Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Double Trouble, Double D's, Double Strollers...

Sorry, this post isn't about boobs. Or should I say, "You're welcome." Although, I guess boobs could be considered a part of "baby gear"....

I would definitely consider us to be minimalists when it comes to accumulating baby gear. Especially when Dmitri was born, we lived in a small one bedroom apartment and had very little room for anything other than the bare essentials. (And do babies really need anything other than food, clothes, and diapers?). With doubling our offspring, we definitely do not want to double the amount of things that we have. Already having one child means that we already have some of the essentials. But, I have been shocked by how much we still have had to purchase and how much adding a second child costs! It definitely is not as simple as just re-using everything- especially since they will be close in age. So, we have been trying to stay true to our minimalist approach, while saving as much money as possible, and still get what we need for Baby Deux. 

What we decided are essential:

Car Seat. The expression "duh" came out of my mouth faster than a seventh grader from the 90's...We decided to go with an infant car seat this time around (We skipped that with Dmitri). The Graco 35 Snugride to be exact, because it had the highest safety ratings. I was able to score a good deal at Babies 'R Us with a coupon. Here it is.

Diapers. Our current set of cloth diapers are still in use by Dmitri, so we needed to grow our collection. We use Fuzzibunz Perfect Size diapers (mostly) And you can read all about them here. We will use disposables for the first couple weeks (unless the baby is over 8 lbs.) and then switch to cloth once they fit him. Since I'm all about re-using and recycling while saving money, I bought ours off of eBay and from a local mama (some never used, and others very gently used).

Double stroller. Since we became pregnant, I have argued with myself over whether we really need one of these monstrosities. They are so enormous and cumbersome and embarrassing. I finally decided that there is just no way I can carry two under two everywhere, or even push one and carry one. So, I thought I would get the smallest, lightest weight double stroller possible. I researched strollers for months and months. (And plagued my poor sister-in-law with the pros and cons of each and every one). My first choice was the Baby Jogger City Select. I liked the versatility of it, but the price tag? Not so much. Even if we had the money, I do not see how I could justify spending that much on a stroller. So I kept looking. The Baby Jogger City Mini Double was a top contender (and I was looking at purchasing one via eBay at a discount). Another option was the Graco Quattro Tour Duo, which was less expensive and top-rated by third party consumer report, but I was worried about it being too heavy. I made a stop at Babies 'R Us to buy some baby wipes, and decided to take a few of the strollers for a test ride to see if that made the decision anymore clear. After a quick tour around the store, I could not deny it any longer. The one that I liked was the BIGGEST ASS STROLLER I've ever seen. It's like pushing an Expedition down the sidewalk...and it has 6 cup holders, and huge storage compartment, and it is compatible with our infant car seat (no extra parts needed!). And it clocks in at a very sturdy 40 lbs.

I ordered it off of Amazon greatly discounted from Babies 'R Us' prices. It arrived, and Dmitri and I assembled it. We have been "test-driving" it around the house thanks to the nasty weather, and all four of us love it. I'm looking forward to some Spring weather and a yummy newborn to really try it out.      

Those were our top three essentials that we purchased. We have a longer list of things that "would be nice", like:

-Baby Bjorn Organic Carrier
- Ergo Baby Carrier  (Thanks for all of the opinions and recommendations!)
-A Glider
-A Crib (...and Mattress)

What are your "essentials" that you just can't live without?! Any items that you regret buying or wish that you had?


Gina @ Temporary Nest said...

I may not be a Mommy or Mommy-to-be but I am an Auntie-to-be and my brother and sister in law are of your same state of mind: less is more. They live in Manhattan so they simply cannot buy a thousand different gadgets... there's no room! This is their first bundle of joy, so I'm sure they can make it work just fine. If numero dos comes along... they may have to move! They also got the smallest stroller imaginable so that they can maneuver the streets of NY without playing bumper-cars with other pedestrians! haha Have fun with your new stroller!! I cant wait to see the new little one! <3

PS: can't stop thinking about your master bedroom. Where did you get your stencil again?

Kim said...

