Monday, April 12, 2010

Baby Things that I Use(d)

Here's a post a bit out of the ordinary for me, but I wanted to make a list of baby items that I ended up using quite a bit for my firstborn, Susie. There are a MILLION blogs out there with similar lists, which is why I balked, initially, on making such a list. But, for what it's worth, this is what I found useful. . . for me. . . where I live and with my child. This is not an exhaustive list -- but these are items that have seen several months of use, and I forsee to continue in their usefulness for quite a bit longer.

1. Baby Trend Jogging stroller -- now, not everyone needs a jogging stroller. They look cool, but really, how many people actually jog with their baby? (I don't). But when we went to register, Josh really wanted a jogging stroller, and I'm so glad we decided to go for it. I use my stroller pretty often -- maybe not every day, but almost. Where I live, however, a stroller with real tires that you put air in, is WAY more useful than the traditional Graco (or whatever brand) plastic wheel travel system. I walk with Susie a lot -- to church, to the store, or just around the area, and we're going over curbs, along bumpy, over used city sidewalks (NOT smooth ones like you get in nice neighborhoods), and crossing busy streets (sometimes at a run). This is the most affordable jogging stroller out there, but I'm very happy with it. When Sus was little, I'd put her in her car seat, which is the same brand, and hook it on. I still use it that way sometimes because when I walk to church, I try to catch a ride home, and this way I've got her car seat with me. This info will be outdated in a few years, I'm sure, because the other stroller brands will have to make a good affordable jogging stroller to rival Baby Trend. Right now, though, I think it's the best out there. There are certainly times when I wish I just used a little umbrella stroller (say, when I'm carrying this large thing outside -- through 3 doorways and up 2 sets of stairs -- my apartment. . . with one hand. . . while holding Susie in the other arm), but when the terrain is rough, I'm glad for Susie's sake that her little teeth aren't chattering from being jarred so hard.

2. Zolowear Sling -- I do use this every day. I have a kind friend
who sent it to me, so I'm sorry for recommending something that is pricey. However, I can't lie. . . this is a top item in my book. Now, I will say that I haven't used any OTHER slings. It's the only one I have. Lots of people love Moby Wraps, Ergo carriers, etc. I happen to have this one, and I like it a LOT. I think I like it more at this age than ever. It has been ever so helpful for me with Susie in her clingy stage, because I can just keep her with me nice and close as we do stuff around the house, or walk through Target or whatever. I can't think of the best way to decide what kind of carrier you would use, unless you just take recommendations or try out someone else's. But I think if you like your sling/carrier, you will use it more. . . and like I said, I use mine every day.

3. Robeez shoes -- I am a baby SHOEAHOLIC. Along with hats (more on those later), they are something I want to buy everywhere. However, I strongly dislike shoes that come off easily (which are a LOT of them). Enter Robeez. They are the BEST! I bought Susie a fairly neutral pair (white with giraffes) to wear with lots of things, and she wore them all winter. She also has the red dress-shoe type, and she wears them constantly, too. If you aren't familiar with these, I'll just tell you that they DO STAY ON, and you can have them wear them even when they're a bit too big. And they are sooooo cute, and also comfortable and supportive for their little feet. I think some baby shoes impede walking/crawling, but these are perfect for it. I think if you invest in Robeez you love, you will save money in the end, because you won't buy 12 million other pairs of shoes.

4. Circo crib sheets -- I'm glad I changed
my registry to these sheets. They are inexpensive and VERY nice. Many people will suggest you have a whole bunch of crib sheets, but 10+ months later, I will tell you I made it just fine with 2 sheets. And I don't have a washer and dryer in my apartment. So I'm thinking if you DID have that luxury, you'd be fine with 2 cute sheets, too. Now, some people like to get the bedding sets that come with sheets, bumper, etc., but I never found one I just LOVED and also I wouldn't have used most of those things that come in the sets (for example, diaper stacker). I didn't put Susie's bumper in until she was 6 months old, and I'll probably take it out in a few months, so I just got that on consignment. I got her crib skirt on the clearance rack at Target and my dad bought me a quilt for her from Pottery Barn. I've been really happy with everything I got separately like this -- I feel like I was able to hit the best of all the worlds.

