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Janell

Um yes. Exactly. Take it from another mom. Get the carseat that will allow you to take the kid out of the car withouth waking them. You will thank me later. If you are concerned about cost, either ask your parents to get it for you OR save it for kid #2. We met a couple in our childbirth class who didn't want to spend the money and they learned the VERY hard way and ended up spending it anyway- 3 months later.

The other thing that is valuable. The swing. Get one that is electric (not battery operated) and that has a reclining seat.

Trust me. For the love of god, trust me.

Fawn

Well I am not so big on carry our baby around in the bucket seat, I have found it useful pretty often--I agree that it is worthwhile. Of course, we didn't buy ours, so it is especially easy for me to say that. I can't agree on the swing though-every kid is different. You may find you wouldn't want to live without it, but our kid isn't that into it. (We were also given the swing second hand.)

I am happy we got the stuff we did, but once she came, I was much less concerned about all the stuff. Sounds like you've already arrived at that place!

Melissa

Earlier this year, after much, much research into the matter, we bought my brother and his girlfriend the Chicco Cortina travel system which I have used several times during niece-sitting adventures and have loved more than I thought it possible to love inanimate objects.

About said travel system:
It's a bit heavy and not technically a one-hand open/collapse set but as long as you're not some delicate little thing you'll be able to open/collapse one-handed with no problem. It's also easy to steer, which is a big bonus at the grocery store or anywhere with limited turning room and it comes with everything--stroller, car seat base, infant insert, and car seat. The infant seat goes up to 22lbs, so it doesn't have the largest capacity, but for most babies that takes them right up to the time they should be going into a forward-facing seat and it has very adjustable seat belt straps to accommodate chubbier kids. The stroller will do you up to 50lbs which will take you right through toddlerhood and possible into pre-school/kindergarten if you don't have a monster-sized child. It was a bit expensive--$300--but totally worth every penny.

Also, their color schemes are pretty awesome and gender/sex stereotype neutral. I bought it in Charcoal/Lime Green because I figured my bro would appreciate not driving around a frilly, cherry blossom festooned, pink monstrosity, and I was right.

You can see it at BRU: http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3156651&camp=PPC%3A204335098

And it's the kind of thing that grandparents/aunts & uncles are happy to help you buy. Or, you can register for gift cards and use them to help alleviate the purchase pains. After all the baby showers I've been to it would've been a relief to have someone say "Just give us a gift card so we can pick up some stuff later!" Not that I don't love, love, love picking out wee baby clothes, toys, blankets, etc. But you know...

P.S. Jim and I would like to know where you're registered. :) I'm sure I could figure it out with a bit of research but thought I'd attempt the easy way first.

Alison

We got Calvin the Graco bucket seat to start off with, along with the stroller base it pops into, and while we didn't use it for very long, and definitely didn't carry him around in it much (a sling or mei tai worked much better for that), it was still worth it for the times he fell asleep in the car, say, on the way to Kroger. I'd move the bucket to the stroller base, and use the little basket in the bottom of the stroller as a shopping cart.

Do Nothing To Disturb the Sleeping Baby.

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