Friday, May 9, 2014

Best Baby Gear

Back when I was pregnant I used to devour blogposts about baby gear, especially those top 10 type lists. So, I thought I'd record my top baby gear items. These are things that I would definitely use again and have recommended to others. I have not even come close to trying all of the gadgets out there and often times see new products that have come out in the last year and get a little envious that it wasn't available when I was pregnant. However, I still stand by these picks and think that these are all reasonably priced items that have made our life easier. So without further ado...

1. Ergo baby carrier (and infant insert) 

I've used this since week 1 and am so thankful to have it! It is great to use when grocery shopping before baby can sit in the basket since you should never prop your car seat up on the top of the cart. I use it at the airport to be hands free through security (you get to leave baby in it). I used to wear her in it while I was cleaning or standing at my computer working while she napped. 

I also have a ring sling that's okay but the Ergo is far easier to use and I feel much more secure using it.

2. City Mini stroller (with car seat attachment)

We started out with a big jogging stroller (that I still love) and a free Graco travel system stroller. The Graco was great because I could use it with the car seat and it had lots of storage space but it was huge and hard to push one handed. I was thinking about getting a smaller travel stroller like a Chicco or Maclaren style. As luck would have it My local baby store was closing out their City Minis and someone offered to get it for us as a gift. I LOVE it! 

We also got the car seat adapter so it has functioned as a travel system. It folds one handed, pushes like a dream with amazing steering. The seat reclines nearly flat and the canopy is huge which make it perfect for naps. 

If I had a do-over I would get the GT model with rubber tires and skip the jogging stroller since we really just walk anyway.

3. Bumgenius All-in-One diapers

We have some pocket diapers as well but these are my favorite. Snaps are superior to hook and loop, FYI. I am still happy with our decision to primarily cloth diaper and I think these have helped. The husband really likes them too. As an added bonus I match the diaper to her church dress instead of putting bloomers on her :)

4. Sillybillyz bibs

This is fairly new but I love them, best bibs ever! They are terry cloth but also have a waterproof lining so water doesn't soak through. They have a pocket to catch the crumbs and the neckline prevents any food from sneaking under it.  They are plastic snap closure so baby can't pull them off and they don't get tangled up with other clothes in the was like hook and loop do. Totally worth the money.

5. Bebe Pod (like a Bumbo but better)

I was iffy on the whole Bumbo thing, I thought it was silly and wouldn't be used for that long. When I found the Bebe Pod version I put it on my registry and thought, why not? We got if and use it still at 10 months!

Ours has straps to attach it to a chair to make it a booster seat which we used so that she could sit at the table with us before she started eating. However what we mostly use it for is totally against the warning sticker. We have it on our bathroom counter and she sits in it and talks to me while I get ready in the morning. Please rest assured that I stand right behind her the whole time, I would NEVER leave her up there alone! Anyway, she loves it and so do I, it has made our morning routine go so much more smoothly!

6. California Baby bath/body products

I'm from California, I like to use natural products, I'm a bit of a hippie and that is why I love these! I've tried Burt's Bees and BabyGanics but I like California baby the best. We use the baby wash, nighttime lotion and sunscreen mostly and I've been really happy with the smell and cleanliness they offer. I also love that there are no crazy chemicals. It's not cheap but it's worth it.

7. Medela Pump in Style (with hands free bra)

My health insurance covered the Medela Swing or a portion of this pump but it was totally worth it to pay the extra for the double. It's a great reliable pump and I love that it's so easy to get replacement parts at Target or WalNart. I have extra flanges and horns so that I can rotate and am not washing all the time. I also have the hands free bra, totally worth it! I treat a pump break as a time to get on FaceBook or catch up on my blogs and the bra lets me do that. I also find that I can pump more when I'm relaxed and not watching the milk. This is a must have if you plan to breastfeed!

8. Baby swing

Life changing! That's what the swing was. In the first 6 months Caroline needed motion to fall asleep (she actually still does!) for naps. We borrowed a swing and it saved my sanity! I'm not sure is get the same model again as it was huge and took up a lot of space. If we ever have a second I might splurge on a 4Moms MommaRoo!

9. Rock n Play sleeper 

I debated about including this one. I absolutely loved it but it was so hard to transition from this to the crib that I'm hesitant. For babies with reflux it truly is awesome and I loved that it fit in my suitcase but outgrowing it was rough!

10. Car seat and stroller bags 

I don't know that I've seen these on any other top lists bus as someone who has taken her infant to 7 states and will complete 8 round trip flights by the time that infant turns one they deserve some love on my list.

11. Summer Infant Video Baby Monitor

We have a split floor plan in our house, that means that the master bedroom is on the opposite side of the house from the other rooms. The video monitor has been a lifesaver. It allows us to hear Caroline but it also allows us to see if she really needs us or if she's just making noise. I'm so glad that we have it!

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