I decided instead of bombarding you with the longest post ever to break it down into categories. Today I'm sharing my favorites in baby gear that we used (or still use) for Miller and plan to use for baby #2. Then I am sharing which baby gear items we are getting or want for baby #2 that we didn't have with Miller. I also plan to share my favorites for: feeding, sleep, safety, baby books, etc in future posts.
1. Fisher Price Rock n Play Sleeper- This was a LIFESAVER for us. Miller actually slept in this until he was 5 months old (we moved him to his own room at 3 months but he slept in the rock n play in there). When he first came home from the hospital I knew I wanted him close to me but didn't want anything that attached to the bed or laid in the middle of the bed. I had also heard from many people that lots of babies liked the incline of the rock n play and it helped with reflux problems. Miller was never diagnosed with reflux but was a "happy spitter" (meaning he spit up a lot but wasn't in pain) and as a nervous first time mom the incline of the rock n play helped ease my fears and made Miller a much happier baby.
2. Fisher Price Cradle n Swing- Again another lifesaver. Miller loved the swing and spent many nap times here his first few months. We quickly found out when Miller was an infant that when he was cranky or overstimulated he wanted to be left alone, meaning he just wanted to sit in the swing and chill out. I know a lot of people have had luck with the 4Moms Mamaroo and unless this baby hates the swing we plan to use it again.
3. Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat- I did a lot of research on car seats before choosing one. I loved that the Chicco seats came in neutral colors, had high safety ratings, and lots of reviews on ease of use. I also loved that it went to 30 inches tall and 30lb weight limit (I moved Miller over to the convertible seat before he grew out of this but liked the option). While Miller wasn't always the biggest fan of this car seat we loved it. It is so easy to use and the two click snap in was a great way to know you got it in the base correctly.
4. Chicco KeyFit Caddy Stroller Frame- This was my favorite and something I missed most when Miller moved to the convertible car seat. I used this as my running errands stroller until we moved Miller over to the convertible seat at 8 months. It is so light, the car seat snaps right in (so you don't have to wake a sleeping baby) and it has a huge basket which made it easy for me to use grocery shopping or running errands. I highly suggest this to anyone who is running errands with a baby. I would just use this in Target instead of the cart.
5. Graco Pack n Play with Newborn Napper and Changer- I decided to get the pack n play with the newborn napper and changer and I honestly don't regret it. We kept this in our family room when Miller was an infant and I found it so easy to use for diaper changes. Since I'm tall I liked not having to bend over very far to change his diaper and the newborn napper came in handy those first few weeks. Once we didn't need it in the family room anymore we just saved it for traveling with Miller and so far haven't had any problems. He sleeps like a champ in it when we're on vacation and visiting family so I really have no complaints.
6. Fisher Price Rainforest Melodies and Lights Gym- Miller loved this activity mat. We started using it when he was about 2 weeks old but he didn't really start to interact with it until closer to the 2 month mark. Once he started to see and understand things it was so fun to watch him reach for toys and laugh and scream at the lights and music. I hope baby #2 enjoys it just as much!
7. Fisher Price Space Saver Highchair- I originally had the Bloom Nano Highchair which I snagged at a yard sale in my neighborhood. It's a great looking high chair and matches my kitchen beautifully but it is a bitch to clean. After reading reviews about how people would drag it outside everyday and hose it off I was like ain't nobody got time for that and I went to Target and picked up the space saver high chair. Love, love, love this chair. I love that it sits on a chair so it takes up no extra room and I love that it can be a booster seat when Miller and ready and I can just pull him up to the table to eat with us. The cover is machine washable and the tray can go right into the dishwasher. Both a huge plus!
8. Evenflo Exersaucer Active Learning Center- Ahhh my most favorite babysitter ever! Oh I miss this toy everyday. The exersaucer became another lifesaver (notice a theme?!) for me when Miller first became mobile. Not only did Miller love this toy but he would happily bounce and play in it for 20 minutes straight (which is an eternity in infant/toddler time) meaning I could go to the bathroom, cook dinner, change a load of laundry, etc. My parents have the Fisher Price jumperoo which is as good a
9. Maxi Cosi Pria 70 Convertible Car Seat- Again I did a ton of research when it came time to move Miller to the convertible seat. I wanted something that would offer extended rear facing and as much as I loved the Britax ones lots of reviewers said they were not good for tall babies and toddlers. Since Miller has been in the 90th percentile for height I knew I wanted something that would last longer for him. I narrowed it down to a few but finally settled on the Maxi Cosi Pria 70 and I'm so happy I did! Miller was never a huge fan of his infant seat but he LOVES this car seat so much. The material is wonderful and stays cool and the huge head wings, which I thought might get annoying, instead act as built in pillows. I swear if we're in the car for longer than 20 minutes this seat just knocks him out. I plan to get one for baby #2 when it's his turn to move to the convertible seat.
