Nest Best in Show

It's amazing how much has changed since my last pregnancy. Plastic bottles are now bad. There are a thousand more options in strollers. The Baby Bjorn is, like, sooooo 2005 (although I still love mine and plan to rock that thing to shreds baby's first few months. It was my favorite baby item and Archer loved it! He pretty much lived in that bitch for his first six months.) 

People keep asking whether or not I'm ready for the baby, and I always answer with a shrug and "I think so? Question mark?"

Because I *think* I'm ready. I have a bunch of glass bottles, a thousand white gerber onesies (Although I've been known to splurge in the clothes department, I'm more of a practical lady when it comes to dressing a 0-3 month old. Gerber onesies, tees and cotton swaddling blankets are my homeboy for babe's beginnings. I'm all about Target, thrift and discount outlets for newborn gear. A six-week old can't exactly pull off a designer dress.) 

We're using Archer's old bassinet for the baby's first few months of sleep and snooze, have fitted Archer's old carseat with a new (less plaid) cover and have the snap-n-go for everyday use as well as my bright yellow Brio Happy Pushcart/Pram for local walking strolls.

Hopefully, if all goes according to plan, there will be no need for a double stroller. I have a hard enough time dealing with a single stroller and really don't want to add a fourth stroller to my already cluttered laundry room. Plus, all the cute ones are muy expensive. 

We have our crib (Archer's) when baby is ready to sleep in one and her bedding, which is totally pink omg, I know, but it was on super-sale and I fell in love with the whole cowgirl theme (to offset Archer's  "native americans with arrows" theme) and because both kids will soon be sharing a room, I'm going to create a cozy co-ed room appropriate for both "cowgirls" and "indians native americans" .... 

And I shall call my Wild West inspired boy/girl room....  Brace yourselves, people....  "Bows" and Arrows! Ohhhhhhh, snap! I'll be here all night!

Thirty-one weeks pregnant and a thousand degrees uncomfortable. Blogging about baby stuff is my only consolation at the moment. Please bear with me.

Obviously we'll buy diapers and formula closer to my due date (Ed: If you're going to hassle me about not breastfeeding you can read all about my breast-reduction(s) and probable inability to breastfeed, here) and we have all the basics, thanks to Archer as far as bath and blankets are concerned.

Other than that? I have no idea. We're retiring the old swing as its just too big for our minimal space and we're also in need of a bouncy chair. I'm thinking this and this for swing and bouncer so if anyone has any experience with either/both, I'd love to hear your consumer report. Especially if you have something better/else to recommend.  I'm looking for compact and if possible, attractive. For some reason bouncy seats are all completely hideous. How hard is it to make something that appeals to both babies and parents? I love the Svan bouncer for instance, but do babies?) 

Which brings me to a small favor I'd like to ask of you, my kick-ass-radical readers....

I'm wondering what you're (High Fidelity style) all-time top-five new baby products are. Do you love the Ergo? The Toddler Board for single stroller use? Do you prefer Born Free to Green to Grow bottles? Or are you more of a Dr. Brown's glass-bottle parent? Is there a bouncy chair, swing, or other item of interest you and your new baby could not live without? 

I'm looking for your all-time top-five new-baby must-haves, people. Please enlighten me. It's been three plus years since I've shopped for a new baby and I know it might sound crazy but shit is crazy different now, yo. 

GGC

Check out my interview over at Work-It Mom and stay tuned for several featured Rockabye excerpts through August on workitmom.com!

93 comments:

Hilary | 4:46 PM

I got nothing with the 'baby item top 5' lists as I only have a cat and you know, she hates all bouncy seats BUT! I couldn't resist the possibility of posting first here! Seriously, I loved your book so much I am totally going to re-read my favorite parts. As soon as my bf finishes it. :)q

Keri | 4:59 PM

Even though I don't need a bouncer (we plan on using my son's), I couldn't help but fall in love with this one:

http://www.strollerdepot.com/moreinfo.php?SKU=0633&logcamp=0633&logsite=froogle&logkey=Phil%20and%20Teds%20Lazy%20Ted%20Bouncer

The price is soooo reasonable, it doesn't come with annoying electronic gimmicks and it comes in funky colors (I saw a neon green one in the store).

Another item I bought for my second was the Beco Baby Carrier to use when the baby is born since the Maya Wrap sling isn't all that great for the early months (too much fabric covering the baby's face). Plus, I can use the Beco when the baby is old enough to be strapped to my back.

I'm NOT going to even contemplate strollers until after the baby is born since my son rarely uses the one we have.

Otherwise, it sounds like you are all set! I'm hoping for a girl too but won't find out until birth. ;)

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 5:18 PM

Oooooh, The Beco's cute. Great prints! Thanks for the rec! And the Phil and Teds bouncer is totally cute but my worry is that it doesn't have the whole vibrating seat thing... Because who doesn't like to vibrate when bouncing? I guess it depends on the babe. Hmmmm.

And thank you so much Hilary! I appreciate your picking up my book! xoxoxox

Danielle | 5:20 PM

A good friend has that boppy swing and loves it :)

The bean doesn't like her bouncy seat..she looks at me like "Uh what the hell am I supposed to do in here" haha!

I second the Beco! We LOVE LOVE LOVE it and the only thing that moms have said is a drawback is that you can't front carry. But front carry is a bit hard on babies hips so its not something that you should do once they weigh a bit more and are out of the lump stage.

I breastfed so Bean wouldn't take a bottle-she thought I was trying to poison her or something. She is 8 months now and loves her NUBY sippy, its made from BPA free plastic so its safe and the spout is rubber and soft ;) Leak proof too.

One thing you might want to check (I had no clue until I went to a car seat safety class) is that Archer's old seat isn't expired. Lots of them expire after 4 years because the EPS foam starts to break down. If it is expired and if you aren't one to cart around the baby in the car seat then you can just go straight to a convertible car seat. They are rear facing for little ones and then can turn forward and act as a 5 point forward facing seat and then a 5 point booster! This is what we went with and we are getting our money's worth :)

GeekLady | 5:49 PM

My Hotsling (NYC print). Worth every penny and I haven't even had it a week. I'd wait till the baby comes before you buy one and see if there's a place that will fit you, so you don't have to deal with returns.

Also our Aden + Anais muslin swaddling blankets, they are perfect hot weather light blankets, plus they're actually big enough to securely swaddle my gargantuan son.

Anonymous | 6:47 PM

we have the boppy swing and my baby doesn't love it...in fact he cries every time we put him in it :). it is kind of flimsy in person and very low to the ground...and the music blows. it also says it is good until the baby is 25lbs, but at 15 lbs my little one is lookin kinda snug. boy, i'm really selling it aren't i??

megan | 6:48 PM

I love your writing, in part because I love genuine people. Thanks for that.

In the baby stuff category, I love our Phil and Ted's Me Too chair. Love it. And I am not a person who eagerly carries any extra items. As in, I don't carry a diaper bag.

