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A Mom's Suggestion: Baby Gear

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A conversation with Kelly Larabee, mom of 17-month-old daughter Addie, who lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

Laura: What is the best apparatus that you received for your newborn? Basically, what did you use most in those first months and can you describe why your daughter liked it?

Kelly: I have three:

  • Bassinet with a built in (soft) light. We were always wanting to look, but also wanted her to know darkness and the excellence of night sleep.
  • Swing—multi-motion—rocking sideways and back and forth—both functions had different effects. Back and forth often put her to sleep when she was quite small and the rocking motion if she was awake but restless: she’d chatter and act like she was on her way.
  • Wipe warmer—which sounds so ridiculous, but makes a pleasant storage device for these oft used items and no cold shock for the baby.

Laura: Is your stroller easy to fold and sturdy? What kind is it and would you recommend it to others?

Kelly: Yes! Inglesina Zippy—we recommend it strongly.

Laura: What car seats do you use? Are they easy to snap in, easy to carry?

Kelly: Combi for infants. We’re looking for the toddler size now.  We’re happy with the Combi, but they don’t seem to have many models for the 22–40 pound kids.

Laura: If you could buy one educational/developmental toy for a baby 6–12 months, what would it be? (and, why?)

Kelly: This little tikes Baby Piano was Addie’s favorite toy during that period. It helped her learn cause and effect, playing along to music, and to have a greater ear for music. I think she studied everything about its construction, and learned how to make it make noise even when it was upside down—the way she liked it best for a few weeks.  At 15 months it’s still a favorite toy.  

Laura: Did you prefer a sling or a front carrier like a Bjorn? Why?

Kelly: Hands down the Bjorn. It’s better for the back as it’s balanced, but our baby never liked the sling as I think it was confining.


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