Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Baby Gear I Actually Used (Alternate Title: Don't Buy That Other Crap)


We are done having babies.  D.O.N.E.  Lily is starting to finally sleep through the night at 14 months and I'd like my newly-found stretches of uninterrupted sleep to stick around for forever.  However, I'm not opposed to becoming an Auntie.  I'm actually all set to become one in early February.

Yes, my sister is having a baby!  I'm ridiculously excited and of course immediately went into baby shower planning mode.  (It's probably for the best that Pinterest wasn't around when I was planning my wedding - things would have been a bit more MORE I suppose.)

This also made me think of the baby gear that I actually used vs. what I registered for.  Honestly, if I were to do it again (which we've established is NOT going to happen), I might ask for a few staples and then hope to get gift cards.  I could have bought what I needed as I found myself needing them instead of having lots of extra stuff that will never get used.

Let's get started.  Keep in mind that I'm pretty cheap. 

Baby items that I actually used during the first year:
 - Carseat - My motto for buying an infant seat was "The lighter, the better."  I'm not known for my upper body strength.
 - Pack and Play - Both girls slept in a PNP in our room until they were 12 months - when they weren't sleeping in our bed with us.  Dr. Sears has good info regarding safe cosleeping.
 - Crib - Ours converts to a toddler bed.  It looks a bit modern and the sides are low enough for me to actually lay Lily in there without tumbling in after her.   I didn't spend any money on a bedding set either.  I found some cute fitted sheets and called it a day.  
 - Rock and Play Sleeper - I don't know if these existed when Cora was a newborn, but this thing was a life saver during the height of Lily's reflux stage.
 - Bottles - My boobs were a bit more cooperative with Lily than with Cora, but not enough to forgo formula.  Lily even learned to nurse (something Cora never did get the hang of).  If you bottle feed, buy enough of them that you can throw them all in the dishwasher at night.  My dishwasher has a sanitize setting, so I never bothered with a bottle sanitizer.
 - High chair - If yours comes with a laundry-safe cushion, go ahead and buy a second one while you still have the instruction manual.  You'll thank yourself later.  
 - Burp cloths - Yeah, they make cute ones, but the best I found were the white Gerber birdseye cloth diapers.  They're terrible as diapers, but awesome as burp cloths.
 - Diapers - Cora was almost exclusively cloth diapered with Bum Genius diapers.  Lily wears Huggies.  Laundry is harder with two kids.  Join Amazon Mom or Amazon Prime and get them shipped to your house.
 - Wipes - My favorites are the Costco store brand.  If you're cloth diapering, bite the bullet and use cloth wipes (aka baby washcloths) too.
 - Sleep sack - After the initial swaddling a newborn phase, a sleep sack was the easiest way to keep the girls covered up at night. 
- Soap/lotion - I used California Baby brand.  I can pronounce all of their ingredients and identify them in nature.
 - Laundry soap - I've never owned Dreft or any other baby-specific laundry soap.  I just use whatever "clear and free" laundry soap that's on sale.  I'm a huge fan of Bio-Kleen BacOut for stain removal.  
 - Diaper bag - Right now, I'm using a $10 backpack from Ikea.  I shoved a changing pad the hospital gave me in there for public changing tables.  There are lots of pretty bags out there, but the most practical and back-saving I've found is a backpack.  Also, why are they making diaper bags that don't zip shut?
 - Baby carrier - You're going to need one once your baby grows out of the bucket carseat but is too little to sit up in the grocery cart. My favorite resource for babywearing is here.  In short, don't buy a Bjorn; buy a carrier that has a seat that goes from knee to knee.  I used a Moby wrap when the girls were itty bitty and a Beco Butterfly II up until Cora was nearly 2 years old. 
 - Baby clothes - I see you over there, eyeing the frilly dress in a 3 month size.  Walk away.  Just walk away.  Do you know what babies that wear that size do?  Sleep.  That's it.  See those buttons on the back of that dress?  Surely that can't be comfortable.  Barring a few exceptions, most clothing for kids under 12 months should be made from knit fabric.  Babies in jeans just look uncomfortable.  Also until the child is walking, there's no need for shoes.  They're just something to lose in a parking lot somewhere.
- Stroller - I collect strollers.  It's a hobby.  We currently own four and I've sold two others.  My favorite is a Maclaren umbrella stroller.
 - Nose Frida - No it's not gross, it's practical.  I actually came back to add this to the post after a friend reminded me.  Don't bother with those bulb syringes.  

What am I forgetting?  




1. Graco Snugride 22 Carseat  2. Baby Mod Parklane Crib  3. Graco Blossom 4 in 1 highchair  4. Dr. Brown's bottles  5. Fisher Price Rock and Play Sleeper  6. California Baby Shampoo and Bodywash  7. Maclaren Umbrella Stroller  8. Beco Butterfly II  9. Graco Pack and Play  10. Gerber Birdseye Cloth Diapers (to be used as burp cloths)  11. Sleep Sack  12. Nose Frida



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