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What's your FAV/LEAST FAV piece of BabyGear?

2015 Views 45 Replies 41 Participants Last post by  mamand'ete
Calling all experienced moms to share their advice on which pieces to invest in, and which ones are a big old waste of money.
Like a lot of second+ time around Moms, I'm not having a shower, and have to be extra frugal; I've also learned my lesson about letting the new Baby's gear take over the house.
In the quest for quality, value, and minimalism, what are you getting, getting-rid-of, keeping, or slandering this time around?
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Here's my list:
BundleMe car seat blanket/cover... *They're on sale right now on BabyStyle* Baby buntings/blankets are not car-seat compatible... it used to take me so long to get Olivia bundled to go out the door, and then if we didn't leave right away (fussing grandmas blocking our exit!) she would get overheated... then she would be overheated again in the car, so we would turn off the heat and freeze... if we stopped at the store, again, she would be over heated so we would remove layers, then bundle her up again to leave... UGH!

The biggest, dumbest thing we owned last time:
The Diaper Genie. We used sposies last time around, and lemme tell you about this nasty little contraption: you stick your stinky diapers in it and give the lid a twist. The diaper is wrapped in a segment of a long, plastic-bag-tube. When the pail is full you pull out this nasty, stale length of diaper-sausage-links. It is so unpleasant to deal with. It does do a nice job of keeping the yuck-smell quarantined, but once you open it old to empty it the house fills with the aroma of OLD poopy nonsense... I would much rather deal with each, fresh diaper as it comes... and then after a couple of months, if you don't sterilize it weekly, the bacteria builds up and then it's just stinky 24/7.
If you must use sposies, just wrap them in a little bag as soon as you change your beeb.
My baby sling was wonderful... I have a bad shoulder so dad used it mostly. Mine was home-made so I can't recommend a brand.
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With my DD, my favorite/most helpful thing was my maya wrap sling. She was in it all day long and walking around with her in it was the only way I could get her to nap for the longest time.

I dont know what my least fav. thing was, as we didnt have or use that much to begin with...
This is our third. As for baby gear, we have a grand total of....

a carseat
one stroller
one sling
one front-facing baby carrier (snugli, from when I was a baby)
a breastpump (if you count that as baby gear) and breast pads

Ummm...errrr...that's it. Seriously. We've never been much for cribs and swings and systems and changing tables and high chairs and such - although we have had those things in the past. They're more pain than they're worth. We change the baby on the bed or on the floor - we bathe the baby in the tub, in our arms, we feed the baby on our laps or on a blanket on the floor (all the better to explore with, my dear - of course, we also don't feed them solids until they're like a year old and by then, well, we don't need something to support them anymore, kwim?).

I've seriously always been something of a minimalist when it comes to baby stuff and baby care - the baby needs interaction and care from ME and DH, not from a bunch of crap. Of course, kid stuff is another story (haha, you should see all the stuff we have for the 2 and 4 yo, hundreds and hundreds of wooden blocks, table and chair sets, tons of puzzles and games, etc). Anyway...with our first we had the most baby stuff, with our second we got rid of some of it, and now we've gotten rid of even more.

I go through stores with baby sections and honestly don't know whether to laugh or cry. Commercialism? Excess? Simply wanting to put a layer of stuff between yourself and baby, to keep emotion down? Why does all this stuff even exist?

Anyway...about quality stuff - with our first most of the stuff we got was gift stuff and I had little control over it. Most of the stuff we have is still from that initial experience. But I can say that there are some things that are so cheap you just don't want to bother - like those Gerber 3-pack onesies. And, in fact, most of the stuff you get at K-mart. Seriously, it is like they don't even check it first. My aunt got me a bunch of stuff there that was way too big in the chest but didn't even fit over the kids' heads (and my kids have average-sized heads). And then there were the footed full-length onesies that I had to cut the feet off of because the legs were sooo short, also from Kmart. We've since bought some higher-quality clothing on our own to supplement what we did get that was better. MIL and my mom shopped from Carter's (surprisingly flimsy sometimes, good other times) and Oshkosh (which I like most of the time) and those things comprise most of our existing collection.
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my favorite item is my pack and play. its a side sleeper, playpen, changing table, junk holder~ whatever..its a blessing, I have a Graco and it folds into a large duffle in about 2 minutes.

a rocking chair..more sentimental than 'needed'

my prefolds

my breasts

thats it

maybe a highchair.. I have my eye on the saratoga print.

dumb things- at least for us, the diaper genie, (a shower gift),
chloe never liked a swing, but I will try again with this one~ but only a portable/small model, that will double as a bouncer.. no use having a large contraption we don't use.
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The things I don't think I could have done without:

-washcloths for sopping up my overactive letdown
-stroller for when he got bigger and we were at something like the zoo, or taking the dog for a walk
-nightlight in our room bright enough that I could see to bf him or change his dipe

Things I know for sure I needed to get this time around:

-better nursing bras and really good nursing pads
-a better cd-ing system so I would stick with it

-a sling that fit me better

That's all I can think of right now.
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Favs :

- my slings
- cloth diapers

Least Favs :

- swing
- disposable diapers
- crib really - we didn't use it until he was about 16 months old.

Both of my children loved the swing in the early months. Some nights that nothing else would help them calm down, the swing would. Plus, it was the only way I got to take a shower at that time w/o bringing an adorable slippery newborn in w/ me.

Stroller for longer day trips and travel. DH and I both have back problems, so slinging the babe for a long time was a no no.

Rocking chair-I don't have one, but it is one of my must haves for future babies!

