Baby Gear Must-Haves

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While I realize that this may not be the most exciting thing to buy, it is so incredibly wonderful to have on hand when your baby gets a cold.  It’s really easy to use and clean.

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Pricey?  Yes.  But this car seat has safety features that aren’t available on ANY other infant car seat available in the U.S…

-Flat lying position for newborns (which gradually gets less flat lying as you adjust the harness height upwards)

-Telescopic Linear Side Protection (a little foot that extends from the side of the seat that will absorb impact energy when the seat is in an outbound position in your vehicle)

-European style load leg on the base (again, absorbing the energy of an impact away from your baby!).  This feature is currently only available on one other infant car seat– the Nuna Pipp.

-European belt path routing (for when you’re installing WITHOUT the base, the seatbelt wraps all the way around the infant car seat– allows for a super secure install).  Although a handful of seats has this feature, it is still relatively rare on infant car seats in the U.S.

-No re-thread harness, just simply pull the harness up or down.  Hallelujah!  (also available on a few infant car seats, but not many)

-Fits into strollers using the Maxi-Cosi adapter

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Some people opt to go for a convertible car seat and skip the infant car seat altogether.  We are not those people.  We love being able to strap our baby in his seat in the warmth of our home and put a blanket on top.  We love being able to carry the car seat into the store for a quick errand without waking our sleeping babe.  Baby wearing is great (see my next two recommendations), but sometimes I’m busy chasing the older siblings or I need two free hands– which is why we always get an infant car seat.  BUT, if you’d just like to buy one seat that will last you the entire babyhood of your offspring… then I whole-heartedly recommend the Britax Clicktight Boulevard.  We were skeptical of the Clicktight installation before buying it (can it really get the seat installed tighter than we can kneeling down and pulling on tether straps with all our might?).  The answer?  Yes.  It is incredible.  You’ve got to see it to believe it!  This seat has awesome.  There is a slightly less expensive option (the Britax Clicktight Marathon), but we liked the extra side-impact protection the Boulevard offers.  Can be used for babies 5-65 lbs, up to 49″ tall!

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This carrier is so incredibly comfortable and super easy to put on/off (unlike the Moby, which requires a lot of wrapping around…).  I highly recommend this carrier for the first few months.

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This is good from newborn (well, from around 3 months old, in my opinion) through 33 lbs.  I LOVE this carrier because it is comfortable enough to wear all day long.  Literally.  And my babies have liked being able to face either in or out (my toddler HATED being faced towards me, so being able to face him outwards was absolutely essential).

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I love how this bath tub truly cradles a newborn and supports him in all the right places.  And it does so without any grimy mesh supports (which I think get super nasty after awhile).  Plus, it has two bathing positions (lying down or sitting up), and can be used until baby is 24 months old!

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This is the most versatile stroller on the market.  If you’re thinking maybe you’ll have two kids within a few years of each other, get this stroller– hands down.

-Single Stroller (just pop one seat in)

-Double stroller (snap in two seats)

Both seats facing forward, both seats facing backwards, seats facing each other, car seat in back and seat in front (as shown above), car seat in front and seat in back, two car seats…. seriously, super versatile.  *Note, to put a car seat in you’ll need an adapter, sold separately.  I bought mine here.

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The wheels are pretty substantial, going over gravel, snow, bumpy sidewalks, etc with relative ease.  And they don’t require air!  One of my back wheels started wobbling (not sure why… did it get slammed when we were shutting the trunk?  Don’t know).  I called Baby Jogger (I’d owned the stroller 2 years at this point) and they sent me a complimentary replacement wheel!  Customer service means SOOOOO much to me.

The sun canopies are also INCREDIBLE (huge!).  And so is the basket underneath.  It can accommodate any size diaper bag you’ve got!  haha

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I already had a nice stroller (a Baby Jogger City Select), but when my friend offered to give me her hand-me-down BOB I took her up on her generous offer.  And I am so glad that I did!  This stroller is our everyday walk 5 miles stroller (and we keep our Baby Jogger City Select in the trunk for outings– it folds much more compactly and is a good errand stroller).  The BOB stroller seriously glides over pavement.  The shocks on this thing are incredible– I can’t even tell the difference going from sidewalk to grass.  If you like walking or running or exercising, get. one. of. these.  You won’t regret it!

