Essential Baby Gear
With all the furniture, toys, clothing and other gear on the market for baby, what are the essentials when it comes to raising your baby? Many new parents ask this question when they are standing in the baby store preparing their registry and feeling a bit overwhelmed. While the truth is your baby could sleep in a bed made out of a drawer, or in bed with you, and could be carried around 24/7 in your arms, there are items like cribs and strollers which are great to have.
Traditionally the place that a baby would spend most of his time while asleep, a crib is a big purchase made by parents. A crib in many ways is a baby’s only spot that is all their own. When you buy a crib for your baby you not only buy the frame, but you must buy the mattress and crib bedding as well. This can become an expensive purchase.
Pack-N-Play’s and Play Pens
Some people choose to use a pack-n-play in place of a crib, or buy a pack-n-play or play pen for trips and to give their baby a safe place to play and be alone. It can easily be used as your baby’s main bed during the first few months of life while you want to keep the baby close to you in your room, before you move him to his own room down the hall. It may not be a necessity, but it is a great item to have when you bring your new baby home.
One of the only true “must haves” in a baby’s world is a car seat. There are many different types of car seats on the market including infant and convertibles, all of which have their pros and cons. It is against the law to not have your baby in a car seat when in a moving vehicle so do your research and pick the best car seat for your family.
Whoever invented the stroller should be given a Nobel Prize. The invention of a stroller had to have saved many arms from being broken from carrying around heavy babies and toddlers. There are so many different types of strollers, from travel systems to umbrella strollers, in so many price ranges that just about everyone can afford a stroller.
A dresser is definitely nice to have for your baby. Just like you need a spot for your clothes, your baby needs a spot for his. The dresser can grow with your baby, but a changing table will only last for a little while. As your baby gets older, even while still in diapers you may find that you don’t using the changing table as often to change him. A good way to get the essential but save money is to get either a dresser/changing table combo, or just get a changing pad to place on top of the dresser while it is needed.
There are several different types of entertainers on the market. Years ago it used to just be walkers but now there is variety to choose from. Walkers have gotten increasingly less popular by experts and pediatricians with there being some concern on the safety of your baby being able to walk around the house and get hurt. Because of this they have created exersaucers where the baby can sit in the middle of a bunch of toys and spin around. The latest entertainer is the Around We Go which has all the toys in the center and your baby on the outside about to walk his seat in a circle to get to the toys.
A swing is a great way to rock and calm your baby when your arms are feeling tired. Swings today come in all shapes and sizes including the newer take-a-long swings. There are so many designs now that they range from simple to complex with toys attached for your baby to enjoy. They even have swings that go side to side, instead of the traditional back and forth.
Once your baby starts eating cereal and other baby foods it is important that you get him his own chair to pull up to the table. Not only will your baby feel more like part of the family as he gets older but a highchair makes it much easier to feed your baby. There are many more options today for a highchair than there were 20 years ago. There is the old traditional chair that stands on its’ own legs, but there is also a seat that can be strapped onto one of your dining room chairs, or a chair that hooks onto the table that can be taken with you when you go out to restaurants.
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