I thought it would be fun to get some input on what you all like for baby/kid gadgets (I can't seem to think of a better word than gadgets). I'm always seeing the new stuff that comes out in the baby magazines and catalogs and wonder what works and what's really a waste of money and space.
We don't buy a lot of stuff for our kids. We don't even own a crib, but I like the smaller stuff. I am very anxious to use my "new" sling when the baby comes. I had a ring sling for Ethan and Elijah, but it's bulky (padded) and quite loud, so last fall I purchased a different style with birthday money that is stretchy fabric and not padded. I was also given a fleece sling to try in cooler weather.
With Ethan I had one of those plastic bath tub thingees (again my vocab is lacking) but never knew where to put it when we weren't using it. Then I sold most of Ethan's baby stuff to Once Upon a Child because I didn't know if I would have more kids, so when Elijah came around, I used one of those yellow foam bath things which we really like, but unfortunately didn't last for this baby. When I went to Wal-mart to purchase another, I saw these reclining bath seats for $2 more that have a mesh cover which is washable on a wire incline. I figured that it would last longer than another foam one, so it will be interesting to see how we like it.
I'm also big into diaper bags, or just bags in general that can be used for all the kid stuff a mom has to tote around. I don't carry a purse then when we are in the diaper bag stage as it just seems pointless when I can stuff my wallet and a few other items into the diaper bag. I find that the thinner the fabric of the diaper bag, the better I like it. The Eddie Bauer ones and those like it just don't work for me as they don't seem to hold as much as you think they will. I don't buy purses very often, so I figure my diaper bag fetish is alright. (I only own two different ones.)
Another great "gadget" I bought was a washable high chair cover. Our high chair originally had a vinyl cover and that of course began to rip fairly quickly. So on a trip to Babies R Us one time, I saw a washable one that is just plain navy blue. It is great! It can be wiped off easily with a washrag, or if your child has a blow out diaper while sitting in it, you can put it in the washing machine.
Finally, I do cloth diapers while at home. After two kids and trying various kinds of diaper covers, I have found that my favorite diaper covers are the Bummis Whisper Wraps. They are about $11-12 a piece, but last a long time and very rarely ever leak.
So, what are some of your favorite baby/kid gadgets? What works for you and your family?