I don’t know why, but that first trip out alone with a newborn can be intimidating. Even if it’s just to the grocery store down the street! There are so many different ways to make transporting a baby easier, it’s hard to know what will be right for you. If you can afford it, I would recommend getting a few different carriers (car seat, stroller, wrap, etc.) to fit the situation. I can tell you, I’ve used all of mine regularly and feel like they were definitely worth the expense.
Here are my recommendations for baby gear on the go. 🙂
Pack ‘N Play Playard – This is great to have set up in your house for another sleeping location for a newborn. These obviously are nice for traveling with babies. The newborn napper and diaper changing station are quite handy to have too.
Pack ‘n Play Playard Sheet – Unfortunately, the base of the Pack ‘n Play is only wipe-able..so getting some sheets to protect it from unfortunate messes is a must. If you have a Graco Pack ‘n Play, not all sheets will fit, so make sure you’re registering for Graco sheets too.
Convertible Car Seat – This car seat can last you from birth to 70 lbs. It can be rear or forward-facing, so there are a ton of options for transporting your baby safely from point A to point B. The only downside is that it isn’t removable, so if the baby falls asleep while you’re driving, you have to wake them up to move them. But, if you’re looking for maximum savings, skip the infant seat and get one of these to use right away.
My personal favorite is the Graco Head Wise 70/Size4Me70/Fit4Me70/MySize70 car seat. It has great safety reviews, fits into cars nicely AND the best part…the harness does not need to be re-threaded as your child grows! Not to mention easy to clean and very affordable. I was able to get mine for a great price using Target’s Cartwheel App or doing the Babies ‘R Us Great Trade In event.
Stroller – There are so many options available for strollers. You will probably want one that is light weight, easy to turn, and folds up in a compact design. You can get larger ones, but odds are you won’t use them often if they are too big and bulky. An added bonus to the Chicco Liteway Plus Stroller is that the infant seat can snap onto the stroller, so you can use it easily with an infant.
Waterproof Changing Pad – You would be amazed at the lack of places to change a baby’s diaper while you’re out and about. And the ones that are available are usually so dirty, you wonder if they have ever been cleaned. These changing pads are easy to fold up and keep in a purse or diaper bag for those times.
Diaper Bag – There are a ton of options for these as well. My all time favorite bag is the Thirty One Backpack. It has so many pockets to hold all your baby essentials, a thermal pocket for food or bottles, and plenty of space for that extra change of clothes and diapers. Thirty One also has many other bags that work great as purses/diaper bags…you can check out more here. 🙂
Car Seatsaver – This is great for protecting the seat of your car from the feet of the car seat. For the car seat to be properly installed, it will be cinched down tight and may leave marks on the seat if you’re not using one of these.
Very Nice to Have but not Essential:
Back Seat Mirror – So nice to have while the baby is rear-facing (now recommended until they are at least two). You can see if they are awake or sleeping, and they can peek at you as well.
Carseat Canopy – This is GREAT when you’re using an infant car seat! It keeps the sun, wind, etc. out of the baby’s face while you’re out and about, but it also can be used for an emergency blanket or nursing cover. Go to http://www.carseatcanopy.com and use this promo code to get one for FREE: 215276
Infant Car Seat and Base – If you can afford to get an infant seat, you won’t use it for long, but it will be worth it. It makes transporting your always-sleeping baby easy because you don’t have to wake them up to move them.
Jogging Stroller – Even if you’re not a runner, this stroller has such a smooth ride, it makes taking walks a nice experience. The ones with the air in the tires can handle much rougher terrain for your zoo trips or walking through grass. This is a bulky stroller, and may not easily fit in the back of smaller cars.
Boba Wrap or Moby Wrap – I haven’t tried this on an infant yet, BUT I was still able to use the Moby wrap with Jeremiah when he was about 20 lbs. These aren’t as good carrying larger babies and toddlers, but reviews say they are wonderful for carrying infants. They offer more head and body support when the babies need it before they graduate up to the soft-structured carrier.
Soft-structured Carrier (like a Boba, Ergo, or Beco carrier) – These carriers are WONDERFUL to have! It’s not only comfortable for you to wear a baby up to 45 lbs, but also promotes better posture for the baby while you’re carrying them (compared to a front-facing carrier). These carriers spread the baby’s weight across your hips, so they aren’t pulling on your shoulder.
Jeremiah rides in his at least once a week while I’m vacuuming, but I’ll also put him in it when I need two hands (like cooking) or if we are going somewhere a stroller won’t go. We took Jeremiah on his first plane trip when he was six months old, and this carrier was also great for getting him through the airport and on and off the airplane. Some will have infant inserts to support babies who can’t hold their heads up yet, so you can start using them right away.
*Note: You want to be careful buying these from Amazon or used. Counterfeit ones are being sold, and while they may be a “good deal,” they are not being manufactured ethically. I’d recommend buying from a reputable distributor like Nicki’s Diapers or directly from the company.
Nice to Have:
Sun, Wind and Insect Cover for Jogger – When we first started taking walks, Jeremiah HATED the wind! My friend recommended this screen to me, and we are so glad we have it! Now, the wind doesn’t bother him so much, but it’s still great for giving him some shade and keeping the bugs away in the summer!
Munchkin Diaper Bag Dispenser and Bags – If you use disposable diapers, this little dispenser and set of refill bags are very nice to package up yucky diapers until you can find a trash can for them.
A few safety tips:
- It is recommended to get a new car seat instead of buying used. With expiration dates and car wrecks as a possible part of the history, is it worth saving a few bucks to potentially have a car seat that won’t work properly? If you do buy used, definitely get one that has not expired from someone you trust well enough to tell you the truth about the history.
- Don’t put infant seats in the top part of the grocery cart. There have been accidents where the cart tips over or the car seat falls off the cart. Put the seat in the main part of the shopping cart, or if you need more space, wear your baby in a carrier while you’re shopping.
- Make sure you’re installing your car seat properly and you are tightening the buckles correctly. www.thecarseatlady.com has a TON of great information on car seat safety.
If you’d like my complete list of baby items you’ll need, you can download it here for FREE: Baby Registry List. This blog post may contain affiliate links (all opinions and reviews are still 100% my own). If you purchase through them, you’ll be supporting The List Mama – Thanks!