Baby Product Investment Pieces
The baby world has 1000% nailed the marketing game, luring in parents with tons (or no) experience with their beautiful branding, catchy slogans and promises of developmental and intellectual benefits. Before becoming pregnant, I read many reviews, watched a million YouTube videos and tried to familiarize myself with the "hits & misses" within this industry. Some products I found totally unnecessary, while others I caught myself questioning if it was worth the hype. I complied a short and sweet guide to products that I found were worth the investment, and others I (or Beau) didn't love . Every baby is so so different, so please do your research and read around on others experiences. What may have worked for me and Beau, may not for you and vice vera. When I looked into products for Beau, I also factored in a few things: 1) Is it practical and functional and durable and 2) Will it grow with my family? Knowing before hand (God willing) that we wanted more than one child, made decisions on high-priced items easier to make. With all that said, lets get into it.
UppaBaby Vista Stroller : YES.
Both Brandon and I are outdoors people and knew early on a quality stroller would be worth the investment for us. The Vista can easily be converted into a double stroller, is heavy duty full size, has beautiful and quality materials, and effortless to use. With it comes the frame, toddler seat and bassinet (which we used for the first three months beside our bed). If you are looking into a solid main stroller I couldn't recommend this one enough. If you are not looking to grow your family, but still love UppaBaby products, the Cruz model is a smaller/lighter stroller that doesn't convert into a double stroller. If you are in a small apartment, travel often, or are looking to use this for jogging, there are many other wonderful choices to choose from that allow for smaller frames, lighter and compact folds and specific jogging tires/shocks. First, figure out your needs (space, cost, use) and that should help narrow the stroller type best for your family. We also got the Mesa car seat to go with our stroller. Because it is also UppaBaby it clicks into the stroller without any adaptors needed. I have heard there are better car seats on the market, and to be honest I didn't research a ton around car seats. In my mind, they all needed to pass legal requirements in terms of safety and I figured keeping it all in one travel system would be the most convenient. And convenience certainly comes with a price. I have no complaints about the Mesa, it was super easy to install (used latch system) and has held up well thus far (almost 8 months later).
I loved having a place to lay Beau down without having to place him in the bassinet (upstairs). I never used the SnuggleMe as a co-sleeping (which it is not designed for), but rather a place to provide the warming and comforting sensation this sensory pillow was designed for. I didn't start using wrap carriers until Beau was well over 2 months (as a unexperienced FTM it made me nervous wrapping him up and worried about blocking his airways if I wrapped him wrong), perhaps if I had utilized a wrap carrier earlier on the SnuggleMe wouldn't have made my "YES" list, but neither here nor there, both Brandon and I loved having this product and recommend it to all our expecting friends.
SnuggleMe Organic Nursing Pillow: NO..... but hear me out.
To be honest, this product is amazing and I used it in every other way except as a nursing pillow (sitting support, tummy time, etc). I'm not sure if it was because I didn't bring it to the hospital for my labour, or if I learned to breastfeed without a pillow entirely, I wouldn't say that this wasn't necessary, I would say (for me) nursing pillows in general aren't necessary. NOW... in LITERALLY all the posts I ever read during pregnancy, nursing pillows were always on the "must-have" lists. Sooo I think I'm just weird and never used a pillow.
Gathre Mat: YES.
I absolutely love this company. I have two different sized mats (The Mini and the Midi+) both have their purpose in our household for sure. They are great for sensory play and outdoor activities, play mats as well as for under the highchair for easy clean up. They fold up easy, are stain-proof, water-resistant and have the option for a vegan material. Gathre makes a large variety of modern leather goods for home and baby (not just these mats). Love them.
HatchBaby Rest: YES.
It's has a clean and sleek design, easy to use and can be controlled via your smartphone. Not only does it help keep our noises from interfering with Beaus rests, it helps lull him to sleep if he wakes throughout the night. I know there is a Rest+ model that offers it to be portable (and some other functions), I didn't think that was necessary, but I can see how it would be a perk. For the extra $50 I'm not sure if the Rest+ is worth it.
