Baby Gear Reviews – Carrier, Carseat, Stroller, Playard & Monitor

Ok…here it is! Fiona’s long-awaited baby product review! Now that I’ve been using most of my baby stuff for a few months, I’d like to give my opinion on some things so those who are out there looking, or who are just curious, will have some idea of what to buy and what they can probably do without.

This will be the first in a multi-part series about some of the baby stuff that we’ve been using during the first few months of our daughter’s birth. This first one has, what I feel, are the essentials, “the baby gear”, and the things that you think about buying when you think about buying baby stuff.


Carrier-I received the Infantino carrier as a shower gift and I just love it! I have never tried the more expensive brands, like Baby Bjorn, so this may not have all the bells and whistles, but it works for me! I use it a lot, especially when Kaisa is in those “just hold me” moods, and I have things to do around the house. I would recommend getting a carrier like this one, and don’t spend a lot of money, because they outgrow them quickly and you will need a larger backpack-type carrier.

Car Seat-Ok, we made this decision relatively early on and I kinda wish now that we had put some more thought into it. We have the Graco Safeseat which we decided on because it holds a child up to 30 lbs (rather than the traditional 22 lbs) rear-facing and we figured we would have a big baby and need the extra weight limit. However, the truth is that the carrier is MUCH heavier than the smaller ones, and quite frankly, I hate lugging it around! And Kaisa is only 12 or 13 pounds…what will it be like when she is 20?? So…kinda wish I had gone with the SnugRide. They have the same great features (head support, front-adjust straps–a must) with less weight to carry around.

Stroller-I really love the Graco Mosaic Stroller. We looked at some of the larger “luxury” strollers that Graco makes (Quattro Tour, Alano) and almost went with one because of all the cool features like parent organizer trays and fold-down baskets. However, we decided to go with the Mosaic to save money. I’m so glad we did, because this stroller folds up easily and compactly, and fits in our trunk quite nicely. I don’t think the larger ones would fit in our compact car! It is also very easy to steer and maneuver in small areas when you are shopping. I can even steer it one-handed! It can hold the SafeSeat and SnugRide carriers as a travel system, and when baby has outgrown the carrier (or you just don’t want to lug it along) it can hold just baby like a regular umbrella stroller. It was very easy to assemble (I did it myself when I was 8 months pregnant) and very affordable! Highly recommend it!

Playard-We researched playards and couldn’t really decide on one, so we let Grandma Judd decide when she bought it as a group gift for my baby shower. She bought the Graco Pack n’ Play in Family Tree. We were really glad to have this! It came with a vibrating bassinet and music box that played music and nature sounds, a mobile, and a changing table attachment. It was really nice to sleep Kaisa in our bedroom the first few weeks so that I didn’t have to go far for those late night feedings. The vibration soothed Kaisa and helped her go to sleep. I really liked having a place to change her right there as well, complete with diaper and wipe storage and extra pockets for other stuff. We have really liked having this to take on trips where we won’t have a crib. Kaisa sleeps well in it, and it is easy to fold down and carry. I would recommend buying a waterproof pad and playard sheet to cover the mattress with, as it is not washable. We did that, and I have had no messes to worry about. I also like that waterproof changing table pads to put under her while I change her…they keep messes under control and keep her bum warm since the changing part is plastic. When I moved Kaisa to her own room, I was even able to attach the mobile that came with this onto her crib! Perfect! Thanks for getting this mom!

Monitor-Another big thanks to Grandma Judd for buying us the Sony Baby Call Monitor. I just love this! The sound is so clear that I can hear Kaisa breathing, which is a great relief during those first few months when SIDS is a risk. It has lots of channels in case of feedback, and it comes with a built-in rechargeable battery so you can carry it around with you or go outside. It even has a belt hook! This is a high-quality monitor, and this price on Amazon is about $10 cheaper than I have seen it anywhere else.

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