Two questions I get quite often is – do I really need all this baby gear and how can I get less? Or some variation of the two. These questions are almost always followed by BUT not lose the functionality of having it all. Whatever your reason for needing/wanting less gear – money, space, minimalist, etc there is a way. And a way that doesn’t involve you missing out on the conveniences that come with “having it all”. I have five suggestions – take one, take them all but either way they reduce your “baby gear footprint” if you are willing too. I even promise your little one won’t have baby gear envy! What ways have you reduced the amount of gear you have?
1 – Carseats. Instead of an infant/pumpkin seat like this Chicco Keyfit and a convertible seat, like the Britax Boulevard 70 choose a super safe convertible seat that accommodates newborns too (the Boulevard does this job – but check out all of our Convertible Car Seat reviews). Convertible seats will run you anywhere from $100 and beyond $300 which further justifies the investment in using them from day 1. The disadvantage? You lose out on the ability to carry your little one inside in their seat since convertible seats remain in the car. For this reason, this option may not be for everyone but if you can swing it, you save out on an extra carseat which would save you anywhere from $100 – $200 depening on the model!
2 – Strollers. On most of our Baby Registry guides, we suggest two to three strollers. A full size, umbrella and snap n go. For alot of people three strollers sounds crazy but you can make a case on why it makes sense to have all three. You by no means need all three though. If you go with a slick stroller like this City Mini GT, you can use it for all three. The City Mini folds as easily (or easier) as most umbrella strollers, has the smooth ride and maneuverability of a full size stroller and an adapter for a carseat (at an added cost ~$30-60 depending on the seat) The savings here could be HUGE! Some full size strollers are close to $1,000 and the City Mini GT goes for around $350 – other great models to consider for this swap are the City Mini and Britax B Ready.
3 –Pack ‘N Play / Co-sleeper / Rock n Play Sleeper. All three of the aforementioned can serve the same functions but often times, parents-to-be buy separate versions of at least the pack n play and co-sleeper (ourselves included). However, to reduce your baby gear footprint you could definitely let our favorite new pack n play, the 4moms Breeze serve as the travel playard and newborn sleeping quarters. Depending on the models you choose you are definitely saving at lease a couple hundred bucks. On a personal note and as someone who needs to cram less in my small space I still went with the pack n play and co-sleeper. I just love the co-sleeper so much for those newborn weeks and while the Breeze is a close match I still prefer the co-sleeper.
4 – Play Mat / exersaucer / entertainment table. The Triple Fun Exersaucer makes this one super easy. It serves as the playmat, exersaucer and entertainment table all in one and evolves as your child grows. Meaning that when you move from one level to the new there is not a piece of gear sitting around that you don’t use. This saves not only space but money – probably around $100 or so. Not to mention, the Triple Fun Jungle is a huge hit amongst the little ones and sure to please at all three stages.
5 – Infant seat / Swing. Trade both of these for the super soothing powers of the 4Moms Mamaroo. You still have the portability of the infant seat but the rocking option of the swing. The cost savings isn’t huge and is actually about neutral but eliminating a space hog like the swing is a huge win! This is one I wish I would have known before I registered.
So there you have our five ideas to reduce our baby gear footprint – what do you think? Are you going to take any of our suggestions?