Baby Gear / July 7, 2018 / Hazel Clemens.
Start with a stroller that fits a newborn. This means one where baby can ride lying down flat or almost flat. We love old-fashioned prams, but because they're expensive, heavy, and only safe until the three-month mark, we don't recommend them. A better alternative is one of the "carriage systems" sold by some European companies, in which you buy a separate bassinet that snaps onto the stroller frame for those first three months, and then use the stroller seat after that. But they're pricey, too.
Play Yard - The play yard is incredibly versatile. More commonly called a Pack ‘N Play, this item can be a crib, a bassinet, a changing table, and a play area all in one. If you plan to travel with your baby, having a play yard ensures that he or she will have a proper place to sleep while away from home. It’s also a safe place to lay your baby down while you take care of yourself or your other children.
Breast Pump - A good breast pump is essential if you’re a working mother and want your baby to have the benefits of breast milk throughout the day. Moreover and this may be the biggest perk you can pump before bed at night and your husband can wake up to feed the baby while you get your much-deserved sleep. You can purchase expensive electric pumps, but I recommend a simple manual one that is easily portable, such as the Avent models. It’s also a relief to have one on-hand if your body thinks you need to nurse when you’re somewhere without your baby, like at work.
Can you steer it? We have to laugh at the number of strollers that call themselves "an SUV for baby." It's not easy to park an SUV, and it's not easy to squeeze a giant stroller through store aisles. Some barely fit through store doors. Always test-push a stroller. Can it turn corners? Maneuver through tight spaces? Pretend baby just tossed his sippy cup on the sidewalk and you have to spin around 180 degrees. Easy?