5. Hats -- suffice it to say that Susie's hat collection rivals the shoe collection of any dictator's wife! Yes, I LOVE HATS on babies. She has way too many. She wore them constantly all winter, even if we went out for just a few minutes. For us, hats were essential, because she has a baldy little head and I want to keep the heat in in winter, and the sun out in summer! Here have been my 2 faves: she's worn them both 10x more than the others. The Modbonnet has been my fave for the sunnier months. Sus has sported this hat almost every day, and I feel confident that it keeps the sun off her face. In cooler weather, I most often reached for a little polka-dot beanie from Naartjie like this one. Hers had 3 points and was beige and white, and she wore it indoors and out. We constantly got compliments on how cute she was in it. This hat was very soft and comfy, but stayed on well, and fit her for a long period of time (I bought it last September, and she can still fit it -- and she has got a NOGGIN on her!!). Not everyone has access to a Naartjie store, but I think they have some really unique cute things. The hats were my fave, especially the 3 point jester hat.

6. Fisher Price Booster High Chair -- now unless you have your heart set on some beautiful chair, and the space to keep it in your kitchen/dining room, I would HIGHLY recommend this affordable little chair. For one thing, they don't really outgrow it until they're ready to just sit at the table without a booster at all. You can strap it to any available chair, or just strap your baby into it on the floor to eat! You can tote it along with you to restaurants, friend's houses, etc. I actually have this number on loan from my sister in law, so if she has another baby, I'll need to get my own. But for $20, I SURE WILL! I have NO complaints about this seat. It's all plastic -- so easy to wipe down, the tray is dishwasher safe, and the buckle fasten easily.

Please feel free to comment with your favorite baby things! I'm always looking for new faves. :)


Lana said...

I did this with the girls also! It is really helpful to look back to see what you used and what you liked, because if you are like me, you will forget sooo much!
I also put the medications I used for diaper rash, tummy aches, teething remedies that worked, our schedule, and anything else I thought might help with future babies or friend babies.

Tina and Todd said...

Funny ... we are planning on having another baby at some point, but I am getting rid of a lot of baby stuff that I figured if I didn't use for 2 babies - I won't use for the next. There is a lot of 'extra's' out there that a mom does not need:)
I am glad you love the sling ... I used it all the time with LIam ... funny thing is I actually have used the ERGO more with Quinn (although I still use the sling) as he is a big boy:)
We never used the crib with Liam (we co-sleep) ... and he would never sleep in it:) We have used the crib for Quinn since he goes to sleep at 6:30pm and since I don't get to go to be that early ... he sleep there until I go to bed:)
I always tell new moms ... as long as you have breast milk, diapers and a sling ... you are ready to have your baby:) Don't need all the other frills ... though they can be fun:)
Oh ... and I love the Robeez shoes ... the only ones we will put on our boys ... they are very good for there feet next to bare feet of course:)
Glad you are loving being a mommy:)

Sandy said...

thanks for the suggestions. I wish my Reesie liked slings! We are working on hats though, cause she is bald too! I will add my must haves..swaddlers!

Gretchen said...

Sandy -- isn't it funny how babies are different! Susie didn't really like the swaddler too much, and I had that Miracle Baby wrap (which both of my SILs ALWAYS used for their babies!). We used it a few times, but she always liked having her hands up over her head, so I'd leave her arms out. :) The Moby didn't end up working for Reese? Bummer!

Tina -- I love your no-frills approach. You are so right! I think we all can get caught up on the over-commercialization of babies! And since generous people are ready to bless your fam with gifts when you first bundle arrives, you almost feel pressured to add a bunch of stuff to the registry that you end up not using as much as you'd think.

Lana -- good plan! I should do that too.

Jenn said...

Gret- My sis is in town and we are going to register today. Perfect timing! I appreciate your tips!:)

Natalie said...

Thanks so much for the info, Gretchen! I really like the little high chair. What a good deal! Especially for limited space.