Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Baby Gear Summary

One thing I know Pinterest and the blog world is inundated with is lists of what baby gear you need. This isn't that post. But I live in a little house and have a pretty streamlined style so I figured I'd weigh in on my thoughts of what I got for Lila and how much it's taken over our house! I also worked for years as a nanny and my parents do infant-only foster care. I feel like I know my way around baby gear!

The Car Seat:
Her carseat is the Chicco Keyfit. It was easy to install and is gender neutral. I also loved the boot to help keep her legs a little warmer and blankets in place. My only complaint is the sun shade. Everyone is really vocal about it in reviews so I don't need to rehash that.
Rating: 4.5 stars

I knew I didn't want a "travel system" because they're big and clunky. I also don't really like the look of those little strollers that are only sold to hold an infant seat. I knew I liked the look of the Maclaren Strollers but didn't like the price to only use it as an umbrella stroller… I also liked the systems that came with jogging strollers but they were so big when they were folded up and pretty heavy (I don't have a garage to store it in). So my search began. 
The Stroller:
I got the Chicco Liteway Plus. It's awesome because it's a really nice lightweight stroller that also holds her carseat. It's crazy easy to convert from infant to child, easy to open and close, and to steer. My one "wait and see" with it is that I've taken it on the dirt and stuff on some walks and I'm not sure how the wheels will hold up.
Rating: 5 stars

Stroller Storage:
I got the StrollAway after reading a cool story about the mom who invented it on Apartment Therapy (I think). It's awesome and makes me glad I got a small stroller! Her stroller will probably live in my trunk from now until the end of summer but here otherwise. It's noisy when the stroller isn't on the door but a total space saver and really sturdy with the stroller on it.
Rating: 5 stars

Baby Monitors:
I wanted a camera monitor for the baby's room that I could view from my phone or iPad. Most of the ones I looked at only had their own little viewer.  My parents got me this for my birthday. This way I can use it when I'm out of the house too. 
Rating: 5 stars 

I also am terrified of SIDS. And I needed a sound monitor. I liked the reassurance that came with the Angelcare Monitor. It it hanging on the closet door behind her crib. I was able to completely tuck all wires out of the way in the attic so I didn't have to worry about strangulation. It was easy to install and seems to work great. Unfortunately, this is my second one. I don't know if it's Angelcare's fault or Buy Buy Baby's but my monitor had been used. There were multiple parts of it that were broken. When I brought it back they opened up 3 others and all were unwrapped and used before they brought me a new one from the back. Reading Amazon reviews too it seems like you either get a winner or a dud. Test it and test it some more to be sure yours is a winner too!
Rating: 3 Stars (based on issues listed above)

Diaper Pail:
I got the white Ubbi Diaper Pail based on the versatility I would need with a pail working for disposable and cloth diapers. 
When Lila was in newborn sized diapers we exclusively used disposables since her cloth diapers were for 8 lbs. and up and she was a little smaller. Even at 8 lbs. her diapers seemed too big and bulky so I held off on making the switch until she was closer to 10 lbs. Now Lila is cloth diapered except for during the night. I bought kitchen trash bags for in the pail and now use the wet bags that they sell. I had the flu last week and could barely function. We were able to use the pail for disposables during that time so that my husband didn't have to do the cloth diaper laundry that I normally do! I love this pail!
Rating: 5 stars

Speaking of cloth diapers… The picture below makes her look like a little wrestler! We use mainly bumGenius Freetime diapers. I have gotten a few Flip and Econobum diapers though (doesn't this all sound like gibberish? It did to me before I cloth diapered!). I absolutely love these. They don't leak, they're easy to use, super cute, easy to wash, and she seems to like them!
During the night (and this was at the doctor when I had the flu) we use Honest Diapers which are also super cute and have never failed me!
Rating: 5 stars

Moses Basket:
I am  so glad Lila room shares with me! It's made those middle of the night feedings so much easier! My mom got me the basket but I did register for a rocking stand that has been great. I don't really rock her in the basket/stand. But when she wiggles during the night it's enough to start the stand rocking and it seems to put her right back to sleep.
Rating: 5 stars

Nursing Pillow:
Instead of a Boppy I opted for the Comfort & Harmony mambo. I love this pillow! It has a firmer side for nursing and a softer side (shown below) for the baby to relax in. I love that it's tapered to fit in a rocking chair around the arms too. Lila doesn't seem to care for the vibration, so I've taken that out. I also have the toy bar that clips on for her to lay under which she is starting to get really into. My doctor's office is really nursing friendly and I've used their Boppies when I've been there and I have to say I prefer mine so much more!
Rating: 5 stars

Like most other moms, I love Aden & Anais everything. I have the crib sheets, the changing pad covers, the bibs, the bath towels and wash cloths, a sleeping bag, the dream blanket (below Lila) and the swaddling blankets. They're a complete essential. 
Rating: 5 stars

I made my own (shown below) in a smaller size which I use to get a tighter swaddle or when I need a really light blanket. I'll do a tutorial soon. 

The Swing:
We went big to keep it small and got the rockaRoo. I wanted something with a small, modern, footprint when I registered for this. Unfortunately, this is also my second version of this product. My first night home from the hospital Lila was a maniac. I ended up with the swing next to my bed and put her in hoping for 20 minutes of non-screaming. I pressed the button and it flashed at me and went dark. The swing died before I ever used it. Amazon and Google reveal that this is, unfortunately, also very common. Buy Buy Baby was again great and exchanged it for us. They gave us the wrong color though, so I went from plain grey to the plush you see. I wouldn't let Chris leave the store until they unboxed it and proved it worked. The newborn insert was another essential that we're still using 2 months later. I got it as a gift from my college roommate after her last baby finished using it. I saw no need to spend $30 on it, and I was wrong. 

Lila loves this swing. I still hold a grudge for it breaking and I don't see much of a variation between speeds though. 
Rating: 3 stars

We got the Puj tub and adore it. It fits in our kitchen sink and our bathroom sink. It's pretty much like holding her in the crook of your arm. They don't move around too much in it. The holes are perfectly placed to let the water drain out before it would get too full. It's marshmallow soft and unfolds to be flat. We keep it hidden quite nicely. Lila has been able to take tub baths since she was 7 days old and it works great even on a new new baby like that. 
Rating: 5 stars

Baby Carrier:
I knew I wanted to wear my little lady as much as I could. Not only has it been great for bonding, but it's also given me a chance to get a lot of cleaning done, do my hair, walk on the treadmill, and other things Lila wouldn't otherwise let me do! I have the K'tan Breeze right now.
I love that it works from newborn on up with quite a few easy carrying positions:
I'd love to get an Ergo someday soon too, but I'm unwilling to pay retail so I'm scoping garage sales and Craigslist. 
For now I'll rate what I have:
Rating: 4 stars


Drying Rack:
I got the Boon Patch drying rack knowing I needed something small. I love its small footprint and it does a great job drying random little things that come with bottles and pumps and things like that. 
Rating: 5 stars
Diaper Sprayer:
This is so necessary to keep our cloth diapers looking like new. And my husband was able to install it quickly with very little experience installing things.
Rating: 5 stars

That's what I've been able to use from my registry since Lila came and that's my honest, unpaid, feedback on all of it. Feel free to drop me a message if you have any questions!

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