The target incident was one reason I decided to start this blog, but the other was being constantly frustrated by baby gear reviews that didn’t reflect what we thought they should. We! Have! Opinions! and we have a baby. I anticipate this will be a many-part series, but this post is about gear to take your baby with you to places.
If you’re suburbanites like us, most of your going places will probably be in a car, so you need a carseat. We started out with the bucket-style infant seat even though there are convertible seats that last longer and also fit newborns. I think I would make this same choice basically anywhere that has any weather, because it means you can do all your baby-buckling indoors and not in a parking lot. In my experience, parking lots are pleasant places to stand approximately 4 days a year. The bucket is also useful because you can gingerly bring your sleeping baby into the house without unbuckling and maybe the baby will stay asleep.
After painstaking comparisons by Justin, we chose to get a Graco seat as part of a travel system, because it seemed like a good value way to acquire a seat and a frame stroller that would go with it. We liked Graco because it was the lightest of the seats we considered.
(baby in the carseat and frame stroller in stores in winter and summertime)
We would also definitely get a lightweight stroller to click in the carseat again. It’s a great way to take the baby around stores and keeps the carseat in a temperature controlled environment instead of turning it into a block of ice or lava depending on the season.
Justin also spent forever picking out an umbrella stroller, which is a little lighter and folds up better for travel. We have to date never taken it anywhere in the car, but we have both taken it around the neighborhood quite a bit. This is a reliable way to get the baby to take a nap. We kitted it out with this which is a great place to put your phone, water, snack, etc. However, if I had to do it over again, I’d get this one which improves upon the concept with a picture of a rhino. (BONUS OPINION: “you would spend twice as much because this one has a picture of a rhino?!?” Rhino option is NOT Justin endorsed.)
(This umbrella stroller features a recline, which we have found useful for encouraging naps)
Justin’s opinion is that he prefers to use a stroller for neighborhood walks instead of a baby carrier, but there are times when a carrier is more convenient. It takes up less space and is much easier to manage on stairs, for instance. After consulting friends and looking around, we got a lillebaby carrier.
Justin’s sister who used an ergo carrier for her children tried ours on vacation, and she liked the lumbar support that it had. We liked that it offered more positions, although we don’t actually switch it around much, and that the “airflow” model attempts to keep everyone cool, although you still have a living human pressed up against your body so it only helps so much. Justin was also won over by the bright colors of the “Guncles” pattern, which is unfortunately no longer available, but fits our “all the colors” aesthetic.
It also adjusts pretty easily for both of us to use, which is a big deal. A friend lent us a k’tan which I know a lot of people love, but we didn’t use it that much because really Justin needed a larger size and I needed a smaller one. Plus my whole maternity leave we had two adults at home. I think if I had to be home alone with the baby or if we had other children we’d have done more carrier when the baby was tiny.
I use the lillebaby a lot. The baby gets excited when she sees me putting it on because she likes going outside in it. I think she falls asleep quicker in a carrier walk than a stroller one, but it’s pretty hard to sit down without waking her up.
One thing you should know with all these items: we are middle-height people — 5’7″ and 5’10”. This certainly affects which strollers work for someone, and also which carriers work best.