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Gear

post #1 of 72
Thread Starter 

For DS, I had a friend who convinced me that I didn't need any "gear" at all, just an Ergo and frankly, 100% of my time and energy. Well....the Ergo was nice, but my back is really not strong and I ended up with back trouble. I fully agree that holding the baby as much as possible is really the healthiest thing for mother and baby, however, this time I really would like to have a few helpers. Does anyone have ideas? Like a chair, swing, cradle, something. I also need a stroller suggestion, maybe a double or one that has a double option. I also cannot do slings, due to back and shoulder trouble.

post #2 of 72

I will fully admit that I am not on the "hold baby 100% of the day" wagon. I'm just not that kind of mama, I guess. I held my ds a lot, but as a single mom I HAD to put him down at some point (mama's gotta shower/pee/eat/etc or else baby WILL suffer in the end). With ds I had pretty much all the major things (pack n play, swing, bouncy seat, exersaucer, doorway jumper, etc). I used them all, but in moderation (which I think is the key). I know some parents who put baby in swing and when they get cranky they move them straight to exersaucer and when they get cranky in that they move them to doorway jumper, etc. It's a continuous loop of "stuff", but never being held or interacted with. I don't agree with that at all. But if I need to shower and dh isn't home to hold the baby, I will have no issue at all with putting baby in the bouncy chair in the bathroom while I shower. When I need to cook dinner and dh isn't home yet, baby can be in the swing in the kitchen while I cook. It's not the end of the world and, in some circumstances, is safer (it's safer for baby to be in a swing for 10 minutes instead of in the Ergo while I'm stirring a pot that's boiling over or taking something out of the oven).

 

This time I plan on having a swing and bouncy chair from the get-go (I also have a hotsling and an ergo so far). We will likely buy an exersaucer/doorway jumper/etc for baby for Christmas (ds was also born in October and got an exersaucer and a high chair for his first Christmas). We don't have room for a full size high chair so we'll be getting one of those that you can strap to a regular chair. DS also had one of these chairs, which I liked and lasted him into his toddler years (when he would stand on it and "surf". LOL!).

 

I've also owned a few strollers over the years, as well as a wagon. I still have the wagon and the jogging stroller, and those will likely get used as well this time.

post #3 of 72

I found a baby wrap to be really comfortable and easy on my back. Way better for my weak back then the sling. I got one similar to a moby off of etsy and DD and I both loved it. I'm planning to purchase a woven wrap this time around. We have an ergo too but I do like the wrap better. I often put it on myself before laving the house so I could just pop her in rather then drag the fabric through the gross parking lot at the store or whatever. It worked well for us.

 

We also use our jog stroller a ton (though not to jog!). We have decided to get a double jog stroller since DD just can't keep up walking and sometimes I just want to walk fast to get some exercise. I haven't really started to research these but would love to hear what others have to say here! The only thing I looked at were BOB brand strollers. They are super expensive but should be the only thing we need.

 

We had a bouncy seat that vibrated as well. It was great because I could move it around the house as needed because it was small and light wait. For the longest time DD fell asleep in the bathroom in that chair for her morning nap while I showered. I was so sad when she outgrew that seat! She often sat in it while we ate dinner too which was nice to have her on the table at our height so she could see us and interact with us. Also great because it cost around $25!

 

We did have an amazing hanging cradle that my sister in law lent us which was great for the first 5 months. She did take naps in there. We had it in the living room. It came from Denmark (where my SIL is from). Once DD could roll and sit up we could no longer use it. We did like it though. I haven't talked to her yet to see if we can use it again.  I have to say that if I had to buy it myself I'm not sure I could justify the price but since we were borrowing it it was great. Does that make sense? I've posted a picture of it below. Something similar that is available here would probably be the Kanoe

 

IMG_0856.JPG

 

We didn't have much of anything else.

post #4 of 72

I like the kind of seat that hooks on the table (we have one "phil and ted" and it folds totally flat). I never had any bouncy seats or exersaucer or anything, I just let my babies hang out on the floor and honestly they were fine there. #2 more happy there than #1. This baby, I MIGHT borrow a bouncy seat just b/c w/ a 2.5yo sibling, I think it might be good before baby is mobile to have a demarcated "baby space" that isn't just on a blanket.

 

agree wrap is very comfy. I also want to make/acquire a mei tai b/c you can do things like cross the straps, fold the top down... use it for different size babies and different carries.

