Wednesday, October 23, 2013

the great gear parade, 31 weeks, 5 days

A cool EIGHTEEN EVER LOVING WEEKS AGO (seriously people, TIME. How does it work? Gah.), I wrote about baby gear. Or, more specifically, the insidious and pervasive world of baby capitalism. Because It. Is. Everywhere. And now, I’m its newest member. <curtsy>. Note to my readers with ADD: settle in, this is a long one.

Last weekend, I was baby shower bound and quite frankly, it was pretty lovely. Nearly all of my friends and family and loved ones, in one place, to eat good food, drink bellinis and put their hands on my bump like I’m a genie. It was all very loving and magical.

I guess this means that you also now have that terrible Christina Aguilera song stuck in your head?
You're welcome.

Also, there were gifts. So many gifts. So here, in a nutshell, is Sarah’s-totally-non-exhaustive-might-almost-be-random-despite-HOURS-of-seemingly-endless-online-“research”-guide-to-essential[1]-baby-gear. Ta-Dah!

First things first: Baby List. We used it and it was awesome. Mostly I was just swayed by that breathtakingly adorable child with lamb ears on the front page but also, I wanted a site where I could put together some wild conglomeration of all things Etsy-Amazon-Baby Gap-Honest Company. Also, luddite that I am, it was just, oh I don’t know, really freakin’ easy to use. So. In addition to all the so-painfully-sickly-cute-that-i-can-only-collapse-in-a-teary-puddle-of-impending-motherly-love clothing that we registered for – even though the one thing that LITERALLY EVERY MOTHER told me absolutely not to do under any circumstances but I couldn’t help myself because, oh hai, Elk leggings! Sloth Onesie! Ohmygosh these overalls! that bunny is wearing headphones! Patagonia, are you serious right now? – <collecting myself>. Right. Well, we also registered for what you might consider more, uh, essential items. And inherited some pretty excellent stuff from friends and neighbors. Without further adieu:

The moms in our neighborhood seem to swing, err, stroll, one of two ways: the City Mini or the more Rolls Royce-y UppaBaby Vista. So of course, we chose neither. Hello UppaBaby Cruz. What’s nice about it is that it’s overpriced your in-laws are happy to buy it for you. Thank you in laws.

Car seat
Truth: the hospital will literally not let you leave without proof that the entire local fire station has dually inspected not only the car seat itself but also it’s proper installation and the passing of several crash tests involving your 12 year old Subaru Outback. Some of that is false.

We went with the ever popular Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Carseat. <oohs and ahhs from the crowd>.  For no other reason than because we easily succumb to peer pressure and Amazon’s proclamation that this is the “#1 Car Seat in America!” So there’s that.

While the Oeuf Sparrow did beckon from the hot, trendy, modern nurseries that seem to appear only on Apartment Therapy and never in real life, we, ahem, restrained ourselves. Because a crib that costs more than our bed seemed to send the wrong message to our totally not spoiled child.

Enter stage right, the common man’s alternative: Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1. And now, before your very eyes, it will transform itself into <wait for it> a toddler bed!

And, for the early days (weeks? months?) and easy boob-to-baby-mouth-access, we swiped this mini co-sleeper for 70% off the going price at a neighborhood moms yard sale. #winning.

Crib Mattress
We like mother earth. And we like organic. And if all goes according to plan <menacing laughter as she wills the baby, still in her womb, to sleep like a sophisticated, respectful human person from approximately 7pm-7am on a regular basis> the baby will be spending a lot of time on this thing. Like, you know, for years to come. So we splurged. Organic, Greenguard certified, the whole freakin’ deal.

Yes, this. I may be sleep deprived, but at least I’ll be (relatively, if only for several minutes in between projectile baby vomiting and arcs of urine) clean.

Speaking of Baby Bjorn, I’m kind of digging them. Which is why we decided to GIVE THEM ALL OUR MONEY FOREVER AND EVER, and also registered for[2] this bangin’ travel crib. Plus, you know, sheets for the crib. We’re not heathens.

Baby Las Vegas
Okay, I’m not going to lie. I was totally against this, at first. I mean, let’s just get real: it’s ugly. But obviously, I’m a monster because STIMULATION! BABIES NEED STIMULATION! And without some kind of multi-colored giraffe-monkey to tug on and a mirror with which to admire their good genes gawk, this baby can kiss the Ivy League goodbye. So, yeah. We got one and have now welcomed into our home a Tiny Love Super Deluxe Lights and Music Gymini Activity Gym. Because nothing says love like over-stimulation.

For the bath
I just learned that you don’t bathe babies everyday. <adds to alarmingly long list of shit-i-did-not-know-but-sure-am-glad-i-learned-like, uh, NOW>.

But for the 1-3 times per week we do decide to freshen up our offspring, we went big:

We might just dress him in this until college/he becomes properly warped. But seriously, ohmygoshbabyshark. 

And then, also, you know, the bath. Which we inherited, unused, from a friend. It hangs on the back of the door, flat. So for apartment living, I'm pretty much sold.

Also, baby nails. I remain both intrigued and terrified. How on earth am I supposed to cut them? TERROR. But these might help. Also, this and this. For cleanliness and nose cleanliness, respectively.

This is not technically for the bath – and, if dropped in the bath, would require a call to child protective services – but let’s just go with it: baby thermometer!

While hesitant to dip my toe into what apparently is some, heretofore unknown, Great Swaddling Debate!, we’re hoping to engage in some safe, sleep-inducing, swaddlin’.

