I feel a little sheepish posting this since I’ve not yet given birth and have no idea what I’ll actually need/love/use, but I’m sharing what I’ve registered for after consulting with about 10 mothers I really trust, Lucie’s List, and countless other blogs and user reviews. Stay tuned for the update after March!
Infant Carseat: The Nuna Pipa ($299). Strong safety reviews. The biggest attribute that sets it apart is that it’s the lightest-weight on the market at 7.7 lbs. A girlfriend of mine said that she was upgrading from a much heavier Graco because she just couldn’t deal with lugging the heavier one around. (Thanks, Cristina!) And since I’m petite and wimpy, the weight is a big factor. Plus — Nuna Pipa has a ton of adapters available that make it snap into a wide variety of high end strollers. The runner up for me was the Chicco KeyFit30 ($199). More affordable, extremely highly-reviewed, very safe. But, like most other carseats, 2x as heavy as the Nuna Pipa at 15 lbs.
Stroller: Bugaboo Cameleon 3 ($1,219) with the canopy in the cream color ($119). I love this one because it’s the lightest weight of the “full feature” strollers at around 21 lbs (Uppababy Vista, which everyone else I know has, is 28 lbs, as an example) and it has a narrower footprint — meaning it doesn’t take up as much space on a sidewalk or folded up at home. I also thought the lines were sleek and modern. We spent SO much time debating stroller pros and cons, and my parents and parents in law think we’re crazy for wanting something so expensive when, in the words of my mom, “I raised 5 kids using inexpensive umbrella strollers and everyone turned out just fine.” BUT. Mr. Magpie and I do have a very pedestrian lifestyle here in our neighborhood — we walk to the grocery, to the dog park, to nearby restaurants, to get coffee, and on multiple dog walks each day. And we only have 2 steps up to our house so it’s not like we’ll have this huge hassle of taking the stroller apart or lugging it up and down stairs all the time. Still, I know it’s an outrageous expense. The other contenders were the Uppababy Vista, which EVERYONE I know has and loves because of its huge under-seat storage and the fact that it can convert into a double stroller in the event a second child comes along, and the Stokke Xplory. The latter was just too ridiculous — it barely condenses when you “fold it up” and is the priciest but doesn’t include the babycot that so many other systems do (you need to buy it separately). It also has minimal under-seat storage. I personally really like the style, but I know it’s polarizing.
We also needed to snag this carseat adapter so the Nuna Pipa can connect.
Bunting: 7AM Enfant ($189). Possibly idiosyncratic to us in freezing North, but I knew I needed a super heavyweight winter baby bunting bag and that those cute Gap teddy bear ones just wouldn’t cut it. Mini Magpie will be born in March, aka dead middle of the winter. (Winter doesn’t end until June here, WAHHH.) This brand is strongly reviewed, waterproof, and the snuggliest of snuggly. I picked black even though I think it’s slightly sophisticated for a baby, because I wanted a gender neutral color (just in case we add to the brood in the future) and found it to be the best of the options. There are some odd colors out there, people.
Convertible Carseat: Peg Perego convertible seat ($349). Babies only stay in their infant seats until around a year old. We’re going with this fancy Euro style for when she’s older. Really safe and well-made. Plus, I loved this cheery racing red color. It will look perfect in our black SUV.
Highchair: Phil + Ted’s ($119). I had initially thought I was definitely going to go with a Stokke Tripp Trapp chair ($249), which looks like a piece of art. So Scandi-cool and I like that it’s meant to evolve with the child and gradually become a toddler chair and so on. But you need to buy all these add-ons — an infant insert, a tray (if you want one — the basic idea is that you have the baby at the table with you), etc. And with all those add ons suddenly it’s like a $400 high chair. Phil + Ted’s awesome Jetson-esque style looks funky and modern, collapses (so you can store it in a closet/trunk), and is apparently super easy to clean. Done deal.
Bouncer/Swing: 4Moms Bounceroo ($79). OMG, I’m almost scared to post this item because all of the moms I know absolutely FREAKED out when I asked whether they have a bouncer, swing, or both–and what brand to go with. The common response was: “you need both, you never know what your baby wants and if one or the other buys you a few afternoons of peace, so be it” (insert frazzled face). And I have also had multiple moms that have said they’ve bought multiple versions of EACH. This led me to wonder — am I fighting an uphill battle with my desire to keep clutter to a minimum? Prob. (I’m sure lots of moms out there are smirking.) At any rate, most of the moms I consulted with tended to lose their minds over the Fisher Price Rock N Play ($62). But I’d read great things about the 4Moms and thought it looked way more aesthetically pleasing (and it’s also all one piece and weighs like a few pounds, so it’s easy to move around with no assembly). We also considered the Nuna Leaf/Curv ($229), which I think looks the best but hasn’t gotten as good reviews. And Mr. Magpie thought it was insane to buy multiple bouncing/rocking devices. So we shall see on this one. We’re starting with the 4Moms and watch me eat my words when we buy one or several alternatives. Eh well. In the words of one of my girlfriends: “That’s what Amazon Prime is for.”
Baby Carrier: Lille Baby ($119). Another very polarizing topic. I like this one because it can be adapted to be worn by either Mr. Magpie or I (some baby carriers come in specific sizes, so we’d have needed to order two); can be used when the baby is an infant (others can only be used either with a special infant insert or when the baby gets to a certain age); can be worn with baby facing in or out; and has a pocket. It’s apparently also super comfortable. I also registered for the Baby K’tan ($45). Probably overkill to have both of these, but I can imagine wanting to work/putz around the house with Mini Magpie in the K’tan when she’s really little.