 

I do love the ergo, but really more for the back carry age (both mine have been sitting and playing independently by 4m, and were large babies, so I had them in a back carry pretty early). Moby style wrap, IMO, is MUCH more comfortable for the front carry age.

 

for #1 I had a sort of frame that you could put the carseat into for an infant stroller. I didn't end up using it all that much but it was cheap and simple and was easy to sell on CL when he got too big. And you need a carseat anyway. Then I got a Maclaren Triumph stroller that you can use from 3m on. I like that a lot. I do use strollers a fair bit b/c we walk A LOT. Like 4mi a day most days. I just can't carry a large baby that much! A huge advantage of the MaclAren to me was that it weighs less than my baby! And you can totally fold and unfold it one-handed, so you can hold your baby in the other arm while you do it. And its very small- we have lived in small spaces so that matters to us.

post #5 of 72

How old is your older? A lot of people in NYC get this sort of "skateboard" thing that hooks to the back of the stroller, and older sib can ride along (standing) on that. It can be folded up when not in use. A little cumbersome but much less cumbersome than a double stroller! I am trying to figure out what to do strollerwise. I might plan to babywear for the first 9m or so, and by then DD will be over 3yo, and can hopefully get by with a combo of the ride-on thing in back, and a back-carry option. I am hoping to avoid a double stroller but that might not be possible living in Manhattan with kids so closely spaced. we just have very tiny living space, so no room to store big strollers. and, everything is so small in NYC- the idea of taking a double stroller on public transpo, or into urban stores, seems very unappealing.

post #6 of 72

I tended to use a bouncy chair a lot when I needed to get things done (and couldn't or didn't want to wear the baby).  Showering is a perfect example.  I set it up facing the shower so I could peek out and interact while I got clean.  Also so I knew my older kids weren't harming the baby.  ;)  I also set the baby down in the bouncy chair sometimes after they had fallen asleep, but I knew it would likely be a short nap/didn't want to take them back to a crib, so I could have some freedom but still keep an eye on things.  In the first few months, a bouncy chair was super handy to me.

 

But my babies got big quickly, and they always grew out of the bouncy chair too fast.  Later on I ended up always bringing my infant car seat inside, and letting the baby sit in there instead of the bouncy chair.  Not as comfy, but suited me well for the few short times I needed it during the day. I think the key to both the bouncy chair and infant car seat was how portable they were - I could move it easily into any room.

 

I did have a swing for my first two babies, but found that they really didn't take to it very well, and they took up so much space, so in the end I didn't even bother getting it out for my 3rd. 

 

With so many other young kids around, and now a lot more chokable toys being carried around the house, I probably won't be super comfortable putting the new baby on the floor a lot.  But we have a smaller space now, and I'm not sure how I feel about getting more stuff, especially a bouncy chair that may only last a few months.  I'm definitely not bothering with a swing this time around, and I'm planning on going straight to a convertible car seat instead of an infant seat.  And a pack 'n play (which I already have and use as a crib when they outgrow the co-sleeper) is too big to be easily portable.  So I guess, in the end, I'm hoping on babywearing as much as possible, and I don't know what (yet) when I need to shower or something.  Wait until baby's sleeping?  I'm not sure yet.

post #7 of 72

For DD we had all the gear, I found all we really used was the swing and bouncy seat, mostly the bouncy seat. I have a moby and an ergo and while I held DD an awful lot thats probably not going to be as feasible this time with an almost 2 year old running about.  I am considering getting a pack n play just so I know the baby is extra safe from DD if I leave the room, she tends to get kind of rough at times and I don't want to worry about that everytime I have to pee!

post #8 of 72
Thread Starter 

So, are there better bouncy chairs or swings, or worse ones (things that are annoying, etc.)?

post #9 of 72

I don't know if there are better/worse things about bouncy seats.  We put whatever the cheapest one was on our baby shower list & someone got it for us.  That thing totally saved us!  Sometimes the vibrating was the only thing that would soothe her.

 

We had most of the gear either given to us or got it on freecycle.  Most used were the bouncy seat, the exersaucer thing when she got a little older, & the pack & play with the bassinet attachment.  We have a dog & hardwood floors, so it was good for us to have a safe, clean place to put the baby, especially before I knew how the dog was going to act.

