Sunday, June 3, 2012

Diaper Tractor

Our closest friends, Matt and Kate, are less then a month away from delivering their first child.  A few weeks ago, we celebrated at Kate's baby shower.  We wanted to do something really special for them, and Scott found this wonderful idea online: 

Well, he found a wonderful PICTURE online, but I couldn't find the instructions anywhere.  However, I did find instructions for similar items, so I just had to wing it.  Here is our finished product:


Make the wheels first and set them aside.  I used Size 1 Pampers Swaddlers (the amount used will vary depending on the size of the tires, but I would buy at least an 84 pack of diapers to be safe).  Obviously, you can use any type of diapers you like, but I was partial to these when Felix was first born.  I followed the instructions found in this video for the wheels and they came out perfect. I wound up using the springform pan I have for the larger wheels and a Pyrex container for the smaller wheels.  I wrapped the wheels with a couple large rubber bands before removing them from the pan. 

I purchased thick green ribbon (2 rolls) and thin yellow ribbon (one roll).  I cut the ribbon to the lengths needed based on the size of each of the four wheels.  I then affixed the yellow ribbon to the center of the green ribbon using a strong adhesive tape.  I attached the completed ribbons around the wheels using double sized tape.  I then used two paper towels rolls slid into the middle of each of the wheels to anchor the wheels together.  We then put a pair of baby socks into each end of the paper towel rolls as hubcaps (we didn't use any particular color for these).

I used two dishwasher baskets for the tractor itself.  I used the Babies R Us brand that Kate had registered for, which worked perfectly because come in two different sizes (one for each part of the tractor itself).  However, you could easily use a box of wipes for the larger part of the tractor and purchase a Munchkin dishwasher basket for the smaller part.

I wrapped the smaller dishwasher basket with a hooded towel (it may take several folds to get the size you need while also hiding the hood portion of the towel) and affixed it using double sided tape.  I then used the same combination of green and yellow ribbon from above to wrap that part of the tractor. 

I wrapped the larger dishwasher basket with two receiving blankets (one to cover the front and back of the basket and one to cover the sides).  It may take a few folds to get the right size for the receiving blankets.  I affixed each blanket using double sided tape. 

The steeples on top of the tractor were made using a pair of baby socks.  For the longer steeple, I placed a sharpie inside one of the socks (which can later be used to write your child's name on things for daycare) and wedged it into the ribbon used around the smaller dishwasher basket.  The smaller steeple is a rolled sock held together with the thin yellow ribbon.  I then used double sided tape to affix the smaller steeple to the top of the small dishwasher basket. 

The headlights are two craft puffs (not sure what they're actually called) affixed with double sided tape. 

The only pain with the tractor is that I couldn't find a way to attach everything.  Since we also bought Matt and Kate a Radio Flyer wagon, I rested the dishwasher baskets on top of the wheels (which have been held together with the paper towel rolls) and placed paper "grass" all around it to keep it from falling apart. 

Another tip is that I placed all the extra socks and receiving blankets (since you will likely buy these in packs of 4 or 6) inside the dishwasher baskets.

I hope this helps anyone looking to make this in the future.  We were really happy with how it turned out! 

Teacher Appreciation Gifts

I've taken a particular liking to Pinterest lately. No, that's an understatement.  I'm obsessed with Pinterest!  I love doing little things for the important people in our lives and the women that care for Felix are among the most important to us.  So for this past Teacher's Appreciation Week, we put these little gifts together for all the ladies at daycare:

I thought I would post the (simple) instructions on here for anyone looking for similar ideas.  I slightly modified the instructions found on this blog. What you'll need:
  • Bag of Marshmallows
  • Sleeve of individually wrapped mini-Hershey bars
  • Box of Graham Crackers
  • Ziploc bags (the original blog I found this one called for cellophane bags, but I didn't have any, so I just folded the Ziploc bags down as far as needed to hide the "Ziploc" printed on the bag)
  • Cardstock
  • Printer
  • Stapler
I used the printable label found on the blog linked above.  Super simple, but special enough to let the girls know how much they mean to us.

14 Months, Trip to Ohio and Happy Birthday Pepere

It's been awhile, but what else is new.  I seem to get completely side tracked every month before I realize how much I haven't blogged about.

