I hate shopping for baby items.

I’m truly bored by comparison shopping for baby stuff. I know I’ll need it, but I can not get myself into researching. I turn to you, experienced mothers and fathers. Here’s what I need. Tell me what you got and whether you’re happy with it:

1. A stroller. “I love my babies. Why would I want to push them away from me?” What did you get, and are you happy with it? My shopping criteria: I don’t want to spend a lot of money nor do I want anyone I know spending a lot of money on a stroller for me. I think expensive strollers are insane. INSANE. Sometimes I look at relatively cheap strollers and roll my eyes that such a seemingly simple product can cost so much.  I prefer smaller items because I have a small house and a small car. Easy and convenient to use would be nice. How often do you even use your stroller? Am I way off the mark, here?

2. Infant car seat. Again, I don’t want to spend a lot. They’re all relatively safe, right (cus de damn gubberment and dem pesky regulmations)? Basically, I want something easy to use. They’re all heavy, bulky, and cause back injury. I’ve been looking at the Baby Trend ones because they’re cheap and I like the ergonomic handle. Ergonomics. This is the extent of my research.

3. Motion sensor monitor. Now THIS is where I’m willing to spend the big bucks. I know myself. I have a bit of an anxiety problem (she said, casually). If I can reasonably rely on an alarm to alert me when/if baby stops breathing, I might actually sleep. If you got one, tell me about it.

4. Breast pump. Assuming my breasts function properly, I’ll be breastfeeding the kid. Starting at 2 or 3 months, Husband is going to try to take the baby a couple of times a week to allow me to work and I imagine family might watch the baby for longer stretches. Since hooking oneself up to a milking contraption is fairly humiliating, I’d like it to be as easy and painless as possible. I know you’re not supposed to buy them used, but…IF I do, what parts would I need to replace?

5. Baby Carrier. I took a friend’s baby around in the Ergo, and it rubbed on my shoulders after awhile. I like the racer-back style of the Baby Bjorns, but have never tried them. And there are so many styles within brands, I’m overwhelmed. What say ye?

All of your thoughts are welcome. I really, really appreciate it. Thanks for helping a sister out.

–AMB

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15 thoughts on “I hate shopping for baby items.

  1. 1, Stroller–I have LOVED my umbrella stroller and I’ve beated the crap out of it. Ergo, next baby I’ll need to buy a new one. I got a MacLaren on clearance at Target. So…maybe that warrants buying a more expensive one? I don’t know. I didn’t use one when baby would still sleep in his carseat bc it was Winter and we never went anywhere where I needed to be strolling outside in the snow. I once tried one of those combo ones with the carseat and it was impossible to maneuver and HUGE. I want a nice one for the next go ’round personally, so it’ll last longer.

    2. We got a Chicco keyfit. It was mid-range pricewise. No complaints. It had the highest safety rating when I purchased it, which was my sole criterium.

    3. I love this idea. We got a video monitor that allowed me to zoom in and watch my baby’s chest rise and fall. I’m a worrier, too, so we loved this option. It’s been great with a toddler, too, as I’m able to see if he’s got a limb stuck in the crib slats, or lately, if he’s trying to climb out. I got a Summer brand.

    4. Mine’s a basic electric one. I bougt the base used but got all new tubing, bottles, etc. The greatest invention for pumping on the go is the new Ameda cleaning wipes. They sanitize without the need to let everything dry separately or without boiling or putting it in the dishwasher.

    5. We have a bjorn and an ergo. I’ve heard the bjorn isn’t great for baby’s spine? I haven’t confirmed it, though. I used the ergo a lot more because I actually felt it was a lot more comfortable than the bjorn. If you were closer, I’d totally let you borrow mine for a while to see which you liked. I’ve never used a sling/wrap, though I like the idea of them.

  2. As to the monitor, we got this one: http://www.amazon.com/Angelcare-Movement-Sound-Monitor-Deluxe/dp/B002ZB82CU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1349549253&sr=8-2&keywords=angel+baby+monitor

    Pricy… but super sensitive and it’s worked really well for us.

    You may not know this yet, but you NEED about a half-dozen of these: http://www.amazon.com/Booginhead-Pacifier-Holder-Green-White/dp/B002WYJYT0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349549391&sr=8-1&keywords=pacifier+clip

    I’m positive you can find them cheaper elsewhere, but you really, really should get a lot of these. It’ll save you a lot of grief.

    As to the car seat, we went with the Chicco set (http://www.amazon.com/Chicco-Cortina-KeyFit-Travel-Adventure/dp/B000MAERLG/ref=sr_1_2?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1349549607&sr=1-2&keywords=chicco). It was great, but the stroller is really huge. It’ll eat up a lot of your trunk. Once your little guy hits one, you’ll definitely ditch the car seat and probably switch to a smaller stroller, like we did. Basically, you’ll need a huge stroller while your little guy still can easily fit in the car seat. No way around that, really.

