Around 7,000 parents voted in this years AMBY Awards. "It really is a great gut check of what really works for new parents," says Hartshorn. To vote, parents write in their top three favorite things - lifesavers in many circumstances. American Baby Magazine tallies up the results to compile their yearly top ten list.
Ranking first this year is the Boppy pillow. The Boppy has actually been voted #1 six years in a row - it's a true favorite among parents. "This kind of lives on your lap while you either bottle feed or nurse an infant," says Hartshorn. The overstuffed, U-shaped pillow conforms to your body, giving your weary arms a rest when you're feeding Junior. Boppy pillows range from $30 - $60, depending on the model and cover you choose. As your child grows, you can also use the pillow to prop them up.
Another hands-free product that moms and dads can't get enough of is the Fisher-Price Swing. According to Hartshorn, the swing is "a safe place to put the baby down that has a soothing motion." Many parents swear it helps their children fall asleep faster. The Fisher-Price Swing retails for $140.
For many parents, anything that encourages their child to sleep is a lifesaver. The same goes for the third ranked product in this year's AMBY Awards, The Johnson's Bedtime Line. This lavender-scented skin care line includes lotion, wash and massage oil among other products. "Johnson's recommends that you do bath followed by [bed time]," says Hartshorn. The products start at $3.50.
Diaper rash is another big concern for babies. The #4 product, Desitin diaper ointment, keeps itchy bumps at bay. Desitin retails for $6.50 and up.
Another great play thing in this year's top ten is the Fisher-Price Jumperoo. This bouncer has music, toys and a great bouncing action to keep kids entertained. This jumper, which retails fro $80, is for children who are six months old.
The third Fisher-Price item on this year's list is the Fisher-Price Bouncer. This newborn seat offers a secure place for baby to rest while mom or dad showers, makes dinner or just watches some TV. The Bouncer retails for $100.
A second diaper rash cream made this year's AMBY list: Boudreaux's Butt Paste. This paste, which sells for rougly $6 and up, appeals to parents with a sense or humor. "It defeats... diaper rash," says Hartshorn.
Another product that really wowed moms and dads was the new and improved Diaper Genie. This nursery device, which retails for $40, helps to hide odors from dirty diapers. "It has a double clamping system to really keep the smell from getting in the nursery," says Hartshorn.
The #9 pick, Dr. Brown's Bottles ($5 and up), has a cult following of parents who swear it reduces colic. "It's now BPA-free, which is important," says Hartshorn. "It's go this sort of inner funnel that helps. Readers say it really does cut down on crying with their infants."
Rounding out this year's AMBY Awards list is the Bumbo Seat. This molded foam seat is great for kids who have learned to hold their head up. "It's great - it's so light weight you move it around the house," says Hartshorn. A warning to parents, though. Be sure to set your Bumbo Seat on surfaces that are close to the ground. While the seat itself is stable, babies are wiggly little creatures! Their movement may cause the seat to topple. So while it may be tempting, don't put your son or daughter in their Bumbo Seat on the counter or kitchen table. The Bumbo Seat sells for $40.
For more information on great baby products, as wel as additional parenting advice, click here to visit www.AmericanBaby.com.
By Erin Petrun