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Fitness Blog – Page 11 – Mombie Fitness

Some Of The Recent News

Recent News

Food and Drink Kitchen Korner

Sunday’s Kitchen Korner: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Welcome to Sunday's Kitchen Korner, this week it's Chocolate Chip Cookies. Ah, a Classic. I actually don't bake--not so much as don't but can't. What is it with me and following recipe's? I always like to deviate from the path, and with cooking you can do that, but not with baking! So anyone who has great baking recipes with pictures who wants to submit them along please feel free to email me at! This weeks submission is again from Jerilyn Deschamps! Many thanks once again for this fantastic recipe! Yum, now I want cookies!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

What you'll need:
2/3 cup (125g) sugar ½ cup of butter 1 large egg ½ tsp baking soda ½ tsp salt 1 cup plus 2 tsp flour 1 tsp vanilla 3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips  
What do I do next?
cookies Preheat oven to 375 Cream butter with sugar to light and fluffy, add egg and vanilla and mix well.  Add baking soda, salt and flour and add chocolate chips.  Place the cookie dough into the fridge for 30 minutes.  Drop by rounded large teaspoon onto a un greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until lightly brown.  Put on cooling rack. Serve and Enjoy! Jerilyn also notes that to make Chocolate Cookies "instead of chocolate chips, melt 4 squares of Baker's Semi Sweet chocolate and add it to the batter and mix well"   Stay tuned for next weeks, Sundried Tomato Pesto Tortellini! Until then, happy cooking!
Current Events

If Michael Jackson ever had twins: One would be White one might be Black.

Ryan and Leo Ok so maybe not. But how cool would it be to have twins that came out varying degree's of colour? Well on July 11th a German couple gave birth to two baby boys, one white, and one black. The odd's are technically two in a million, isn't that crazy? Experts say that because mom is darker skinned (from Ghana--West Africa) and Dad is a Blond haired blue eyed German they caused quite a stir at local Sana Hospital in Lichtenberg, Germany. The Twins' mother, Florence Addo-Gerth said the most important thing was that the babies were healthy... Most likely there were some mixed gene's in the couples backgrounds that decided to show themselves in their beautiful baby boys Leo and Ryan. image The boys have already shown some different personalities their mom said, "Ryan (the light skinned baby is described as Spirited", while "Leo is laid back.") For all of you who don't know what spirited means--translation... Mr. Fussypants! Good luck to mom and dad! See Original Article.
New Mom Product Reviews

Ok so twitter away….

image This whole phenomenon I had hoped would pass me has sucked me in.  I've caved. My husband has been tweeting away for some time, and until this week I have successfully resisted. Thinking, who cares what I tweet, what on earth is a tweet, and why on earth would I "status" update people who have no idea who I am. Which brought me to this:

What's a tweet:

A tweet is essentially an update on what you are doing. You have 140 characters to make it count. Essentially it's a "status update" for those of you familiar with Facebook.

Who tweet's:

Everyone. From your best friends, to people you've never met, even David Usher is on twitter. Oh and for those of you who are American, even Obama is on Twitter! So recently and willingly I've become a fan of twitter and it's nuances-- I get surprised and stupidly excited when someone "follows" me on twitter. Now, note, someone can be "followed" (ie.---you get their tweets) but they're not necessarily following you. So if someone "famous" has 4000 people following them, they may only be following 600 people.

Why does anyone care what I tweet:

Why does anyone care about blogs? Because it allows you to peak into the little things in other people's lives. Most people are Voyeurs at heart (hence the lasting popularity of reality TV 10 years later). People generally like to hear that so and so is playing with their kids, or so and so is out for lunch with the girls. It the space in between the emails and blog posts!

Something I found out because of Twitter:

Tweightloss-This new weight loss support team is scheduled to begin on Monday July 28th! This fly by night motion for weight loss came about when Audrey McClellan (Former NYC fashion maven, raising 4 boys under 4--she's my new superhero) posted on her twitter feed that she had wanted to lose some weight. Low and behold many, many, many others also responded that they too also needed to drop some weight. And a new baby was born--Tweightloss. Please check out her blog to find out more about this next new craze on losing weight! So do you want an in depth walk through on Twitter? Please click on Jane's blog for a really in depth walk through on how to get on the wave that is Twitter!

