Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Let's talk about stuff

Baby stuff. As I'm sure most of you know, there are approximately a billion baby products on the market today. According to the packaging on these products, your baby will DIE or BE STUPID or NEVER LEARN INDEPENDENCE if you don't buy each and every one. Also, I'm sure if you read the packaging, it will tell you that *this* brand is the best, and all other brands of the same product are WORTHLESS CRAP. Ok, maybe that's not EXACTLY what it says, but you get the idea.

Well, Brian and I said to ourselves-- hey, wait a minute! Our parents didn't have all this crap...I mean, useful stuff when we were babies and we manage to a) not die, b) be reasonably intelligent, and c) learn independence anyway. I don't think those retailers are telling the truth! (Or maybe we didn't think that and I just made it up right now.) So we decided to buy a minimal amount of stuff before Kalena was born and then just buy stuff as we decided we needed it.

Anyway, now that I have a 4 month old and am an expert (HA. Right.) I thought I'd tell you what we thought of stuff.

Some of the favorites:


I love this diaper bag. It stands up on its own and is very organized. It's a little bulky because of the hard outer casing, but since I tend to fill up whatever bag space I have, I'd rather have the hard shell than the overstuffed bag look. Also, it's not too girly for Brian. I don't think you could pay him to carry something like this.

The sling. I really like this sling; it's adjustable so Brian and I could both use it and Kalena loved being in it. She's a little big for it now, so we're thinking about getting a structured carrier. I've heard good things about the Ergo baby carrier and the Baby Bjorn carrier.

An Ameda Purely Yours pump. Everything I read said if you are going to pump after you go back to work you need a good electric double pump. There are really only two pumps out there that fit this definition, the Ameda Purely Yours and the Medela Pump in Style. The reviews I read were about the same for both but the Ameda retailed for $50 to $100 less than the Medela (depending on where I looked) so that's what I went with. I like it, as much as you can really like a breast pump. It works well, both plugged in or on batteries, and it's easy to use. But, I've never used a Medela so I can't tell you how they compare.

Lily Padz. These are reusable silicon nursing pads (click the link if you want to read more about them.) I am a big fan. I'll definitely buy these again next time around.

The boppy. I used this pretty much every time I nursed her for the first 6 weeks. That made things easier for me, but did have the unfortunate side effect of causing Kalena to not want to nurse unless she was laying on a pillow. Made it hard to nurse anywhere outside the house, but we managed. Now we use it to prop her up for tummy time, so all in all it's been very useful.

A play mat. We got the baby Einstein one, but I'm sure she would have enjoyed any of them. We've used this daily from about 8 weeks on. Definitely worth it.

A bumbo seat. It allows her to sit up on her own which she loves. Plus, look how cute she is in it!


Some of the not-so-favorite:

We got a vibrating chair, and at first she wasn't a big fan. It didn't calm her down or put her to sleep and as a newborn she would only tolerate it for a few minutes at a time. She likes it a lot more now, but it's still not really a favorite.

We got a dishwasher basket which I thought we would use all the time, but not so much, as it turned out. I like the idea, but it didn't work for us. We weren't making enough dishes to run the dishwasher as often as we needed to so most of the time I ended up pulling stuff out of the dishwasher to wash it by hand. Even when we did get to run it through the dishwasher, fabulous Midland water tended to leave a residue that I got rid of by-- you guessed it!-- washing everything by hand. So now I skip the dishwasher and do all the bottle stuff by hand.

I heard lots of good things about sleepers with elastic in the bottoms, (like this) so we got a couple of those, but they also didn't work for us. When Kalena was a newborn, she would pull her arms out of the sleeves and get them stuck in the sleeper and once she got big enough that that didn't happen, she was so long that she would get her feet out the bottom and end up with the whole thing around her waist. That sort of defeated the whole point of wearing a sleeper instead of just a onesie, so we didn't use those very much. Maybe next time.

Things we still don't have:

A changing table. I'm glad we didn't get one; I don't think I would ever use it.

A baby bathtub. We used the sink at first and now the bathtub with a towel in the bottom. We're not planning on getting one of these.

A stroller. We're still sort of up in the air about this, but we figure we'll get one sometime. Any recommendations?

A structured carrier. We want to get one. Any that you love? Or any opinions on the two I mentioned earlier?

A jumper or activity center thing. We also want one of these. Any favorites?

