My Baby List: Gear Essentials

My baby list starts with Gear Essentials. What are those? The things I can’t live without; my ride or dies. These are essential for me, and may not work for you. Also, these are not all of the essentials. Believe it or not, even though I’ve had 600 kids in 4 years, so much changes from child to child. What was “in” with Santi isn’t necessarily still the best option today, but I’m also not buying 100 new things for each pregnancy so I make it work. Here are some things that I love and swear by (and maybe some reasons why I wouldn’t buy it again).

 

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Stroller

When I got pregnant with Santi, everyone was obsessed with three strollers: Bugaboo Cameleon, Uppababy Vista and Stokke. I didn’t aesthetically like the Stokke so that one was out, the Uppababy didn’t come in cute colors so I went with the Bugaboo. The Cameleon no longer exists but the Fox is in its place. I both love it and hate it–here’s why.

Love it because…

  • I can have it with a bassinet and then convert it into a chair
  • My 3 year old son still fits in it comfortably
  • You can change the cover as many times as you want and the color options are endless
  • It’s easy to drive
  • You can put the seat forward or backward facing

Hate it because…

  • You can ‘t easily fold it and put away (the seat must come off and then the bottom part)
  • Your family can’t “grow” with it–meaning if you have a second child, you need to buy stool or a whole new stroller (they make one called the Donkey that’s for two children. In the meantime you use the extra space for your diaper bag and once baby #2 arrives you add another seat)

We also have the Babyzen Yoyo which I love! My mom bought it when Santi was a bit older and it folds easily (even fits in the overhead compartment of an airplane), has a strap so you can wear it like a purse (chic but not that chic) and comes in a bunch of different colors. My only complaint about this stroller is that they don’t make it double. There are a bunch of more affordable options with this type of stroller too that have come out of the woodwork and can be found on Buy Buy Baby’s website.

Infant Carseat

I didn’t have an infant carseat with Santi and I regretted it. With Joaquín, my cousin lent us her Uppababy Mesa Infant Carseat and it was God sent. Now, she had the Uppababy Vista stroller which allowed her to transfer the carseat directly to her stroller but I found it comfortable just the same. The base can be installed easily into any car, so if you don’t want to buy multiple bases you can install it in whichever car you are using.

Infant Seat:

Santi loved his 4Moms Mommaroo infant seat so much we bought two–one for our house and one for my parents! It has different motions you can pick, different sounds you can have it play and is super easy to install. They have different chair options (some are a little less inexpensive than others) and cover colors so just pick and choose what would work best for you. Joaquín on the other hand, hated it and would only be calmed in one that has since been recalled. Here’s to praying that Baby #3 loves the mommaroo because that’s all I’ve got!

Baby Carrier:

Baby Bjorn has always been and will always be the best baby carrier. I love that they don’t weigh, they’re easy to put together and the baby almost always seems to be happy while in one. You can easily carry them facing you, or facing the outside world. Since I’ve had Santi, they now have various different options (maybe they had them before and I didn’t notice) but you can get ones with more breathable fabric that are probably yummier for your summer babies!

Dock-a-Tot:

I did not invest in one of these with Santi but did with Joaquín and boyyyyyy did it make a difference. I would put Joaquín inside of it and within minutes he’d be passed out. He slept so well in there that I found myself awake checking his breathing because he wouldn’t wake up. It’s so easy to place anywhere (inside the bassinet, crib, on your bed, on a couch). They feel snug as a bug and it’s soft and cushiony. All in all, one of my better parenting investments.

Pacifiers:

Now, not every child likes pacifiers (and sometimes parents don’t either) but for us, they’re a necessity. I didn’t try many brands but the all time favorite in my household was for sure the Mam Pacifiers. What makes them so great? They come in multiple sizes so they grow with your child, and they even have glow in the dark ones so you don’t have to be looking for it like crazy in the middle of the night. My kids loved them, we loved them…hell, I’d use one myself if I thought it would pacify me.