Our other best thing ever: Candela electric candles. Perfect for all middle of the night baby activity.

whoorl | 7:16 PM

Have you seen these bottles?

http://www.adiri.com/index.asp

My SIL likes them, but I don't know much more considering I fed Wito with plastic Dr. Brown bottles (The Fucking Horror!) before finding out about BPA.

Sara | 7:29 PM

My top choice for baby item that I (and many of my friends) could not live without is the Fisher Price Nature's Touch Papasan swing. Worth its weight in gold when you need a break and the baby doesn't agree. You can read the amazon reviews for yourself, I know its not the height of fashion, or compact, but it is movable.

nancy | 7:31 PM

This totally might just have been my kid, but Elizabeth Mitchell's cds (You Are My Sunshine, You Are My Little Bird, etc.) were like crack for my son when he was a cranky infant. He still loves them, but man, I can't explain the soothing effect they had on him--it was instantaneous.

I second the Hotsling rec if you find yourself over the Baby Bjorn.

We also had the Baby Bjorn bouncy seat, which had no vibration--it's one of the ones that bounces with the baby's movements so that (in theory) they can control it themselves. I had mixed feelings about it.

FYI, we had a Bumbo and it seemed like we used it for about two months and that was it. I thought it was the coolest thing ever at the time, and now I'm like, WTF? $40 for something we used for a blink of an eye?

sarah | 7:53 PM

Hmmmmmmmm. I would say (in the spirit of the top 5 request - and BTdubs, I think High Fidelity may be the movie I've "seen" most times ever due to the fact that I would pay for a reduced price ticket since it was in the theater so long and then go to another movie...sorry, that was a much longer aside than intended):

1) The Moby wrap as a transition to the Baby Bjorn (I think best for newborn - 3 months, although I am phasing it back in)
2) Dr. Brown's BPA-free plastic bottles (I wasn't feeling carrying around glass bottles, so I just switched over, and really Dr. Brown's are the best, esp. for refluxy babes)
3) Aw hells yeah, the Snap and Go
4) Butt Paste - nary a diaper rash in 7 plus months
5) The Primo bathtub (although I guess a bathtub is one of those things that you wouldn't re-buy)
6) Because I just can't resist adding a sixth - Trumpette socks

Sara | 7:53 PM

We loved the Baby Bjorn seat (seen here: http://tinyurl.com/yrpnb4) and have now passed it on to friends. It does have a nice bounce and we used it as a little seat until Lucy was 3! It was great for taking on little trips (or even to our friends' houses) and she was quite cozy in it while I took a shower.
You look great, by the way. :)

hannah m | 7:56 PM

I LOVED the Boppy Swing. It folds up compactly and is neutrally colored enough not to make me cranky (as many baby products do). I highly recommend it; baby liked it, too. We also had the blue Boppy bouncer, which was also low profile and not completely gaggy to look at. If I had to choose between the two, I would get the swing, but I used both a lot.

I LOVE the Beco butterfly, and there are a bunch on sale right now. Cute and so comfy (I couldn't take the Bjorn anymore - I just couldn't get it comfy).

Dr. Brown's makes BPA free plastic bottles which I found much easier to manage than the glass bottles I tried (after poisoning my daughter with BPA bottles for many months, I finally capitulated) - the glass bottles were too heavy for me - maybe I'm lazy or super weak?! But they cramped my wrist.

Oh, all this talk of baby products is makin' me itch for another one - and my first is just turning a year. Eek.

Have so much fun. What a lucky baby girl to be joining your family.

Petra | 8:00 PM

I just have to say that I love your delightful baby belly! (Almost) makes me want to have another one! It has been 2 and a half years since I shopped for a baby, but Boudreaux's Butt Paste is one thing that I still use when my little angel gets a diaper (pull-up) rash. Other than that, she slept in her Aquarium swing for the first six weeks because of her reflux and without that, I would probably not be here (or be here "relatively" sane) today.

Happy shopping!

Jenn | 8:01 PM

!!! Oooh, baby gear talk. I get way too excited about this stuff, dorky, I know.

Get a BabyHawk mei tai. I love love these. We had a Ergo for a short time (less girly, for dad) but it was never comfortable enough for me. Maybe I'm too short for the design, because everyone else raves about how comfy it is. But the BabyHawk is more compact and cuter, too.

As for bottles, I use Born Free. All the pieces are annoying, but at least it doesn't have a straw, like the Dr. Browns (I hate cleaning those straws in sippy cups.)

You said you're not getting a double, but just in case you're a runner/power-walker, I recommend the BOB duallie revolution. It's great, like, really really great.

Um, what else... I didn't really like Seventh Gen diapers. My baby always had leaks.

BabyLegs are a necessity. Oh, and Bumkins brand bibs. So easy to clean.

So that's my top five.

Amy | 8:20 PM

Things I got for the second go around...

1) Graco makes a foldable/portable swing that a carseat can snap onto called the "SnugGlider"... if you carry the baby in from the carriage/car you have to stash the carseat someplace anyway so it might as well become your swing... it has a vibration setting too and sleeping in the carseat is great for babes with reflux - it keeps them at just the right angle

2) Those velcro swaddle wrap things. We never used them with my older son but my second liked to be wrapped up tighter than Hannibal Lecter...

3) Hotsling & a New Native -awesome for a colic baby

4) Triple Paste was the only thing that cleared up the second guy's ferocious diaper rash that he had at a week old.

5) Foam play mats... we have all hardwoods and tile so with my older son I was constantly setting up blankets on the floor, but they get messy and are slippery... the foam mats are easy to clean, soft, easy to split up and put away when you want adult space... I got some nice plain black ones and you barely see them against my dark wood floors

Trysha | 8:36 PM

Amen to your readers! It's been 5 years since I've purchased any baby stuff. We got rid of everything...crib, bouncy, excersaucer, high chair...all gone.

I am all over a baby sling. I didn't have one with the first two. I had a baby bjorn and I really didn't like it because of the space between the legs. Caedon just never really seemed comfortable in it. I only ever used it once.

Thanks for all the recommendations!

bitemycookie | 8:49 PM

don't buy an ergo.
i have 9.
you can have them ALL.

i would pay one squil to reach out touch your abs of steel.

i fuggin miss you

toyfoto | 9:04 PM

Silas lived in a peanut shell sling for a year. I hardly ever put him down. We didn't need swaddlers, strollers, a swing, a bouncy seat or a crib. True story. I was his playground.

We got by with the sling, an infant car seat and a pack 'n play. I use the ergo now that he's 13 months for serious walking/hiking, but for hanging out we still use the pouch sling (or he goes about his merry way on his own).

I tried all the glass bottles (I breastfeed but express for daycare) and the only thing Silas will take is the good old playtex drop-ins, which are supposedly safe. He must have liked the nips.

Prasti | 9:04 PM

it's been a couple of years since i had a baby, so unfortunately i can't give you a top 5.