And to that end, we have enlisted the help of these and these. Plus, C learned how to swaddle during residency. So that’s totally going to be his jam. I’ll be showering.

For carrying
As mentioned in my earlier posting, I'm all for anything that sounds like some kind of Gitmo sensory deprivation device. That's why the confusingly hooded ErgoBaby is my preferred carrier. Luckily, we inherited one. And, for when the baby is smaller, and, consequently, less Gitmo-ready, another inherited item: the terrifyingly complex seeming MobyWrap (well, well, doesn't she look happy and well rested). I find this youtube video absolutely mind boggling (also: holy mom jeans, batman!). Thank goodness I have 8 weeks to master this.

For the boobs
You may recall my extended ta-ta-related-diatribe a couple weeks back. Well, if you haven’t had enough of my burgeoning bosom, welcome back. It turns out, boobs are fussy little creatures who require kind of a lot of gear.

And last but not least: Medela Electric Double Breastpump. Which, technically, I don’t yet own but which, I’m promised, my insurance will be covering. <fist pump>

For the little prince
Because he can’t be literally the only child ever to have walked this earth without one: Sophie!

And in second place for inexplicably popular baby accessory: Wubbanub and, closely behind it, the alliterative Sleep Sheep.

For the parents who are now required to carry the little prince’s gear all over the ever-loving place
His and Hers and then, again, also Hers. Because, you know, lady has to look good mildly presentable.

I wish I could say this was it. That this exceedingly long and complex list – which includes multiple items I did not even know existed until several weeks ago and whose utility I may only partially understand – was it. But, dear readers, we all know that I would be lying. Because we all know that there is more. That really, it never ends. There are books to read to babies, and d├ęcor[6] with which to decorate baby’s new digs, and oh-dear-lord-so-many-cloth-diapers-to-wrangle-and-snap-and-fold. This, dear readers, is, in fact, just the beginning.

Save yourselves!

(And, in the meantime, please let me know what I’m missing. Just 8ish weeks until things get real around here.)

[1] Much of this is decidedly not essential.
[2] So that someone else could give them all their money. Natch.
[3] Yes. Seriously. Honeysuckle. No wonder no one takes us seriously.
[4] Mostly because anything named “My BrestFriend” is just not something I can put my money behind.
[5] Many a mama recommended Dr. Brown’s as being “most like the nipple” and “won’t confuse the baby.” Noted.
[6] Said in the most sneering French way possible.


  1. Good god, sisterfriend. We have nearly the same registries (yes, I've gotten a head start on mine because I'm terrified I'll be too much of a house to move by the time most pregnant women have showers). I also use Baby List. Because it is awesome. I also have the issue with the My BrestFriend label (but I have to get it because it's the only twin feeding pillow that reportedly works), and I have yet to add a play yard (or whatever they're called) to the list, because I find them all hideous and I don't want them in my house. I'm sure I'll get over this, because yes, monster, they NEED it. But I won't be happy about it.

    Overall, thoughtful and well-researched gear!!! Your boy will be happy (because he'll care, right?). And this researcher enthusiastically approves.

    1. Ha. Sisterfriend! I'm terribly impressed by your advanced planning skills. Curious what other essentials you've got on there?

  2. Isn't it absolutely out of control? My husband and I keep talking about how this baby already has more...stuff than either of us ever had growing up. I keep being struck by the difference in our position (financially and career-wise) compared to our parents' positions while raising kids. I mean, I researched and researched to find the BEST, not researching for the best deal. How yuppie upper middle class is that? But, I think, aside from just getting caught up in the baby consumerism obsession-addiction-craze, I also feel so happy that I am able to buy these nice things. I know that is materialistic, but that's just how it is. I feel good knowing I love the baby carriers I chose and the stroller is amazing (we went with the Bugaboo, you didn't mention that one!) and that his nursery is adorable. *sigh* It is what it is, I guess. Now I just hope we can somehow raise I kid who is not materialistic and spoiled.

    Oh, and I LOVE your diaper bag. I'm not really satisfied with mine. I couldn't find one that fit me (they all seem so cutesy). If i end up hating mine, I may have to copy yours ;)

    1. My plan was to get a black jansport for a diaper bag, but then I saw Sarah's choice and felt kind of inadequate. Maybe I'll copy her's, too. :) Although, I'm a few years behind each of you in my career and fall within the the poor grad student category still. Perhaps I should stick to the jansport.

    2. JustMe - now that you've made it official (welcome Owen!), curious to hear what seemingly vital gear you have realized you can now do without? Or what you wish you had? (All of which I know you have tons of time to respond to, since, you know, it's not like you're sustaining human life over there or anything...)

  3. LOL, I'm curious to see what you'll find you actually use and don't! Definitely some of the items above were KEY to our sanity, and some of those I've never bothered with at all. Above all that, every baby is different, and while one might live in a swing (mine), another might hate it. You never know!

    The boppy, swaddles, arms reach mini co-sleeper, moby, and Dr. Brown's bottles were all key for us from your list above! (the bottles b/c she didn't take in so much air then - with cheap medela bottles she spit up constantly).

    Since you seem like a research gal, maybe bookmark these sites for reference -- they are hands down the best tools I've found for breastfeeding and sleeping questions: (great BFing resource) (pretty self explanatory!) (sleep site - great for reference on what is normal anyway, tips to try, and not all "doom & gloom do this or your baby will be chronically sleep deprived" shit)

    Getting closer every day!!

    1. Josey - as always, thanks so much for these resources! Curious to hear what you bought but found totally useless?

  4. Yayyy you got the Sophie! Proud of you. You won't regret it.

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