Baby Gear Essentials for On-the-Go
Strollers, Car Seats, Baby Carriers & More
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Car Seats: You have two options when it comes to car seat: a carrier/infant car seat or a convertible car seat.
A carrier/infant car seat come in two pieces: the base and the carrier. The carrier easily snaps in and out of the base or stroller allowing you to carry your baby in the carrier from one spot to another. It is great for carrying your baby to and from the house and from the car to stroller. It a lifesaver when you want your little one to stay asleep when you are moving them to and from the car and stroller. The Chicco Keyfit worked really well for us.
A convertible car seat, on the other hand, is one piece that stays strapped into the car. The advantage of a convertible car seat is that it can grow with your child. It can start as a rear-facing infant car seat and then it can be converted to a front-facing car seat as your child gets older. Around the age of one, we moved our boys to a Britax convertible car seat.
Strollers: There are a lot of different types of strollers: full-sized strollers, lightweight or umbrella strollers, car seat strollers, jogging strollers, and travel systems. Depending on your budget, the size and functions needed, and how you plan to use your stroller will all determine the right type of stroller for you.
I ended up purchasing a full-size stroller and a smaller umbrella stroller. The full-sized stroller was great for when my boys were small and I could use it to click the car seat carrier into and go. It also provided more storage but the drawback was that it was fairly bulky and took up more space when stored in the car or garage.
Once my boys were able to sit up, I started using a small umbrella stroller for most of our outings. It is easier to store in the car and maneuver around stores. It is also great for traveling.
Car Seat Cover
Car Seat Cover: If you are using a carrier/infant car seat and your little one is going to be out in the cold, I highly recommend purchasing a car seat carrier cover to keep them warm and out of the elements. You can either go with a cover such as this one or you can get a lighter weight cover such as this one that multi-functions as a nursing cover, cart cover, and scarf.
A baby carrier is great to have for multiple reasons. First, a carrier keeps your baby snuggled with you which is comforting for you and them. Secondly, it allows you to have your arms and hands-free to do other things. Thirdly, it can be as an alternative to a stroller or cart when out and about.
There are three types of carriers: wrap, sling, or carrier. Each comes with different weight minimums and limits. Some are great for just the first few months while others have the option of growing with your baby. Here is a quick summary of the different options:
Wraps: Wraps are made of stretchy material that you tie typically around your shoulders and mid-section to hold your baby. Wraps are a great option for the first few months. A couple of popular wraps are the Boba Wrap Carrier and Cuddlebug Wrap Carrier.
Sling: A sling just goes over one shoulder and across your body. This luxury ring sling baby carrier is great for mom and dads.
Structured Carrier: A structured carrier provides more support and is easy to put on and take off with its buckled straps. They are not as cozy for newborns but are great for carrying older babies and toddlers. The Infantino Flip is a popular structured carrier.
Other Helpful Items
Mirror: A mirror will allow you to check on your little one while you are driving.
Shopping Cart Cover: Shopping carts and restaurant highchairs can be pretty dirty and babies love to chew and touch everything. Keep your little one clean with a cover such as this one.
Car Seat Insert: A car seat insert helps keep your car seat clean from diaper blowouts, food, and potty training.
Car Seat Protectors and Kick Mats: Car seat protectors and kick mats will keep your car clean and organized.
Window Visors: Window visors help keep your little one protected from the sun glare and heat.