Great post Caroline. Most people don't think about the stuff you'll need with an extra munchkin in tow. I have to give a shout out to the baby jogger city mini double. I have the exact one in the link you provided. It is amazing. You may consider one when baby #2 is a bit older. You'll be surprised how quick dealing with that heavy double will get old. The baby jogger is so light, easy to fold and narrow enough to easily fit through doorways and aisles when shopping. I'd keep an eye out for one on craiglist or ebay for the future. Even simple errands are a whole new ballgame with more than one kiddo. You'll want to make it as easy as possible. Just a thought.

Dana Ann said...

Being as we are in nearly the exact situation as you are (both of our kids will be virtually the same age as yours), we had a lot of the same needs. We were fortunate enough to be gifted both a toddler bed and a double stroller from a friend whose kids had outgrown them, as well as a brand new infant car seat from a car seat inspection group (we had gone straight to an infant rated convertible with our first).

I purchased a 4 piece dresser set and some very gently used diapers off of Craigslist for the newborn stage at a total steal. Unfortunately, it looks like I may have to purchase some new dipes for Quinn as well since he's outgrown his medium Happy Heinys.

What would be REALLY nice is a larger car, however that will not be happening anytime in the near future. We are currently a one car family, as I stay home. That one car is a Scion XA. It's tiny! It will be fine for quick, local trips with both kids in tow. But for longer, overnight trips where we need a lot of gear we'll have to borrow or rent a larger vehicle until such a time that we can afford to buy one. It's not a necessity, but it would certainly be nice!

Anonymous said...

We too are looking into the essentials we need to make life with 3 most efficient. :)
I could not live with out our pack and play for the first few months of baby's life. I love how it has an elevated insert to keep baby and has a changing table too! I keep it right by my bed & the middle of the night nursing and diaper change doesn't seem so bad. :)
I also could not live with out lanolin for the boobs! And the best deal is from vitamin cottage. It's a more pure brand and a way better deal than the stuff they carry at target.
Thanks for the links, I was interested about the car seat as we too need to buy one.
I also am in the market to buy a new baby carrier. Here in Colorado the Ergo is all the rage and my girlfriends LOVE it. I'm planning to get one.

mary said...

my boys are a little farther apart-the oldest was 26 mos when his brother was born, but other than diapers, i don't think there was anything else we HAD to buy.

we were gifted a gently used infant seat from a family friend and we just kept the baby in the pack and play bassinet until big brother moved out of the crib (not that either of them actually sleep in their beds much.)

we got a double stroller for free on craigslist-a sit and stand. great for the older one who liked to be more mobile, plus you can fit more than 2 kids on it.

if you use cloth wipes, i would get (or make) more. i didn't and was always running out.

instead of a baby bjorn, i would recommend a moby wrap (cheaper and more versatile) or an ergo (more expensive but sooo comfortable.) the baby bjorn isn't very comfortable, you can't wear it on your back, and doesn't work very well as they get older. we were gifted one with our first son and didn't use it very much. with second son, he lived in the moby. (honestly, if you want to try the baby bjorn, i would let you borrow ours, although it's not an organic. it's the original.)

sorry that was so long. i too think people have way too much "stuff" for their babes.

Unknown said...

I recommend a Moby Wrap instead of a Baby Bjorn. They are so much more snuggly and A LOT better on the back.

Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse said...

Kids sure are costly! Remember a time when parents held onto their babies in the car? It was not even that long ago . . .

Unknown said...

I totally agree with your philosophy on this... I can hardly stand to see a six month old with eight different contraptions to keep him entertained. A swing, play-mat, bouncy seat, play-walker, jumper... and all in the brightest primary colors ever!
My goal when I become a mother is to be as minimalist as possible. I'm sure it's easier said than done... but I'd love to avoid having a dozen play-contraptions in my living room. :)

Katie Olthoff said...

Too funny. I have been going back and forth on the stroller, too. Granted, Adam will be 3 this summer, so he's a bit bigger, and walks most of the time anyway. And then my friend offered hers to us. So we're going to try that.

Monitor - we borrowed most of our baby gear (swing, crib, etc.) and decided to spring for the Angelcare monitor. I have some anxiety issues and this monitor helped me so much. Definitely worth every penny to us.

Mama Gone Green said...

