By Heidi Leder, Coast 2 Coast Mom
NYC’s premier baby planners, Jamie Grayson and Jennifer Link, brought their passion and bottomless baby buckets of knowledge front and center for the “Strollers and Bottles and High Chairs…Oh My!” chat. It was standing-room only and the lively baby gear discussion focused on four S’s: sleep, sustenance, schlepping and safety. The discussion extended past the allotted schedule, as experts Jamie and Jennifer answered every expecting and new mom’s questions and shared their tested advice and faves.
This is THE NYC discussion to attend if you’re expecting and shopping for baby gear that is customized for your lifestyle and needs. If you missed it this year, plan to attend in 2012! Some key takeaways for expecting and new moms:
- Don’t run out and purchase all of your baby gear all at once pre-baby. Many parents find that they can do more with less equipment than they purchase, and Jamie and Jennifer advocate picking up the essentials, and taking the time to get to know your baby and see what your baby prefers before investing in more gear. Does your baby prefer to be carried, or pushed in a stroller? Maybe your baby doesn’t like swinging motions or sleeps better with you rather than in a bassinet next to you…
- Tip: Diapers.com delivers in the city by 6 p.m. same day if you order by 9 a.m.
- Sleep: AAP recommends co-sleeping, which is defined as having the baby within arms-reach of a parent – perhaps in a bassinet or cradle next to the bed or in the same bedroom. Bedsharing (often confused) is sleeping with the baby in bed with the parent. Something to consider if your baby likes to be rocked or swung to sleep is to look for a cradle that can ease the transition to bed with a continued swinging motion instead of an abrupt stop and stillness like a bassinet or crib.
- Sustenance: Let dads stay involved in the feeding process along the way. Pumping is a huge undertaking, but the stuff you need to pump depends on your lifestyle. Jamie and Jenn recommended two pumps: the Hygeia Enjoye which is WHO compliant and has a shareable pump; and the Ameda Purely Yours. Jenn likes Dr. Browns bottles and Jamie likes Green to Grow bottles. If nursing, it’s not as important to purchase bottle nipples by stage numbers 1,2,3 as the breast maintains the same flow over time, so you could stick with stage 1 bottle nipples if it works for your baby.
- Tip: Consider visiting a breastfeeding clinic before you have your baby to observe and ask questions, or to share your story and hear others’ tales. It’s a great value for about $25, unless you are having big issues and need to work 1:1 with a lactation consultant.
- Schlepping: Baby wearing is often the best option for city dwellers, and they recommended the Baby Boomba sling. As for strollers, Jamie and Jenn discussed the pros and cons of the following multiples strollers: Britax B-READY, the Bugaboo Donkey (say it’s NOT overkill AND do-able on the subway) or stadium-seating Kinderwagon. They discussed the Bob, UPPA, Verve, Vibe, City-Mini and City Select strollers. Jenn recommended the B-READY for a mom taking her baby to Paris, while Jamie suggested the City Mini.
- Tip: Use a Buggy Lock to deter stroller theft.
- Safety: The safest car seat for you is if it fits your baby and is installed properly. They advised that there’s nothing wrong with a lower-priced stroller, that they’ve been tested as safe and that it’s a personal choice – like a car. They discussed the Maxi-Cosi and Eton by Cybex.
- Tip: Check the CPSC.gov site for the latest in recalls or safety alerts.
** Photos 2, 3 & 4 were taken by Heidi Leder.
Heidi (@c2cmom) has mothered her son literally from coast to coast – raised her baby in Silicon Valley, raised a toddler in the Chicago suburbs, and is transitioning him through pre-school in North Jersey. She is fascinated by the similarities and differences in raising children regionally and is still discovering just how to raise her son as a quintessential “Jersey boy.”
A former technology public relations professional, Heidi currently works as a freelance writer and blogger contributing to the Nintendo DS Guide for About.com (writing about kids’ DS games), Techlicious, and recording weekly podcasts for the Blogging Angels. Heidi has formerly contributed to the New Jersey Moms Blog (part of the Silicon Valley Moms Group), NYMetropolista, and the “Techno Tools for Writers” column for Write On! Online. She blogs about her family travel adventures, technology, charities and growing her family at Coast to Coast Mom.