As we prepare for baby number two, we’ve pulled out all our baby gear and reviewed all the registry recommendation lists to make sure we have everything we will need. In the process, we’ve reminded ourselves of what was the most useful to us and what we thought we’d need, but didn’t really use. So, I’ve put together this guide to share our knowledge with all the parents-to-be out there. I’ve split it into several categories of baby items and within each I’m sharing the “Must Haves,” “Nice to Haves,” and items that you can “Skip.” I hope you find this useful in prepping for your new baby!
Stroller – Like a lot of other baby gear there are soooo many different choices of strollers out there. When it comes to choosing what stroller is right for you, you’ll want to consider a few different factors: cost, function, and style. Strollers range in cost from $75 to $1,500. So you’ll first want to set a budget for yourself and then take a look at the variety of strollers in that price range. Don’t worry, no matter what your budget is you should be able to find a stroller that meets your needs. Once you determine how much you want to spend you’ll want to want to consider how you’re going to use your stroller. Do you need a stroller for walking, jogging, on sidewalks, on rougher terrain? And lastly you’ll want to choose a stroller that suits your personal style.
Last time around we were generously gifted with one of the coolest, most multi-functional, stylish and expensive strollers, the Bugaboo Cameleon. However, if you’re a regular Cranky reader you may remember that it was lost/stolen the last time we moved. Well, we did get reimbursed for it by the apartment management, but we never did replace it because by that time Eleanor rarely used it. She was never a fan of being strapped into a stroller and once she could walk, she pretty much refused, so we just saved the money and used it for other things.
Bugaboos are awesome for the high-end strollers and I highly recommend them. If you want something mid-range, I hear very good things about the Bumbleride Flyer and Queen B as well as the Inglesina 2011 Zippy Ergonomic Stroller.
For now we don’t have the money for a new stroller, and haven’t really decided which one we like best (we’re leaning toward the Bumbleride Flyer), so we’ve just got a Graco SnugRider, which is just a frame on which we can snap the car seat. We think this is all we’ll need for the first couple months until baby has the muscles to sit upright.
Car Seat – Unlike choosing a stroller, the only thing that matters when you select a car seat is safety. I’ll admit that I have not done any current research, but I urge you to do that research yourself. I recommend looking into the Consumer Reports Car Seat Buying Guide and reading the Car Seat Safety info from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
We will be reusing the infant car seat we used for Eleanor, since it has not reached it’s expiration date yet. When we were shopping for Eleanor, we chose the Graco SnugRide with EPS, because, at the time it was the only car seat that passed a crash test at 65 mph. Living in L.A. we spend a lot of time on the freeway and therefore a lot of time driving at least 65, so we figured that was the safest seat for us. But I have not looked to see how more current car seats have been performing in crash tests.
Diaper Bag – This one is all about style and functionality. You’ll want one that has a lot of pockets and fits your personal style. And this is another thing that you can get a decent one at any price range. It’s all about you, your style and how much you want to spend. I’ve already shared my super gorgeous Cake bag in my New Baby Favorites post. Other high end bags that I love are all of Kate Spade’s diaper bag line. On the mid range Petunia Pickle Bottom bags are super cute and functional. On the lower end I love the Jonathan Adler for Skip Hop bags.
NICE TO HAVES
Car Seat Mirror – I always liked being able to see Eleanor in my rear view mirror while we drove, and since infant seats face the rear you’ll need a mirror to see baby.
Shade – A window shade can be helpful for blocking harsh sun from baby’s eyes. But honestly, we’ve tried a bunch of different kinds and they either don’t stay put or don’t cover enough of the window. I recommend looking into having your car windows tinted if you can afford it. I’ve always assumed that it would be expensive to do, but I just heard that it should only cost around $100-200, which is worth it to me.
I couldn’t really think of anything that is recommended for getting out with baby that you don’t need. If there are any you can think of please feel free to comment below!
In case you missed it…
UP NEXT…Part Seven: For Mom & Dad