Luckily my age difference between finn and the soon-to-be is enough that he is done with all of his baby gear, so we will be able to reuse diapers, carriers, crib, carseat and everything else for #2. However, since this time we are having a girl, we did need to spruce up the clothing collection. But, we were very lucky to get a bunch of hand-me-downs and haven't had to purchase anything yet.
As far as my couldn't live without mommy gear, it is definitely the Ergo carrier. I carried Finn in that until he was over 2, and once they can go on your back, you can carry them while still doing dishes, holding another kid, whatever. I love that thing!

Mrs.Sanders said...

I LOVE MY GRACO DUO STROLLER!!! I thought the same thing about it being too big and I felt like I was driving a bus! but that thing had saved my life on many occasions! I am most definitely not upgrading to a triple stroller with baby#3 so I will be getting even more use out of my Duo this next baby! I feel like I am getting my money's worth ;)

Babies have so much crap! I like your minimal approach!

Boogers and Blonde Moments said...

I cannot live without my baby sling! When my babies were newborns, it was the only thing that gave me my second hand!

And a crockpot. :)

Unknown said...

I love your blog and especially your baby-related posts! Even though motherhood is likely years away for me, I love squirreling away other people's tips and suggestions for when "someday" comes :)
I think so many people - especially first time parents become so overwhelmed with all the so-called needs that come with a baby. For me, starting off small seems like the obvious first choice, but I can easily see how things can snowball!
Like a few of the other commenters wrote, I've heard really amazing things about the Moby Wrap. Plus they look super cute.

Can't wait to see pictures of you pushing around your big-ass stroller! ;)

Kara said...

Haha, I'm a soon to be first time Mom, so I have no idea!! I did send out an email to my new mommy girlfriends and had them send me their top 10 must have's, top 10 nice to have's, and top 10 over-rated items. That's helped a lot with getting the registry started!!

I can't imagine how much MORE you're going through with TWO!

Mandi Miller said...

Hahaha! It's hilarious you went for the big stroller! But hey, everyone loving it is what's important!! It sounds like something "I" would want to ride in! :)

I regret the diaper genie! I mean really? It's just a trash can with a cool lid...

Oh, and I got a lot of bottles given to me for Maddy. ??? The only time she used a bottle was for frozen breast milk and those where the Medela bottles that came with my hand pump! ---> and there were only four! :) I re-gifted all of the extra bottles haha!

Melissa @ HerGreenLife said...

Your post and all the comments here are very helpful :) I'm currently trying to figure out the bare minimum that we'll need for baby #1, due in July. It's easy to get overwhelmed with all the choices and options out there!

There will most likely eventually be a baby #2, and we'll try to space things so at least #1 is out of diapers.

Melissa @ It's Fancy Schmancy said...

I love your master bedroom! Love the stencil. I have been looking for one and you have really inspired me to DO it!

Anonymous said...

I actually wished I would have opted to not get the glider. It was not very comfy, and I didn't use it much. I recently bought a Sit N Stand stroller by Baby Trend for our trip to disneyland and am in love with it! It pushes just like a regular stroller, is the same size as a regular stroller...awesome. I saw on The Foundery site today that they had some sweet baby carriers on sale way off.

LORI said...

So...I'm a lurker but I wanted to throw my two cents in. :)

My girls are 22-months apart...we did a lot of handing down (as in, my oldest moved to a "big girl room" and we just recycled the nursery on down. Same with clothes but I still buy the occasional thing bc they are totally lil is a tomboy so seeing her run around in frilly dresses is just funny to me.

We bought a Combi double stroller. I <3 it! It gets mixed reviews if you read about it but I had the single on loved it and Im not disappointed in my double either. It's nice on the wallet (like $130) and weighs nothing so it's easy to maneuver.

I have a Baby Hawk carrier that I love. I still use it and they're 3 and 18 months. Plus it's cute :)

As far as keeping in minimal...I have tons o' crap I don't use but one of the best things I got was an infant seat that turns into a toddler rocker. And my highchair. It's a Chicco and it raises and lowers and as the child gets bigger you can use it without the tray at the table. And it folds in half for storage.

Diaper Genie = a smelly waste...I had on for Lainey but when we moved I trashed it and have never used it for Bree.

Good luck!!!! Two is def an adventure...esp close in age. :)