We just got back from our trip out to Ohio for my father-in-law's 60th birthday celebration over Memorial Day weekend.  Since Felix is older and unwilling to sit in a car seat for very long without getting irate, we decided to split the trip into two days and and stay overnight in PA.  The total trip is about 11-12 hours depending on how many stops you make.  We made it to Washington, PA before we stopped for the night, which was only about 3.5 hours from our destination.  Everything went great, we get Felix to sleep in his pack n' play and I had just sneaked my way to the bed when we heard banging on a nearby door and "HOUSEKEEPING....SOMEONE ORDER CHEESEBURGERS," and a battery of screams from about 6 different kids.  Apparently, the family next door thought it was a wonderful time to scream through the hallways and have a feast at 10pm.  Needless to say, Felix woke up with a vengeance.  Scott was able to get him back to sleep eventually and get some sleep himself, but I couldn't relax enough the rest of the night to sleep.  I think we've both decided from now on, unless it's absolutely necessary, we'll be doing the drive in one shot.  

Once we were out in Ohio, the trip was great and it was really nice for Felix to get some quality time with his cousin!  Luckily, Felix and Grayson are on very similar nap and sleep schedules.  However, we did discover Felix is a stress eater.  He ate almost non-stop from the minute we got to Ohio to the minute we left!  

We attended a wonderful dinner for Scott's dad to celebrate his birthday (thanks to Scott's brother, Dan, and his wife, Nicole).  And Scott was able to spend some quality time with his dad and brothers. 

Here's some pictures (and one video) from the weekend.  I wish I had more, but I have found myself taking them less and less lately, which needs to be rectified!

 So happy to be out of the car and running around the hotel room

Thank god for maid service!

Quality time with Grandma

 Boxcar ride around Pepere and Grandma's house

Pepere's surprise dinner

Pepere's semi-surprise birthday celebration

Piano fun 

Playing on Pepere's new patio

 Two and a half hours from home and happy to be taking a break!

Can't wait to see everyone again for Thanksgiving, when we'll get to celebrate our NEW NIECE (Congrats Dan and Nicole!!). 

This little man is now 14 months old (almost 15 months now) and not happy about posing for pictures:

Where's your belly?

He is quite the character.  He had said Dadda (but usually it's Daddy), Ma (very rarely says Momma), Uh oh and Woah.  While we were in Ohio, he picked up on "Doggie" really quickly too.  Since we have returned from Ohio, he has also taken a liking to climbing the stairs (looks like that gate is going to start being used again) and always wants to go outside.  He stands at the back door, knocks and then reaches as high as he can for the door knob (but still can't quite reach it).  He also knows where is belly is (see above), his nose and his head.  He eats almost anything (but is not too big on sweets).  While he's home on the weekends, he takes a solid 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon, but his naps are still all over the place while at daycare. 

We have also made another big transition in the last week.  We got Felix completely off the sippy cups and onto the straw cups (he was still using one soft sippy cup at night).  We also stopped rocking him to sleep.  From Day 1 Felix has been very good at letting us know when he's ready to move onto the next step and this was no different.  We didn't even need to try.  The transition happened in one night.  We now give him his straw cup of milk while we read him a book.  When he's done listening, he closes the book for us (finished or not) and hands us his milk.  We then turn the light off, kiss him goodnight, put him in his crib and leave.  No screaming, no crying.  It takes him about 10 minutes to fall asleep, but he's completely content doing so!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

One Year...and 13 Months...and Other Happenings

Many of you know how late I am in posting about Felix's first birthday and some of you have even yelled at me for it!  This has been a busy month, but I'm not going to make excuses...I'm just going to celebrate my now over 13 month old!  (WARNING: This is a VERY picture intensive post.)

I can't believe this was over a month ago already!

Felix's birthday celebration at daycare

And here he is at 13 months...

Felix (as well as Scott and I) had a wonderful time at his birthday party.  It was so great to see everyone who was able to make it.  Many of you were missed and we hope to see you soon!  Regardless of who was able to make it, everyone was so generous.  Felix is lucky to have you all in his life. And I promise you all that our thank yous are in the midst of being completed and will be to you all soon!  In the meantime, here are some pics from King Felix's fabulous party:

 Candy Bar!

 The Colonial Tavern did such an amazing job!




Everyone was so generous!!

The day after his party, Felix got some much needed time with his cousin, Grayson, Grandma, Pepere, Aunt Nicole, Uncle Dan, Aunt Michelle and Uncle Alan!

 Playing in the ball pit!