    • They also do have those snap ‘n’ go strollers that connect to any car seat for a much smaller option than the giant strollers if you want to keep baby in car seat while you stroll.

  3. I don’t have a baby. You know that. But I have opinions. I recognize that not everyone’s needs are the same, and what you want is not necessarily what I would want. That said, the expensive Bob that is kind of enormous is nevertheless amazing, and it is possible to get one that the infant seat snaps into. Here is the thing. You may, at some point, want to use the stroller to walk somewhere. You may even want to take up walking (jogging?) as a form of exercise. If you do, the regular strollers immediately become problematic because you can’t go on asphalt without jarring your poor child to bits, irritating him, making the walk shorter. It also makes your hands hurt from the vibration. Try pushing a child in one of those on the street in a quiet neighborhood with no sidewalks. It will be miserable. Remember how the paving around here is totally horrible? Do you want to just proceed forward, or carefully lever your child around every crack and pothole? The umbrella stroller has value for a quick pull out walking around inside the mall or something. Just think about the difference in wheels. Which is more comfortable on asphalt, rollerskates with no air in them and no shocks, or a fat-wheeled bicycle? Which goes more quickly and smoothly, tiny little plastic wheels, or rubber wheels with air? It is true they are very expensive, though often you can wheel and deal a second-hand one. It is also true that they are less compact than umbrella strollers. But if you want to be able to walk fast, or far, or anywhere but a brand new sidewalk, they are preferable.

    On the other hand, those may not be your primary needs or considerations in a stroller.

    I cite my experiences going walking several times a week with friends who are moms.

    • Oh, I have no doubt that those BOB strollers are awesome. Just hundreds of dollars more awesome? Eh. Unless you’re a serious jogger, I just don’t see it.

      But noted on the fat tires. The one I’m registered for is a jogger with fatty wheels, but I didn’t realize how much of a difference it would make.

  4. I did love the Chicco keyfit system and stroller. Yes, the carseat’s heavy, but so are all of them. No really good way around that. I loved having the stroller with the carseat that fit right in. The Chicco stroller is huge, but I loved it. You can easily fold/unfold it with one hand, the ride is smooth, the wheels are sturdy, and from experience you can go on long walks on many different kinds of surfaces and still have the kid be comfortable enough to take a nap (assuming your child is the kind who will take naps in strollers or cars). I’ve never used a BOB but I have gazed upon them with mild envy and could see myself getting one in the future sometime.

    Once your son gets bigger, you’ll want a smaller umbrella stroller, but try to avoid the super-duper cheap ones because in my experience they’re not worth the savings. The one we have now, which I absolutely love, is a First Years Ignite stroller. Not quite as easy to fold and unfold as the Chicco, but close, and it doesn’t take up too much space but still handles lots of surfaces really well. I think it was about $50 and worth every penny. We’d had one of the cheap $15-20 ones before and I wanted to kill myself every time I tried to use it. Harder to steer than the massive Chicco, handles were too short to comfortably hold on to, etc.

    As for monitors, just click on the link Scott sent you because that’s the one you want. I will warn you that you might get a couple of false alarms at the very beginning as you’re figuring out the proper sensitivity setting, but other than those couple of times I have absolutely loved the one we’ve got.

    Pumping was not my best friend, so I really don’t have much practical information for you other than I had a Medela on-the-go whatever and it worked fine. Although I’ve been hearing that they’re not WHO certified or something so I really don’t know.

    The baby carrier we used I got at my shower and can’t remember for sure what it was. I want to say maybe a Snugli or something like that, and it worked fine, too, but I’m thinking I’ll probably go with something a little nicer next time, so I can’t give too much help here, either. The nicest baby carrier I have ever used was a Kelty Kids one that my sister got from some friends who had an extra and it was soooooo comfy but I looked for one online for myself and boy howdy that is out of my price range, so that doesn’t really help you much, either.

  5. 1/2. We have the chicco keyfit carseat and snap and go caddy, and the liteway stroller- all were gifts. We love the snap and go for the grocery store and other quick trips, because all the buckling and unbuckling will make you late for things. The liteway is like a slightly bigger umbrella stroller- still folds up nice and small but can fully recline and he will fit in it into toddlerhood. I will say re: carseats that a friend with a Graco was envious the other day as some strap adjustments and the car installation was much easier on mine than on hers. I have no idea about Baby Trend.

    Carriers- my advice is to get something basic for brand new baby- like a sling or wrap, and see as baby gets older. I was given a Bjorn, which was great for a few months, but my child is a Colossus, so I ended up buying an Ergo because there is a waist band and that helps a lot with weight distribution, the Bjorn was killing my shoulders. So just see how your little guy grows and what he likes.

