Trying to decide what you need for your first-born child can be a very daunting task. My husband and I were so overwhelmed when we first went to Babies R Us. We didn`t know what we needed and what we could do without. I remember standing in the aisle trying to figure out how in the world the strollers worked let alone what features we were looking for.
So for those first-time parents, we have put together a list of our top 10 favourite products from 0-5 months old. If any parents have any other suggestions, please feel free to comment and share your thoughts.
1. Graco stroller and car seat combination
We use the car seat and stroller combination daily. Our daughter loves sitting in her car seat in the house while we are making dinner or if she is watching cartoons. We use the car seat constantly. If we are at a friend’s house or a restaurant for dinner she loves to sit in her car seat. This is by far the product that we use the most and we have been very happy with our Graco stroller. The stroller is quite easy to fold-up and is extremely portable. It’s also lightweight and is easy to lift.
To see the stroller and online reviews visit: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Graco-Alano-Travel-System-Happy-Day-Pooh/13060510?adid=bzv_fb_revshr_001
2. Cougar Chariot Stroller
This stroller is for the active parents. This stroller was given to us as a gift and we just love it. As we love to be outdoors, this stroller is absolutely perfect. It is so lightweight and easy to push that it just glides along as you jog. The most amazing part of this stroller is that you can buy many different accessories to meet your needs.
If you are not a jogger you can buy the hiking kit instead so that it is suitable for taking the stroller on hiking trails. In addition to the jogging kit and the hiking kit you can also buy the strolling kit, biking kit and cross-country skiing kit. Each kit is priced individually so I would recommend only buying the ones that you will use. Right now the jogging kit is the only one we have and it works for everything we want to do.
For more information on this product and other chariot active strollers you can visit: http://www.chariotcarriers.com/english/html/cougar_conversion_kits.php?conID=1
3. Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard
This is another one of our favourite items and we have used it everyday since our daughter was born. From when she was first-born until about 4 months of age, she slept in the top part of the playard which is the bassinet. We kept this right beside our bed and that way it was easy for us to reach her. We have now taken out the bassinet and she is now sleeping directly in the playpen. We have added soft blankets on top of the thin mattress that it comes with so that it is a comfortable sleep for her.
The entire set is extremely easy to pack up and is super portable. We have just returned from Florida and we took this with us as one of our checked pieces of luggage. We used it as her bed at night and we took it down do the beach during the day where she used it as a playpen. We absolutely love this playpen and it’s one of those items that we can use while she is a toddler as well.
Please note: it comes with a change table but we never used this feature as we always change her on her actual change table. So for us this was a feature that we never used.
You can view the product here:
4. Graco electric swing
For the first three months, this swing was the best item we owned. It would comfort our daughter if she was upset as she found the motion very relaxing. It was also great for getting her to nap during the day as the motion rocked her to sleep. When we were eating dinner or when we were doing things around the house, she was so comfortable relaxing in her swing.
The swing can be plugged in or run on batteries and it also has a mobile and music so it was very soothing to our little girl. We still use the swing every once and while but we primarily used it from 0-3 months.
5. Newborn to Toddler Rocker
This little rocking chair is another item that is used daily in our household. From newborn until now at 5 months, our daughter has sat in this chair everyday. When she was a newborn we would use the vibration mode and it gently would soothe her to sleep. It has two toys attached that rattle and play music and she loves just staring at them. Now that she is older she can pull the handle and make it play music. When she gets wound up and moves around a lot it makes the chair rock back and forth and she just loves it.
When she is a bit bigger we can then convert the chair so that it is appropriate for a toddler to sit in. We use this chair indoors, outdoors and take it to other people’s homes. It goes everywhere with us! We highly recommend this chair as it is so handy and practical.
Our chair came from Toys R Us: http://www.toysrus.ca/product/index.jsp?productId=2773425
6. ERGO Baby carrier
This baby carrier is fantastic. Sometimes it is not convenient to push a baby stroller around and that is where this carrier comes in handy. The carrier is adjustable and therefore my husband and I can both wear it which is fantastic. We have used the carrier for walking outside, doing yard work (I raked leaves with her in it), doing indoor housework, going out shopping (especially places with small aisles) and transporting my daughter different places (taking her down to the beach on vacation).
It is such a secure carrier that we feel confident that she is safe and comfortable while she is in it. The carrier also works in three ways- front, back and side carrying positions.
Our daughter loves being in the carrier as she can look around at everything and she is so cozy in it that she often drifts off to sleep.
Love this product!
Product information at: http://store.ergobaby.com/Baby_Carriers/Original/BC6CA
7. The Sleep Sheep
The sleep sheep is an amazing sleeping aid. It has velcro and attaches right to the crib or bassinet. It has a variety of different nature sound settings. It has a built-in timer so that it shuts off automatically after about 20 or 25 minutes.
The sounds soothe our daughter to sleep and it helps to relax her before bed. She often gets really wound up before bedtime so she will play in her crib while the sounds are on and as she listens to it we can see it begin to relax her. If we are still up watching tv or puttering around the house it also helps to drown out any background noise and it allows her to focus on falling sleep.
It also great because it is portable so we can attach it to her car seat if we are travelling at night. This is a great gift for new parents. It also helps the baby understand that when she hears the sheep, it is time for bed.
Available at Chapters: http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/gifts/Sleep-Sheep-Plush-Sound-Machine/059366464087-item.html?ikwid=sleep+sheep&ikwsec=Lifestyle
8. Playtex Diaper Genie
When we started putting together the nursery I didn’t think we needed to buy a special garbage can. I didn’t understand why we couldn’t just put the diapers in the garbage in the garage. I’m glad I listened to my husband and agreed to get a Diaper Genie Garbage can. It is so nice to be able to put the diapers right into the garbage in the nursery. The diaper genie helps to keep the nursery smelling nice and fresh as it keeps the smell contained in the garbage.
It is very easy to use and you can easily transport the entire bag of diapers right out to the garage once it is full.
Important to note: You have to buy special diaper genie garbage bags but they are affordable and you can buy them at Toys R Us, Costco or Walmart.
For more information you can visit:
9. Ikea baby playmat
Sometimes our baby just loves to burn off her energy. When she is too restless to sit in one of her chairs, we love putting her on her playmat. She loves lying on her back playing with the toys dangling above her. We also use the playmat for tummy time. The playmat is nice and soft and is great for lying on her tummy and practicing lifting her head and crawling. Now that she has learned how to rollover, she loves travelling around her entire playmat.
The playmat folds in half and attaches by velcro so that it is easy to store it while not in use. We use the playmat almost daily so that she can move freely without being restricted to a chair.
Product available at Ikea: http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/10195766/
10. Evenflo Exersaucer Triple Fun Jungle
Just before our daughter was four months old, she began to use her exersaucer. It has a multitude of items for her to play with. With a seat that swivels she can look around at the different toys while simultaneously strengthening her legs as she is standing straight up while in it. Now that she has learned how to use her hands, she loves playing with the different toys. This specific model has music, lights and sounds so it keeps her very entertained.
The exersaucer also has a newborn playmat and it unfolds into a play centre for when she is older and can stand on her own so it is therefore an item that we can use for a long time. We looked through all of the exersaucers available at Toys R Us and after playing with all of the them, we liked the toys on this exersaucer best.
Product is at Toys R Us: http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3420756