Let’s make a list of baby stuff that I’d recommend, because I think it’s a useful post to do.
“WHAAAAAT??? No, this is a diabetes blog!”
Sorry. I have some baby gear recommendations that I want to have as part of the archive, in part to pass along to other moms (with or without diabetes) and in part because I like going back and seeing what kind of resources I used with Birdzone and comparing those against what I have access to with the little Guy.
But this might be semi-useful if you are expecting a little one. And if you aren’t, check back tomorrow when I’ll be talking with Adam Brown about his new book.
Car seat: We went with the Chicco KeyFit 30 for both Birdy and the little Guy. Safety ratings were high, the car seat base was easy to install, and being able to purchase multiple bases for multiple cars made it a good fit (both times) for our traveling family. It’s a heavy car seat, even without a kid in it, which was tricky when I was recovering from c-sections, but I’d like to think my biceps thanked me for the extra output. Unfortunately, because our kids are 6 years apart in age, we had to rebuy the car seat stuff completely. No saving for years there.
Stroller: We used to have the stroller that went with the KeyFit car seat (back in 2010 – this is one being sold on eBay and even this one is too recent) and we hung on to this stroller set forEVER waiting for baby no. 2. Once the little Guy arrived, we hosed off the ancient stroller and used it until Guy was about 6 months old. If I had to rebuy a stroller, I’d go with the one that fits the car seat because it’s very convenient to move a sleeping baby from car to stroller without going bananas. Recently, we bought a BabyTrend jogging stroller for off-roading (bike path, neighborhood walks, big sister’s softball games). So far, so good. And no, I haven’t been jogging with it. I’m too clumsy and awkward and would end up in a ditch.
High chair: Hello again, hoarder Sparlings. We saved Birdy’s high chair and busted that thing out again after her brother was born. Back in 2010, we went with the Chicco Polly high chair (and you can buy one on eBay if you’re feeling nostalgic and/or you too would like to find 7 year old puffs in your high chair base). Pros are that the buckles are strong and the base is secure. Cons are that this takes up a lot of room in our kitchen. If we get a new one, it will be a strappy-to-the-chair type.
Crib: The crib our little Guy is sleeping in now is also Birdy’s hand-me-down one, which was so old and had moved house twice that we lost the original hardware set and had to scour the internet for screws to fit our model. (Thanks, O.) But when we first brought home our son, he slept in our room for seven months in a Graco pack and play. Birdy had an identical set up back in the day. This worked best for me both times because I was breastfeeding and could keep the crib right near our bed.
Breast pump: I’m listing this under essential because I needed to pump in order to accomplish my goal of being able to travel for work while still breastfeeding my children. With Birdy, I had a Medela Swing pump. It worked great. This time around, I had a Medela Freestyle. It worked less great for me; I’m unsure if that was because I was more stressed/dealing with postpartum issues and wasn’t producing as easily as with Birdy or because of my age this time, so I relied almost exclusively on the Harmony breast pump. I could use it on planes, in the car, at home … it made pumping a quick and pretty easy process.
The little storage bags were terrific for pumping while on planes because they traveled/stayed cold very easily. And while I was pumping, I used a bag I received at the hospital (another blogger wrote about it here). It was from Similac, but it came with a cold pack and was the perfect size for me to fill with the Harmony handheld pump, some storage bags, and the cold pack. I dragged this bag around the country with me for the first six months, pumping in conference hotel rooms and airplanes.
Bottles: With Birdy, we used plastic bottles from Medela. This time around, we’re using mostly Avent glass bottles. And as the little Guy needed bigger bottles, we’ve retired the 4 oz bottles as cups to let spider plant and English ivy seedlings grow roots in because I’m a plant nerd and cannot bear to throw useful things out see also: the baby crap we kept for six years
Baby food: Now that Guy is chomping down on real food, I’m constantly making baby snacks. I broke down and purchased a baby food maker (this one from Beaba) and some glass storage jars. I thought I would regret the baby food maker purchase, but it was the best indulgence ever because I can make a few day’s worth of food very easily. This afternoon, in about 30 minutes, I was able to prepare green beans, applesauce, mango, broccoli, cauliflower, and strawberries without ruining ANY of it. As someone who cannot cook, this is a remarkable feat and the food processor thing is to blame for my success.
Odds and ends: Sleep sacks are my FAVORITE because I believe in keeping blankets, etc out of my kids’ sleeping situation until they are about a year old. Sleep sacks kept both kids warm without making me paranoid. I also purchased a Boppy pillow both times and it definitely made breastfeeding after c-sections more comfortable. Oh, and the frigging wubbanubs basically saved our lives. My son doesn’t need a pacifier to fall asleep, but it’s very convenient to have one attached to a little stuffed animal for the moments when he’s wheeling around in his crib in search of a pacifier. Wubbanubs are useful. And adorable.
And that’s kind of it. The rest of the stuff is totally not essential but completely fun. Like onesies with suspenders on them. And all the poop. (Had to end that on a semi mommybloggy note. Which I promise never to do again.)