Monday, August 12, 2013

Best Baby Buys - Tried and True Baby & Toddler Gear

The title says it all.


When we were expecting Ashlynn we tried to limit the amount of "stuff" we bought and registered for, leaving only the 'must-haves' of seriously can't get by without - place to sleep, eat, drive in, bathe, etc.   Okay, and few other things because while not extravagant, we aren't minimalists either.

At the time we were living in a townhouse with less space than we have now and I was always afraid of buying something too girly that wouldn't get use if a second child was a boy - like a hot pink exercauser.   Additionally, since we don't have a large extended family, I knew being gifted with a bajillion places for a 3 month old to nap in wasn't going to happen (all the swings, bouncers, rock n plays, and whatever other revolving contraptions are out there) and having other items like a pack n play, stroller, boppy and bottles were bigger needs and items we hoped to be lucky enough to receive at our shower.

Turns out, we barely used half our bottles.  Never even touching any of the 8oz size since by the time Ashlynn was taking that amount she was all boob. Anyway, now that I'm thinking about Baby #2 and what we can reuse and what we need to add, I've found the things that have been our tried and true favorites.  Things that I've had little to no regrets about buying, so now I'm sharing!





Keekaroo High Chair:  While I wouldn't recommend this for smaller infants, especially those under 6 months or any that are unstable sitting unassisted, this high chair has been great.  It's so easy to wipe down and keep clean.  We used a family member's Graco padded highchair while on vacation and it was mess by the end of our five day stay with crumbs stuck in the fabric cracks and the tray just not wiping down as easily as our one at home.  The only drawback I found initially was that it doesn't have shoulder straps, but after a choking scare, it was so easy to get her out as fast as lighting and not have to move her arms in and out of straps.   The 3 point lap belt has never given us an issue.  The only drawback is the depth of the tray.  Personally, it doesn't bother me because we keep her close to the table so she's eating with us and not stowed away in some corner, but the tray isn't deep enough to fit her Boon non-slip plate, which is why you see us use the spill-catcher bowl... all. the. time.  Also, the high chair easily converts to a toddler seat and also a regular chair that an adult can sit in.


Boon Spill Catcher Bowl:  See above.

No seriously, this thing is great, pretty self explanatory.  It sticks to the tray and catches (most) of her dripples.


Bumkin Bibs:  When the spill catcher doesn't catch her drips and spills, her Bumkin bibs usually do.  Not to mention since they are thin and not the rubber/silicon Bjorn ones, they are super easy to stuff in my purse when heading out since I no longer carry a diaper bag.  And I rinse them post meal and usually throw them in the wash every day or two.   We have two.  Only two, and they are still holding up 10 months later.


Aden + Anais Anything:  Particulary their swaddle blankets, sleep sacks, and loveys.  I also have their wash cloths and burp cloths, but those didn't get as much use.  I'm not sure about Baby K being a winter baby, if we will love the swaddle blankets as much, but for Ashlynn they were perfect.  Lightwight and breathable for summer temps, kept her swaddled, were great for covering the stroller or car seat without over heating, and perfect for wiping spit up, spilled milk, and drool.   I pretty much always had one within arm's reach the first six months.  We used the sleep sacks from about 3months when we broke the swaddle until this past May when it just became too hot in her room for her to even need a blanket.  Now she just needs her Bunny, her Blank (A&A Lovey), and her Bink to sleep.


For "Toys" these few items have been played with for months.  I mean the O-Ball is a newborn's first "toy" for little itty bitty fingers learning to grasp, but Ashlynn still plays with it pretty frequently.. throwing, kicking, chasing, or teasing the dogs.  Her Fisher Price Musical Activity Walker was great for entertainment when all she wanted to do was sit and play, she used it to learn to pull up, and later to walk.  Now she just has fun pushing it around.  Toddlers love pushing things, seriously.  Finally her activity cube was another toy that she loved when she was first sturdy enough to sit and play.  It would entertain her longer than any thing else.  We hadn't played with it in a while, but somehow it got pulled out a few weeks ago and she still having fun with it.  Definitely more of a "baby" toy, but still getting use at this point too.   A lot of pushing around actually.


