Baby stuff: 0-12 months contraptions

Javi is not a baby anymore! (I survived!) I enjoyed (and still enjoy) reading about baby STUFF... the good, the bad, the needs, the wants, etc. and I've decided that since I'm now out of that period of his life -- I'll write a bit about our experience with certain items. Depending on where you look and who's writing the article you're reading you "need" different items for a baby. I still don't know how much you actually NEED but if my minimalist hat was on my head -- honestly you don't NEED much. But many items make having a new baby in your house easier. Many items are cute. Many items are fun to have. And some items are just misses and Sean and I curse their existence! There's a lot involved so I'm going to break it up into different posts. Here goes:

Contraptions. In other words, ways to keep a baby contained/confined/still so that you can shower, eat, do laundry, pump, cry, wash bottles, breathe -- you know, all the mundane normal things you did pre-baby or decided were necessary post-baby? Yup, they still have to get done. I was positive that I wouldn't put Javi in these "things", because I was going to be a Montessori mom -- just like I'm a Montessori teacher. Yup, didn't happen. It does for other people and I'm a bit envious. But me? I needed to put him down and know he was safe and content. Enter, contraptions:

travel system - The stroller/carseat/base we got was a bit different than this one (same brand, color and name though) but I don't think it's available anymore. If I was do it again, I would get a jogging stroller (even though I don't jog). The stroller we have, and still use, doesn't steer well and it doesn't have the best "shocks" so Javi's on a bit of a roller coaster when we go for walks. But two thumbs up for these types of systems overall. I loved putting Javi in the carseat, clicking him in the stroller, unclipping him to put him in the car, carrying him in the house -- ALL WHILE HE WAS ASLEEP. It was the best. I'm a bit sad we've outgrown it...

rock n play - I can't express my love for the rock n play sleeper. I dragged this thing all around the house with me. First, he slept in it every night, next to our bed, for 11 weeks. I would bring it to the bathroom, drag it down the stairs and use it near the couch... or the kitchen, really wherever I was and wanted to bring him -- this lightweight thing came along.

carrier - I loved this carrier. I wasn't so sure I'd be a "babywearer" so I didn't want to spend the money on an ergo (which was really popular). I only used it at home on really terrible, fussy days -- (him, not mine I swear). But I used it a lot when we went out. I was certain (am certain?) that he'd be kidnapped from the stroller. So I preferred to wear him for that reason. It's comfortable on your back and shoulders and if he wasn't a hair puller I probably would still carry him in this way.

pack n play - I knew I wanted a pack n play type thing for travel but we got this whole set-up to put in our living room since the nursery is upstairs and I didn't want to have to go up a flight of stairs for every diaper change. The change "pad" is not a pad and barely held his weight once he started to gain a few lbs. I ended up breaking it one day when I tried to "easily flip it up and out of the way" as the site claims. Uh, no. It was difficult and a waste. We used the bassinet once (though the cats thoroughly enjoyed it). I think I'd skip this whole deal and just go for the cheaper, plain old pack n play the second time around -- and just change the baby on the floor, it's fine.

swing - Around 8 weeks, Javi started to associate the rock n play with nighttime sleep and refused to be in it during the day. So, enter a swing. We had one very similar to this though a different pattern I don't see on the site anymore. I loved it. He loved it. The downside was the legs are so wide (apparently so it's stable) and you need a large open space to put it so it has full range to actually swing.

exersaucer - Once he could hold his head up, he WANTED to hold his head up and no longer wanted to be laying down all the time. Enter: the exersaucer. I liked this one because it matched our house (haha) but he loved it because it made noise, it bounced, it spun; I mean it was basically a rocket ship. Again, it takes up a lot of space. But worth it. So worth it.

sit me up - I had never heard of this sweet slice of heaven pre-baby, but I can't tell you how much we used it. He wanted to see stuff, be up and about and in control and this thing was a life saver. This was another item I dragged all over the house from our room, to the bathroom, to the living room, to the kitchen, to the table to the everywhere. He loved it and I appreciated that it was cloth and didn't squish his legs or put him in awkward sitting positions. We had two!

walker - Oh, walkers how I loathe thee. But he had one even though I was dead against it pre-baby. But you know what? Babies love them. And when babies are happy -- parents are happy. I didn't love this one in particular (the one at my mom's house was much smaller and not so busy) but when we went to pick one out (with a crying baby in tow) this was all they had. We have narrow doorways in our house and the base of this walker is quite wide so he had a hard time maneuvering it. But he only used it for about a month and then he was more interested in pushing it around and HATED being inside of it. And then we quickly konmari'ed it.

That rounds up what contraptions I had and how I felt about them! More to follow!

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