The bottom line

It's a cute little tool that let's people know what you're up to, from folding laundry to getting your dry cleaning. You can have the "updates" sent to your cell to always be informed. Although I'd be interested to know how many more people who have blackberries tweet. Texting on my cell phone is horribly slow, I'm sure that if more of my mommy friends had blackberries, twitter would be a bigger craze among the mommy crowd. Follow me on twitter!
Advice Books Humor Mom Videos

Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage

So my sister sent a video file to me about the difference between men and women's brains. I watched a bit of it, and thought yeah this is pretty funny. But then I thought I'd check out this guys site, to see if he had anything else to say that was "funny." image Well it turns out, he's not only a pastor, but has also written a book (Laugh your way to a Better Marriage), and goes on tours to do Marriage seminar's (you do not have to be married so you could call them couples sessions too). Here's a little bit of background on this guy!

Who is he?

According to his site: "Mark Gungor is a pastor, speaker, author, musician and producer.  With 30 years of speaking all around the globe, Mark is one of the most sought after speakers on marriage and family in the country today."

What's the point of the seminar?

"...Each year thousands of couples attend his Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage seminar.  In the seminar, Mark teaches biblical principles for marriage in a way that empowers couples without being 'preachy.'" One of the most important points of the seminar's was this one: "Laugh Your Way let’s men be men. We don’t try to turn men into women with a weekend of touchy-feely, highly emotional sessions.  The event explores marriage by making men look good while still making women feel valuable and wanted.  A win-win for everyone." The Seminar's are designed for everyone so if you are happily married; on shaky ground in your marriage, not married, divorced or single, Mark makes a point that the course is designed to help implement healthy relationship actions into your current and/or future relationships.

What if I want to go to a seminar?

Mark offer's weekend seminar's designed for men and for women. This is a direct quote from his site about his seminar: "Why a laughter approach to a Marriage Seminar? For one simple reason: to overcome the male objection to a seminar. Let's be honest, a marriage seminar isn't the first thing a guy thinks of when he thinks of "a fun way to spend the weekend." We get that... To see if he's performing near your area click here. It's best to go to his website and then click on the tour button, as it's a little more user friendly. On the link I just posted, it's hard to tell where he is live and where it's just a video event. Friday night's (7 p.m.-10 p.m.) Seminar is "The Tail of Two Brains" where he teaches us that men and women are wired differently." Saturday's Sessions(9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) are: “Why Does He/She Do That??” is a session where Mark teaches couples how to discover the true reasons why their spouse does what he or she does. “The #1 Key To Incredible Sex.” In this one he covers five steps couples can take to achieve a healthy, fantastic sex life ending with The #1 Key to Incredible Sex. “How to Stay Married and NOT Kill Anybody” is the final session.  Mark covers the subject of forgiveness and shows how to avoid building resentment in marriage. So you can rest assured that you still actually have a weekend even after going to this weekend event because it ends on a Saturday afternoon at 12:30 p.m.

Is this going to cost me a fortune?

No. Well not in my books. It's $35.00 USD for one person and $69.00USD for a couple. Keep in mind there isn't any food provided at these events, and depending on where you live you might be renting a hotel for a night.

Do I have to go somewhere to hear this guy?

Nope, he offer's one of his seminar's on DVD. The following topic's are: "The Tale of Two Brains", "Why Does He/She Do That?", "How to Stay Married and Not Kill Anyone", Must-hear information in "The Number One Key to Incredible Sex", as well as Mark answering frequently asked questions on the bonus DVD. This retails for about $60.00 USD. You can buy "The Tail of Two Brains" separately for $21.99 USD.

So how can he help me?

image Mark has developed something called a flag page. The flag page is an online program that enables you to discover (or re-discover) who you are, and who God created you to be. Note: you do not have to be religious to take this test, it does not force Christianity down your throat. He makes a point that these pages will help you learn about yourself so that your partner can also learn about you. The most success comes from each partner creating their flag page.

What does it do?

By focusing on motivation and each person’s best qualities, the Flag Page teaches couple a new way to discover what makes their spouse tick. In order to create your own flag, you each need to purchase (USD $12.50) a code, and that will allow you to create your pages individually. I mean if you purchase two codes, that's only $25.00, it's about the cost of going out for lunch--and cheaper then dinner, so stay in and create your code, you may just learn something about yourself. Check out the flag page to hear more, it's really put together well, and Mark is there every step of the way explaining the "details." Once you've completed your page, you can actually send it to your family and friends so they can learn how to strengthen your relationship with them and ultimately help you be a better you!

