The two words "new baby" often come along with a couple of others: "new products." Expectant moms easily can be swept up into a baby-gear-buying frenzy. But it's not until the baby actually arrives that new moms realize it is the smaller, everyday items that really make your life easier. Through Bump Club and Beyond, the city's largest social event network for moms and moms-to-be, I see and hear what products new moms love every single day.
Here are my top picks for life-saving products every new mom should have on her list (or at least her wish list).
Simple Wishes Hands-Free Pumping Bra. The name says it all. If you're planning to nurse and eventually pump, this item is a must. It sells for $38, but this multi-tasker actually is priceless.
Itzy Ritzy Wet Bag. Don't ever leave home without an extra change of clothing tucked into this reusable wet bag. When your little one has an accident, the dirty clothes go inside and everything else in your bag stays clean. $18.
Magnificent Baby Layette. This clothing company is any new parent's dream. No more struggling with snaps in the middle of the night-all closures use a simple, patented, magnetic system that make diaper and outfits changes a snap. Starting at $25.
Innobaby Packin' Smart. This stackable container is perfect for families on the go. With three to five separate compartments, this smartly designed product helps parents keep formula, pacifier and snacks organized. $13-$20.
Boon's Naked Tub: The key to a good baby/infant tub is the ability to grow with your needs. Boon's two-position collapsible tub takes you from newborn to toddler, allowing you to recline it, expand it, drain it, collapse it and hang it up to dry. $60.
Tiny Love Gymini Play Mat: A play mat is incredibly important for early childhood development. With sounds, colors and interactive components, these colorful mats help babies love to practice their tummy time. $35-$70.
Britax Stroller Organizer: You can leave your bag at home! Designed to fit most strollers, this great piece of gear keeps everything organized while you are out for a walk. $29.99.
Baby DeeDee Sleep Nest: This duvet-style sleeping bag for babies and infants keeps your little ones safe and warm. $39.
Summer Infant Baby Touch Digital Monitor: As far as monitors go, digital and video is a must-have for city living. As your family grows, this system can grow right along with you and accommodate up to four cameras. $200.
Skip Hop's Complete Sheet 4-piece set: This bumper-free bedding set keeps the nursery stylish by featuring bold graphics around the mattress and a contrasting pattern on the top of the sheet. The set comes in eight styles and includes a wearable blanket, linen crib skirt and nursery blanket. $120.
4Moms Origami Stroller: This revolutionary stroller folds and unfolds with the push of a button-leaving your hands free to take care of baby. Other features include a pedometer that will tell you how many miles you've logged and a lighting system to keep you safe at night. $850.
Stokke MyCarrier: This is the first baby carrier that can accommodate a newborn facing inward, a baby facing outward, or a child on your back. Designed for birth to 3 years. $249.99.
Clek Foonf: The Foonf convertible car seat allows your baby to sit rear-facing longer, accommodating babies 6 months and older; kids can stay rear-facing until 45 pounds and forward-facing until 65 pounds. It's easy to install, convenient and recyclable-and complies with the new National Transportation Safety Administration rules. $476.
Orbit Baby Double Helix: Orbit fans are anxious for the double stroller version of the G2 to come to market later this year. It will come with all of the convenient features provided by the single, and parents can buy the double straight away or the attachment feature for their original system. Price not yet available.
Lindsay Pinchuk is founder of Bump Club and Beyond, Chicago's largest social event company connecting moms and moms-to-be through up to a dozen events per month.