Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Nearly 17 months down the road

A few weeks ago, Isaac's baby monitor broke. It was a video monitor (similar here), so Jordan had taped it to the corner of his crib (more on this in a sec.). Well, one day Isaac realized it was up there and instead of napping, he spent a little time ripping the tape off and somehow the thing shorted out. Since then we haven't had any luck with getting it to work.... which, in the middle of the night, in a split bedroom floor plan, I can barely hear him when he cries-- and that's if I'm awake. While Jordan was out of town, I slept with all the doors open, which is especially creepy in a dark house by yourself. Then last night, Jordan and I just so happened to wake up when he was screaming, but then for hours after he calmed down, I kept hearing phantom cries. Was that Isaac? Was it my imagination? It drove me bonkers. This morning, I drove to Walmart and bought a $17 sound-only monitor, which is a cheap price to pay for peace of mind.

So this gets me thinking about how crappy our video monitor was the entire time. We've had SO many problems with it... in fact, I had to have the company send me a replacement part before we even had Isaac, which should've clued me in. It was ridiculously flimsy... like, the slightest breeze or tug would send the camera falling to the floor or into the crib, which is why we eventually taped it in place. The camera could barely pivot, so we had to angle it a funny way and still wouldn't be able to see 1/3 of the crib. The cords were a little too long and apparently also fragile, considering one day I accidentally caught it in the vacuum cleaner and it ripped into about 4 pieces. Thankfully my husband is pretty handy with electronics and we were able to splice together the remaining parts, which was ghetto, but it worked.

If I could do it all over again (and it looks like I've got my chance...), I'd never buy another monitor from this particular brand. I like the video capability a LOT, but it is expensive. So, for now, the sound-only monitor will fill our need, and maybe we could find a better video option if baby Mims #2 ever materializes.

Now that we're nearly 17 months into this journey, I'm pondering the many baby "must haves" that I may reconsider the second time around (or a few things that were totally worth it). Maybe this list will help a mom-to-be? Here we go:

  1. Crib & Furniture Set from JC Penney. I've been so disappointed by the quality of this furniture that I felt compelled to actually write a negative review on the website. The craftsmanship is poor. It is so easily scratched and dinged, that I had done some relatively significant damage just putting the darn thing together. After having an awesome experience with furniture at JC Penney, I thought this would also impress my socks off. Now I can only wish I'd spent a little more money at Pottery Barn and gotten a piece that would last. I can't see myself using this furniture for very long, which is a real shame. Next time I'll know.
  2. Boppy. This is a for-sure must have. I used my boppy for nearly every single feeding from the time we got home from the hospital to weaning just a week shy of 12 months. It was indispensable. Of course, now it's just gathering dust in the closet, which still feels a little wasteful, but next time around, I'll get my money's worth all over again.
  3. Chicco Snap-In Stroller & Bumbleride Jogging Stroller. I love both of these strollers. The snap-in stroller was so light and easy, it could be opened & closed with one hand. Cup holder, phone holder, substantial basket under the seat for bags and stuff made this an awesome little stroller. It maneuvers well and is just all around user friendly. And of course, you don't have to take baby out of the car seat to move to the stroller. Only downside: once baby is finished using the infant car seat, this stroller is obsolete. Since Isaac is in a convertible seat now, the snap-in stroller is gathering dust in the attic. Thankfully, the price point isn't too steep. I've also been really pleased with the Bumbleride, which is now our primary stroller. It also folds up easily, but is a little heavier and requires two hands. The wheels are really sturdy and can easily go "off roading" which is good, because it gets a lot of park time. I have noticed a drawback when running with this stroller: sometimes if one wheel bounces independent of the other (like you hit a bump on one side), then the back wheels can start bouncing back & forth. It's weird to describe and kind of a pain, because I either have to lift the back wheels off the ground or come to a complete stop. 
  4. Chicco Key Fit 30 Infant Car Seat. I loved this car seat. It was so easy to use... easy to install, easy to snap baby in, easy to get in/out. I was bummed to move Isaac up to a convertible seat. (but I've also been impressed by the Britax we're using now!) I'd totally recommend this, and I have!
  5. Bumbo. I hardly ever used this thing. Isaac fit into it for all of about 5 minutes and ever since it has sat in the closet and gathered dust. Lame.
  6. Mesh Feeder. Hated this thing. Isaac hated it too. Hard to "eat," impossible to clean. Unfortunately, after hearing such rave reviews, I bought like 4 of these suckers. Such a waste.
  7. Pack-N-Play. This I'm really on the fence about, which has surprised me most of all. Now, for the first 6 weeks of life, Isaac lived in the pack-n-play, so I wouldn't doubt its use... but... Ever since he has slept in the crib, I can probably count on one hand how many times I've used the pack-n-play. Mostly because everywhere we've traveled, someone already has a pack-n-play that Isaac can use for naps and bedtime. I kind of want to lug ours around and demand to use it instead, just to get some more use out of the thing. I still appreciate having it, but sometimes I wonder if it will ever see the light of day again.
  8. Muslin/Gauze Swaddle Blankets. I dont see what the big hullabaloo is about these blankets. I consider myself a bit of a baby swaddler expert, considering I swaddle babies like it's my job at my job because it is in fact my job. However, to me these blankets just never seemed to be good for what their claim was. I don't know if they just aren't the right shape for a great swaddle, but they're definitely too big. I bought 2 packs (5 in all) of these suckers thinking I'd use them all the time and mostly these just live in a drawer somewhere. 
So this isn't an exhaustive list, but it's a start. Hindsight is always 20/20. I should also mention that these links aren't affiliate links, nor does JC Penney know who I am. 

Here's to hoping I have a more peaceful night's sleep tonight! 


Erika said...

This is really good info-- I feel like people normally only ever report back on stuff they loved...so, always good to get a bit of perspective!!

Amanda McD said...

Completely agree with #5-7. And I'm mystified as to who is writing these rave reviews about the mesh feeders? Obviously not someone who put a banana in there and then tried to clean it out. Not happening! And Carter has never used our PnP...sad.

I feel differently about the Boppy. I had a My Breast Friend for Carter and loved it. I bought a Boppy this time around and don't feel as if it's as supportive as the MBF. I should send you my single MBF to use with Baby Mims #2 since my new one is the gigantic twin pillow, lol! I'm not sure if me, my pillow, the twins and Matt can all fit in our king-sized bed, haha!

Angie said...

I bought a Bumbo with my 2nd and definitely passed on buying another with my 3rd. Total waste for us.

Jaci said...

It stinks that JC Penny didn't have good furniture, but be grateful you didn't waste more money on Pottery Barn. It blows. The drawers continuously won't close all the way and the crib is dinged up like crazy.

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