In this edition of the Swarm, the Bees share some of their biggest baby gear regrets!
Definitely our pack and play. We used it for the first few months as a downstairs changing station, and pretty much never again after that. We do travel a lot, but I realized pretty quickly that I didn’t want to use the pack and play as a travel crib — too heavy, too bulky, and too cumbersome to put together. On the road, we used our Rock N Play, and after that, the Baby Bjorn travel crib. (The latter is pricey but so worth it if you do a lot of traveling.)
Secondly, the Bumbo. Baby Y’s fat legs made this pretty useless by the time he was old enough to use it. He just looked uncomfortable and confused about why he was in such a contraption. It was good for a couple of cute photos, but that’s it.
Lately, I’ve been wishing our BOB had a swivel wheel (like the Revolution). Ours is a fixed-wheel jogger (Ironman) and while it’s great, I never run with it and my husband only runs with it sporadically. The fixed wheel means I have to pick it up slightly to turn corners.
We have a few items that we were gifted that were awesome in theory, but never worked out.
- MamaRoo: My nana went on a manhunt for this item and was so, so, so excited to give it to us. Chloe hated it from Day 1 and we didn’t get more than 10 minutes of use out of it. She’s 14 months old and still scared of the MamaRoo.
- Swaddlers/Swaddling Blankets: Chloe broke free from her swaddle the day she was born. She absolutely had to have her hands by her face at all times. We have an entire bin full of swaddling blankets and wraps that we never even used.
I’m so glad we didn’t register for a pack and play. Luckily, our friends gave us theirs (they had an extra), but after using it, it was SO bulky (not ideal for a travel crib at all) and there seemed to be so many parts to assemble. I ended up giving it away, and we bought a Baby Bjorn Travel Crib instead. It’s a bit pricey, but totally worth it in my opinion since it comes in ONE piece (no assembly required) and is so light to carry.
One of my biggest gear regrets is purchasing the Maclaren Quest over the Uppababy G-Luxe. The brake for the Quest is located on the back of the stroller, and gets in the way of taking it up and down stairs. This is a big problem when you’re a city dweller like us, and you have front steps and take the subway. The sunshade is also virtually useless because it’s so small, and though we purchased a separate Protect-a-bub sunshade, it was a hassle to carry one more thing so we never used it. Another huge plus to the Uppababy is that it stands up when folded — that makes storage a lot easier. We still use the Quest to this day and it is a great, solidly built umbrella stroller, but for the aforementioned reasons, the G-Luxe would have worked much better for our lifestyle.
My second regret is the Beaba Babycook. I bought it used and sold it so I didn’t lose much money, but I wish I’d purchased a food processor instead since I didn’t have one at the time. The Beaba was too small to make food in the portions I wanted, so I ended up steaming everything in a pot anyway, and then pureeing in 2-3 batches in the Beaba. I held onto the Beaba after Charlie was through with purees, but we ended up doing baby-led weaning with Olive so we didn’t even need it anyway.
Slings/Wraps. I bought 4 different kinds – the Moby Wrap, the Maya Ring Sling, a Kangaroo Korner pouch (no longer made), and a Serena & Lily Market Sling before I realized… I just wasn’t a sling person.
My mother in law will hate me for saying this (because she wanted to get one for us!) but I wish we had gotten a cosleeper instead of a pack n play. At the time I was worried that it would be a pain to set up while traveling and I wanted the p n p so that he would always have something familiar to sleep in when we were gone to visit family. But he has no problem sleeping basically anywhere, whereas I have lots of trouble getting him in and out of the p n p now that he is so heavy! I also wish I had registered for a nicer single pump instead of a less nice dual one. As a SAHM I never pump both sides at once so that was a waste for me!
I do a lot of returning, exchanging, and reselling so it’s hard for me to come up with gear regrets. We also got many items handed down to us (such as our jumperoo, bumbo, high chair), so I don’t really regret them, since they didn’t cost us anything. Plus we have plenty of space in our house so we just stow things everywhere.
