When I was registering for my baby shower, I devoured lists written by other people. I read all of the “ESSENTIALS for Baby” lists, and was just as excited to read the “What you DON’T need to have a baby” lists. Most of the things seemed like common sense, but there were some essentials I’d never heard of. When in doubt, I leaned heavily on the advice of my mother and mother-in-law. Both had more than two children, and their guidance was invaluable. BUT, today I’m reviewing two things they both told me to skip putting on my registry.
First up is a general recommendation. Dishwasher baskets. With lids. Both mothers told me I did not need a special dishwasher basket for bottle and sippy cup parts, but both were assuming that I already had a dishwasher basket with a lid. All three homes my husband and I have shared so far have had baskets for flatware, but none of them had any sort of lid to keep things in. If you’re in the same boat, I highly recommend finding a basket that has a lid that snaps tightly into place. Breast pumps, bottles, and sippy cups all have small or lightweight parts that will be as tiny boats in a hurricane once you turn on the dishwasher. Not to mention pacifiers, teethers, and small, plastic toys your child might play with as they grow. I personally was gifted a Munchkin Deluxe Dishwasher Basket, but I would rather have their High Capacity model, as it looks like it would accommodate the parts of our favorite sippy cups much better. But, if you have little clearance between your top rack and the ceiling of the dishwasher, the Deluxe is probably preferable. I give the Deluxe basket four eggs. I haven't tried the high capacity yet, but if I do, I'll update this post with its own allocation.
The next thing my moms thought was a bit gimmicky, I eventually felt a desperate need for. The Boon Span Dishwasher Net is something I wish I’d had even before having a baby. If you have measuring cups, lightweight bowls, or other small things that flip over and collect water, you need one of these things. Whenever I forget to use this stretchy net, I find my bowls- which I’d carefully positioned facing inward and down on the top rack- facing up and full of water. It’s a small inconvenience, but an inconvenience nonetheless. And if you’re using a less effective dishwasher, sometimes that water contains sediment from the other dishes. Gross! My husband’s job moves us around a lot right now, so we’re longtime renters and have to just deal with crappy appliances. Dumping out water every time I emptied the dishwasher was really getting on my nerves. The Boon Span Net helps me get along a little better with my current dishwasher. Now, Monkey’s bowls don’t get flipped over, and they get washed properly. But, like I said, I also use it for my measuring cups and food storage containers, to keep them clean, too. Once our moms saw it in (and out) of action, they agreed that it’s a pretty nifty thing. Just because I could do without it doesn’t mean I have to. I give the net five eggs. It's a simple product that simply does what it is supposed to do, and is worth every penny.
Both the Munchkin baskets and the Boon Span Dishwasher Net are kitchen sanity-savers. Neither are especially glamorous, but if you want to get a new parent a very practical gift, look no further. Throw in a bottle brush and some spoons, and you’ve got the makings of a great gift basket.
Ariel’s Two Cents: I could not agree more with both items! I personally have the Oxo Tot Dishwasher Basket, because according to the research I did, it was the only dishwasher basket that easily fit Dr Brown’s Natural Flow Standard size bottle - our one and only ride or die bottles. It’s not a perfect fit, but it was half the price of the Dr. Brown’s Dishwasher Basket and fits six complete bottles, as opposed to their three. A high capacity basket is essential as an exclusive pumper.
I also have the Boon Span Dishwasher Net. If you have a dishwasher, it simply makes life easier. Enough said. No longer do I have to hide my light plastic lids under mixing bowls to keep them from bouncing away in the torrent!
And if you take Brianna's suggestion and add these to a gift basket (do it - I would have loved to be on the receiving end), make sure to add the Oxo Good Grips Bottle Brush. It is a bare bones, no-frills, sleek black and white bottle brush. But it is half the price of anything specifically made for babies. No it doesn’t have a suction cup to stand on its own. No it doesn’t come with an attachment for cleaning nipples. No you cannot color-code it to the sex of your baby. But it is five dollars and will last you well past the baby years.
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Ariel and Brianna are friends who met while working in a library. Now they collaborate to develop life-enhancing book club experiences.
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