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Strollers Buying Guide
Must-Haves for New Parents
first baby is probably
the most exciting chapter in any couple’s journey together. For nine
parents-to-be wonder if their little bundle will be a boy or a girl;
wonder what baby will look like; they’ll make list after list of baby
Before they realize it, though, the due date is upon them and the
not entirely finished. A trip to the baby store only makes matters
thanks to aisle after aisle of stuff that friends,
and, yes, even perfect strangers, say are “must-haves.” To help you
what you really need, we’ve put together a handy list. Consider
minimalist if all you want are the bare basics. Can’t resist all the
the bells and whistles? You might just be a bit of a shopaholic. Make
get the basics then accessorize as needed. Or you might fall somewhere
between. Whatever kind of parent you are, remember that outfitting your
should be fun.
baby needs for a good
night’s sleep, hassle-free
nap time and safe play time.
MINIMALIST A convertible
crib, such as Stokke’s
Sleepi, is a great investment as it grows with baby from birth till the
years. Some cribs
even be converted (with the purchase of additional pieces) into a
What to look
bars; durable and eco-friendly finish
(chances are baby will chew on the bars at some point); a mattress
support that adjusts to
Don’t forget: The bedding.
A fitted crib sheet
is all you’ll need for the first year.
SHOPAHOLIC A bassinet
is great if you want to co-sleep (but not share a bed) with your
the first few months. Since they are lightweight and portable,
particularly good if you foresee moving baby from room to room or spending
the night at
grandma’s. But keep in mind that eventually you will have to invest on
You might also
want to splurge on a crib
bedding set, which usually includes a fitted crib
sheet, bumper, bed
skirt and blanket in matching design.
Don’t forget: A nursery
Depending on your needs and level of anxiety, you can choose between a
design and one that allows you to see, as well as hear, baby. A
monitor is great because it allows you to move around the house and
the trouble of running to baby’s room at the slightest whimper.
MINIMALIST A bouncer can
be a lifesaver for many parents, even those who prefer not to clutter
homes with stuff. Depending on your baby and interior design, you might
get a sleek and modern one that simply bounces with baby’s natural
movements. We are big fans of the Baby Bjorn Baby Sitter and
the Bloom Coco Baby Lounger
SHOPAHOLIC Want more
bells and whistles? Look
for a bouncer that will keep baby entertained with dangling toys,
and different settings for vibrating.
SHOPAHOLIC A play mat is
a cozy place to
engage and entertain your baby. A play mat is also a great space for
time. Depending on the design, a play mat can include detachable toys,
lights and sounds.
What to look
for: A mat that is
The things you
need for taking baby
on a walk and a ride in the car.
MINIMALIST Look for a
stroller that accepts an infant
seat so you can easily transport baby between the
vehicle and the stroller
waking him. Some strollers accommodate only specific brands so make
check for compatibility before buying.
What to look for: Easy maneuverability and multiple
(remember that newborns must lie flat on their backs for the first few
If dad is very tall, look for a stroller with an adjustable height
SHOPAHOLIC If getting in
shape is high on your
list of things to do after baby arrives, consider investing on a jogging
stroller. Jogging strollers are appropriate for
babies six months and
What to look
for: Look for a
light jogger with a
fixed front wheel that swivels for easy maneuverability.
Don’t forget: Regardless of
the type of stroller
you choose, you will want to pick up some stylish gear to accessorize
is a stroller accessory for just
cup or snack holder
is essential for parents who will spend much time out and about with
baby on a
stroller. Depending on the season and region where you live, you might
get anything from a rain cover, a mosquito or UV net or a parasol. Many
stroller brands also feature matching travel bags, footmuffs and even
transferring baby between the vehicle and
stroller is not a priority, go for a convertible
car seat that’s designed to face the rear for the
first year and can be
turned to face forward to accommodate a child weighing up to 40 pounds.
Remember that a convertible car seat cannot be moved onto a stroller.
