Thursday, June 27, 2013

Baby Registry Basics: The Car Seat and Stroller

I hope you're not reading this post in hopes to gain knowledge on the 'basics' of putting together a baby registry. I'm sure The Bump or elsewhere could do a much better job than this first time mama.

I, on the other hand, am just getting a handle on my registry. A date has been set for the first baby shower and it's sooner rather than later--which I am TOTALLY fine with; I'd rather know what I have and don't have more than a month before the baby comes. Michelle, Jo and I are having a joint shower in the family and it's going to be at the next quarterly get together. (The last one was when we announced our pregnancies.) That's less than a month away!

So I've spent the last four or five days doing a little more in depth research on the bigger items. I was grateful that Jo passed along a very nice document her sister-in-law (who just became a mother last November) made for her. It included the list of items she felt were most important during her motherhood so far and notes about the exact brand she had--some of which she recommended and others she advised against and instead recommended things she'd heard good reviews on. She also included links to many of these items. You know, it's great that you can go online and read reviews for items, but the truth is EVERYTHING has some sort of drawback or complaint. It feels much better to hear feedback from a personal connection who you can have a two-way conversation with.

The big item I'm trying to decide on now is the car seat. I know it is a more costly item, but it's one of the most important when it comes to safety. We all know I will save a penny any chance I get, but I've decided this is one item I don't want to skimp on.

My dilemma was two-fold:
(1) Understanding the seat variations! Infant....convertible.... toddler...etc! Convertible sounded ideal in the sense I can just keep on using it--more bang for you buck (penny-pincher here, remember?) However, on the flip side I still want to know what is best AND I am keeping in mind that I hope I'm blessed with more than one child and, if so, I plan to have them in somewhat close proximity... meaning I'll probably need multiple seats at some points in my early parenting career.

(2) Deciding on a the pros/cons of a travel system: a car seat that fits into the stroller unit and you buy together...another cost savings. 

The piece of the travel system I am leery of is that getting the RIGHT car seat is very important to me. The stroller is a less pressing matter simply because I don't think we will have as high of usage as some people being where we live. We are not super social and the things we do go out for would probably result in us using a carrier or just bringing in the car seat. The stroller that would probably be most useful for us would be a jogging stroller or at least one that is a three-wheeler. This could also be used on our gravel roads and easily in the grass/fields. Of course, only select travel systems come with this style of stroller--but I don't want the stroller to dictate which car seat we select.

I also went to Valerie for input on the matter. Not only is she an experienced mother but now that she has #2 and they are close in age, she can kind of be my eyes into the future. 

She and Jo's sister and law both have the Chicco Keyfit 30 infant car seat and are both very happy with it. Much to my dismay it is one of the most costly on the market....but it's one of the most highly rated. The additional selling point in my book is that Valerie's not-quite-two year old was still using this seat (weight limit 30#, height limit 30") it right up to the time the newborn came. At this point, Sam was big enough to move onto a larger toddler sized seat while new baby Max could take over and continue getting use out of the infant seat.

This seat does come in an option for a travel system--also costly--but as of now we are going to skip that. I believe Valerie did go with this, but she admitted that her jogging stroller has gotten much more use. We will probably choose a jogging stroller to add to our registry but may even end up checking baby consignment shops for one. Again, I feel our use of the stroller will be limited. 

The other piece of the Keyfit is that the extra bases are rather costly. As of now we only have one vehicle we can keep the car seat in anyway.
My second choice for a car seat would likely be a travel system. I have heard good things about the Britax B-Agile and B-Safe Travel system. The stroller is a three-wheel unit and part of it's selling point is that is is agile and gets around easily--including in packing it up.

I'm still working through the rest of the registry and have started a short registry on Amazon that is sure to grow. I also plan to register at Babys-R-Us and Walmart. I hope Mingus and I get a chance to at least do Babys-R-Us this weekend since we will be traveling and there aren't any too close to home. I only plan to register for specifics on the things highly recommended to me or are of major concern to me--which is a limited list right now. 

If anyone has feedback on car seats, strollers or the gear and supplies most important to their early months of parenting please let me know. We plan to cloth diaper and breast feed are two other pretty major choices that will affect our needs. I'm loving any advise I can get right now so bombard me with it!

No comments: