What to Get

Updated on May 12, 2009
S.C. asks from Gilroy, CA
22 answers

I have no idea what I need and what's the best for my buck. Can any experienced mom out there help me.. Car seat, stroller, best pumps, cribs, I have no idea what else I will need.

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answers from Sacramento on

When you look at the breast pumps, get one that plugs into the wall, they have better motors. See what the
La Leche League has to offer, or recommend. I met with a lactation consultant and she had several types of pumps that she carried, or would rent. I opted to just buy it, and not have to pay rental fees.
W. M.



answers from Sacramento on

I completely second...get the "Baby Bargains" book. It was SUPER useful to me...well wort its cost!

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answers from San Francisco on

Hi S.,
I wouldn't buy everything right away because every baby is so different you wont know what your baby boy will like.
I would recommend buying the essential items like a crib or pack and play, car seat and a front pack, sling or stroller and a bouncy, before he is born, and then try him in a friends swing and whatever else before buying it.

I would buy a separate infant seat and then switch him in to a convertable car seat when he is bigger, mainly for convenience as you can take him in and out of the car sleeping. I had a Graco Safe Seat which was great, now I have my daughter in the Britax Boulevard and she loves it.

We have an Ergo front pack which saved my life, because my daughter was very colicy. Strollers are really a very personal choice, do you want a jogger or a smaller stroller. We started out with the graco stroller that came with the car seat and I really don't like it. It's really heavy. now we have the bob revolution jogger LOVE it, we can take it everywhere...

Other than that you can wait and see, dont really need to waste $ on things you wont use.

Anyway, hope this helps,
congrats on your baby boy

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

agree with the PP's to wait on non-essentials (toys, etc) because some babies like bouncies and hate swings or vice versa.
Also check out your nearest secondhand/consignment store for the clothes and toys. I would not recommend getting carseat secondhand (since you won't know the history of it, i.e. whether it was involved in any accidents, or whether the harness straps were machine washed which could affect its ability to function in an accident) but for things like baby clothes, bouncy seats, books, toys, etc., you'll find nearly-new things for a fraction of the original cost b/c so many infant things are outgrown before they get worn out.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Baby bargains answered ALL of my same questions & saved me money. Plus if you email them w. questions, they actually answer.
Bought my copy on amazon but make sure you get the most updated copy-you should be able to figure it out if you look it up, which edition is the newest...
.2 things I wouldn't been able to live without- an infant swing. I would put my baby in there when she was first born all the way to about 7 months-when she grew out of needing it. She would nap in there often. When she fell asleep I would put her in & she would sleep for 3 hours. (when she wasn't in it she didn't sleep as soundly or sometimes not even as long) VERY helpful when you have an infant waking to eat every 1 1/2 to 3 hours. YOU will need to get some sleep @ some point & this really helped me.
Also swaddling. My daughter was in a swaddle blanket most of her first 3 months-she was more content when swaddled & therefore she did not cry very often (especially compared to other parents who would say their baby would cory more often then not) (makes them feel secure & like inside the womb- tight surrounds)
she spent most of her days & all of her nights swaddled & she was & still is a happy baby. (10 months now)
Rent from the library or buy the dvd "the happiest baby on the block". It talks about the 5 s's for helping your baby be the happiest & most comfortable he can be in the first 3 months of life" AND it helps the parents deal with all of the crying. Babies cry but they don't have to cry all the time if you can learn what works for them to feel content-this dvd was a life saver for us.
Wish we would have watched it before she was born & then again when she was here-since you don't really know what to do until she is in your arms & won't know what works for him until you know him & can try things to help him be comfortable.
And FYI on the swaddle blankets-we realized most are not the correct size. It needs to be 40inches by 40inches in order to do the perfect & tight swaddle that the dvd will show you...we ended up going to walmart & buying soft fabric cut 40X40 & it only cost us about $7 each 'blanket' If you get 3or 4 you should be set & will be SO thankful to have something that works perfect rather then realizing that expensive soft adorable one you bought doesn't go around the body correctly.
I also later down the line did find a swaddle blanket that was 40X40 & also worked great if you don't want to buy the fabirc way & are willing to spend more $. You get 4 in a pack which end up being about $11 each. http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3017953. These are nice to have if you are dressing your baby warm & this fabric is lighter weight & says it helps regulate the baby's body temp but my daughter was born in the summer in the heat where inside the air was always on so we had her dressed lightly with a warmer fabric-ie the really soft heavy fabric @ walmart...what's it called fleece maybe-I forget? Depends on what they are carring @ the time. Even better would be a fabric store but not sure if it would be as economical @ walmart. Anyhow good luck! Becoming a parent has it's ups & downs but once you hit around 5 months & on when they begin doing milestones, becoming more interactive & really showing you their personality, it is priceless & definitley one of life's best gifts. Congratulations & welcome to the club! (Get your sleep now-even though it is pregnancy sleep-it will be the last time you sleep thru the night for many months to come) I tell everyone being a new Mom is the hardest best job/career I have ever had!