Some things to look forward to:

Here is one of his clips called "ask more then once," I actually really like this one. Ask more then once:

The Bottom Line:

If you get anything out of this, the $12.50 for your Flag page is worth it to learn a little bit about yourself. Below is my flag: image I think it's interesting how he explains what the trait's do and do not. For example, if any of these traits are not supported or criticized, it is highly likely that those critiques are going to make you the most upset and make you feel unhappy in your life. If the people in your life support these flags of yours, the happier and more fulfilled you will be! He reminds us that this system tells us what we love, not just what we're good at. So while you may be a fantastic leader in real life, it may not be what you love to do. I purchased a flag page code for my husband to do, should be interesting what comes out of that! I'm definitely interested in going to hear Mark speak, so as long as there is a venue close by I'm so in! Keep in mind, that if you can't get your spouse or partner to go, don't wait around for them, go with a friend or by yourself!
Current Events Health and Fitness Mom Product Reviews

What disease’s are affecting your country right now?

HealthMap So with the never ending debate of should I vaccinate my children (that will be another posting at a later date) and why, I've come across this neat little tool that my husband sent to me. Do you want to know the latest diseases that are being reported around the world, let alone in your backyard?  This this is the tool for you! Keep in mind this tool reports on the last 30 days of activity. And I don't know about your country's process for reporting disorders but making it an official case is often harder then reporting symptoms of the actual disease!

What is HealthMap?

According too their website:
"HealthMap brings together disparate data sources to achieve a unified and comprehensive view of the current global state of infectious diseases and their effect on human and animal health. This freely available Web site integrates outbreak data of varying reliability, ranging from news sources (such as Google News) to curated personal accounts (such as ProMED) to validated official alerts (such as World Health Organization). Through an automated text processing system, the data is aggregated by disease and displayed by location for user-friendly access to the original alert. HealthMap provides a jumping-off point for real-time information on emerging infectious diseases and has particular interest for public health officials and international travelers."
It was developed by Clark Freifeld (a Research Software Developer with the Children's Hospital Informatics Program), and John Brownstein, PhD (an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School).

How do I use it?

Select what feed you want the tool to pull the information from. (I just have them all selected) and then select what diseases you are looking to find out information about. image I was scrolling down the list of diseases to see what was being reported on, and one of the diseases that was listed was Syphilis! I admit I had no idea what it was, but I always thought it was a sexual disease of the past! So.. as it turns out there is a huge outbreak in Indiana! If you want to learn more about the disease you can click the little image Information "i" and you'll see which sources you can get information from. (See to the Right) Anyway's, once you do that you can click on the little bubble that shows you if it's a image outbreak or a image out break. So for the Syphilis, it's a localized problem in Indiana and in Alabama. Once you click on the bubble it lists the articles that have been released to the public in regards to these diseases. See the article below describing the outbreak. I was surprised at how many people had AIDS in such a small area. I knew it was a problem, but wow that's a lot of people!
"Health Department Investigating Syphilis Outbreak By Devon Scott 6/25/2008 The Marion County Health Department is scrambling to figure out where an outbreak of syphilis came from. Paul Babcock with the Health Department says there have been 60-70 new cases of syphilis in a downtown clinic just in the last few months. That's more than the total number of syphilis cases in 2007. Babcock says it's important to get tested for that and HIV/AIDS. Wednesday is National HIV Testing Day. The health department is offering HIV tests at more than 20 sites across the area. Babcock says more than 4600 people are living with HIV and AIDS in the area"

The bottom Line

So have fun with it, you can check on things around the world! But so far, because it's a new tool it has it's limitations. It's only pulling things that have been reported on in the news!  There are many diseases that do not get classified for a long time or accurately so this tool is only as good as the data it's given. It's still neat to check out things affecting our neighbouring countries! Eventually it will be more accurate once we have medical data that is linked around the world. But in the mean time enjoy obsessing about the diseases in your backyard! Here's the link!
Advice Babies Books Humor Product Reviews Top 10 Lists

The most useful or useless baby products! 0-3 Months

If there is anything I've learnt in the past 4 and a half months is that no matter how many times people tell you .. you need X, your baby may hate X. Or how many people say, don't waste your time on buying X, my son really got the use out of X. So here is what I consider my best, the worst, and the swing vote purchases for the first three months.

