I thought I’d write a post about what we’ve used/ what we love/ what we didn’t like so much/ what we’re looking at getting this time round – I hope it’s of some interest & I’m not just rambling again 😉 there’s lots of links so you can see what I’m referring too 🙂
All of our three buggys have been from Mamas & Papas, I can hear you asking why we need three right (we only have one now) we started off with one of their basic models because it’s a buggy and I underestimated how much a stable/ decent buggy would be needed for that age range of 1+. We chose not to have a carry cot attachment mainly because of storage but it worked out well with the c-section as I wouldn’t of been able to lift it 😐 so instead we opted for a cocoon attachment which is very similar to a carry cot just much easier to use. We then brought a cheaper M&P buggy for our holiday abroad, we was dubious of how the buggy would get treated on the airplane, we’ve all experienced damaged cases before right so I just assumed the same for a buggy but this isn’t the case. You can take the buggy all the way to the big airplane door so there’s much less chance of it getting damaged, I don’t know how to describe the buggy but I don’t think they look particularly comfy and you can’t fit them in your boot of the car as it’s more of a length buggy rather than width when folder up. Finally we brought a M&P armadillo (in blue) as we needed something a bit more stable as Rue got bigger, plus the off road element to it attracted me as did the big sun visor – we didn’t have this on our first buggy and the sun was always in Rues eyes (something we didn’t even think about when we were buying a buggy!) My mum also brought us the footmuff to go with the Armadillo to keep Rue extra snug during winter – would definitely recommend this! I wasn’t blown away by the raincover on the armadillo it’s very fiddly (which isn’t great when you’re in a hurry) it’s a small looking raincover which just covers the front of the buggy rather than covering the whole buggy like some do, it then attaches around the buggy hood and sides using poppers, which can be really difficult to pop in. Ours broke unfortunately when Rue didn’t want to get in his buggy and he was kicking at the rain cover, I couldn’t help thinking an all over one wouldn’t of had this problem.
Next on our list is a Silvercross Pioneer – my dear friend has this for her little boy & I just love it! You can tell the difference between pushing the Armadillo compared to the Pioneer, plus the basket underneath is much more spacious for shopping, the armadillo there isn’t much space between the mesh and the bottom of the buggy making it difficult to properly use. We have looked at many double buggys (I’ve always dreamed of a Bugaboo Donkey ♥) but I don’t think it’s worth its money for us, Rue hardly uses his buggy now or if he does it’s a battle to get him strapped in so I think in another six months he’ll never be in it. I also wanted a buggy with both a car seat and seat attachment which is what we had with our first buggy but not the armadillo. I’m not sure if the bugaboos do this option & to me that seems effort if you have to take them out of the car seat into a buggy especially if their asleep. So we’re considering picking up a buggy board or seat instead to try that for when we’re out and about, I’m not sure how well Rue will take to it (he very much has a mind of his own so trying to get him to do what I need him to do doesn’t work 😐 ) so we’ll even look for one on offer or pick up a used one in good condition as like a trail. The other thing with the donkey that puts me off is the space it’d take up in our house when it wasn’t in the car – we have a two bed house and there’s going to be four of us soon so space is limited no matter how much I try and be minimalist.
We’ve had two slings in our time with Rue and we both used the slings far more than we did a buggy in the first eight months or so. We started off with a Baby Bjorn Miracle which we used for a good four months or so but by that time Rue was turning into a chunk and there is just hardly any support in the straps of the Baby Bjorn and after half hour the straps from his weight were digging into my shoulders. Which when we’d sometimes go out walking for 3 hours plus it didn’t really work, Papa also struggled with the comfort of the Baby Bjorn. We kept hold of it but have since sold it on as we knew we wouldn’t use it again. We then went for an Ergo 360 sling which can be used from newborn days with the addition of a newborn insert carrier (I only know this as Amy has it also, we have alllll the same stuff 🙂 )you can wear the Ergo four ways, facing into your chest, facing away from your chest, on your hip and on your back. The baby bjorn you can only wear two ways – facing into your chest, facing away from your chest. I was still wearing Rue on my front when he was a year old, he wasn’t always keen but this mama couldn’t let go – we used the back carrier this year when we went hiking up the cliffs in Dorset ( I think you can use the back carrier until 36 months)
Going forward I dream of getting a My WildBird sling, these come in two formats, one is a one layer for warmer days & babs under 35 pounds and then a two layer for colder days & for extra support as baba gets bigger. The lovely Taylor was using hers to carry Remy whilst pregnant with her second, it was adorable! I’d love to continue doing sling wearing for even longer the second time around if it works for baba – unfortunately you can’t force stuff upon them no matter how hard you try 😉 definitely on my wish list but as it ships from USA I’m not sure it’s quite within my reach especially when we do have the Ergo which we could re-use.
