Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Baby Registry Favorites: Diapers, Strollers, Bouncer Seats, and Bath Tubs

Here's part two of our favorite baby gear for your registry and beyond!

DIAPERS

We've always used cloth diapers. We started with a diaper service with Alice, but decided after a few months that it wouldn't be any trouble to wash our own and that we'd rather save the money than pay someone else to do it. We were paying about $100 per month, and bought our own supply for the cost of a month or two of service.
Thirsties Duo Wrap diaper cover
Thirsties covers: We've been really happy with these PLU covers for cloth prefolds. They didn't have the Duo Wraps when Alice was a baby, so we bought about 6 of each size from XS through XL. When Ivy was born, we replaced a few of the covers in each size that had worn-out velcro. We had a lot of gender-neutral colors, but we bought some of the fancy new duo wraps in blues for Elliott. We like the Duo Wraps with the hook and loop closures (rather than all snaps).

There are a lot of other brands with cute covers for cloth prefolds, as well as all-in-one systems like Bum Genius. We just went with what seemed the most affordable and practical.

Cloth prefold diapers: We bought ours from the diaper service we were using, but you can find them all over the internet. Like here. We bought 60-80 of each size, depending on the size; more newborn sizes, fewer large size overnights. Our cloth prefolds get a second life as garage rags when they're worn out, and so far, only the biggest size is showing major wear, because they get the longest amount of use.

We've always washed our diapers every few days, without doing anything fancy. Before we moved, we noticed that they weren't getting as clean and were giving Ivy some wicked diaper rash, so we adjusted a few things. We probably should have been using a detergent made for cloth diapers, and stripped them periodically, as is recommended. But honestly, I'd probably just buy some new diapers! Our new front-loading washing machine wasn't getting Elliott's diapers as clean either, so I did some research and found out that I needed to adjust my routine a bit to get better results (this post was helpful). I've added a pre-rinse with Biokleen Bac-Out and use bleach in the regular wash cycle, and now all of our diapers are coming out so fresh and clean I want to sleep in them.

Disposable diapers: When Alice was born, the hospital sent us home with a ton of disposable diapers. We used them up and then started using cloth once her umbilical cord had fallen off. We did the same with Ivy, and bought a box of our own disposables to use with Elliott since we wouldn't be getting any from the birth center. We like Pampers Swaddlers (newborn). We've also used disposables on some of our vacations, so we don't have to haul and wash cloth diapers. We order the disposables from Amazon and have them delivered straight to our destination. We like Earth's Best for an affordable, and fairly eco- and baby-friendly option.

STROLLERS
Baby Jogger City Select with single and double seats.
Baby Jogger City Select: We bought this before Ivy was born, with two seats. I wish we'd started with it and added the second seat. You can get the carseat adapter and use it with your baby seat as a travel system. I like that it's a tandem and not a double wide, so I could pull it between parked cars and navigate easily through store aisles. I also like that we can leave the second seat in the car if we don't need it, and that we can switch the seat positions easily and on the go.
Baby Trend Expedition jogging stroller travel system
Baby Trend Jogging Stroller with Travel System: We used this with Alice and are still using the infant car seat for Elliott until it expires in January 2016 . It is a great value for a jogging stroller and we've been pretty happy with it. It got a lot of mileage with Alice, and I used it quite a lot to jog with Ivy. I was perfectly happy with this stroller, for half the price of the BOB because though we have a BOB double jogger that we love, I'm not sure I would buy a single BOB jogger for every day use. The suspension is fantastic, but the basket is fine for exercising but way too small for everything you end up with day-to-day.

I'd like to try:
Orbit Stroller with infant carseat, single and double seats
There are so many cool strollers on the market, I still love looking at them and checking out what people are driving when I'm out and about. If Jon would let me buy another stroller (he won't, he's told me) I'd definitely want to check out the Orbit strollers and infant car seat. They look super rad.

CARSEATS
Britax Marathon convertible carseat
Britax Marathon: Alice and Ivy each ride in one. Alice rode rear-facing until just before her fourth birthday; she hadn't reached the height limit but was almost at the weight limit (like half a pound away). This seat is suitable for an infant, so if you skip the travel system stroller, you can get by with a single carseat from birth until age four or five or even beyond, until they max out on the seat's height or weight limit (which Alice is nowhere near).

Side note: Car seats should be installed rear-facing for the maximum allowable amount of time, either until the child reaches the maximum height or weight for the seat. Many car seats are not installed correctly, seven out of ten kids are not buckled in correctly. Use SeatCheck.org to learn more and to find an inspection site to confirm that your seat and your child are properly secured.

Also take note of your carseat's expiration date, the protective foam will break down over time and won't provide adequate protection. Our infant seat expires five years after the date of manufacture and we'll bump everyone up into the next seat - Alice will get a convertible booster, at that point.  Do not use a secondhand seat if it has expired, or been in any accident, however minor, or if you cannot confirm it's expiration date or accident history.

