Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My Top Baby Picks after Moving Many Times...

Over the years as we've moved across the country with our growing family I've given a lot of though to exactly what we "need" for a new baby.  I've also been giving it more thought because I'd been asked a few times to come up with a registry for anything we need with this baby (which isn't much) but which contains a few needs (our car seats are finally starting to expire) and a few dream items like the back carrier since our second hand one finally gave out (So for those who asked, here it is!).

When I was pregnant with Sadie I bought just about every baby thing that my eyes landed upon.  If there was a book/magazine telling me that I needed something for our rapidly growing little bunny, I was easily convinced.  

What that basically means is that if there's a baby product out there (or at least a type of baby product) I've likely debated whether or not it was necessary over the four moves we've made in the last four and a half years.  And, because the size of our various homes has varied over the years I've also found that not much has made the cut as we've gone from place to place.  

Even things that are useful have slowly been pruned back as I've realized that we don't actually really need a baby high chair all that much (we found a wooden restaurant style high chair that was perfect for that day when Patch finally decided he wanted to eat food at 13 months old...), and we've found that we haven't gotten much use out of gadgets designed to rock, swing or jiggle our babies. I've also found I don't use nursing pillows all that much, our bottles went unused, and so far our pump has mostly collected dust.  

So here is my list of what I've come to consider necessities with our babies.  I could survive without the list below, but they're my favorites for making life easier!

I'd also throw in a dozen baby sleepers because I've found that the most little babies with sensitive skin we have the more likely I am to keep them in sleepers to protect their delicate little baby skin (that's pretty specific though and can be filed under things having two babies with eczema has taught me).  

The Moby Wrap

(or carrier of your choice) 

Baby carriers are big around here.  Patch spent the majority of the first six months of his life living in the Moby Wrap.  It allowed me to have my hands free to do everything else that I needed to do and it kept him up high where certain toddlers who really, really wanted to carry him/ride him when he was in tummy time couldn't get a hold of him.  I have a feeling the new baby is likely to spend his first six months in the Moby Wrap too.

If there is one thing I've learned talking to other moms about baby carriers is that there's no one right answer for the "best" baby carrier.  Some people love the Moby, like I do.  Others absolutely hate it.  I've found the Moby and Ergo work great for us, but I've never had much success with slings (which other moms love!).  So if one carrier doesn't work for you don't beat yourself up and try something else!  There are a lot of great carriers out there and if you find the one that fits it can make your days much, much easier!

I'll admit it.  I'm not all that big on car seat brand loyalty.  I think there are a lot of great car seats out there.  We loved our Britax, which finally hit it's six year old birthday last year.  We also love our Gracos.  The only draw back at the moment on the Gracos is their width and the fact that I'm finding that even in our giant mini van, three car seats won't fit across the back when two are Graco My Rides.  

These days as our van fills with booster seats and car seats I find myself thinking more and more about space.  And that's why I'm leaning more and more towards the recommendation I've heard so many of my friends give to try the Diono Radian.  It's a name that I've heard suggested over and over and I'm cautiously optimistic that it might actually fit across the back of our car.  

When I told Paul that I was including a bassinet he gave a number of suggestions of things he thought were more important (in case your interested his advice included an area rug).  I countered that in addition to the Moby our bassinet pretty much insured Patch's survival to toddlerhood.  

You see, we do tend to co-sleep (depending on the baby... our strategy is actually more of a "play it by ear" sleep plan since we've had kids that were up all night until we started cosleeping and we've had kids that just wouldn't sleep with anyone else in the bed {Mae} but slept like a champ from the night I put her in there her crib onward).  

As a result my bassinet suggestion tends to be for the days.  I actually kept my bassinet pushed out of the way in the kitchen and when I was cooking or sewing (mine has wheels so I would wheel it over into the room I was sewing in) I'd put the baby in the bassinet so they were nearby but out of the way of the cooking and potential spattering that could happen.  