The Useful Products

Fisher Price swing

1)The Swing

—Yes it needs a pronoun—We were fortunate to have been given a Fisher Price Ocean Wonder's swing on loan from a friend of mine. I swear it saved our sanity for these first three months. Especially if you are into the Happiest baby method's you are going to want a swing to help sooth your baby. My baby was one of those who needed constant motion to keep him content, lord knows what I did while I was pregnant to make him that way--it certainly wasn't aerobics! **Note, try to get one that plugs in or you'll go through a HUGE amount of D batteries! Keep in mind, a swing will not calm a screaming baby, you must calm them down first before you place them in the swing. Always make sure you follow the guide lines for the swing including the weight restrictions, and if they start leaning forward trying to grab the toys they are too mature for the swing.

Sooth and Play Fisher Price2)Bouncy chair

—We have the Sooth N Play Fisher price one, and I have to say it was a love hate relationship. Some nights and days I was so happy I had this bouncy chair, and other's my son did not care for it. But I found I got more use out of it then not so it is a favourite of mine. The vibration he could have done without I'm sure, and now that he's 18 lbs it sinks so low to the ground I don't dare put him in it. Swaddle

3)Swaddle blanket

We  had a few store bought ones given to us, and a few made from my mother in law. I have to say that the ones my MIL (mother in law) made were the best ones for us. If you haven’t had a chance to see my blog on the Happiest baby on the block, you’ll see the swaddle and just how big it is. But to make your own you are going to need 42 square inches of fabric (stretchy thin cotton) and either surge the ends or put ribbing on them. Not only do you need the blanket but you need the small piece of fabric I use in my “real tech mom” swaddle. It saved my husband and I from jumping off a bridge with how little my “little man” slept!Happiest Baby

4)The Happiest Baby on the Block

There is a book, but unless you have the time to read it, the DVD does a fantastic job of outlining what to do, and the best thing is that when you are sleep deprived it shows you what to do. Please click here for an indepth review of this product. If you are considering purchasing this book before your baby makes it's arrival, it is worth the read. It really goes indepth into the reasons behind the magic! Sleep sheep

5)White noise maker

We used a product called a sleep sheep, but the happiest baby comes with a white noise cd—the cd was great because it’s more intense for those babies who need the sound of a hair dryer to fall asleep. The white noise helps them adjust to the silence that is now their world. While in the womb it is louder then a vacuum, so imagine being born into silence after 9 months of sound.. pretty scary and hard to adjust to! Now that my son is over 4 months he still likes the vacuum, but not to fall asleep.. now he’s just amazed by it!

6) Video MonitorVideo monitor

What can I say about these. I obsessed about which one to buy. I was considering the Angel care one, because I know I can be paranoid if I want to be. But after reading the reviews on the angel care (some mom’s say it drove them crazy because sometimes it goes off without need—baby is still breathing but has moved off the pad or you forget to turn it off and pick baby up) I think I would lose my mind. So instead I chose to spy on my baby LOL I chose a video monitor because I can look at him without having to enter his room. We chose the summer version and while it’s $250 in Canada, I got it online from EBay for $104 plus $20 shipping.. great deal in my books. I just love looking at him when he sleeps, they all look like angels! The only thing is it only picks up baby pitches, so if I was in his room talking, my husband could not hear me on the monitor—blessing in disguise?---or awesome, I’ve yet to decide. I have also read how you can “tap”into these video feeds from outside the home (this is a con), but i’m not sure how that works. Either way I’m glad I have it and wouldn’t change it for the world.

Medela Pump 7) Medela pump

(manual and mini electric pump) I’m reviewing this one because this is the one I purchased. There are also establishments that rent hospital grade unit’s for around 60$ a month with a deposit and you have to spend 50$ to buy the attachments that you keep. Now because my baby takes a bottle—thank god, it has allowed me to go out with my hubby or friends without worrying that my baby won’t eat. BUT a recent incident has lead me to believe this pump sucks. First of all I was not paying attention one morning one hand pumping at 5 a.m. and it overflowed, since then the suction has been little to non existent, I found out they do not service their pumps, you need to buy a new one. Well after buying a mini electric pump and manual one (all in one-$164) i’m not willing to spend more money on a new one. So while I loved to freedom, id question buying one knowing that you can’t fix them with the company. BUT in terms of the effectiveness this pump is one of the best. I have heard great things about the swing pump should you want to spend the cash!** I've since fixed my pump thanks for Kelly's suggestions (at bottom of this post)

Gerber 8) Gerber breastmilk storage bags

Again this only applies if you are breast feeding these bags are fantastic. They are thicker—if you are freezing your milk (these rock), you are less likely to have freezer burnt milk. Now I have heard great things about the medela milk storage bags but have not used them and cannot advocate towards them. These bags have a Ziploc seal, with a date spot to write on.

