In honor of LP's first birthday, which falls on Memorial Day this year, I wanted to pass on some pearls of wisdom each day leading up to the anniversary of her arrival. Today's post will be about all of the goods one must acquire as a parent. These items are top of mind because tonight we will not have access to our kitchen. Any other year this would have had minimal impact on our lives - the Hoos and I would simply have gone out to dinner. But with a little one to care for we had to remove a million things from the kitchen (i.e., bottles, high chair, bibs), prepare a freezer pack with milk, and pack two days worth of school meals for LP. Babies=stuff.
Strollers: When we registered for a stroller, my grandparents (who generously purchased the stroller for us) complained that we were cheaping out. But we love our Graco MetroLite. At the beginning, LP looked so small in it, now she sits up like a big girl, exploring features she never noticed before (like the clear panel "skylight" that she looks up at me through). Combined with the Kiddopotamus sun shade, we have had many pleasant family walks. Below are the Hoos and LP using the stroller for the first time.
Car Seats: We started out with the Graco SafeSeat which served us really well until we determined that baby girl had outgrown it. It was great, because we only needed one car seat and two bases (the Hoos drops LP off at day care and I do pick up). Now the car seat looks so small, especially when you consider that it originally had two removal head protector rolls that fit around LP's noggin. We have now moved on to the Graco ComfortSport Convertible car seat. Yes, we looked at the fancy-schmancy Britax, but it didn't look too different and considering we had to buy one for each car, the expense (one cost more than two of the Graco!) did not justify any minor upgrades.
Breast Pump: Medela PumpInStyle, hands down. If you need more details, read about my horrific experience attempting to use something else.
Etc.: I can't say enough about the awesome Bumkin bibs; they dry quickly, are virtually impossible to stain and are worth the extra cost. The bouncy seat and exercise mat are necessary, the mobile is not (or at least it wasn't for us). A CD or two of kids music (we love our Raffi) will really help when you are too tired to think and make up silly songs during the first few months.
This is just the beginning of my sharing my wisdom, aren't you excited?! Well, hopefully this will at least help someone out there.