My Number #1 Recommendation For Mama’s To Be – Baby Essentials
As a new mama to be, the landscape of motherhood was in the beginning more like a flurry of thoughts; playing with my daughter, watching my husband with her, introducing her to martial arts.
Then the more technical and less whimsical parts like making my schedule work; balancing motherhood and my passions of teaching and helping people transform.
But the one thing I underestimated was the work that was required of all new parents to navigate the baby gear landscape.
We all know you can’t leave the hospital without having a car seat, but, what kind? What is the safest, best, most adaptable car seat for your lifestyle with in budget? How about cribs, have you thought about where and how your baby will sleep? Feedings?
Who knows or considered any of this as first time parents? And even second time parents are quick to forget. Who has the time to research this, finding themselves amongst the hundreds (yes virtually hundreds) of products in the baby landscape.
Sure, of course- a baby requires only love, milk, and love.
However- will you be breast feeding? Pumping? Bottle feeding? What brand of bottle will you use? Did you know that there are benefits to plastic, glass and about a million versions in between.
Yep, bottles, cribs, car seats, bassinets, swaddles, diaper pales, changing tables, high chairs, carriers – they all require a huge amount of decisions. Many based on your lifestyle, goals and budget.
The truth is that I had not even a clue about the amount of time or work this would require until my mom commented on my swoon over a few cute baby onzies.
‘You won’t need those because your baby will be a newborn in the winter.’ She said in the most mom-like Russian accent.
Suddenly it hit me that I knew nothing about this landscape. And, with a full workload until my 8th month I knew that I needed help figuring out what I needed, and what I didn’t. I didn’t want to over buy, buy the wrong thing or suffer at the hands of poor research. The truth is I needed help.
I know what you’re thinking – I’ll ask a friend…
Initially I thought of asking some friends, but I have limited friends with kids and many whose kids are way past toddler, meaning my network either had no clue or had long forgotten. Plus, the landscape of baby gear changes and evolves annually. New gadgets come out to help baby and you, new variations, new options and new research.
Plus, if a friend recommended a product it may not be in my budget, or fit the landscape of my life. I realized quickly that walking up flights of stairs, verses pulling up into a driveway, taking the baby to work or having help at home would drastically change the things I would buy and register for.
So- what’s a mama-to-be busy, clueless bug to do?
Well, what I did was one of the very best YES BEST things I did in my pregnancy.
I ASKED AN EXPERT!
My sister, co-founder if Heymama recommender Gugu Guru – at first I was less then excited to go to a website to help my registry and my decision making. I mean- how much could this help me? Plus, I was busy and at 20 weeks pregnant it felt like a chore.
However, the process was so fun it was one of the very first memories I have of connecting to something outside of the sweet stares between my husband and i and the small quivers of movement deep with in my belly. I felt, for the first time the fun in being a mama.
Now- before I continue I want to explain that I used both of their services:
The FREE and the CONCIERGE – I will detail them both below, along with the items they helped me choose. And I will say that the concierge service was worth it!
First, and I recommend all mommies to be, first time or not do this,
I registered on the site and filled out the quiz.
It was super fun to fill out the questionnaire about the type of mom / parents we will be: colors, parenting styles, likes, where we live, how we live, how active we are, and how much things like organic living matter to us were some of the questions (used by clicking on a picture- even better!) that were a part of this quiz. It was fast, insightful and simple to fill out.
After I did that there was a series of filtered options that came up to help me navigate through the things I needed;
Recommendations on products I didn’t even know I needed (first time mom problems). Pictures and rating and details on products in my personality profile that took me seamlessly through the landscape of what I needed.
It really help me establish, in just a very fun half hour, a baseline for what I needed by guiding me through everything from gadgets to bedding, baby medical necessities and so much more. Then giving me options in style, price, brands with in my ‘personality profile’.
I was able to seamlessly add those to a whiteboard of things without having them published on an actual registry. This came in handy because some things you just don’t want to add because they are silly and you can get them yourself, but you don’t want to forget them either. I actually love my Gugu Guru whiteboard and go to it often to see what I still need or many need to look out for in the future.
It also allowed me to keep things I wasn’t yet sure about on deck.
I was able to have countless options of product of style or price on your whiteboard on the site without publishing it to a registry.
This came in so handy, in one evening I felt like the work I needed to do was suddenly done, and that heavy dreadful feeling lifted and for the first time ever I was able to get excited about the babies shopping list! And my registry that my sister and mom kept bothering me about like an overdue history paper.
Using GUGU Concierge for THE BIG DECISIONS
When it came to making huge decisions like cribs, bassinets, car seats, cartridges, milk bottles and pumps I didn’t want to waste time or money sourcing, buying or registering for the wrong items.
