12 January 2012

On my list. Need recommendations!

Luckily, I don't have to buy a long list of things for this new baby. But there are a few things that I didn't have the first time around that I really want. Thing is, I am at a loss as to what style/brand to go with for some of these things. So I need your help! I'd love any suggestions or advise you have to give on the following products:

>>1. Double Stroller. Since baby Fitz is due in April- we'll surely be going out this summer with the kids to enjoy the weather. I should probably get a double stroller to cart them both around in.

So my question is for Mom's with 2+ kids, what is the best type of double stroller for a 2 y/o and an infant? I see the side by side strollers, and the tandum ones. Not sure which to be looking at??

>>2. New baby monitor. We have a set of Graco monitors, and to be honest they are junky. They work for a day and then just intermittently they'll disconnect from the main unit and the only way to get them to work again is to go and turn the receiver off & back on again. It's really lame. Not to mention the reception is terrible and the stupid things beep when they aren't getting good reception, even if we're just down the hall.

What baby monitors do you recommended?? I'm looking for something that has really good reception. Doesn't have to have video capability, but that would definitely be a bonus! 

>>3. Breast pump.  This is something I should have had with my first baby but I was too cheap to buy one. Will not be making that mistake this time!!! I really want to get a pump that is reliable and works really well. My goal is to get a good storage of milk up in the freezer in case this baby decides to go on an extended nursing strike like Bennett did!

I really need your help. I know nothing about pumps, which ones did you guys love?!

>>4. Pack 'n play. Another thing we managed to get by without last time aroudn, but I know that I will want one to have downstairs with the new baby. It'll be a little place for him to hang out, where Bennett can't be constantly in his face. Not to mention, if we want him to sleep in another room, the pack n' play will come in handy.

Any recommendations for a sturdy, easy-to-move, inexpensive pack 'n play?

And that's pretty much it!! Not a long list, but unfortunately, the things on here aren't cheap. Boo! Oh well, ya do what you gotta do!

And because it's hard to have such a wordy post, without one single picture. (this was taken back when Bennett was sick a few weeks ago!)

36 comments:

April said...

I would definitely say a tandem.  Side by sides are really hard to navigate in stores, malls, zoos, going through doors, etc.  I LOVED my tandem.  Also, in the future, you will probably want to try to pick up a Sit-n-Stand.  When your oldest gets to be 3 or 4 yo they will want out everyone once in a while to run around but will still want to ride, too.  We love our Sit-n-Stand!

Etosia said...

I used the Madela freestyle pump and loved it bc I wasn't attached to an outlet! You can use a 20% off BRU coupon on it and get it for a better price too.

Rmhulliger said...

Breast pump-I used an Avent ISIS IQ Duo. I heard a lot of great things about Medela, but I couldn't afford to buy one that had all the features I was looking for.  I read many reviews & heard that the Avent ISIS IQ Duo was wonderful, but cheaper.  Obviously, it is a double pump...I usually only used one at a time, but it was nice having 2 so I didn't have to worry about cleaning/sterlizing all the parts immediately after I pumped (especially since I had to pump at work). You can manually adjust the suction & then save it for the next time you pump...you can also manually pump if you choose.  It comes in a convenient black bag & is easy to set up.  Let me know if you have any questions.

Meg @ beauty&thebanker said...

I love my Medela pump and agree with previous commenter that 20% off coupons at BRU are usually the best deal.

I also recommend the Summer Infant Slim Video monitor. It's one of the less expensive video monitors and works wonderfully! We haven't had any problems with ours and the sound and video quality are great. One of our best baby purchases by far!

Good luck, there are way too many options out there!

Amy T Watts said...

Loved my medela pump. And I know I plan on getting a tandem stroller for our next one (whenever that happens.) My running partner uses the Phil and Ted ones. They are crazy expensive but AMAZING! They have so many options for set up depending on the ages of your kids- you can even have a toddler and an infant set up (where it lies completely flat.) I look for them on Craigslist from time to time and you can find decent deals on used ones. But it seriously is awesome.

Amanda M. said...