Could've done w/o...

highchair, neither child used it for very long. They both wanted to sit at the table with us!

playpen-It just became toy storage.
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Originally Posted by sunfairy

a rocking chair..more sentimental than 'needed'
my prefolds
my breasts
thats it

That's too funny! When I first posted I was thinking 'I should say my breasts'...
anywho, I agree with you all on the uselessness of my beuatiful, heirloom walnut, sleigh-crib... but it sure did look perdy with all the laundry and the cat in it
... and those activity centers? I didn't get it. It was much for fun to get down on the floor on a blanket and play with her...
I know how some of you feel about the swings, but it soothed dd when nothing else would...
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Originally Posted by mealymama
and those activity centers? I didn't get it. It was much for fun to get down on the floor on a blanket and play with her...
I know how some of you feel about the swings, but it soothed dd when nothing else would...

I like the activity centers for the same reason I liked the swing when they were infants....a safe place to have the baby stay while I did something I couldn't be holding them for (showering, cooking, etc). Now, I have a dog though.....I am thinking those things would not be safe anymore. I guess I will have to use my Pack and Play for more than a toybox this time around...

Best Thing: Boppy and Lana wool pads... (okay DH wouldn't agree with the second half of that but definitely the first half!!) It made breastfeeding my DD soooo much easier. And DH used it to give her bottles (while I was still working) and it really made it easier for them. Aaaah memories of the two of them passed out together...

Also love:
our Cloth Diapers (going on the third bum!!)
Wipes Warmer made changing a newborn soooo much more pleasant especially at 2am.
Swing (not a popular item but a godsend for us) the swing was sometimes the only way that DD would sleep for more that 20 minutes and I could take a shower!! It was also a lifesaver with my DS some nights, he wouldn't sleep at all on either of us and we would finally get him to sleep in his swing.
Slings (after the newborn phase, neither of my DC were happy in slings or carriers until they were older.)

Dumbest thing:
Graco stroller. Was total junk for the price. Found much better strollers later.
Johny Jumpup with DD, she HATED it, loved to jump up and down in your lap though... my DS LOVED it.
He'd jump up and down in it while I cooked. He'd cackle and cackle.
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I haven't seen anyone mention it yet but a NURSING PILLOW...I definately recommned a big puffy one (not the small ring kind). Saves your do they get sore holding a baby while nursing...and my dd napped on it all the time while I got a chance to relax and watch some TV or read a book, might not have gotten much done around the house but I wouldn't have anyway since DD wouldn't stay asleep when I put her down so at least I had my sanity.

Gee, I didn't have a lot for baby gear, no crib, change table, playpens or anything so I don't really have a least fave...I guess it was the carrier I had, an Evenflo one, I wish I had just gotten a sling, the carrier was useless after about 4 months because it killed my neck and shoulders (and DD was only about 12-15 lbs at that point) was much easier on my body to just carry her.
My Fave:
prefolds and wraps, I love my cloth diapers

a swing, and a baby chair; like the others said, there were times when I was doing something and needed both hands. He much prefered watching me do things and talking to him, than be in a sling.

The co-sleeper Dh built, awesome!

Did not Use:
Pack N Play, never found a use for it
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Fav: boppy
Even for a bottle m,om like me, this added extra closeness when we fed.

I don't know. We used the packnplay as a portable crib (we travel alot), but other than that, I only used it as a prison once (I had PT and DH was out of town and wee couldn't have Goo running around the theorpy room).
My Fav:
Extra sheets for my bed (in spit up friendly color)
Comfy Sling (I prefer Moby Wrap especially for newborns)
Quality Jog Stroller (I do a lot of outdoors things & with bigger babies, it's nice)
3-level touch light on my bedside stand (nice at Target)
Lots of food & help for after the birth

My Least Fav:
Expensive Crib (If you NEED one get it used, just make sure it's up to safety standards)
Infant Car seat that unattaches from base
Loud battery operated toys
favorite: breasts with sling, cloth diapers (oh, don't get me started
)---oh, and my portable phone

least favorite: anything mechanical or motorized. i never had a diaper genie---they always freaked me out
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Gosh, it's hard to remember so far back!

Bests faves: Boppy, boobs, fleece blankies. Swing, depending on which baby, and those bouncy seats. I would, for example, bring the baby in the seat into the bathroom so I could shower, and "peakaboo" from behind the curtain if s/he fussed. Better than laying them on the bathroom floor, which is never as clean as it could be with a new baby in the house! Cosleeper, so baby has a space if the siblings are in the bed, and I need not worry about the bigger kids squirming and kicking it. Sling. DH!

Worst: cribs. playpens. baby monitor. (baby was always close so I could hear him/her) high chair. bottles/binkies, which I was given. baby bjorn or other front carriers. Diaper genie (yes, very gross!). baby tubs. J&J shampoos or soaps, which irritated baby skin. Unscented liquid Dove works best.
Best for me:
Swing (sometimes it's the only thing that works)
Good camera
Breastfeeding pillow
4-in-1 feeding seat (this is so much better than a high chair! I know tons of people that have them. They attach to a regular dining chair and take up so much less room than a high chair. Plus they only cost $30)

Expensive crib
Bouncy seat (didn't work for my DS, anyway)
Baby Bjorn (thought I liked it until I learned how much more comfortable a sling was)
My fave - slings, slings, slings! DS worked with me for a year, so we slinged all over town. Have baby, will travel!

Least fave - never had this because I can't stand them - those huge travel systems with carseat and stroller all hooked together. I can't understand 50 pounds of "system" for 10 pounds of newborn baby.
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