Lovevery subscription is a montessori inspired toy subscription for babies and toddlers. I am very intentional when it comes to the things I want to bring into my home for Beau. Not only for a space and financial stand point, but also from a learning standpoint. I love montessori practices and am mindful to create a space that is encouraging for Beau to learn through play. If quality pieces, developmentally appropriate and research-based toys sounds attractive to you, you won't be disappointed. It has allowed a natural toy rotation to occur and we're slowly building an awesome collection of toys that are gender-neutral and made with a variety of natural materials.
Babybjorne Bouner: NO.
Looking back, purchasing the bouncer was a bit of a hail mary. Beau was in a weird stage where he didn't enjoy laying in his SnuggleMe and fully wanted to sit up but hadn't developed the strength to do so unassisted. The bumbo lacked the support he needed (and even that chair we used maybe twice) so we decided to give this bouncer a shot. The first few weeks he enjoyed being sat in a way that he could look around, but he quickly was looking to sit up fully (the bouncer has three settings of recline.. none of which allowed for a 90 degree seat.. and I don't believe that is the products purpose anyways). So, I'm not sure if it was Beau's personality (enjoys freedom of movement/sitting upright) or the later introduction to the seat (2.5 months ish) but he didn't enjoy it the way we had hoped. For the price tag, I wouldn't repurchase for Beau, but owning it now will likely use for our future children.
While there are lots of great high chairs on the market for a significantly lower price... here is what I love about Stokke products. They promote family eating in a way most highchairs do not. Their Tripp Trapp design is made specifically to be brought to table height just as a regular dining chair so baby and family can collective dine together. Although in this home we have a island bar height table (and the Tripp Trapp is lower), I know this product will grow with our family as we outgrow this house. Not only is it set up for infant needs, as your baby grows to a toddler, child and full adult, these chairs hold up to 300lbs. This particular highchair has both an adjustable seat and footrest. After lots of research into the must-have features in highchairs, ensuring a proper seat and footrest was number one, along with the adjustable option since your six month old will be shorter than your one year old (ples the 90-90-90 rule.. 90 degree hip, knee and foot to support a sturdy sitting position). Stokke products are beautiful. To me, thats a factor. Call me a snoody, but if I have a chair in my kitchen AT ALL TIMES, I want it to be as beautiful as everything else, and be built as a piece of furniture like every other chair in our home. Depending on your needs, wants and budget theres a highchair out there! I didn't look for a highchair that folded up or dissembled easily because I made the decision to leave it assembled and in our kitchen at all times (and I'm glad I did... if Beau isn't napping or playing, he's eating.. and I couldn't imagine having to get it out each time). There are lots of other great perks on the Tripp Trapp, but those are the key ones for me.
I was so bummed about this one. I was so excited to wear Beau around the house, getting in snuggles while also freeing up my hands. I think my fear of wrapping it incorrectly, or blocking his tiny little nostrils prevented me from using this in the early days. By the time I started using it, Beau didn't want to be restricted or cuddled, he was wanted to be held in a way that allowed him to see everything. Again, I'm not sure if it was the late introduction or the personality of my son, but I wouldn't repurchase a wrap sling. I would however purchase a ring sling. From my understanding due to the material and structure of the design a ring sling may have been a better fit for Beau.
Pikler Triangle: TBD
I am soooo excited to bring this home. I have placed one for order and will have to update y'all on our experience with it. Beau is a full blown monkey child.. basically a real live Mowgli and I have high hopes that a pikler triangle will be used daily in our household.
These are just a few higher-ticket items that I think are worth mentioning. Maybe I'll compile a list of awesome affordable baby products as well.. ones that don't break the bank and are super helpful? We shall see. Please remember I am just one of thousands of mommas sharing their experience with these products. Keep reading up, determine your families needs and I'm sure you'll figure out the best products/brands to purchase.
All my love,