Back when Gabriel was a bit over one year old, I wrote a post on our favorite baby items. While I cannot wholly disagree with that list, I would really like to update it. Come on, past-Amanda, why did you spend so much time on which toys were a one year old’s favorites? Babies are happy playing with a bowl and spoon, no fancy toys necessary!
At any rate, I give you an updated version of my previous list:
- Graco Snugride car seat/infant carrier – Having a car seat was necessary, and we got twice the mileage out of this seat by using it again with Joshua. I know that some families are eager to move their babies into a convertible car seat, but we are one who really enjoys the carrier aspect of the infant seat, and are a little sad when the baby outgrows it. Since car seats have expiration dates, we may need to purchase a new one someday, and it is likely that we will go with something different. Joshua is currently in the Britax Boulevard and Gabriel is in the Britax Frontier, and both are great, albeit expensive, seats.
- SwaddleMe – I never used one of these with Joshua. Though I should probably admit that he did much of his napping in a sling for the first few months. Also, with Gabriel I spent a lot of time during the newborn period trying to get him to sleep in his bed when I could have been sleeping, so I didn’t waste that effort with Joshua. So far, co-sleeping has worked many times better than swaddling for us.
- bebePod – We wore this seat out with Joshua. The foam around the pommel actually tore. I found a like-new replacement at a yard sale for $4. I continue to stand by conviction that this is a nice starter high chair/portable high chair. But not a truly ‘necessary’ item.
- Ring Sling – Yes! Baby carriers in general, really. I could be a carrier-a-holic during the first year or so. This is one item that I would rate as a “must have” for me. I also own a Moby Wrap. If I owned a Mei Tai and Ergo, I think that my baby carrier collection would be complete. Maybe.
- Graco glider stroller – “Meh.” I used it a little as a mother of two. It’s a good, relatively inexpensive single stroller, but you would need two of them (and two parents), if you needed to push two children. Now I have a fantastic double stroller, the Instep Safari. It does everything that I need it to well, but it is rather large.
- Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Aquarium Bouncer – I used this with Joshua, but not quite as much as I did with Gabriel or even in the same instances. It turns out that second babies do not need as much entertainment as firstborns because they have an older sibling. Mostly, it is just nice to have a place or two for babies to sit the first few months so that you aren’t holding them all of the time.
- Fisher Price Rainforest Jumperoo – Joshua really enjoyed this jumperoo, but he didn’t use it quite as much as Gabriel. I realize now that justifying an expensive purchase because multiple babies are going to use it? That plan works on some items, but not others, because different babies are DIFFERENT. Additionally, second (and I presume subsequent) babies really want to do whatever their older sibling is doing, rather than play with the ‘baby toys.’ I consider the jumperoo a worthwhile investment because my boys have logged many happy hours in it, and still have fond memories of it – how many items do babies enjoy so much that they still remember when they are nearly four years old? Additionally, whenever we decide that we no longer need it, it will likely bring at least fifty percent of its original price on Craigslist.
- Avent Isis – I have used my hand pump a handful of times with Joshua because I upgraded to the Medela Pump in Style. It is the nicest pump that I will probably ever need to own. I didn’t pay retail for it though, I picked it up at a yard sale for $50 from a mom who had health problems and was never able to use it.
- Healthy Care Booster – We used a regular-sized high chair for Gabriel, but live in a home that has a tiny kitchen/dining room, so I opted for a ‘mini high chair’ this time. It’s not likely that the full size high chair will ever come back out of storage. This little gem has so much over other high chairs for me: it’s easier to clean, it takes up no extra floor space, it’s portable (but I’ve never actually used it for that), it will work for tiny babies and large toddlers alike (Gabriel, at over forty pounds, can still sit in this chair with the tray), and it converts into a booster seat when you’re done with the need for a high chair. Perhaps my favorite perk of this chair is that babies are always eating up at the table with the family, rather than off in their separate high chair.
- Travel toys – We had some, but Joshua was not much of an early toys baby. Probably because Gabriel was much better entertainment.
- Cloth Diapers – Notice how I didn’t mention anything about diapering with Gabriel? That’s because we used disposables for his first year of life. Disposable diapers are an item that one just uses, they do not perform particularly well, and there is nothing about them to get excited about (in my experience). But cloth diapers are a diaper that parents can be passionate about. They work better, cost less, and are better for our babies and the environment. I have tried pretty much every type of diaper out there: Pocket diapers, All-in-One diapers, All-in-Two diapers, Prefolds, Flats, Wool, and even Hybrid diapers; each type of diaper has its place. I have found that I really like flats for their ease of washing and low-cost, and pocket diapers for when we are out and about.
- The Internet & Gadgets – I became the owner of my first smartphone when Joshua was about two months old. It was wonderful to have all sorts of connections at my finger tips, since I spent hours and hours and hours a day nursing him.