We originally had a Mamas & Papas car seat that clipped onto our buggy and then a separate isofix base for it, when Rue was one we upgraded to the Cybex Sirona – we was instantly draw to it because of the multiple functions (rear facing, front facing & the swivel element). Admittedly it is an awful lot of money but we choose to invest in one of the safest car seats rather than a luxurious buggy, because safety first right. We’re pretty bad at letting Rue go in the car with anyone driving but me, it’s mainly only me driving him with the exception of KJRS whose is his other designated driver 😉 the isofix element also makes it tricker as not everyone has this in their car and with the Cybex it’s a must. We’ve got no complaints what’s so ever about the Cybex Sirona which can be used from birth to four years old, you can recline them facing backwards so they head doesn’t sway when they fall asleep and you can do the same on forward facing. When Rue outgrows this one I definitely think we’ll get the next version up of the Cybex which is the Cybex Solution from four to twelve years. The main benefit is the swivel for me, Rue is over 2 and a half stone and is a chunk to carry and try to squish into a car seat in these teeny tiny car parking spaces that exist (nursery is a nightmare some days trying to manoeuvre a child into the car). The good thing at Mamas & Papas is they have a demo version of this seat that you can try your child in in the actual store and then proceed to do the same in your own car! The not so good bit for mamas is the sheer weight and fiddly-ness if your moving this from car to car, I probably wouldn’t recommend that unless your either a strong female or a man can do it for you 😉 my hope is that we can transfer Rue to the Solution slightly earlier and then new baba can have the Sirona then we’re done and don’t need to buy any more car seats yay! For Rues first birthday we used any birthday money we got to either go into his baby ISA or towards the car seat, I think we’ll do similar for his third birthday in preparation for the transfer.
Baby chairs/ high chairs
We did originally buy Rue a Bumbo seat with a tray attachment (on sale 😉 ) but he hated it for some reason so we ended up trying another one for a similar price (£40+) of the FisherPrice range, here. Admittedly he did love it and we did get a really good amount of use out of it so it was worth the money the second time round 🙂 we didn’t really buy any bouncers/ bouncy chairs as rue was always too active to sit still …. we did buy a door bouncer which he used for a while, but when he was a newborn till about 4 months he was either in the sling/ his moses basket or on his floor playmat for chill time. Highchair wise again the amount of highchairs out there is c r a z y and some of them are so expensive! We stuck with and are still using to this day the IKEA highchair, which was brought for Rue for about £20 all in I think and it’s still going strong. I’m not saying I wouldn’t not like a nicer looking one but is it worth it really I think probably not, although this one from John Lewis that converts into several different styles has caught my eye ♥ but that’s as far as it’ll go ha!
Cots/ Moses Baskets:
We had a wicker static moses basket with Rue which lasted all of about two months, I’m sure I read beforehand that he’d be in it for six months but that definitely wasn’t accurate as he outgrow it so quickly plus he used to flap his arms e v e r y w h e r e so the cocoon style to it meant he used to hit the sides and wake himself up 😐 We have a lovely cotbed from Mothercare from the Padstow range which I think we’ll use for baba and get rue a big boy bed as he’ll be coming up to three by then so it seems the logical move. I’m tempted to get one of these (Chicco next to me) the second time round for night time use and then I haven’t thought about the day time yet – any suggestions welcome 🙂 I’d never heard of the sleepyhead until much time after having Rue so I don’t think this is something we would want to introduce this time round, we slept really well in his moses day & night when he was little little, the only problem we had was transitioning him from a swaddle to a grow bag so I think to introduce a sleepyhead as well and then transition from this just seems a bit much. Plus we brought Rue a Bumbo and he hated it so it was a waste of money and these sleepyheads aren’t cheap so it feels like an expensive short lived risk, but hey ask me again is baby’s not sleeping and I’m beyond tired and I’m sure my answer will change to ‘we’ve got one on order’ 😉
We originally picked up a Babymel changing bag in the Mama’s & Papa’s sale (because why would you pay full price!) which I think is handy if you’re out and about using the buggy a lot in the first months, because you can hang the strap over the push bar, but for me it just annoyed me because we didn’t really use the buggy that much – having the sling and then carrying the satchel on my shoulder just got in the way. We soon sold it and picked up a Converse rucksack, which has lasted us much longer and is much more convenient I find. Plus was significantly cheaper than a baby changing bag which I could never find anything in anyway 😐 my dear friend Amy has gone down the same route & picked up a Cath Kidston changing rucksack and it’s g o r g e o u s plus it had a little strap to hook it onto a buggy if you like.
Hope the above is a useful read, I love reading what other people are using to see what other options are out there.