Baby Gear / July 12, 2018 / Baylee Felton.
An Odor-Proof Diaper Pail: Diaper pails are more odor-proof than regular trash cans, and unless you’re throwing every diaper in an outdoor trash can, it’s definitely nice to have a diaper pail. Some require special liners and others use regular trash bags, so stock up on liners if necessary. A Suitable Baby Monitor - If you live in a small enough space that you can always hear or see what your baby is up to, you don’t need a monitor. Otherwise, it’s great to have! There’s a lot to consider: video or audio? Smartphone integration? Security? Durability?
Can you fold it easily? There may be some families that never fold their strollers. But most parents need to fold them to get them into the car, if not into the house. If you have to wrestle the stroller to the floor, that's not an easy fold. If the stroller doesn't lock in it's folded position, but instead springs back open at the slightest provocation, that's not good either. And sometimes it's just too hard to remember which buttons, latches, and bars you use to fold some models. Test before you buy, and choose one that's easy.
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.
Infant Car Seats - For me, the infant car seat turned out to be a waste of money. My son really hated being in it, and apparently, this is the case with many babies. I ended up having to buy a convertible car seat when my son was only a few months old. Eventually, all babies need to be in a convertible car seat when they grow out of their infant car seat, but any baby can ride in a convertible car seat as long as they meet the minimum weight, which is usually about five pounds. So why not start your baby out in a convertible car seat? One advantage to an infant car seat is that it provides added protection and prevents newborns’ heads from falling forward or swaying too far to either side.