9) Lansinoh Nursing pads

—again only great if you are breastfeeding, but these things rock. LansinohThey are thin and absorbent. I wouldn’t recommend any other brands besides the medela ones. I had a hard time finding a lot of medela products so the Lansinoh ones worked well for me. They also aren’t crazy expensive--if you go to walmart. They have a powder in them that turns the milk into a gel, instead of soaking your boob it absorbs the moisture away from you boobs—which is great because the last thing you want to worry about is thrush, or leaking pads. Oh and another really great product that I would have died without during the beginning of breastfeeding was my Lansinoh nipple cream. Your poor nipples have never felt pain like this, I can assure you. The cream saved my life and my sanity. It's a bonus that you do not have to wash it off. Again Medela has nipple cream too that is of the same caliber! formula storage

10) Formula storage containers

—I’m talking about the ones that divvy up the formula for each feeding in separate compartment. While I heard they are quite pricey, they are apparently worth it! Seriously ladies if you are formula feeding, these things are a must have for you on the go!

11) image The Exercise ball!

So for all of you mom's who bought this birthing ball--how many of you actually used it all that much during your pregnancy or birth?  Well it came in handy after baby came home that's for sure. If you baby likes to bounce but you're too tired to bounce baby because let's face it, we don't all have arms like Arnold Schwarzenegger! This thing allows you to bounce baby while sitting down. (Hold baby close to you, in cradle position or up against your shoulder and bounce away---Thanks Daniela forgot about this one.. how soon we forget)

Top money wasters

1)Most Toys
Generally they're not interested in them, my son was more interested in me then the toys. Plus stuff that has too many bells and whistles is really too much stimulation for most babies. I'm sure they'll come in handy for the upcoming stages! lamaze toy
2) Play mat's
Again my son was not interested in laying down, he constantly wanted to sit up. You just never know with your child as they are all individuals. Namely the 50$ Lamaze tummy toy (a purchase made by my husband), my son hates this thing... well more so doesn't know what to do with it. See how impressed he is?
2)Baby Bath Tubs
tummy tub The only bath tub that I've heard positive things about is this Tummy Tub. For us we had The Safety First bath tub that my son hated--it was not for lack of trying.. he just did not like bath time! I ended up transitioning him to our big tub as soon as possible. It took me at least a month to feel comfortable to bathe him in our big bath tub.  While I tried as much as I could to keep him comfortable he just hated the small tub. We maybe got a little bit of use out of it the first few weeks when we were scared to hold a slippery wet baby, but after that he just screamed when we put him in it. Note: when bathing your baby, make the water warm. The hospitals scare us into making the water luke warm--to cold. And by all means I'm not saying burn your baby, but making the water nice and warm (like you would enjoy) is probably your best bet! 3)Travel system (car seat and stroller) Peg Perego This was one of my favourite buys at first, however once my son decided he needed to see what was going on around him, he was NOT content to sit in the car seat at all.  He was great in it while he was still small he didn't do much but sleep (0-2 months). But now he won't even go in the stroller/car seat combo, and can't stand the car seat. I certainly don't regret buying a good brand (Peg Perego) I'm waiting to see what happens when he actually can sit up in the stroller. For now we're using a baby carrier that he likes much more, although he hated that for the first 3 months as well, hence his nick name: Mr. Fussypants.
4)New born sizes of clothesIt's a boy!
Bottom line: they grow out of them so quickly, I think we used them to bring him home and for the first few days, but mostly you alternate a few outfits at first, because you're so darn tired, you can't possibly find what you want when you want it and then bother to co-ordinate it or put it away (after it's been washed). Simplify those first few weeks!
5)Baby Towels
Sure they're cute, but really... just use bigger ones, most of the baby towels are of poor quality and fell apart in the wash.
6)Crib BeddingCrib bedding
It's for show (as I was told not to put anything but baby and a crib sheet in bed), and most places want at least $150 + for a set, which is ridiculous when you think that you can't actually use more then the sheet for the first year or so.
7) Bottle warmer
Bottle warmer Again a purchase made by my husband. We found it burnt the milk more often then heated it properly. He was just rewarming breastmilk so maybe that was the problem but in my opinion, warm tap water works better. Save your $40.
8)Bravado nursing bra
Ok, so I know these are supposed to be the cream of the crop for nursing bra's and maybe the one my sister lent me was not one that was meant for me, but it was not a cheap one ($75.00) and let me tell you, I've never hung so low in my life.Bravado While it had no underwire (which is not recommended when your milk is coming in--because it increases the risk of plugged ducts) I desperately needed something more supportive. They do have other bra's on their website, but I just was not willing to spend that kind of cash hoping it would work out.


