While choosing items for your baby try and keep these three things in mind versatility, simplicity, and quality. A few things bought with those in mind are much better then 20 things bought for single purposes. Simplicity in design and quality in material is necessary for long life. The more complicated the design the more areas something can fail in. I would much prefer simplicity in design to “convenience” in bells in whistles any day.
A carseat is a must if you drive anywhere, at anytime. We forwent the infant carseat carrier and went straight for a convertible carseat. By doing this we were able to put the saved money from not purchasing an infant carseat into a very nice convertable carseat with many safety features. Carseats are one of those things where nicer really is better. With the amount of driving done in our culture a carseat is the single most important purchase you make. We made one big purchase that will last Natalia for years and can rear-face up to 40 lbs.
An infant carrier carseat is a great way to not have to hold a baby, another reason we chose not to get one. It is so tempting just to tote the baby around in one of those things, use it in restaraunts, at the store, in a stroller, or for walks. They are massive and uncomfortable. We chose to go the carrying route. We invested in a few good carriers (more on that later) something we wanted anyway and we were able to completely cut out this expense and another gadget to have and greatly increase the amount we held Natalia. The times that I wished I could just put her in a carseat in the cart, highchair, or stroller were times that she was still being benefitted from being held. There is nothing wrong with putting a baby in a carrier carseat, but I knew without one I would hold Natalia a lot more.
We were blessed with a bassinet that we used for both Christopher and Natalia until recently. We knew it needed to be replaced at some point because there were some broken elements to it (it was still safe to use if we put the bassinet basket on the floor). When we saw a wooden one for sale at a antique mall we bought it. While the other bassinet had failed where there was a piece of plastic bearing much stress this wooden cradle with it’s simplicity of design had fewer fail points and is was made of better quality material. I could definitely see this bassinet lasting us through all of our children and maybe even grandchildren. Plus, it’s pretty and looks nice in our room. Natalia sleeps in there part of the night and with us part of the night.
I bought a swing because I was able to get it for only $20. Honestly, I found it unnecessary for our situation. It was very wonderful for the moving process and if at another time I am moving with a tiny baby I might look into borrowing a swing, but for day to day use… we did not use it. I preferred holding/wearing Natalia or just letting her lay on the floor. The benefit I got from it hardly seemed worth the space it took. From what I understand it is nice for babies who need to be upright though.
Natalia has yet to be in a stroller. I just wear her. I love keeping her close especially for the first several weeks when we are both adjusting so much and being near each other helps us both. Even with Natalia being a chunky six month old I prefer wearing her and pushing Christopher then wrestling with a double stroller for walks.
We did have a stroller for Christopher and it was nice for the amount of walking I did the summer after he was born. I do not need as big a stroller now though because I do not walk to stores nearly as often. I take walks but not to really to complete errands.
I really don’t have much to say about these, because I have never used one. Obviously I didn’t find it necessary and I don’t know different. I did use a travel bassinet for Christopher and a bouncy seat for Natalia. Most of the time they just sleep with us when we travel.
From my sister Amy (who is visiting right now, and brought a playpen for her young daughter) “We have one because it was given to us, and we used it instead of a crib. We did that because our kids don’t like sleeping with us.”