As I have baby on the mind, I thought I would share a few more of my absolute favourite baby gear items. I don't know what I would do without each of the three of these.
The first is the Arms Reach Co-Sleeper. I discovered this via Dr. Sears when I was trying to figure out how to get Pk to sleep. I was a bit unsure about the whole co-sleeping thing (I have since gotten over all of that but I still love our co-sleeper). This attaches on the side of the bed so that baby can be right there safely when you don't feel comfortable having the baby actually in your bed. We bought this model, the Universal, which functions like a Pack-n-Play - it can be a playpen as well. It's not cheap but the quality is outstanding. Baby Bean sleeps with us most of the time but when he is on his own, this is his bed. As an aside, it's interesting how quickly things change. When Pk was born, three years ago, I felt all this pressure to get her bassinet out of our room and into her own room at three months. I saw a student doctor with Baby Bean last week and she pointedly told me that the baby should now be in the parents' room for the first six months (and I know that is what the pediatric societies are now saying). Given that Pk is in with us a lot of the time at almost three, I think we can last with Baby Bean at least six months!
This is Baby Bean and I in our Sleepwrap. I am a committed babywearer (research shows that worn babies cry less, bond well with their caregivers and if you have a child who isn't a good sleeper or is hard to get down, you will know how wonderful a carrier can be - this was almost the only way I could get Pk down for naps at all). This one is WONDERFUL! I was really intimidated at the idea of tying a baby wrap style carrier but this is amazingly easy (although the first time I tried to put it on with all the fabric, Dh called me Obi Wan). Baby Bean LOVES this and when he is fussy, he is so happy to sleep close to mummy (and to be honest, I kind of miss the closeness with Baby Bean so this is a nice halfway point). We have worn it out a few times to shop, to the local farm and to the CBC open house and it has been wonderful. I never found a ring sling or a pocket sling very comfortable but this, I love. It was worth every cent!
This is the Ergo baby carrier and with Pk, it was a lifesaver. You can buy a newborn insert but I have heard that it isn't so great - we started with this when Pk was about 5 months old, I think. When she turned two, I was still wearing it with her to hike with the dogs. As far as I am concerned, this is truly the BEST overall carrier for the older baby/toddler. There is more back support than with any other carrier and the position is best for baby, as the child is in a sitting position rather than hanging by the groin, as with some other carriers (which I have been told is actually not so great for the spine). I find that some of the more structured carriers need a degree in engineering and an extra arm to get the baby in whereas this carrier is very easy to put on. It is approved for carrying a child up to at least 40 lbs so you will certainly get your money's worth.