Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Make Room For Baby {Gear}

Will {2006}

Ben {2009}

 Who knew that one little person would need so much stuff? 
Not me, that's for sure!

Preparing for a new baby is overwhelming.  If you've been a mom for a while it's easy to forget the overwhelming feelings that rush over you the first time you set foot in a baby store.  It was uncharted territory for me and my husband.  We had no idea where to start!  Who knew there were so many different types of bottles, car seats, strollers, bathtubs, and on and on?  Thank goodness I had friends who offered up advice and suggestions.  If it weren't for them we would have wasted a lot of time and money.  I've thought back to the things I've found most helpful.  Here’s a list I wish I had when I started preparing for my little bundle of joy.

Please keep in mind these are things we found useful. I’m not going with things that are uber-trendy or stylish. I’m going for accessible, functional and practical. Most of our baby items were purchased at Babies R Us and Target. There are several reasons why we shopped at these stores. It’s convenient, you can see the item in person, coupons made the items cheaper (especially at Babies R Us) and they have baby registries.

Pamper Swaddlers but I used Huggies a lot, too.

Pampers or Huggies, but I really prefer Huggies wipes. 

Diaper Cream
I think I've tried it all!  My first baby had terrible diaper rash.  I like A&D because it's clear and not very messy.  If diaper rash is really bad, I haven't found anything that works better than the original Desitin.  It's messy but it helps clear up the rash.

I LOVE my Boppy nursing pillow! When you are nursing a newborn baby it feels like all you do is sit and feed him. This made it more comfortable and helped position the baby.

Breast Pump
Medela Pump In Style. I can’t say enough good things about this pump. It literally paid for itself because we didn’t have to buy formula. It also made me feel better about having to go back to work. I may not have been able to stay at home and nurse my baby, but at least I was providing milk for him. The pump is efficient and easy to use.

Breast Milk Storage Bags
Lansinoh milk storage bags were the ones I preferred.

Breast Pads
Lansinoh breast pads were my breast pads of choice. Medela came in a close second. I didn’t like any of the other brands at all.

Nursing Cream
Lansinoh lanolin cream was helpful for soreness when you start nursing.

Bottle Warmer
I used a brand from Babies R Us.  I can't remember but it was reasonably  priced.  It was useful to reheat breast milk after I went back to work.

Philips AVENT BPA Free Bottles By: Avent
I didn’t bother with 4 oz and used 9 oz.  I never had colic issues and my babies were never confused to go from breast to bottle and vice versa.

Kiddopotamus Tiny Diner Placemat By: Kiddopotamus and Co
This was one of the BEST shower gifts I've ever been given.  We now have three of these. When we’re at restaurants we get so many questions from other parents about where to find this cool placemat. It adheres to the table with suction tabs on the bottoms and gives your little one a place to eat from when they are too small for a plate.  I don’t want to put my little ones food directly on the table (gross!) so this provides a cleans place for his food.  It conveniently and neatly rolls up for storage when we are finished.

We used a ton of bibs! You need all kinds, but I really like the laminated ones that can be wiped off easily. I also though the disposable Bibster bibs were pretty genius.  So handy when you are going out to eat.

High Chair
Fisher Price Healthy Care High Chair
We've been pretty happy with the high chair.  It's not the most stylish design, but it's well-made.  It is bulky, but I think most high chairs are bulky.  Several of my friends used the Chicco high chairs, and I think they look nice.  I don't know if they are functional but they are aesthetically pleasing.

Booster Seat
Fisher-Price Healthy Care Booster Seat By: Fisher-Price (Convenient and practical. It secures easily to chairs. We use this every time we are at friends’ house or at church fellowship meals. It’s very handy when there's not a highchair available).

Play mat/Activity mat
Tiny Love Gymini: Musical Kick & Discover Play Mat By: Tiny Love
It’s around $70 but a friend recommended it and I’m so glad she did. My little ones loved to lay on this and look at all of the different accessories, colors and images. We used it until he started to pull up and walk. It’s especially great for when they are really small and before they crawl.

Bumbo Baby Sitter By: Bumbo
I would say use this sooner rather than later. We waited too long on our first baby and he was too big. When our second baby had good head control then we started sitting him in it. We also used it for feeding when they were small. The baby would sit in it easier than a high chair.