BUT...(1) i second sarah's (7:53 p.m.) butt paste recommendation. excellent for diaper rash. (2) i used a non-adjustable/ringless (???) sling from birth - 20 mos. i also had a baby bjorn, but just found the sling easier to put on and off. (3) babylegs legwarmers. great for keeping little legs warm during cold mths. (does it get cold in l.a.?) and they're so dang cute!

and i'm spent. all out of ideas. good luck!

FearandParentinginLasVegas | 11:04 PM

1. Baby 411 By Dr. Ari Brown and Denise Fields - I forgot how much I didn't remember since my first. It was a great, quick, no-nonsense reference.

2. My medela pump-n-style breast pump. I went back to the office when Doodle was 3 months old. I was really impressed how this thing held up after two kids. Worked as well on the last day as it did the first.

3. My DVR. Yes, I know it's not a baby product, per se, but I couldn't get through nursing every three hours those first months without a hearty stock of indy movies and masterpiece theater to watch.

4. The Boppy. Loved it the first time, loved it more the second. We have two - one upstairs and one down.

5. My good old Graco snug ride car seat and stroller. It was a bit ghetto, but it held up and did well despite what I put it through.
3,

dillyweed | 12:24 AM

1. Moby Wrap (makes ya a bit warm on super hot LA days, but it's great for indoors while chasing after toddlers while trying to manage baby).
2. If you want a sit/stand stroller, the Ultralight Joovy Caboose is great.
3. Brest Friend nursing pillow - even if you don't nurse, you may want it because it puts the baby at a perfect height while feeding or even for Archer to hold his sibling in a more safe position (my son loves it and seems to protect the baby a bit from his fidgeting knees)!
4. Swaddle Me blankets (the velcro ones mentioned earlier).
5. Dr. Brown's BPA free plastic bottles. And for those of you with old bottles that you planned to use again, but can't because of the BPA... take them back (in multiples of 3) to babies r us and they'll replace them with the BPA free ones! For sure the new Glendale/Burbank BRUs will do it. Not sure on the others.

Heza Hekele | 1:46 AM

I'm further out of the loop than you, but just as astonished at how quickly baby paraphernalia has changed!

Six years ago I went all out with a Peg Perego travel system...there are sooo many more choices now...at twice the price of course! Although, I must say, I felt gypped when Bugaboo debuted about the time my son was done with the stroller thing!

Back in the day I was in love with my Bjorn carrier...must have used it every day for the first four months...used it again when The Niece! was a babe and it will get another round with the upcoming niece or nephew!

If I were going out today, I think I would grab a Bjorn bouncer...as I never used the vibrating option on my son's bouncer, and like the clean, no frills look of the chair...and it seems to have come with pretty good reviews.

I don't think a bouncer could replace a swing or vice versa. In my experience the swing was a god send in the twilight hours...for the first two months at least...and the bounce seat was carted around all day long, so that bubs had a thrown to sit on, if he wasn't in the bjorn. Both were promptly discarded at five months when he discovered the exersaucer...a hideous waste of floor space, and the only way I could get a shower, sans baby, from months five to nine.

As far as bottles go, I went with what had been around the longest for Bennett, Playtex drop-ins...always a clean bottle, less air for baby to swallow, and they had been around since I was a kid...now it turns out I chose one of the few that aren't poisonous...who woulda thunk it? Used the same bottles with my god son, and would use them again if I was in the bottle market. As far as the waste...the liners are recycleable ;-)

The one electronic gadget I wouldn't have lived without then (or now) is the Angel Care monitor (I had a slight phobia of SIDS)

Two things I wish had been around then: Baby Legs and Sleep Sacks (to replace loose blankies)

My most favorite baby item atm: See Kai Run Shoes (www.seekairun.com)...I am in love. My god son will be living in these, now that he is finally, finally walking!

And with that I've quite possibly written the longest comment ever! What is it with baby gear and baby names that gets people talking?

Little Red Dog Studios | 5:01 AM

The Baby Hawk Mei Tai

My baby likes it, it's a thousand times more comfortable than the Bjorn and folds up to a decent size for bringing with us. You can also wear it on your back when the kid gets bigger. It can be customized and the prints are so cool. We still use our Bjorn quite a bit as well.

Averil | 5:38 AM

Modern cloth nappies/diapers.

Jenn | 7:02 AM

So funny - I actually made a top 5 baby gear post back in December when I found out an acquaintance was pregnant. You can read it here, but a lot of the stuff doesn't really apply to second-baby-that-you-still-have-stuff-for.

For a bouncy seat, I love our fisher price baby papasan. It folds flat-flat-flat! It's super-bland looking, and the midi music is annoying, but Charlotte adored it.

I love Born Free bottles - I know it's way too early to think about sippy cups, but all the Born Free bottles and sippy cups have interchangeable parts, and that is just so easy.

Plus, you can sanitize the Born Free bottles and nipples in the microwave in the Medela steamer bags, which are great for breastpump parts, plastic (microwave safe only_ bottles, and pacifiers. These things saved my effin' sanity.

Jenn | 7:04 AM

oh, and I also love the Babyhawk Mei-Tai. Mine's in black w/ a sugar skull print, and I get compliments from everyone. Plus, when you have a baby girl, sometimes you need a little bad-ass in her life.

sheSaid.purplehouseonpearl.com | 7:20 AM

We have an ergo and also a wrap that we used. I loved the wrap and pretty much lived in it in the beginning (you know since he wouldn't sleep unless I was holding him and I wanted to use BOTH hands at the keyboard).

Not exactly a baby item but something we couldn't live without was a balance ball. I would bounce on it with the babe in a wrap or ergo and it let me get some computer time in.

Dawn | 7:39 AM

As far as baby carriers go I love my beco, babyhawk, and moby. Like the other reader said the moby is great for newborns. If you have a fussy baby it is great to have because you can just wrap her all snug up against you and still get the things done around the house you need to.

We had a big fancy hand me down bouncy chair and my daughter ended up liking the cheap fisher price one I bought from target better. I found that the ones with the thin metal frames bounce a lot better than the ones with the fat metal frames.

Good luck, can't wait to find out the name.

BTW. How is cooper doing? I have a 2 year old boxer named Isabel that needs a boyfriend.

Indigo Children | 8:25 AM

Baby toys: I like wooden toys, and apparently Montessori approves. I ordered the wooden rattle and squish toy from http://www.michaelolaf.com/JCcontents.html Pages7-9. My son is 18 months old and still loves both.