10. Baby Jogger City Mini Stroller- I spent just as much time researching the stroller as I did the car seats. Many hours pouring over Amazon reviews and driving an hour to stores just to push the stroller around and try to fold it up. I do wish I had chosen the Baby Jogger City Select (I will explain below) but I've loved my City Mini so much. This stroller lives in my car and I use it for walking around the mall, running errands, trips to the park, etc. It's very light weight for a full size stroller at only 16lbs and maneuvers very easily with only one hand if needed. It's also the easiest folding stroller out there. Just one quick tug of a handle and it's folded right up. Plus it fits really well into the back of a sedan without taking up too much room.
11. BOB Revolution SE Jogging Stroller- When I was first pregnant I didn't want a jogging a stroller because I never thought I would use it. After pushing a friend's BOB stroller I quickly changed my mind. This stroller seriously walks/runs itself. Both Kyle and I love it. I have not run with it as I found out I was pregnant with #2 shortly after purchasing it but I use it everyday at least 1-2 times a day for walks and Kyle runs with it all the time on the weekends. It's seriously one of our favorite baby purchases and I highly suggest it to anyone. The one downside is that it's pretty big so I don't love taking it into the mall or stores since it can be hard to maneuver around.
Next I wanted to share some baby items that we have added to our baby gear collection or plan to add now that baby #2 is on his way.
1. Baby Jogger City Select Double Stroller-I really considered getting this stroller when I was pregnant with Miller but ultimately decided not to because I thought it would be 2 or 3 years until we added to our family and wasn't sure if I would need a double. Now that I'm having babies 16 months apart a double is a must. I've again done a ton of research and have decided this one is the best for. I really wanted the inline as opposed to tandem since I will mostly be using this stroller for mall walks and errand running so I wanted it to be easier to maneuver. I like that there are 16 different ways to change the seats around and I like that it can easily go from a stroller for two to a stroller for one if I was out with just one of the kids I could convert it to a single stroller. Looking back I would suggest this for anyone who is thinking of having more than one kid especially if you're planning for two under two.
2. BOB Revolution SE Duallie Jogging Stroller- This is just the double version of the BOB that we already have. Since I walk the dog every day at least once if not twice a day I knew that I wanted a double BOB. I was lucky enough to find one of these on Craigslist this past summer so it's ready and waiting when baby #2 arrives.
3. ERGO Baby Carrier- I had a Baby Bjorn for Miller and hated it. I don't know if it was combination of my c-section and a weak lower back but the Baby Bjorn always hurt my back. I could never wear it for any length of time and Miller always seemed unhappy in it. Everyone raves about the ERGO baby carrier and since I have a feeling I will need to do a lot of baby wearing this time around I'm getting the ERGO. If you have the ERGO do you love it?
4. Munchkin Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail- We have the Diaper Genie for Miller's nursery and while it hasn't been awful it doesn't do the best job keeping the smells at bay and I feel like I need to constantly change the bag or just take diapers out to the garage trash can. We picked up this diaper pail for baby #2's nursery in hopes of it doing a better job with the the baking soda and twisting the bag every time you close it. I could have been duped but fingers crossed. Anyone have experience with this- good or bad?
5. Boppy Newborn Lounger- I know this probably seems like a waste to some but since I have a feeling I'm going to moving around the house a lot with Miller I was looking for something that I could easily carry with me from room to room to have a place to put baby #2 while I play with Miller. A few of my friends have this and they said it does a better job than just a regular Bobby propping up a newborn and keep them in a good position. Anyone have any pros or cons on this one?
6. Puj Infant Tub- We had a Fisher Price infant tub with a newborn swing for Miller which wasn't bad but I always felt like he looked like he was slipping down or really uncomfortable. Plus the tub took up a ton of space in our bathroom. I love the idea of the Puj tub just fitting right into the sink and then unfolding to hang dry. Anything that takes up less space is high on my list these days.
So that is my official baby gear list! Again what works for some babies doesn't work at all for others. If I've learned anything in these last 15 months of parenthood it's that a lot of it is trial and error until you figure out what works best for you and your baby.
So what are your favorite baby items? Does anyone have any item that was a must-have for them that I didn't list? Were there any items I listed that you found to be a total waste?
If you've used any of the items on my baby #2 wishlist I would love to hear the good or bad!
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