When it comes to baby gear each family’s needs differ. While many of us can leave some things out to save money on a new baby there are situations that won’t work. Due to my recovery from the accident we are planning a lot more gear than we usually do. Shopping for baby gear this time around reminds me of when we had our first. Trying to find things that fit our needs has been frustrating but lucky me I have the baby gear shopping experience to make it easy for me to be picky about what we are getting. Here are my best baby gear shopping tips.
Baby gear shopping tips
New parents and parents preparing for their new babies can get overwhelmed when it comes to shopping for baby gear. What you need really is determined by your families needs but some features make things easier for parents and become staples as your kids grow. Some brands are known for higher quality and products that last, and colors can be just as important if you plan to have future children.
Shopping for strollers
This is the big one for us this time around. While we used strollers extensively with our first two kids baby wearing become our thing with the younger ones. While I was hoping to find the same stroller we used when my son was born I am saddened to say that it is no longer available and I was forced to look for another stroller that is as close as I can get. I am very particular because well I learned what works well for a long term stroller and I want to meet those needs for our family. Here are some features to look for in a stroller.
Parent tray – A parent tray is vital these days. We all carry phones, keys, and many of us choose to bring water bottles along with us. A parent tray gives you a safe place to keep the things you need without having to buy extra accessories later.
Child tray – When you a start shopping for a stroller you don’t really think about what the future holds. that cute stroller with no disruptive tray blocking the view of your baby is great when they are young but when you have a toddler that wants a place to store their cup and a snack you quickly learn a child tray is vital.
Reclinable seats – If you want a stroller that is long-lasting for your family you want to look for reclinable seats. Children like to change position and if your child falls asleep you want the option to recline the seat and let them sleep while you enjoy what you are doing with your baby at your side.
Movable canopy – A movable canopy is important for blocking the hot sun from your baby. You do not want to trap hot air in with your baby by using a baby blanket for shade. A movable canopy can help protect your baby from sun and wind.
Good tires – Good tires are vital on a stroller. If you plan to do a lot of walking or going places where the ground may be uneven you want to have tires that can handle the uneven ground. We have plans for the Woodward Drem Cruise, Michigan Renaissance Festival, and Greenfield Village when our baby is a newborn so we are looking for a jogging stroller that fits our needs so it can handle the workload while being easy to maneuver in crowded places.
Car seat compatibility – If you intend to use a carrier style infant car seat you want a stroller that will work with it allowing you to snap the car seat in and start rolling instead of carrying the car seat.
Single or double? – If this is your first child you will need a single stroller but if you have two young children close together a double stroller is an amazing tool for surviving outings with multiple young kids. A double stroller was so handy when our older kids were young. This time we are getting a double stroller for use with the youngest two.
Shopping for Baby furniture
Cribs – Finding the right crib for you can be a challenge. If you have limited space look at a mini crib. These will last until your child is ready for a toddler bed but usually do not convert into toddler beds due to the smaller mattress size. Depending on your future plans you may want to consider a crib that converts into a toddler bed or even a twin bed frame. If you plan on having more children you may want to keep it as a crib for future use and buy a toddler bed later.
Basenisets and co-sleepers – If you want your baby in the room with you in the beginning without putting a full-size crib in your room you can try a bassinet or sidecar co-sleeper to keep your little one near your all night long. A bassinet is also a great option for keeping in the main part of your home.
Pack and plays – are a great option for your main living space or bedroom. With basements and changing options, a pack and play is great for both travel and everyday home use taking on the functions of several pieces of furniture. If you are limited on space or like to travel a pack and play is a great option.
Changing tables – Are great for keeping an organized diaper station. If you have a multi-floor home and go with one of these you want one on each floor. Diaper caddies are great for setting up a diaper station that can travel around the house with you. Add a changing pad for laying your baby on top of on the bed, couch, or floor so you can have the convince of changing diapers anywhere.
High chairs – A high chair doesn’t really fall on your radar until around 6 months but they need to be considered when working on your baby gear shopping list or baby registry. Look for a high chair with a removable tray for easy cleaning. The best high chairs for most homes can be folded and moved out of the way or folded to be taken to dinner parties and events outside of the home.
Shopping for a baby carrier
Baby carriers are a great way to get yourself an extra pair of hands while caring for your baby. Babywearing has been a blessing for my family over the years allowing me to keep up with the demands of life. I suggest two types of carriers a soft wrap or sling for when your baby is younger and a larger structured baby carrier that will help you enjoy physical activities from exploring the zoo to camping with your baby.
Shopping for baby toys and entertainment
Swings – Many parents rely on swings to keep fussy babies calm while they cook, clean, and take a quick shower. A portable swing is best if this is what you plan on using your swing for. I have been known to put the portable swing in the bathroom so I can take a bath or shower while baby sleeps swinging back and forth. The options for stationary swings have gotten pretty intense over the past few years. Some of the coolest once can rock side to side as well as back and forth.
Bouncy Seats – When it comes to handy things to have around the house a bouncy seat is always high on the list. These make a great quick place to sit your baby down. Look for one with vibration to help a fussy baby drift off to sleep. I am a huge fan of the infant to toddler rockers that turn into rocking chairs for toddlers. They grow with your baby and older siblings cannot break them as easily if they decide to hop in.
Play mats – Play mats are great for getting your baby to enjoy tummy time. Look for one with both floor and hanging play options to help entertain your baby. We like the ones with added toys that can come off when the baby outgrows the floor mat.
Noise machines and soothers – Babies do not do well in silent rooms after spending all that time inside their mother’s womb. One great way to deal with this is to use a noise machine or soother. Look for one that can make several different sounds so you can try different sounds to find what works best for your baby.
Teethers and small toys – There is an endless world of teethers and small toys for your baby to play with. I suggest no matter what toys you choose that you grab some of those colorful chain links. These can be used to attach toys to your stroller or high chair to make life easier on you when your baby starts throwing things back and forth.
Make your baby registry
Once you know what you want you can make your baby registry and fill it with baby gear that will fit into your family’s needs. Sign up for a registry on Amazon and get a free welcome baby box packed with full-size goodies and free samples to help stock up for your new bundle of joy.
Don’t forget while you are online to stop by and get these 12 freebies for baby.