I also ordered (for his first Christmas) a set of wooden blocks (natural dyes etc.) from Nova Natural Toys. I went ahead and ordered the big set and put a few away for later; he loved holding and mouthing them as a baby, but he does try to build things now: http://www.novanatural.com/s.nl/it.A/id.1784/.f?sc=2&category=84

Also a large floor mirror is wonderful (and Montessori recommended). This is the only other item that I spent more than I thought I should. He loved it --even before he could move around, he could stare at himself and see the whole room reflected behind him. The one I got works as an infant mirror and then converts to a toddler full length mirror.
http://www.smarter.com/other-baby-boys-clothes/whitney-brothers-infant-floor-mirror/pd--ch-42--pi-271444.html

AudreyC | 8:28 AM

LOVE our Ergo - wish we had never spent the money on a Boppy. Also really loved my hooter hider, Hotsling, and baby legs (still using those - plan on buying more for fall/winter). We bought a rocker/bouncer/vibrator that wasn't so cool looking, but my god did our daughter love it! It is Fisher Price and has a farm design to it. It's made to convert to a rocking chair for a toddler. We never got a swing. Not sure how you feel about leashes, but my friend who is about to have kids 23 months apart plans on getting one of those for the times when her older won't/can't be in the stroller. I always thought they were a horrible invention, yet I am seeing the sense in them now, especially as my daughter is rather independent and doesn't always (ever?) like to stay by my side in crowded situations.

Keep up the baby talk - I am aching for another right now and love this whole living vicariously thing!

AudreyC | 8:33 AM

One more thing: gDiapers. Get in touch with me if you want more information and/or some coupons. We have been using them since our baby was a few weeks old and LOVE them.

fairytalesandmargaritas | 9:11 AM

1) Hotsling. Loved it. Used it for almost 3 years! I liked it much better than a Bjorn. I had an Ergo, but didn't really like that either.
2) Jumperoo- for a little older. That thing rocks!
3) Any bouncy seat. Anything that vibrates, they love.
4) A bottle basket for the dishwasher (gotten at Target) great for the nipples and such.
5) Cloth diapers- I loved them. Used them for my last two. Fuzzi Bunz, to be exact.

BTW, I have a friend that has the boppy swing and she loves it. You might check Cragslist, I sold all my stuff super cheap after my last kid and I know others do the same.

fairytalesandmargaritas | 9:18 AM

Oh, and Pedipeds shoes. The girl ones are just darling. I spent way too much money there. And Babylegs and Trumpette socks.

Anonymous | 9:37 AM

I am crazy in love with my ERGO. I still use it all the time with my 17 month old and am planning on using it with no. 2 which is on the way. I also was a big fan of the Born Free bottles, but we used them with the Avent silicone nipples. As far as bottles go, use what works.

Enjoy!

This Must be the Place . . . | 9:49 AM

The Ergo is good if, ergo, you're good at holding your kid in place on your back while you strap her in. Badaboom!! I have a Bjorn but found my fattie didn't last in that past five months. For older babies, the Ergo's probably the best -- I've tried several.

Bouncers seem more practical/useful than they are, in my experience. I'd go for the swing, for sure.

I love the Dr. Brown's BPA free bottles (less likely to break than the glass ones when Reed hucks them across the room which he, uh, does)

I'd have ot get back to you on the brand if you're interested, so let me know. We have a table-top bottle-warmer in our room -- you just plop the bottle in (it has a cold compartment, so you can keep the cold, pre-mixed bottle there, too),hit a button, and shazam -- warm ba, no trip to the microwave.

That's it -- not a big fan of too much baby shit -- I found I didn't use so much of it, like plastic bathtubs and bathrobes and the like.

Baby in Broad | 10:35 AM

First of all, you look fabulous, sweltering or not.

My new baby Top Five:
1) Extra-large swaddling blankets (like the Muslin Swaddle Blankets by Aden + Anais).

2) Baby Bjorn Baby Sitter.

3) Ergo carrier. We didn't use their "infant insert" when Westley was tiny. We just swaddled him, slipped him in it and snugged him up.

4) Breastfeeding pillow. I found a "C"-shaped pillow form at the fabric store for much less than a dedicated "breastfeeding" pillow, and I used it for everything, not just breastfeeding.

5) Graco Lovin Hug Swing. It's enormous, but the baby loved it.

Yay, baby gear!

Baby in Broad | 10:35 AM

First of all, you look fabulous, sweltering or not.

My new baby Top Five:
1) Extra-large swaddling blankets (like the Muslin Swaddle Blankets by Aden + Anais).

2) Baby Bjorn Baby Sitter.

3) Ergo carrier. We didn't use their "infant insert" when Westley was tiny. We just swaddled him, slipped him in it and snugged him up.

4) Breastfeeding pillow. I found a "C"-shaped pillow form at the fabric store for much less than a dedicated "breastfeeding" pillow, and I used it for everything, not just breastfeeding.

5) Graco Lovin Hug Swing. It's enormous, but the baby loved it.

Yay, baby gear!

Dyar Baby Momma | 10:50 AM

We were a big fan of the Swing N Bounce by Graco - fabrics aren't great but having it be a 2 in 1 combo worked wonderfully.... (and it folds up a bit to store if you need it too) - our baby girl loved the swing. (We also took the tray off - unnecessary).

We really like the Born Free Bottles but still use the Avent pacis.

Gosh my daughter is only 1 and I can't remember my favorites anymore. OH! The Rain forest Aquarium for the crib - she loved that thing!

Maggie | 11:22 AM

i found your blog through emery. love it!

when it comes to baby swings, i think the older the better. ours was handed down from a neighbor who's children had obviously outgrown it years before. it was loud and ugly and could swing like nobody's business. the newer ones don't seem to have as much juice.

the knit swaddle blankets from old navy are great because you can stretch them REALLY tight. if you're into swaddling, you'll love them.

our son LOVED the classical baby DVDs. it's classical music, art and dance without the creepy made-in-a-basement vibe that some baby videos have.

happy nesting!

shannon | 11:23 AM

This is a small item but I didn't have it with my first and LOVED IT with my second - it's a teether that allows you to put an ice cube or frozen (or fresh) food into the little mesh bag part. It clicks shut so a little one can't open it and it is sooo convenient and my little guy adored it. Great for teething. Great for when they're just starting to explore solid foods but you don't want them to choke on anything. LOVE. (My favourite brand is this one by Munchkin but there are other brands, too.) http://www.amazon.com/Munchkin-Fresh-Food-Feeder-Pack/dp/B000GK5XY2

Sarah | 11:56 AM

"Bow's and Arrows" oh man you are too good!

Badness Jones | 12:00 PM

The Peanut Shell baby sling was key with baby #2, because it left my hands free to cuddle and attend to my big girl. I'd think up 4 more, but I haven't slept through the night in 2 years....it's too much to ask of me!

Brandi | 12:01 PM

Skip the Ergo and go for the Beco Butterfly carrier. Seriously, the Beco is WAAAAAAAAAAAY better. I have both and I have yet to ever reach for the ergo first. Plus you can use the Beco right away. With the Ergo, you have to have the infant insert (which looks SO hot!) or wait until they are over 3 months old.

ImpostorMom | 1:59 PM

Could not live without the fisher price papsan swing
http://tinyurl.com/67hob5
but it doesn't fit the compact requirement.

