When we went to register for our first child’s baby shower, my husband commented that the stroller section at the baby superstore felt a lot like a car dealership! It’s true that there are a plethora of options “on the lot,” which, as a new parent, can be hard to navigate, especially when a salesperson is pushing the latest and “greatest.” That’s not only the case with choosing a stroller, but there are so many categories of baby gear with new “must-haves” you’ll be told you need. After falling for a lot of that with my first two kids, I’ve bought differently with my third baby and assume she’ll survive just fine! Here are some of those recommendations for you:
On the Move
Unfortunately, there’s just no way around ending up with multiple strollers when you have multiple children. We have several on hand for different uses. For a newborn, I love the look and ride of an infant pram and just bought this convertible bassinet stroller, which we’ve been enjoying around the neighborhood. We originally considered getting the UPPAbaby stroller with a similar configuration, but the one we decided to go with is less than a third of the price (around $200!) for the same look, and it also converts into a toddler stroller once baby outgrows the bassinet stage. I add an infant support inside the bassinet (to keep Liza’s head steady as we stroll), which can also be used in a car seat or baby swing.
My husband is a runner, so a tried-and-true BOB jogging stroller is a necessity in our family. The BOB is also great for “off-roading” on gravel and trails. We wore our first one out with the boys, so this is round two. The same brand makes a double jogging stroller, in case you have littles close in age to push around. A bike trailer that converts to a stroller is another fun gadget for active parents.
Once baby can sit up, umbrella strollers are the easiest option for on-the-go transportation, because they are inexpensive, lightweight, compact, and super portable. Lolli even keeps one accessible in her trunk for the zoo or other outings with her grandchildren, and we always take a couple for airport travel for when one (or two) of the tots tires out.
A lot of car seats can click into regular strollers with an adapter, and others come with their own stroller base options. We loved our Orbit car seat and stroller system with the boys, but this time we opted for the new Doona 2-in-1 car seat/stroller, which eliminates the need for a stroller base in your trunk, as it pops into your car seat base with the wheels on, then they pop out when you’re ready to roll! Watch this video to see a demo of the Doona in action. I think you, too, will be sold!
Eat, Sleep, Repeat
The rumors are true: a baby pretty much just eats and sleeps in the beginning. You may want some baby gear outside the nursery for supervised nap times and a high chair for feeding, once your little one can sit up:
We ordered a state-of-the-art high chair for our first child, which lasted through our second, but the plastic on it cracked at one point, and I also realized we didn’t really need something complex and expensive, since babies don’t spend much time in their high chair anyways. We like to graduate our children to an actual chair as soon as they can learn to sit at the table (sometimes with the help of a booster seat). For Liza’s baby to toddler phase, though, we’ve opted for a simple high chair for under $100 that matches our kitchen décor.
There are lots of options for nap time beyond the crib. I love a traditional Moses basket and stand as a cradle for baby. We also have this wicker bassinet, which is sweet and pretty in a downstairs living area for introducing baby to adoring visitors. Underneath the skirt is a basket shelf where we keep diapers and changing supplies handy, since the nursery is upstairs.
For lounging and light sleep, my boys enjoyed the mamaRoo. It mimics the motion of a car and has different soothing sound options to cue naptime. While the mamaRoo lasted through two kids, we are trying the Nuna Leaf bouncer this time. It has an organic cotton lining and moves to its own weight with a gentle push, so it is noise-free and motor-free, and I like the freedom from an outlet! We move it all around the house, and it can hold up to 100 pounds. My boys enjoyed breaking it in as a lounge seat before baby arrived and have even asked if they can have their own!
I also like the Daydreamer Sleeper as a portable nap option. It has an incline for baby’s comfort, and I can take it from room to room with one hand. I put Liza in it as I’m getting ready in the morning and will use it often in the playroom, too. A pack and play is another good investment when it comes to portable gear. If you travel, it’s nice to have one on hand so you don’t have to depend on the hotel crib, and this is also a contained environment you can let baby play in once he or she is mobile. We like to keep our pack and play at the lake house, and use it there instead of a crib.
Posture and Play
While newborns don’t yet “play,” time outside the crib and car seat is important for their muscle development! Liza uses the same play gym her brothers enjoyed. You can use it as a tummy time mat in the infant phase and then attach hanging toys for more stimulation as baby grows.
The Boppy pillow is another good tummy time tool. In addition to its use as a breastfeeding pillow (mentioned in this week’s MY HOSPITAL BAG post), you can also use it as a tool to prop baby up as he or she exercises those neck muscles and later on as a sitting support. I also like the Bumbo seat for once my kids can sit up on their own. It’s lightweight and portable, so you can take it with you anywhere (like on the sidelines of a big brother’s soccer game)!
I spotted this hot pink Baby Car Bouncer/Walker on Amazon, and while we have another bouncer that the boys used, this one was just too much fun to pass up as an all-in-one activity center for when Liza is old enough to enjoy! It even has a snack tray in addition to lots of playtime potential. This beauty does a lot more (and costs a lot less) than the jumperoo bouncer I bought before!
When baby needs to tag along and a stroller isn’t the best option, go “hands free” with a baby carrier! If you’re willing to splurge, we can confirm that the Baby Bjorn is a good choice. My husband wasn’t ashamed to wear this one through airports as necessary (to free up his hands for carrying suitcases), and the boys never complained about being in it. This time around, though, I opted for a comparable carrier by Infantino for just $30, since we needed a refresh but don’t anticipate using it frequently (mostly for travel). I like that it is easily washable and that it has different options for hip widths to accommodate a newborn but also allow for growing room. I also have a baby wrap carrier for Liza’s newborn stage that I use around the house mostly. It allows for a swaddled feel for baby and convenient nursing for me.
We hope you are enjoying BRINGING HOME BABY week! There’s more in store tomorrow as we share about our FAMILY PHOTOSHOOT! And in case you missed them, we’ve also posted about MY HOSPITAL BAG and NEWBORN ESSENTIALS. On Friday, we bring the series to a close with Liza’s big NURSERY REVEAL, so stay tuned!
Thanks for following along! Please share your baby bliss with us by tagging @lolliandme on Instagram when you post about your own finds and favorites!
Featured Photo by Natalie Yates Photography