I had a tandem stroller, nicknamed "The Cadillac" because it was sooooo big and bulky! But, I much preferred that style over the side by side. I could squeeze into places and it didn't take up too much room when parked. And ~ just so you know ~ when the kids get older and you don't have to lug around the infant seat anymore, make sure Bennett sits in the back. It makes it much easier to maneuver when the weight is less in the front. :)

Robin Gonzales said...

I say tandum stroller for sure!!! The side by sides have their pros, but the BIGGEST con is shopping. They are hard to get down the rolls of whatever youre shopping for. And doorways are a challenge too.
I have the Baby jogger City select. LOVE IT!!!! It can be a double or a single and can also hold the infant seat or infant saet and toddler at the same time. Its great. 
As for a monitor.....i loved the Summer slim one. I like all summer products, always worked great for us.
The pump i had and loved was a "Simplisse double electric" pump. Great product!!! And with haveing an active toddler too i would say buy a hands free bra so you can still tend to B's needs. The only con i found was that you have to be plugged in and cant get up and walk around, but maybe thats how all pumps are??
We have a graco pack n play.....got it with our first baby. It wasnt really used until #2 came along and now he is in it every day!!! I dont think the kinda with all the bells and whistles are really needed just a space to keep baby "safe" from big brother =)

I hope that helps.

nicole said...

thats an awesome pic {love} 

get a medela breast pump. its hands down the best. and, if you can get your pediatrician or lactation consultant to write you a prescription for it, your insurance should cover it. 

:)

Christy Owens Johnson said...

Congratulations on your second! I'm also expecting my second and have some of the same questions- so I'll be watching the comments for ideas. :) I think we're going to get the Contours double stroller (www.albeebaby.com). It's reasonably priced and offers lots of different seating postions and tons of storage. For my first baby I used the Ameda electric pump, which is is MUCH cheaper than the Medela and works just as well. It was actually recommended by my lactation consultant. I also got a hands-free pumping bra which is key so you can have hands free to play with the kiddos. Best of luck and hope you post what you end up getting!

Chelsea @The Curly Cues said...

I got the medela pump in style advanced breast pump and it was awesome. I definitely recommend one that pumps both sides at the same time, otherwise it takes too long. It is kinda pricey, I think mine was like $250, but definitely worth it. I will be checking other peoples' replies on the strollers because I need to figure that one out too!

Nani said...

I love the tandem style but the bugaboo donkey is definatly making me change my mind. I am looking forward to seeing everyone's recommendations as well. no #2 yet but we are working on it. As for monitors we used the Sony 
http://www.amazon.com/NTM-910YLW-Sony-Baby-Nursery-Monitor/dp/B000S35QLC/ref=sr_1_2?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1326387641&sr=1-2 and loved it. But I have also heard really good things about Infant Optics 
http://www.amazon.com/Infant-Optics-rechargeable-encryption-activated/dp/B0052QYLUM/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1326387571&sr=8-3

Nichole Thomason said...

So I am super excited you posted this since I am looking for some similar recommendations when our #2 comes in March (Jackson will have just turned 2 as well). Here are some things I suggest from my own experience and what we will be trying.
1. Stroller- We really want a double bob but they are SUPER expensive, even used. SOOO I have been looking on Craigslist and local baby resale shops and found a used  Kolcraft Contours Options Tandem Stroller for $60. I figure even if it even gets used only a couple of times I can sell it back for half the price so I really only lost $30. Then when baby #2 arrives at least we will have something then once we get a feel for where the boys are at (if Jackson even wants to be in a stroller, size, length, ease of transport etc) then we can decide what we really want.

2. Monitor- We asked for one for Christmas from the grand parents and they got us a video monitor from Summer. We really like it. It's nice even now to be able to check in on Jackson in his big boy bed to see how he is doing.

3. Pump- I have a double Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump with On the Go Tote. It was great. I definitely recommend a double pump but also make sure you have a hand pump available just in case you run into someplace that does not have an outlet and/or you run out of batteries (been there, done that. I just kept mine in the tote for emergencies). ALSO- what I want to get is a hands free bra that allows you to pump without having to hold both bottles to your boobs for 10/20 min! My friend had one and raved about it, so I am getting one this time around. check out this cute one!! http://www.amazon.com/PumpEase-Classic-Collection-hands-free-pumping/dp/B0034ISZ8O/ref=sr_1_3?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1326388430&sr=1-34. Pack N Play- we never used one with Jackson but have a couple that people gave us sitting around. not sure if we will make use of them this time around or not. Good LUCK!Nichole

Andrea said...

