When it comes to registering for a shower and purchasing baby goods, first-time parents are often overwhelmed by the amount of things they need and the selection of products. If you’ve never had a baby, how do you know what you’ll need (or how much of it you should buy)? The answer depends on finances and family planning. In my case, I knew we were planning to have more children in the near future, and although I tried desperately to choose the best products that would hold up from first baby to last baby, I didn’t know what I was doing. I ended up exchanging things, buying different products, and agonizing over purchases long after our first baby was born. In this post, I’m going to share what I’ve learned along with some sage advice from other moms. This article will help you choose the best baby gear for a growing family.
1. Picking The Right Stroller
To Travel-System or Not To Travel-System
For my firstborn, I registered for a travel system stroller. At the time, it seemed like a great idea: a stroller that easily accommodated the infant carseat so shopping trips were click and go.
Britax 2014 B-Agile and B-Safe Travel System, Black
What I Didn’t Know
What I didn’t know about travel systems are that the carseats are usually great, but the stroller often leaves much to be desired. In my case, the Britax B-Agile was actually a fantastic stroller, but it didn’t suit my needs as a new mom with a very large baby and another on the way. I didn’t know that my son would outgrow the infant carseat so quickly, and at 5 months old I didn’t feel that he was big enough to be sitting in a forward-facing stroller. (He didn’t either, as he screamed every time my husband or I went out of his view to push the stroller.) I began thinking about investing in a new stroller that could accommodate two small children, and I found the Britax B-Ready. It fulfilled all of my wants and needs in a stroller: easy click and go for an infant seat, parent-facing toddler seat, and the ability to accommodate two babies (or toddlers!) at once. I wondered why I hadn’t bought this stroller in the first place, but then I realized like many other FTMs I was overwhelmed by the stroller selection and thought a stroller + carseat sounded like a fantastic deal. Instead, I ended up buying two strollers, and, later, a convertible carseat. (We’ll get to that, later.)
2. How to Find the Perfect and Safe Crib
And One That Won’t Break the Bank, Too!
I fell in love with a crib at Buy Buy Baby. Unfortunately, Clark was a Hurricane Sandy baby, and my dream crib was sold out and on backorder for months. So, with just a few weeks until my due date, I needed to find a new crib.
Stokke Sleepi Crib, Walnut Brown
What I Didn’t Know
What I didn’t know about infant cribs is that just because a crib is expensive doesn’t mean the quality or safety is any better than a much more affordable crib. The unavailability of my chosen crib forced me to look for a safe, cheap alternative while awaiting my other order. I discovered that Ikea’s cribs have very high safety ratings, and all of the Ikea crib options are under $150. I picked an Ikea Malm crib that went with our bedroom set, and I loved it – so much so that I never ended up buying that fancy, luxury crib. The best part? It easily lowered and then converted to a toddler bed, so I will get years of use out of my inexpensive crib purchase. Win-win.
3. Infant Carseat vs. Convertible Carseat
Which One Is Right For You
This question is confusing for first-time parents and been-there-done-that parents alike. Do you buy two carseats in a short period of time, or do you buy one that’s supposed to work into toddler-age. Is there a “right” answer?
Maxi Cosi Pria 70 Convertible Car Seat, Total Black
What I Didn’t Know
The carseat debate is a tough one. If you’re extremely frugal and know you won’t have 2 under two years old, you might be tempted to buy the convertible carseat and use it right away. However, some hospitals will not accept a convertible carseat as a proper infant carseat. This is because some hospitals require you to bring the carseat into the hospital and strap the newborn into the seat in the presence of a nurse or doctor. Aside from this, one of the benefits of an infant carseat is, in fact, the ability to remove the seat and take the baby with you. You can easily clip the seat into a stroller or carry the baby inside during cold weather. Another advantage is that if your baby is sleeping, you can bring the seat inside or in the store without disturbing nap time. Although it’s never a good idea to keep an infant in a carseat for an extended period of time, an extra 5-10 minutes for you to put groceries away or run a quick errand is enough for most parents to feel temporarily rejuvenated.
Britax B-Safe Infant Car Seat, Black
4. Nursery Bedding
A Reminder That Infant Safety Comes First
Lots of first-time parents go crazy over finding the perfect crib bedding set for their baby’s nursery. There are so many different styles to choose from, but safe sleeping practices must take priority over the cute factor.
GEENNY Boutique Crib Bedding Set, Beautiful Black White Flower and Dot, 13 Piece
What I Didn’t Know
Cute nursery bedding sets are, for the most part, a huge waste of money. Crib bumpers, at least the ones that aren’t mesh and are included in crib bedding sets, are not safe. The American Academy of Pediatrics has said that crib bumpers contribute to SIDs risk. Aside from the crib bumpers, infants are not supposed to use any blankets; the only source of warmth should come from pajamas and sleeping sacks/securely wrapped swaddling blankets.
Shannon J. Perkins says
As far as I know these items that you shared are really expensive and are worth it. When you buy some baby products, of course, you want the opinions and what can people say about them. Well, I love this post of yours because it’s so informative and really useful
Mrs. Bottlesoup says
Thanks! The Ikea crib mentioned is actually super affordable, but the rest are worth the investment!