Justin is a stay-at-home dad, so he definitely needed places to put our baby down once in a while when he was home alone with her during the day. In our experience, different items were our favorites as the baby got older.
If we had unlimited budget, Justin would have been ALL OVER that mamaroo. He just stared at it in the baby store while I walked away because it made me dizzy. He also frequently was able to calm the baby down when she was small by moving her up and down like a forklift, which was a motion only a mamaroo could approximate. We might have sprung for it, had our baby been fussier than she was.
Like many parents, we found the Rock ‘n’ Play useful for a newborn. We probably get less use out of ours than most because when our daughter was 2 months old she started wearing a harness to treat hip dysplasia. The way the harness caused her to hold her legs was not a good fit with the Rock ‘n’ Play, so that was pretty much the end of that. By the time we were done with the harness, she was really too big.
The harness was a very god fit with probably our most-used baby-holder: the baby bjorn bouncer. This is a pricier option in the category, but we registered for it on the recommendation of a cousin, and received it as a gift. It was useful longer than most bouncers are because it had multiple angles, including a more upright angle which means an older baby who wants to see what’s going on will tolerate being put in it. The cover turns around and becomes a toddler chair, so we might not be done using this one yet.
A friend told us that exersaucers and jumperoos are the kind of baby thing that are REALLY great for a really short time. We’re still in the jumperoo-loving time, so we are fans, but wow, it does take up a lot of floor space. If you can borrow one like we did, that would save you having to store it, although it does come apart into smaller pieces.
We may not be at the end of baby-stashing, although the more mobile she gets the less we’ll be stashing her and the more we’ll be containing her I expect. Maybe this post will need an update or a part two then.