Here is a look at some of the baby gear that we’ve used and loved:
1.) Chicco Cortina Keyfit 30 Travel System – We had to get a carseat that matched our NICU guidelines. I chose this one because it had an excellent safety rating and keeps the baby’s head from tilting forward and blocking their airway (<- super important for babies on apnea monitors.) I also liked the longevity, it fits up to 30 pounds or 30inches so we were able to keep Scarlette in it until about 20 months (tiny girl)! It is definitely a little heavier to carry than other carseats but it fit snugly in the back of our smallish car. I also really loved the stroller. It’s lightweight and I could open it with one hand, which is a huge plus. We walked the neighborhood almost daily with it. My one complaint is that when the seat is all the way down, the storage compartment isn’t easily accessible.
2.) Vera Bradley Diaper Bag – I live in the south where Vera Bradley is pretty popular and I know the pattern is a personal preference but I love their diaper bag because it has a ton of pockets inside and out, a good amount of space, is comfortable to carry and YOU CAN THROW IT IN THE WASHING MACHINE. Which is fantastic for when you spill a sippy cup in it. Trust me on this. They’ve changed styles since I bought mine- now they are messenger bag style but everything else looks the same.
3.) Britax Roundabout 55 Convertible Car Seat – Once we outgrew the Chicco, we switched to this convertible car seat. I read a TON of recommendations and I really feel like this is the best there is. I even flew around the country with it and it held up incredibly well. It’s lightweight and easy to move between cars. She is two years old and still rear-facing and this fits well in the middle of the backseat with the anchor latches. The reason we chose this over the Marathon was simply the price. It was almost $100 less and since Scarlette is so small I felt pretty confident that she would not hit the weight limit for it before she was ready to move to a booster seat. (I found Preparing For Peanut’s convertible carseat shopping guide really helpful!)
4.) Jeep Wrangler All-Weather Umbrella Stroller – I picked ours up at a garage sale for $10. It’s lightweight and comfortable so it works well for our needs. It has a place to store snacks/toys on the sides and a cupholder (which is mandatory for this mommy.) It doesn’t have a place to hold your diaper bag but we typically only use this for short strolls to the playground so I picked up this accessory bag that attaches to the back to stash my wallet, keys, an extra sippy cup and diapers/wipes in and then I leave the diaper bag at home.
5.) Chicco Lullaby LX Playyard Pack N Play – This is another thing that we are still using well into the twos. She figured out how to climb out of her crib but not out of this, HOLLA! This is easy to haul around to wherever we are traveling and has a lot of useful accessories. We kept it out in the living room all the time when she was a baby for quick naps/diaper changes. Also, I found this pin on how to convert it to a toddler bed, which is awesome.
6.) Graco Blossom 4-in1 Leatherette High Chair – My in-laws have this high chair and I love it. We were lucky to be able to borrow a high chair from my sister but I did discover then that fabric high chairs were invented by evil, evil people. It is a PAIN to have to undo the seat cover to wash after every meal. This one has wipeable fabric and is so easy to clean, plus it transitions to a toddler booster seat, which is a huge plus because you’ll eventually need one of those.
7.) Boppy Pillow – Yeah, I loved my Boppy. Early on I used it to help with nursing and even when we switched to bottles we used it for every feeding. We also used it for tummy time. Scarlette couldn’t sit up on her own until she was almost eleven months old so we propped her up in it often and we got a lot of use out of it. It’s totally worth it. Plus, you can get really cute slipcovers for it- the one pictured above I found here on etsy.
8.) Fisher-Price Discover N Grow Swing & Seat – This is the swing we had in the NICU and I wish we’d had one like it at home. We borrowed one and it worked great but it was huge and not easy to move around. I loved the portability of the small one and really recommend getting one that you can easily carry from room to room. Plus, this one is great because it also serves as a vibrating bouncy seat so it’s a fantastic multi-purpose item. Baby gear takes up a lot of space so anything that is dual purpose is nice to have.
9.) Summer Infant Walk-Thru Baby Gate – This is the one we have at the top of our stairs. It’s great for us because a walk-thru is much easier when your hands are full of laundry/groceries/baby when coming up or down the staircase. And if we had a room that we needed to block off but still have easy access to, this is the one I would recommend. (My favorite retractable gate is the Safety 1st Perfect Fit gate seen here.)
10.) The Baby Book by Dr. Sears – I am a fan of most of the books in the Sears Parenting Library but this one was the best of all the different “the first few years” books that I read because it’s written in a very relate-able and reassuring voice. I go to this one first for milestones, activity ideas, feeding resources, medication charts, etc. In my opinion, this is a great gift for first time moms.
Honorable Mention: Salter 914 Electronic Baby & Toddler Scale – This is an item that I’m not sure most parents need but we had to check Scarlette’s weight every day, sometimes multiple times after meals and this one was incredibly accurate. I really liked that I could program it to account for the weight of her diaper. Now that she is older we’ve removed the top and use just the bottom portion as a toddler scale since we still have to weigh her often. I like that I know it’s giving me a good reading so that I don’t have to drive all the way to the doctor for a weight check.
Also included in this category? My favorite baby monitor, baby sling, cart cover, and bassinet all seen HERE in this post.
Coming tomorrow: My favorite recommendations for feeding!