Baby gear! There is so much marketing for all sorts of baby things it's ridiculous! Before I got pregnant, Marius and I lived in an ignorant state of bliss, blind to the baby section at Target and unaware that such a thing as BabiesRUs existed. As soon as the test showed those two pink lines... we were inundated by advertisements for swings that will soothe your baby into a dreamy land of ponies and rainbows, vibrating chairs (babies naturally enjoy a vibrating state of being), bouncers, bottles, pack and plays and jumparoos. We absolutely needed to have sleep sacks, burp cloths, about 5,654 bibs, onesies and socks, a bottle drying rack, bumper, outlet plugs, a special changing table to get pooped on, a $50 European plastic baby tub specially designed to feel like the womb, baby towels, a highchair that takes up half the space in the kitchen and a diaper genie (to wish away the poop smeared on your expensive and otherwise useless changing table?). Don't even get me started on activity centers, car seats and strollers. Oh! And for the love of god, buy this nursing cover which screams "oh look over here at this bag I am wearing - I am totally lactating under here!!"
I'm not judging anyone who wants or uses these things, but most of the stuff marketed these days is totally unnecessary for our family. We certainly did buy outlet plugs and onesies, but if we felt compelled to get everything so many other people are convinced they need to have before the baby's even born, we'd be living in a miniature sized BabiesRUs. I believe in simple, good quality products with a true and natural purpose. So with that, here's a list of our top 5 favorite baby gear items!
A bassinet with a modern twist. Iris has been sleeping in it, next to me in our room, since the day we brought her home. It's compact, very light and folds for travel. It can be rocked by hand, so she didn't become dependent on the relentless rocking motion of electric swings. The cover is machine washable, it's very light and easily moved from room to room. We've taken this thing everywhere and it's our number one item. She's always slept and played very happily in it. It's convenient, safe and worth every penny. So sad that Iris is about to outgrow it.
This was our first baby carrier purchase. The temperature was just starting to get cold when Iris was born in October, but cocooned in the infant insert and cuddled up against me, she was snug as a bug in a rug. She would sleep for hours at a time as a newborn and it gave me two free hands during grocery shopping. We still use it in rotation with a Baby K'tan and Marius also wears her very comfortably! Perfect for anywhere and everywhere not to mention the many benefits of baby wearing!
I debated for months on what high chair to get. I had my heart set on a Stokke Tripp Trapp, but my ever wiser and more financially responsible other half was very disgruntled about the $400 price tag. We ended up choosing this hook on chair because it's inexpensive and suits our lifestyle perfectly. Every restaurant we've brought it to, we get comments on how cool it is! It attaches to every table we've come across and Iris loves sitting right at the table with us. Good for our small kitchen, clamps on and off in less than a minute, is safe and easy to clean. I'm glad Maruis talked me out of the Tripp Trapp - the hook on is the best! I love that Iris can sit at the table with us - just because she's small, doesn't make her any less a part of the family!
I tend to be really paranoid about car safety, so it took me a long time to choose a car seat that both lived up to my expectations and was affordable. The great thing about the 32 is that your baby fits it until 32 lbs and/or 32 inches in height! It's intended to last the first year, which has saved us anywhere from $50-$100 dollars by not having to purchase an "infant car seat". It's bigger and heavier, and we gave up trying to carry her in the bucket seat at 5 months or so but no complaints other than the weight. I didn't like her sitting in it all the time anyway. She still seems pretty happy and comfortable in it, it's easy to use and installs quickly - overall a good choice and money saver.
Though not very natural, this stroller is awesome. It's light, folds with almost no effort at all by pulling a handle in the center of the seat and is a very smooth ride. Turns and maneuvers on a dime. Good for walking, light jogging, crowded malls, etc. Iris has only used it on our 5K excursions on the local "nature trails" and once in the mall, as I prefer to carry her. I expect to get a lot more use out of it when she's older - right now she will only happily ride for about a half hour before she gets over stimulated and wants to nestle against me and explore from that place of safety. It's a wonderful, compact, light and easy stroller and we look forward to using it more often in the future when Iris is older.
I'll be posting soon about our... I mean Iris' favorite toys!