Saturday, October 31, 2009

Baby Gear

Preparing to foster parent an infant makes the purchase of baby gear quite the adventure. We had to really think about what we would need for a baby from birth through toddlerhood. These were the essentials that we decided on and have served us well so far!

1) Carseat:
We chose to go with convertible car seats for a few reasons. First, as foster parents an infant seat limits us to about 25 lbs. and rear facing. Secondly, we found a great deal on these and they fit children from 5-40 lbs. Thirdly, I'm cheap and the thought of buying 2 carseats over a few years seemed wasteful. Oh, and I think it's weird to add 10 pounds to the already heavy baby by carrying an infant carrier. (though, I've not used one, so some may argue that the extra weight is worth it for the convenience, etc.).

After much online shopping and review reading we chose the Maxi Cosi Priori. We purchased two so that for now, we can have one in each car, or if we accept two children, we can use both in one car. There are a lot of great convertible options out there- our final deciding factor was that I found this one on sale (glorious, glorious!) Already reasonably priced at $199, I found the 2008 model for a great price here.

2. Crib: Craigslist find that matched our vintage furniture. I love the lines!

3. Pack n Play: these come in a multitude of colors and are easy to find used. We bought new, but only because I couldn't find anything that was both gender neutral and not plaid on Craigslist. We use ours daily for the time because our home is two story. Lil dude uses it for naps, diaper changes, and playtime when we're downstairs. We also travel a reasonable amount to see my grandparents in San Antonio, so we'll pack it up with us as a travel bed then. Pack n' plays also come with a variety of gadgets; i.e. changing tables, bassinets, vibration, music, etc. We chose the most basic model.

4. Babywearing gear. We use the Sleepywrap, Kelty Wallaby Carrier, and Beco Butterfly. Wearing your baby promotes attachment, frees your hands to do other things (i.e. dishes!), and makes going out and about so easy.

5. Clothes and diapers. CPS provides us with quarterly vouchers for Target to buy clothes- we also love the Carter's outlet and Old Navy for good prices. We've tried many different diapers- Nature Babycare have been our best bet for both disposable and as environmentally responsible as possible.

6. Bottles. We landed on Dr. Brown's, but try several and stick with whatever works. We tried to get away with cheap evenflo glass bottles, but alas. . .he prefers the Dr. Brown's and they really decreased his discomfort while feeding, so the expense was worth it.

That's about all we started with...and really, we've added very little. We have an exersaucer, diaper disposal system, and a great jogging stroller, but I wouldn't list any of those as must haves. They've been nice, but certainly not essential.

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