Good Baby Stuff

My advice: Buy a cheap baby bathtub


This is my inexpensive bathtub. I still use it.

This is my inexpensive bathtub. I still use it.

Wow. I’ve hardly posted lately because I spend my days chasing Baby Squirming Salmon, who crawls everywhere and pulls himself up on his knees onto everything. In fact, I think he’s getting all sooty in the fireplace right now. 

His hands and feet get all dusty these days, so I’ve had to give him quick baths almost every night. In contrast to the once-weekly baths I gave him from ages newborn to 7 months, that won’t fly anymore. He’s too dusty and grimy (it’s the summertime, too). 

He sits quite nicely in his inexpensive bathtub that I registered for. I think it cost like $10 or so. And my cousins who gave it to me as a gift thought to buy other items from my baby shower registry and use the tub as a basket. It was a lovely gift, I used everything inside!

Some tubs are outrageously priced. I think I saw one for $45 or so, with all the bells and whistles. Fine, but really not needed. Even that strange-looking cup shaped one costs $40. And it’s just a plastic tub.

Spend the money on a nice high chair instead, they spend way more time in there.


What Cillian is doing now: He’s moved on from the fireplace all the way into the kitchen, where he’s climbing up on something. He’s also babbling “Errr, urgghh.” Yesterday at the Salsa St. Clair festival he ate churros. The day before he ate naan bread. He is really spoiled for international variety of food. I don’t think I ate those things until my late-20s.


Sophie the teething giraffe


Sophie is my favourite toy! I like to bite her ears and wring her neck.

Sophie is my favourite toy! I like to bite her ears and wring her neck.

I wish I had invented Sophie the Giraffe. She’s a baby shower registry staple. C really loves Sophie, she’s one of the few toys he will eagerly reach his hands out for when you hold her up in front of him. Soon as he gets her, he holds her legs and chews her ear nubs. Then he gets her by the neck and bends her in half.

Babies love her. Her face is kind of nipple shaped. Stroll around my ‘hood and you’ll see a Sophie tucked in almost every stroller, or in the stroller basket or most likely, hanging out of some baby’s mouth.

She’s French, the little strumpet. Made by a company called Vulli. She’s all rubber, which is nice in an age where “plastic” and “baby gear” seem to go hand in hand. (Long aside: I’m sure I’m not the only mom who feels that plastic goods are far too pervasive in the world of baby gear. Plastic bottles, plastic pacifiers, plastic spoons, bowls, food packaging, teething rings, rattles…babies in the developed world probably put more plastic in their mouths than anything else.)

And she costs around $20! That’s pricey for a teething toy baby could fling out the side of the stroller and you’d be none the wiser. I’ve created a Sophie leash using Cillian’s pacifier leash. At the end of it I tether Sophie’s sexy French giraffe leg. You ain’t going anywhere, mademoiselle!


What Cillian did today: Cried angrily in Pizza Pizza (can you blame him?), played peek-a-boo with his dad and giggled hysterically, gobbled two Baby Mum-Mum crackers (I ate part of one. They’re not bad). Crawled forward on his tummy. Slithered? It’s not really crawling yet. Babbled today more than every.

Cute custom baby announcements: Cards from Tinyprints


Why is this baby's face in my birth announcement card?

Why is this baby's face in my birth announcement card? makes awesome personalized stationery. While not baby gear, per se, custom baby announcement cards are a classy way to let friends and family members know the details of bambino’s birth, including a photo. Email is great for spreading the news, but everyone likes to get a piece of mail, especially when the contents are so cute. And hey, friends and family attended your baby shower, so this is a nice update (but do still send thank you cards for the gifts!).

Tinyprints gets the details right. Easy-to-use digital photo upload. Awesome customer service (a graphic designer called to tell me the photo I uploaded was too dark, in addition to my receiving a notification via email). It took me about 20 minutes to design my card. About one week later I got my cards. I’m sure it would have been even faster if I lived in the U.S.

This company also made my adorable baby shower invites,which my friend Y purchased for my party. 


What Cillian did today: Went for a stroll using his new-but-used Jolly Jumper parasol, ate meatballs (he loves homemade tomato sauce), gnawed an arrowroot cookie, screamed when I wouldn’t let him drink Pepsi out of my glass, drank water instead.

What to put on a baby shower registry



You better put useful stuff on your registry. Or else.

You better put useful stuff on your registry. Or else.

As a wannabe status mom, I sheepishly confess I wanted to be registered on a hip online baby registry. I ended up registered at Babies R Us. Why? Mostly because my friend Y, a mom, told me such registries really won’t have all the things I wanted or needed for baby. True. How many organic onesies can a baby wear, after all? And how dumb do you look registering for them? Also, won’t Aunt Tilly be peeved that you’re asking for a ridiculously expensive XYZ instead of something more affordable from somewhere she trusts, like Sears? 

I was still in adult mindset when thinking about registering. You see, when you’re an adult, you can sacrifice functionality. You love that Marc Jacobs purse. Granted, it’s a bit heavier that you’d like, but it’s so cute! It doesn’t have a zipper to close it up, but that’s ok, the snap will work just fine. So you buy it. You use it. It wears a deep red welt into your shoulder, but you don’t care, you can stand it for the price of looking chic.

But when you have a baby, functionality is everything. It’s the difference between something being a good buy, and being worthless. Will the baby take to it or reject it? That’s what it comes down to. So, I registered at Babies R Us.

Here were some tips my friend Y imparted:

“You should literally have everything from a playpen to $1.99 washcloths, diaper wipes or whatever. Here are some
ideas for stuff I think is useful to have from this store:

–12+ cotton washcloths
–6 or so bottles if they sell Bisphenol free ones
–tons of onesies (size 0-3, 3-6, 6-9 months, you pick what you want or else others will find some weird looking sh*t)
–sleep sack
–6 to 10 receiving blankets
–warm fuzzy tactile blankies
–stacks and stacks of wipes, if you are using them
–Diaper wipe warmer (very important but I seem to be the only one who sees this!!! Seriously, put a winter-room-temperature wipe on your stomach and you’ll see what I mean)
–Fisher Price-type singing mobile we discussed
–A mirror/decorated fabric thingie that hooks onto the side of the crib which the baby can look at while lying down as you change the diaper
–toys (Manhattan toy, Parents Magazine toys, Fisher Price all have great developmental toys (albeit plastic),that I actually do suspect are better from a cognitive perspective than a lot of the wood, organic-y ones they sell at the yuppie stores. Think: complementary care and get a mix of these too. The Parents Magazine branded toys actually come in great colours, once they hit the 9 month plus mark, the Parents toys are really awesome.)
–Johnson’s Soothing Lavender Baby Wash (great used in the front loader to wash delicate newborn clothes (not including diapers. I never used this on  skin, just initial laundry.)
–Jolly Jumper

Hope this helps. Just stack that registry. It doesn’t look greedy. It just
gives people options and anything can be returned later.”


What Cillian did: Came with us to a casual Italian resto in our nabe to celebrate my nomination for a National Magazine Award, improbably slept through the whole repast in his Maclaren, continues to doze peacefully in said stroller, though it fast approaches his usual bedtime.