We've already covered BATHING & SLEEPING and so today we'll focus on sleeping.
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- Car seat + base- I remember looking through the car seats and thinking, "There are so many! How am I suppose to know which one is better than the next?!" It's overwhelming and confusing. I essentially had three criteria: mid-grade (not the cheapest, but not the most expensive), gender neutral in color, able to click into a car base and stroller, good safety ratings. I chose the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat, Tangerine . It's served us very well for both our babies. The ability to simply click it in and out of the base is a really nice feature! (Note: some couples will purchase a base for each vehicle they own, so that either parent can take the baby with him/her. We only have one base, and will just switch cars! Who ever has the children drives the vehicle with the carseats! haha.)
- Car Mirror- This mirror attaches to the headrest of the backseat and allows you to be able to see him/her. This is tremendously reassuring considering the baby faces away from you in the seat the first year.
- Stroller- Again, there are an overwhelming amount of options available! I originally purchased the Graco FastAction Fold Jogger Click Connect Stroller, Tangerine that matched with the car seat. David and I had begun to go for a jog in the evenings before I was pregnant, and so we thought we would continue through the use of a jogging stroller. But in reality, I never jogged with it at all! We just went for daily walks around the neighborhood, which didn't really require a jogger stroller. So, I never quite used it for the intended design purpose. So, if you're committed to jogging, then a jogger is a great option. If not, then I recommend a regular stroller. (Btw, jogging strollers are quite large and was rather cumbersome to maneuver in and out of the car).
- Umbrella Stroller - I really enjoyed having a basic umbrella stroller with me for times I just have one child, and he can't walk freely. For example, I brought him with me to my appointments each week during my second pregnancy. I couldn't have a young child on the office floor or touching things in the room (yuck!). Maneuvering a full size stroller in a tight office would have been too much, and so a small umbrella stroller was ideal. I still keep it in the back of the car just in case I'm ever somewhere and we need it.
- Diaper bag- I've had a couple of different diaper bags. I originally carried a small sling style backpack diaper bag. It was wonderfully convenient, but I soon needed something a bit larger. I chose the Eddie Bauer Places & Spaces "Diaper" Backpack . I enjoy having the bag on my back, which frees up my arms to carry items or children. The neutral backpack style also allows my husband to carry it. (Take note of that one! Husbands don't mind carrying the diaper bag when it's more like a backpack vs a lady's purse!). And because it's isn't a typical diaper bag, it can easily be used for other purposes beyond baby items!
- Baby carriers- I have really enjoyed having a couple of baby carriers. These have really helped me out. I could carry and cuddle the baby while still tending to my other responsibilities, such as the housework. It also kept people from touching the baby when he and she were up against my chest versus in a car seat. I originally had a Moby Wrap , which I really liked for the newborn stage. However, I didn't care for all the wrapping. The length of the material was also a hassle and drug the ground when I was in the process of getting it tied on. I then sold it and purchased a Baby K'tan for our second baby. It's essentially the same idea as the Moby, but much simpler. After about 3-4 months old, I prefer the Ergobaby.The design, in my opinion, allows for a much more comfortable carry. I frequently use a baby carrier when shopping, doing housework, or to calm a baby who just wants to be held or is having trouble falling asleep.
Things We Didn't Need:
We actually haven't found a great value in car window shades. The sun always seemed to get into their eyes despite the shade! I think it has a lot to do with the shape of the vehicle windows. I found that I could simply pull the canopy of the carseat up and that would block a lot of light from their faces.