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Everything and Anything About Being A Parent And Raising A Child

An Aunt With Hand-Me-Downs

Melinda Byam

When people say that it takes a village to raise a child, I think they mean a lot more than what immediately comes to mind. I originally thought of all the other people that surround the immediate family as being the Village; the babysitters, the other role models, the teachers (in and out of school), really the people that give their time and are physically around the child and family for extensive periods of time.  Now that I have a child, I am realizing that the Village extends even further beyond that.  I know my Village is extensive and I will forever be grateful for that.                    I recently found out that my favorite brother and his fiance will soon be parents to a baby boy, I will be an Aunty, my son will be an older cousin.  We will be willing, necessary and active parents in another Village.   And as a mother to a two year old boy, I not only have recent, more contemporary advice to give than some others in the Village, I have Hand-Me-Downs! My first act as a Villager is to bestow on these new parents clothes, toys, furniture, and most importantly my view on these things.  Here is what I had to tell them:                                                  (Disclaimer: 1.All items discussed below were either purchased by myself or given as gifts, I am in no way affiliated with any of these companies. 2. I tried to add a link to each item, some of the links go to the more updated item and not necessarily to the exact model that I used)

Baby Bargain

The first thing you should do is buy the most recent Baby Bargain book, this book will tell you exactly what you need to buy and what is unnecessary. It is a complete consumer guide with professional reviews, and the real ins and outs of the baby industry! This will be your baby registry/nursery prep bible! Do not attempt to go into any baby store without at least glancing at this first, you will be over whelmed.

4Moms Mamaroo - Plush Infant Seat

I know some people love this thing, it definitely looks cool.  My son only occasionally used it, and preferred his cheaper rockers by far.  I have heard that some babies absolutely love this chair, and some babies cry the minute you put them in it.  Its definitely yours to try out. I do have quite a few baby chairs/rockers.  You might think you don't need that many, but my suggestion would be to have someplace to put the baby in every room that you spend time in. That way you don't have to carry the baby and a chair as you move around the house.

Graco Pac N Play with Reversible Napper

I loved this pac n play. It has a "bassinet" which is pretty much just a raised level, and a reversible napper/changing station.   I hardly ever used the napper, but the changing station was very handy.  I have another pac n play at Mom and Dads, that one does not have a napper. I got two at my baby shower, so I left one at the grandparents so I didn't have to travel with someplace for the baby to sleep.  Two is definitely a luxury and not a necessity, this Pac N Play was very easy to fold and unfold, and was literally designed to be easy to travel with.

Fisher Price Newborn Rock-N-Play

This was my sons favorite place to take a nap (even long after he out grew it).  This is the rocker that I kept at Aunty A's and was always down stairs.  It has a music function and a vibrating function.  But honestly just the simple rocking motion was enough for my son. You can rock it by hand, and then I noticed that as my son tossed a little as he slept, the rocker would rock him back to a sound sleep. I Love This Thing!  There was a recall on it before my baby shower. The recall was about mold growing on the plastic base if water/condensation collected and was not removed or cleaned. 1. I got this after the recall, and 2. I never had this problem, the cover was washed as needed and dried out completely before reassembling.

Key FIt Reg 30 Infant Car Seat

I know car seats are one of the iffy things when it comes to getting hand me downs.  But you are more that welcome to it.  I do suggest whether you take it or not to 1. have 2 bases for whatever car seat you do get, and 2. have a back up car seat to begin with.  Neither my partner or I own a car and we still managed to have times when the car seat was not available when one of us was trying to go somewhere with our son. I had no issues with this car seat, I generally picked it for the price, the weight, and because my stroller had an attachment for it, oh and most importantly for the height and weight limit.  My son technically only outgrew this car seat in January or so, even though we bought a convertible car seat for him in October, in other words he outgrew it at about 22 months.

Grace 4-in-1 High Chair Seating System

I had no issues with this high chair, its a high chair and got the job done.  I did not use this with my son as a baby.  The chair does tilt back for bottle feeding/napping.  At two years old my son is still using the base, the part that you attach to the chair.  The  Speaking of the tray, that is one feature that I really like.  The tray is 3 parts, the top of which I believe is dishwasher safe, but either way have 3 options makes clean up easy, and if the baby makes a mess while eating you can swap out the tray very easy..

Oxo Bottle Drying Rack

Its yours if you want it. Not my fav, I found the tray between the spindles hard/annoying to clean.  It may be dishwasher safe, if it is that would have made things easier.

Summer Infant Bath Tub

I have this bath tub in blue (without the warming wings --I am not sure what those are).  This was a decent place to bath Kem as a newborn, bending over while the chair was in the tub was a little tenuous on the back, I am not sure if other products are better, or if a sink bathing system would just be the best for a newborn.

Bright Starts Baby Bouncer

This was a great addition to Kem's baby things.  It was a great place to put Kem when I didnt want him moving around, most often when I was cooking or having a shower. He is still fond of it and tries to play with it whenever he sees it in the basement.

Bumbo Seat and Play Chair

I only used this for a few months before I bought the high chair. It was just a good place to put Kem once he was sitting but not quite able to hold himself up.

Happy Baby Registry Shopping!!