Baby Gear That Works
Favorite Baby Gear Guide
Every new or expecting parent quickly learns that there are a lot of baby gear products out there...and that most of them aren't cheap.
Many baby products look really cool and useful. You wish you could buy them all...but you can't and shouldn't. How do you decide which baby gear will really be useful to a new parent and is worth the money? The best way is to talk with someone who has used it.
My wife and I are parents and this guide only contains baby gear products that we own, use regularly and feel confident recommending to others. They're our favorites! These products are for babies age newborn to 18 months.
The Fisher Price Portable High Chair - Our #1 Favorite Baby Gear Product
Fisher Price calls it a booster seat, but we use it as a portable high chair. We take this thing everywhere...restaurants, picnics, camping, family barbecues, everywhere. It easily secures to any chair or bench.
The base is one piece of molded plastic so it's easy to clean. No more wondering what that sticky stuff on the restaurant high chair is.
It has a 3 point seat belt to hold your baby or toddler in place. There are 3 height settings and the tray is easy to detach. It also folds up and one of the chair straps doubles as a shoulder strap for easy carrying.
Get More Use From Your Onesies - With A Onesie Extender
The onesie extender is a handy invention that helps your growing baby get more wear out of his/her onesies. It's simply a piece of onesie fabric with snaps on both ends so that you can add extra length to the onesie.
Best Sippy Cups - For toddlers and babies
The First Years Take & Toss Straw Sipper Cups are very durable and leak much less than other cups. Once your baby or toddler learns to use a straw, these are the baby cups to get. They're inexpensive too!
Radio Flyer Scoot 'N Zoom - Perfect for toddlers and babies learning to walk.
Our 2nd baby received this as a Christmas present and loves pushing it around the house. The Scoot 'N Zoom has 4 caster wheels so it can be easily turned in any direction to navigate around objects and even moves sideways or diagonally. Your baby or toddler can push it while sitting or standing.
Baby Care Timer - Itzbeen
Received as a gift when our 2nd was born, the Itzbeen baby care timer helped our sleep deprived brains keep track of the baby's last feedings, diaper changes and naps.
Simple to use and very helpful. It even helps breastfeeding moms remember which side the baby fed from last!
Help your baby stay warm at night with this wearable blanket. It can't be kicked off in the middle of the night like a blanket and the zipper opens from the bottom to make late night diaper changes easier. Comes in a variety of colors and sizes.
MacLaren Easy Traveller Stroller
For our first baby, we got one of those big heavy strollers with nearly all the bells & whistles. It took up a lot of space in the car and was a general pain to lug around. My wife decided we should get a simple skeleton frame car seat carrier stroller for the next baby.
When baby #2 arrived, we borrowed the MacLaren Easy Traveller from a relative. It's a HUGE improvement over the old bulky one. It's light, folds up small and turns on a dime. There's a big basket underneath for diaper bags, purse, shopping bags, etc. Folding and unfolding takes a little practice but that's minor.
Fun Toys - The Busy Ball Popper
Don't spend too much on toys. Most babies will play with the box more than the toy itself. Here is one that will keep your baby's interest.
Our baby received this as a gift and plays constantly with it. Since then we've met several families who own it and all of their kids love it, too.
Books for Baby
Books are a great gift idea for new parents. Even as newborns, babies love being read to. Here is one of our baby's favorite books.
Hands Free Baby Gate
This gate is sturdy and easy to use for adults. Just step on the foot pedal, tap it with your knee and it's open. Very handy if you're carrying baby, laundry basket, groceries, etc.
It uses pressure mounting so there's no drilling into your walls and extensions are available for wider openings.
This semi-circle shaped pillow fits around your waist to help you cradle baby while taking strain off of your arms and back. It can also be used to help prop up a baby who cannot yet sit on his/her own.
We really like the Boppy Luxe slipcovers which are velvety soft and hold up well in the washing machine. Available in a variety of colors.
Shopping Cart Seat Cover
When my wife first suggested this, I had no idea what she was talking about or why we needed it. I've changed my mind since then.
This item is good for protecting your little one from sharp edges, dirt, germs and hot or cold seats found on most shopping carts. It also helps to keep any dropped toys or bottles in the cart instead of falling to the floor.
Baby carriers are perfect for giving your arms a break and keeping baby close to you at the same time. The BabyBjorn is a huge help when trying to get chores done around the house.
The Best Baby Spoon
We've tried several types of baby spoons and the First Years Take & Toss Infant Spoons are the best. They're very inexpensive, durable in the dishwasher and easy to use for infants through toddlers.
The low price means no need to freak if you lose one while travelling.
Money Saving Tips
The key to getting a good deal is knowing what you're looking for and what it typically sells for.
- Yard Sales & Flea Markets - You can always find plenty of baby toys, clothes and gear at low prices. Make sure that the product is still in good shape and clean (or easily cleanable).
- Consignment Shops - Shops specializing in consignment merchandise for babies and young children are popping up all over the place.
- Organization Sales - Many neighborhood organizations such as parents' groups, home owners' associations, churches, schools, etc periodically hold large baby gear sales. Check your local paper and community bulletin boards.
- Meet Other Parents - Join a playgroup or sign up for a new parent class at your hospital or church. Not only does it help you get out of the house with your new baby, you'll learn a lot of good tips and get info on great deals.
- Get A Group Discount Card - Some retailers issue group discount cards. Check w/ your favorite stores to see if they have a group policy and what the details are, then sign up people from your playgroup to qualify.
- Shop on eBay - People are always selling their out grown baby clothes, toys and other gear online. Sometimes these items have never been used. Remember to always check out the shipping charges before bidding.
Little Golden Books - The classics.
It's tough to go wrong with any of the classic Little Golden Books. They contain fun, meaningful stories and are well illustrated. These are some of our favorites...
Another Money Saving Tip
Find unused or partially used gift cards for baby stores and purchase them at a discount on eBay. You can expect to typically save 5-20% on your purchases by doing this.
A few tips to maximize your savings:
1. Only buy gift cards for stores that you know you'll be shopping at.
2. Pay attention to the shipping charges. It only costs 49 cents to mail a gift card in the US.
3. Ask the seller if the card has an expiration date.
4. A coupon is not the same as a gift card, so make sure the listing clearly states 'gift card'.
These are companies that we have consistently been satisfied with when it comes to baby products.
They make great toys that kids want to play with.
- The First Years
They make high quality products for taking care of your baby.
LeapFrog makes toys that are fun and educational.
- Stride Rite
Stride Rite makes durable, high quality shoes that fit your baby's feet.