answers from San Francisco on

I love the Chicco brand stroller. I used the Graco car seat/stroller set, but got a new stroller when my daughter was 6 months old. The Chicco stroller allows the child to lay completely flat, the handle is adjustable, the visor moves all the way up and all the way down (so if you're walking towards the sun you can block it), folds with one hand and stands. Almost all these things the Graco didn't do. I agree that I wouldn't buy second hand car seat. I used the Graco and now we use the Britax Boulevard, I don't believe in cutting corners for the car seat. Also, be sure to go to your local police station and learn how to install it correctly and how to put the baby in correctly.
I think most cribs are created pretty equally, but try to get a firmer mattress, it will last longer and it is listed as one of the ways to prevent SIDS.
My daughter loved the swing, but hated the bouncy. So I have to agree, wait and see what your baby likes.
Congratulations and best of luck!



answers from Sacramento on

I agree with the women who recommended the Britax carseat. I LOVE our Britax--wouldn't use any other brand. My son (13 months old now) is a very finicky kid, and he has loved the Britax from Day 1. It's comfortable for him, and it's safe. I also would skip the "bucket" car seat. My hubby and I found it ridiculously heavy to carry around. And they say your baby will stay asleep if you take the "bucket" out of the car when you arrive home, but our son never did--he would wake up within a couple minutes of the car stopping. I had more luck getting him to stay sleeping getting him out of the regular Britax. :-)

Congratulations...and good luck!



answers from San Francisco on

There's a book called Baby Bargains (by Denise and Alan Fields) that was an invaluable resource for us. Its very helpful - grades most major baby products like car seats and strollers, and is very helpful for weeding out things that are not truly necessary. Offers reviews on toys, maternity clothes, pretty much everything. And their book Baby 411 is also worth getting, was a huge relief to thumb thru when we had those many, many new-parent questions after we brought our little girl home. Good luck! -L..



answers from Modesto on

Hi S.!

CONGRATULATIONS on your first baby!

You already have some wonderful suggestions from other responses, but I thought I would say to get about 4-5 Receiving Blankets. Infants like to be wrapped tightly to feel like their back in the womb :O) And you should also have 2-3 nice & warm baby blankets that you can use to cover up your baby, or lay on the ground, on a public restroom changing table,and other needs like that.

Also, I wouldn't remove tags from the clothing you receive at any Baby Shower you have. Yes, you will need the necessities like onsies & socks, but your baby will grow so fast and right of majority of the clothes you may get! To get you started, I would have about 10 of the onsie sleeper's with the pull string at the bottom. This is easier to change a diaper at night with "one eye open". AND, about 3 fleece sleepers (with no feet) with the zipper ~ that's a great infant jammie. Plus, it will be winter, so your baby needs to be warm. Depending on the size of your infant, after your baby is about 2-3 months old, you will begin buying clothes that are about 3-6 months larger than his age.

