A good friend of mine is expecting twins at the end of May. She is going to be a first-time mom and is freaking out, to say the least. She went shopping with her mother over the weekend to begin a registry and kept sending me text messages asking about brands and general survival tips on where to even begin with the registry list. It was just an overwhelming experience for both of them.
Immediately, this brought me back to similar memories my husband and I had at our outing to register for our first daughter. It was a nightmare – we were both completely clueless. I then went on to find a smaller local baby boutique, which was much more of a personal experience. The owner walked us through each category and showed us the differences between popular brands. She showed us things we definitely needed and those we could wait on. It was amazing and such a stress relief!!
Since not everyone can have that great personal experience, I want to share some of my favorite baby gear items- since I’ve done tons of research over the years. There is just way too much to go through at once so this post will focus on the bigger-ticket items.
Below are some of my top picks for the larger baby gear items new parents will need to invest in:
Peg Perego Siesta Highchair: This is the one item that I have honestly used every day for the past three years. I bought this for my first daughter when she was an infant (now 3) and she still uses it to this day at every meal! I had to purchase another when we had our second daughter because I didn’t want daughter # 1 to give it up yet. Both children enjoy sitting in these seats at meals and even during arts and crafts time. The nice thing is that they clean up so well, they both look almost like new! Definitely worth every penny!
There are many great things about this highchair, such as its soft cushioned upholstery, wide array of vibrant colors, it’s five point harness, the rear pocket in the back to hold books or baby bibs, and it is fully adjustable to just about any table height. One awesome feature is that it fully reclines back, so if you use it during the infant stage, your baby can securely take a nap in it. Or you can keep the baby in a room with you while the baby is reclined and comfortable and you can get some chores done! It also folds up very easily for storage or if you need to move it from room to room, or even put it in your car for a trip! Highly recommend, a bit pricey but well worth it! $299 @ Peg Perego or Amazon.
Nuna Pippa Infant Car Seat: Great infant car seat! I did a ton of research when we were purchasing this item and I finally choose this one, with good reason. It is very light (about 8 lbs) in comparison to many others that we looked at, which comes in handy when the child gets a bit bigger and heavier. It has great safety features including a five point harness, and the lock system that attaches to the safety bar in your car, which was super easy for my husband to install. It is very streamlined, comes in pretty colors and the seat itself seems very comfortable for babies, with a nice cushion, and also cushions on the straps. It also comes with an infant insert that can be removed after the first few weeks. Best of all, it has a hidden sun canopy that you can unzip and pull down to cover baby from sun or when they are taking a nap!
The seat comes with one base and you can purchase additional bases if you have multiple cars. You can also purchase adaptors to use this seat with different types of stroller bases! It is extremely versatile. $299 @ Nordstrom
Nuna Sena Playpen: This playpen is amazing because of its truly innovative design and features. It is so easy to open and close and can be folded up into a compact size to travel with you anywhere. We have taken ours everywhere with us, as it also comes in its own compact carrying case with carry handle. It does not open and close like other play pens I have seen on the market (that are often very tricky and have parts that can pinch fingers,) this pulls in from the center and the sides all come together, sort of in a zig zag design. It is also light weight, perfect for travel or if you need to move it from room to room. It comes with an infant platform that is raised higher for when your baby is only laying down so that you can easily bend and reach in to lay them down or pick them up, without bending all the way down to reach the bottom of the pen. This can be removed once the child has reached 15 lbs or is sitting upright. Very easy to clean and the mesh sides are breathable. Both my children have spent a good amount of time in here and have been comfortable and like playing in it. We have also used it for them to sleep in during some road trips which worked out great! $299.95 @ Nordstrom.
Thule Urban Glide & Urban Glide 2 Strollers: When we had our first daughter, I just had to have a stroller that was very expensive and that will remain nameless at this point. Since I was not yet a mom I had no clue what I needed in a stroller. My husband is really into running so when my daughter was about 6 months old we bought the Thule Urban Glide so that he could have a jogging stroller to use. Well, as soon as the Urban Glide arrived, I pretty much ditched our first “had-to-have” stroller! The Urban Glide is awesome! Very streamlined – I love the clean look. It is super easy to maneuver, even with one hand, and to work all the adjustments such as raising the handlebar to your preferred height. The seat itself is very nice and cushioned with a five point harness and cushions covering the belts. Your child can fully recline back if they fall asleep, plus there are adjustments for air ventilation, a large canopy cover and even a peek-a-boo window so you can look in on your child and not have to move the canopy or disturb them. There is an easy to use foot break and tons of storage space underneath! Plus you can fold it open with just one hand if you need to sync it folds pretty compactly to store it in your trunk or home.
So, needless to say, when we had our second daughter, we purchased the double version of this, the Urban Glide 2. It is pretty much exactly the same as the single, just wider with two seats side-by-side. The only difference for me is that weighing in at about 30 lbs, it was a bit difficult for me to pick this up to get it into my car, but I’ve gotten used to it. My kids love the smooth ride and sitting next to each other! $649.95 @ REI.