  6. I agree with you! I hate picking out baby items–especially the more expensive ones! We got the baby trend expedition jogger travel system. It was under $200 at Burlington, had a good variety of color options, and I liked that you could unlock the front wheel to make it maneuver a little better for everyday use. It isn’t that much bigger compared to the others–easy to break down. The car seat is relatively light as well. Granted–we haven’t used it with a real baby but we are happy with what we ended up with. 🙂 Good luck!

  7. I’m so excited I found your blog! Yeah, you gave me the site AGES ago, and I lost/misplaced it! So today, I found it, and voraciously read everything I’ve missed thus far! Anyway, all the above comments on products are excellent. For me, the best stroller was one that was easiest & fastest to fold/collapse/store in a mall parking lot on a cold day. You can test them wherever baby products are sold. Baby carriers? Whatever Dad liked. My theory was that I carried this baby for 9 months, now it was his turn. Car seats? Anything that could go from house to car and back without waking the baby. Heavy? If two people are carrying it, (one hand on each side of the handle) even the heaviest carrier feels practically weightless. A rocking swing or vibrating baby seat of some kind is a godsend when you’re trying to make a meal in the kitchen. Weirdest thing I ever used for a baby: a large round bucket lined with a soft fluffy blanket to put the 4-5 month baby in. Baby could sit up and look around. Baby loved it. Relatives were appalled, which made it all the more fun.

  8. Stroller– we got the Graco snugride 30-something travel system. Having a carseat with a base that stays in the car so you can just snap it out and carry your sleeping baby wherever? That is priceless. I’m not sure I even saw any that weren’t like that, but just in case… also, we had a December baby like you will and it was the best thing ever. Just wrap that baby up, snap in the car, snap out, and go. Vivian slept through the entirety of church in her carseat for probably the first 3 or four months of her life. She loved her carseat, not all babies do.

    I also really liked having the stroller that the carseat could snap into. Made going on walks with a teeny one so much easier. I didn’t find the Graco system bulky or hard to use. We still use our travel system stroller for everything except airport trips, in which case the umbrella stroller comes into play purely for convenience. Again, the travel system was definitely our personal preference.

    monitor– we don’t have any monitor, pressure/motion sensitive or otherwise. Never felt the need.

    pump– I pumped every 3-4 hours a day for 5 and a half months. Breastfeeding was not my friend, it wasn’t that I just wanted to. In fact, I hated pumping with a passion but I knew it was the right thing for Vivian. That said, I’m so glad we invested in a good pump. Since you aren’t planning to pump a ton, you could probably get buy with a less expensive version. I don’t have a lot to offer on that subject other than to say get one that has adjustable speed/suction. That is pretty important. I also have to say, if things don’t go as you want them to and you end up needing to pump more, you REALLY should invest in a good pump. It will be pricey, but it is vital for moms who pump a lot. The quality of the pump really can affect how much milk you can get out, believe me. I used a super cheap one at the beginning– when I didn’t expect to have to use it often– and it was no good. I think it was a cheapy Evenflo. What I ended up with and will use in the future if necessary is the the Ameda Purely Yours Ultra. It is awesome. With systems like this, you can use a used one. You buy all new tubing and bottles and keep the motor/base. It is an enclosed system so there can’t be any cross-contamination. If you are researching used pumps, make sure it has a closed system and is *meant* to be able to be re-used. This is one thing you will want to read reviews on, as some pumps that purport to be safe for that have been found not to be such.

    carrier– I am a fan of wrap carriers. I personally have and used the Moby. I have heard great things about the K’tan wrap, coming from people who loved the Moby, so I am interested in it but have never used it. It’s also possible and pretty easy to make your own Moby for the price of the fabric. There are several tutorials for that online. I just bought one. It does take a few practice runs to learn how to tie the Moby on yourself, but it’s worth it in my opinion. I loved it, it was always comfortable, and Vivian would usually snuggle in and go right to sleep in it.

  9. 1-stroller, depends what you’re looking for? Convenient and for everyday use, a jogger, etc. I have the Phil and Teds Classic. Slightly pricey but I liked the idea of only having to buy one stroller, EVER! It later converts into a double when #2 comes along. Also, it works as a jogging stroller, which I love. I didn’t want a travel system, but for some that’s all they want.

    2-car seat, I have the Britax B-Safe. Sure it’s heavy but I knew I’d need one to hold lots of weight, assuming my child was going to be big, and boy was I right. I didn’t want one that in 6 months my baby would out grow. Also, it works perfectly with my stroller. Win win And I didn’t even have to buy a car seat attachment for it to fit. Double win win.

