Being a postpartum doula has a lot of wonderful benefits; giving a new mom the confidence to bathe her baby, helping exhausted parents catch up on some much-needed sleep or making a homecooked meal for the family who just can’t do takeout for one more night. For these reasons and more, I love my job. But when I became pregnant with my second child, I discovered yet another benefit that I hadn’t thought of before… baby product testing! Each new family that I have helped to nurture has introduced me to some amazing new products that you don’t see on every “must have” registry list. Once that second line appeared on the pregnancy test I added each of these to my wish list, and now that our son has arrived they are helping me survive the chaos of life with a crazy toddler and a teeny newborn.
Here is my list of 5 underrated and underreported baby products:
- Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump
If breastfeeding is how you choose to feed your baby this little thing will be your best friend. It’s one piece, easy to clean and super portable. All you do is suction this “sucker” to one breast while feeding baby on the other side. No pumping with your hand, no need to plug into the wall, no noise to wake up the rest of your house and not a ton of little silicone pieces to clean. The Haakaa encourages and collects the let down so no more leaking and wasting that precious milk! I think it’s safe to say that no one likes pumping and this is especially true for me. I have not broken out my electric pump once and have already built a healthy little freezer stash thanks to the help of my Haakaa.
- Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Hammock-
Trying to get all your groceries and the infant car seat in the shopping cart is a difficult challenge. Add a toddler to the mix and its near impossible. This is where the Binxy baby shopping cart hammock comes to save the day! This hammock locks on to either side of the shopping cart, creating a cozy seat for your little one. You can put baby directly in the hammock, or if they are fast asleep in the car seat you can strap that right into the hammock too. This leaves the child seat in the front open for another child (or your eggs and bread)! The hammock also hangs over the cart opening so you can still slip groceries right underneath baby, leaving you most of the cart open to fill up. The only downside of this seat is that shopping will take you a bit longer because EVERYONE will want to stop and admire your baby and ask you where you got the shopping cart hammock!
- Baby Blue Giraffe Nail File
At almost every postpartum shift I work I am asked to trim baby’s nails. Those newborn nails are so tiny, making the entire process nerve wracking. And if you’ve ever accidently snipped the little fingertip, you’re scarred for life. The sandpaper emory boards never seem to work, loose their grit quickly and seem to irritate baby’s poor little fingers. The Baby Blue Giraffe File is so different! This little file is made of glass and works like a charm. Its smooth, non-irritating and you don’t have to spend 10 minutes filing each nail. A few swipes back and forth and the nail is smooth. The best part is it never gets dull so you only need to buy one.
- UPPAbaby Cabana Infant Car Seat Shade
My first baby was born in the late fall so I never had to give much thought to bugs and sunburns. We also got to stay inside and do a lot of snuggling in the beginning. The second time around, this is not an option. My very active toddler has a rich social life and we are out and about all the time. The first time we went to a park I spent the entire afternoon worrying if my 5-day old was too hot with the cover over the car seat, if he was getting too much sun or if the mosquitos were getting to him. That’s when I remembered seeing the UPPAbaby Car Seat Cabana! This contraption works as a shade, UV protection and bug net, all while letting air flow through so baby doesn’t get overheated. The cabana folds flat for travel and when you are ready to use, it pops up and slips right onto most car seats. You can use this for just a little shade and bug protection, or you can pull the UV shield over the top for extra protection when the sun’s rays are strong. The front unzips while on the seat, giving you an easy way to lift baby in and out without taking the cabana off. The Car Seat Cabana has removed a lot of the stress of taking my little one out on a sunny summer day.
- Boppy Newborn Lounger
You may have seen this last item before but, as I had done, not paid it much attention. I honestly thought it just looked like a fancy pillow, but after seeing several clients put it to use, I realized it really was a great product. This little cushion cradles baby just right and gives them a very portable place to rest comfortably. I love that I can easily carry and throw this thing anywhere to give my little guy a cozy and safe place to rest while I take a shower, do some meal prep, clean out a tiny toddler potty or log yet another 8-hour day at my 2.5-year old’s train table.
Kaleigh Daigle- Mom, doula and unofficial baby gear tester