 

I liked the mei tai style carrier when DD was tiny. Everyone loves moby wraps, but all that fabric is so intimidating to me!  I have an ergo now & I'm thinking of getting the infant insert.  I wouldn't mind some other carrier that's an easy in/out situation.

post #10 of 72

For me the gear has completely varied depending on the child and our needs at the time. With my first I was given a lot of stuff but didn't have a good carrier. He didn't really like anything so I threw my back out a lot. My 2nd my pac n play was ivaluable bcs I could put him in there if I had to run pee or if he fell asleep in the car seat I could put the whole thing in or I could put the bouncy chair in there and my 23 month old couldn't get at him.;) worked great. The 3rd was my first of the kids to like the swing but it is the side to side swing with the papasan type seat and he like the papasan type bouncy seat as well. My dd liked both of those too. We didn't use the pack n play at all with my 4th child, just didn't turn out to be necesarry so I put it away. She loved her amby and most of the time her brother stayed away when she was in it (although he would crawl into it and fall asleep on ocasion (at a little over 2 yrs. lol). The amby was recalled and we purchased the arms reach cocoon and I love it better than the amby. My dd actually slept in that thing until she was about 18 months. She never fell out of it and it got to the point where we would just leave the bottom open and she would crawl out and walk to us.

All this to say that each item that I have loved has been different with each child and each circumstance. Borrow items, accept gifts, purchase cheap used stuff and then resell or give back what doesn't work.

As for double strollers I absolutely love my combi. Some people hate them, some love them. I love mine. I have a single and a double and this is my 2nd double combi. It has a tri fol and is really light and has a strap so is so easy to carry up and down steps if you find yourself w/out an elevator. Both seats recline 3/4. It fits through most standard doorways. I am really happy with it.

post #11 of 72

I agree with theboysmama about accepting hand-me-downs, gifts, etc, and not feeling locked into the particular things you get.

 

And, on that note, I am also interested in what people have to say about double strollers. I live in Manhattan and see lots of F.A.N.C.Y. strollers around, but they all look so freaking cumbersome to me. I swear that people here use strollers like cars elsewhere- as a form of conspicuous consumption. We have such a small space, entering via a little cramped small staircase and turn at the bottom, and two doors at right angles to eachother to come in, which is to say, tight and difficult entry to the apartment. I would probably have to remove the stuff and kids, fold the stroller, and then carry it down the steps and into the apartment. Not so convenient, especially in crappy weather. But since we do not have a car, and do EVERYTHING on foot, like all the food shopping for the household, the idea of not having a double stroller sometimes exhausts me- #2 will only be 2.5 when baby is born... not reliably independent walking long distances.

 

Not to get into any gear debates but I did hear from multiple sources (like a pediatric PT who I am friends with, a pediatric nurse-practitioner who saw our son, etc) that exersaucers are not so healthy for hip and leg development, and baby is never supposed to be in there more than 15 minutes at a time (?!?) So to me, living on a small budget in a small home, something that huge just isn't worth it if you can only use it so little. But, my kids (so far) were happy on the floor and were upright on their own very young. It is so nice when they can actually sit and play with stuff and look around... they are much happier. So maybe if I had a kid who didn't sit unassisted at 4m I would have felt differently.

 

For showers, I just put baby on the floor on a towel...

post #12 of 72
Thread Starter 

Interesting about the excersaucer. I have not actually considered getting one (because of the size) so now I won't. I have actually heard the same thing about the baby Bjorn.

I saw a used infant insert for the Ergo at a 2nd hand shop for 15. I ought to just go get it, though I think a swaddling the baby in a thick blanket and putting them in there amounts to the same thing. We did that a few times with DS (who did not like it at all unless I was moving quickly). But he didn't like much that wasn't just MY arms hammer.gifHowever, this baby will be different in many ways, andthis might be one of them.

 

Emma, have you looked at any umbrella double strollers? They are light and fold up. No storage, but you can sling a big back over both handles.

 

What is a combi stroller?

 

Can I also just say, I am so grateful to you people for not trying to convince me that I ought to hold this baby world without end. I would occasionally rest P. in his Boppy pillow to sleep and then that friend who recommended no gear would show up and I would feel the need to explain it somehow. Oh, the judgment!