What to look for: Adjustable
straps; adjustable seat angles; comfortable cushioning
SHOPAHOLIC Up until baby
turns one and weighs
around 30 pounds, she must sit in a rear-facing
car seat. Choose one that can be
transferred between your vehicle’s
backseat base and your stroller model. Keep in mind that you will need
purchase a convertible car seat once baby turns one.
Don’t forget: Keep baby
warm and cozy with a footmuff that is
designed to fit a stroller or car seat. Look for a design that does not
interfere with the car seat’s harness system.
MINIMALIST Newborns love
them. Parents love them. You simply
can’t go wrong with a baby
for some hands-free snuggling time. Slings, while pretty, do not offer
support, thus making them obsolete as soon as baby starts to grow and
weight. For the minimalist parent, we recommend a soft
baby carrier, such
newborns and can also hold older babies.
What to look
carrier that is designed to be worn in various
positions, such as front, back and hip; sturdy, easy-to-use buckles;
shoulder straps; substantial head support.
SHOPAHOLIC A sling
great for the first few months as it allows you to carry baby in a
that is familiar and comfortable for him. Plus, slings come in an array
beautiful designs and materials, from organic bamboo and 100% cotton to
silks. Once baby starts to put on weight and grow, around six months,
want to get a baby carrier to save you from back and shoulder pain.
STATION & DIAPERING
accessories you’ll need to get
baby cleaned and changed.
MINIMALIST Forgo the
changing table for something you already
have, like a dresser. All you need is a foam changing
that can be securely strapped onto the dresser and you’re set. Want a
protection from falls? Put the pad inside a changing
and sit it atop the dresser. The advantage of going with a dresser is
will last well beyond the nursery years.
Don’t forget: A changing pad
cover. Look for one
made from non-toxic materials and, ideally, with an antimicrobial
control wicking fabric.
specifically for the
nursery, a changing table
features shelving and storage space for clothes as well as diapers,
diaper rash creams and much more. You can also choose to buy a dressing
that comes as part of a crib
set to guarantee that it will match perfectly.
What to look
for: If the
changing table has drawers,
make sure they feature child-friendly safety catches on drawer glides;
safety design to look for is a stop mechanism that locks and does not
your little one to open drawers all the way.
Don’t forget: Changing baby
on the go? You’ll
want a diaper
Choose one that features handy pockets (for snacks, keys, cell phone,
waterproof pouches (for baby bottles and sippy cups), and a changing
want to throw dirty diapers with the rest of the trash? Purchase a diaper
which is designed to control odors.
What to look for: If
you don’t want to be constrained to having to purchase bags designed
specifically for the pail, choose a diaper pail that uses standard
hold newborns snugly in
the sink or the bathtub, a baby tub features a
contoured design to help
prevent your little one from slipping.
What to look
padded headrest that
ensures comfort during bathing. Some models feature a temperature strip
ensure the water is not too hot or too cold.
accessories you’ll need to help
you feed and nurse baby better.
Plan to return
to work while
continuing to breastfeed? Would like dad or nanny to help with the
so, a breast pump
is a must have. Investing in a high-end electric type that
lets you pump both
breasts at the same time offers the maximum efficiency—particularly if
heading back to work and time is limited. If you think you’ll only pump
a while, you can go with a lighter and less expensive pump but keep in
that it will take longer. If you’re on a budget and have lots of
for a manual pump.
What to look
for: Latex nipples
are softer and more
pliable but don’t hold their shape as long as silicone nipples; skip
plastic bottles that contain BPA, a chemical that studies show
to pump? There are
still plenty of accessories you might covet to make feeding time easier
comfortable for you and baby.
in handy during and after feeding. Each provides a great way to clean
up after nursing or giving baby a bottle.
cover allows you to feel comfortable
and confident nursing your baby anywhere.
Nursing covers offer not just privacy for mom, but also a private
baby to nurse without outside distractions and stimulation.
pillow features a
contoured shape designed to fit around mom to help relieve back, neck
shoulder stress. A good nursing pillow also encourages correct feeding
by naturally rolling baby towards mom.
What to look
for: A firm pillow
buckles, straps or zippers; a removable cover for easy cleaning.