Keep Your Bumbo

Lots of blogging moms post lists of products they absolutely love for their baby.

My own list is very short.

In fact, it’s one item.

When we got pregnant I really didn’t care to spend hours researching the best stroller or carseat or crib or bedding or swing or sling or bouncer or bottle warmer or . . . wow, I am staring down hours of my life I’ve saved by not delving into crazy research.

Our stroller/carseat combo decision was made when some church friends offered us one for $20. Who cared what the brand was or where the cupholders were located? Best of all, I didn’t feel sick to my stomach after reading six million conflicting reviews (I am very very bad at buying things online because the reviews make me decide that, nevermind, we don’t actually need to buy anything after all since making do is preferable to making a decision because what if I hate whatever we buy?).

So, yes, don’t ask for my opinion on things for a baby, because I really have no opinions.

Except that I do not wish to live without a sound machine. Frankly, I don’t even have an opinion about which brand of sound machine. I simply bought the one Ralphie had because I trust her judgement and it was $20. Also it runs on batteries or with a plug. And it’s small and flat and slips easily into a purse. And it doesn’t look hideous on her bookcase.

We do not leave home without this thing. We’ve had loud parties in our living room, which bumps up to Ella’s room and she hasn’t made a peep. I firmly believe it helps her recognize it’s time for bed, regardless of where we are or what contraption we are putting her in to sleep.

When the cord somehow got partially severed while I was out of town, Bart raced out and bought another sound machine just in case one of our other cords didn’t work for it (happily, the monitor cord worked like a charm, so the new sound machine is still safe in its box, ready to be returned).

And of course, like all baby items, it probably will be completely worthless for your child, even though I think it’s the best thing ever.

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  • Reply creole wisdom June 14, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Ella is darling 🙂

    At first I thought that was a vacuum of some sort. When I nannied I relied heavily on the sleep sheep, another sleep sound machine. I loved that thing 🙂

    Also, I love your philosophy on buying items. $20 is a great deal for a stroller and your sentiments about the cup holder are cracking me up.

  • Reply Janet June 14, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    I don't even have a registry yet, but consider this already on it. Thanks for the strong recommendation! 🙂

  • Reply preethi June 14, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    I cannot tell you how strongly I agree with everything in this post. I even wrote a blog post about the hair dryer early in Nat's life. A few weeks later, we upgraded to a sound machine and we haven't looked back. We seriously without it.

  • Reply Camille June 14, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    You're right, it's completely worthless for my child 🙂 I'm glad it works for you, though!
    I always chuckle at these lists of baby products that Everyone-Absolutely-Has-To-Have because every baby is SO different.

    Also, I feel you pain about researching. We recently had to buy a new stroller, because my old, cheap, used one is being torn to shreds on all these brick sidewalks around here (plus, I need JBallz to be able to nap in it and it didn't recline, and it's crazy hot and it didn't have a shade, and it still had to be small so I could easily get on the metro blah,blah,blah) and I swear, just doing the research for that stroller made me break out in hives!

  • Reply Sherry June 14, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    We have that exact sound machine, only it's for us, not for Ike. Initially we used it for him, but I gradually weaned him off of it because I'm terrified of him being unable to sleep without it – if that makes sense.

    Instead, Eric is unable to sleep without it. You win some and you lose some, I guess.

  • Reply Miriam June 14, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Oh what I wouldn't have given for something like this 35 years ago!

  • Reply Nikki June 14, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    We tried a sound machine when Jay was younger to help him sleep and it did nothing. Now that he's a little older, it works wonders. As soon as I turn it on he lays his head down on my shoulder because he knows it's time to sleep. Got in on clearance for $5 at Walmart!

  • Reply ssm June 14, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Yep, totally agree. We have a small house (two bedrooms on the main floor and the boys share a room) and the sound machine is a life-saver most evenings when we're doing simple stuff like loading the dishwasher or just want to listen to the news. I bet it's even more useful in an apt situation with potentially noisy neighbors.