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I received a Woombie as a gift, and I thought hmmm… thank you :-/  But then upon using it, I realized what a wonderful gift it actually was!  I am a pro-swaddler (with 3 kids and 6+ years of nannying under my belt, think I can call myself a professional– right?).  But some babies are little houdinis and eventually can get out of any swaddle.  The Woombie?  Not so.  It securely keeps babies’ little appendages confined so he can actually fall asleep and stay asleep.  Used this on our two youngest babies, and they both loved it.  As soon as they’d see the Woombie, they’d immediately begin calming down!  Now every baby is different, and some babies HATE being swaddled.  But if swaddling is calming to your baby, this is a must-have.

Aden + Anais is a popular brand of blanket.  I have a few and like them.  They’re big (47″x47″) and can easily swaddle a baby, cover a toddler, be draped over a car seat or stroller sun canopy, etc.

You can also buy a yard of gauze material (aka “muslin”) from Hobby Lobby for around $7, sew around the edges (even a noob can do this!) and call it good.  Don’t get consumed with buying every cute blanket you see… just get a few (3-5) blankets that you love.

  • 5-10 Baby Bottles

I know it is tempting to stock up before your baby arrives.  But in this department, don’t.  Just get one bottle of a few different brands, and see what your baby prefers.  Some of my favorites are:

Dr. Brown’s Glass bottles (two pack for $14)– these have a more traditional nipple, and have a special vent system to prevent a vacuum effect and nipple collapse from occurring as your baby drinks.  We prefer glass because then we KNOW there aren’t any icky chemicals that will leach out… (I was kind of scarred when the government discovered BPA AFTER my first baby was past the bottle stage).

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Avent Classic Bottle (one for around $6.50)– (as opposed to the “Avent Natural Bottle”, which seems to not vent as well and the nipple collapses on my older babies).  This bottle has a fantastic anti-colic vent system.  These nipples are a bit broader, and they’ve never collapsed on my babies.  They have a wide opening, so they’re super quick and easy to clean.  One downfall is that Avent wasn’t willing to replace my BPA bottles when the government came out and banned it.  Customer service is super important to me, and well, I was entirely unimpressed with Avent’s customer service– they weren’t willing to do anything.

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Playtex Nurser bottles (pack of 3 for $13)– these go against my philosophy of reduce, reuse, recycle since they use disposable liners.  But these are fantastic bottles!  And if you’re using frozen breast milk bags, really it’s not incredibly wasteful to use this bottle (since you stored breast milk in a bag that can be plopped into this bottle).

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What is a great nursing shirt?  This.  Well this shirt in combination with a low-cut shirt or tank top.  (And this isn’t even marketed to be for nursing moms!).

How does it work?  Pull down the neckline of your outer low-cut shirt, and pull up the demi shirt– and ta-da!  You have a discreet slit to breastfeed, keeping your stomach (and most of your boobs) covered.

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I’d buy twenty.  Some people get caught up in buying all the exclusive prints, collecting colors, trying every different brand, etc.  Don’t do it.  Cloth diapering is meant to SAVE money, not to become an obsession.  You want a decent sized stash so that you don’t HAVE to do laundry every day and each cloth diaper isn’t being worn and washed on a daily basis (you might find yourself needing to replace velcro and elastics pretty quickly with a routine like this!).  But you also don’t want to go overboard and end up spending more money than you really need to ($17.95 MSRP each for these babies!).  I’d say twenty is a good number to have.  I’ve had really good luck with the BumGenius 4.0 diapers.  They fit newborns (well, my newborns weigh 9+ lbs…) through potty-training toddlers.  One suggestion I will make is to buy the snap closures (as opposed to the “hook and loop”- aka velcro- closures).  Velcro wears out over time, whereas my snaps still look and function like new (and they’ve gone through TWO babies now!).

 

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