Are there any products that you CANNOT BELIEVE I don't have? I want to hear about it! Also, if you have anything that people told you that you HAD TO HAVE and now you never use I would like to hear about it.

17 comments:

  1. I don't know you, but I enjoy reading your blog through the Schrenks blog (I think you're an Alpha Phi...I'm a Sigma Kappa who went to Mines). I have a 5 month old and a 9 month old (read my blog if you want details on how that happened), so I thought I would pass on my experience. For a carrier: I love my baby wrap (see wearyourbaby.com for more info on wraps) and my husband loves his chico carrier. Look for one that has lumbar support (Bjorn doesnt, Ergo does but can't wear baby facing out) for the most comfort. For the jumper/activity center we have both the Einstein and Fisher Price Jumpers. We LOVE the FP one because it's quieter and takes up less space, but the Einstein one isn't bad either. The kids seem to like the FP one better anyhow. As for strollers, I have a single Peg Perego Pliko P3. It's okay, pricey, but lightweight and durable. Doesn't fold or unfold one handed though. I also have a double Graco Quattro and I LOVE it. I like the one handed fold/unfold, the basket underneath, the snack/drink trays, and ease of steering. It's a little heavy but perfect for what we need.

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  2. It really makes me laugh every time I see a picture of her in that chair thing because I just imagine that you guys set her in that in then are like, "ok buh bye. We'll be back later Missy Kalenas." and she just chills there FOREVER. hahaha.

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  3. First of all I would like to tell you that you were correct in saying that a lot of things that they said "must be bought" did not have to and I'm happy to learn I'm not the only one in the world that seems to think so :)

    Fist of all, my wife had our first baby a little over 4 months ago, so we're on the same page. Its a beautiful baby girl and she is the cutest and prettiest angel in world :)

    Anyway, I would like to share the basics me and my wife have.

    First and foremost we needed to find a great electric breast pump for my wife since she would need to pump a few times a day and needed to go back to work. We did some searching on Google and found a comparison of all the main electric breast pumps out there.
    http://heyyoubaby.com/shop/index.php?main_page=page&id=6&chapter=0

    We decided to go with the Medela pump in style metro because we heard it lasts longer and has a better suction than the Ameda or the Avent breast pumps.

    My wife wanted to buy a Bugaboo stroller ( http://www.ohbabygifts.com/scripts/prodList.asp ) I didn't think we needed one, because it was $900, but of course the wife is always right and we ended up getting one. It turns out its a great stroller, it has a great ride, very smooth and easy. It also comes with a bassinet which we used a lot actually, and we also bought an adapter for our Graco car seat. The big big down turn was that it is very heavy, and you get very tired of carrying it around a lot. So we ended up also buying another stroller for quick trips to the grocery store, or a quick run around the corner. This is the one we bought ( http://heyyoubaby.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=85&products_id=148 ) As you can tell I love the heyyoubaby.com website and I bought most of my baby things from them.

    Another thing that we use a few times a day is the Baby Bjorn bouncer ( http://heyyoubaby.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=77&products_id=113 ) we love this. Its great that whenever you're tired and or can't hold your baby that minute we put her on this. A few people told us to get the ones with the vibrating feature but we heard it is not good for the baby to stimulate and bounce around a lot so we decided against it.

    I hope this helped everyone and whoever has questions please let me know.

    Thanks

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  4. I have two great products you just *can't* live without. First, glovies.com for the hypochondriacle, germ-o-phobe parents. Then babysfirstheadgear.com if you are just ridiculous. Visit them RIGHT NOW, I think you will see how imperitive it is to have them. Both.

    Then maybe read "Parenting Inc: How we are sold on $800 strollers, fetal education, baby sign language, sleep coaches, baby couture and diaper warmers and what it means for our children" Makes you realize that baby marketing is a CROCK, do what makes you happy and ignore the rest. Fortunately, you guys already realized that :) That said, I agree with salina's comment on Baby Bjorns, plus they're WAY expensive, Snuggli's are exactly the same for $25. We like our Snuggli carrier fine, but I really think I'd like a Moby wrap (mobywrap.com). I don't know how Brian would feel about wearing that, though...

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  5. I agree with you simply your house. You do not need anything that you have been able to get along without so far. I do like the must have list as well.