  • Reply Emily Kate June 14, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    I definitely DID spend hours upon hours researching baby gear. It's an addiction I have. On the bright side, I'm totally happy with everything we bought (or let's be honest, most of it was bought by my parents are gifted from a baby shower.) But I completely agree with everything you said about the sound machine. It is our BFF. Addie struggled with sleep for sooo many months (I blame the reflux) but we kept the routine the same every night and now she will honestly sleep anywhere as long as the sound machine is on! Best sleep cue ever.

  • Reply Melissa June 14, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    I can't live without my sound machine. It drowns out the neighbors, thunderstorms, and my cat, who demands a feeding at 4:30 am. It's a lifesaver.

  • Reply Chelsea June 14, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    We love white noise…a MUST for apartment living and kids. But another easy and cheap remedy is we bought some old radio alarm clocks at Goodwill for $2 each and tune it into AM static…sounds identical to the waterfall setting on a true noise machine. 🙂

  • Reply Holly Hoffman Spears June 14, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    sonnet just walked by and goes "hey, there's my noisemaker! i love my noisemaker!" clearly, we are also fans. we never go anywhere without that thing. nate and i have one in our room too and i don't think i can sleep without it.

  • Reply Angella June 14, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    Our kids have slept with fans in their rooms since day one for the white noise effect. We have a split level house, so all sounds go right up to where the bedrooms are.

    We bring fans along when we travel, too. Everyone sleeps better. 🙂

  • Reply Bethany June 14, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    We use a fan, but I wish we had a sound machine to tote around on vacations! Definitely on my want list now. And thank you….I actually had hits today! 😀

  • Reply craftyashley June 14, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    I swear by sound machines too. My kids will only tolerate the white noise setting which is hard to find on sound machines nowadays. Do babies really fall asleep to jungle noises and whale calls?!

  • Reply Jenny June 15, 2011 at 1:53 am

    I can imagine that it is very useful. I can't sleep without my fan on. I've gotten so used to having some sort of white noise that I can't go without it.

  • Reply Erica June 15, 2011 at 3:09 am

    You would have super loud parties, you animal.

    North Meets South

  • Reply Kristi June 15, 2011 at 4:01 am

    I never understood the sound machine thing, but Blaine and I watch sitcoms loudly at night, so maybe that is doing the same thing. And I won't admit to how long it took me to realize that there weren't just an absurd amount of crickets near Ralphie's house 🙂

  • Reply Mrs. Doolittle June 15, 2011 at 11:31 am

    I think if I were you I would not return the sound machine. Save it until your next baby shower and give a gift you know was indispensable to you!

  • Reply Chrissie June 15, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    My husband and I have slept with a fan on for longer than I can remember (we both had this habit prior to getting married, which worked out splendidly!), and now we even use a sleep machine app on my iPhone as well. I can definitely see how this would be useful for a baby!

  • Reply Packrat June 15, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Times have changed so much. Almost everything I had for my first child was secondhand. We did buy a new car seat and high chair. Don't believe there was such a thing as sound machines. The radio was usually on in the background, tho.

  • Reply jpetroroy September 15, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    I think I'm going to register for just this one 🙂

  • Reply Carly October 27, 2011 at 2:15 am

    I due to lightest-sleeper-ever baby girl at my house, and the sudden turn in the weather making it not wise to leave a fan running in her room anymore… I've been thinking about getting a sound machine. And I remembered this post of yours and came back to see which one you use.

    Here's my question: does it do white noise? Or do i have to choose a nature sound? For some reason i just assumed it was white noise I wanted… but do you think the nature sounds are better? Except for "heartbeat" I'm sure they would work just fine and be more pleasant. I guess. Anyhow… your thoughts? Does it drive you nuts to hear the "waterfall" for hours on end? Probably it's not up loud enough for you to hear it anyway. Ok.

  • Reply Nicole March 5, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Oh my goodness. Katie is just past 2 now, and for the past week and a half she's been waking up at like, 3:00 every.single.morning. crying. I'm fairly convinced now that there must be something that's waking her up (a neighbor's alarm? A siren maybe?). We do live in a much noisier city now. Remembering your recommendation, I'm purchasing this machine right now. If she starts sleeping through the night without interruptions again, this next baby might just have to be named Janssen…if it's a girl, of course.

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