As someone who likes--ok, LOVES--to time things and is very particular, the itzbeen has been a lifesaver!
This nifty little gadget has so much to offer! As the name suggests, with just the push of a button, it will keep track of how long it's been since:
you last changed your wee babe's diaper;
your baby has nursed (or had a bottle);
your little one drifted off to sleep;
* (whatever else you want to keep track of--we use ours to record how long Augustine has been awake between naps).
Here is how it works: when you change a diaper, start a feeding, put the baby down to sleep, etc., you just push the corresponding button, and a timer starts counting up.
In the middle of the night, when you are barely coherant and you're not really sure how many times your child has been up or when he last ate, you just glance over at the iztbeen, and it will tell you! It great for knowing how many minutes your baby nurses for, too. We used the diaper timer more when Augustine was little, but it still comes in handy on especially busy days or when I am nannying (keeping track of four kiddos kinda makes you forgetful at times!). The nap/awake timers are great because I always like to know exactly how long Augustine sleeps (there's that particular thing creeping in...) and just as importantly, how long he is awake between sleeping.
It has some other really great features, too!
When you push the small round button, for example, the whole screen lights up for a few seconds--crucial during the middle of the night.
And if you push the light bulb button under the logo, the logo screen turns on as a flash light until you push it again to turn it off. I have used this to guide me down the hallway and into Augustine's room for night feedings, to shine on his precious face to check on him, and to help me find things in the dark without turning the light on.
You will also notice the toggle switch at the bottom to help one keep track of which side the baby should begin nursing on--way easier than pinning a safety pin on your bra strap (Does anyone actually do that?? It seems like a lot of work...).
Another key aspect of the itzbeen is the button lock on the side. It prevents the buttons from being accidentally pushed while the itzbeen is floating around in your diaper bag or purse (or being mangled and chewed upon by your baby...the itzbeen is just as popular as my cell phone when it comes to coveted "toys" for Augustine).
The clip on the back also comes in handy when your hands are full carrying your babe and a bunch of other things down the stairs. When I have too much to carry, I clip it right onto the waist of my pants since it goes everywhere with me.
And finally, the itzbeen allows you to set alarms for any of the timers. If you set the feeding alarm for 4 hours, for example, the alarm would go off if the timer ever got up to 4:00 (we set that alarm the first few weeks home with Augustine, so we could wake him up to eat in case he slept for more than 4 hours at night). If you were worried about forgetting to change your baby, you could set an alarm for that too...although that has never been an issue for us (Luke thinks I change Augustine too much).
I do not kid when I say it goes everywhere with us. Each night it rests right beside the monitor on my night stand, and it even has a special compartment in my purse!
Ironically, I registered for the itzbeen because I stumbled upon it on the Babies 'R' Us website and felt like I needed more things on my registry. But I didn't end up getting it as a shower gift and wasn't going to purchase it for myself. When my sister, Ellen, arrived in town the night before Augustine was born, however, she brought it as a gift without having ever seen it on my registry. I had no idea how much I would love it! Who knew nine months later I would still be carrying it around like a security blanket! (Thank you, Ellen!!).
A runner up in this category would be the Boppy Pillow (Augustine's personal couch for the first four months of his life).
I want more ideas from all of you Moms (or aunts!). What is your favorite, can't-live-without-it baby item??