We only got a double this past year.  I got the Joovy sit & stand at a consignment shop and I do really like it... although compared the the Maclaren single I have it is a BEAST.  So so heavy! When both kids are on it it is 100 lbs that I am pushing, no exaggeration.  Michael is 3 years older than Griff though, so he walks most of the time and hops and and off as needed.  I like that it isn't double wide because you can still navigate the mall with it.  I feel like some of the side by sides would be really hard to get through doors, esp if you were alone and there isn't an auto open door nearby.  Like I said, I got mine at the consignment shop (Small Threads in Issy) for only $60.  Definitely stalk those kinds of places to see if something you like pops up!

Kiara Buechler said...

The Medela Pump In Style Advanced works great for me.  I was able to pump hands free just by tucking it into my regular bra.  It also has the option of running on batteries which came in really handy on long road trips.  Don't bother with the Medela storage bags, they are crazy expensive.  Instead, keep two bottles with your pump, pump into those and pour into the more affordable Nuk storage bags.  Stay away from the Lansinoh, they tended to leak when thawing the milk from the freezer.  (Sorry, went off on a bit of a tangent there)  My mom bought a Graco pack n play for her house, looking online it was about $70 at Walmart.  It is cute, lightweight, and Dane still sleeps in it at her house.

Tara S said...

I am also pregnant with baby #2.  Congrats to you and good luck the rest of the way.  I'm due in June and my daughter will be 28 months at that time. 

I have a medula pump.  I have the one that is packaged in a black tote bag and has room to fit a small cooler that holds 4 bottles.  This was perfect for me because I needed to pump at work.  I have friends that have the smaller version of the medula pump.  They said they like it but I dont believe it is as strong as the tote bag version.  I think if you plan to occasionally pump than the smaller one will probably be fine but if you plan to pump every day then you might want to invest in the stronger pump.

I have two graco pack and plays, one at our house that our daughter slept in for the first few months and one we keep at my parents.  I love them both.  I agree with another commenter that all the extra stuff that come with some versions is really not necessary.  

I'm also in the shop for a double stroller.  I've done some research and I see a lot of people rave about the Jogger City Select.  I saw that one of your commenters said they loved theirs.  It looks amazing.  I was walking through NYC and I saw at least 10 Moms with the City Select.  I actually stopped a few of them and asked them about it and they all said they loved it.  You can arrange it in so many positions and can be a double or single stroller and also holds the car seat.  My only hesitation is the price but I'm starting to believe that it is probably worth the investment. 

Stephanie Clark said...

Most Lactation Consultants will tell you Medela on the pump. I have the pump-in-style-advanced.  I won't say I love it bc seriously who really loves a breast pump? But it is better than the "swing" single I had at first - didn't have enough power. If you get the backpack one I'm pretty sure you can walk around the house with it if you want. Comes with a battery pack option. Also, I think someone mentioned  the easy-expression-bustier - it's the only reason I haven't given up pumping at work. There is a Breastfeeding clinic here that has been invaluable for all things nursing. I would suggest asking if there is one in your area or a Le-Leche League. I don't go to meetings or anything, but ours has a facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mississippi-Breastfeeding-Medicine-Clinic-PLLC/69083083422. They will answer questions for anyone there.

I'm only on baby #1 but bought the Britax b-ready which has an attachment for a second seat. I haven't had the experience yet of using it for two, but love the options for attachments (I use my Chicco infant seat with it and the bassinet from Britax - they had a special for a free accessory when I bought mine). Hope these things help!

I don't use a pack n play, I just have one someone gave me - no infant sleeper or anything. However, I do use the Rocka nd Play Sleeper from Fisher Price by my bed and love it. It's also pretty toddler safe. If it's bumped it just rocks which helps in getting them back to sleep. Hope these things help!

Mandy Stribling said...

Here are mine!! (I have 2 yr old twinners!) I have the Maclaren Twin Trimph - its awesomne and fits into all doorways. I have been told the tandem strollers are terrible b/c the kids kick the back of the chairs and want to look out at everything.