Baby Bottles:

So these are one of those items that are hit or miss. I didn’t have kids with colic or acid reflux, but I did have kids who complained a little about gas after each feeding. I had initially purchased the Advent bottles that were recommended to me by everyone and I quickly changed to Dr. Brown.

Love it because…

  • I firmly believe it cured the gas my children had (and that alone gets it 5 stars)

Hate it because…

  • It has 2 extra parts that other bottles don’t have so you have to wash those as well
  • They leak if you don’t buy a “travel cap” which I didn’t know existed until 15 spills later

Bottle Sterilizer:

This really can be any sterilizer. I like one that’s easy, not too big and gets the job done. This Dr. Brown Sterilizer works for me because I have Dr. Brown bottles, but I also use an Advent one that was handed down to me and it works just great. I would recommend going with whichever brand you are getting your bottles from because they fit the best in there.

Activity Mat:

I love, love, love Skip Hop for their activity mats. They’re always very colorful, vibrant and engaging. Every year they come out with new designs so the ones I’ve owned for Santi and Joaquín are not available but I absolutely love this one too. I really suggest going with something bright and with sounds. Yes, it’s annoying to look at but your baby is going to love it!

Activity Gym and Saucer:

Now, an activity mat is more for when they’re really little, you’re starting tummy time and want them to get stimulated with colors and sounds. A saucer is better for when they’re a little bigger. They can stand inside of it, jump, twirl, you name it. My boys loved it and this one is great because it has both so you can transition from a mat to a saucer.

Baby Bassinet:

So, in this department I went with beauty over practicality. Like everything on this list, this is such a personal decision. I picked a beautiful one from Restoration Hardware. There is also one that was recommended to me multiple times called the Halo because it can come close to the bed and was easy to have if you were breastfeeding, but it was just so ugly I couldn’t get behind it. Shallow? Perhaps, but I don’t care.

Love it because…

  • It’s pretty
  • Has wheels so I could easily move it from room to room
  • It has a tray underneath (hidden underneath skirt) where you could store extra stuff you may need
  • You can prop up the bassinet part so after a feeding they are a bit elevated

Hate it because…

  • For sleeping all night, it’s not that comfortable
  • The actual bed isn’t that large so they grow out of it fast

Diaper Bag and Pouches

Three different babies and three different diaper bags–yes, I’m that girl. With Santi I had a beautiful gray Monique Lhuillier Diaper Bag from Pottery Barn Kids. Unfortunately, it’s no longer available but Pottery Barn has a bunch of different options. I got it monogramed so didn’t use it for Joaquín. For him, I bought a super cute one from Zara Home Kids that I loved (also discontinued). With Baby #3, I went with a completely different brand that I just recently discovered and am completely obsessed with.

Stoney Clover Lane is my one stop shop for bags and pouches. I decided to purchase a Tote this time with my baby’s name on it (spoiler: it’s adorable) and three pouches that would allow me to better organize it.

Mini pouch I’m using for small things like pacifiers, small pouch is being used for diapers and wipes (yes, it fits it all!) and the large pouch for extra stuff like clothes and blankets.

Love it because…

  • They’re so cute
  • They’re customizable
  • Their pouches are adorable
  • They’re comfortable

Hate it because…

  • The price for the pouches isn’t a lot, but every patch costs and it adds up
  • The color options for boys is a bit limited (in my opinion). I like using neutrals like beige and grey, but the pouches and stuff gear more towards pinks. Not a big deal, that’s their look and I love it
  • The order to delivery time is a bit long, so order with time!

So, as you can see all of the essentials you’ll need are not on this list because I simply don’t have it in me. A good place to start is. buybuybaby.com and check out their “categories” section. You can check each section individually and see what items will fit best with you and your lifestyle. Next week I’ll be back with essentials for your baby’s wardrobe 🙂

 

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