Re-thinking some baby gear

Hindsight is 20/20 is an understatement when it comes to baby gear purchases.  I don't think I made all bad choices, but if I could do it over again, I would certainly buy some different things.  The hard thing is that I'm kind of a cheap skate and some of the things I'd rather have are more expensive; I still have a hard time justifying spending a ton of money on baby gear that will be used for a year max (or, I guess, a year times however many kids you have).  As much as I'd like to buy all new stuff if we have another baby in the future, because I'm cheap and I don't hate what we have, I'll just suck it up.  That being said, maybe the lessons I've learned can save someone else from regret.

High Chairs: buy something with a narrow base that is all wood or plastic (which equals easy cleaning).
We bought the Graco Contempo high chair.  It seemed really appealing to have cushion and easy folding.  but the base is really wide and we have a small house.  Which means lots of tripping over the feet.  Also, when your kid has a massive diaper explosion while in the chair, it is totally awful to clean.

What I'd buy instead is something like this restaurant high chair.  Both grandparents invested in these and they don't take up much space and are super easy to clean.  The down side is that you can't put them in the seat as young as you can with a big cushy seat because they pretty much have to be sitting upright on their own.  So, if you can find something with a more supportive back that is wood or plastic and under $100, you should buy it.

Diaper Bags: Forget the Diaper Bag, buy yourself a back pack.
Sure, there are a lot of really stylish and functional diaper bags out there.  We chose function over form because I have spouse who is a co-parent (not an occasional "babysitter" dad - which, BTW, I HATE it when women refer to their husbands as being babysitters - but that's a whole other topic), and he will not be seen carrying a floral print designer diaper bag.  So this is what we got:
It's great - it really is.  We can fit a lot in there and it hooks nicely to the stroller.  It does the trick through infancy.  Then we got to toddler hood and I found myself not wanting to carry this big bag and putting stuff in my personal messenger bag/purse (which was too small for everything and simultaneously really heavy).  Even in the toddler stage, you still need to carry around a TON of crap for your kid when you're out and about.  What I've found challenging about totes/purses/messenger bags is that when you bend over to pick up/chase your toddler, the heavy bag comes swinging around to the front and all that crap falls out of the top.  Plus it's heavy and all on one side of your body, which does bad things to your posture.

And that's when it hit me: I need a back pack!  I am thankfully not a slave to fashion and frankly, I was getting such terrible back aches that I decided enough was enough.  I actually bought a cheap IKEA backpack (Ikea backpack, what?  Yep, random I know, but it was an impulse buy and it has worked wonders).  LL Bean and Lands End have some great options and with all the pockets and pouches for keeping your kids organized, they are just as functional as any diaper bag.

And guess what?  No more back ache!


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