Pump - I rented a super duper one from the hospital, but I also had the Medela backpack which worked pretty darn fabulous.

I have the Sony monitors that are ivory (and matched my decor, lol). they have worked awesome and haven't had a problem with it.

Shannon Linser said...

I had the Medela Pump in Style pump. I didn't have to use it a lot, but I have no complaints about it. I actually got it at the hospital because I found out that my insurance would pay for 90% of it if there was a dr's order for one! Most dr's will write you an order if you're breastfeeding. So, I got at $270 pump for $27. You should call and check with your insurance to see if they'll cover it before you buy one. Definitely worth it.

Bridget Graff said...

I have the Mefela Pump in Style and it works great for me.  We also have a Motorola video baby monitor that is awesome! The picture is so clear, even at night.  I highly recommend it. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004VL2VRO/ref=asc_df_B004VL2VRO1858085?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=asn&creative=395093&creativeASIN=B004VL2VRO

brianne culley said...

One thing I've learned from many friends is that most insurance plans will cover a hospital grade breast pump rental for 3-6 months. I'm not a mama, but that seems like the way to go so you don't have to have it in between babies, and if you don't love one model you can try another!

Christy said...

I'd personally say a tandem, only because when helping friends with their side by sides, they're often too wide, and can be difficult in pushing.
Breast pumps: Medula. I had a cheap pump tha tI used with my 2nd and it was horrible. You GET what you pay for. I used the medula with our 3rd and it was great, only used it while he was in NICU and was using it and the hospitals, they were pretty equal. No suggestions for pack-n-play or monitors, don't use them, since we cosleep.

Alexis said...

I am at a loss on the doublt stroller. I think the side by side ones are great, but the best ones cost over $500. Boo. Get a Medela pump. Any other one isn't worth the money. You should be able to get reimbursed by your insurance company as they passed that law last year basically requiring them to. It's about $300. You could rent a hospital quality one too... they work so much better, but that will run about $100/3 months. I have a a Sony BabyCall monitor and we have had no issues with it. It was about $50. I bought our pack and play used at the consignment sale for $25! I think they are mostly created equal, especially if you aren't using it for an every day sleeping crib. It's just a Graco. No bells or whistles. Dawson used it at the sitters and never had an issue with it. So exciting!!!

Branson said...

I rented my breast pump... Some insurance companies cover it, although mine was not one of them of course. It was very reasonable to rent, though. For pack n play I say stick with graco... Not a fan of cheaper brands when it comes to that item. We use ours all the time. Loooved the bassinet insert when he was little!

Emily said...

Our monitor works great! I've never had an issue with it! They are "Sony Baby Call" http://www.amazon.com/NTM-910YLW-Sony-Baby-Nursery-Monitor/dp/B000S35QLC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326415400&sr=8-1. For pumps, I recommend the medela freestyle - it's super compact and was wonderful for me since I pumped at work for almost a full year. But, all medela brands are pretty good.  As for pack n' plays - we don't have one but my mom got one. Just a basic graco one from babies r us. It works great!

Selena Stoney said...

Can't help you with the stroller thing but as far as the monitor i have the summer infant video monitor and we love it. Not only is it video but you can add extra cameras to it. I have never had a problem with it in 20 months. For the breast pump I have the pump in style and really liked it, it worked great and had good reviews too. We have the bright start pack n play and liked it. It is easy to fold up and move and worked well for us. Hope that helps a little

Selena Stoney said...

Wow seeing all the comments about insurance covering the pump is crazy I called my insurance and they said no way not unless it was a medical emergency that I have one but it would be nice if you could get it through them.

Melissa said...

I have the Medela pump and I love it. Will be using it again whenever we decide to have baby #2. I also agree with Summer Infant Monitor. We had a cheapo one till my daughter was about nine months and then decided to go the video route. I LOVE it. She started trying to crawl out of the crib and this made me more comfortable when I put her down. Now we're moving to a big girl bed this weekend and I'm so thankful for the monitor to keep an eye on her. Plus like Selena said you can add another camera, so it'll be nice again when we have another child.

