There are a couple of seats like this on the market, but I personally like the Prince Lionheart Bebepod;the best. It's easy to clean and can also be used for feeding if you don't have room for a high chair. An added bonus: on the days when baby will not let mommy shower, it's easy to pop baby in the Bebepod and take a shower together! (I do this frequently with my very attached 8-month-old) The seat is not as contoured as the Bumbo Baby Seat, so it encourages baby to use his/her own muscles to sit up. Remember, baby should always be supervised in the Bebepod and it should NEVER be put up on a table where baby can fall.
I will preface this by saying please do not buy a forward-facing baby carrier! It is not a natural position and creates poor body mechanics for both baby and parent.
Good carriers to try are slings and soft structured carriers. My favorite sling is the Hotslings Designer Pouch Style Baby Carrierbecause it's made of sturdy material and has a padded rail for baby's thighs. Hotslings come sized, so you may need mom's measurements in order to get a perfect fit! Other slings to consider are the Peanut Shell Baby Sling;and the Peanut Shell Adjustable Sling, whose material is a bit stretchier than the Hotsling. If you're looking for a more affordable option, you can consider a Seven Sling, though the material is thinner than the Hotsling's.
As for soft-structured carriers, I am partial to mei tais myself, but also like the Ergo Baby Carrier, Beco Baby Carrier, and Boba Classic Baby Carrier. All of these can be used for both front- and back-carry positions. Mei Tais are Asian-inspired carriers that are tied on. It looks a bit tricky, but it's easy once you've done it a couple of times. Baby rests against the parent in a natural position and because they tie on, anyone can use it without having to make adjustments to the straps. If you're looking to save money, the Infantino Ecosash Baby Carrier is a nice alternative and it is similar to both a Mei Tai and a soft structured carrier.
Over the Shoulder Bag
I admit, this isn't really something to help with a child's development, but Mom will have better body mechanics while carrying it because its weight is distributed across the body. Plus, it can also be a real lifesaver when struggling to carry around a baby, a baby carrier, a diaper bag, and your purse. Thirty-One Gifts carries a cute one called the Pop Crossbody for $49, the smaller version is the Organizing Shoulder Bag for $42. If you need to carry larger items, try their Messenger Bag for $98. I like Thirty-One's products because they are well-made, have cute prints and patterns, and can be personalized.
|Pop Crossbody Purse|
|Organizing Shoulder Bag|
Because it can be carried hands-free and cannot slip off of my shoulder while reaching, this type of purse is the only kind I will carry when I'm out and about with my kids!
I hope that this installment of my 2011 Gift Guide comes in handy for you! Next week, look for my guide on gifts for infants.