okay, so i am NOT an expert in mothering or on babies – at all. but since i have done this a total of…one time (haha!), i figure i have some knowledge to bring to the table. so for day one of everett’s first birthday week, i thought i’d start with GEAR.
we actually registered for what is called a travel system (the detachable combo) – here is ours (pictured below).
it is super nice. really. HOWEVER, now that rett is bigger and we are constantly on the go – lugging the big stroller around is almost more of a hassle than it’s worth. and, apart from that, i’m a big proponent of baby wearing. i’ll get into that more in a minute! like i said, i really like the travel system – i do – especially as far as durability goes, but we found that purchasing a nicer, lightweight stroller was better for our lifestyle – and easier as everett grows.
it’s quicker to pop in the car, it is very easy to use, stands up on its own, and is easy to maneuver with ONE hand (this includes pushing, getting out of the car, and also folding it back up). we have this one (pictured above). ours isn’t the best of the best, but it was nicer than some of the others, plus i know other mothers that use this stroller – all had nothing but great things to say. andrew and i didn’t feel the need to purchase an outrageously priced one only to get tossed around. i also have a used jogging stroller. it is VERY heavy and has all-terrain wheels (which i love). i actually do use this stroller when i run/walk. but, honestly, the lightweight stroller is just as great to use to go for easy-terrain walks. i would recommend looking for a stroller that lays down (the back lays down so the baby can nap). this feature is important to me so that rett is comfortable when we are going shopping or whatever. to be completely honest, not one time did i use the travel/heavy stroller along with the car seat attached (like most of the photos you see). i only used the actual stroller part. i would find something that is lightweight, easy to fold and unfold, free-standing (meaning you don’t have to lay it on the ground when it’s in the folded position), and that fits YOUR lifestyle. ask yourself what will you be using it for and how often do you think you will actually use it.
i covered the travel system above, but with the system we also received our infant car seat. these are available to purchase apart from the stroller. i absolutely LOVE our infant car seat. we had the graco snugride car seat. excellent safety reviews, durable, very easy to use (many are extremely complicated), and easy to clean. i highly recommend. the chicco brand and britax brand also come highly regarded in safety. it is important to note that these car seats are to be used as rear-facing and baby will start to grow out of it at a certain point (for instance, everett outgrew his at nine months). there are different safety regulations in different states for when a baby can be switched to forward facing, so make sure to look into that (as i’m sure you already have!). we also purchased a convertible car seat. this is one that is stationary (whereas the infant car seat you can click in and out of the base to take the seat along with you – that way you don’t have to continuously get baby in and out of the seat – especially if it is asleep – don’t wake that little booger!). i did A LOT of research on this one because i knew that rett would be in this seat the longest. we chose to go with a diono (pictured below). we have purchased this one AND this one.
reasons? SAFETY ratings. it was the best. i also looked for longevity of use – could i use it when rett was a newborn? will it grow with him? how big can he be in it? durability? easy to clean? easy to install? the diono was a yes to each of my questions. it is a HEAVY car seat – it weighs a lot; however, it is super comfy for him and puts my mind at ease because of its sturdy nature. it folds up nicely and will be able to seat him until he is out of a car seat and ready for a regular seatbelt. now, the britax is also another highly regarded brand. my advice would be to absolutely purchase a convertible car seat for your vehicle. it isn’t a necessity right away (although, we used ours from day one because we had two cars). this is something that i would (and did) splurge on. it is worth the money spent to know that baby is in a safe car seat.
because we had the space, obviously, we had the crib (my old crib) installed in everett’s room. with that being said, i was a big advocate of making sure he was acclimated to his crib AND sleeping in there by the time he was 10-12 weeks old. is that what my doctor told me? not at all. however, i knew me. and i knew that if i didn’t start to slowly introduce him to his crib that i would (A) not ever sleep because how could i when he was in the rocker next to me and so cute?? and (B) i knew i’d have to go back to work and that i didn’t want to create bad sleeping habits for him down the road. now, i was breastfeeding him and, although he did sleep through the night very early on, i still had him next to my side of the bed just in case he did wake up hungry and for his morning feeding (and of course snuggles in bed before getting up for the day!). i DID NOT want a bassinet, mostly because i wouldn’t have a place to store it afterwards and i didn’t have the space for it in my bedroom. so, i went with this.
