Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Be My Consumer Reports, Please

Well, this baby is not even twenty one weeks gestation and I'm already fretting over her baby gear. Oh woe is me and my first world problems. My main two issues are the sleep setup and our stroller situation.

Issue One: I have an Arms' Reach cosleeper that I used for Jameson, but I never used it actually attached to the bed, just as a bassinet. It was still very handy, a perfect height next to my own bed for reaching in to pick up baby, but I didn't feel comfortable dropping the side completely and attaching it to our bed. It just seemed like it would be way too easy for the edges of my own covers to end up in the baby's sleep area. So while it was fine, for the price I ended up not thinking it was any more useful than any other bassinet. Also, it was very hard and completely flat, which I know is recommended for SIDS prevention, but we all live in the real world here... most babies don't sleep well on a flat slab! So I always had to put a few receiving blankets under one end of the little mattress to get to him to sleep comfortably for even a few hours.

This new baby will definitely be sleeping in my bedroom indefinitely, both because that's how we always do it for at least the first few months and because we'll still be in the middle of the remodel when she comes and there's simply nowhere else for her to BE until it's done. Boys are already bunked up, and Addy's room is simply too small to add a crib.

I would also like to have a diaper changing/dressing station type of thing set up in our bedroom, because I don't want to be tiptoeing into the boys' room in the middle of the night to use the regular changing table that's in there. I'm not moving it because a)it's huge and heavy, b)there's no room for that monstrosity in our bedroom anyways and c)it's also Jamie's dresser. I don't really want to change her on our bed because of mess issues. So I was thinking of using the cosleeper (with it's firm flat surface!) for the diaper changing area, and finding something else for the baby to actually sleep in.

My sister used this Fisher Price rocker/sleeper thing (http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=fisher+price+rock+and+play+sleeper&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=9471495977838369124&sa=X&ei=NE9NT_LYNaXr0gGZweHJAg&ved=0CHcQ8wIwAQ) and absolutely loved it. It gets rave reviews EXCEPT for this flat head issue which some people attribute to their use of this device as a bassinet. I don't really know what to think... It seems like if a kid's going to get flat head from this, they'd probably get it from a crib mattress or anything else too, so I don't see that the rocker is necessarily to blame. Anyone have any thoughts on this? (Sorry no handy click links today. My Blogger button isn't working and I'm too lazy to mess with coding today.)

Issue Two: The infant carseat/carrier that we used for the other kids is still fine, but the stroller it came with as part of the travel system is completely broken. I have a small, lightweight stroller I've used for Jamie ever since the big one broke, but it's not compatible with a carseat nor would it work for a small infant. I've been thinking that I should probably look into a good double stroller anyways, since anytime I'll want the baby in a stroller, I'll likely have Jamie too and he will certainly be too small (slash RECKLESS) to walk by himself for any distance. We have a hand me down double stroller that's around six years old, a Graco DuoGlide I believe, and while it's fine, it's just really long and cumbersome. I also find it tricky to snap in the infant carrier, though it does work. Additionally, I decided after looking around online that I'd really like one that has the sit or stand option for the older child- seems like a fun diversion for a bored toddler with restless leg syndrome.

Enter the brand new Graco Ready2Grow double stroller (here's the link if you want to see it- http://blog.gracobaby.com/2012/01/27/introducing-the-new-graco-ready2grow-stand-and-ride-stroller/) It apparently has TWELVE different seating/standing/infant carrier snap in options, and it looks a little shorter and less cumbersome than the traditional DuoGlide double stroller. Has anyone by any chance tried this one yet? Or do you have another recommendation for a double stroller that would make traveling around with a newborn and not quite two year old a walk in the park? (Heh. Walk. See what I did there?)


Scottish Twins said...

I wouldn't waste the money on the swing. Baby girl wont be able to stay in it long. I would get a really nice comfy PNP with a changing table attached if the baby is going to be in your room for a long time.

As for the double stroller - I say keep what you have and get an Ergo. I honestly haven't used a double stroller since I discovered the awesomeness of the Ergo. Pulling out an umbrella stroller for the toddler and throwing the baby on my back beats unloading and setting up my beast of a double stroller every time!