2 Matress pads, and 4 crib sheets (minimum). At least have that inventory when your infant becomes about 5-6 months, as the bed will need to be changed more often.

If you get a motorized Swing, then get one that will hold a baby even older. Too many swings are too expensive, and used by 4 months.

If you have an upstairs, then you would be doing yourself a HUGE favor by creating an area downstairs for your infant's needs for diaper changing, quick onsie change, and sleeping. There is nothing worse than an exhausted new mom having to walk upstairs AGAIN! :O)

I LOVED a rocking chair! I had one in the baby's room, and a soft rocker downstairs. There was something so "bonding" about Rocking my baby to sleep.

Oh, and Night Lights! If you don't have any now, you need a couple :O)

Congratulations again, Happy Mothers-to-be-Day!

~N. :O)



answers from Sacramento on

When it came to my first daughter seriously nothing was too much. I wanted everything regardless of friends telling me their oppinions. This is what I got and this is my oppinion.

Best investment ever was a video monitor. We have the Mobicam Ultra - still use it and she is 18 months old. They have a new version which is not as good - it makes a nightmare noise when on Voice Activation. I talked to the company directly and they said Walmart still sells the Mobicam Ultra - $179.00. I looked at every baby monitor and this was by far the best one. Voice Activation is key so the screen isn't on all night when you are sleeping.

I had the plain jane Graco swing it was alrigt but I hear the new ones that go in a circle and side to side are awesome!!

I had 3 bouncers - for some reason I wanted all of my stuff to match Graco pack n play, bouncer and swing - so pointless. The last bouncer I got was a Bobby Bouncer - best thing ever she sat in it all the time and loved it.

Gymini (floor activity mat) they spend hours on them when they are 6 weeks -4 months old.

I bought the bugaboo Chameleon - pain in the but to assemble when you are trying to go to the mall but super comfy for the kids. If I had to do it again I would look at the Bugaboo Bee - I think it is all one piece.
Peg Prego Infant Car Seat - loved it.

Medela Pump In Style Breast Pump - awesome. Worked better than the one I rented from the hospital.

Jumperoo - great if you have a kid who likes to jump - mine did so that was a good investment.

Peg Prego High Chair - works well but is very similar to the Combi which I think is less.

We purchased Capretti Furniture From goores - still love it.

The best crib mattress - which I truly believe has made my child a good sleeper is the Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer mattress. - Goores

Wipes warmer - personal preference - I don't use one too afraid of a fire in the babies room.

Pack'N Play - Not neccesary if you aren't planning on traveling. Never used mine.

Baby 411 Book - awesome used it all the time and have many friends say the same.

I was a swaddle addict - I used the Swaddle Designs Brand - they are really big and stay on great. Not to mention they are modern and cute.

Also get at least 2-3 premie gowns - my daughter did not fit into 0-3 months stuff until she was 2 months old. She had a NB size outfit from Babies R us to go home in and it was huge!!!

Big fan of the Dr Browns BPA free bottles.



answers from San Francisco on

For stuff you have to buy new, go to the Consumer Reports website. They have tested and rated lots and lots of baby products, and they don't take any advertising, so they are able to be objective. They also regularly run alerts about products that have been recalled, particularly baby products and kids' toys.

Everything else you need, you should try to buy used (well, maybe not the breast pump!) There's really no point in dropping huge wads of money on baby items when baby items are almost always very lightly used.

I never used a crib, because we had the baby in bed with us until he was ready for a toddler bed. Saved lots of money and space, and was so cuddly and comfy. Plus it was easier to wake up at night to feed him.

You will always need more "onesies" than you think. I came to the conclusion that t-shirts were a big waste of time and money, because they're always bunched up under the baby's armpits. And you will always need more tiny socks. If you think grown people's socks disappear in the dryer, wait 'til you try to keep track of baby socks!