Recent happenings:

Felix weighed in (right after his first birthday) at 22 lbs and 29.5 inches. 
Felix has been testing his boundaries more and more over the last month.  He has taken to hitting and full on temper tantrums (i.e., kicking and screaming face down on the floor).  This week was better then last week, so he may have had more teething pain then usual during that time.  We began instituting time outs when it first began, but have since opted for a different tactic: holding both of his hands, looking him in the eye and saying "no, thank you" (consistent with what is said at daycare) and then sitting him in the middle of the room and walking away (ignoring the behavior).  We've just started this new plan of action, so we'll see how it turns out.  

Felix now knows how to high five and wave.

He now says Momma and Dadda and I'm pretty sure almost said "Book" the other day.

Felix has a new favorite face...

Felix's food exposure keeps growing.  He now eats whatever we're having for dinner (LOVED stuffed salmon for dinner tonight and YAY for no shellfish allergies!).  I've been trying to broaden the types of food I give him for breakfast, lunch and snacks as well.  As far as the breastmilk, he is on all whole cow's milk in the morning and mid morning, but still gets half breastmilk/half whole cow's milk at night (only because I still have a frozen stash and it's so good for him).  We're almost through it all, so I imagine he'll be on all cow's milk within the next couple of weeks.

Felix finally got his first haircut.  We waited as long as we could, but it was starting to look really ratty.  He looks so much older now!

And FINALLY, we have a walker people!!  Video to come soon!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A few of our favorite things...(a husband and wife perspective)

Or ALL of our favorite things...along with some of the things we could have done without and one or two things we wish we had.  Now normally when you are expecting, everyone loves to tell you about their likes in regards to products, but with the 6,748 people trying to give you advice right now, that's not helpful unless you're a millionaire.  So I'm going to begin with the part everyone seems to forget to tell you...  the stuff that just didn't work for us (favorites will be at the bottom):

Could Do Without (aka. didn't work for us or Felix):
[Disclaimer/Author Note/Whatever else you want to call it: We do not wish to offend anyone that may have purchased the items below for us, or may have purchased them for themselves.  Each item was placed on our registry by us, and therefore the responsibility of selection rests on us.  We appreciate all the help we received at the beginning of this parenting endeavor, but in an effort to save others money, space, time, and sanity; we feel that we can assist by pointing out unnecessary products and possible alternatives.]  

Graco SnugRide 35 Infant Car Seat (The "Cadillac" of Infant Seats)
We registered for this seat with all intentions of using it until Felix reached 35 pounds, so we could hold off on buying two convertible car seats.  What we didn't expect was that Felix would outgrow the seat before he reached 35 pounds.  Could we still have fit him in it for awhile longer...probably.  But having  baby with a buddah belly and wearing a winter coat did not fair well for his mood when we had to load him into the car.  We wound up purchasing two convertible seats before Felix even reached 22 pounds.  We definitely would have been perfectly happy with an infant seat with a lower weight limit (which as you can expect would be much CHEAPER).  Although, we would not recommend skipping the infant seat all together for a convertible car seat.  The ease of taking Felix in and out of cars/house/strollers without having to wake him up was invaluable (see review for Snap-N-Go below).

Britax Marathon70 Convertible Car Seat
As stated above, we wound up purchasing two convertible car seats (one for each of our cars) much sooner then expected.  When you're a new parent, you tend to gravitate toward the brand name items that you assume are better simply because of the name.  Don't get me wrong, I actually love the Britax car seat.  It has an extremely high safety rating and is very comfortable for Felix to ride in (even on a 12 hour trip to Ohio).  However, we discovered a much less expensive car seat with a similar safety rating that Felix is even more comfortable in (see rating below).

Graco Pack n' Play Portable Playard
This rating is largely due to the fact that Felix hated being laid flat on his back when he was a newborn.  If he hadn't been so particular, we likely would have used this as his bassinet for naps and such.  Unfortunately, we only used it a few times for play, when we need to keep him contained for a short time.  We have now turned it into a ball pit in order to get some use out of it.  I don't want to mislead is a great product.  But we have not traveled very much with Felix yet and when we have, it has been to Ohio where our family has an extra one for us to use.  We probably could have done with a less expensive version without the bassinet/changer portion.