Sony Baby Call monitor

Infant Seat
Fisher-Price infant seat/bouncer (similar look to the Papasan Swing)

Fisher-Price Papasan Cradle Swing By: Fisher-Price

Car Seat
Britax Roundabout Convertible Car Seat
We LOVE this car seat!  It can be used rear facing and forward facing. We only used it forward facing with Will, but we decided to put Ben in it when he turned about 8 months old and used it rear facing. We turned it forward facing when Ben turned one.  The Britax seats are so well made compared to the cheaper Graco we have in our second car.

Travel System with car seat and stroller
GracoTravel system
It’s affordable and has a great safety rating. If I were to choose over again, I might go with Chicco. I recommend buying an extra base for your second car. We used the infant carrier/car seat in both of our vehicles. The stroller is bulky, but I think the baby is very comfortable in it. The main advantage to the travel system is when the baby is small. If he/she is asleep in the car seat you can leave them asleep in the car seat, remove the entire car seat from the car and just snap the car seat into the stroller without disturbing your peaceful little angel.

Maclaren Triumph By: Maclaren
We bought this when our son, Will, was about 18mths old. We have used it on vacation when we’ve been in NYC and Chicago. It’s easy to fold up and carry. It made it easier to get on and off the subway and ‘L’. We don't use the big, bulky Graco stroller as much anymore because we like this light-weight model. It's so easy to get in and out of the car. It's a little pricey, but we think well worth it.

Baby Carrier
BabyBjorn Baby Carrier Original - City Black By: BabyBjorn 
I didn't have a Baby Bjorn with my first baby, but I decided to invest in one for my second, Ben.  It was one of the best purchases I ever made.  My babies are big boys, each over nine pounds at birth, and I was immediately able to use the Baby Bjorn.  It made shopping so much easier because the baby was so comfortable and secure.  It allowed me to have my hands free which is so important since I also had a toddler who needed constant attention.  The Baby Bjorn is comfortable and easy to use.  I wish I would have had it with my first.  I was sad when Ben outgrew it because I loved it so much.

Diaper Bags
 I've used several different diaper bags.  The first diaper bag I ever used was an Eddie Bauer from Target, very practical on price and design.  The next diaper bags we tried came from Pottery Barn Kids--the Ultimate Diaper Bag and the canvas diaper tote.  I still use the canvas diaper tote as a catch-all in the car.  I really liked the price and design of the Spark bags from Target, which are a cheaper version of Skip Hop, very functional and cute.  With my second baby we used an Allen Ave bag (Cevan Metro brown with orange airplane design) that was a gift at my baby shower.  It's pretty great as far as design and style.  It was my husband's fave.  Currently I'm using an OiOi bag.  It's well-made and with a cute pattern and color scheme.  Some of my friends love the Fleurville bags, and I'll have to admit they are pretty darn cute.

Diaper Pail
Baby Trend New Diaper Champ By: Baby Trend
I really like it because it uses regular trash bags and does a good job containing the smelly odor. I usually hang a Yankee candle car jar inside the Diaper Champ to help hide any unpleasant odors.

Advice Books and other useful resources
I found the book Baby Bargains to be very helpful.  I'd also suggest reading reviews on Amazon.com, Target and Babies R Us.  I've found them helpful in giving me an idea if I'll like the product or not.  The catalog and online store One Step Ahead has a great selection of useful items and baby gear. 
Just for fun you might want to check out www. http://mamabargains.com/ or www.babysteals.com/  I've found some really neat, affordable items on these websites. 

What baby gear did you find most useful? 

Please add anything that might be helpful.


  1. Love this advice :) My favorite diaper bag was actually a free one from the hospital from a formula supplier - I've been given so many of those that the thought of buying one drives me crazy.
    I totally agree on the breast pads - the best ones are the disposable ones from Lansinoh.
    I will take your advice on the Baby Bumboo - I want to get that for my next baby (I'm due in July) I've seen a bunch of friends use them for their baby and they seem so versatile.

    I also LOVE using the Graco pack and play with the bassinet and diaper changing station - I used it ALL of the time and it saved a lot of space.

  2. Faith, that's a great idea! I used a Graco pack and play with the bassinet and diaper changing station. I forgot to mention it so thanks for reminding me. It saved a lot of space for us, too.


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