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Gear: Reader Reviews 

Moms and dads have an endless assortment of products, tools, and services to choose from, whether they’re just starting to build a family, or are welcoming a second (or third) member into their homes.

But what gadgets make the grade when it comes to our families? Which travel strollers are lightweight, yet sturdy enough to withstand a trip overseas to pick up an adorable bundle? And which paper announcements best capture the unique joys of our journey?

Here, AF readers tell all on a variety of products, including baby carriers, lifebooks, and more. Add your own thoughts and recommendations using the comment function below!

 

Storybooks, Lifebooks, Paperwork

 

Custom Storybooks
A host of Web sites will help you tell your child’s story in a beautiful, hardcover storybook. In this column, we rate the top options.

It’s Your Life! 
Several companies now offer fill-in-the-blank lifebooks, but how do you know which one will be best for telling your child’s adoption tale? AF readers give us the inside story on four of the top picks.

Record Time
When you finally bring your child home, you want to share your joy with family and friends—and keep a log of the journey for yourself. AF readers tested new options for recording those precious memories.

Keep It Together!
How can you manage all of your adoption paperwork when you travel? AF readers recommended document holders that will keep papers safe and organized on that all-important trip, whether it's to the next state or halfway around the world.

Family Essentials

 

Snug Bugs
In the first months of baby’s life, swaddling can promote bonding, improve sleep, and help baby feel secure—benefits that last long after she outgrows it. Three moms describe the blankets that worked best for their little ones.

Ride On, Baby
With dozens of babywearing products out there, how do you pick the one that's right for you? Four AF readers share their stories about carriers that kept their little ones safe and near.

It’s in the Bag!
Modern moms and dads have lots of choices when it comes to hauling baby essentials like diapers, bottles, wipes, and toys. But which ones could stand up to an adoption trip, and which ones are best to use for around-town errands? AF readers test six of the most popular and stylish diaper bags on the market.

Message in a Bottle 
Feeding plays a big part in bonding with your baby, and adoptive moms and dads know that the right bottle can make a difference. Here, readers review their five favorites.

Picking a Stroller 
Whether rushing out-of-state on a moment’s notice or jetting off to another country, adopting parents find travel strollers essential. So which are light enough to take on a trip, but durable enough to stand up to everyday use?

It's a Date!
What could be a better gift than seeing your child’s smiling face all year long? We asked readers to rate DIY online photo calendars, just in time for the new year.

Cuddle Up
Readers review products that help families co-sleep.

Online Resources

 

Scrapbooks 
Learn everything you need to know about how to make your own lifebook, memory book, and digital and paper scrapbooks with these resources and tutorials, recommended by AF readers and editors.

Adoption Announcements
Adoptive parents share their tips on creating the best announcements, and recommend their favorite online sites.

 

Baby Gift Registries
    Readers share their registry experiences--and tell us which companies have adoption-
    friendly options.
Toys and Games

Multicultural Dolls
Readers review dolls that represent different races and ethnicities.

 

Language DVDsDVDs that aim to teach children Spanish, Chinese, Baby Sign Language, and ESL.

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