You don't need any shoes for the baby, nor do they need any little baby copies of adult outfits. They need cotton stuff that's comfortable (have you ever seen a baby in a little Easter dress with a tight, scratchy lace collar? YOW!) and washable, and they don't need to be all bundled up in piles of clothing and blankets. They need about the same amount of warmth that we do, plus a little knit hat or cap, because their heads do get colder than ours, for some reason!

Good luck, and have lots of fun!!



answers from San Francisco on

Carseat: Spend the money on a Britax--they're the safest AND the most comfortable AND the easiest to use. That said, skip the "infant" carseat/carrier thing & go straight to the convertible seat. Britax convertibles are rated for 5 pounds on up. The convertible is the most economical and the safest. I was in a bad accident on what turned out to be the day my daughter was born. I had one of the "infant" carseats, which I had installed in my car the day before. In the wreck, it came detached from its base & went flying around the car. I use a Britax convertible seat from birth, and carry my kids in a sling.

Get a couple of good slings. These are the single most useful piece of baby stuff besides diapers & carseat for the first 6 months. You'll want to be able to have one to wear and one to wash, at least. If you know anyone who can sew AT ALL, they are VERY, VERY easy to make--which'll save you a bunch of money.

Highchair: Chances are this is going to be in your kitchen through however many kids you have, so get one that'll take a licking, and that you will like using--and that you can stand to look at for the next 5 years or so (assuming you don't stop with one kid). I have the Eddie Bauer wooden one, with the plastic tray, and I love it. It's not the cheapest, but it combines the best of a plastic chair with the best of a wooden chair.

Stroller: Everyone's needs are different. I don't really use a stroller much at all till about 6 months--till then, the sling is easier. When I do use one, though, I am all about easy to push, even if we're "off-road", so I like a jogger with a swivel front wheel that locks. My single jogger was one of the Jeep Liberty ones like Babies R Us sells, which we've used the heck out of & been very happy with. My double jogger (I have a 7 month old & a 2 year old) is a Dreamer Design, but they just went out of business. Too bad, it's a nice stroller.

Other stuff: Neither of my kids have been into the bouncy seat at all. I have one of the tabletop type swings, 'cause I like the seats those have better than the hard seats in the big swings. We use it some, but not tons. My little guy just reached the point where he's not really into it anymore, at 7 months. He'd rather be playing with toys on the floor. Johhny-jump-ups are fun, after about 6 months. The "baby gym" things are worth having one of. We have the Baby Einstein one that has a good sized blanket, & 2 arches from corner to corner, with a lights & music star where the arches meet.

Crib: Totally personal preference. I had one when my little girl was born, but we never used it, so I gave it away before my son was born. I have a baby hammock in the living room that he uses for naps, & we co-sleep at night. We hadn't planned on co-sleeping, but it worked out that way.

The rule of thumb for breast pumps is don't buy one made by a company that also makes formula--they have incentive to not make good pumps, obviously. I have an Avent Isis that works well, but I'm home, so I haven't used it since my daughter was very tiny. My son's never had a bottle.

I have a pack-n-play. Useful for a playpen outside.

You'll want a breastfeeding pillow. And a tube of Lansinoh lanolin.

Breastfeeding may be less than fun at first. Stick to it--it DOES get better.

Don't hesitate to buy any of the stuff used--including the carseats, as long as they haven't been in a wreck & are less than 6 years old.

If you have a sling, a carseat, a breastfeeding pillow, and a boppy when the baby is born, you can get the rest later.



answers from Salinas on

i totally agree with vicky W... get the "baby bargains" book, either online or form the library. it is wonderful! i recommend it to everyone. there is so much stuff out there - some is practical, some is nice to have if you have the $$$, some are just complete wastes. this book reviews LOTS of carseats, strollers, cribs and give great advice!

congratulations on your pregnancy & have a wonderful "labor day"



answers from San Francisco on


I also HIGHLY recommend the Baby Bargains books. The just released a new edition (8th ed., I believe). Gives you ratings on manufacturers, compares items, helps you start to figure out the world of baby stuff. One area it isn't strong on is figuring out cloth diapers, should you want to go that route. I figured out a system that works for me with cloth diapering and would be happy to talk, if this is something you want to do. (I've found it'll save thousands and really isn't much work.)