Also beware about insurance and breast pumps. My hospital told me that if I went through this local company my insurance would cover it. Not even looking into it we ordered it and they upped the price by $200 and my insurance only covered $150 of it. So we paid $50 more than what Babies R Us had it and that was without a coupon. Also if you have a friend with a Medela pump, you can buy all new tubing to use with your baby and save money. Hope this all helps!

Erin said...

1) I haven't put it together yet but we got a tandem stroller that will fit our infant car seat for our 2 year old and baby boy due in April. I would like to get a side by side light weight stroller too when baby can hold his head up.

2) We have a Lorex video monitor. We had a Summer Infant video monitor that died after 15 months. We like them both, just hoping this one lasts longer.

3) I love my Medela Pump In Style! Used it quite a bit when I went back to work after having DD.

4) We got a used one from a consignment sale and it works just fine.

waterlooheather said...

I see everyone is saying Medela pump. And I would agree. I have the Pump N Style pump and it was great. I had nothing to base it on since it's the only one I ever had, but I have a friend who used "one from her sister" and then used mine and is using mine now because she was amazed at the difference. 

WeeMasonMan's Mom said...

 I tried three breast pumps and the Medela by far did the best job at the most comfortable and was the fastest. Totally worth the price for what you're looking to use it for (building a supply/storage) We use a Sony double monitor with two receivers and love it. We also use a $60 wireless webcam for a baby monitor because it does so much more for waay less than an actual baby monitor. As for a pack and play, we bought a basic $60 Graco from Shopko after doing WAAY too much research. It just wasn't worth it to spend an extra $60 to have yet another diaper changing table or a bassinet when the baby can just sleep on the regular top "shelf" of the pack and play. Mason lived in that thing the first 4 months!

StephLynn said...

We finally purchased a video monitor for our 2nd baby girl...and I love it!!! Sometimes babies are moving and making sounds but are not really up...so I love that I can turn on the video and see if she is actually awake. This is the one we have: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Summer-Infant-Secure-Sight-Hand-Held-Color-Video-Monitor/15522333. It does sometimes make 'clicking' noises...but we have a lot of power lines around our house so I think it is picking up a lot of noise from that!

Breast Pump: Medela is the way to go! I have a double pump but I only pump one side at a time...I find it easier to handle to just do one side!

We got a pack n' play from a garage sale...it was a smaller one. We only used it when we stayed with our parents for the weekend. Sorry, no suggestions there! I would just purchase what you need....I don't think that brand really matters with them.

Jessica said...

I used a Medela bookbag pump- it was great. Easy to take places if you need to also. I have a Graco pack n play- nice but it wasn't inexpensive.  And I have a super expensive 7 inch screen monitor- but I would highly recommend it hah. It's so nice. So yeah, nothing was cheap lol. BUT you get what you pay for!

Lia said...

I bought an used Phil and Ted Sports stroller when my baby was about 5 months. Before that the baby is always in the car seat or in a body carrier, so I would say that you may want to wait to buy a stroller and just feel first how your routine runs and what kind of stroller would work better for you. Some frames where you can attach a car seat are a good option for the beginning, and not too expensive. I like the Phil and Ted because it can fit inside small spaces and go through narrow doors.  But I know that there are other brands that also are narrow, so you may want to look at them too. I think the city select is very narrow. Anyway, I would not buy brand new, as you can get a lot of usage out of them, specially if you get new wheels. 

Kate Schwartz said...

I cant help you with anything but the pump... i got the first years double breast pump from target. i have also seen them at walmart and on amazon for between $70-$90. i LOVE it! was concerned that it wouldnt work as well as medela but was pleasantly surprised!!

Stefanie said...

I have a bumbleride indie twin side by side double stroller for my boys (born 17 months apart) and I love it! It fits everywhere I need it to go and is super easy to maneuver (I can push it with only 1 hand when I needed to).

I bought a video monitor with baby #2 and I found it a lifesaver because he was generally sleeping behind closed doors because my eldest was always making lots of noise. Mine is Summer brand, not too expensive & I've ever ad a problem with it.

Medela! I own a Medela freestyle, but also rented a Medela symphony ($8/mo, hospital grade) for home which I found worked the best.

Tiffany Moeder said...

Do the Sony monitors.  Pick up baby bargains book if you have a chance.  It has all the top rated baby gear in it.  Last time I checked, sony as number 1.  We've never had ANY issues with ours