The following can be construed either way (positive or negative). But the following are some that I find are either a  yay or a nay purchase.
1)Change table
stork craft I won’t bother to tell you the horror story I had with the storkcraft brand of change table I purchased at walmart over a month and a half before my due date. BUT I love my change table. It allows me to change him and store stuff all at the same time. It’s wide enough and long enough that I don’t have to worry about him hitting his legs on the sides---Tip: purchase a thick change pad from toys R Us or babies R us, instead of the cheap thing that comes with it. But some of the change tables out there are not wide enough. Make sure it is as wide as it possibly can be so your baby does not bonk it’s legs and arms on sharp edges. Also depending on how many levels your house has, it may not be practical for you to run upstairs every time to change a diaper. Practicality is key!
2)Bibs and Facecloth's
Bib I had milk flying every which way, my poor son tried to keep up but there is only so much one little boy can take. These things saved us countless times, and I think from 0-2 months the facecloth's did the trick, but after that when the drool came in, the bibs---you can never have enough, saved my poor son being totally drenched. When my son starts solids, I'll probably curse certain bibs, but for now they all do the same job, I do like the thicker material ones. But some women have expressed that these things just added to their laundry list, I think they’re a good addition but it depends on your needs, keep in mind formula stains, breastmilk does not!
3)Baby clothes
baby clothes Depending on your family and friends situation, don’t buy too much clothing. What drove me nuts the first month was the button up sleepers. I hated those things, with how often you change diapers at 1,2, and 3 a.m. they drove me nuts. Try to buy ones zippers if you can find them. You will receive a lot of clothes from people that you’ll struggle to get use out of. Tip: if buying for a new mom, keep in mind the season and age of child you buy for. While it may be summer now, winter is fast approaching and baby will be months bigger then he/she is now. Buy according to season/size.
Bumbo So while it is neat and so cool to see them sit up so early, we didn’t get much use out of it for the amount it costs. Thank goodness it was a gift. I mean by the time I realized I could put him in it, maybe 2 months, he wouldn’t tolerate it for long and then i’d have to take him out right away. I did get some cute pictures out of it, but now he get’s stuck in it and freaks out because it doesn't move. I think it’s a neat novelty for an in between stage.
Crib My son slept in his crib as soon as I got the crib mattress (a week after he was born), but some parents have the best intentions of crib sleeping only to have their babes in bed with them. I think it’s personal preference, but I've had people tell me it’s a waste of money, their child never slept in their crib... well mine does and I'm so happy about that! 6)Co-Sleeper Close and secure baby sleeper If you plan to have your baby in bed with you, you can buy something called a Co-Sleeper. While the concept is neat, it depends on how big your bed is. If you have anything smaller then a King Size bed, it may take up quite a bit of room on your bed. Not only that, but if your baby is born long and/or large, your babe may grow out of it before you get much use out of it.

The Bottom Line

All the usefulness of these products will depend on your baby. Some of the top ones that worked for us may not work for your baby. Keep in mind that at each stage of the game, the product's usefulness changes, and what you love one month, you may hate another. Try to get a number of things second hand. All of these items can be quite pricey, so if you know friends who've had children see if you can borrow some of these items to test them out. And believe it or not, the good, the bad and the mentionable can be interchangeable, depending on who you talk to. If you are in doubt, I found that the reviews on Toys R Us's website to be quite useful. Happy Shopping! Oh and if you are looking to gift some of these items to your expectant friends, please, please, please include a gift receipt!