Gugu Guru actually offers a concierge service, which is a call or a meet up with an expert who can go through the entire landscape with you. Providing much needed education and insight on brands, key features, functions and budget.
I scheduled the call and had my notepad out once we began, and what I received was a Harvard education that even my husband was impressed by and excited to learn from me (the sudden expert)
Julie, my concierge was the true expert. She helped me navigate car seats and strollers, cribs and bassinets by guiding me through a series of scenarios, questions and product reviews that helped me discover what type of parent I would be.
Car Seat and Stroller
We decided on a car seat and stroller made for one baby (I never knew that there is a difference if you will want to have multiple children close in age). We decided on a product that seamlessly turned the carseat into the the stroller because it would help our car to stroller lifestyle (we chose Cybex) because it was sleek enough for the city and had some of the best safety features on the market.
I also loved Bob-Jogging Stroller for my more active days running or hiking.
And I will 100% post a full detailed post on these two strollers and the Cybex carseat once I put in some miles.
Julie, my concierge helped me pick a bassinet – The SNOO Which was my big ticket item that I was hoping my family would chip in for, so after she explained the science and benefits, we decided to put it up on my registry, cross our fingers and see 🙂
And she explained that I can now have an option to rent it, if no one chipped in to buy it for us.
I also, through Julie’s help fell in love with the Stokke brand, and after a long discussion on eating positions and best sitting posture for the baby Amy helped me understand that the very ‘uncomfortable’ looking Scandinavian high-chair design was actually one of the very best products on the market for helping the baby learn to sit and eventually eat properly. Plus, she explained the function of it growing with the baby (which helped me justify the price). I wound up falling in love with the style, functionality and science of the Tripp-Trapp by Stokke and added it to my must-have list, with the entire newborn set.
We decided on a few more big ticket items, that I am not ashamed to say I would have probably screwed up on if it wasn’t for her input and education. For example, she spent a ton of time explain feeding and milk and pumping and the best bottles and functions.
Did you know the pro and cons of glass? (weight is one, which I didn’t really think of). We decided on the good-old-fashioned and trusted Dr.Browns bottles, however we also added a few lighter weight ones based on Amys recommendations.
Amy helped me find the key features I needed for my lifestyle – by asking questions and outlining scenarios that I never knew existed. In the end she saved both me and my husbands countless hours of research, frustration and money – Before I spoke to her I was almost about to click ‘buy’ on many things I realized I didn’t need.
My full registry recommendation list is below:
I will 100% have another post discussing these and how they have been helpful in my life with the baby, and PLEASE message of email if you want more elaboration on a specific item.
I will also discuss individually and review many of the ‘big ticket items’ like car seats, strollers, diaper commitments, cribs and THE SNOO!
Cybex Balios S Stroller and the Aton Q Car Seat (sleekest and best safety ratings, plus the car to carrier transfer with ease)
7AM Enfant : Blanket Evolution & K-Poncho (coolest baby gear, keeps the baby super warm in strollers, carries and on your hip)
Bob Stroller (for my super active days! runs, long walks, hikes and workouts)
Carousel Crib Sheets (so cute, the designs are everything – and you can design your own!)
Stokke Tripp Trapp (ideal for long days at the gym or when I visit my mom or family bc it’s so portable)
Baby K’Tan Weekender Bag and Wrap (sleek, functional and urban mama cool)
Dr. Brown’s 3 pack of the wide neck glass options bottles (best and most trusted on the market)
Fridababy Baby Basics Kit (the necessities you don’t realize YOU NEED, in the coolest packaging)
Diaper Pail (once more, this one helps prevent odors and is voted best on market)
Evoz baby Monitor (simply voted best on the market)
4moms Breeze Play Yard Line (ideal for long days at the gym or when I visit my mom or family bc it’s so portable)
Crib Mattress (it’s organic and awesome!)
Mochi by the People (organic, rice made intact toys made for teething from Japan – mum, yes please!)
SNOO “Happiest Baby Bassinet” (get an average of 2 hours more sleep a night, plus child safety at its best)
Chicco’s Travel Bassinet (so baby can sleep at the gym, or anywhere we go overnight in the easiest portable bassinet ever)
Willow Breast Pump (wear it discreetly while you do – basically everything!)
Papablic baby bottle sterilizer and natural pump
and finally, excited to test these guys out; Coterie diapers (more to come on this, they don’t launch until mothers day, but I am already loving the mantra and mentality of this brand)
In the end, Guru Gugu was one of the best decisions I made during this nine months. I saved energy, stress, countless amount of time and money. I also felt like I received a first rate education and had fun (yes fun) designing a registry and a list of musts.
Monica the founder sends the BEST education emails and has a wonderful BLOG.
Sign up for her newsletters, one of which recommended a book I really love:
WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE FIRST YEAR
Thank you Monica & Gugu Guru!