Monday, April 28, 2008

Scouting for Baby Stuff

I think I've mentioned my careful perusal of the Baby Bargains book recommended to me by one of the pediatrics residents.

This weekend we decided it was time to actually go out and SEE some of the stuff that we'd been reading and talking about. We started on Saturday at Babies 'R Us, which is the only big baby store here in town. It had most of the basics that we wanted to see, and after our trip there, we've pretty much settled on a car seat and stroller frame. We also checked out high chairs, playpens, various swings/gyms/bouncers, bathtubs, bottles, and nursing gear. Over the next couple of weeks, we will slowly form all of our scribbled notes into an actual registry list. It was important to see a variety of stuff, since we are hoping to pick up many things (except the crib and car seat) used, so we wanted a sense of brands/features that would work for us, rather than just one specific item in each category. We left the store with our sanity intact and without spending any money, which was pretty much our definition of a successful trip!

On Sunday, we headed up to Ikea, where the cribs are basic and cheap...which to us, also means more attractive! Here's the one that we've pretty much decided on, because we like the natural wood look better than the white and blue ones that were the other options:

The mattress platform can be set at a much taller level when the crumpet is brand new, and then when she is older, one side of the crib can be removed to make a toddler bed. Since we're thinking about a more expensive mattress (a natural, organic one that's gotten great reviews), it's nice to think that she'll be able to use the mattress for a couple extra years before we get her a bigger bed.

The most fun part of the whole weekend was playing with the outdoor baby goodies at REI! We checked out jogging strollers, bike trailers, and things that converted back and forth between jogging strollers and bike trailers (with ski attachments to boot). And we tried on baby-carrying backpacks, as well. Here's Alex modeling a Kelty:

After borrowing a baby to get a true sense of wearing one, we realized that the one necessary feature is a load-lifter strap to get the weight off of the shoulders.

The outdoor stuff can't be used until the crumpet is a bit older...she's got to be able to hold her head up to ride in a backpack (maybe 6 months or so), and the recommendation on joggers and bike trailers is a year old, when the she'll have enough strength in her neck to really hold her head steady over the bumps. But it's our favorite stuff to shop for, so we're starting early!

We also stopped in at a great store called Twin Cities Green, which I saw an article about in the Minnesota Monthly magazine. They had a bunch of natural and organic baby goods, and we spent a few minutes talking to one of the owners about diapers. He had done a TON of research when deciding what to stock, settling on ImseVimse cloth diapers (Swedish for Itsy Bitsy). They are adorable! The diaper question is really the one big unsettled issue for us. We're back and forth between cloth (hard to pick a brand for the initial investment since different types seem to fit different babies very differently, and also our washing machine is old-ish and thus not Energy Star certified) and gDiapers (washable outer, flushable insert, a bit expensive) as our main contenders. We'll have to keep some disposables (7th Generation makes non-chlorine-bleached, relatively eco-friendly ones) on hand for certain situations (like when the crumpet is at someone else's place).

So, things are moving along in the preparation department. Most importantly, the crumpet is doing great! She's moving a lot, and at our 26-week checkup today, she had a good heartbeat, measured well, and my blood pressure is nice and low. I've been trying hard to do cardio (swimming, spinning, or walking) and yoga every day, and am hoping to continue to cram that stuff in on my surgery rotation as well.

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