's favorite thing to obsess about. We haven't had a lot here, but we have lusted after many of them.
- Our primary stroller is an Instep Safari TT. It's an "All Terrain Stroller" which is basically a jogging stroller with a swivel front wheel. The swivel wheel makes it very maneuverable, but you can lock the wheel pivot if you prefer. It's definitely a compromise since with the wheel locked, it's only fair for jogging, and it's a tight fit in store aisles. It's great for walking and more open areas though, so it's the perfect choice for us. What Mike really wanted was the Mountain Buggy Urban, but the Instep was less than half the price and basically the same design.
- Our other stroller is a Chicco Caddy that we picked up because the Safari is a bit big to keep in the car. We hardly ever use it though. It's light and folds up small, but it's too short for either of us and we kick the rear tires. It does seem well constructed and is fairly inexpensive, but we just prefer to use one of the carriers when we don't use the Safari.
Cool Things To Do With Your Baby (That YOU'LL Love, Too!) In The Mid-Hudson Valley, New York State
- FREE parent/baby activities that I help organize:
for more information
- regular hikes
- monthly book club (last Wednesday of the month, 1:00 p.m.)
- regular playgroups
- Maverick Concerts in Woodstock is the oldest
continuous summer chamber music series in the United States. I've served on their board, enjoyed
lots of their concerts, and they bring some top-notch talent to the
area. It's a lovely barn-style venue, and I highly recommend it. Every
summer they host a free series of Saturday, 11:00 a.m. concerts for
children. Go - you'll be hooked, too!
- Lake Minnewaska
leads FREE weekly baby and toddler walks and hikes in the Minnewaska State
Park, among other activities.
Schedule information here.
- The Esopus Library
has a FREE Babies and Books program on Wednesdays, among lots of other activities for
- The Hudson Valley Summer Music Festival
sponsors FREE outdoor summer music concerts in New Paltz, Beacon, Poughkeepsie,
- FREE car seat checks
Use this. Why? Because
out of 150 seats my friend has checked, only 3 have been installed
correctly. You also need to pick up a "WHALE" (We Have A Little
Emergency) sticker to stick on the back of junior's seat so that if you
are unable to speak to emergency personnel in the event of an accident,
there's contact information for them to use to call someone. Not trying
to be morbid here, just trying to be real.
- Mid Hudson Music Together
The director, Kelleigh McKenzie is wonderful with the kids, and everyone
has lots of fun!
- Looking for an opportunity to go out and catch a current flick but
wondering about how to bring the potentially fussy baby? Go to a
drive-in movie! The first movie starts around 9:00 p.m. I put Declan
in his jammies, and he fell asleep on the drive over. We saw all of the
first movie and part of the second movie before he woke up to nurse,
which was easy to accommodate, and then he fell right back to sleep
again for the rest of movie number two. It was lots of fun, the ticket
price is $7 per person (baby is free) and it includes both movies if you
want to stay that late. The concession prices are better than the
regular movies, and the films are current. For those of you
who have been living under a rock like I have, they do the sound
differently these days. Instead of those walkie-talkie style hook-ups
to your window like I remembered, you just tune into the drive-in's
special limited range FM station. The miracles of modern
technology...... Check out these local drive-ins, they usually update the schedule every Friday.
- Dog On Fleas is a wonderful group
and you need to own a copy of their latest CD,
"Cranberry Sauce Flotilla." It's kids music that doesn't suck! They
play throughout the area but keep an eye out for them because they don't
update their concert dates on the web site very often.
- La Leche League,
if you nurse, come check out a meeting....Great way to meet other moms, too!