    3-monitor- John just got me a dropcam. It’s technically a security camera, but people use it as a baby monitor. It’s connected through my iPhone and his android and sends us alerts anytime there is movement. It’s way better than a baby monitor, IMO, simply because you can use your phone or computer as the monitor and whenever one of us is away, we can still know what he’s up to.

    4-pump- I have the Medela electric double pump. I love it, and its totally used. It was one of Johns classmates. Call me gross, but I didn’t even buy new parts, I just washed them in the dishwasher and even boiled them in hot water and figured they were pretty well sanitized that I was good. Parts can be expensive and I’m cheap. Britt thought that was disgusting, and I didn’t think twice about it.

    5-baby carrier, I have the classic or original, Bjorne. It works really well, but I’ve heard the moby wraps are awesome. I kinda wish I had one, even though I’d never carry him in it now because I feel like he’s so big, but the bjorn still gets used.

    Good luck, there are SO many options its totally overwhelming.

  10. 1. Stroller: I looked a lot at the travel systems and hated them. The strollers were really large and I didn’t really have any interest in lugging around a stroller that size and using up that much space in our small apartment. I went with the frame stroller and have not regretted that decision to this day. We went with a Maclaren Easy Traveler. I’m not sure that it is currently made. However, the Baby Trends Snap N Go is basically the same thing. If you are looking compact and want to still have something that you can go from carseat to stroller, this is a great way to go. It has also been really nice when we have traveled.

    2. Car seat: we went with the Chicco Keyfit 30. It had the best safety ratings on consumer reports. It also was pretty much inline with the price of models like the Gracco and the Baby Trend.

    3. Monitor: We went with this one. It was nice for piece of mind for a little bit, but we currently are not using it.
    http://www.amazon.com/Angelcare-Baby-Movement-Sound-Monitor/dp/B002ZB8298/ref=sr_1_1?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1349724198&sr=1-1&keywords=angelcare+monitor

    The rest of the things you are asking about I am useless.

  11. 1. Having fall/winter babies, I wore them while going out for the first few months, so having a stroller w/ car seat attachment wasn’t an issue. We have the City Mini jogger by Baby Jogger and we LOVE it. It has held up really well on many trips over 4 yrs and I’ve logged a lot of miles on it, though not jogging since I don’t jog. I also have a super cheap umbrella stroller that I use every now and then. I too cast covetous looks at the BOB strollers, but the Baby Jogger was expensive enough for me.
    2. We have the basic Graco cheap car seat and it has held up well through three kids so far. It’s also easy to find extra bases on craigslist if you have two cars. After they reached the 20lb limit, we switched to the Cosco Scenera seat. Pretty darn cheap but it is holing up really well. It’s also cheap enough that we bought one for each car so we don’t have to worry about switching, but since both of us take the kids an equal amount of time and drop them off at the sitter, it would have been a pain to constantly switch car seats. We’ve gotten them on sale at Walmart for $40.
    3. Have never used one, but I see the appeal. Our babies have slept during the day in the living room and at night until about 6 months they sleep in our room, so I haven’t found the need for a fancy system.
    4. You can get a prescription from your pediatrician to rent one and while I know your insurance situation is still up in the air, it might be an option for ‘test driving’ one before you buy.
    5. Not to toot my own horn, but I made my own moby-like wrap and if you want the info, you can find it here: http://dv-la.blogspot.com/2011/01/prepare-to-be-amazed.html For $10 I made two wraps. My boys all got HUGE really quickly, so I didn’t wear them after they were too big to comfortably fit into the sling.

  12. Strollers- I never used one when my babes were infants, because it was either winter and who walks a newborn in freezing temps or 2 I carried then in a baby carrier strapped to be. My advice, wait until they can sit up and then spend $20 and get a fold up umbrella one with a shade.

    Infant Baby Carrier- I bought baby trend in fact I own two of them…ya know twins and all. I just lent one to my neighbor who had twins (babies #8 & 9 for her) & she LOVED my baby trend one and wanted to get another one because they are more compact than other carriers. I originally bought mine for the look and the handle and he year Phoebe was born only Baby trend and Graco snug fit passed the gov. crash testing.

    Motion Senor- These things can falsely go off so I am afraid that you might drive yourself extra insane unnecessarily, babies will keep you awake enough without stupid monitors going off for no reason!

    Breast Pump- no real advice since I couldn’t breast feed, but all the lactation consultants who tried to help me said it is always better to stimulate both a the same time instead of one, plus my experience though only 2 weeks with each child was that a single breast pump is just tedious, because a double cuts down the time you sit there by 1/2.

    Baby Carrier- I have he cheap Snuggli and so does my neighbor and I have worn my MANY hours after 4 kiddos and I don’t have any problem with mine and it has a cris- cross back.

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