I have a Grace Snugride for my infant carseat and then a Snap-N-Go stroller, which has been awesome. The stroller base is really lightweight and easy to transport and being able to transfer a sleeping baby so easily has been awesome. I do recommend getting an infant car seat that goes to 30 or 32 pounds (Graco Snugride now has a 32 version, Chicco car seats go to 30) as I have found that my 8 month old is 21 pounds and our seat only goes to 22.

As for breast pumps, I've been through 3 and wish I had just gotten the Medela Pump In Style in the first place. I had a Lansinoh Double Electric (same as the Ameda Purely Yours) which caused supply issues as well as doing significant damage to my breasts. The Pump In Style (PIS) has been awesome.

I did a ton of scouring the internet for quality items for the best price, which ended up saving money and got me some great things. Don't feel you have to have a $1,000 stroller because everyone else has one. It is easy when you start looking at all this stuff to think that if you don't have what others have, you won't be as good a mom, etc.

I'm really pleased with the things I ended up getting and I still have a house that looks like my husband and I live in it. If you need any help, feel free to email me!

Good luck!



answers from San Francisco on

Hi S.

I am a new mom, my daughter is 6 months old. I am still breastfeeding. I use the Medela Freestyle pump, it is awesome as far as pumps go. It is hand-frees! It is costly but worth every penny if you intend to do long term breastfeeding (as a side note I am full time working mom)
I have the grace carseat stroller combo, it is stroller for the very young as the car seat snaps in, but it will convert to be used for an older child!
You might want to invest in a boppy pillow and a rocking chair, both awesome. I used a pack and play for my bassinet but my daughter would not sleep in it, it was to hard. I will try a softer bassinet for our next one.

Good luck!



answers from San Francisco on

I did a ton of research just by going to Amazon and looking at the reviews and the "listmania" lists from other parents. It helped a lot! Try it! Meantime...
I recommend:
Carseat: It is recommended that you only buy new. But I got mine barely used on Craig's List but made sure it had never been in an accident and was less than 2 years old. Britax is a trusted, very well constructed brand. You cannot scrimp when it comes to your car seat. You may be able to save in other areas, but not here. If you buy a convertible (infant to toddler) model you will save $ since you will be buying one seat instead of two. (I have the Marathon)
Stroller: If you're looking to save $, look on Craigslist. There are many great strollers. It depends on factors such as: will it need to be small for shopping, city streets, public trans.? Or do you want a stroller that will do paths, beach, etc? If the latter, there's no better Stoller than the BOB. It is made in the U.S. and super sturdy, great suspension and shock absorption, handles like a dream. But it's big.
Breast Pump: Medela Pump In Style. If you buy on Craigslist, make sure the motor is still functioning at full capacity. The seller should have it tested. (at Newborn Connections or Natural Resources, etc). You can purchase all the tubing and funnels on Amazon so it's sanitary.
You should really check out Amazon listmania though. I found it indispensable for shopping advice and lists of things to get.



answers from Sacramento on

Congratulations Mama to be :)

It looks like a lot but you will get whatever You and Your Son need and prefer..these are what worked for us...hope this helps

Car seats-Britax carseats for safety, one in each car securely anchored..start with one due to cost but if others will be driving baby..very important

Strolling- Peg Perego strollers, more cost, more value although their are a ton of new strollers that are even more expensive which is nuts..I am not sure how many you plan to have so you might want a kick plate..older sib stands on it and it does help..my peg had one.