Couldn't live without swaddle wraps
http://tinyurl.com/59ev38

Mine was a Dr. Browns baby all the way, before they had a bpa option. I tried to switch him and he went on a bottle strike.

Definitely couldn't live without the Ultimate Crib Sheet
http://tinyurl.com/6cqthc
We STILL use those now.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 3:08 PM

Whoa! You guys are awesome! So many great recommendations! I guess the Boppy swing is getting mixed reviews then. Hmmmm.... And no one has any experience with the Svan or the Maclaren bouncer?

I'm def considering G diapers as they're very much the best of both worlds. I second on Second Gen diapers sucking ass. Archer ALWAYS leaked through them so I stopped buying them. Too bad.

I know NOTHING of carriers and have a great homemade from dear friend Sling I can't wait to wear. Such cute fabric! And my Bjorn but because I'm planning on babywearing instead of double-stroller-ing, I'm stoked I have so many options. Ergo, Beco and Baby Hawk OH MY!

Babylegs are my fave. Archer still wears them on his arms under tees on cold days (not that we're having any right now.)

Hog heaven, people. You're all amazing.

Jules | 3:13 PM

Seriously? Nobody mentioned the Miracle Blanket?? Not in 45 posts before me? I would seriously list it as all of my top five must haves. THE BEST swaddler out there. It's like a little baby straight jacket.

1-5. Miracle Blanket
6. Desitin Original - the purple smelly stuff.
7. My Baby Hawk Mei Tai (Followed closely by a good ring sling and then a Moby. Bjorns aren't as good for a newborn's spine/hips as the other carriers are).
8. Britax Marathon
9. That Womb-Sounds heartbeat bear. We threw the bear out and just leave the womb-sounds box in the crib with Bean or Sprout.
10. A swing. I don't care what brand - just anything that sways them back and forth. Bonus points for the new ones (new since 2.5 years ago) that plug in instead of slurping up battery power.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 3:40 PM

Okay so I couldn't wait and I just ordered a Baby Hawk. So cute! I'm so excited! Here I was, planning on buying a swing and/or bouncer and I'm still undecided but everyone has so raved about the Baby Hawk that I had to (just had to) buy one. Hooray!!!!

Heza Hekele | 5:18 PM

Consumer Reviews on Svan Bouncer:

http://www.epinions.com/reviews/Svan_of_Sweden_Bouncer_Seat

Shannon | 5:22 PM

My sister has the Svan bouncer and my nephew HATES it. With a passion.

You must buy a Beco Butterfly. Simply the easiest to use, comfy, fabrics are great. It has an internal sling for both newborns and older babies that allows you to transfer baby front to back or parent to parent without removing the baby! This store has them on sale for $99 right now, I paid 139!

http://www.theportablebaby.com/becobabycarriers.html

This new bouncy seat by Combi isn't hideous and has some cool features:
http://www.onestepahead.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=534922&parentCategoryId=85184&categoryId=85223

I love gear shopping!

Anonymous | 7:41 PM

My oldest is 20 years old. Glass bottles were popular back then. A word of caution. Glass breaks. When my oldest was 8 months old, he was in the crib with the bottle and he smashed the bottle against the wood crib. He cut his hand. I freaked. Never again did I use a glass bottle. The following two children got Playtex bottles.

Heather | 7:55 PM

We only bought a few things for the second kid. We didn't want another stroller either, so we got the Buggy Board. I have been pretty happy with it. It wasn't too hard to install and Miles likes it. My only complaint is that it makes pushing the stroller a tiny bit awkward because you have to shorten your stride just a tad to avoid kicking the board. So you will want the strap to lift it up when Archer isn't riding on it (or just snap it off, which is easy too). Overall I would recommend it.

We got a Moby wrap, because Clara hates the bjorn. I love this sling, but it is a lot of fabric. In my two months of experience, I think a sling/carrier/bjorn is the most important thing to have with the second kid so your hands are free to take care of the first.

We also got some BPA Born Free bottles. Haven't used them much yet but they seem fine.

Hope that helps.

MoziEsmé | 8:27 PM

Sounds like you've got things covered! I LOVE that "Bows" and Arrows thing . . .

Stacy | 10:29 PM

I didn't read all the other comments, so I may be repeating a bunch of stuff, but here goes...

1) MIRACLE BLANKET!!! I seriously would not have survived without it. Best swaddler ever. Buy 2 so you can wash one and have one ready. Seriously - I would have given my right arm for that darn thing.

2) Pouch-type sling (I like the Comfy Joey Hunur pouches because they're gorgeous and, well, comfy). I loved my Beco and mei-tai once DS hit about 6 months, but before that a pouch was so easy.

3) Regarding the swing, my son liked the one with the side-to-side motion (Fisher Price Baby Papasan...huge but worth it). It's the only place he slept months 3-9!

4) I liked the Playtex Nurser bottles with the drop-in liners, cuz I'm lazy and don't like to wash bottles all the time. But that's not very eco-friendly...

5) My Nikon D80. Okay, technically not a "baby item", but all I had for the first two months was a crappy point and shoot, and I hate how awful those pictures are compared to the wonderful shots I took after I received my DSLR for Mother's Day. If something happened to my camera now, we would just have to do without groceries for a couple weeks so I could buy a new one right away. (I'm only partially kidding.)

I agree with you not to worry about a double stroller (although have you seen the Valco Trimode Twin in the pink/blue fabrics - oh my God it's the cutest thing in the history of ever, but also like $800). I have three different single strollers (an umbrella, a regular sized one, and a jogging stroller) and I use each one maybe twice a month (okay, I really use the jogging stroller never, because I might be expected to actually JOG or something!).

Sounds like you've got most stuff covered! Good luck - we're currently contemplating a second baby (my son is 17 months), and it's exciting and scary and I'm not sure what I want to do. For now I'm living vicariously through you, mmk?

Stacy | 10:44 PM

Oh, yeah, and if you can, find a swing that plugs in instead of using batteries. Honestly, I'd place more importance on that than how compact it is. I spent WAY too much money feeding my son's swinging habit. D-batteries ain't cheap!

Mandy | 6:43 AM

Delurking to say Born Free baby bottles are great, but the sippies, not so much so. They start leaking after a few months.

Christine | 11:21 AM

I have used the boppy swing that you featured in your post and my little guy liked it alot until 3 months when he wanted to become more active. It folds up compact so you can throw it in the car and go. The other thing that I LOVE right now for a five month old is a jumperoo. It's a hybrid of a jolly jumper and an exersaucer. He can spend up to an hour in it happy and contented to jump and play. I call it my sanity saver.

akaisha | 12:39 PM

might want to look into grabbing a sling/wrap/mei tei/ergo or something else that suits your purpose instead of the bjorn. if you feel like reading a long article about why:
ttp://www.continuum-concept.org/reading/spinalStress.html

the short reason though: the bjorn lets the baby's legs dangle and their whole weight is held at the crotch. this forces the hips into an unnatural position. ergos and mei teis are better because the baby's weight is more evenly distributed across their bum as opposed to their hips and sacrum. it allows them to SIT on their bottom with their legs wide, instead of dangling with their entire body weight's pressure on their hips and lower back. it's a much more natural way to sit.

anyway, since you're looking into all this newly bad biznass i thought i'd through this your way.

good luck! :)

Jenn | 12:52 PM

Yay on ordering the Baby Hawk. The hardest thing is waiting for that sucker to arrive in the mail. Hope you show off your design combination on the blog!

