Baby Gear: Two Years In

For Maggie:


- Our biggest purchase necessitated by Maggie's arrival was a double stroller. A bunch of my mom's super wonderful and generous friends in China chipped into cover most of the cost. We went with the Baby Jogger City Select, because we have the City Micro single stroller as well. We just love both of them. They're so well-designed and intuitive. The City Select can also be a single stroller, but if I could go back in time, I don't think I'd purchase it from the beginning. You just can't beat the City Micro's compact size. Perfect for traveling and our small trunk! Now, the City Micro pretty much lives in our trunk for running errands and we use the City Select for walking around the neighborhood and to the park. We really probably could get by with no double stroller at all (just the single and the baby carrier) but it's certainly nice to have.

Rolls for days.

- We got by just fine with a dozen cloth diapers when we only had Claire. We kept Maggie in disposables for the first few months, but now that we have them both in cloth and will continue to do so until Claire's potty trained (hopefully around 2.5) we invested in six more Bum Genius 4.0 cloth diapers with snaps. Eighteen seems to be the perfect number for our every other day washing schedule.

- With Claire, I used a hospital grade pump for the first couple months, then a manual pump, then a bottom of the line of the electric pump. This time around, our health insurance covered the cost of a Medela Pump In Style. Starting when Maggie was a month old, I pump every night before going to bed (during our sitcom + dessert routine). It's important to us that our kids take bottles (date nights!!) so Adam feeds her a bottle once a day or once every other day. 

- I'm short. Like really, really short. I found a nursing stool made sitting on the couch feeding a baby for hours and hours so much more comfortable. This is definitely not a requirement, but if your feet don't touch the floor when you're sitting down, it can be super handy during the first few months! It looks like Medela doesn't make theirs anymore, but this one seems pretty similar to mine.


- Maggie was not a big fan of the swing. We really enjoy eating meals with both hands and one of Adam's uncles sent us a Target gift card, so we purchased this basic Fisher Price bouncy seat. It's so much more portable than a swing. We'd use it next to the table during meals, then carry it into the bathroom while Claire was in the tub, etc.

 Sweetly sleeping.

- As we were leaving the hospital with Maggie, the nurse gave us a Halo Sleepsack swaddle blanket. Claire did not like to be swaddled (I think from those first weeks sprawled out in an isolete in the NICU) so we didn't get a lot of practice wrapping swaddling blankets. The velcro on the Halo sleep sacks make it so easy and you don't have to worry about hip displaysia, which can potentially be an issue with regular blankets. Halo's marketing strategy worked and we ended up buying a few more!

 Thanks to Craig's List, we are now an exersaucer family.

-When Maggie grew out of the bouncy seat but we were still looking for somewhere to sit her down for a few minutes, we bought an Evenflo Triple Fun exersaucer on Craig's List. It's an older version of the one I linked to. It takes up a lot of space, but it sure is nice to have your hands free!

- Finally, we bought another Ikea Gulliver crib and Simmons Kids Slumber Time Naturally crib mattress for the nursery. We didn't want to move Claire out of the crib if she's still happy in it. We're planning to turn them into toddler beds when the time is right.

 Claire, Eating:

Claire loves croissants, quiche, fancy cheese, and Orangina. I think she'd do pretty well in France!

- Claire doesn't use the tray on her high chair anymore (we use it as a booster seat now, though, so we bought another for Maggie.) The plastic plates, bowls, and cups from Ikea are great. She still mainly drinks from sippy cups, but we let her drink water or smoothies (only at the table!) from those regular plastic ones.

- I couldn't resist using some of Claire's birthday money (from last year) to purchase a custom Sarah and Abraham plate and bowl set. I know it's completely unnecessary, but it's just sooooo cute and has held up really well so far. We have this Sarah and Abraham place mat as well.

- We also have two sectioned plates from Target (similar to this) for when Claire's eating things with dipping sauces, like pancakes and syrup or hotdogs and ketchup. They help keep the mess contained at least a little!

Claire, Toys:

Doctor Claire is in the house. She likes to give shots. #clairecamille

- When Claire visited Maggie in the hospital for the first time, we gave her a Corolle doll and accessories set. She instantly fell in love and it's been her favorite toy ever since. Well, this doll ("dolly") is her comfort item, but "baby" (we're real creative with names over here) see far more play time.

- After her dolls, Claire probably spends the most amount of time playing with blocks. For Christmas, she got some foam blocks and alphabet blocks that were both a big hit. We gave her some Mega Blocks for her second birthday, which seemed to be just the right age for her to figure out.

Busting outta those jeggings.

- Around eighteen months, Claire finally got interested in puzzles. Her favorite is this personalized name puzzle (we have one for both Claire and Maggie). We also have a couple Melissa & Doug sound puzzles and their latches board.

 One of these things is not like the others.

- Right around her second birthday, Claire started getting into to pretend play. We gave her some basic dress-up clothes (feather boa, tutu, hat, wand, fancy slippers, etc) and a tool set for her birthday. I also got out the Fisher Price doctor kit that my parents saved from when I was a little kid (so the old school version of this). She's really into setting up tea parties with her play food and dishes right now too.

Claire, Books & Other Media

At the library this morning.

- When Claire was around eighteen months old, we started phasing out board books and moving onto beginning picture books. Some of her early favorites were Mercer Mayer's Little Critter series, Mo Willem's Pigeon series, and Lucy Cousin's Maisy series.

- As her attention span lengthened, she grew to love the Madeline books. We also have the DVD of the original Madeline series. There's one episode for each of the books and they mostly follow the stories very closely.

 - My parents passed down lots of great Robert Munsch books. I have fond memories of listening to his storytelling tapes on family car trips, so we bought his albums on iTunes. They're the perfect introduction to audio books. When Claire is sitting at the table by herself for a meal, we usually turn these on for her to listen to.

Story time.

P.S. We just purchased two of these travel high chairs for our upcoming summer vacation. I'm interested to see how they'll work out!


  1. Oh man. I can't even imagine how long this post took to write, with all those links!! I feel like I had a lot of things to say, but I'm probably going to forget most of it...

    I'm impressed that you get by with only 18 diapers, and keep up an every-other-day washing schedule - I don't think I could manage to stay on top of that! We use almost exclusively pre-folds, so we can afford to have more of them. Though I am a fan of Bumgenius. How are the 4.0s compared to 3.0s?

    Stella has a couple Corolle dolls too, and really likes them. Great for little ones.

    We have a travel high chair of a very similar design to yours...it's very nice to have when we visit people!

  2. We have that travel high chair and have used it quite a bit. It's a pain to put on a table, and gets dirty easily, so you need to wash it a lot. The biggest issue I have found is that it doesn't fit on a lot of tables because of the lip, so you can't always use it. So we got a bigger plastic chair (I think like what you all use everyday) that has a back that folds down.


You are awesome.