The Baby Gear List and What I’ve Learned

I’m really enjoying going through and migrating my old posts.  It amazes me how many of my ideas have changed in the last couple of years.  When I was pregnant with Norton, I wanted to do everything perfectly and make sure that I’d gotten him all of the things that he’d need.  I found this baby gear needs list on iVillage (can’t link to it because it’s no longer there), and I made my own edits.

It turns out that the reality of what I thought that I’d need and what I’d actually ended up using at some point in time varied greatly.

This is the original list:The Baby Gear List and What I've Learned - Cloth Diaper Addicts

stroller
soft carrier
backpack carrier
rear-facing carseat
portable crib
playpen
stroller cup holder
car seat head support
travel booster seat
sunshade
bouncer seat
swing
rattles
gym or play mat
jumper
mobile for nursery

This is the list that I thought I would need:

stroller
soft carrier

travel system
backpack carrier
rear-facing carseat
portable crib
playpen

portable crib or play yard or pack n play
stroller cup holder
car seat head support
travel booster seat
sunshade
bouncer seat
swing

rattles
gym or play mat
jumper
swing or bouncer seat or jumper
mobile for nursery

With this list, I was pretty much right… at least, I was right for the very beginning.

In the beginning, my travel system covered most of my needs.  It had a cup holder, it came with the infant rear facing car seat.  It was obviously a stroller.  Once I upgraded to my Phil & Ted Explorer stroller, I did find that the cup holder was crucial.  Did I need that stroller?  No, I could have gotten by with just my travel system… but I couldn’t have taken that stroller on hikes through the woods.

For the soft carrier or backpack carrier, I was right in that I didn’t need them… but I did end up with a wide variety of carriers for adventures in babywearing, including a Moby Wrap and an Ergo.  I bought the Moby wrap too late to really appreciate it with Norton, but I use it almost daily with Eudora.  I love it.

Rear facing car seat – Well, if you’ve got a travel system, you’ve obviously got a rear facing car seat.  A convertible car seat isn’t necessary until your baby outgrows the rear facing.  Or, of course, you can save money, skip the rear facing baby bucket seat altogether, and just go with a convertible from the beginning.  We obviously didn’t, and I’m glad we went with the baby bucket style of car seat.  It works well in the travel system stroller and in my Phil & Ted Explorer stroller with an adapter.

Portable crib?  Meh.  Never needed it.  The reason that it was always unnecessary was because the playpen that I bought was a pack n play with a basinette feature.  It came in handy on trips.  After all, Norton’s first summer was full of travelling.

I stand by my thought that having a bouncy seat or a stroller aren’t necessary, but I have both and I have found them both useful.  Both of my little ones spent their first few weeks sleeping in the swing so that I could get some sleep, too.  What I love most about my swing, though, is that it works with my car seat and is portable.  (It’s the Graco SnugGlider car seat swing frame.)  Andy was also a swing baby, even though the swing that he used would be over twenty years old and is now long gone.  The bouncy seat is good because I can bring the little person in the bathroom with me while I shower.

What do you think of the original “baby needs list”?  How much of it do you think are things that we truly need versus things that are nice?  What “needs” do you think are actually completely worth skipping?

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.

Comments

  1. Hearthstone says:

    Changing table. I never, ever used it. Much preferred to change baby on a blanket on the floor (less worries about squirmy babies).

    The baby swing was a must-have for elder daughter, but younger daughter couldn’t stand the thing. (Same with the exersaucer, elder daughter loved it, younger daughter thought it was “meh” at best.)

    • Funny, because I’d have agreed with you for my first. But since using cloth on Norton and Eudora, I have found that I love my changing table and always use it.

  2. Of all the things that I bought, the two that I did not end up needing were the co-sleeper and the sleep and play rocker. My daughter just was having neither of them.

    I love my stroller. I use it when I walk up to the grocery store. It doubles as a shopping cart!

    As for my other baby things, I keep each on in a different room. The bumbo seat is in the bathroom for when I need to potty. The exersaucer is in the kitchen for when I am cooking and doing the dishes. The swing is in the dining room for when I am working at my computer. The baby to toddler seat moves from the nursery to the bathroom depending on what I am doing, either putting away her clothes or showering. I even use her little bathtub as a dirty towel hamper after her bath.

    I will say that I am so glad that I bought almost every baby thing we own at a garage sale. Even if I use something only a few times, I spent only a few bucks!

    • The one thing that I bought for Eudora I could have done without. I bought a basinette for downstairs when she first came home because I wanted a moses basket to put in the bed. (She would only sleep on me for the first couple of days, and I was terrified of rolling over on her or smothering her with my engorged chest!) I think I used it for exactly two nights. I should have stuck with my original thought and skipped it. Fortunately, I also bought it second hand, and I should be able to resell it for what I bought it for.

  3. Alaina Bullock says:

    Great post! My sister had done the same thing with the list, and wound up not using/needing many of the items.

  4. SO funny I had an entire list plane dbefore my daughter came and most of the items i never used and some i thought i couldn’t live with out are still in the package three years later!

    xoxo, Anni

  5. I wish the infant car seat wasn’t referred to as a “rear facing” car seat. Or that it’s written that you only need to get a convertible once the child outgrows “the rear facing.” A child is going to outgrow their infant car seat well before they should be turned forward (at least 2 years old, but 4 is better), and many will outgrow it before it is even legal to turn them around. Maybe I am being nitpicky, but language matters and I don’t think this post was very clear as far as car seats go.

    • I think I was trying to avoid the term “bucket.” Some people get offended by the “baby bucket” term. Really, though, the convertible seat is just that: convertible. It can face forward or backwards, whereas the bucket can ONLY face backwards… which means that it’s a rear facing car seat only.

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