With our first baby, we thought we had to have every baby contraption ever created from a Johnny jumper thingy to an exersaucer to the finest and biggest stroller. After our second boy came along and both boys had not made good use of much of what we had, we donated or sold everything. Then we found out we were pregnant with number three and quickly decided to limit our baby items this time around.
Of course, every person's "must-haves" are different, but this is what works for us:
This rocking chair has been perfect for our Elsie. She sleeps in it much of the time and loves to sit and watch us from it. The rock and play sleeper is really good for a baby struggling with reflux. The angle seems to make Elsie more comfortable. I love the style, the fabric and how easily it folds for easy storing and/or transporting. We've been more happy with this product than any other bouncy seat, etc that we've used in the past. It moves with the baby's movements but doesn't rock on its own. I've seen reviews that looked at this as a bad thing, but in my humble opinion, I like that the chair isn't in constant motion. It moves slightly when Elsie moves and rocks slowly for a few seconds with those movements. This seems just right for her little liking.
By the third go-round, we've learned that we don't have to spend a lot of money to get what we need. This car seat frame has been one of the best decisions we've made. It is inexpensive, so easy to use, lightweight and folds to a small size. With our first two children we purchased the larger strollers but we've come to realize that since we have the car seat anyway, this is all we really need and for a fraction of the cost. Once Elsie grows out of her infant car seat, we'll simply by another more inexpensive stroller for toddlers. In other words, what works for our family is to forgo buying the complete travel system in exchange for ease of use and a smaller size.
For more must-have favorites:
Must-Have Baby Guide - Babywearing
Must-Have Baby Guide - Tummy Soothing