In Part 1 of my First Time Baby Registry Must-haves, I will focus on ‘Getting around’. My recommendations are strictly based on my own experiences – things that I found most useful and others for which I had no need. Also know that I received a lot of things from Baby J’s cousins so having hand-me-downs, I didn’t have to buy a lot of things that most new parents have to buy. That being said, we did need a lot of stuff especially during the newborn phase. I hope you find these recommendations useful.
Baby Registry – Stroller
I did a lot of research before purchasing our stroller. When baby J was born, we lived in Chicago and I knew there would be a lot of walking around, rain, sun, or snow. I was also very active doing a bunch of 5ks and there was no reason to stop after the baby. So I wanted a jogging stroller with sturdy and rugged wheels that could take on any kind of terrain.
Meanwhile, I checked out a friend’s Britax B-Agile and liked it but it wasn’t a jogging stroller. In the end, despite the weight, I decided to go for the BOB Revolution SE Single Stroller, Orange. Click here for my review of the stroller.
If it’s a jogging stroller you want, this is the one to go for. We also got a smaller, light weight stroller. Please click on this link to read my review of the Graco Literider Classic Connect
Later on, you may need an umbrella stroller but for a newborn, getting a regular stroller that you can adapt to your car seat, with or without an attachment is perfect. Note that babies should not/are not able to sit in a regular stroller by themselves (without a carseat) until they are at least 5-6 months.
My two cents – Evaluate your needs, where you live, how much you are willing to lift, how often you will use the stroller, to what end, how much under-stroller space you need, whether you plan on having more kids and if you should just buy one that could extend into a double stroller at additional expense and so on.
Most importantly, see if you can snag a good deal on Craigslist. Several people sell used strollers in good condition. I wish we had bought one off Craigslist instead of buying a new one.
Baby Registry – Car seat
I didn’t do a tremendous amount of research for a car seat but I did look up ratings on Consumer Reports and this one had a really good score and fit within our budget. We received it as a registry present.
This is your everyday good car seat, strong, sturdy, yet light weight, clicks easily to our Graco Stroller, and has stood the test of time. We used it for over a year until we moved Baby J to his next seat. While this seat fit seamlessly into our Click Connect Graco Stroller, we did need to get an adapter for the seat to fit into our BOB stroller (thankfully another registry gift). What I really like about this car seat is that it is light weight and was easy for me to carry even with J in it and transfer between the car and the stroller.
What I didn’t like was the little headrest support. It always seemed to come off or fall off somewhere especially as J got bigger. Eventually, of course, he didn’t need that support. Something to note is that there really is no need to buy the 35 pounder car seat – as in one that promises to accommodate your child until she or he is 35 pounds. That is because by the time your child is that big, chances are the baby is also taller and may need to be moved to a different car seat or convertible. The one with 30 pounds was enough was us.
My two cents: While I do not recommend buying a car seat off of Craigslist or Ebay or such sites, I don’t see a problem from getting a hand me down from a family member or close friend provided you are familiar with their driving habits and if the car seat has ever been in an accident. Also, most expensive car seat does not meat safest. Find a source that you trust (e.g., Amazon reviews, Consumer Reports) and go with what your budget allows. Keep in mind that you may be using the same car seat for a second or third (or more kids).
Baby Registry – Baby carriers
Baby wearing is very IN these days and there are several options from which you can choose. Read the reviews and speak to people who use them, even random people. I know I am always happy to share my views. I didn’t do any research on this right away because we had an Ergobaby hand-me-down.
I really liked my Ergo a lot and used it regularly starting Baby J at about a month. I didn’t use the insert (never bought it) and didn’t take him out in it until he was about 2 months but I wore him at home to get him used to it. He loved the warmth of my body next to his and would just fall asleep.
My two cents: Don’t bother with the insert, just use some towels to raise the baby up.
Wow! Had I underestimated my need and use for a baby carrier or what! Don’t overthink it, just place it on your registry already! Now, I love my Ergobaby and used it a lot with J but it is meant for slightly older kids who are able to hold their head up. Even though you can use the Ergo with an insert, I found the insert uncomfortable and too cumbersome for the baby to go through all the effort. Instead, with Baby E, I decided to get a KTan after a nice lady at the Lollipop Market consignment sale showed me how to use it, demonstrating it with her son. I loved it and most importantly, I loved that it didn’t have miles of cloth to wrap around and figure out.
I had previously tested the Infantino Comfortable Sash Mei Tai Baby Carrier and Lite-on-Shoulder Baby Sling but returned them both. I LOVE the KTan and bought a refurbished one directly from their website. I have carried Baby E on this almost everyday for walks around the neighborhood and even around the home so I can be hands free and although she fussed a little the first time I put her in it, she immediately grew to love it and I love it for the snugness it provides and how warm she feels against me. I even tried it with her facing out but didn’t like that style much since I don’t get to see her or know if she is asleep or not. I think she prefers the inside position too (although she did fall asleep facing out too :))