Quart | 1:14 PM

Toddler board!! We JUST walked in from a day at the zoo where we used our Bugaboo wheeled board for the first time. My 2 1/2 yo LOVED riding around on it and so many people commented on it. It worked out soooo well.

Also, my husband bitches and moans about washing all the little bottle parts so I've been buying Evenflo classic BPA free bottles for our new baby. They're 2.99 for 3 bottles and I seriously don't notice any more gas or spit up than when we used Dr. Brown's (and that goddamned little brush).

So excited for you and Hal! Archer is going to love being a big brother. Can't wait to see the "bows" and arrows!

Tanya | 5:23 PM

I just found out I'm expecting my second!! So here's my list as a mom times 2 to be:

1. Beco Carrier (the most amazing carrier ever! I used it til my sone was 18 months and the fabrics are too good to be true!)

2. Jumparoo ( a combo of exersaucer and jolly jumper..... a bit big, but better than having 2 large things!)

3. Phil and Ted's Stoller with second seat ( it's lighter and narrower than any stroller I've had and handles like a mofo)

4. Evenfloe Gass bottles (super cheap and no BPA worries, love the vintage style!)

5. Extra Large Linen swaddling blankets (handmade .... super easy, just cut a square and zigziag the edges)

there ya go!

ps: loved your book, i had so many parallel moments with my son.

ALEXA YOUNG | 7:49 PM

DUDE! I love bows and arrows. You must check out my blog, actually. I just wrote about our little idea for bible belts. :) PUNS ROCK! xoxo

kittenpie | 12:54 AM

Like you, I mostly have stuff I need from Pumpkinpie's babyhood, but the few things I decided I would like so I can try and make this a little easier:

-a sling - Pumpkinpie never took to the Bjorn, so while I still have it, I also want some options to try.

-a cosleeper - sort of a sidecar for your bed. I'm hoping I'll sleep better for the time the babe is with us if I'm not worried about the kid in between us.

-a toddler board. I'm so not buying a stroller for two, with Pumpkinpie four years old, but for some trips, it might be nice for her to hitch a ride on the back. I haven't found one yet, so I have to get looking.

Other than that, it's been bits and pieces of baby decor and chew toys, mostly. I did manage to finally find the same mobile pumpkinpie has in her room, which I love, and still need to find the crib mobile I want, but I've been slowly chipping away at that boring list of things like nursing bras and pads, diapers, and so on.

KKGhoffman | 12:20 PM

1. Baby Carrier – we had the Baby Bjorn Air but it takes time to get on you and then put the baby in. When Grady was 9 months old we got a Rockin’ Baby Pouch – they adjust to four different sizes with zippers so my husband and I can both us the same pouch we love it and it is so quick and easy to get baby in and out. (www.rockinbabysling.com) we still put our 16month old son in it. www.thebabywearer.com has great info and reviews on all the baby carriers.

2. Ultimate Swaddling Blanket -by Swaddle Designs (http://www.swaddledesigns.com/) we swaddled Grady in this blanket till he was 4 months old. But a couple friends suggest the Miracle Blanket – you can only get it online but it is WORTH EVERY PENNY! Babies sleep so much better swaddled and this is the only one they cannot get out of!

3. The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems: On Sleeping, Feeding, and Behavior--Beyond the Basics from Infancy Through Toddlerhood by Tracy Hogg, Melinda Blau

4. AVENT now has BPA free bottles – I just do not like cleaning all the parts for dr browns and Born Free.

Lindsay | 8:05 PM

loved the Ergo!!!

KateB | 10:22 PM

1. BOB stroller - expensive as hell but so freaking worth it.

2. Petunia Pickle Bottom socks - adorable patterns and some of the only pairs that my infant could never wiggle off.

3.Kiddopatomus Swaddle Me blankets - makes swaddling so simple.

4. Me Too travel high chair - this thing folds totally flat and can *nearly* fit in my purse.

5. Squirt by Boon - ingenious product great for feeding an infant solids on the go.

Cairo Mama | 12:46 AM

I have the Baby Bjorn, Ergo and Beco baby carriers.

The Ergo and Beco are so much better than the Bjorn. I wore my son all the time and never used a stroller until he was 16 months old. I breastfed my son in the carriers while hiking up a mountain the desert in Egypt and contained him while he was having a melt down in the security line at JFK. I have definitely put them to the test.

I think you would like the Beco better than the Ergo due to style. Also, the new Beco has a built-in panel to use with newborns. The Ergo you need to buy an infant insert.

The Beco is on sale right now:

http://www.sobebabies.com

This is the first authorized sale. Patterns go quickly. Check out http://www.becobabycarrier.com for links to other retailers if sobebabies doesn't have a pattern you like.

For a more detailed comparison, check out this post:
http://cairomama.blogspot.com/2007/02/baby-carriers-revisited.html

I have Born Free and Klean Canteen sippy cups. You can get rubber or neoprene cover for the Klean canteen so it doesn't dent itself and other things when thrown around. I don't have one but it is an option.

Cairo Mama | 12:59 AM

The Ergo and Beco can be used for front, side and back carries. In the front carry, the baby faces into your body, not out like the Bjorn. My baby was a very curious baby, but loved facing in. He could still see out and he could tune things out and go to sleep if he wanted and his head was supported by my body or the sleeping hood, not flopping around, like in the Bjorn facing out.

Anonymous | 5:58 AM

1. Badger Balms. They're here--http://www.badgerbalm.com/ Go to for any real diaper rash-- the kind we set aside the Boudreaux's for.

2. Aden + Anais muslin blankets key for swaddling and big enough for first few months on the floor to pretend to keep away animal fur...

3. Medela mirowave bags for cleaning bottles in 2 minutes.

4. Snap n Go stroller that doubles as grocery cart, backup handbag etc.

5. Etsy.com-- for everything possible.

Becoming Mommy | 9:51 AM

If we were going to go totally bare bones and hadn't nursed, it would have been this
1-Pack N Play-we got the Fisher Price one and it was a bassinet/playpen/changing table. Gets rid of the need for a crib (for the first year) as well as the other two options.

2-boppy. I know it's a nursing pillow, but my husband uses it for the late night rocking so his arms don't feel like they're gonna fall off.

3-Graco snug ride travel system. Crib, carseat, and high chair (don't laugh, but it's been used as one multiple times) all in one.

