Ahh! Babies require so much stuff! Brooklyn is a very fertile place these days, and a number of people have asked me about what baby gear we would recommend them, so here goes:
Stroller: We use the Chicco key fit caddy with the Key Fit 30 car seat. We love it. It's small and affordable, with a huge basket underneath. We bring it on the subway, out to restaurants and the caddy folds up pretty small for car rides. The car seat comes with a base that you leave in the car so you can just click it in when you use it, but it can also be used without. The combo was also perfect for travel as we avoided having to bring a full stroller and a car seat. We bought the car seat on craigslist for 1/3 of the price of buying it new. Often parent groups and online communities will have lots of posts of things for sale. If you keep your eye out you can find a lot of stuff for great prices.
Swaddles: When the baby was born we loved the stiff flannel swaddles from the hospital. They are cheap and stiff enough to keep the baby tightly wrapped, which is key. When the baby got a little bigger, we used the Halo sleepsack swaddle which is amazing. At first I was horrified by it (it looks like a straitjacket) but I soon fell in love when I saw how quickly Benoît falls asleep in it. We have them in the organic cotton variety and the microfleece variety. I personally prefer the microfleece ones because they pin the arms down extra tightly, ha! I have also used Summer brand which was fine. I have also heard good things about the Miracle blanket.
* Note on Aden and Anais swaddles: they are beautiful, but they are not great swaddles - they are too big and don't stay snug. As a winter baby, we hardly used ours. We have, however, used them as extra blankets in warm weather, as stroller covers and nursing covers. In short: they are great for warm weather, but don't expect to actually use them as swaddles.
Diapers: We use DiaperKind cloth diapering service with prefold diapers and covers made by Thirsties, Flip and Rumparooz. All the covers are great. These are the less expensive covers that have snaps to adjust for size. We also use Snappi fasteners which make putting on the diapers really easy (honestly just as easy as disposables, once you get the hang of it). We use the service because we didn't have a washer dryer until yesterday, and love it. While travelling we use Honest diapers. We don't use any diaper creams, powders or products at all and Benoît has never had diaper rash.
Crib: We have the Alma Mini, which is small but perfectly sized for Benoit's room. We haven't had any problems with it yet.
Carrier: We got the Baby K'Tan as a hand-me-down and I loved it as soon as I could figure out how to use it. Its packs small enough that you can always keep it in your bag, and its not bulky underneath a jacket. Caveat: you need to buy it sized for the parent, so its not easy for both parents to share, unless they are the same size. The Moby is quite similar in feel but the size can be changed. Also, this type of carrier is not very supportive so might be better for younger babies.
Another carrier: Now that Benoît it getting heavier, we really like the Ergobaby. We currently have the Ergobaby Performance, which is a more breathable fabric. This is the carrier that is the most comfortable for longer uses without causing neck and back pain, it also has a napping hood which is great. Ergo baby just came out with a 4 way carrier which looks awesome.
Running stroller: We have the Bob Revolution SE and love it. Because Benoît is still only 4 months we use it with a car seat adapter, which also has an infant adapter. Its a little on the pricey side, but we just didn't want to have any excuses not to exercise. We have been using this since a few weeks after the baby was born. It folds easily, maneuvers well, has a big basket underneath and fits in the trunk of our car. We also bought an attachment that holds two bottles and our phones / keys, etc...
Baby bouncer: We have really liked the BabyBjorn bouncer. Ben loves to sit in it. It can be bounced by the parent or an older baby and it can be reclined to be more conducive to sleep.
Diaper bag: We have this SoYoung diaper bag. It was kind of a splurge, but we love it for longer outings or when we have the stroller to strap it too. It is also perfect for plane rides: it fits a change of clothes, loads of diapers and wipes, a changing pad, swaddles and a couple of bottles. We also have this SkipHop pad that is great for throwing into another bag.
Pacifier: We love Wubanubs! They are a stuffed animal and pacifier in one, and perfect for bed time because the stuffed animal can rest on the baby's chest, making it more likely to stay in place. It is also easier for the baby to grab a hold of it and move it around.
Nursing cover: I don't think that a woman should have to cover, but there have been times when what I am wearing does not really lend themselves to nursing and the cover allows me to nurse discreetly. I also use it when I am pumping because, lets be honest, no one wants to see that. I think these are all more or less the same, so its really about finding a pattern that suits you, just make sure it has a wire that allows you to look at your baby easily. Here is the one that I own.
Baby clothes: We have been extremely fortunate to have received a lot of hand me downs. But my favorite baby clothes, by far, are from Zara. They are reasonably priced, totally adorable, and great for big, cloth-diapered bums. I also like plain-old, white onesies. Any brand will do, but Gerber has some nice affordable ones.
I think those are the major ones. Is there anything that I am missing? I would love to know... Also, we are on the hunt for a high chair. Any recommendations?