[Uno, Dos, Tres] I Love These, I Love Those Not

It’s been 6 months now. Babies are darn expensive themselves, but there are plenty of pricey products to keep the bambinos alive.

stroller-1678232_640When I was putting together my baby registry, I consulted with other mom friends on their suggestions. For the most part, I realized there are a billion and one different products out there, and of course each friend had a different version they liked. It was enough to make my head spin. So, I basically took that list as a “nice to know” and decided to focus on what I considered to be the big 3 – stroller, crib/or where the heck this new little creature would sleep, and carseat. Then as time passed, I’d decide at that time what other things I might need. Some things I really loved (although no item is perfect; they have their flaws), and there are others that let me down eventually). Let’s get these lists started, shall we?

 

LOVE ‘EM – These are things I’ve loved from the beginning.

1. Peg Perego Book Pop-up Stroller

The Good:

  • This stroller worked out well for us since we opted not to get an infant carseat. It comes with a bassinet attachment that is safe for the baby to sleep in.
  • The basket on the bottom is roomy enough to handle the biggest diaper bag, and it has a springy lip thing that enables you to store and access stuff down there.
  • The seat attachment has a huge canopy that really covers the baby. It has 3 recline positions, with one going nearly fully horizontal. Both the seat and bassinet attachments have a peekaboo window where you can see your baby, as well as ensure air is flowing through.
  • The polyurethane wheels give it a smooth ride.
  • The best part about this stroller is that it folds easily basically at the press of a button. You don’t even have to take off the attachments. Everything folds together nicely.

The Bad:

  • It is pricey! A typical stroller costs around $200, with slightly better ones costing upwards of $300. This one cost $700.
  • The bassinet attachment doesn’t have much longevity – for us it was about 5 months. I’m not sure how this compares to an infant car seat, but I would have liked to use it for a longer period of time.
  • The handlebar an get scratched a bit, since it is what the stroller stands on when it’s folded up.
  • It is heavy – especially when the bassinet is attached! Yes, you can fold up the stroller with the bassinet attached, but do it at your own risk. More times than not, I had to take the bassinet off and place it separately from the chassis in my car. A bit of a pain sometimes because a one-step process became a two-step process.

2. Chicco Nextfit Zip Convertible Carseat

The Good:

  • This carseat looked more cushioned than many of the others we looked at.
  • There is a nice bubble level on the side of the carseat to ensure that the seat is properly reclined based on whether or not the seat is FF (forward facing) or RF (rear facing).
  • There are 9 recline positions. Not sure if it really matters to babies, but visually and from an adult standpoint, it seems necessary. Hey, we’re new parents. We only want our baby to be the most comfortable he can be, right?
  • The safety clip has two positions — one for infants and one for older children.
  • Above all, the “zip” in the name truly won my husband and I over. Chicco also makes the “Nextfit.” For $30 more, we opted for the “Zip” version, which has a zipper so you can easily remove the cover from the seat. I had already envisioned how many times I’d be washing it. So, the extra $30 seemed worth it.

The Bad:

  • It’s heavy. I’m sure this is not an anomaly for most carseats, but just be warned.
  • It’s expensive. Some convertible carseats can cost under $100. This one costs $300 for the non-zip, and about $330 for the zip version.
  • The straps get twisted. Every. Single. Time. It’s really annoying when you’re trying to get to an appointment and the only thing that’s holding you up is trying to get your baby strapped in properly, but you can’t because the dang things won’t lay flat! *Grunts*

3. Britax Boulevard Convertible Carseat

The Good:

  • The proprietary “Click Tight” system. This system makes installation a cinch – literally! – using a seatbelt. The standard for all carseats is the LATCH system (though my understanding is that manufacturers have different LATCH systems). LATCH is basically like hooking the carseat to these metal bars in your car (this is standard on all cars manufactured after 2002). So, if you have any older car, the Click Tight makes it easier. And it’s waaaay easier to install than the Chicco Nextfit! My parents bought this carseat for my use while I was visiting. I miss this seat mainly because of the “Click Tight” system.
  • This carseat is larger than the Chicco Nextfit, and it made me feel like it was a lot safer.
  • The straps stayed flat! Can I get an Amen? I saved so much time not having to untwist the straps. I could get my baby in and out in no time.
  • The seat material is really nice. It didn’t feel like a cheap wetsuit. I felt like it would be comfortable for my baby no matter what the season.
  • It’s made in the good ol’ US of A, just like my KitchenAid and Vitamix. 🙂

The Bad:

  • Similar to the Chicco Nextfit, it is quite heavy. I had to take this in and out of my rental cars, so I have had plenty of experience lifting it. It’s not fun at all.
  • The seat cover does not zip off. This is more the norm. So, this doesn’t take anything away from this carseat.
  • It’s expensive – more than $300. But I think it’s worth it if you can afford it.

