Sunday, February 8, 2009

Gear for Baby's First Year

Ryan is almost 1 and I can't believe how fast his first year went by. I think he was about 4 weeks in that picture. I lovingly refer to him as "the carseat baby" because the poor kid does half his day in the carseat going to the gym, the store, shuttling Luke and Sammie's carpools to preschool and kindergarten, etc. However, he takes his best naps there and sometimes on bad days, when I just can't deal anymore, I will put the kids in the car, turn on a movie (Ryan will usually go to sleep) and I pull through Micky D's for a large cup of sweet nectar (Diet Coke!) and just drive. Oh how I could use one right now!

Anyway, I was thinking about all the baby gear you use the first year and wanted to share some of my favorite items. I kind of think I'll have one more baby but right now we are so beaten down, who knows. All of my male readers (Sam!) can exit now because you will be bored to tears.

Of couse you need the indispensable items: The carseat/stroller combo, the highchair, the swing (even though none of my kids loved the swing), the bouncer, and crib. I believe in buying nice baby gear--I want it to last through all my kids. I took some heat from my friends for buying "high end" but it is worth it. Peg Perego for the strollers, Britax for the carseats, etc.

My confession. I have four strollers in my garage. Excessive? Maybe. But I use every one of them. I have the single, the double, the single jogger, the double jogger. I love Peg Perego. I have this bad boy and it was worth every penny.
I don't have the cup holder and I feel jipped.

I also think it was worth it to buy a nice exersaucer even though your baby will only use it for about four months. It is worth the 15 minutes they will do in it everyday.

I also believe in buying a Baby Bjorn for ballgames, outdoor parties, Disneyland etc.

Now, my favorite items that I discovered with Ryan:

Bebe Au Lait nursing cover (also called the "hooter hider")

I am not a gal who likes to nurse in public. It makes me feel very awkward. This is the best solution I could find. It allows you to have both hands free and it is lightweight so your baby doesn't get all sweaty under there. I use it in the car.

Yo Baby yogurt:

I know this ain't gear but it is awesome. My sister Ashley introduced me to this stuff. It is made with less sugar and is fortified with DHA and is organic. It also comes mixed with rice cereal. Since I'm trying to wean Ryan it is great to have him get the calcium and DHA. THe bad news: I can only find it at Walmart.

Pediped shoes and Tip Top Joeys shoes.

Ryan wears these two pairs of shoes constantly. I believe in the winter, babies should wear shoes--not just socks. Ryan received compliments regularly on both pairs. I'm completely in love. They both slip on and stay on and both are made out of real leather. My friend Pam sent him the Tip Top Joey's and they may be my favorite gift I received for him. I just ordered him a bigger pair in light blue.

Binki leash:

This may be the single most important thing for a baby. My bff from High school, Natalie made me the cutest brown and blue one.

Finally, the world's best baby bows (too bad I couldn't use these on Ryan!)

Baby Bling bows.

They are made out of tights material--super stretchy, super cute.

If you are still here--it's a miracle. What baby gear item was your favorite and why?


Jaime said...

I love the hair bows for little girls. Poor Abs has barely any hair, but these would totally work.

I have to say buying the bugaboo was like buying a Louis Vuitton - soo fun! We were dinks (double income no kids) while expecting Jack and I used pretty much every lame excuse to go a little overboard on the baby gear. It was fun, but all over now.

I am also a huge fan of the Aden and Anais muslin swaddling blankets. Do try them, they are awesome!

Heidi said...

I love all the info. Some of these things I have used others I have never heard of.
I am in the market for a double stroller, I also beleive in buying the "GOOD STUFF" so it will last threw the long haul.I will check that one out.
I loved with all of my heart the JUMP A ROO!
Rowdy spend so much time in his jumping around. His could turn all around and had toys all over it. So it was much like the saucer only he could use up so much of his energy jumping! I think it is a MUST HAVE!
I would stick him in it when I took a shower, and almost everytime I was done he was sound asleep in it!
Thanks for some new ideas on things to try!

Natalie said...

I have a pram purely for the purpose of being able to say the word "pram". Sometimes it goes by buggy, but when showing it off, it is my lovely European pram. It is completely faded and falling apart, but there is nothing sweeter in my life than strolling my babe down the neighborhood showing it off. Sad, I know.
I am also a huge fan of baby wraps and bumbos.

Jessica said...

I'm all about the sit n stand stroller. It is great for the big kids that don't want to be confined but walk too slow or tire quickly. It is fabulous at Disneyland because no matter how old they are, if you stay til close, they are not going to walk back to the car and you know you don't want to carry them. I don't know what stores you shop at, but you can also get the Yobaby yogurt at Albertsons and Target. I used to buy it at Ralphs in SD and they are owned by the same company as Smiths so they probably carry it too (but I don't shop there very often so I don't know for sure). I didn't do an exersaucer, instead, I had the little doorway jumper thing and my kids loved it (not just the baby, but older siblings loved to watch the baby jump--it was better than TV).

