The problem with baby gear is the sheer volume of it. I’m not talking about the amount of stuff you “need” because, let’s face it, you really don’t need any of this stuff. But some of this stuff is cool and you want it and it makes your life easier (sometimes) or more fun (again, sometimes). No, I’m talking about the volume of choices for each and every category of stuff. For example, I was so overwhelmed by the stroller choices that I decided to punt and stick with the car seat and the stroller frame that it can snap onto. It’s worked out pretty well.
On stuff that I had to make a decision on it was tough. Take, for example, diaper pails. Looking at the reviews on Babies R Us, they are all a mixed bag. Depending on the reviewer the Diaper Genie is either the best invention ever or the scourge of the earth that will make your whole house smell like ca-ca. We went with the Diaper Dekor which had a similar mix of reviews (“I never smelled a thing!” or “Stank to high heavens!”). It’s working out great so far, but then Maddie is still little and exclusively breast fed. Ask me how I feel about it when she is eating big girl food.
I made a less good choice with the nursing pillow. After reading some online reviews I chose My Breast Friend. The goofy name almost deterred me, but reviewers praised it as much better than the Boppy. So I registered for it and got it. And I hated it. At first I thought the problem was me — we were having some feeding issues anyway and I was convinced I was just incompetent. As it happens, the place where we took our childbirth class also runs breastfeeding support groups. I started going to one and I tried out a Boppy. I loved it! The funniest part was the lactation consultant running the group said, “Nine out of ten mothers love the MBF and hate the Boppy. You are the tenth mother.”
Then, in a truly happy turn, my friend Nomi said, “Hey, I got a Boppy and I like the MBF much better. Want to trade?” And trade we did. (With thanks to Nomi for giving me the title to this post.)
So here’s my advice for soon-to-be mommies. Try as much stuff as you can. Reviews are great and advice from friends even better, but what works for others won’t necessarily work for you. If you can’t try stuff out, then ask your friends for specifics of what they like about a certain piece of gear. This information will at least help you figure out if you will like it.
And if all else fails, find a friend and swap!