Graco Contempo High Chair
We have no issues with this high chair other then its bulkiness, and the amount of space it bogart's in the kitchen.  It's not as much an issue in the house, as it is when we have to travel with it.  Lately, we've lugged this thing to his first birthday party, my mom's house and friends' houses.  Given the choice again, we would have chosen one of the space saver high chairs (see below).

Infantino Vintage Twist and Fold Activity Gym
This is a tough one.  Felix barely used this mat, but I know our nephew loved it.  One thing we loved about it was how compact it is.  However, we received a much larger play mat from a friend that Felix has gotten a lot more use out of (see below).  Plain and simple, it didn't last long and was outgrown quickly, even with a preemie.

Wish List (aka. life would have been easier with...):

Fisher Price Playtime Bouncer
This is something we assumed we wouldn't get any use out of, considering how many "chairs" a baby has (I think we counted over 10 total places the baby could sit).  By the time we realized a seat similar to this was Felix's favorite place to be at daycare, he was almost too big for it.  Hence, why we never bought one.  The reason we would have liked this particular one is for its simplicity and the fact that it folds up.  The one Felix liked at daycare had no bells and whistles to it (not even the bar with toys on it). 

Fisher Price Space Saver High Chair
See review above as to why we wish we had a space saver high chair.  The only reason we've chosen to list this one is because I'm not sure who else makes them and/or the reviews.  This one looks to have all the perks of a full size high chair (reclinable for infants, cushy, etc.).  It's not worth it for us to spend the money on a space saver now, but we are looking for a good travel booster to buy, so Felix can use the table for eating (instead of a tray) when we go to my moms/travel.

Favorites (aka. seriously consider putting this on your registry):

Graco MyRide 65 Convertible Car Seat
By comparison to the expensive Britax we purchased, this seat just out shines or matches it in every category.  It has the same safety rating.  It's more comfortable for the baby (at least for Felix).  It's easier to get them into the car, and has a better angle than the Britax.  The straps are just as frustrating as any car seat, but I don't think there is a solution to that in general.  It seems to give the baby a little more room to look around at their surroundings, which really does help with keeping them happy on car rides.  Most importantly, it's  about a 1/3 of the price of the Britax.

Fisher Price  Cradle Swing - My Little Snug A Bunny
One word; invaluable for the first 6 months or so.  This chair saved our sanity.  Babies cry, babies don't sleep when you want them to, babies can sometimes just be inconsolable.  When feeding them doesn't work, when changing them doesn't work, when holding them doesn't work, when burping them doesn't work... 50% of the time this chair works 100% of the time. Part entertainment, part lullaby, pure baby comfort.  Get one.  You don't have to get this one, but we can vouch for this one.

Fisher Price Rock n Play Sleeper
Another one we found invaluable.  Felix was a preemie, and was born with respiratory issues.  Taking those conditions under consideration as well as our uncertainty of being parents for the first time, we were terrified SIDS and were looking for solutions.  That combined with the fact that Felix would not sleep flat on his back for 4 months or so, led us to this purchase.  Our nephew used it for home and travel, and we ended up following the same trend.  This was Felix's first bed and only bed for months.  It was also his bed when sick (as long as he would fit), to help drain the goop.  It folds up easy for travel, it's small enough to fit virtually anywhere you would want to put a baby to sleep, cleans easily, and is gender neutral.  Highly recommended.  Some reviews say that it promotes flat spots on the back of the head, but we were able to combat that by putting a folded blanket under the cover in back.

Boppy Pillow
Felix still loves using this, even though he has no real need for it.  This is a must for easy/more comfortable nursing.  And if you're not going to breastfeed, it can be used to cradle baby on floor while they drink a bottle and aid with tummy time.  Make sure to also purchase the protector and a couple covers, as babies do make a mess. 

Baby Trend Snap-N-Go Infant Car Seat Carrier Stroller
Amazing.  No need to wake the baby up, fight to get them out of the infant car seat, transfer them screaming into stroller, listen them wail throughout the whole store while you try to buy them diapers and wipes, try to transfer them back into the infant seat while they scream so hard they stop breathing, ride home with a migrain, decide to never leave the house again...  Nope.  Not with this thing.  Snap the sleeping baby in the infant seat out of the car, snap infant seat into this thing, shop silently and enjoy getting out of the house, snap sleeping baby and infant seat back into car, go home, rejoice, write us a thank you note and send us a bottle of wine.  Also, the basket underneath this is a really good for just about any normal outing.

