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Must-haves for new moms and dads

August 19th, 2003 · 3 Comments

Using my Tough Traveler backpack today to carry my baby around town, I thought about how much I liked it. A friend of mine had had this teal-green Stallion model and after borrowing hers, I fell in love with the comfort. With its price of more than $160 (now it looks closer to $200!) I searched all kinds of ads to find one used. I bought ours four years ago, from a UC Santa Cruz professor: she and her husband had carried their 4-year-old twins in two such packs while cross-country skiing! While in California, I purchased from Tough Traveler the optional rain/sun hood to protect baby Abigail from the sunny weather – but when I use it here in the Puget Sound area, people seem to think I bought it as an umbrella, for the rain!

I’ve used this pack for three babies now, and through four years. If I could afford to do so, I’d give one to each new mom and dad I know. It is a must-have, in my opinion.

And it got me thinking what are other must-haves? What list would I write?

A Stallion Tough Traveler backpack or other comfortable child-carrier

A sling or Snugli or another soft, front-carrier for newborn and little babies

A black, white and red accordion style board book that can stand up
(the one I have, called God’s Animals, is out of print, I think, but it has been great for entertaining babies)

The Nursing Mother’s Companion by Kathleen Huggins – I have an older version but I am sure this is still the same great reference book that I have used for all three.

At least two medical books for infancy and early childhood- I have found it very helpful to have MORE than one book. The authors each seem to have their blindnesses and gaps. With Abigail I was borrowing a Dr. Sears book that was helpful in its detail for diagnosis. I also have the American Academy of Pediatrics book , What to Expect During the First Year and another one.

Graco playpen – great for traveling, playing, napping. The bassinet can be a handy diaper changing table too!

Of course I’m assuming that the new parents already have a thermometer, car seat, crib and diapers….oh yes, burp cloths and clothes are good too …

We have used an Exersaucer (wow, now they have mega and ultra saucers!) and a Mini-Gym and those have been very helpful for our family, but I don’t know if I would call them “must-haves”. They each have their own age range too, just like a swing . (we borrowed a swing for Abigail but didn’t use it much – never used one for Michaela or Elisabeth – I guess our kids didn’t fall into the category of “88% of babies fall asleep in a Graco swings”) Even a breast pump and bottles – I used them for Abigail but not the other two.

So just sharing my thoughts about how much I’ve enjoyed my backpack and wanted to make a list of other things I’ve appreciated during the baby years. Anything I’ve missed? Any questions?

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Christy // Aug 20, 2003 at 7:00 am

    Just about everything on your must-have list is also on mine. 3 other things I include on my must-have list: earplugs (my first baby was colicky and screamed a lot while I drove, the earplugs really helped me focus on driving), Shout Wipes for the diaper bag, a REALLY good stain remover (I prefer Mother’s Helper which I used to find at Babies R Us).

  • 2 enoch // Aug 30, 2003 at 8:19 pm

    nally never liked her swing either, nor the baby bjorn. she loves her pack&play which travels with us all over (although many hotels have them instead of cribs).

    natalie liked a jumper (hooked under a doorframe) rather than an exersaucer.

    we’ve had a lot of luck with buying used stuff around palo alto. just picked up a jogger that was practically new for $50 😉

  • 3 me // Sep 3, 2003 at 10:37 pm

    Yes, I’ve also heard ear plugs recommended although I’ve never used them myself. Stain remover is smart. And jumpers are cool too. We borrowed one for Abigail but not for the other two.
    Used stuff is the way to go, in my book, if you can find it, especially for the big ticket items like backpacks and strollers! The stuff for babies can cost so much and the kids only use it a little while.