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3 Ways to Rethink Essential Baby Gear
Updated on
September 11, 2023

3 Ways to Rethink Essential Baby Gear

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3 Ways to Rethink Essential Baby Gear.
3 Ways to Rethink Essential Baby Gear

For most people, having a baby means thinking about things like strollers and high chairs for the first time since, well, you rode around in a stroller or ate from a high chair. Consequently, researching and narrowing down your gear list can be pretty daunting—if no two parents are the same, how are you supposed to know what you’ll actually need and what’s going to end up in the closet with your smoothie blender?

The best place to start is with the basics and thinking about how they might fit into your actual life (instead of a predesigned checklist). Here’s the 411 on what categories you most likely want on your registry and how to think about them.

A Way To Get Around

There are two ways to think about how you’ll get around with your baby:

  • Getting from point A to point B (like running errands or traveling around town).
  • How you’ll carry your little one once you arrive at your destination.
  • Most people start with the former (aka car seat). But before you do that, try to picture your everyday life—how you run errands and enjoy your leisure activities—and then envision yourself doing these same things, but with a baby.

For example, if you mostly do quick trips to the store and picture yourself pushing a stroller around placing items in the storage basket, you may want a travel system (aka a stroller and car seat combo) that allows you to easily transition your baby from the car to their stroller without having to disturb them.

But if that smooth transition isn’t a high priority, there can be just as many perks to buying your car seat and stroller separately—like not having to spend money on a new car seat as your baby grows or being able to choose a stroller without worrying about car seat compatibility. If you go this route, an all-in-one car seat like the Maxi Cosi Pria All-in-One Car Seat will last you from birth through the booster seat years (a major plus for your wallet).

Lastly, if you want the freedom to get around without always needing to push a set of wheels (or if your routine involves spaces where a stroller might be a nuisance), a baby carrier might just be your everyday BFF.

Carriers can be especially helpful for getting chores done around your house when your baby is little and craving those newborn snuggles (a wrap-style carrier like this Baby K’tan can be ideal for just that, keeping baby extra close and cuddly).

A Place to Sleep

When it comes to baby’s sleep, many of us head straight for the crib aisle first. But those early days of parenting can be made much easier if your baby is close by for nighttime feedings and soothing. And there are lots of ways to make that happen. For example, if you want to minimize how many times you have to get in and out of bed at night, a bedside bassinet like this one scoots right up to your bed and has a zip-off side panel for easier lifting. And since it’s light and portable, you can take it with you from room to room or use it as a standalone bassinet as well.

On the other hand, if you want to keep your gear to a minimum while still allowing for room sharing, a playard like this one can pack a lot of versatility into one piece of gear—there’s a changing table, a travel bassinet, play gym and a playard all in one package—four pieces of gear you’d normally buy separately.

A Spot to Hang Out

Bouncers. Rockers. Loungers. Seats. The one thing they all have in common: giving your arms a rest when you need to put the baby down. So which hangout spot is best for your baby?

Bouncers and rockers are both tried-and-true soothing options, but it isn’t always easy to tell what kind of motion your baby will like best. In some cases you don’t have to choose. The Maxi Cosi Kori 2-in-1 Rocker combines both, easily transitioning from stationary bouncer to rocker.

Not all babies love bouncers and rockers, though. If you’re not sure whether you’re going to need one for your home and want to test the concept of a baby seat first, consider looking into gear that doubles as a lounging place, like a high chair that reclines. This one features a cozy infant support spot, and as an added bonus, the adjustable height can come in handy if you want to keep baby nearby when you’re having dinner or doing chores at standing height, like washing dishes.

Or if you want the freedom to put your baby down anywhere, you can always skip the seats altogether and opt for a baby lounger like the one below. Loungers are ultra-portable, which means you can also use them when you’re out of your house and need a spot to put baby down (like at the park or the grandparent’s).

There are only a few things you’ll really need when you first bring your baby home. Think about who you are now and how you live your life day to day. Because even with a baby you’re still going to be you (and pro tip: you can always get gear after the baby comes too). In the meantime, a good place to start is with versatile essentials that pack multiple solutions into one piece of gear.

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