I do wish we had started with Woombies from the beginning (instead of miracle blankets) because they’re so much easier to use!! I hated unswaddling and reswaddling since the miracle blanket was so complex, and we had to teach the grandmas and babysitters how to use them, which was tough. The Woombie just zips up and it’s so easy to use and even more difficult to escape than the miracle blanket.
We bought the Arm’s Reach Cosleeper and it was sorely regretted. I wish we had stuck with a cheaper pnp or bassinet. The Cosleeper’s “mattress” was really hard and not a mattress at all; it was crinkly plastic and every time we laid DS to sleep in it, he would immediately wake up and cry. I really believe that he found it uncomfortable! I wish I had known about the Rock and Play before having DS. That might have solved our sleep and cosleeper issues.
My mom got us the itzbeen timer and neither DH (who is tech-savvy) or I could figure out how it worked. Such a waste. We ended up using the WTE baby tracker app on my iPod instead and it was much easier and more efficient!
I wish we never bought a BOB stroller. In fact, I wish I waited to buy ANY strollers because I pretty much used the Ergo for most of Noelle’s 1st year. Noelle hated being in strollers for long periods of time, so after one bad experience with the BOB (try holding a screaming baby in one hand, and maneuvering a big stroller in the other when you’re a mile from home) I never used it again. Thank goodness it has a great resell value!
I regret getting an expensive highchair. We ended up returning it and getting the Fisher Price Healthy Start booster seat, which was perfect for BLW and doesn’t take up any space. I loved the expensive highchair, but it wasn’t worth the money or space it took.
I also regret buying any gear new. We got our jumperoo, exersaucer, gates, bumbo, etc. used. Thankfully I kept tags on everything we hadn’t used yet and was able to do a lot of returning!
Don’t take tags off or throw away packaging until you’re for-absolute-sure that you’re going to get a lot of use out of an item!
I was so excited for our stroller because it has a bassinet option, but it isn’t really practical. We used the bassinet a handful of times and since it can’t fold up when the seat is attached (which was fine when he would be happy in the car seat attached to the stroller base, but that ended around 4 or 5 months), we now only use it at home and just have an umbrella stroller in the car for when we’re out and about.
Boppy – Never used it. It just wasn’t for me.
Beaba food processor – Little did we know we would do BLW and not use the food processor at all!
Not sure if this counts as baby gear, but we hate this potty seat. Its design has since been modified a bit, but we were always so annoyed and grossed out with it because the splash guard never stayed on properly and the cushion seat was never really secure, so pee got in between the cushion and the base. SO gross. I’d recommend this one instead. It’s cheaper, one piece, more secure and easier to clean.
I regret purchasing a stupid expensive Ekornes Stressless recliner rather than something that rocks or glides for nursing. It’s a comfortable chair, but it’s leather and always uncomfortably cold at night. The chair is in the nursery, and I never sit in there to nurse anyway.
With Toddler Girl we started with a pouch sling, then went to a peapod wrap, then the Ergo. The Ergo was so much easier on my back and had way less of a learning curve, I wish I had just used a soft structured carrier from the start. I did the second time around!
Our super big swing. We held out until about 4 or 5 weeks and then had a swing overnight shipped to us! I decided we needed it ASAP. Looking back, yes, it did help us when we needed her to take a really good, long nap and nothing else would work, but we used it for such a short amount of time (1-2 months). After a certain point the swing wasn’t a magic cure-all to get her to nap and then we were stuck with this big swing taking up space. (Now we’ve loaned the swing out to friends and I’m hoping to continue passing it around to people as we have nowhere to store it!)
I also have a slight regret over our stroller. We have a Baby Jogger City Mini stroller. I have no complaints about it functionally as a stroller: it’s great for walks, she is comfortable in it, it’s (fairly) easy to get in and out of the house. But after seeing a friend’s Uppa Baby Vista and how versatile it is, I have major stroller envy and wish I’d pushed Mr. H toward the Uppa Baby!
The swing is the only thing that neither girl really took to. I should get rid of that thing — it’s just taking up room in the nursery!
I wish I would have just waited to try out the various swings with LJ to see if she liked any of them. Only thing that girl liked was being held or being baby-worn. Thank god for baby-wearing!
What were some of your biggest baby gear regrets?