Oh boy.. where to begin. This is exactly how I felt about buying baby gear. Sure, everyone picks up little outfits here and there, but its not really until your 2nd trimester that you feel comfortable to really consider the whole scope of all the baby shit you need. I was at the book store, browsing the baby section, and saw this book…
I knew right away that this was what I needed to (A) get my random shopping wants under control, and (B) inform me of whats important and how to decide. I have been reading this book over the past month and it has been a God send! There would have been so many mistakes I could see I was already going to make just because I didn’t know. Right away, The Girlfriends express that they are not here to be medical and safety experts, nor are they here to please every mom-to-be out there. They simply want to share what they have learned along the way of raising each of their own children.
Some of what they say about registering… do it just once at a large baby store outlet like Babies R Us. They have stores all over, and easy online shopping. Don’t worry about online only registries like Amazon. Savvy people are going to try and find some items from your registry on Amazon to try and save money anyway. Others like going to the store and tangibly touching the items they want to buy you… living vicariously through you. And most importantly, you should know EXACTLY what you want when you go to register. Do your research ahead of time!
So. I’m nearly 5 months pregnant, and the time to register is fast approaching. I suspect the baby showers will be in June, so I need to be registered by mid May. I have decided to research one important item at a time, based on the book. I will place my trust in The Girlfriends. I will still be researching and reading reviews, but all with their guidance. So… what do they say is the MOST important purchase for baby? THE CAR SEAT!
Immediately I think to myself “oh, well, don’t I just buy one of those all in one stroller/car seat combo things and call it a day?”. Hahaha! If only it was that easy! Girlfriends say, its important to get the best car seat first and foremost. If the best one is part of a travel system (stroller/car seat combo), and that’s the stroller you want, then score. BUT, that is not the focus of this particular purchase. Strollers are examined later… but for me… they go hand in hand. So I will be buying both around the same time and, therefore, need to research them both.
The Car Seat: There are 2 types of car seats for newborns. The first is infant-only seats. This is the kind we see all the time. They kind that snap into strollers and bases that are strapped in the car. Its rear facing only. They can accommodate up to 22 lbs and 27″ in length. The other type are convertible seat. This is a bigger, bulkier seat that is intended to stay put in the car. It can rear face for infants and young toddlers, and then front face when the baby is an older toddler. Girlfriends recommend using the infant only seat, and then moving on to a convertible. They say the infant only just fits young babies better. The brand they praise… Graco! Did you think anything else? They are the best at being up to date with safety requirements, are easy to install, and you can buy extra bases for extra cars! These, obviously, can come with travel systems and that was my intention… until I really realized the size of those strollers, and got to the stroller section of the book.
The Stroller: Now in this category, there are many more options. The, a fore mentioned Travel System, old fashioned prams, lightweight (umbrella), car seat frames, and jogging strollers! My goodness! I had no idea! They even listed 1 or 2 more that I’ve never seen or heard of before! So, originally I was thinking the travel system. The girlfriends say, when a stroller can do everything, its not good at anything. They wear out quickly and are bulk and heavy for new parents. They actually recommend the car east stroller frames! Its simple and light, easy to manage, and less expensive. They tote that you should get the frame, and spend the money on a good lightweight umbrella stroller that can hold infant and toddlers! Not the cheapy, going to Disneyland, umbrella stroller… but a good one. One that is still lightweight, maneuverable, but can hold younger than usual. The brand they recommend for the car seat frame is Baby Trend’s Snap-N-Go. As for the umbrella stroller, Maclaren is the best in their opinion.
Doesn’t that lady look happy to be pushing something so manageable? Now I feel knowledgeable and decisive about what I want.. though I think I may have passed on some anxiety to other moms-to-be reading this. Don’t stress! Get The Girlfriend’s Guide to Baby Gear! So, What did I choose?…
Lastly, I thought it was only fair to expose what I haven’t been able to resist so far! A few things were bought for me, and I didn’t include some things I’ve made. My shopping has slowed a little cause we are only 2 weeks from knowing the sex… and I think I wiped out the gender neutral department.