Sunday, November 11, 2012

The short life of the Exersaucer

A number of newly pregnant friends have asked me for baby gear recommendations lately. The most helpful advice I can pass along regarding baby gear would be this: Get as many items used as possible. Bonus points for borrowing.

When I was pregnant I had this mixture of emotions regarding gear. I wanted my baby to have clean, new stuff. But I also hated the idea of acquiring a bunch of stuff in general. Thankfully we received a number of offers of gently used items for us to keep, and then we were able to fill in the gaps by adding other items to our registry.

Natalie is almost 10 months old, and the amount of baby gear we still use has declined significantly. I feel like we used a lot of gear in the beginning when we were trying to find ways to contain her or entertain her. Now that she crawls and climbs everywhere she rarely wants to be contained and instead happily explores. It's also becoming clear which baby gear items have greater staying power than others. Unfortunately, for Natalie the Exersaucer was probably used for the least amount of time out of any piece of gear, but I imagine many other babies get more use out of it if they're less mobile for a longer period.

Here's our gear breakdown:

Gear we're done with:
  • Infant swing -- 0-4 months
  • Bouncer seat -- 0-6 months
  • Infant gym -- 1-5 months
  • Bumbo seat -- 3-6 months
  • Exersaucer -- 4-7 months

Gear in rotation, though not for much longer:
  • Snap N Go stroller frame -- we occasionally still use it for a quick trip when moving Natalie in and out of her car seat seems like too much of a hassle. It got daily use from 0-6 months, and I've only used it a handful of times since then.
  • Infant tub -- still using, but I imagine Natalie is just about grown out of it. She is not OK to take a bath in the regular tub yet, though, which is something her constant screaming made abundantly clear.
  • Boppy pillow -- still using, but I will definitely not be breastfeeding past the year mark.

What are the baby gear items I think we'll keep in rotation for a long time?
  • Infant car seat -- still using. We can use it until Natalie is over 32 inches long, which could be a while seeing as she was 27.5 inches at her 9-month appointment.
  • High chair -- we did not start using this until 6 months, but our Stokke chair grows with the child and eventually turns into a regular chair.
  • Umbrella stroller -- we started using this at 6 months as well. I love how our Maclaren stroller is so easy to maneuver and so easy to fold up.
  • Pack N Play -- although we've only used this a couple times since we folded it away when it was time to transition Natalie to her crib, this has the potential to get a lot more use on trips.
  • Ergo carrier -- Natalie is tiny (only 16.5 pounds at 9 months) so I think I'll be able to wear her in this for a while.

So, while I ultimately am a greater proponent of borrowing/buying used as many gear items as possible than I used to be, I will say that for me it makes the most sense to register for/splurge on those items with greater staying power, such as strollers and high chairs.

(And because this, like so many of my other posts of late, has been in progress for a long time, another blogger I like beat me to it with this similar post of her baby products with staying power. Enjoy!)

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