Sunday, February 17, 2008

Baby Stuff Showdown

***First, let me begin this entry with the disclaimer that the information given in this blog is strictly my opinion.***

As the mother of seven children, five of those being quintuplets, I have had the opportunity to try out and compare many different baby products. As a statistician, I always thought my dream job would be to work for Consumer Reports, where I could just run tests on all kinds of products to see which ones were the best. Unfortunately, time did not permit me to run any scientific tests and collect data for these baby products, but I thought I would share my opinions anyway---based on my personal experience.



DIAPER GENIE vs. DIAPER CHAMP


Winner: Diaper Champ


I have used both, and the Champ is far superior. Both of these products seek to minimize the pungent aroma of dirty diapers in the nursery, and as far as that goes, they are about equal. The Diaper Genie requires special bags (not cheap) and more effort than the Diaper Champ. With the Champ, any bag will do and it is very fast and easy to use.



ENFAMIL FORMULA vs. SIMILAC FORMULA

Winner: Enfamil


To be fair, Enfamil is supplying us with a year’s worth of formula for the babies, which is an incredible savings for us, so of course I am going to be a little bit biased on this one. Similac has a similar program for quintuplets, so I did get to choose in the beginning. With Riley and Kaiya, I found that Enfamil mixed up better, smelled better, and caused fewer stains than Similac. Let me also say that formula must meet strict dietary guidelines, so nutritionally, all brands are essentially the same. Also, with my older two kids we regularly used the Target Generic and the Carnation brands and I liked both of those as well.





CRADLE SWING vs. REGULAR SWING

Winner: Cradle Swing

Although the cradle swings are more expensive, I think they are worth the extra money! My babies like the side-to-side motion of the cradle swings MUCH better than the forward and back motion of the regular swings. The cradle swings can actually be rotated to rock either direction.




HUGGIES WIPES vs. PAMPERS WIPES Winner: Huggies Wipes


Huggies wipes are softer, more cloth-like and easier to get out than other brands. I personally like the fragrence-free ones the best.





MYLICON DROPS vs. GRIPE WATER



Winner: Gripe Water


Both of these products are remedies for gas and tummy discomfort. The Mylicon drops are made of simethicone (think Gas-X for babies). The gripe water is an herbal formula. For my babies, the Mylicon drops didn’t seem to do anything, but the gripe water worked miracles---especially for Ryder in the early days. The gripe water box says that it can also cure hiccups, and amazingly it does! Supposedly it can also cure hiccups in adults too, but I haven’t tried that yet.



AVENT BOTTLES vs. DR BROWNS BOTTLES vs. PLATEX DROP-INS BOTTLES


Winner: Playtex Drop-Ins

Nearly all of the bottle packages claim that their bottle can do everything short of curing cancer and creating world peace. In my experience, I did not notice a difference in the brands as far as air intake and reduction of colic and gas. Here are the Pros and Cons of each bottle that I found:

Avent: Pros: Easy to read numbers on the side Cons: more leakage problems



Dr. Browns: Pros: Easy to read numbers on the side, no leaks, nice shape Cons: extra parts to clean



Playtex: Pros: come in all five of my colors, disposable liners mean fewer dishwasher loads, heat quickly in water Cons: measurements are harder to read, buying liners can get expensive


As a sidenote: Target makes the best generic liners for the Playtex bottles and they do go on sale every once in a while!




HUGGIES DIAPERS vs. PAMPERS DIAPERS



Winner: Pampers.

My all time favorite diapers are the Pampers Swaddlers (Pampers premium diaper line). They are soft, rarely leak and have minimal graphics on them. However, they are a bit more expensive, and when you multiply things by five it really adds up, so I actually use Huggies (at Sam’s Club the Huggies box contains nearly 50 more diapers than the Pampers box for almost the same price---that’s a whole day and a half worth more!) As far as generics go, I haven’t had any luck finding a generic brand that I really like. I definitely notice a difference in leakage when I use the generics.



A few other baby products I wouldn’t want to live without:

Crumb Catcher Bibs (Baby Connection brand from Walmart)---these are the best bibs ever. They bottoms snap up to form a little pocket (the crumb catcher). The pocket sticks out a little ways so it actually does catch most everything. When the baby is done, the bib unsnaps flat so that clean-up is easy!

Lavender Lotion: I use this on my babies every night before bed and they love it! The lavender scent is very relaxing.

Beanie Beds: Someone in Arizona gave me these and they were so wonderful for the first four months. They gave the babies a cozy, more comfortable place to sleep, since they have to be on their backs.