Getting into our gear, of course the crib, mattress, carseat, and stroller are complete necessities to having a child, but other items that served and are serving us well are the Pack 'N Play and crib soother.  The Pack 'N Play provided us with a makeshift bassinet while A roomed with us for the first 12 weeks before being converted to the crib.  After that it became a safe place for her to play while I showered or folded laundry in our bedroom.  We still have it set in in a corner of our room as a "ball pit" and while this entertained her at the late baby stage, she's sort of over it now.  Still, if I need to corral her, this is my only option.    Her Fisher Price Rainforest Crib Soother, could I guess fall under a toy, but we bought in place of a crib mobile when she was about 4 months old.  We had moved her to the crib and I was hoping it would help lull her to sleep - or at least distract her while I snuck out of the room.  Around 8 months she learned to turn it on herself, and now she turns it on and off before going to sleep, plays with it when waking up, and it provides a nice nightlight for me when I need to find a fallen paci on the floor.  I'm not sure she's going to let Baby K use it because she loves it so much.


Of course there are so many other items we love and couldn't live without, but I thought maybe this list would help anyone looking to get some bang for the buck in buying items that will get through the long haul.




20 comments:

  1. Did you find that the A&A sleep sacks run huge? I bought a large for my 6 month old to use this winter & it can fit me as a moo moo! Lol I'm afraid to even exchange it for a medium but based in the weight & length, that's what she needs.

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    1. I felt like that with the sleep sacks, but found once we put it on baby it wasn't as huge as it looked.

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    2. We only had a small and medium. Thought I was about to buy a Large for summer until I realized she didn't even need it. I think for this winter we'll just start using a blanket. Or try. She still spins a lot through the night, so a sack might cover her better. Cross that bridge then.

      It's hard to judge since Ashlynn is the height of some 10 month olds, LOL. (shes 30") so she was grew out of the small around 6 months, and then I moved her to the heavier weight medium one for winter, which she was getting snug in by the time she turned one.

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  2. I got a bunch of the muslin blankets for Noah but since he was born in November I didn't use them much. Instead I preferred the pottery barn ones. And now that we don't swaddled him we use them as the occasional burp cloth.

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    1. I have a feeling it might be the same with us, plus she might actually fight the swaddle more than A ever did. Thinking that will be a see what happens thing, but regardless I'll still be using the blankets, they are just so soft, even if just for wiping spit up!

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  3. Good to know! I agree, lots of things we have we never used.

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  4. I a lot of what you posted I would have to agree with 100%. We hardly used 75% of our bottles because we went all boob also. Yes to A&A everything. At almost a year we still use the A&A sleep sack and she sleeps with their lovie also. She is in a tossing phase right now and I usually find the lovie on the floor in the morning so the sleep sack is great for her to cuddle with. Gotta try that Boon bowl because like I said, we are in a tossing phase right now ;)

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    1. Haha, hopefully the tossing thing ends soon... although, we still get our fair share of it, luckily she's understanding "no" better.

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  5. I love that your thinking about what to use for number two! Seriously so exciting ;)

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  6. All great staples...I agree with all of them. Isn't it amazing how much easier things seem the second go around. I'm looking forward to having so much more knowledge the next time.

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    1. If not knowledge at least a lot less crap! LOL! Even if something works for one parent and not another, at least I know what worked and didn't for us :)

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  7. Great ideas, I'm bookmarking all of these links!

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  8. This is a great post! I'm going to reference it the next time I have to buy something for a baby shower!

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  9. This is so helpful! I registered for a bunch of Aden + Anais stuff - I've heard great things!

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    1. Love love love! It's probably the first thing I'd recommend, I've never been disappointed in any of their products!

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  10. We loved (and still love) the A&A blankets. I think they're great for swaddling but also good as a stroller blanket when they're toddlers, and I sometimes would use them as a nursing cover if mine was in the wash. We had the burp cloths too and they were my all time favorite ones (we tried lots) because they're soft, absorbent and have a great shape + can be snapped together to be a bib! They're awesome!

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    1. Yes!! I used mine as nursing covers frequently, especially when people were at the house since I always had one laying around and the cover I kept in the stroller/car. I used the burp cloths, but I preferred using prefold cloth diapers. I liked the A+A, but the CDs were cheaper to buy and I never really used them as bibs bc the snap was so small, always preferred velcro... even though they suck in the wash!!

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  11. aden and anais EVERYTHING! i totally agree. their stuff seriously rocks. i am the same way with blair's things...i always try to buy unisex (expensive items) in case we have a boy next!

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