So recently, a lot of friends and acquaintances of mine have either had babies or become pregnant. Some of them have asked me for recommendations on things, so I thought I would include a comprehensive list of what we use around these parts. Most things that we have, I can't compare to anything else, but I will tell you any important info I have learned along the way.
1. Carseat - The Chicco KeyFit 30. I like this carseat except that it's heavy. But, they're all heavy so I can't really complain. The cover part is surprisingly easy to remove and wash.
2. Every day stroller - Chicco KeyFit Caddy Stroller. I love this because the car seat snaps into the base so that it's secure and safe. I originally had the Baby Trend Snap N Go, thinking it would also "snap" into that. WRONG. It just rested into the snap n go, and then you had to secure a safety strap to make sure the carseat was secure. I hated that stroller so much, and luckily one of the wheels was wonky so I was able to return it under warranty and exchange it for this one. No matter what, if your carseat brand makes a simple stroller frame like this that the car seat snaps into, I would for sure buy it or register for it.
3. Outdoor/Jogging stroller - Bumbleride Indie. We go to baby boot camp about 4 times a week, but if we don't, we still take a walk around the park. So an outdoor stroller was necessary for us. You CAN get away with some regular strollers, especially on paved streets, but if you plan on a lot of walks and exercise, you definitely need something made for all-terrain. We chose the Bumbleride based on the recommendation of a friend, and also because it seemed slightly more ideal than The Bob. It's lighter and much shorter in length than the bob, so I liked that. However, if you are really hardcore into running, I would definitely go for The Bob as it has something special in the front wheel that makes it slightly better for running. The final reason we picked the Bumbleride is because I like straight up like how it looks. Oh, also, this stroller has an adapter bar that allows me to set the car seat into it.
***A NOTE ON STROLLERS*** So, I have an opinion on what "type" of stroller to buy. I think you should get a nice outdoor stroller that will last you for years, and get the basic stroller frame made for a carseat only. Every car seat brand offers a "stroller system" that is a basic 4 wheel stroller that holds the carseat but also converts to a regular stroller when the baby gets bigger. Click here for a visual. My opinion is to forego the "system" stroller because... Until your baby really starts to get big, you are probably going to just keep him in the car seat when you're out and about running errands. So just buy the frame which will be cheaper, lighter, less clunky than the "system" stroller, and when your baby gets big, you can get umbrella strollers for cheap. There might be a million people that disagree with me, but that's what is working well for us!
4. Swing - Fisher-Price My Little Snugabunny Swing. The reason I got this swing is because it plugs into the wall rather than using batteries. I am really glad I considered that when picking out a swing because Henry spent about half of the first 3 months of his life in this thing. Other than that, I have no opinions about swings.
5. Baby carrier - The Ergobaby. I got this based on every review ever on the internet. The jury is still out. Henry tolerates it, but he is not crazy about the carrier thing. One thing about the Ergo is that the baby can only face your body (which is supposedly better for them?) but I know deep down that Henry would rather be looking out at the world. Once he gets bigger, this may work better for us like it does for Hillary.
6. Breast pump - Medela Pump in Style Advanced. This breast pump worked great. No complaints other than I just hated pumping in general. But you must must MUST get the pumping bra. No questions asked, you need a pumping bra no matter what pump you get. I also am really glad that I had a manual hand pump. There were times (mostly in the middle of the night) that I didn't want to go get all hooked up to the electric pump, so I would just sit up in bed really quick and pump some milk out manually.
7. Monitor - Sony Baby Call Nursery Monitor. This monitor sucks. Do not buy it. It constantly makes loud static noises that wake me up, so recently I've just been sleeping upstairs so I can just hear Henry when he gets up. We have another digital video monitor, but I am still deciding how I feel about it. If you guys have any monitor recommendations that aren't a gazillion dollars, please share!
8. Cosleeper - Summer Infant Snuggle Nest. I love the name of this cosleeper, but I wouldn't recommend it. In general, unless you are like a pro at breastfeeding in bed on your side (I NEVER understood how that works), you probably won't use a cosleeper for very long. In lieu of an in-bed cosleeper, I would get a bassinet or a cosleeper that attached to the side of your bed.
9. Bottle brush - Dr. Brown's Bottle Brush. This may seem like an odd thing to bring up, but I have tried other bottle brushes that are cheaper, and they have all been terrible. This brush puts all other brushes to shame, and I really feel it's worth recommending.
10. Bottles - Dr. Brown's & Playtex VentAire. We started out with Dr. Brown's because they're supposed to be the best. The best for what, I don't really know. All bottles claim to reduce spit up and ease colic, but I can't say it makes any difference. What I do know is that Dr. Brown's bottles are a pain in the ass to clean. So then I bought these Playtex bottles because they had less parts. I would also like to comment that when I was watching the Beyonce Documentary, Blue Ivy Carter was sucking down formula from the cheapest, most generic, bottle I have ever seen. My point is, go for the bottles that have the least amount of parts and are the easiest to clean.
Ten items is enough for now. I will post Part II a little later. If there is anything specific you are wondering about, please, please leave me a comment and I will be sure to include it. I hope this helps some of you! I know I was overwhelmed when we started to register for gifts. The bottom line is, it's really hard to predict what baby stuff you will like or even use. My biggest piece of advice is to try and hold off until after the baby is here so you really get a sense for what you need and don't waste money.