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Our Baby Gear Picks

By: , August 11th, 2015. Posted in: Happiness, Money, Parenting

We take the guesswork out of selecting baby gear.

The first time LB had a jump fest in his Go Wild Jumperoo

In addition to our Top 30 Baby Gift Ideas, we’ve also compiled a list of the larger-ticket baby items we researched, purchased, and have been thoroughly happy with.  While parents can certainly live without some of these items, they definitely make parenthood a little easier.

      1. Britax 2014 B-Agile Stroller – This ride is awesome!  It was one of the first big-ticket items on our baby registry when I was pregnant with LB.  We never even bothered with an umbrella stroller because this is just as easy to lift/transport, easy to collapse/open, and easy to maneuver.  The seat reclines with adjustable straps, and can be used from when your baby can sit on his/her own right on through the toddler years.  Since LG arrived, we bought a double stroller that can be used with our Chicco Keyfit Infant Seat.  While the double stroller is definitely worth having for when LG is still little, it’s heavy and difficult to maneuver.  I definitely prefer the B-Agile, and will return to using it as soon as LG can hold her head up (especially since LB likes to walk most places we go).

        Deputy LB asleep on the job (in the Britax B-Agile stroller)

        Deputy LB asleep on the job (in the Britax B-Agile stroller)

      2. Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat and Base – After doing our safety research when we were expecting LB, we decided on this infant seat.  It’s a sturdy seat, and weighs at least 10 pounds (without a baby in it).  The child weight limit is 30 pounds, so we were able to stretch out the length of time LB used it before transferring him to a convertible car seat (but stopped using it as an infant carrier when we could no longer lift it with him inside).  LG weighs over 15 pounds now, so although lifting her in this seat has been increasingly difficult for me, we’ll keep her in this seat for travel until she’s too tall.  Another thing I would want everyone to know is that it keeps kiddos really warm, so we’ve always used lighter clothing and fewer blankets when the littles will be in the seat for more than a few minutes.

        LB reading a Massage Warehouse catalog in his sister's car seat (the Chicco KeyFit 30)

        LB reading a Massage Warehouse catalog in his sister’s car seat (the Chicco KeyFit 30)

      3. Diono Radian RXT Convertible Car Seat –  We don’t mess around with safety when it comes to quality car seats.  The Diono Radian is always on “top convertible car seats” lists.  We settled on this one because of the exemplary safety rating, and the consistently glowing user reviews.  Children can be rear-facing in this seat from 5-45 lbs, forward-facing from 20 – 80 lbs in a 5-point harness, and then it converts to a booster for children up to 120 lbs.  For families that need three car seats, the Radian is narrow enough to fit three across in a midsize vehicle.  We’ll definitely be buying another one when LG outgrows the Keyfit.

        LB and his friend, Lemur, in the Diono Radian

        LB and his friend, Lemur, in the Diono Radian

      4. Comfort & Harmony Cozy Kingdom Portable Swing –  We actually have the discontinued Boppy Rock In Comfort Travel Swing, which we found for a steal on eBay.  The Comfort & Harmony seems very similar in the size, shape, controls, and the fact that it folds down.  Both of our children loved to fall asleep in this swing.
      5. BABYBJORN Bouncer Balance Soft  – We were tipped off to this beauty by a family friend who had their first child a few months before we did, and found ours on eBay.  The bouncer works really well after baby has started to express interest in being upright, because they can safely “sit up” while fully supported in a comfy sling.  It requires manual bouncing action, so you can bounce it for baby, or baby will eventually learn to kick his/her legs to bounce.

        Staring contest between LB (in the Balance) and our dogs, Hershey & Sable

        Staring contest between LB (in the Bouncer Balance) and our dogs, Hershey & Sable

      6. BABYBJORN Travel Crib Light – The same friends who suggested the bouncer also suggested this gem as a baby “must have”.  We couldn’t agree more.  It’s light and compact and folds into a manageable suitcase-like carrying case.  When LB was a baby, we mainly used it as a travel crib when we all slept somewhere other than home.  Now that LG is here, and we have a busy toddler running around, we keep this in the living room as a safe place for baby while LB is playing.  This is another item we purchased used on eBay.

        LG taking a cat nap in the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib

        LG taking a cat nap in the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib

      7. Arm’s Reach Ideal Arc Original Co-Sleeper Bedside Bassinet – This is a convenient option for parents who want to keep baby close at night, but in a separate sleeping space.  This bassinet attaches to your bed, and the baby’s sleeping surface is just a couple of inches lower than your mattress.  It was an absolute necessity after my c-sections, because bending over to reach into a regular crib would have been very difficult.  I’ve taken great comfort in having my children sleep next to me in those early months.  I can look over and see that they are safe, I can listen carefully to make sure they are breathing (something I do a lot less with baby number two), and I don’t have to get out of bed to nurse them (which gets me back to sleep quickly after a night feeding).  It’s been a win-win-win.  We were fortunate enough to find a used one before LB was born, and within the next few months we’ll be passing it along to another family.

        My view of LG's sweet smile (in the Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper) from my side of the bed

        My view of LG’s sweet smile (in the Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper) from my side of the bed

      8. FisherPrice Go Wild Jumperoo – I was surprised by how early our kids seemed ready for a jumperoo.  The recommended age is from 3 to 12 months, with a maximum weight limit of 25 lbs.  It really depends on when baby can independently hold his/her head up, and I’ve also waited until baby wants to stand a lot (while holding them in your lap).  LB was ready to jump in this bad boy at 3 months old, while LG is just becoming ready at 4 months old.  Jason actually pulled this out of storage this morning, so baby girl will be jump, jump, jumping away in no time (or precisely as long as it takes for us to clean it up for her).
      9. Beco Soleil Baby Carrier – I found this on Baby Steals at a deep discount when LB was just under a year old.  It replaced my Ergobaby, which I donated to a pregnant friend who needed a carrier.  I love this soft structured carrier, which has a large ergonomic seat for baby and can be used for front, back, or hip carrying positions.  With the newborn insert, this carrier can be used from birth until your child reaches the 25 lb weight limit.

        IMG_20150811_182246096

        Me, looking stoic, and carrying LG in the Beco Soleil

      10. Evenflo Compact Fold High Chair – We are coming very close to pulling our highchair out of storage, so LG can sit at the dinner table with the rest of us (even though she won’t be eating solid foods for at least a couple of months).  I honestly have no idea what model of highchair we have, other than it’s an Evenflo, because we bought it used from a friend who’s oldest child is nearly twelve years old.  I chose this one as a replacement because it’s Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in Baby Highchairs and has exceptional customer reviews.

Clicking on the product links in this post or in our Amazon Store will allow you to shop at Amazon.com, and By the Seat of Our Pants will receive a commission on any items you purchase. You will still receive the same prices and customer service you would typically expect from Amazon, and you will be helping our family make a little income from this blog.

Advertising Disclosure: By The Seat of Our Pants may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or by your use of links provided on our website. However, all opinions are our own.

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