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  6. Thought I'd toss in 2 cents. We bought the baby dishwasher thing. Pretty sure it still has the packaging on it. No way do we use enough spoons or anything to warrant actually having something to run in the dishwasher. We bought the Medela double pump, worked really well both plugged in and on batteries. Amy said it pinches sometimes but my understanding is that that's the nature of the beast. Very nice to sit back and 15 muinutes later voila, a couple meals for baby. Variable speed and suction pressure. We have a vibrating chair -- worthless, he hates it. He's fine sitting in it as long as it's off. For about 3 minutes. We looked into the City of Grand Junction "Strong Families Safe Kids" program. They gave us a year's worth of monthly milestone books, full of games and age-appropriate things to do with your kid. They also gave us a free Snugli, so that was cool. Espen is basically cool with ANY toy we give him, so that is really not a worry for us. We are staying away from any and all tv, including educational movies and tv shows. Just seems to us like a bad start to get them interested in tv from birth, and a short hop from educational tv to plain crap tv. It won't be long before we rival mom and dad's children's book library, though!

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  7. We never got any of this stuff. We were poor students and had to live in a hole in the ground covered by a piece of tarpaulin for the roof and orange crates for furniture. We used discarded grocery sacks for diaper bags, old pages of newspaper for diapers (with duct tape fasteners), and an abandoned rabbit hutches for cribs. We didn't even have baby bottles (glass wasn't invented yet),so we let you kids suck on a damp cloth dipped in left-over carrot juice and fuss yourselves to sleep. And we thought WE WERE LUCKY! But you try to tell the young kids of today that and they won't believe you.

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  8. Cardboard box? You were lucky.

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  9. Hey! Just thought I would give a thumbs up for the Ergo (although I am much more of a ring sling girl!)! The Ergo will last much longer then the Bjorn in the weight and comfort aspect. Like others have said, they can't face out, but you can wear them on your back, which Leah loved. We did not have a stroller until Leah was closer to a year, mostly just because we moved back to Colorado in the summer and it was pretty hot to be so close in the carrier. I am interested in your diaper bag... how is it for cloth diapers?
    Sarah

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  10. I wish I would have started with a double stroller. I got one after Libby's baby shower and I loved it even with one kid. I may have looked a little crazy with one kid in a stroller but it gave me storage space for carrying things. This meant I could walk to wal-mart and get a few groceries. If you plan on having another one before the first turns three I would recommend just buying the double instead of buying one and then the other. I got mine at Target.com. It's red and silver - I'm too lazy to go look up numbers and stuff. It also has a part that can turn into a stand for kids to stand on.

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  11. Okay...here I go now!

    First, I can't believe you don't have a changing table. I hate getting on the floor or having pee on my bed, so I use mine ALL THE TIME.

    We love our dishwasher basket. We have 2. We do a load in the dishwasher every day. Sippy cups go in the dishwasher (and their pieces in the basket); bottles do not.

    I can't believe you don't have a stroller yet. Then again, I have chunky monkeys so the thought of carrying them in a carrier just makes my back hurt!! We have the Graco Quattro Tour Deluxe travel system because it has a higher weight limit than most infant car seats and strollers. I also have a Baby Trend Sit n Stand Deluxe which is BIG but I LOVE it. It's a traditional tandem double stroller that converts to a sit and stand.

    Allison LOVED the Baby Einstein Activity center. We've just started Jordan in it and she seems to enjoy it as well. Target had them on sale recently (not sure if they are still).

    I like the Bumbo seat in theory, but my girls are a little too big for it. Jordan was too long to put in it when all the other little babies were in theirs (her head flopped over the back). Then she liked it when she could hold her head up. But now, her thighs are too fat. :(

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  12. I just bought one Ameda Purely Yours pump about a week ago, and I really like how it works. It doesn't hurt to use, and I found it at:http://www.trusted-breast-pumps.com and I have learn a-lot by going through this Baby stuff. Thanks you very much.

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  13. You are right....
    HeyYouBaby.com !
    truly is the best baby store out there. It has all the billions of baby products mentioned, plus much more....
    heyyoubaby.com online chat was amazing, with amazing prices and free extra fast shipping....damn.....

    ReplyDelete
  14. You are right....
    HeyYouBaby.com !
    truly is the best baby store out there. It has all the billions of baby products mentioned, plus much more....
    heyyoubaby.com online chat was amazing, with amazing prices and free extra fast shipping....damn.....

    ReplyDelete
  15. heyyoubaby.com awesome.....

    ReplyDelete
  16. heyyoubaby.com awesome.....

    ReplyDelete

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