4-Gerber clear view bottles--at 3 for $2.50, bpa free, and available anywhere, they're the best.

5-toss up between the glider and the video monitor-- we weren't blessed with a sleeper so these have been lifesavers for us.

Ewokmama | 11:30 AM

We loved the velcro swaddle blankets 'cause we didn't have to keep reswaddling.

Also, the Ergo was fab! The other carriers we used (the Bjorn and the Snugli) hurt my back too much and I hated the pouch sling (maybe 'cause I'm short and small and my kid is HUGE?).

Bouncer was great (although he never did do any bouncing in it, just fell asleep to the vibrations, which is exactly what I wanted to happen), as was the swing.

I can't really think of anything else. I don't think babies need much...

Oz | 12:36 PM

We loved our sling - Axel loved it so much he peed all over it a few times. And he napped in it when he would not sleep anywhere else. It was, ummm, I totally forgot the name...shoot....but it was good stuff, that sling!

We have the Born Free bottles and they seem to work out, but I've never tried others so what do I know?

I'm also a big fan of the BOB stroller for the babyweight runs/walks. It's still our only stroller.

Trumpette socks rock. They rock so much our dog ate one out of almost every pair.

As for the swing/bouncy seat, Axel went through a love-hate relationship with them both (from Fisher Price, if you were wondering), so I won't rave about them. They were just OK, and were not at all attractive.

nomotherearth | 8:12 PM

I used a Bjorn religiously with the first, and found that the second was too heavy for it. I would use the Ergo if I could buy another.

The Phil & Ted's stroller is the best for two - and you're not stuck with a double when the older wants to walk.

I am a veteran swaddler and the
Gr8x Swaddle Wrap can't be beat. Plain and simple.

Brynn | 8:19 PM

I just had my 2nd child and my number one fave right now is my double stroller (sorry, I know you don't want one...I didn't either, but after a couple months of pushing my 2.5 yr. old in the stroller with the little one in the baby bjorn I caved). I got mine on Craigslist for about $40. It ain't pretty, but it hold an infant seat (very important--they don't sit up for months!)I was planning on my older child being able to just walk with me and all that too when the baby came. But they regress. And sometimes you just have to take them somewhere (aka a dr. visit for you or the baby or something LONG like that) where they just can't handle it and they just need to be restrained b/c you can't keep them both safe otherwise.

I'd also reccommend going baby thrift or Craigslist for the bouncer and swing too. You just don't use them that long--pay little!

My other current fave is my Bumbo seat and it's new tray. Have you seen these? They're great!

I also love my video monitor. If you have a baby with any kind of troubles it's such a relief to be able to see them regardless of what you're doing.

A white noise machine per child is another great thing. That way regardless of who's crying, maybe the other one will stay asleep.

Good luck. The transition to two is tough, but, just like the 1st one, you get your feet back under you again by about the 3 mos. mark. YOU CAN DO IT!

Bill (not Jill) | 6:01 AM

I'll second what Dillyweed said, and recommend the 'Brest Friend' nursing pillow. I can assure you that I myself wasn't nursing (Bill here, not Jill), and I strapped it on a few times for bottle feedings spanning two of our sons' chubby, caterpillar stages.

It was white, uptight, and outta sight! Except it was blue. And snug. And you could see it.

Rogue | 7:11 AM

MzRogue's must have baby items:

A baby sling..more ergonmic and better for baby's developing body.

a boucy seat that vibrates..or go to one step ahead and get the new one that bounces, swings AND lets you play mp3's.

A swing... mine was the rainforest swing that had a mirror overhead as well as colorful objects that floated around while the seat itself swung front to back or side to side.

NUMEROUS swaddling blankets.

the book: happiest baby on the block. for those times when you feel liek your brain fell out and you can't remmeber how to swaddle or rock in just the right way.

The most inportant book ever:
On The Night you were Born

Andrea | 7:49 AM

I don't know if I have five favorite things, but I wanted to tell you a couple.

Dr. Brown's has BPA free plastic bottles. They're 8 oz in size and there are three to a pack for the same price as the 2 to a pack 7 oz glass version. Getcha some. Swear by them.

Pampered Chef Quick Stir Pitcher is perfect for mixing powdered formula and then you don't have 5 bottles of formula floating around your fridge.

The Soothies pacifiers. You can put them in the freezer for when the baby starts to teeth and unlike a regular teething ring, they won't get so cold that they're painful for baby to hold.

Those are the things I've found with baby 2 that work wonders. If I think of any more, I'll pass them your way.

P.S. You've been invited to dinner, my place. Because I want to give your baby bump a good rubbing and then pick your brain. I sent you an email, but this might be quicker. Mwah!

Andrea | 7:51 AM

By the way, that pitcher I mentioned is so awesome because it has a plunger inside it that you pump up and down to get the powder all mixed in. It keeps formula chunks from forming, and can also save you money on more formula because there's nothing wasted. That's why I mention it.

Katy | 11:04 AM

Born free bottles (the inchbug bumpy labels fit on them perfectly) are fantastic. They come with a piece that goes between the vent and the bottle collar to keep it sealed and it works so well that you don't have to worry about transporting full bottles.
A hot sling (no other brand please) was perfect for my colic ridden daughter. So comfortable, slightly stretchy, my kiddo loves it.
Baby bumpo chair, for when baby's older, SO handy, works nicely for before baby's ready for a booster seat. Easily portable.

Target (circo) baby socks are the greatest. They were the only socks that stayed on my daughter's feet!

EO | 2:39 PM

Ergo Baby was the best-they are all over up in the Bay Area. I used it immediately and never had the infant insert-I just strapped him in really tight. My son HATED my sling-too claustrophobic. Dad never minded wearing it either and now that the kid is much MUCH bigger-if we go hiking, we use it on the back.

I was a HUGE fan of Baby Legs, also. It also helps that they are from my home town of Seattle which is also where Swaddle Designs blankets are from. Aden + Anais are great in hot weather, for extra warmth, I prefer Swaddle Designs-plus, they're the only ones big enough to actually be of some use later on.

I bought the Svan bouncer-it became a really expensive cat chair, since the babe wasn't all that into it. Except for now, when he's 13 months, because its the cat's.

All of our socks were a waste because it was warm enough and he hated them all.

We use Born Free, love them.

One suggestion, would be to listen to a lot of your favorite calming music now while you're happy. If you do, when your little girl is stressed/crying after she's born, you can play the same music and I bet she'll recognize it.

I could have completely survived with: onesies, Babylegs, 2 Swaddle Design blankets, bassinet (we used Pack and Play until he 6 months because I couldn't decide on a crib), bottles, diapers, a couple pacifiers, car seat, Snap and Go, Boppy and a couple of wooden toys until around 6 months. Maybe, add a zip-up sweatshirt for when it got a little chilly.

metalia | 6:45 PM

In no particular order: The Boppy is a godsend, as is the Miracle Blanket. I also adore the Bumbo seat (for later on), and The First Years makes a vibrating teether (heh) that works wonders. I did purchase a video monitor this time, but have yet to use it since Ella is still in our room. Finally, I got the Born Free bottles this time around, and I'm finding them pretty easy to use. (Oh, and can I add something I dislike? I fucking hate Dr. Brown's bottles; too many tiny parts to clean.)

