Baby Gear I Love (and one thing I don't): Three Months In | The Speckled Goat: Baby Gear I Love (and one thing I don't): Three Months In


Baby Gear I Love (and one thing I don't): Three Months In

baby gear what do I really need for a baby three months old first three months equipment baby stuff

We're three months into this parenthood thing, already. I know! It feels like yesterday that we brought our little baby home.

It's been completely wonderful and pretty tiring and a bit... challenging. Being a mama is a lot of work! Of course, just look on any baby registry or mommy blog and you'll get nine hundred million suggestions of gear to help make things easier. I really try to keep the baby stuff minimal and only get the things that we'd really use. And while the list of things I use a lot is a little different than I expected, I think I've got it narrowed down to the top 6.

Here's what we love so far!

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Halo Sleepsacks:

The NICU had these available for us to use for our little one during our 53 day stay, and fortunately, the hospital where we delivered the baby sent us home with one as a gift, too! These swaddles are pretty popular, and totally worth the hype. My baby is such a wiggle worm that if he's not swaddled, he wakes himself up-- and the velcro on these things makes it so that my swaddling skills aren't tested too much.

In the NICU, we had Sleepsacks that snapped instead of zipped... I have no idea where to find those, but we also have the zipping ones and they work just as well, if not better.

We've got a couple types of these- the classic cotton SleepSacks, as well as the fleece ones that work great for cooler weather (now that it's winter, our little guy is usually in one of these). There are so many cute colors out there, but we mostly just have cream colored..

Summer SwaddleMe Swaddles:

I know, I know, I just recommended Halo Sleepsacks a second ago.

But we got these as hand-me-downs, and I love them, too!

The benefit of these over the SleepSack is that the SwaddleMes have a car seat slit. Our little E loves riding in the car and falls asleep in his car seat every time he's in it, but his hands flailing around wake him up. For longer car trips (like, you know, the twelve-plus hours to Colorado), I just stick one of these swaddles in his car seat. Pull the buckle through the car seat slit, strap in the baby like you would normally, and then swaddle over top of the car seat straps. Works like a charm.

The downside of these is that there is a limited area for the velcro to adhere... on the Halo swaddles, the velcro adheres anywhere, but on the SwaddleMes there's just a small patch.

Moby Wrap:

This thing rocks.

It takes a little practice to get comfortable with the wrapping process, but it's totally worth the effort. We were given the Moby as a shower gift, and I use it a lot.

Ignore the sleepy eyes and messy hair... 

I hate carrying a bulky car seat into church (pair that thing with the diaper bag and I feel like I'm moving in for a month!) Solution: Moby. When we get to church, I take him out of the car seat and wrap him up while we're still in the car, and then I can breeze into church-- as much as one can breeze when hauling around a diaper bag!

I also use it around the house a lot, too- it's great for when you've got a baby who doesn't want to sleep unless he's held and/or moving, and you've got dishes to do.

In my experience, the Moby doesn't require you to keep one hand on the baby- it feels secure enough to go totally hands free. I use the "Kangaroo Hold" most often, since he's still little enough for it. I'll have to get better at other carries soon! <Sob!>

Portable Swing (Ingenuity ConvertMe Swing 2 Seat):

I'm going to confess a total mom-fail here and tell you that my baby doesn't really sleep in his crib.

I know!

We're working on that.

Our little man tends to be a bit spitty- he might have a touch of reflux that makes him uncomfortable sleeping flat on his back. He was this way in the NICU, too, and while sometimes he did sleep in a crib with a bit of an incline, the majority of the time he slept in the NICU-provided bouncer. When we got word that we'd be bringing our guy home, we bought this swing to keep him cozy and more upright for sleepin'.

I really like it so far. The swinging mechanism works with a battery-powered magnet, so this thing is super quiet. It also comes with an automatic timer- we typically keep the swing on for about half an hour, and then it turns off itself so the baby's not moving the entire time he's sleeping.

We've got quite a wiggle worm, and the five-point harness makes me feel more assured that he won't wiggle himself right out of the swing while I'm resting, and the songs that come with the swing aren't those super-annoying baby-ish songs.

I do wish this had a plug-in option, and it would be nice if it wasn't quite so low to the ground, but overall, I'm happy with it. We're slowly transitioning into the crib- so hopefully this will just be used for playtime and not for sleeping soon!

My Awesome Diaper Bag:

So, when I was looking for a diaper bag, I was having trouble finding something rough-and-tumble enough for my liking.

I've been spoiled by my Duluth Trading Company purse for the past five-ish years, and love the durable canvas material. I was kind of planning on using it as a diaper bag, since it's nice and big... but then the straps started fraying (sad!) and it wasn't quiiiiite as organized as I wanted it to be. And they no longer sell my specific bag anymore, anyway.