Ashley said...

It's more a toddler item, but I love having a Little Tikes slide. Mom bought it for us when Max was born so Charlie would have something to do while I nursed. He still loves it and will play on it all the time--esp. when friends come over. It's all they do. Max has been climbing it since he was about 10 months--scary but fun. I like keeping it indoors--even though it's an eyesore, it's nice to have something climbable and fun inside for rainy days.

Kelly said...

I too love my Peg Perego stroller and car seat. The car seat is a bit heavy but well worth it. I could not live without a binky clip. I need to try that yogurt. The Trix yogurt she is currently eating seems a bit "sugary!" Bailey kicked and screamed every time I tried the Baby Bjorn so we used it once and never again. We didn't have an exersaucer, but we had something similiar. A baby einstein thing and it was good for a few minutes. The jumpy doorway thing was at my moms and that was fun too (for about 5 mins.) Unfortunately, Bailey has my same attention span of about 2 mins for everything she does. I love the bows, that you first introduced us too (many, many thanks), she has worn a bow every single day since she was born. She has kept them on up until about now when she throws her "mini fits" and gives them a good old hook and pull and toss on the ground. Thanks for the advice on the other stuff. How's the weaning?

Kelly said...

After the kids grow out of infant Peg Perego car seat, what car seat do you get next? Bailey has almost outgrown the infant and we need to get her the next size up. I am a rookie and have no idea which one to get. There are so many. Ones that convert to regular seats, blah, blah etc, etc, etc. Any advice? I am clueless.

Ashley said...

Kelly, your next carseat is the Britax marathon. Look no further. Brooke will say the same thing. has some good deals on carseats and ships them for free.

brooke said...

Kelly-Ashley's right. Britax marathon--there is no other.

Sam said...

For the husbands out there, I would recommend the following for a child's first year: (a) a big screen television, preferably 50' or bigger; (b) HD programming, including NFL Sunday Ticket with Superfan; (c) DVR capabilities so you don't have to miss "Pardon the Interruption" or other essentials while be forced to watch Sprout or Nickelodeon; (d) large quantities of Diet Coke (in can), and; (e) subscription to Sports Illustrated.

Pugs said...

Oh, I would have to add a few more items I love. The Bumbo, a Burley d lite with the bike kit and jogging stoller kit (it comes with skis too for you utah folks, freezing trays for homemade baby food (I have twins, talk about break the budget, and Baby Einstein. BTW, I have four strollers too!

Jill said...

I have to agree on the Baby Bjorn...worth every cent and way more comfortable than other brands. We also use our pack n play a lot. We seem to travel a lot with youngins and that's been a life saver.

Kelly said...

You girls are the best!! I knew I could count on you! And thanks for letting me know where to. I will never again look anywhere else for anything baby.....just your blogs!

Greg said...

Brooke I have at least 13 strollers that I would love for you to take off my hands. I am sure you could find a good use for them! Please take them.

The Mostess said...

No kids=no good advice.

However--I had to eat Yobaby once, and it wasn't so bad!

The hooter hider looks cute. I hate bows on babies--it's a secret pet-peeve of mine. It will end up on my "100 list" so I may as well admit it now. Older kids are cute, though. I just think on babies they look huge and out of place.

Laura B. said...

This is good blogging Brooke. People want to read this stuff.
I swear by the Britax Marathon. My girls rock the Cowmooflauge ones. So cute.
I also believe in having a stroller for every occasion. I have four too. Ben goes crazy about it.
I don't nurse, so I think the Hooter Hider is ridiculous. But to each their own.

Josette said...

hey brooke...josette here. do NOT feel jipped about not having the peg perego cup holder. it sucks big time. think large beverage in small cup holder spilling all over the floor at janie and jack...luckily just on the floor not on any of the clothes...but so embarrassing. could they have come up with a worse design for a cup holder? nope.

Terra said...

I loved the bath seat that baby (at about 6mos) could sit in and spin around for a good cleaning...but I couldn't get over that bottom sitting on that bottom all the time...not sure how clean all that was

sarahwarner said...

Before I had my first baby, I really didn't care about baby bows. Then came my cute VERY BALD baby girl. She was screamin' for a bow the minute she entered the world. I loved the very adorable,pink bows the best. She was never mistaken for a boy because she always had a bow on her bald head.

Then came the red hair.

Mandee said...

Man, you are the comment Queen!

The Bumbo- love that thing!

And love the Pedipeds! And Amen to Peg Perego.