After reading this post the other day I felt inspired to make my own list of must-have’s and regrets in the land of baby purchases. To be sure, there are some things that don’t make this list – but these are the top five for each. I limited myself to baby items, and given some free time I may update it to include toddler accoutrements as well given the proliferation of must-have items out there today. I know everyone’s lists are different and altogether personal, but these are my own thoughts on the topic.
What I’m Glad I Bought (and splurged on)
Uppababy Vista stroller - Hands down the number one purchase I am glad we bought was our stroller. I bought the Uppababy Vista back in 2010 with our first child. I have never regretted this purchase and instead have been able to integrate it into every transition with each child. You can see my initial review of it here. We added the Rumble Seat with our second arrival in 2012 and this go around we added the Ride on Board. I’ve been able to use this stroller for everything and really have not needed any another stroller (see below in “What I Wish I Hadn’t”).
2. Muslin Blankets/Aden & Anais – Have to agree with Apartment Therapy's post on this one. We did not have these with our first and with our second it was something I specifically requested. I use them for nursing cover ups, swaddling, shade cover, floor blankets, spit rags – you name it. The best.
3. Medela Breast Pump – They are one of the most expensive torture devices you can pay your own money for, but for the sake of sanity and alone time they are a must in my book. A friend gave me the hands free bra this time around and well, it’s made pumping that much less of a chore.
4. SwaddleMes and Sound Machine – A well swaddled baby is a happy, sleeping baby – and if you drown out their cries with white noise, they sleep and sleep and sleep. This concoction was and is a necessity in our house. It was a sad day when ours outgrew the swaddle, though they still sleep with a fan on for background noise.
5. Cradle – This was an item we purchased ourselves and have been so pleased with the look, function, and use of it. Ours is a Da Vinci that we found online, and has been used through the 8-week mark with all of our kids. Number 3 is now in her 4th week of its use. The size is adequate without being bulky, and the style doesn’t scream baby product which delights me to no end.
What I Wish I Hadn’t
1. Baby Swing – never used it. My kids have slept in the cradle, pack 'n play or crib from the get go and we never even used the swing. I bought a used one for a friend’s baby that I watched and she was the only one to use it. Waste of money.
2. Slings – I tried and tried to use these with each of my babies but none of them were interested in it at all. I desperately wanted them to be but to no avail. We stuck with the tried and true Baby Bjorn and Ergo (which though great buys are not on my essential list).
3. Additional Strollers – I was star struck by the ease of the umbrella stroller and coveted a Maclaren Volo thinking it would be so awesome for those easy trips out. Not so much. I used it only a handful of times and each time was left wishing I had just stuck with my Vista. For us, it just didn’t make sense. With the addition of our second child and the advent of spring, I scoured good prices for a jogging double stroller and purchased the Baby Trend Expedition Double Jogger. It’s a fine stroller, but I had one child who loved being in a stroller and one who abhorred it. Not worth the money spent vs. the time used.
4. Any clothing with snaps (not to include onesies, of course) – there should be a disclaimer for new parents that snaps are your enemy, specifically during those middle of the night feeding and diaper changes. For our third baby, I set aside everything that zippered and put it in a priority pile for nighttime. Everything else was left for daytime wear only. Onesies on the other hand are a daily piece of the ensemble in those first few months. After my kids were walking I nixed the onesies altogether. Much too annoying for me.
5. Shopping Cart Cover – Granted this is not an expensive purchase, and to be fair my mother actually made one for me, but I think I used it only a handful of times with each kid. I was all about having one and thought for sure I would use it EVERY TIME we were out, but this is where it pays to know your true self. I found it cumbersome and annoying, and the whole germ thing just doesn’t grate me like it does to some. Shocker.
--My contribution to the Baby Must Have’s and Not’s.