Thoughts about Baby Gear
Preparing for baby is such an overwhelming task and there is SOOOO much stuff out there that it becomes even more daunting. At some point you just have to make a decision and buy stuff, but at times, you'll be left wondering if you made the right decision. Here's my opinion (on the things that come right to the top of my head):
Items that kind of don't matter:
Items that kind of don't matter:
- Baby monitors. If you can hear the baby through the monitor, then you're fine. If your room is close to baby's, you won't need a monitor. You can't really hear them breathing through the monitor, so that's a moot point, you just need to be able to hear them cry. Once the baby is out of your room, you don't want to hear every movement from them because you just need to relish in your own sleep!
- Nursery decor. Yeah, it's fun. But we spend very little time in his room. But a mobile might be worth the expense. We don't really have one and I feel like having one over his changing table might be nice. Perhaps it would keep him from trying to flip over and grab the diapers, lotion, powder, etc. while I'm trying to change his messy pants.
- Changing table. If you have a flat surface to change baby, great. It doesn't need to be specifically a changing table.
- I would buy an Ergo, NOT a Bjorn. Baby Bjorns will destroy your shoulders. I went back and forth between Ergo and Bjorn. My friends said Ergo and I didn't listen. I thought, Bjorn active looks like it's got more support. Wrong. The lumbar support is a total joke. Your shoulders will be BURNING within minutes of carrying your newborn. Get the Ergo (or something comparable). It places weight on your hips (which is still a little tiring) and keeps it off your shoulder. And it rolls up nicer than the Bjorn so you can shove it in your diaper bag.
- Get a stroller with big wheels. For me, strollers with big wheels = jogging strollers. I didn't want a jogging stroller because jogging is "me time." And they are usually more expensive and I am a cheapskate. BUT - they are better suited for larger people (like husbands). And we walk with the stroller a lot. I didn't think about that. In retrospect, I would have splurged a little more on the stroller.
- Get a carseat that has adjustable straps in the front. I researched and researched carseats and strollers, yet in all my testing and reading, not once did I come across the notion that some carseats are easily adjusted in the front, versus the carseat that we bought which has to be adjusted with some annoyance in the back. It's not a deal-breaker, but if all other things (including price) are equal, get the front adjusting. His current carseat (he rapidly outgrew the infant bucket seat) has front adjusting and life is much easier.
- I got a free rocking chair, so I can't really complain. It does the trick as far as providing a place to sit and nurse. But Graham actually didn't care for rocking in a rocking chair. He likes standing and swaying. In retrospect I might have just gotten a cushy chair that would have been a bit more comfortable for those middle of the night feedings (though then I might really have fallen asleep while nursing instead of doing the head bobbing thing).
- Get a bouncy seat. I got this rocking seat for Graham instead of bouncy seat. Partly because the rocker goes from infant to toddler. He decided pretty early on he didn't really like it. I think if it bounced more he would have liked it. A seat with a strap (even if they don't like them) is an absolute necessity, however. Especially if you want a shower...ever...while on maternity leave.
- The Ergo (as mentioned above). Wearing your baby will save you in those first couple months.
- The crib. Get a sturdy one. Graham isn't bouncing in his crib yet, but he will be!
- Board books. He loves them. Mostly he loves chewing them. But he gets to chew and I get to read to him, so it's win-win.
- Our high chair. We didn't get one that goes on a chair seat since I've known other people who have felt those are a little unsturdy, and they outgrow them pretty quickly. We got a Graco chair which was pretty inexpensive but quality at the same time, and we all have been pretty happy with it. The only exception: my strong baby figured out very quickly how to pry the top washable cover off the tray.
- Sleep sheep on the go. It's a white noise machine that's portable and cute. Worth the money, for sure.