Registry Update: Baby Gear

Oh, man. I failed this section in the biggest of ways, mostly because I refused to purchase a swing until Bee was eight weeks old and still hadn’t napped in an area that wasn’t attached to my chest or lap or hip and I needed to accomplish things that people accomplish during the day, like answering emails or cooking dinner or, you know, going to the bathroom alone. So. After a particularly rough morning of fussing (Bee, not me. But yes, me also.), my mother-in-law dragged me to the store and placed Bee in the store model swing and she fell asleep in less than twenty-two seconds. Sold! Here’s the rest of the list of baby gear I loved (and hated!):

Our lifestyle doesn’t call for a fancy travel system (and to be honest, I can’t handle the thought of messing with all of those bells and whistles!), so we opted for the safest, most fuss-free stroller we could find. Contours Lite stroller is ridiculously affordable and received fantastic reviews. I’ll let you know how it works out!
Update: OK, so the minimum weight requirement on this stroller is 5 pounds, but it is not at all conducive to toting around a newborn (the straps are too roomy and there is no head support). Bee didn’t grow into it until she was roughly six months old (and even then it was a bit large), but now that she’s older, it’s perfect for a quick stroll around the neighborhood. This meant we had to purchase a newborn-friendly stroller (and you guys know how much I hate owning more than one of any item!), which was kind of a bummer. I’ll share which one we chose in the car seat section below! B- on this pick, but we do love it for the stage she’s in now.

The perfect solution to keep baby occupied and Mom carefree, a car seat mirror is a must.
Update: I don’t know if our seats are weird in the car, but this mirror never stays in place, so we’re continually adjusting it after car rides and errands. F- for us.

The Miracle Blanket was recommended by nearly every mom I’ve spoken with, so it seemed like a no-brainer indeed!
Update: Oh man – yes, yes, yes and yes. This truly was miraculous for us. It was easy to wrap and was a major part of the equation when it came time to calm Bee during witching hour. A+++++!

If you plan to wear your baby, there are billions of slings on the market. I’ll be trying out the Moby wrap for its great reviews, but I think every woman might have differing taste in this department.
Update: You guys. I could never ever ever figure out how to tie this little number. I’m admittedly not gifted in the mechanics of this sort of thing, but still – the idea of wrapping and re-wrapping when Bee was crying was enough to send me into an anxiety spiral, so I returned it shortly after she was born. F- for me (but I so admire those of you who can tie this thing!).

I was crazy thrilled to find an activity gym that’s as great for the baby as it is to look at. Three cheers for wooden toys!
Update: We loved this. It was affordable and entertaining for Bee, and although I thought it would only hold her attention for the first three months, she still uses the gym to practice standing and scooting (and she loves the tiny mirror that comes unattached). A+!

I’m a sucker for cleaning kits, and BuggyLOVE’s cleaning kit is organic and highly recommended. I can’t wait to tackle those grubby strollers for when the baby’s hands get bigger (and messier!).
Update: I love the idea of this, but didn’t purchase it because it seems like an unnecessary luxury. We’ll be using simple wipes! D on this pick.

We have a compact (read: teeny tiny!) car, so Combi’s Cocorro convertible car seat made the most sense for our lifestyle. Plus, that shade of carrot cake is surprisingly perfection.
Update: I was happy to work with Graco right before Bee came along, so we swapped the above for the Snugride Click Connect 40 and loved it. The bonus? We purchased a stroller base for frequent walks, which was so much more affordable (and handy!) than purchasing a whole new stroller for the early months. Loved this duo. A+.

Carriers are great for when baby outgrows a sling, so we opted to register for an affordable one to have on hand until we figure out what works for us.
Update: I didn’t love the above carrier, but can’t sing Ergo’s praises enough. I loved this one for the infant stages and it’s still a household staple around here. I’ll also say that we’re big fans of BabyBjorn’s carrier for the times Bee wants to face outward and see the world. Both carriers are amazingly comfortable for babies and the ones toting them around! A+!

I chose timi & leslie Charlie II diaper bag because it’s massive and so, so pretty. I’ll report back on its function, but I was thrilled to find a stylish diaper bag that didn’t look like a diaper bag. Another option? Go for a monochromatic, masculine messenger bag so your husband isn’t embarrassed to carry an overtly floral or quilted style.
Update: You guys. I love this diaper bag in a ridiculous way. It’s big and roomy and versatile with loads of compartments and handy extras (I love the large zip pouch for diaper changes and the insulated bottle carrier). Yes all around. A+.

A blankie or blanket friend is nice to have on hand for days when your little one needs extra soothing. Plus, they’re maddeningly cute.
Update: Bee likes this, but it’s not a must in our house. I will note that she received a Taggie as a gift and I was skeptical at first, but she is oddly fascinated. It’s great for keeping her entertained during church when we don’t want to give her something loud and distracting to play with. A+ on the Taggie, seriously. And while we’re talking blankets, this crazy soft one is Bee’s favorite for nighttime.