Anonymous | 9:11 PM

The FlipVideo. Coolest thing ever. http://www.theflip.com/products_flip_ultra.shtml
Also, for God's sake, make some cute bibs because they will be way more fly than anything you will find in a store.
http://www.jandofabrics.com/products.asp?id=55&viewall=True

Jen | 8:21 PM

I carried #1 in the Bjorn until he was 1 and change, as he's a lightweight. Baby #2 is a BEEFCAKE (16lbs @ 3 months)! I've gone through 4 slings that just kill my back. For big babies the godsend is the wrap (Moby/Cuddly). WICKED awesome.

Also have to second the Phil & Ted's. They sell a "thrifty" version at Target now, and I honestly don't tell much difference between the regular ones and the P&T Classic. Add on the carseat adaptor and it's the only stroller you'll need.

I loaded up on the vintage Evenflo glass bottles, not sure if he would break them but I've broken 2 so far (from boiling water to cold. oops.) So we got a bunch of Nubys, and the less expensive Gerbers (both BPA free, but keep 'em out of the microwave).

Lastly, TiVo saves my sanity, and the Mazda5 rocked my world (until my lease ran out).

kittenpie | 7:36 AM

Oh, there are glass bottles with a sort of silicone sleeve on them that are cute and supposedly break-proff, though pricey. Might be worht trying one or two and seeing if they hold up before dropping much on them. Here's a reference to them on coolmompicks with at least one source for them.

Rachel | 4:33 PM

You look adorable. Lovin' the pants and 'bows' and arrows. Too cute.
We blog about what we know and what we experience and our audience reflects that. I loved my Baby Bjorn and rocked it through both pregnancies.
Too much changes, go with what works.
With this one, we have now discovered the crib tent and I call it mommy's best friend and sanity saver.

robin | 10:58 PM

you don't know me but i love you.
Okay, with that out of the way, i'll tell you my babe faves. I currently have a two year old and a 6 month old, and some things i could absolutely not do without are...
1)moby wrap for the infant stage. this thing is awesome, as it wraps the baby up tight so they feel like they're back home in the womb, and they are happy and sleeping. I only use this for a few months, but you can use it until baby is much older.
2)after i move on from the moby i love love love the ergo. i have had this thing since my first kid was tiny and can use it for her still, as well as for my little one. it can go on the front or back, and i think it's swell
3) swing. i don't know that it matters what kind, but maybe it does and i just got lucky. we have a full size (but it's not too big) swing, given as a gift during my first pregnancy, and we have definitely gotten my sister's money's worth! my kid is sleeping in it as i type. I do think the full size is much better than the travel kind for everyday use, though, cuz i've used the smaller ones and they just don't measure up!
4)soothie pacifiers- okay, i know some people just aren't into the pacifier thing, but my little one is NOT a sleeper, and i love me anything that helps. the soothie pacifiers are the only kind either of my kids could get a good latch on in their first few months, and boy am i grateful they exist!
5)co-sleeper/portable crib/pack in play- okay, so niether of my kids did the co sleeping in the sleeper attached to my bed thing, but the co sleeper i have is also a portable crib, and i have used that thing more times that i could count. this was also a gift, but i would buy it in a heartbeat if i had to, cuz it has really come in handy!

good luck with the rest of your pregnancy and the birth! Your boy is gorgeous, so I'm sure you and the hubby have made another beauty, who's just cooking (maybe literally, in the heat?) up to perfection!

Heather | 11:42 PM

Hola. I'm due in 5 weeks and we used the Baby Bargains book as our guide, plus Craigslist for the swing and bouncer. We did learn that "excellent" condition can be a subjective term: the swing looks freaking brand new. The bouncy seat: it's been around the block a few times, but it still looks pretty good. We got both for less than $100. Sweeeeet. This totally justifies the fact that we bought the Bugaboo. ;) We bought a Moby wrap for a sling, and are asking Santa for the Ergo -- Baby Bargains gives it rave reviews, btw.

Charlotte | 2:05 PM

OK, I just have to ask: Where did you get your Brio Happy? I've been trying to find one affordably, and short of ordering it from the UK, I don't know what to do. Help, please?

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 3:16 PM

The HAPPY Stroller was a gift from Brio for some copy I did for their Brio Magazine! I don't think you can get them in the USA... Not yet, anyway, so the only way I can think to order would be from an international vendor unfortunately!

Charlotte | 5:19 PM

Thanks for the info, Bec. I thought something like that was the case. Looks like there's a California company selling similar parent-facing strollers on eBay (yes, I indulged in some frantic googling).

Your post and all its comments have been a lifesaver for me as a first-time mom. Wow!

Mom Interrupted | 7:27 AM

Ok, so I'm a little late in giving you my opion on this, but I only just found the list after reading your most recent post. Taht ebing said, I have gone through more baby carriers than I care to mention. Hated the Bjorn with my first one, then tried a peanut shell and was never skilled enough to figure it out, and the baby hated it. Tried a rigid hiker type, but too big for everyday use. Tried the bella carrier, which looked quite promising, wan't bad, especially since it scrunched up and could fit in a purse, but it still hurt my back after long wears.... all that being said, I LOVE MY ERGO!!! So does my now 9 month old son. Didn't use the infant insert, but started him at about 4 months and have never looked back. He's equally happy in front as well as on my back. Back position is great since he has a 2.5 year old sister who still needs help a lot, and we have a ranch that we help with a lot. He has fallen asleep numerous times, and I can be hands free. I would never own another carrier ever. It's a little earth mama looking, but worth it.

Ok, sorry to ramble, but I love my ergo THAT much. Hope it helps!

Barbie | 8:40 PM

Hi Rebecca,

I stumbled across your blog on Babble yesterday and have spent the last couple of hours on GGC. I seriously want to sit here and read through all of the archives! Can’t wait to pick up the book. I actually came across your blog as I was researching baby carriers and organic baby formula. Other than the Babyhawk, is there another carrier you use? I’ve been using a ring sling (Rocking Baby) for a while, but I’m really not feeling it. And I’m in the midst of pulling out my hair with all of the organic formula confusion. I’ve been using Baby’s Only for the last couple of days but I cannot deal with the foam. And it’s actually making my little one a bit constipated. Was hoping to try the Earth’s Best but all of my local retailers are sold out. What are you using?

Your little ones are adorable! I’ve always loved the name Luella. Thanks for sharing your insights and experiences.

Barbie

Barbie | 8:44 PM

Barbie again. Since this is an old post, not sure how I would see your response, so leaving my email in case you get a chance to write back...lulukisses@gmail.com.
Thanks!