Traditional diaper bags weren't cutting it for me. They all looked a little flimsy.

Enter the tool bag.

Yes, I do have the manliest diaper bag on the planet. But seriously, this thing is pretty awesome.

Bunches and bunches of pockets (both inside and outside), tough canvas material, two types of carry handles, a full zipper... it's pretty much perfect.

I also love the molded bottom. The combination of the internal structure and the molded bottom means that this bag is flop-over-proof, so I never worry about dumping everything on the floor. And, since the bottom is plastic, I can quickly sanitize it after setting it down on a questionable public bathroom counter or on the ground outside with just a sanitizing wipe.

It holds so much stuff. So much. When we took our week and a half long trip to Colorado, I packed this sucker chock full of diapers-- I filled it up with three entire days of disposable diapers, a full pack of wipes, all of my purse stuff (you know, phone, wallet, keys), my notebook, six burp rags, a receiving blanket, two spare baby outfits... and there was a lot more, but you get the idea.

I have the 16-inch version. There's also a 14-incher if you're not as gung-ho... but it doesn't look like it has the molded bottom.

Motorola Video Monitor:

I wasn't really planning on getting a video monitor, since the baby sleeps in our room and our room is on the same level of the house as the kitchen and living room. I just didn't think it was necessary. But then Trevor found this one on sale for Black Friday and picked it up... and it's come in really handy.

The receiver is small enough to fit in a pocket easily, and the sound feature is nice and loud.

I think the best thing about this monitor, though, is the price.I kind of thought that video monitors would be super expensive, but this one is very affordable.

One Thing I Don't Love

Owlet Monitor:

I'll be honest- bringing home my baby from the hospital was pretty scary. He'd been surrounded by awesome nurses and tons of beeping monitors watching his every vital sign... and I have none of that at home. It freaked me out.

And so we got an Owlet-- also because we were planning on being in Colorado and I wanted to be sure exactly what affect the altitude was going to have on my little guy's oxygen levels.

I had such high hopes for this thing.

At $300 a pop, I figured it had to be awesome.

It works. But I don't think it's really all that awesome.

The concept is good, and maybe I've just gotten spoiled from all the fanciness of the NICU, but I wasn't impressed.

Now, I think that most parents wouldn't be nearly so nitpicky as I am, and if you have an Owlet and love it, I'm glad it's working for you. It just isn't everything I hoped it would be.

If you're not familiar with the concept, the Owlet is a pulse-ox monitor that goes on your baby's foot. It comes with a base station, and there's a free app that allows you to see the baby's exact pulse and oxygen levels. The base station alerts you if baby's pulse gets below 60 beats per minute or if baby's oxygen levels dip below 80 percent. See, good concept.

There are a lot of things, though, that I don't like.

First- the "danger" limits can't be adjusted. In the NICU, an alarm would go off anytime little E's oxygen levels were below 90... but the Owlet only gives an alert if the levels are below 80 (which is critically low). Not sensitive enough for me, and there's no way to change that.

The base station is pretty cute, but provides no way to see the baby's actual levels. I really wanted to just glance over at it and see the stats right then and there. I want some way to see what his levels are before he's in a dangerous zone.

The app is free (cool), but only works if you have WiFi. So, if you're in a place where you don't have the WiFi password, there's no way to see what the baby's stats are-- there's only an alert if the baby's levels are dangerously low. And there's no battery power option, so you have to be plugged in somewhere- which is fine when you're at home, but not great for traveling.

And finally, the connection between the base station and the smart sock is kind of limited. If I take the baby from our bedroom into the living room, the sock disconnects. The living room is all of maybe 40 feet away from our bedroom.

So, yeah, while the concept is great, it's not my favorite piece of baby gear. We still use it, because if something catastrophic happened, it would alert us... but since the monitor only has two settings - "Everything's Good" and "DANGER!!!" - it's otherwise pretty worthless. I really wish it either had a "Hmm, This Is Kinda Low" feature or a way to adjust the levels.

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1 comment :

  1. Oh my, your little darling doesn't sleep in a crib!!! ROTFL Most babies don't sleep in a crib when they are as little as E! At least you have a fabulous place for him to middle daughter slept the first month+ in a laundry basket because we were moving when she was 3 weeks old and I didn't want to unpack it just to pack it back up! After that, it was a bassinet for 4-5 more months. The crib feels so huge for such a wee baby and I know I was always happier when the baby was sleeping right beside me at night and nap time. Don't worry about hustling E into the crib...most of us didn't!! So many cool things available for moms now that we never dreamed of - I especially love the Moby and how close that keeps him to you!