Baby Jogger 2011 City Mini

We love it.  It's very light, extremely easy to maneuver, can be folded with just one hand, reclines flat and Felix loves it.  We opted not to register for the travel system (infant seat/full size stroller combo) due to the large size and weight of the full size stroller.  I knew I would never use it.  Instead, as you can see from the review above, we opted to use the Snap-N-Go with the infant seat and then purchased this stroller once Felix became curious enough to want to face forward.  My only real complaint about this stroller is the basket underneath.  Maybe I was spoiled by the huge basket in the Snap-N-Go, but I find this one extremely limited and very hard to get things in to/out of.  This seems to be a common complaint among reviewers.

I can't for the life of me remember what brand of glider we have and, since Felix is sleeping, I will not be going upstairs to check.  We use this every night when reading to Felix and putting him to bed.  There were even a few times I found myself sleeping in it with him when he was younger.  We went back and forth as to whether to buy a reclining glider.  I used to fall asleep in it every night while nursing Felix, and the only thing that would wake me up is the crick in my neck from not being reclined.  So, in short, it's probably a good thing it doesn't recline or I would have been sleeping in his room every night.  One thing I do wish it had is removable seat covers.  We are lucky in that Felix only spit up on it once or twice and not very much.  But I know that's not usually the case.  It would be nice to be able to wash the covers instead of having to take the entire cushion to the dry cleaners.  In our opinion, the only way to choose a glider is to go to the store and test out as many as you can.  It didn't matter so much for me, but with Scott's height and his broad shoulders, we had some difficulty finding one that was comfortable for him.

Fisher Price Luv U Zoo Jumperoo
It took a bit longer then normal for Felix to be able to use this, due to his short legs (sorry kid...not the best trait for Mommy to pass on).  As a result, it was pretty short lived.  But, while he could use it, he absolutely loved it.  He could sit in this thing for 30 minutes, bouncing and playing with the attached toys, without getting fed up.  A great thing while prepping dinner!

Summer Infant Velboa Snuzzler
Because Felix was only 6 lbs 5 oz when he came home, he was a bit small for most of the "seats" we had for him.  Even the infant insert in the infant seat didn't seem to be all that comfortable for him.  We wound up using the Snuzzler in both the infant seat and the Rock-N-Play and it worked perfectly.  Once he got a bit bigger, the infant insert in the infant seat worked really well for him.  Be advised that many babies are not small enough at birth to use this product without it further pushing their heads forward.

Gerber Premium Cloth Diapers
Best burp cloths ever.  Why use a rag when you can use a diaper?  These honestly absorbed everything, were easy to wash, even to bleach if necessary.  They were also super durable, and will be ready to go for any future bundles of joy. Seem to be harder to find now.  MUST BE premium!

Triple Paste Diaper Rash Ointment
Felix had a nasty rash after we brought him home from the NICU.  We tried the ointment the hospital gave us, Desitin and Desitin Maximum Strength.  Nothing worked.  Until we discovered this amazing cream.  Cleared his rash up in about a day. 

Play Links
No need to be brand specific with these.  Perfect for hanging toys from the infant seas/stroller to keep baby occupied.  Also great for hanging off stroller to hold bags, etc. for Mom and Dad.  There were many times Felix just enjoyed playing with the links themselves.

Lamaze Toys
We have multiple Lamaze toys and Felix loved them all.  From the bright colors, tissue paper limbs, mirrors and teethers, definitely a baby favorite.   If you can measure the entertainment in hours instead of minutes (like we did), you should run and not walk to buy it.

Boon Grass Countertop Drying Rack
As with a couple other things, this is not necessarily brand specific.  The most important part of this is to find something that can accommodate any shape and any size.  A lot of baby products have different (weird) size/shape parts and, unless you're working with a blank slate, you will find it difficult to find a place for everything.

Phillips Avent bottles
Originally, we registered for Dr. Brown's bottles.  However, we weren't expecting to have to use bottles for a while, since I was going to try nursing.  When Felix landed in the NICU, unable to breastfeed for at least a week, we were concerned he would have trouble jumping from bottle to nipple.  The NICU nurses recommended Avent, stating that they have never seen babies have a problem switching between the two.  Based on the recommendation, we exchanged everything we had.  Felix never had a problem with nipple confusion.  It helps that the bottles are super easy to clean as compared to the Dr. Brown bottles.  As a side note, we purchased the gift set, which included a brush, formula holder and sanitizer, as well as different size bottle.  We could have done without everything but the bottles.  It would have been just as easy to boil everything, steam it in the microwave or throw it in the dishwasher.  I only sanitized things when I first bought them and threw it all in the dishwasher once I week. 