Pack N Play / Portable Crib: Nuna Sena ($249). Yet another polarizing topic, for several reasons. First: I decided I want Mini Magpie to sleep in our bedroom–but NOT our bed–with us when she’s born. I’ve read this is good for the baby in terms of regulating body temp and breathing and it reduces the risk of SIDS by like a ridiculous amount. Plus, more convenient, etc. This already set tempers aflare — lots of opinions out there — everything from “no, no, the baby should sleep in her own crib in her room from day one!” to “the baby should sleep in the bed with mom and dad.” I’m just going to keep an open mind but will see how it works with her in our room for the first few weeks. Then this led to the question of: what will baby sleep in? I read great things about the Halo Bassinest ($299); very safe, breathable, and it even vibrates and has a nightlight. BUT. $299 for something she’ll use for a few weeks? And it’s huge and not particularly beautiful to look at. The other options were a Moses basket type set up, or, what I REALLY wanted–the Monte Ninna Bassinet ($399). How freaking gorgeous?! I loved it so much. But again. $400 for something that will only be used for such a short period of time…(Although, not as bad as the Snoo smart sleeper bassinet that’s been getting a lot of press — $1100!) Sigh. So I looked into more practical options and found that a lot of moms use a pack n play with an infant insert for the first few weeks. That was my leading strategy, because it can then be used for travel or just as a place for her to play (even though I know playpens are sorta out of vogue these days).
Bassinet: Monte Ninna ($395). OK, so, SURPRISE! Despite the blurb above, I totally and completely lucked out by finding a gently-used Monte Ninna bassinet on Craigslist. I just happened to be prowling and happened to come across one of these in the exact color I wanted, for $200. It was still a major splurge and Mr. Magpie took some convincing, but I am so ecstatic to have it. I love the modern Euro design.
Bottles: Lifefactory 4 oz set of 2 ($25) and Comotomo 8 oz set of 2 ($29). I hope to breastfeed but I’ve also heard you can never predict how that will go. I picked two kinds in two different sizes as I know babies can be picky about what brand you use. These were both really well reviewed. I also added this bottle warmer ($15) which I’ve heard from several moms can be a lifesaver in the middle of the night and is apparently the fastest one out there. You won’t believe this, but Mr. Magpie and I actually got into a long and protracted conversation about whether or not we need a bottle drying rack. In general, Mr. Magpie has been understandably and sensibly resistant to adding too many knick knacks to the registry. His basic question was — “why can’t you just use a towel like we do when air drying other things? Do we need to clutter our kitchen with more stuff?” I dunno about this one. I guess we’ll live and learn — that’s what Amazon Prime is for, again. If we do need one, this one came highly recommended by a few friends.
Baby Monitor: Philips Avent ($100). Very highly reviewed as a high quality monitor with minimal audio interference. A gripe I’d read about a few others was that the display was so bright at night that it would blind you. This one has nighttime settings. I know there are lots of options out there, from using an Owlet monitor that actually tracks the baby’s oxygen level and so forth, to video variations. I think I’ll be just fine with an audio version.
Playmat: Fisher Price ($49). Apparently very important for “tummy time.” But UGH they are all so hideous. The ones that are slightly more aesthetically pleasing are stupid because they don’t have bright enough colors and the whole point is to have lots of high-contrast for baby. I know I sound over-concerned with having ugly baby things and, really, who cares if your baby needs them–but I just don’t want our house to end up looking like a child’s playground. Perhaps this is inevitable. But anyway, this was my one major concession–I feel like the rest of my picks look sleek and cool enough that they pass my barometer.
I’ll do a separate post on Mini Magpie’s nursery in a few weeks, but we are definitely getting this oversized giraffe as a accent so I thought the giraffe in the playmat above was appropriate.
Changing Mat: SkipHop ($30). The least cheesy looking print I could find.
Diaper Pail: Ubbi ($79). As Mr. Magpie put it, “this is not the kind of thing I want to scrimp on.” And this one got very good reviews. Can you believe I actually read reviews on diaper pails?!
Infant Tub: Puj ($44). I love that this is foldable and therefore conformable to virtually any sink–and easy to collapse and hide in a cabinet. For other bathtime gear, I’m going with Mustela shampoo ($11, people love this French stuff), this Aden + Anais hooded towel (more giraffes! — $19) and this Petit Pehr one (too cute, $40); and Aden + Anais washcloths ($20 for 3).
Swaddling Cloths: Aden and Anais ($50 for 4). The cutest prints and the softest fabric. I’ve heard people use these for all kinds of things and are handy to have on hand. I also went for their bibs and burping cloths.
PS — I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about pink for our daughter. I surprised myself by gravitating towards a palette of pink and beige for her bedroom. I’m keeping all the furniture and wallpaper gender neutral but accenting with pink. More on that in a later post!
Nursing Pillow: Boppy ($29) and covers ($22). Again, lots of opinions on this vs. the Brest Friend, but this one won out because it’s apparently easier to clean. My sister in law also told me that one of these newborn loungers ($26) is CRUCIAL, and then another mom echoed that sentiment, listing it as the top 3 most useful things she’d bought.
WHEW. So, so many hours of research went into each of these items. In a future post, I’ll cover Mini Magpie’s nursery and wardrobe (my favorite part).
OK, moms: what am I missing/overlooking? What must-have items?