Scottish Twins said...

Also, about the flathead. I think the reason the RNP is worse for it is because it allows for less head movement. When lying in it the baby looks like it can only move its head 90ish degrees from side to side verses the 180 they would have if lying flat on their backs in a bassinet. Less range of motion means the baby is probably stuck in the same position more often.

Sarah said...

For our babies, I just used our pack n' play with the bassinet insert for the first couple of months. If you use disposable diapers, you can just keep a few in the pocket on the side of the pack and play for changes.

I think we have a Joovy double stroller for our kids. It has an attachment that works for most car seats and then when your baby gets bigger you can remove the attachment as the baby gets bigger. It's lightweight and sturdy and folds up flat. I took off the sunshade because it bothered me.

Tracy said...

I love the rock and play sleeper. We avoided the flat head by rotating side sleeping. I've also heard of people putting a cloth diaper in between the fabric and the frame. We used it with Isaac and Eliza. I love being able to rock them in the middle of the night, if needed, and still have them inclined. With the craddle we had, you couldn't rock and have it inclined.

Anonymous said...

Look at the bugaboo buggy board, the toddler rides on the board. I got my bugaboo on Craigslist when I had an infant and a 18 month old. I wanted it from the beginning of the baby days but for some reason waited until kid number 3 to pull the plug. I have to say I am hooked on the bugaboo and if we have #4 I will be so excited to pull out the riding board again.

PS I have loved reading your blog for awhile now! Good luck

Jana said...

I wish I lived closer to you because you could have our Sit N Stand that is just sitting in the closet! I used it a lot with my boys (18 months apart) and it worked really well for the wiggly toddler who needed to still be strapped in and it was really easy to snap the newborn car seat carrier thing onto the front. Great product!

CAQuincy said...

Um, embarrassing secret: I use my bed as a diaper changing station (in fact, with all these kids, we've never owned one!). No hugely serious messes. But usually I throw a blanket or a changing pad underneath them. Yes, if you get the newer PNPs, the changing station is great. I had one on the first one I owned, but it was set so LOW it gave me backaches, and I had to stop using it. I know they've fixed that now.

I did see a quilted sheet for the PNP while at Babies R Us store yesterday. Looks more comfy than that slab with the thin sheet.

As for strollers, we've never had a double. We usually would have the baby in the sling with the toddler in the stroller OR just be mean and make the toddler walk. heh. And really, we didn't GO a lot of places that required a lot of walking/strolling, anyway--probably because we lacked the proper equipment? LOL. Anyway, I see those new strollers that are basically just a frame that you can put your infant car seat in...? THAT might work for you--oh wait, if you weren't worried about what to do with the tired toddler, that is. Never mind!

Becca said...

Great Review Indeed, Sounds like a good opportunity for every Moms the great potentials in this product. recommended for sure.

Hannah said...

We had a pack n play for our first son and he hated sleeping in it...it was also super hard and never seemed that sturdy (since the bassinet feature just snapped on). With the second one, I bought the Safety 1st Nod A WAy Bassinet and really liked it. It has one of those white noise features, but to be honest I never put batteries in it. The only problem here is depending on the size of your baby it really only lasts a few months. My son was in it about 4 months before I transferred him to the crib. He could have stayed longer, but I was ready to have him a bit further from my bed.
As far as changing tables, I just threw a changing pad on my own dresser for those first few weeks and then transitioned it to the floor once I had healed and he got a bit more likely to move. After a couple of months I just changed him on the floor, bed, wherever was convenient.
Ugh double strollers. I second the use of a carrier, although I never felt comfortable putting mine in one until he was a good 3 months or so. Now I use either the bjorn or a baby k'tan and a stroller for my older son. I have a baby trend double stroller than can transition from two seats to sit and stand but so far I have only used it with the two seats (for containment issues...I can't imagine my older son just standing there all patiently like). It's...fine. I can't see actually loving any double stroller, although most of my friends have the side by side double BOB and swear by it. I just don't think we'll ever drop that kind of money on a stroller.