Paul added the suggestion that a crib would work too, but I've actually found that all of our babies have slept more soundly in their bassinets when they're tiny (I've wondered if it's because the sides are closer in and they don't feel like they're in as wide open a space), which is why I'm a bassinet fan for naps when they're small... and also because it's easier to move a bassinet from room to room.  

If you ask Sadie what a baby "needs" she will give you two answers.  A Binkie and a Swaddle.  Which is kind of funny to me because out of all of our babies, Sadie was the only one who hated being swaddled.  But swaddling pretty much saved my sanity with Patch (he would only sleep when swaddled when he was put down) and so I'm a huge fan.  And she is too... since apparently she noticed that a swaddled Patch is a quiet Patch when he was tiny (although he never had the chance to have a Binkie since Mae swiped every Binkie that came close to his mouth).  

As a one car family I'm a big fan of walking since usually I'm not the one with the car.  I'm also a big fan of the BOB stroller.  We've had two and while for the first time in six years we now have a BOB free garage (which is another great thing about BOBs... they have a great resale value... we bought one used in Florida and when we upgraded to a new stroller actually made money selling it for the same price similar strollers were selling in our area), they're still my favorite stroller.  We used ours on the beach when Sadie was one month old (and in the car seat attachment) and pushed her for miles and miles on dirt trails when we lived in California and I've yet to find a comparable stroller that is as easy to push or as long lasting.

Those (along with diapers, this time we're planning a cloth/disposable combo) are my favorite baby items that over the years have made the journey from place to place!  Do you have a favorite baby item that has felt like a lifesaver when you've had a new little one?


  1. Great list Cammie. I had to have a swing for my babies. I tried the carrier thing, but i couldn't deal with the baby screaming in my face. My list is Crib/bassinet, swing/bouncer that vibrates, nuk passies, swaddler, receiving blankets that double as burp cloths, and i bottle fed so bottles. We liked the avent bottles. I think a booster/high chair combo that fits on a chair is a great option for a high chair too. I wish i had done that, but our chairs were not the most stable at the time.

  2. I don't know about the size of the car seats you have but with one Radian we are able to get it and two "big" car seats in our backseat. The Radian just has to be in the middle. We are so glad we figured out it would make the 3 across work- much cheaper than car shopping!

  3. I have found with each baby we use less stuff - I think number four has gotten lugged upstairs tongue proper changing table maybe ten times in his fourteen month life - hardwood floor and an extra diaper thrown under his head is good enough for on the spot changes. all of mine have hated swaddle wraps and pacifiers - serious viceral rejection, and I have tried every time since that is what you are supposed to do. and until four months old will only sleep in their car seats, think it helps with reflux, and they just wriggle down off any incline pillow I put in the bassinet. one greco snugride and two britax roundabouts will fit across the backseat of a Chevy cavalier two door coupe. when we added child four to our Chevy cavalier one car family we switched to the graco infant seat and three safe traffic systems wearable booster seats with an aftermarket seat belt adaptation to give three lap belts and tether points next to the infant seat. we get lots of stares at church when all six of us pile out of a compact two door car, but it is legal and works, if your kids don't mind close quarters. rarely use a stroller, since I can't fit it in the car trunk with anything else, and have found I can carry baby and toddler one on front ant one on back with an ergo and baby Bjorn. again, stares happen, but the front carrier actually bothers my shoulders and back less with a back counterweight than alone.

  4. Both of our daughters have discovered that the Fisher-Price Rock n' Play Sleeper is an absolute Godsend. 2 of 3 of the babies have slept in that, right beside their mom and dad's bed, for many months, while swaddled. It is tilted as a slight angle, and its shape makes the the baby feel cozy and safe. The cost is pretty reasonable too, making it a good item for a baby registry. We recommend it to all expectant moms, and it is now my go-to gift t baby showers.

    The one little fellow who didn't sleep in one (slept in the bassinet, and then a crib in their room) has only recently, at age 3.5, started sleeping well. The other two are much better sleepers, evidently having gotten off on the right foot.

  5. We fit a Graco snug ride and two Diono Radians across the backseat of our Jetta wagon. The Diono is definitely the narrowest seat out there - and the quality is very high.


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