-Bob Dualie Joggers..love both single and double but they are big and expensive..

Wearing-I used a sling and a bjorn..sling was hard for me but I love the concept and I tried several..

Sleeping- Swaddle me blankies with velcro in small, med and large..several sheet protector pads in a variety of sizes including small for changing area..and also changing area for the car..I got a folding vinyl one to wipe clean..

Feeding- I loved my Peg Perego high chairs even though they had a lot of areas to clean
Messies high chair coverlet is great..I used it with my son a lot..just do not get CLOTH..yucky..some people love wood but wood warps with cleaning.and did not seem comfortable for young baby...but maybe they are sealed and more comfy.
I also love the variety of wipable bibs and soft spoons...you will have a lot of spoons

WASHCLOTHS, soft baby ones, I would buy a pack every month the first year because they are small to start and sort of shrink and they disappear like socks.
AVOID PARABENS and go for organic, allergy sensitive soaps..lavender oil in water is calming..just not near eyes..Baby towels are soft and small..

Dressing. do not over do on layette but definately a lot of onesies in a variety of sizes...as tempting as it is..avoid a lot of extra small blanket like clothes, but have several soft blankies..my favorite are the pink and blue solids from target by Amie Coe, my kids still love them..all cotton.sorry to all the itchy homemade ones..Avoid too many fancy clothes..shoes, hats outside of cozy, you will just end of selling them or giving them away...when baby is around 9 months to a year, fun to dress

Feeding -I used a Medela bump and loved it..
Bottle warmers ...we used one with my son for when I pumped but then I learned it is better they get used to room temp in case you are away from home and have no warmer
My husband used my milk and bottles and it helped him to have warmer though
I nursed in public with a covered shoulder..I got a great winter shawl from pajamas gram..pink and hip
I fed organic, tried to make but often just used organic and do not regret the extra pennies per cost value for my kids.now they are growing their food as well as buying it.

Changing-I loved the idea of cloth but used huggies...some pampers on my daughter, tried every knock off brand.yuck..
Wipe warmers are like bottle warmers and not needed but i did like to give them warm wipes
At baby's r us...blue throw away dirty diaper bags by the box..good for wipes and garbage even if you use cloth...I NEVER put a poop in a diaper pail. I would never leave adult feces in a room..so I would not leave a baby's..I bagged them and we brought out to garbage. The blue bags have scent and it does help on the way out to the garbage.
I did use a diaper decor for pee pee and love it because we had no smell and it was foot operated and decent looking. The refills are pricey but we just cut out other things...great gift to register for and reg for the refills (several)
Costco Wipes by the box

Cribs-.Do not over invest in crib toddler convertables, they usually go into a twin or full sooner than you think BUT do get a sturdy juvenile association recc. crib..nothing too used for crib either ...daughter hated her crib...but loved big girl bed ..son loved crib after co sleeping and now comes in my room every night...My son did like white noise as a baby...and the little musical fishy player from a

Backup-Pack and play-if you are tall, get the extra tall pack n play (buy used but rarely used) with the changer

Papasan swing...see if you baby likes to swing before you buy..not all babies like them, son did not, daughter loved hers

Go for the Extra large Vibrating bouncer seat..more cost but baby uses longer.if you are in a 2 story, see if you can borrow a second

Later, one of those saucers but try to get a borrowed one that is from a neat freak friend.so it is not yucky but you do not have to keep..:) but can give back nice or pass on to someone else

Random but important details to keep you organized and not overwhelmed
It is expensive and some stuff can come later..put them in order of need
Daddy's or other caregiver's Diaper BACK PACK STOCKED..with Directions and thank you notes for being wonderful and helpful:) Restock both Diaper bags often...check for forgotton things that should not be left in the diaper bag too long..formula.cheerios.dirty stuff, you would be amazed

A FILE BOX for all babies records, social security, medical, insurance, your information so you do not have to worry once baby comes..if you immunize..I spread them out..insisted on vaccine no cocktails, that is personal..birth documents, Receipts for returns..