 

post #13 of 72

I'm planning to "wait and see" when it comes to gear for this baby.  With DS, I had a couple of wraps, the cosleeper (which could have technically been moved anywhere in the house, but we never actually moved it), the cradle, and the high chair that straps on to a regular seat and can recline for little babies.  As for putting him down, he was perfectly content to lay on a blankey on the floor, so I never needed anything like a bouncy seat or swing.  My first child was a very content baby- lucky me!  I'm hoping the cradle and copsleeper will suffice for a safe place for this  baby, and if I end up needing a "soother" type seat, I'll just order one after baby's born.  I really do love babywearing and am really excited to have a newborn to wrap up again.  But I'm not a "wear the baby 100% of the the time" mama either.  But again, I had a content first baby who would nap easily without me so I could get stuff done. 

post #14 of 72

I have to admit, I LOVE bouncy seats...and it looks like they've come a long way since my youngest was a baby. :-) So I will get a bouncy seat and a portable swing ( cant believe tehy make those now, my oldest had the biggest, most awkward swing.lol) and a sling and my mom will get my a stroller, she says. Thats all the gear I want!

I will get a high chair eventually, but planning on breastfeeding exclusively till 6 months so no rush there...

 

I had a double stroller many moons ago with my first two, they were 27 months apart. I liked the idea of the double stroller, but in practice it was like pushing around a tractor trailer! Not fun... If I had that to do over I would try the strollers with a little step on the back for the older child to ride when they wanted. I didnt have the side by side one, I had the long double stroller, so maybe that made a difference. I do not spend tons of money on baby gear so Im sure that made a difference as well. 

post #15 of 72

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RosemaryS-F View Post
Can I also just say, I am so grateful to you people for not trying to convince me that I ought to hold this baby world without end. I would occasionally rest P. in his Boppy pillow to sleep and then that friend who recommended no gear would show up and I would feel the need to explain it somehow. Oh, the judgment!

 


Whoa. Sounds like quite the friend.

 

I am unabashedly pro-places to put the baby where baby will be happy and safe. If that's gear, that's gear. I adore our Ergo (and heck, I like holding a baby!) but I don't think it's necessary to hold/sling/wrap/Ergo a kid 24-7.

 

Anyway, we don't have much gear, but that's mainly a function of a small house and a tight budget when we had DS. For him, we basically had whatever we were given or handed down. That included a bouncy seat, which definitely got used. It stayed in the bathroom nearly all the time, and was great for showers. This time, we are talking about maybe getting a fold-up swing, too. DS was an intense baby, and, in retrospect, a swing or some other sort of moving seated option would have made life a little easier when he was little.

 

We might wait and see what this babe is like before getting anything, though. I keep reminding myself that the option to buy things does not disappear when the babe arrives, and he won't need much the first few weeks, at least.

 

We still have a hand-me-down pram from DS. It's very old and not that attractive, but still perfectly functional, so we will likely use that when we want to have a stroller. If DS were younger, I would definitely look into a sit & stand kind of stroller.

post #16 of 72

This is a great thread.  I remember early on a similar thread geared towards us first time mammas, with people saying what they loved vs. wouldn't buy again.  We're planning on going as minimal as we can, so I really appreciate all the insight. 

 

At this point, I'd love to carry the baby as much as possible (did I mention though I'm a first time mamma?  I'll let you know how I feel about that next January, or June, LOL).  We'll get an Ergo, but I heard you can skip the infant insert by stuffing w/ blankets.  My friend let me wear her baby in a Moby, and I totally love it, but I can see how it is kind of a learning curve.  I have another baby-wearing friend who knows like 37 ways to tie a wrap, and not just Moby wraps, but wool, linen, etc.  Has anyone use a Baby K'Tan?  It looks super comfortable, but I can see how the size could be more tricky, especially if you have 2 partners looking to wear it.  We got a free snugli, but I think that'll be for last resort, as I've heard they're not too comfortable, and not great for the baby's hips/ legs.

 

I think a bouncy chair is a great idea, and I think we'll get one of those.  However, we have lots of floor space, so I imagine we'll put the baby on a blanket on the floor a lot too.  We'll need a car seat, but I have no idea at this point if an infant vs. convertible is best.  Anyway, I imagine we'll eventually get a stroller, but I definitely think it is possible to manage without one, with two eager baby-wearing parents.  We will get the best baby jogger we can afford though.  Both DH and I are runners, and I'm thinking we could use the jogger for non-running use too.  I know the baby has to be big enough before it can go into one.  As far as models, word on the street from my running community friends is that BOB is the best.  As AKislandgirl said, they are expensive, but probably all you need.  However... there was recently a recall on them, due to a yellow strap on the stroller part of it.  I think you could remove the strap though.  Obviously, I'll do more research, but I don't think that the recall is a non-starter for us. 