Precious Moments Classical Music CD: We turn this on every night when we are doing the bedtime routine. The music is very soothing and relaxing.

Baby Bjorn: This really wasn't that useful for the quints, but when I had Kaiya, it was a lifesaver! It is very easy to get the baby in and out of (vs Snugli brand which was nearly impossible for me---this was a few years ago, though, so they might make them differently now).

PS---I wanted to mention that the fabulous facelift my blog received is due to Hilary Keegan. After seeing the pictures on my last post, she generously designed a new layout for me. I love it! Thanks Hilary!!


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36 comments:

Andria and Co. said...

I love the new layout! A few things I couldn't live without: the Boppy, Carters onesies (they are longer than Gerber, Gap, and others. Which, is a necessity for my long little man), and the Beatles Lullaby Renditions CD. It's great!

Stephanie said...

Also, if I may, the Sam's brand-Members Mark diapers are wonderful. They are the closest to Pampers that I have found. No leakage unless Daddy doesn't put them on right and cheaper. That is just my 2 cents. I love reading your blog. It is wonderful. I love the new layout too. COOL

Gretchen said...

Have you ever tried the Costco generic diapers, Kirkland signature? Just curious how they matched up in your book because that's what we usually end up buying. However, they mimic Huggies not Pampers.

New layout is SO cute!

courtney said...

I agree with EVERY one of those! And, I second Stephanie's suggestion--the Sam's (Members Mark) are just as good as Pampers (in my opinion). Love the new blog layout!

Cassi said...

Your blog is SO cute!
This was a fun post! I have to ask... what do you think about the baby seats that you have in a lot of your pictures... Bebepod or Bumbos or whatever they are called. They look nice but we couldn't decide if it would be worth the $40.

Meridith said...

Thanks so much! As an first time expectant mom, there are so many different products to decide between! I don't know many other recent new moms, so your advice is great!

Mother of the Wild Boys said...

I love the new layout!

Nerns said...

I sooooooo agree about the Pampers Swaddlers Line. Absolutely the best, and worth the little bit extra money. I tried Huggies one time, and my son ended up with a horrible diaper rash that just would not go away. Went back to Pampers Swaddlers and voila! No more diaper rash!

4 under 4 said...

Ah, I wish EVERY new mom I knew would listen about Avent bottles! More expensive is not always better! I learned with baby #4 that the Drop Ins are the only bottle I will ever use!

Your blog is GREAT, such a cute layout, and what an adorable family!

Leslie said...

Love reading your blog and I love this post...great idea. I also agree that Sam's diapers are really good and I use Parents brand wipes available at Walmart.

Mrs. Flubberboot aka Heather said...

Love the new look! Your babies are beautiful! I also agree about the Avent bottles. I liked them because they were easy to pump into but then my poor daughter would never drink enough at daycare so the director suggested the dropins and no more problems. She ate a lot better after that.

Athack77 said...

Thanks for the insight on the various products. With 5 babies, you definately know what you're talking about.

Janice said...

All of this should be a big help to new Mothers. I wish I had had any of these choices 48 years ago..How did my kids make it? I loved your being up front about the products..Carry on ;-)

Jennifer, RN NICU said...

what is the beanie baby beds about? do you have a link so i can see what they look like? thanks!!

Tierd said...

I agree with many of your winners! You probably don't remember me but we emailed a few times while you were pregnant with the quints and I was pregnant (and on bedrest) with my son. We're still praying for your family and have been so happy that things are going so well for y'all. I still regularly read your blog and love to hear what is going on in your world! And I thought life was hard with a 3 year old and a 6 month old - HA! I am such a wimp! Jen

Jen said...

gotta say I love looking at your cute babies! i love that you have a baby w/ each product. very cute.
as far as diapers I gotta say I absolutely love the white cloud diapers at walmart. In case you are taking a poll I wanted to put my vote in!

Deanna said...

I stumbled upon your blog and read it ALL. I think you are absolutely AMAZING! I use Luvs on my daughter, they are made by Proctor and Gamble just like Pampers and so are like a generic Pampers. I agree that Swaddlers are the best but SO expensive. I don't think they sell Luvs at Sam's though for some reason. Diapers.com has good deals sometimes.

Anonymous said...

I love your new layout!! And I really had fun reading all your baby reviews- especially since I agreed with all your picks. :)

Melissa :)
www.withasmile.wordpress.com

Liz said...

The new layout is the cutest! My husband loves comparing baby items, or all items for that matter, and was curious if you are talking about the Diaper Genie I or II. We have II and love it, but the Diaper Champ looks like it can definitely take on all the diapers you have to deal with!