4. My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow

The Good:

  • Compared to the Boppy, this pillow has a solid structure. It is made out of a hard foam material, which makes it easy to lay your baby on while nursing.
  • It has a little pocket that’s great for storing your cell phone, remote control, keys, etc. Basically good for any little thing you’ll need to have handy while nursing.
  • The covers are removable and washable. Believe me, this is a great thing. There will be spills and spit-up.

The Bad:

  • For wearing a tough piece of foam covered in thin cloth, it’s kind of pricey. It costs about $30. For zero dollars, you can probably take a sofa cushion or pillow and it will serve the same purpose, except you’ll miss out on the pocket.
  • The covers are pricey too. Depending on the design and style, you’ll pay more than $10 to have an extra cover.
  • The name sounds dumb. Don’t you agree? It sounds like the inventor was probably drunk or won a bet. In any case, I still think it’s a great product.

5. Dr. Brown Glass Bottles

The Good:

  • They’re made of glass. They do make plastic versions, but I wanted to sure that my baby was drinking from something safe.
  • Because they are made of glass, they have a silicone sleeve that go over them to lower the chance of breakage when dropped, and I suppose a nice grip.
  • There is some tube thing that supposedly lowers baby’s chances of having gas (or something like that). To me, it worked. However, I have not used any other bottle, so take this with a grain of salt.

The Bad:

  • The last bullet point in #3 above make these bottles a little more time-consuming to wash. Yes, you can throw it in the dishwasher, but I had read handwashing is safer.
  • They leak as crazy as new mom boobs do. They come with a little stopper, but if you don’t use them (in my case, I lost one), then all that liquid gold will end up everywhere. Even when my baby was drinking out of the bottle, it would somehow leak.

6. JuJu Be Diaper Bags (I have the BFF Convertible Bag and Be Right Back Backpack)

The Good:

  • These bags come in so many bag styles and colors! You will likely be able to find one that works best for you.
  • There are so many pockets! It’s nice to have a place for everything so you can put everything in its place.
  • The zipper pulls and other hardware are all metal. There is no worry about cheap plastic breaking off.

The Bad:

  • Maybe this should just be a given for anything baby-related: These bags are expensive. The bigger they are and the more desirable the design, the more your bank account will cry.
  • The plastic pockets for pictures seem dumb and kind of annoying to me. I’d never put my baby’s pictures in here. Nothing says “I love you” than seeing a photo of your baby, crinkled up by clean and dirty diapers, barf rags, dried liquid gold and God knows what else.
  • The memory foam diaper changing pad is super small. I wish it was a little bit wider and longer or maybe had a different shape.

7. Tula Infant Baby Carrier

The Good:

  • It is so dang comfy! I don’t know how they did it, but they made carrying a 20-lb boulder around without getting muscle aches and pains a possibility.
  • The design makes it easy to pack or store.
  • There are so many cute designs. This can also be a bad thing. I mean, they really make you want to buy every design they make — and they continue to churn out more all the time.
  • They have a good re-sale value. Apparently these carriers have a cult following. Just check Facebook “Tula in the wild!”

The Bad:

  • You guessed it — price! The infant size is $149. If you’re planning on carrying a newborn/younger baby, you also have to buy the infant insert.
  • The wound up straps keep getting undone. The elastic that holds the excess strap length seems to always let go. Needless to say, I have had a couple of instances where the straps have touched toilet water.
  • There is a little pocket on the front of the waistband that is so useless. You can possibly put your last dollar left in your savings account. That’s about all that will fit.

Love ‘Em Not – These are things I blindly loved at first, then the flame blew out.

1. Moby Wrap Soft Baby Carrier

The Good:

  • They come in a variety of colors and patterns. You can practically buy one to match every outfit.
  • They are cheaper compared to hard-sided infant carriers. This is why I got one initially.
  • They are machine washable.

The Bad:

  • You kind of have be good with your hands to put it on. Most of us only have 2 arms. Since I am short, my two short arms make it really difficult to manage that much yardage of fabric.
  • If you haven’t yet perfected putting it on, then forget about using it when you’re in a rush. Putting it on was workout for me.

2. Medela Pump In Style Breast Pump

The Good:

  • It worked well in the beginning.
  • It’s pretty simple to assemble and use.

The Bad:

  • The pump seemed to not work as well about 3 months in. I am now able to turn it on to full suction pumping mode, yet it doesn’t feel any more powerful than the lower level.
  • The tote that came with mine is super cheap and ugly. They could take a hint from Tula or any other company aimed at raping womens’ wallets and make this at least fashionable.

3. Bamboobies Ultra-Absorbent Overnight Nursing Pads

The Good:

  • They work great and preventing “nipple sweat” from showing.
  • They are made out of bamboo, thus having a soft texture.
  • They are washable, which is great for the eco-friendly.

The Bad:

  • Though I only wore them around the house, I don’t think the shape made them unnoticeable. Perhaps I should have gotten the heart-shaped original version.
  • I simply didn’t see the benefit. Maybe I wasn’t leaking that much, but for me, they were a waste of money.

Have you tried any of these items? What’s your take? I look forward to hearing your two cents!

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