1. Car Seat Carrier– A lot of new mothers who plan on wearing their baby on outings wonder whether it’s worth it to buy a car seat carrier or if they should just go straight for the convertible car seat. I definitely consider myself a babywearer, and I still wear my almost-two year old on a daily basis with no plans of stopping any time soon. That being said, I am SO glad I bought a car seat carrier the first time around, and plan on doing so this time around as well (in fact, I already did). One of the reasons is that my baby would often fall asleep in the car, and I loved that I never had to wake her up to transfer her to a carrier (unless I was going somewhere where I really, really didn’t want to bring a stroller). It was especially convenient when I’d drop her off at the Kid’s Club at the gym… in her newborn days she’d often still be asleep by the time I’d pick her up. If I was going to a friend’s house for a late dinner, the car seat carrier was a great place for her to sleep. I used Eva’s car seat carrier until she was about nine months old, and I think it was totally worth it. Sometimes I wish she’d still fit in one today. This is the one I bought for Damian:
For Baby Number One: Snap N Go Universal Car Seat Carrier Let me just start by saying that I’m SO glad I never bought a travel system the first time around. Instead, I bought a Graco Snug Ride Elite that I could just pop my carseat carrier in and be on my way. It was compact, light, and exactly what I needed (nothing more). (But it won’t accommodate the non-Graco car seat I bought for Damian which is why I referenced the Snap N Go instead.) The reason I didn’t like the travel system is because I thought having an extra stroller that the baby couldn’t even use for the first few months was unnecessary. It creates extra bulk and takes wear-and-tear while you’re not even really using it. When Eva outgrew her car seat carrier I just switched to a lightweight umbrella stroller. (And OMG I love this First Years umbrella stroller I found on Amazon with the little skull and crossbones on it… It really makes me wish I didn’t need a double.)
For Baby Number Two: Sit N Stand Double Stroller Since Eva is still young enough to use a stroller, this time around I’m going with the Sit N Stand Double Stroller. Eva doesn’t like to sit in a stroller for very long, and I love that this one has the option for the older kid to stand on the back of it (or easily sit down if she gets tired).
Jogging Stroller: I also received a hand-me-down Jogging Stroller for Eva. It’s something I used fairly often, but I’m glad I didn’t buy it myself. I prefer running indoors on a treadmill, so I never really used it for its intended purpose. It was, however, convenient for walking trips to the beach and other offroad paths that were common in Hawaii and Tanzania. I had the City Elite Jogger, which was really a fabulous stroller… I just wouldn’t want it as a primary-use stroller because of its bulkiness and weight.
3. Stroller Blanket- Don’t leave home without one! The adorable one pictured is from Modern Baby.
4. Diaper Bag– Like I mentioned in my “potty trained” bag post, I’ve never officially owned a real diaper bag. I’ve always just used an old Vans or Betsy Johnson tote. I’m not anti-diaper bag or anything, but I want something that I’ll be carrying around everyday to be cute and neutral (no weird prints, please). Every “real” diaper bag that I’ve ever found that I’ve liked is a designer one in the $250+ price range, like this Pretty Nylon Eliz-A-Baby Bag by Marc Jacobs that I adore (but will probably never own).
5. Stroller/Car Seat Toys– I love these toys that clipped on to the car seat or stroller so that you don’t have to keep track of them while you’re on-the-go.
6. Baby Carriers
Moby Wrap– I loved my Moby and used it until Eva was about 4 or 5 months old. I loved how comfortable it was and how close my baby felt to me while I was wearing it. If you have any decent mixture of creativity and thriftiness, I would consider NOT buying one, though, and just make one yourself. The design is really simple and I think you could save a lot of money. There are tons of tutorials online like this one.
Ergo Baby Carrier– I never had an Ergo with Eva, but I didn’t realize how much I loved wearing my baby on my back until I moved to Tanzania. None of the carriers I received at Eva’s baby shower allowed me to do that, so I learned how to do it in a kanga, the traditional African way.
This, however, is becoming increasingly more uncomfortable as my baby gets older, and I really want a carrier that allows me to wear my baby (or toddler) on my back with evenly distributed shoulder support. After doing a lot of baby carrier research, I think I’m going to invest in an Ergo this time around.
7. Convertible Car Seat– Eventually you’ll have to upgrade to a convertible car seat, which your child will need until they’re around four. I bought Eva this Safety 1st Advance 70 Air+ and am really happy with it. Aside from the great safety ratings, she seems to be really comfortable in it, it reclines, and I just love the colors and design.