After making the announcement way back in March, I admit to having gone fairly quiet in the way of baby bird #2 and his imminent arrival! I shared some of the items I purchased for the bird's new nursery, my plans for the nursery as a whole (once we found out he was a boy), and even a tutorial for the curtains I made, complete with a cute video of soon to be big brother (scroll to the bottom), but that is about it my friends... serious blogger fail, eh? No pictures of the baby bump, no updates on the nursery, we are talking serious fail...
I promise before the bird flies the coop (or at least within some proximity to it, since we are now only 3 weeks out from the E.T.A.) to catch you up since many of you have sent me sweet emails asking for the deets!
To start, I thought I would share a few of the glorious baby gear finds I have purchased for the bird that will make my life easier and less spendy in the long run! Be forewarned, this baby is a wordy one...
First on the list is the Baby Jogger City Select Stroller which converts from a single to a double and back again if need be. This item is NOT budget friendly per se, but given how many strollers I have gone through in the relatively short lifespan of my Monster Mash boy (he's not yet 5), I can only wish they had this available when he was born and I might have saved myself soooooo much money!
I place this item in a relatively new class of 'convertible strollers', of which there are now a few that exist on the market (Uppa Baby Vista and Bugaboo Donkey). My comparison of the City Select to the other two options is this:
It falls between the other two in price, it expands front to back (tandem) rather than side to side making it easier to maneuver in public spaces (the Bugaboo expands to the side), and the second seat is exactly the same as the first seat, making both riders equally comfortable and not forcing one to be shoved underneath the other in a less sturdy/comfortable jump seat. I also adore the fact that there are 16 different configurations ranging from facing each other to facing the same direction to facing different directions. Basically either seat can face me or away from me depending on their respective moods (or mine). Of the 3 options listed, this is the only one that can do all of these things making it far and above the winner in my book. Keep in mind this is one gal's opinion and not a hard indisputable fact, and I'm sure there are other features that are more important to other people. These are simply mine.
I have to figure that at almost 5 years old, I have maybe 1 more year (maybe) where I can force Monster Mash into a stroller at all. Truthfully I need this year to keep him from getting killed off while I man the baby bird. If he runs off (and he will) I have no way to grab him in time without ditching the bird to move more quickly. Ugh. I need him to learn some discipline quick like, at least before he is more than too old to ride along with his brother.
This next find is one that has a few upgrades from another product I used with the first baby bird... It's the Charlie Banana hybrid cloth diaper and is fairly genius in my book because it allows folks like me who tend to choose easy over excess work, to have something economical and better for baby than if this hybrid didn't exist and the only options were between cloth and disposable diapers.
There are a few of these on the market as well (G Diapers and Bum Genius to name a couple) and all proclaim to help you save on the order of $1200 per year in diaper costs (I think that is how it worked out mathmatically, but don't shoot me if I am misquoting, I have pregnancy brain after all). Of all the various options available, here is why I chose this particular brand over some of the others:
It's a true hybrid in that it offers both cloth and disposable inserts, has an adjustable one size fits all option, and has snap enclosures rather than velcro.
You see...I used G Diapers with my first born beginning around 18 months (never occurred to me before this point) when we were out in the heat of Arizona and his diaper rash and occasional heat rash became absolutely off the hook. Nothing I tried worked to help his poor little skin until I switched to this form of diapering and quite literally within a couple of days neither issue was an issue again (this is not the case for everyone, but was for us)... but of course a new issue arose. G Diapers (and all of the hybrid diapers as far as I can tell) are relatively costly (coming in at around $20 a pop) and so I could only afford about 4 of them which meant almost constant washing. That was no problem for me except that the velcro enclosures completely wore out and were not salvageable. Also you need to purchase each new respective size as your kiddo grows making it an investment you need to keep making over and over for one reason or another. This made it tough for me to justify at all, except that it solved a rather uncomfortable problem for Monster Mash. That obviously takes precedence over every other thing.
Now Bum Genius is not truly a hybrid to the extent that G and Charlie Banana are, in that it doesn't offer a disposable insert that can be used more conveniently when you are out and about. This is important to me because it means that I don't have to carry around a nasty cloth insert the entire time I'm out of the house should baby bird decide to do the deed. Personally I like the idea that I can simply toss, refill, and go.
This makes the Charlie Banana brand the ideal solution for me and since it's a 'convertible' one size fits all option that simply snaps in a different configuration each time the bird outgrows things I only have to make one investment in enough diapers to make it through the week with ease and will only have to supplement as diapers wear or are ruined by things not of my own control (it happens with boys, I will leave it at that).
Now for the last fabulous find, this one is far less complicated and in fact can be summed up in a few brief thoughts slash a short rant...
The playard. A truly convenient all in one sort of item that serves the purpose of a bassinet while the baby is co-sleeping in our room for the first few months, a changer for diaper duty, a play area for fun time, and an easily movable and travel worthy containment vessel in the future as baby bird grows.
I had this type of item for Monster Mash and used it in every way possible until one fine day I put my 4 pound dog in it, to keep him contained while we had people coming into and out of the house, and he chewed a bloody hole through the netting. Womp womp... there isn't even a way to fix that sort of thing and so it rendered my fabulous and fairly expensive playard utterly useless. Ugh.
Enter stage left with this particular brand, Chicco Lullaby LX Playard, and it has solved the ONE issue I had with mine and ALL of the former options out there.... it's mattress is washable! That's right, baby gear that is only able to be 'spot cleaned' and is meant for regular usage by said baby, is entirely useless in the world of babies. Baby Gear manufacturers take note! Kids get sick and throw up, they have accidents, things spill, stuff happens, so if you ever create a product for us mom's and our bambinos that is not completely washable I will kind of hate you...forever.., just sayin! Try having the swine flu hit your household while baby is using the playard to sleep in, and having to wash and then blow dry the cardboard insert filled mattress by hand, thirty times a day, until health returns... ya...it happened to me.
The Chicco Lullaby LX Playard is the only model I have come acrossso far that is actually both supportive for baby and washable for mommy. End rant, enuf said. Yahoo...
Psst - all opinions are my own and I wasn't paid of perk'd to express any of the ideas above. Not a single one of these brands has any idea who I am.