Thank you notes: Prep in advance. stamp and self addressed, good to do the last few weeks if resting...they are ready to go so you just write a quick thank you and send...keep a journal for all gifts so you can go back if you forget.

Nutrition for YOU that is nursing friendly if you nurse and also snacks for you...water...
fruit, nuts..but avoid peanuts, veggies, protein..let people bring you food too. let them, it will be the last time you are served for a while and it does keep you going :)
CAMERA-good cameras and video...and a charging area, must charge them
even if you think you are taking a ton, you will get busy and miss things and you will have wished you took more..it is a blur..
cozy jammies for you..a kit with your favorite stuff nearby..mag, book, snack, gum, tissue, cell phone charged and house phone charged...computer charged
stroller ( you will have a couple over the years)
co sleeper or crib ( we co slept and I loved it) it goes by so fast
bouncer seat
something downstairs to rest in
more stuff later..

REST while you can...prayers for healthy and wonderful motherhood



answers from San Francisco on

I used a book "Baby Bargains" that really helps you decide what is best for you. My husband and I walked into Baby's R Us and immediately left, it was just too overwhelming. I went through "Baby Bargains" made our decisions and went back to the store. Example: stroller, are you a jogger, do you live in a city and walk everywhere, what size is your trunk, do you travel etc. Really helps you make informed decisions. You can get it at the library, Baby's R Us, Target, etc. My kids are now 3 & 5 and I don't regret anything that I purchased using this book. Good luck! T.



answers from Fresno on

Congrats Sam, Register for everything After your shower places like Target and babies r us will let you purchase what you didn't get at 10% off.



answers from Sacramento on

My first purchase would be the 'Baby Bargains' book. It is an amazing reference for what you need and when you need it. It combines Consumer Reports with real mom's experiences to make recommendations on which items to buy. It tells you what you can buy used, and what you really ought to buy new.

This book is absolutely amazing! We would take it with us when we went out looking at baby stuff, so we could look up things we stumbled across to see if they were good purchases.


(I also have a baby due in October, my second. Feel free to send me a private message if you want to chat more.)



answers from Stockton on

Don't get a highchair right away.
We were living in a tiny apartment when we had our son so I really had to pare things down to the essentials.
Get a Pack - N Play type thing instead of a frilly bassinet.
Get a good "travel system" stroller that has the attachable infant car seat - perfect for errands and shopping.
Get a baby bath tub.
If space is tight wait to get the crib until baby outgrows the bassinet part of the pack-n-play.
Baby bouncer is a life saver.
Once Baby is able to set up an exersaucer is fabulous.



answers from San Francisco on

While I have Britax Roundabout carseats now for my son, we originally had the Graco Metroline travel system which I loved. It was so great to be able to carry a sleeping baby to and from the car, set it down at restaurants or in a shopping cart, etc. We purchased an extra base only for our second car. He has long since outgrown the carseat part, but we are still using the stroller (he's 26 months). For a convertable, we do love our Roundabouts. Not the most expensive Britax out there, but it's still very well rated and comfortable.

The other item I highly recommend to my mom-to-be friends is the Fisher Price Space Saver High Chair. It straps securely to your regular kitchen chair so no need to find space for a separate high chair. You can use it with the tray or just pull it up to the table. The seat reclines for younger babies and it also converts into a booster. My son has been using this since he was 2 months old - we would sit him at the table while we were eating dinner which he really loved. I think that may be why he's such a great eater now. The other nice thing is it's portability - great for bringing to family and friend's homes when needed.

The Baby Bargains book is terrific as others have said. I also recommend going to a really good baby store, such as Lullabye Lane in San Bruno. The staff are so knowledgeable, unlike most chain stores, and can really help you in choosing gear that works best for you. I found their help with strollers, car seats and cribs to be immeasurable.

Best of luck to you!

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