Green Tip #163: Baby Gear I

Lil’ SPF

Congratulations again to Team SPF on their new team member-to-be. I would like to provide a review a couple of baby products to help them be more prepared.

Beco Butterfly II Baby Carrier – I love this baby carrier. There is an infant insert so it will work when baby is 7 to 15 lbs. Once the baby is big enough, you can remove the infant insert and it should work up to 45 lbs. You can carry your baby in front or on your back (starting at 6 months) with this carrier. The baby has to face toward you though, but I think that is not a big deal. This type of carrier is much better for the baby because the weight distribution is similar to being seated. In contrast, the prolific Baby Bjorn carrier puts all of the baby’s weight on his crotch. The Beco carrier is much more comfortable for mom and dad because the padded waistband and shoulder straps distribute the weight very well.  We also received a Moby wrap as a shower gift, and it turned out to be a challenge to use.  It is very long, and took several references to the instruction manual before we were able to carry baby in it. As baby RB40 gained more weight and got wigglier, it was even harder to get him in into it, especially if one of us was by ourselves. We purchased a second hand Greco stroller system, which includes a car seat, and we don’t really like the stroller at all. The stroller is very bulky and even though it folds up, it is very difficult to store. It’s much more fun to walk around with the baby carrier. Once baby RB40 grows out of the baby car seat, we will probably sell or donate the Greco system and purchase a stroller that is less bulky and easier to maneuver.

Car seat – If you purchase a secondhand car seat for the baby, make sure to check the expiration date. Generally a car seat will expire 6 years after it is manufactured because the materials used will wear down during this time period. We didn’t check the expiration date on ours and found that it was good only until the end of this year, which is not long at all.  I recommend purchasing a brand new car seat because new seats will have the latest safety technology. We plan to get a brand new car seat once baby RB40 can face forward (he will need to be at least one year old and 20 lbs.)

Best of luck to the SPF team on the big day!

This is an article written by Joe at Retire By 40 where he blogs about his journey to early retirement. He is also busy with baby RB40 and blogs about baby subjects like Unexpected Baby Expenses ;)

PS. It’s going to be a crazy 3 months so get as much sleep as you can now.

Any other suggestions on baby gear we should look into?

4 comments to Green Tip #163: Baby Gear I

  • Jen

    Good info on the car carrier expiration date. We bought a used one for our son 2 years ago and didn’t realize they expire because of the foam breaking down. Let alone advances in technology. Hindsight is 20/20.

    Speaking of advances, while most states currently have laws requiring babies to be rear facing til age 1 AND 20 pounds, turning forward facing isn’t a milestone to rush or brag about, like first steps or words. The new recommendation (spring 2011)is actually to keep children rear facing for two years, or until they exceed the height or weight maximums on the seat. Unfortunately, state laws have not caught up with the recommendation yet. The reason for the change is that, due to a toddler’s body proportions (head is 1/3 – 1/4 of the total body length), forward facing seats are much more likely to cause brain injuries and/or death than rear facing in case of accidents. A rear seat reclines and protects the head much, much better. Fwiw, my son was rear facing until he was 2 years, 2 months, and was 37 inches tall and 36 pounds. We bought our son a new car seat (after our car carrier mistake) and a new crib. Everything else was used or a gift.

    Our other essentials: a swing (with side to side motion, not front to back) because it was the only place he’d sleep during the day besides my arms for the first 4 months!, a bumbo (to keep him near and safe when we went to restaurants, when I was cooking, etc), an exerciser/jumperoo. you can get all of these used from friends, craigslist, craigslist or consignment shops.

  • Thanks for this info Jen. I had never thought about the direction of the seat. Mrs. SPF is researching a lot of this stuff while I continue to try to prep the house.

    Crib and car seats new are my criteria too. Thanks for adding some other “essentials” to our list.

  • Mr. SPF, you don’t need to prep the house that much. The little baby can’t move around for quite a while so you don’t need to child proof the place yet.
    The swing didn’t work for us. He could only stay in there for less than 10 minutes. :(
    He likes the activity mat much more.
    We just got a high chair/booster seat and that really helps too. He can sit near us while we eat as fast as we can for 10 minutes. ;)

    oh oh, the little dude is waking up now gotta go…

    • I didn’t say child proof! We’ve been working to get our master bedroom done (it is done – just need to move into it now) which means the baby room is up next. After our ecoenergy retrofit last fall we have a ton of holes drilling in our exterior walls where the insulation was blown in so I need to sand, mud, sand these … in the nice hot weather. Then paint the space.

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