it is lightweight so i could move it through out the house easily (i.e. into the bathroom while he was napping so i could shower) or into the living room – and lastly next to me at night. it also has a ‘vibrate’ feature which is soothing to baby. it folds up for easy storage, too. i wouldn’t recommend allowing baby to sleep in the rocker (pictured above) or even in a bassinet for a long time. i do believe that it can create bad sleeping habits, not only for the baby, but for you too. i think part of the reason everett is such a good sleeper is because he was in his crib full-time by 10 weeks old. it was heartbreaking to not have him by me all night long, but i knew it was for his own good. i do not think co-sleeping 100% of the time is a good idea – back to bad sleeping habits. but, i’d be lying if i said that everett didn’t occasionally snuggle with me in bed while he was feeding in the early mornings sometimes (side-nursing, it will be your best…or breast…friend – haha!). so my advice – yes, i would purchase something. i think that bonding is important and, trust me, you will not want to let that bambino out of your sight! we really loved our rocker. i would also suggest, if you are looking to co-sleep, do your research and ask your doctor questions!
we did not purchase a bouncer. i can’t really remember why. i wanted one at a point, but then i was thinking – how in the hell am i ever going to use all of this stuff? and where will i put it when he’s outgrown it all?? so i decided against the bouncer and just used the rocker in place of it. i also wore everett a lot when i wanted to get stuff done around the house and what not. i have several friends that use bouncers. i think it’s personal preference. my advice would be to ask yourself: do you need two things to achieve one goal? do you have to space for each item or can you save money and space with one item? for me, the answer was purchasing one item. or if you have the space, it could be nice to have. i didn’t. so the answer was easy! i think this bouncer is the popular choice among my friends.
when i was looking to for a baby bath, i was thinking about practicality. i wanted something that i could sit in the bathtub instead of one that you have to fill up and use. we have this one.
i absolutely love it. it has a spongey material and is perforated so that it dries nicely. i can hang it easily and it was slanted so that rett could still be in the inclined position and see things around him. it did NOT fit in our kitchen sink very well, so we resorted to sticking it in the bathtub from day one. a few other mommas i know have something like this for their bathtime activities. we transitioned everett out of the little seat (pictured above) once he was sitting up on his own.
when everett was younger and we had people over, i tried not to wear him too much. i figured that people would want to hold him and pass him around – and sometimes, i’ve found, that when i wear him – it sort of scares people off. haha! BUT i do love wearing him. it is literally one of my most favorite things to do – for realzzz. we have a soft carrier, this one (pictured below). it’s nice. durable. i find that everett didn’t like it as much as he got bigger. he was easier to put in and out when he was little tiny. is it my favorite – NO. i, personally, thought it was uncomfortable on my shoulders. i didn’t know how much i’d use a structured carrier, but now that everett is bigger and heavier…AND i’ve researched a ton more on soft, structured carriers, i’ve since purchased this gem. i visited a store called cotton babies and was able to wear one around the store for about an hour – everett LOVED it. i think the difference, honestly, is the fabric and padding quality. the tula (also pictured below) is just a better, more well-made product. one thing to look out for is how the baby’s legs and bottom are positioned in a carrier. you really want to make sure the legs and bottom make a “M” shape in order to be comfortable AND not hurt their little bones/joints.
now – the carrier that i use just about every single day is the sakura bloom ring sling (pictured below) this thing is amaze. a little pricey for what it is, but it is well-made, durable, comfortable for me and rett, and so worth it. we have this one. i encourage you to do your own research. sakura bloom has a blog and pinterest page where they feature something called the sling diaries. it’s real moms that use the slings and they journal about their day to day lives – and you can learn some more about babywearing. i did A LOT of research on this (because it is a pricey endeavor…and i wanted to know what all the hype was about). i don’t really know anyone else that has a sakura bloom, but i know what it does for my rettster. he instantly calms down, he is up where he can see the world versus at ground/knee level. i know he is safe and sound – he’s on me. you can even nurse in them. i literally have nothing but great things to say. i adore it – highly recommend it! there are many other carriers, but one perk or detail that i was looking for was that i could use the carrier into toddler-hood. with the sakura bloom, i can. there are different kinds of slings, as you can see from their website. i splurged on the double linen knowing that i would use it when the baby got bigger. and we have. like i said – nearly every day. he loves it and i love it too. it promotes so many health and emotional benefits. seriously – in love with it.
now for our second baby, i think i may look into getting a soft wrap. i’ve done a lot of research on these and found that this one (the solly baby wrap, which is pictured below) is highly regarded. in retrospect, i think i would have really liked to have one of these with rett – especially in the hospital. the only drawback that i have found is that it is a little harder to use this once the baby is bigger. i admit that i have not tried it and the owner of solly baby, elle, still wears her nearly one year old in a solly wrap. so maybe those stories are just false! i’ll have to get one and let you know. everett is a hip baby, so the sling is nice to have, for sure. but the wrap is great for newborn snuggles, nursing, and skin to skin.
that’s a wrap (see what i did there) for today! i hope this helped some of you mommas out there. any questions or comments? leave a message below.