 

I imagine a bobby, or some other kind of breastfeeding pillow is really useful too.

 

We're planning on co-sleeping, and one of the big benefits of this to me is that we don't have to go through the hassle (to us, it is a hassle, definitely not for all), of putting together a baby's room, or finding a crib or furniture etc.  I doubt we'll get a designated changing table either.  I wouldn't mind a glider though!  We'll probably look into a pack & play though too, but Pi, you bring up a really good point that we can wait until after the baby is born to buy stuff too!

 

Also, AKislandgirl, I love that hanging bassinet!  How cool!

post #17 of 72
A word of caution on those portable swings.... I've been looking into them as well and some get some pretty bad reviews, saying that once the baby hits like 10lbs (which for some is at birth!) then the swing doesn't really have enough "oomph" to swing it. If anyone knows of a great one i'm interested though! I want a small one, but only if it works well. Otherwise i'll just get a full size.

Amy May- we have a jogging stroller that we often use for walks, the mall, ect. It's more of a walking stroller than a jogging stroller these days (yes, my 7 year old still uses it sometimes), but I love the way it handles.

Emmaegbert- i've heard that about the bumbo seats too, with the improper alignment of the spine and hips. Like with most things in life, moderation is the key!
post #18 of 72

Amy May we have a Baby Jogger Summit XC which is in the same class as the BOB but I like it a lot better. It's great for running and hiking. My husband jokes that I love our stroller more than I love him. :P

 

We love our bouncy seat but with ds 2 we got a sweet peace swing so now we just use the chair from that as a seat for the baby (yay for multi tasking items!).

 

I don't plan on moving ds (who will be 2.5 when baby is born) out of his crib any time soon so we are thinking that we'll just use a pack and play for the baby to sleep in when he isn't in bed with us.

 

I think that is all the gear we really use... I have a beco, a wrap, a ring sling, and a pouch and love wearing my babies but I'm definitely NOT a wear baby 24/7 kinda girl. We will probably need a few clothing items, both my kids were spring babies so not many of the clothes we already have will be season appropriate (which is important up here in the frozen North!!).

post #19 of 72

AmyMay: We are cosleepers too so we didn't do a room for DD either. We live in a 2 bedroom house and until recently the spare room housed the computer desk, dd's dresser/changing table, and our futon. We have sinced moved the computer to the dining room and put a toy shelf in the other room. We'll be taking the futon out this summer and adding another dresser. So for us its morphed into a play room with dressers but no sleeping space for the kids. It works. I love that everyone just find what works for them on here and nobody freaks out about it. In my real life I got a lot of raised eyebrows (mostly from the in-laws) about not having a crib, nursery, etc... Mothering.com is so refreshing!

 

We have to go the route of a jog stroller due to living on rough gravel roads. No smooth sidewalks here... one bike path is paved but otherwise sidewalks are few and far between. Another reason I want DD in the stroller and not walking along beside.

 

I forgot that we did have a johnny jump up for a little while. Maybe when DD was around 6 months. She loved it but we didn't use it much because I was worried about her legs and hips. For little spurts of it while I unloaded the dishwasher or made lunch though it was nice.

post #20 of 72
Thread Starter 

Amy May--car seat opinion here. I had a bucket seat (infant) and also have a convertible. The bucket is great because if they fall asleep, you can bring it into the house/store/etc without waking them up. You can't do that with a convertible as readily. I was also told (yes, Pi, by this very informative "friend"!) never to leave the baby asleep in the car seat so before I wised up to the bogus-ness of this theory I would wake him up to bring him in (though we had a bucket---WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?) Letting him sleep would have been so much better. I really think I contributed to his sleep issues by doing all this waking up to only let him sleep with me stuff.

 

I found that when p. was a baby, he did not like the Ergo (wrapped up in a blanket) as much as he liked the Infantino (like a snugli or bjorn) my mom gave me, which I used a lot for the first 4 months. I had heard about the hip/testacles thing, but I was at the end of my rope, and he liked the Infantino (though my back did not as much.) So far, he has no problems in his hips or testacles :)

 

I wish that Bob made a stroller that was double more in the style of Phil and Teds, because their double is too wide to fit through my New England home's narrow doors.

 

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