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Awesome Baby Gear

Baby Emma in the Quinny Zapp at 9 months

I’ve loved high-quality baby gear ever since we invested in the Quinny Zapp (the three-wheeled version, which you can’t get in the US) when Emma was born. I have yet to find another stroller that pushes as effortlessly, and we’ll be using it for baby number four this fall.

I love all things baby, so I was beyond thrilled when I was offered a ticket to the drool baby expo. It was well worth walking several blocks to the parking garage in drenching rain! Here are my highlights from the evening:

Favorite Strollers

  • Mike and I splurged on the Baby Jogger City Mini Double Stroller when Lily was a baby and it has been a fantastic investment, so I was thrilled to see this company there (hint: ask stores if they will sell you their floor models to save on pricey, never-on-sale strollers. Ours had been on display WAY above the showroom floor, so it was in mint condition, but we still got the floor model discount). It has the easiest fold of any stroller I have owned (pull the straps across the bottom of each seat and it folds in half), pushes great, and has gorgeously huge sun canopies. I like that there is a barrier between the two seats that makes it a little harder for kids to poke one another, and the fact that you can recline one seat (they recline flat) without reclining the other. The basket is a little hard to access, although this has been remedied somewhat in the most recent model. They have a new all-terrain model, too, with the same fabulous fold.
  • I see the UPPAbaby Vista as your ultimate SUV stroller. It’s big, roomy for the baby and the parent (no kicking this stroller), but still has a nice push. You’re paying for it, both in the price tag and the size of the folded stroller, although luxury strollers get much pricier than this. I like the option of adding a second seat and a buggy board to transport three kids – but expect to feel that extra weight! The basket is HUGE, and the seat is reversible. I think the ventilation of their new bassinet (included with the stroller) is pretty cool, too. I don’t own it, but everyone I know who owns one loves it. This stroller seems particularly popular with the IKEA crowd – every time I’m there, I see at least one.
  • The Blue Melange Stokke XPLORY is, honestly, the most elegant-yet-modern stroller I have ever seen – photos do not do it justice! Classic beauty meets brilliant engineering! Drool was the second time I had ever seen one of these in real life – the first time being on public transportation in Vienna, Austria when we visited my parents there a couple years ago. Which is appropriate, because this is the kind of stroller I could see someone owning instead of a car. I love the height-adjustable seat, and the simplicity of this stroller’s design.

Recommended Baby Carriers

  • An Ergo Baby Carrier was my big investment when Johnny was born. It’s lasted through my three kids (Emma rode in it a lot, especially when Johnny was tiny and she was under two – she used to “help” Mike mow the lawn in it), as well as the babies of a couple friends. I have it back, and baby #4 will be riding in it this fall, once she outgrows our stretchy wrap (I prefer stretchy wraps like the Moby Wrap for newborns). Update in 2016: ERGObaby has finally released a baby carrier that works from birth, without needing a newborn insert! Check out the ERGObaby Adapt!
  • Speaking of wraps, drool was my first time seeing the Baby K’tan Baby Carrier in real life. Think Moby Wrap without the yards and yards of fabric. I think it’s a great solution for someone looking for a newborn carrier who doesn’t want to deal with all that fabric, but I would not want to use it to carry and older/heavier baby.

Baby Feeding Accessories

  • I was intrigued by the Medela Calma bottles, which are supposed to encourage proper latch and feeding technique for breastfed babies. Buyers seem to have a bit of a love-hate relationship with it based on Amazon reviews.
  • Wean Green Wean Cubes are pricy, but if you are looking for a non-plastic option for your baby’s food storage, this is the best I’ve seen. The lids create a tight seal, and while I could open and close them without any trouble, Emma struggled with them (a bonus, in my opinion – I prefer to not have older siblings playing with the baby’s food.) Of course, a determined child, say, maybe Johnny, could probably open them, but it requires significant effort.

Helping Babies Sleep

  • The all-around zipper is what sets the Gunapod Wearable Baby Sleepsack apart from other baby sleep sacks. You can unzip it from the bottom for diaper changes – or for a child who refuses to sleep when their feet are covered, like one of mine…
  • The nested bean zen swaddle is a swaddling blanket that is gently weighted to make babies feel more secure. The fabric was gorgeously soft, and I can definitely see this idea helping a baby feel safer and calmer.
  • The Baby Home Dream Portable Crib has a sleek modern look with a brilliant twist. The crib rests on two parallel bars. Twist them one direction, and it’s a crib on wheels. Turn them on their sides, and the crib stands still. Turn them on the other side, and it’s a rocking crib. All in a very lightweight package that collapses for travel (and comes with a travel bag). Expect to pay for this type of innovation, of course – and expect your child to outgrow it by six months.

