Having a baby? Congratulations! You are about to embark on a time-honored journey of filling your home, garage, and car with useful and not so useful baby paraphernalia. You’ll want only the best for your little angel, and companies are counting on this. They will try to sell you on all kinds of ridiculousness, and they will be somewhat successful. There are times to save and times to spend, and with another mouth to feed, you’re going to need to know the difference. I’ve counted about fifty bazillion baby products out there, and here are my thoughts on a few favorites.
1. Baby Trend Snap N Go Car Seat Carrier
I wouldn’t recommend getting a travel system (car seat and stroller matching set.) We had the Snap N Go stroller base that the infant car seat snapped right into, and it was super lightweight and easy to maneuver. It only works with the infant seat, so you’ll need a different stroller for later. The travel systems are fairly bulky strollers, and a bulky stroller is a pain in the ass. Next time you’re at the mall, notice the poor moms trying to manage a travel system stroller through the clearance area in the kids department. It’s not pretty.
2. Umbrella Stroller
Pretty soon you’ll be ready for an umbrella stroller. The Maclaren Volo Stroller is a great one. Our umbrella stroller was an $18 number from Sears that was total crap. I wish we would have invested in a better one. I’ve taken this Volo for a spin on several occasions, and it’s a sweet ride. The passengers love it, too. The specs say it’s for six months and up, but both of my kids were cruising in an umbrella stroller by four months.
3. Baby Carrier
We had a BABYBJORN, which was good when the kids were little, but since it’s a front carrier, it is awkward in some situations, and it really hurt my back after a bit. I suggest a carrier that you can wear the baby in the front, back, or hip, and that fits bigger kids. The Baby Wearer offers good comparisons.
You can’t go wrong with a Graco Pack ‘n Play. My firstborn used his as a crib till he was 4 months old, and both kids slept in it when we were away from home. It’s also great to have in your living room as another changing table and a place to keep baby safe while you pee or cook. There are some fancy models out there with lots of bells and whistles. You don’t need to spend a ton of money on a playard. In fact, this would be a great item to snag on Craigslist.
5. Swing/Bouncy Chair
I don’t recommend buying a big swing; they have a huge footprint. I like the take along. Much smaller and easy to transport. Some kids like swings and some like vibrating seats. This Fisher-Price one has both!
6. Booster Seat Highchairs are a waste of space and not portable. ThisFisher-Price Booster Seat
allows them to sit at the table with you. Probably the most used $29.99 item we’ve ever owned.
8. Nursing Pads
Lansinoh. These pads are the bomb. You may or may not need them. I needed them till about 4 months with my son and only a few weeks with his sister.
9. Breast Pump
used the hell out of my Medela Pump in Style Advanced Backpack. If you plan on breastfeeding after you go back to work, then you need a good breast pump. Pumping sucks, and pumping at work sucks balls, so you want a machine that gets the job done quickly. Also, this one is a backpack so no one will even know what it is. Check with your insurance company. Sometimes these are covered.
10. Breast Milk Storage Bags
Lansinoh, again. They lay nice and flat, which is great if you freeze them. Big space saver in the freezer, which leaves more room for steak and ice cream.
Here are a few more things you’re gonna need, and you won’t find these on your basic “diapers, wipes, onsies” list.
- The biggest sanitary pads you can find. This is not an item you should send your poor, shell-shocked partner out to get, and you’re gonna need them right away.
- A head of cabbage. Cabbage leaves are great for super sore, rock hard, “I look like a stripper” tits.
- A really big water bottle with a straw. You are going to be more thirsty than you’ve ever been. The hospital may give you one. Take it home with you and never let it out of your sight.
- While you’re snagging stuff from the hospital, take the pacifiers and bulb syringe snot sucker, too. They’re the best.
- A few basic bra camis. The nursing tanks are great, but sometimes all you want is an Old Navy cami that you can wear around the house for three months. If you’re like me, wearing a shirt at all will feel like an inconvenience. More than once I lamented the fact that ours is a clothed society. Just for me. Not you guys. Gross.