Now that we’re in the market again for infant things, I thought I’d do a little audit of what I know about baby stuff. A couple people have asked me and in general, it’s nice to have as much information as possible before jumping in.
My overall recommendation would be to go register for stuff with a newish mom. My friend Nat came with me and it was so helpful – she could point out what was pointless to buy or the random things I wouldn’t have even thought to pick up. She also helped with questions about which brand to get, color selection, etc. Also, don’t be afraid to talk to a salesperson. In my experience, BuyBuyBaby salespeople are knowledgeable and happy to help. The woman who helped me had five kids!
- This is really a personal preference. Baby Jogger, Bob, UPPA Baby and MacLaren are all good brands. We have the Baby Jogger City Select because we knew we’d have more than one kid and you can just add a seat versus buying a double stroller, and it has an expandable handle which is good for us tall people. But most people I know have the Baby Jogger City Mini. I also bought a Bob jogging stroller off Craigslist and use that for jogging (shocker!).
- For a double stroller, we’ll buy the additional seat for the City Select and we’ll need a double umbrella stroller as well (leaning toward Maclaren). And I might end up getting a double Bob since I really do like running with Louise.
- We really liked our Peg Perego. It’s the safest according to the BuyBuyBaby saleswoman (they are the only ones that actually test the side impact).
- My friends recommended the Britax when Louise grew out of the infant seat and we love that one too. I have delegated any car seat moving to Mike so I don’t know how easy it is to install, but he’s only mildly sweaty when he’s done so it can’t be that bad, right?
- I went overboard on this and bought two: a nylon Marc by Marc Jacobs and a black Skip Hop messenger. I still use both occasionally, but once I got just a big regular tote I use that 90% of the time.
- Another personal preference. The hot one right now is the mamaRoo.
- I LOVED our playmat (Bright Starts 5-in-1) because the sides folded up to keep her contained. And it was bigger than the circular ones. This was seriously in my top five best infant items.
- It’s a personal preference (noticing a theme?). I had the My Brest Friend and liked it, but others love the Boppy because you can lay the baby on it while not breastfeeding as well.
- We had zero issues with Dr Brown’s. Some people go through 7 or 8 brands before they find one that their baby likes, though, so common advice is to only get a few of one brand before you know what the baby will take.
- First, don’t make the mistake I did and get a sterilizer that’s a different brand than your bottles. You have to match them up (Dr Brown’s – Dr Brown’s, Advent – Advent) or the bottles won’t fit. What a fun lesson to learn.
- These microwaveable mags saved our life. Instead of having to wait for a cycle to finish in the dishwasher you could throw whatever (pacifiers, bottles, etc) in here and sterilize them in 3 minutes. Totally worth it.
- Bumbo – we barely used ours but some people are obsessed. I think because our swing was in the living room we used that for a long time, and then stuck her in her walker and jumper after that.
- High chair – you definitely don’t need this in the beginning but I LOVE our Peg Perego Prima Pappa Best. This clip-on high chair was a lifesaver when we went out to eat since it’s so small.
- Monitor – We were weirdos and refused to get a video monitor, but there are some really good ones out there – even ones that link via the internet to your iPhone.
- Bathtime – The Puj tub is the best invention in the universe since you can bathe your baby in the sink. It was a pain to kneel over the tub when Louise was an infant so I’m looking forward to using this the second time around.
The few pieces of advice I have in general are:
- If you don’t get a stroller as a gift, you should check Craigslist. You can get them super discounted and they’re usually in great shape. The sellers are mostly people who have expanding families so the strollers aren’t worn out. We just did that with our jogging stroller and it’s fantastic.
- I’ve heard from my friends that renting a breast pump from the hospital is far superior to buying one. They’re stronger and you pay by the month. And if breastfeeding doesn’t work out (ahem) you’re not out $300ish bucks.
- I highly recommend getting the hooded towels from Pottery Barn Kids (these). Worth the $25 – $30 cost.
- WHITE NOISE MACHINE OMG WHITE NOISE MACHINE. This is a must have. Not the stupid sleep sheep that runs for only 45 minutes.
- Buy as many bibs as you can, you will use them all. The packs of 10 are nice. Same with burp cloths and blankets. I’ve read a lot about women saying they got “too many receiving blankets” but we literally used all of ours all the time and we had maybe 20ish? Also white things are great because you can bleach them. Or something with a busy pattern. All of these will get ruined with spit up, vomit, etc so don’t get too fancy.
- Don’t splurge on cute stuff before about 6 months (although all gifts are awesome). They tend to live in onesies and are usually swaddled.
- I think the biggest piece of advice is to not get too starry-eyed early on. It’s kind of like when you register for wedding stuff…you get really excited about certain things only to discover you never use them or they’re impractical, while the boring things like towels end up being the best gifts because you use them all the time. Same with baby stuff…you really want to get all the cutesy stuff, but the beginning of a baby’s life is just messy and boring. Save it for later. =)