I was hoping to see Quinny represented as a brand, but they weren’t there. Beco was the other company I was hoping for but did not see. I found the rest of the companies I was hoping to see, plus a few new ones!

What are some of your favorite baby products?

MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

23 thoughts on “Awesome Baby Gear”

  1. We also splurged on the city mini double and I love it!! And the Ergo, one of my faves. I lucked out and found one at salvation army for $8!!! REI is having a sale on them, like $85 plus free shipping, I’m telling everyone because it’s such a great deal on an amazing carrier :)

    1. $8 for an Ergo?!! That is amazing!!! The person tagging must not have known what it was :)

      That sale at REI is a great deal! I got mine through a site that used to offer 20% off everything from time to time. They went out of business, sadly…

  2. It’s been so long since I had one……… I always loved homemade receiving blankets, they were bigger and perfect for putting little guys down on the floor.

    1. I love those, too – planning to make some for this baby!

      It’s hard to believe that someday I’ll be saying it’s been so long since I had a baby…

  3. I am a huge slinging mommy!
    I love the Ergo…and with the infant insert, it’s comfortable for the baby!
    I bought a mobe wrap this year…and it’s okay…I am not in love with all the material!
    Although my baby is in it right now! :)
    I am still a big fan of Bjorn….it’s been my favorite through all the babies!
    I keep trying new ones…and I’m still in love with Bjorn!
    I enjoy having a variety though!

    1. I’m all about the wraps and the Ergo, but Lily liked the Bjorn. Baby carrying is the best!

  4. Is that Emma in the picture? So adorable. I had a regular ol’ baby jogger brand jogger and I used that thing to death. But all the gear they have nowadays is so awesome. Glad you had such a great time.

  5. The weighted swaddle is such an interesting idea!

    Your Beco link directs to Quinny, though. :-)

    1. I thought so too, about the swaddle.

      Thanks for telling me about the link mistake! It should be fixed now :)

  6. How fun! Must have been tiring but then again you whole life must be tiring, pregnant with 3 little ones! Great picks here. Love your stroller choices.

    I really liked my double, the Phil & Ted which has a second seat that snaps in staggered so it is a little shorter than other in line joggers. I really got a lot of use out of it! Also got so much use out of my Medela breast pump.

    1. We had a Phil & Ted for a few years – sold it to get the Baby Jogger because I wanted something that would fold easily for travel, and I liked the higher handlebar. The Phil & Teds hold their value really well – I think the Baby Jogger strollers do as well, from research I’ve done.

      I’ve never owned a decent pump – I’ve got my eye on the Medela this time round, especially if the rumor I have heard is true that if my doctor will write a prescription insurance will cover it…

      1. Maryanne – that was the best part! They handed it to me for free (insurance paid) at NW Hospital! My daughter had minor feeding difficulty. So definitely wait and then ask for a prescription! So reliable and came with a bag which was great for work or if you need a break during those early sore days from nursing.

  7. Oh, glad you posted this! I am about the pull the trigger on an ERGO…with C being almost 9 months do you think I will still be able to use it with him for awhile? I’ve been hesitant since he’s getting older. I used a sling carrier up until now (and the moby when he was tiny) but it doesn’t feel as sturdy anymore.

    1. We’ve carried three-year-olds in ours – the weight limit goes up to 45lbs, so theoretically you could carry even an older child. Emma rode in ours all the time when she was two, and Johnny and Lily both up until probably 18 months. So yes, I think you could get a lot of use out of it still – and if you end up not liking it they are usually hold their resale value pretty well. I love ours!

      One thing – I’m somewhat tall (5’8″), and some of my shorter friends feel like it doesn’t fit their frame as well. It’s perfect for me, and Mike (6’2″) likes using it as well.

  8. I’m sure even in the past several years since my kids were babies that baby products have improved so much! We bought a Maclaren stroller when Emma G was little. We loved that stroller!

  9. I love baby stuff. Our Britax Marathon car seat was awesome. I also loved the Fisher Price Cradle Swing. Dr. Brown’s bottles were really helpful.

    1. I’m thinking of trying Dr. Brown’s bottles this time round. We have that cradle swing (borrowing from a friend) for this baby – looks lovely!

  10. Elisa | blissfulE

    I’m a huge fan of Britax car seats – we have several different models and they are all great.

    A friend introduced me to Aden + Anais muslins, and they are my “where have you been all my parenting life?” find with this fourth baby.

    Enjoy the shopping!!! It’s one of my favourite parts of pregnancy. :) :)

    1. Those Aden + Anais muslins have been on my mind this entire pregnancy. Now I’m even more tempted to invest in them!

    2. Oh, and I’ve never owned a Britax car seat because we were always looking for narrow models (to fit three across the back seat of the car) in the past. They do look lovely, though.

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