BABY SEATS

Baby seats are great for containing your awake (or sleeping!) baby while you do things like eat or shower or do the dishes or work. I love and gravitate toward baby furniture that blends in with adult furniture, personally. Especially in our previous, teeny tiny house, I didn't want it to be overrun with pink plastic baby paraphernalia. I mean honestly, why is baby furniture all so babyish? The babies don't care! They aren't buying it! They can't even see it when they are sitting in it, for crying out loud. Ok, rant over.

Now that we're in a two story house, we've found it helpful to have a baby seat on each floor so we don't have to haul it up and down the stairs, or go running to find it when we need it. We've borrowed a second seat from our neighbor so we can have one handy upstairs in Jon's office - our babies have all seemed to like to wake up before dawn so they hang out with Jon while he works until they want to sleep again.
Fisher Price Brentwood Rocker - discontinued
We have this Fisher Price seat that has since been discontinued, but we've really enjoyed it. 

If I were going to get one today, I'd be really interested in one of these options.

Bloom Coco Stylewood & Go Bouncers, Babyhome Wave Wooden Rocker, Baby Bjorn Bouncer Balance Soft


Clockwise from top:

Bloom Coco StylewoodBloom Coco GoBabyhome Wave Wooden RockerBaby Bjorn Bouncer Balance Soft. These options are all on the pricey side, but I personally don't mind paying more for something I've had to look at around the house so much in the last five years.

Fisher Price Booster Seat
Fisher Price Booster Seat: We had really limited space in our old house, so we opted to skip a high chair and just had this booster seat on our regular chair. We've been really happy with it except that it wore away the finish on our wooden chair. In hindsight, we should have put a dishtowel underneath it.

Bumbo seat: Ok, I don't think this is totally necessary, but we and our babies enjoyed it when they were learning to sit up. They liked being able to sit up and play with their toys and their toys, and we could sit or lay on the floor and play with them. Alice and Ivy still fit in it and enjoy sitting in it (I think we actually used it as a time out chair for Alice for a while...). You can definitely get away without one of these, but they are fun. (I think they come with buckles now, which seem pointless to me, since we always used it on the floor. Be smart, don't put it on top of a table or chair, even if it has a buckle!)

I'd like to try:

If we were ever to need a proper highchair, I'd be interested in these:
IKEA Antilop high chair


Ikea Antilop: Simple and cheap! Looks super easy to clean.
Koala Kare industrial-strength high chair

Koala Kare restaurant high chair: Jon's favorite. Except he wants one of the custom ones from the Disney parks with the Mickey ear cut-outs... These are simple, easy to clean, and indestructible.

Stokke Tripp Trapp chair
Stokke Tripp Trapp: Though more expensive than the others I like, this super popular chair is designed to grow with your child. As our kids have graduated from the baby booster seat to a big kid booster seat and then to the dining bench, I can definitely see the value in having one seat that fits your child, no matter their age. I think it would be a worthwhile investment.

BATH TIME

We've tried a few a different baby baths. Right now, we're using:
Tummy Tub
Tummy Tub: I like this pretty well because the baby can be more submerged and stay warmer than the other infant baths I've seen and tried. It works best when baby is big enough to hold their head up without their chin falling forward. It's also still a bit trick to wash hair, since their head is upright and not tilted back. That probably isn't an issue for lots of babies, but ours have always had a lot of hair to wash!

Didn't totally love:

Blooming Baby Bath: The giant flower with foam petals that folds into your sink seemed like a good idea, but I found it hard to get the baby in a comfortable position. It was too big for our bathroom sink and I didn't like that I had to disinfect the kitchen sink before we gave the baby a bath so they weren't bathing in food particles and germs...

Fisher Price baby bath
Fisher Price tub & sling: We had the above version of the ubiquitous baby tub. It had some weird crevices that collected dirt, and though the sling and molding kept the baby in a good position, they are never actually covered in water so they always seem chilly. It looks like there are some other options that might not get so dirty, and might keep baby a little warmer.

Would love to try:

I don't know. It seems like there are a lot of brands with different versions of the same idea. And though they are definitely sufficient to get baby clean, I just don't feel like any of them give me or baby a peaceful and relaxing experience. I love taking baby in the bath with me, but that's just not always practical...

I hope there was some helpful info here. In my next post, I'll share some info on baby carriers and babywearing, along with a few other bits and pieces.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great stroller!!!!!!! I wish there had been more options for triplets strollers. We had the peg Perego & it was awesome with infant seats but became very cumbersome once the boys outgrew them. I didn't use a stroller much after they turned one because of it & switched to a wagon. Your stroller looks amazing! :)

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