The Skwish rattle is natural and gorgeous with lots of intriguing stimulation for baby. A must-have for active babies that need some distracting.
Update: Bee loves this, and I love how it looks. Win/win! I actually have it displayed in my office when she’s not playing with it! A+.

For teething days, alternating teethers with soft chew toys are a good idea. The Vulli Chan Pie Gnon natural rubber soft chew toy  is a fan favorite – and endlessly quirky.
Update: This one was a must for teething (although Bee usually has to fight Bernie for it, because he loves this toy!). A+.

You know how I feel about wooden teethers; green sprouts natural wooden ring is a rattle and teether in one. Bonus!
Update: I didn’t purchase the above, but Bee did love these teethers from Little Alouette. (We sometimes just give her a wooden spatula to gnaw on also!)

Oh, those pesky pacifiers seem to vanish out of thin air, don’t they? Keep your baby’s at bay with an eco-friendly pacifier clip for their stroller, tee or car seat.
Update: Bee never enjoyed a pacifier, so this was an unnecessary purchase. F-!

Update: I never thought I’d want a swing, but my gracious, I really relied on this thing for daytime naps when nothing else worked. We purchased this one and it was a winner from the start! A+.

Update: We already owned a baby gate for visiting friends and family, so although we didn’t register for our baby gate, I thought I’d share it anyway. We live on a ranch with a basement, so this blocks the staircase below. A+!

  • I’m loving all of your updates on baby product. Even though I have 2 boys it’s been 4 years since my last one and I’m due in August and feel a little lost with what I need versus what I want. I’m bookmarking all of the A+’s

  • I’m due tomorrow (!!!) but was curious about your updates. I don’t much input on what we do have yet, but I did follow some of your recommendations the first time around ;)
    We went with Graco snugride 35 and got the quick, snap and go type stroller to go with.
    We also went with a Bob jogger. *not for jogging per se, but because we live on the beach in CA and don’t want to be limited to where we roll baby ;) It also has a carseat adapter for infant times.

    I didn’t register for a separate ‘bells & whistles’ swing because the Graco system has a swing apparatus that my friend loved. We’ll see how that goes. I’ve heard I don’t want to have to rely on a swing for the most part…

    We got an organic Ergo that my husband and I both love already (ha!) but my sister also gave us a wrap. It’s not moby but has a tutorial DVD for different ways of wearing. (she and her 6’4″ husband loved it with all 3 of their kids)

    I have two types of NB diapers including the Honest ones, which I am still hoping to stick with. Are you still using Honest?

    I wanted to get just wooden teethers but a lot of people didn’t get the memo ;) And did you know a father invented/came up with the idea for the taggies/ribbon blankets?

    I just received the baby quilt from my m-i-l yesterday, it goes perfect in our Modern nursery I think you’d approve of ;)

    • ..oh, and yeah, the car seat and mirror are all set up but the damn mirror is all wobbly even though I’ve tightened all the straps I could!

    • Oh congratulations, Maggie – I love your picks! You’ll have to let us know what you’d change in nine months – it’s such a learning curve (although I’m sure you’ll be just fine!). :) And yes, I’m still using Honest and LOVE them!!!

  • thanks for this, erin. i’m bookmarking for future reference if we’re crazy and lucky enough to have number 2!

    i second honest too! huggies pure and natural diapers are also great.

    re’ slings/wraps: i’m a big fan of the girasol wrap for when they’re tiny (like the moby, but not stretchy so you can use it longer). i also got a ton of use out of a ring sling in the early days. at 5 months, i started using the slingling with the hip carry, and i cannot recommend it enough. one piece of fabric, no rings, no adjustments. she loves it. she actually gets excited when i pull it out now (she’s just over 1 year old). super compact so you can toss it in your purse. easy to wash. also excellent for going through security at the airport b/c there are no latches or buckles, you can wear your baby all the way through. bonus: it was the cheapest carrier i bought at $20 on zulily!

    i was also against swings, until i had a fussy newborn. then we bought this: heaven sent.

    • Right?! Bee was a crazy fusspants, so a swing was the most amazing thing on the planet for me. Thanks for your thoughts, Margaux!!! :)

  • Erin, I could write a novel in response but… #1/7, went for the Graco Snugride 30 w/stroller – win; #2, hate both I’ve tried; #3, amen for these!; #4, really wanted to get into the Moby bit didn’t end up using a sling at all; #8, never invested in a carrier but I hear great things about the Bjorns and Ergos; #10, he hasn’t fixed on a blankie yet so ??; #11, have this in rainbow and he loves it; #14, we never did pacifiers yet so I didn’t register for any of these (my friends thought I was nuts!); #15, found a used swing on craigslist that was the best for naps sometimes; #16, THANK YOU for this link, we need extra-wide, easy-use gates and I didn’t know where to start looking. You rock, Erin!

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