Barbara Manatee said...

I totally agree that Pampers diapers and Huggies wipes take the pick. I wish we'd gotten a cradle swing. We had 2 (pretty old) swings given to us and didn't think we should do away with those and get a new one...but was tempted to. Our twins (or maybe mom and dad more-so) couldn't have gotten by without their vibrating bouncy chairs! I wondered about the Diaper Champ too - but some fellow parents of twins had the diaper genie and said it couldn't keep up (had to change it too often) so we opted out...but after a week of diarrhea...I'd be willing to try anything than smell their diaper pail one more time! agh!

PS...LOVE the new pics and blog header too. I need to do something new and fun with mine!

Preemie Twins' Nanny said...

Wow! I can't believe they are sitting! We're working very hard to reach that milestone!

Love the new look, photos, as always and reviews. I'd have to agree with everything except the drop ins, but I haven't used them much so I don't have a good reason to disagree! But I agree on Dr. Browns, man do I hate those things! Especially with multiples, your kitchen is invaded by all the parts!

Cynthia Z said...

I love the pictures of the babies w/the products, very silly & cute. I noticed the new layout right away, it's very welcoming.

Drewmeister said...

Rachelle

I just happened across your blog. Wow 7 kids, 5 all at once! Congratulations--your children are adorable.
I had to laugh at the bit about the statistician and testing. I am living in Boston and working as a statistician at one of the hospitals. If you ever get a chance check out my blog.

http://drewmeister13.blogspot.com/

Lori Lyn Price

Danny and Shannon said...

I am 13 weeks pregnant and have been debating over some of these products just this week..thanks for your opinion! It is good to read! You have BEAUTIFUL babies...I love watching them grow!

Kristen Joy said...

What a fantastic and FUN facelift to the blog! So much fun color and design:) Great on the report...I am a lover of huggies wipes, but most everything else I'm great with generic. How did you end up on my secret blog today to see the bridals? Do you regularly check that one? Can't wait to see/hear you on Sat. morn.

The Buckleys said...

Rachelle, this is Jaimee Decker Buckley and I just found your blog from Jennie's and it is so cute! I was in your sister-in-law's ward in Tucson and heard about your baby news! Wow, you must be so busy! Hope you don't mind me checking in now and again. Good luck with your darling family!

Tobi said...

I love the new layout. It looks like Easter to me. I'm glad that you put your opinions of baby products on your blog. Who else would know better than the mother of seven children? I think my favorite picture is Ryder with the Gripe Water. He has the biggest smile on his face.

chellekay said...

I have to say I agree with 95% of what you said. But I liked huggies more then pampers, lol.

The Queen Vee said...

Clever product promo, I agree with all your assessments on baby items/products.

Mostly I agree that Kaydence, Kassidy, Kyndall, Ryder and Rustin are just the cutest babies. What a treat to see sweet Kassidy sitting up all on her own. Way to go Kassidy! Fun pictures, loved the one of Ryder with the gripe water!

Sammy'smommy said...

Thanks for your wonderful knoweldge imput of what works for your kiddos. I am currently on strict bedrest with my pregnancy and thorougly enjoy reading about your beautiful family, thanks for sharing:)

Crazy Granny said...

I can't believe how cute all those babies are. I don't think the actual companies could have made better adds with more adorable children. Some might call me biased.

Spymommy said...

Thanks for all the info on baby products! Now I just need to have me one so I can try out all the new things that have come out since Soren was born! Those are some seriously cute child models you got to promote those products! :)

Kelly said...

Excellent review, Rachelle.

evitafjord said...

I also prefer the Pampers to the Huggies, but use the Huggies too. I just picked up Huggies this last batch and they have actually revamped them and they are much more like Pampers now - similar graphics, better elastic, slightly better shape, wider/stronger tabs. Knock on wood, baby hasn't leaked once this week, as opposed to the last month when he has leaked at every pooh.

Cindy & Brian said...

This is awesome! I love that you did this! I went out and bought the gripe water and you're right! So much better than simethicone.

Melanie said...

just wanted to mention I've been buying Pampers (the best kind - swaddlers and then crusiers) because although most settle for generic I found my kids bums would not (rashes and leaks)

Amazon sells Pampers at the cheapest I've ever seen, the biggest box I've seen anywhere (bigger than at Target or comparable to Sams) AND free shipping so huge boxes right to your door.

Size 2 swaddlers for example are 184 diapers for $38 if you want to cost compare :)

Blessings!
Melanie
Mom of 3