As you have noticed we had our first baby, kai, last 8th of December, so today 31st December he is 23 days old.
I would like to share my experience on the gear I think we have and what I think.
As the geek I am I started thinking about:
- stroller: that is the first thing a father looks at. At least I did. If you do a bit of research online you find out that there are very funky strollers, and very expensive too. Some are super cool in design, and most of my friends started buying some of these… for instance the stokke, quinny or bugaboo. Both are super cool. Bogaboo has the pack with the stroller, the car sit and the carrycot (be careful bugaboo carrycot is not homologated for car use) and when you see the videos you do want them… but… after talking to most of my friends with kids, who have bought one or another, they ended up confessing that at the end of the day, what you really want is a practical light stroller, that you can fold and unfold with a single hand, and that for that reason, the classical umbrella ones are the best… and they all ended up buying one of those. In this list we can find maclaren and red castle. You even consider to buy a 3 wheel one, in case you go to the mountain, or off road… bah! if you do, then it is better to buy a baby carrier…
Now I knew I was going to skip the mistake of spending $1000 on a funky stroller, the question was: is there a light umbrella type stroller that can fit a maxi-cosi (the seat for the car) and a carrycot? Well the winner for me was a new model of 2009 from bebe confort, in particular the mila. Why? Well it is light, you can open it and fold it standing and easily, it is less than 1meter folder (so it can go as cabin baggage, most of maclaren can’t) you can push it while it is folded, it has a huge basket, and the most important is that with an adaptor you can put the maxi-cose and the carrycot, and the carrycot is homologated for car use.
- Car sit (also known as maxi-cosi): if you have chosen a stroller, then probably there is either a car sit model that goes with, or it is a standard maxi-cosi so you have more choice.
You do need this piece of equipment. The reason why is because in the hospital they will not let you take the baby home unless you have one, as they are mandatory if you travel by car. Well you can use an homologated carrycot too, sure. In my case I bought the one on the photo above: the creatis fix. I just used it twice so far. People say that newborns can not be in one of these for too long, as their back is not flat like in the carrycot. I understand it is far safer in the car than the carrycot as the baby sits with his back to the front, so in case of an accident is much safer.
In the car you have the isofix system to attach baby seats. Well not for the maxi-cosi. I guess this system is for proper big baby chairs. When I first bought it I attached it with the belt. It was damn complicated, so I ended up buying a support for the car with a simple click system. I bought it in ebay.
- Carrycot: We did not want to buy this in a first place. Most of the people would say that they used it only for a couple of months and they are very expensive. In our case the baby is ALWAYS in it. We bought it in ebay too. Second hand. New is very expensive (more than $350) and we paid less than 50%. It can go in the mila, and we put it inside the baby cot (that we bough in ikea). How is that we use it so much? well the baby cot is too big for a new born. This is confined. You can take the baby around even if he is sleeping (and he sleeps a lot!). Ours, windoo.
- Baby cot: that was a present. It is a cheap model from IKEA. We put the windoo inside. For the time being in our bedroom.
- Baby video camera: I bought this in ebay. I searched for a baby cam with pan and tilt and infrared. It is a key thing. You could do with audio alone, but isn’t it nice to see you baby? even in the most absolute black?. In our house the audio has some interferences, not 100% happy, but it is a house. During the day they told us that the baby should stay in his room rather than in the living room with all the noises, so we put him there with the camera, on the first floor of the house.
Thermometer: One the key things you need is a thermometer. Well in fact you do need 3 of them. One to measure the room temperature, which should be between 19-21 degrees (celsius), one for the bath (37 degrees) and one to see if he has temperature.
I found one in amazon that does the 3 things seamlessly. The Hartig-Helling 6 in one.
- 6 functions: measurement of forehead and ear temperature, room temperature, and surface temperature (e. g. baby food or bathwater), stopwatch, time/date
- easy-to-read LCD display
- including multifunctional adaptor for measuring in the ear and on the forehead – no special adaptor for forehead measurement necessary
- audible tone when measurement is complete
- fever alarm when temperature is over 37.5 °C (99.5 °F)
- storage of the last 9 measurements
- 12/24-hour display
- choice of °C or °F
Travel baby cot: This you can find very cheap in big surfaces. We bought the ferrari of travel baby beds: babymoov. It costs more than $150 and you can buy it in amazon too. It has a changing table, light, music, pockets…
They told us you might need one of this. We have not used it so far, but I guess if you travel, or once you are done with maternity/paternity leave and you have to leave the kid with the baby sitter, then this a fundamental piece of equipment you need. At the beginning we thought we might leave it in the leaving room but we end up having him on the carrycot all times.
All these gadgets we bought before kai was born. Now, once he was born we realized we needed a bath tube, a practical place to change his diapers…
Also you want to add some control on the breastfeeding, on the pooing, baths, and so.
I found a great iPhone app for that: Total Baby. There is a good review here. Looks like it is the best of its class. The problem is that Nuria has no iphone… and she is the one breastfeeding, obviously… but I am consider buying it myself, in order to control the visits to the doctor, and to try to extract some patterns se we can have a routine. It is important for the baby.
Finally we were given as a present one of this baby carrier that you put in front of you. We heard that it is not the perfect way, as when they are so small they cannot be there for more than a couple of hours.
The one I like a lot is this french one, looks like is very ergonomic and great for the baby. I am wanting to have kai always with me with this gadget. It was recommended at the hospital where he was born (la tour).
It is called “je porte mon bebe” which means “I carry my baby”. Look at the video… is elastic and so cool! They even organise gatherings to show you how to use it… but looks great. A bit expensive though…79 euros plus shipping.