Munchkin Bottle Brush and Nipple Brush
I have tried almost every brand of bottle brush.  These were one of the cheapest options and have lasted longer then any of the other ones I've tried.  Keep in mind, you have to switch them out about once a month and throw them in the dishwasher every week or so. 

Infantino Jumbo Wheel Playspace
As stated above, we preferred this mat over the smaller one we registered for.  It's much more colorful, has the tissue paper inside to make noise, a mirror and plenty of other things to keep baby happy.  It's also huge, so it lasted until he was able to crawl away (which wasn't until about 10 months).

Bumbo Baby Sitter Seat
Again, an invaluable product, but one Felix grew out of much earlier then we expected.  His chubby little legs would get stuck.  But we did get a few months of use out of it and it was a great makeshift high chair (for when we were at someone else's house) when coupled with the tray (sold seperately).

Medela Pump In Style Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump
A MUST if you plan to nurse/pump and are returning to work.  There are three different bags you can get with this (backpack and purse style).  If I had it to do over again, I might have gotten one of the other bags.

Simple Wishes Hands Free Pumping Bustier
Another MUST have if you're going to be pumping.  I have tried several different hands free pump bras and this is by far the best.  It is completely adjustable, provides more coverage then most, has removable straps and never lost it shape (even when I was using it 6 times a day).

Lasinoh Breast Milk Storage Bags
These made it a cinch to store frozen breast milk.  I had a bit of an oversupply and our basement freezer was used solely for this purpose.  This video shows exactly how I stored everything.

Lasinoh Brand Lanolin Topical Breast Cream
Again, invaluable if you're going to pump.  Many people use it directly on the nipple to sooth any discomfort.  I never used it for this purpose, but you do need to use it on the pump itself to create a suction. 

Lasinoh Soothies Gel Pads
These were recommended by the lactation consultants at the hospital.  I only used them for the first few weeks, but they helped immensely with the discomfort until my nipples toughened up.

Lasinoh Nursing Pads
Unlike must moms I know, I never leaked and, thus, never needed to use these...that is, until I started weaning myself form the pump.  I've been using them for the last few weeks and will continue for another week or so until I know my milk is completely gone.  They are the largest pads I've found, which is necessary with boobs of this size!

We were dead set on using only Pampers diapers when Felix was born.  We began with Pampers Swaddlers and/or Swaddler Sensitives.  After a month or so, we started using the Baby Dry's at night so Felix would sleep longer between changes.  Now we use Cruisers during the day and Huggies Overnights at night.  We did not use the Pampers overnights due to several reviewers stating that their children got chemical burns when the Pampers overnights would split open at night, exposing the beads inside.  We have since decided it's time to find a cheaper alternative.  At nearly $45-50/box for the Pampers, there has to be a comparable option!  We have heard incredible things about Luvs from numerous sources.  However, Luvs just increased the price of their diapers.  Still cheaper then Pampers, but not as big a savings as it should be.  We are about to try Kirkland (Costco) brand, as it would save us nearly $20 a case.

Huggies Natural Care Wipes
As with the Pampers, I was dead set on these wipes.  And I still stand by them.  They are much thicker then the Pampers brand wipes and seemed to cause the least amount of irritation.  However, we have recently switched to the Kirkland (Costco) brand wipes, which are comparable and less expense. 

Diaper Genie
Have to be honest...we hated this thing in the beginning.  Since Felix was exclusively breastfed, his poop didn't smell....AT ALL.  But, because he was breastfed, he was pooping nearly 8-10 times a day.  Not to mention all the times we changed his diaper when we didn't need to, just because we didn't know any better.  As a result, the diaper genie had to be emptied every day or two.  HOWEVER, once Felix started eating solid food, the diaper genie was a necessity to keep the stink in!  If we had to do it again, we would probably try and get the one that automatically pushes the diaper down for you...there's nothing more disgusting then pushing a nasty diaper down into the diaper genie with your bare hand!

Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Bath Tub
We have gone back and forth as to whether we should have gotten one of those new fold up tubs that fit in the bathroom sink.  And neither of us feels strongly as to whether ours is the best tub.  I think just about any tub will do, but it does make life easier to have one.