Baby Gear
December 18, 2004 10:28 AM   Subscribe

Bjorns, Ergos and Slings Oh my! : So, you a somewhat “cool chasing” new parent who cannot afford the Bugaboo.
What reasonably priced must-have items have you found that stray from the run-of-the mill AssembledInChinaEveryoneHasItInPastel junk?

Ewww.. Sorry about that formatting error.
posted by BrodieShadeTree to Shopping (8 answers total)
baby papasans are hot, and supposedly extra-comfy. (but since Fisher-Price now makes one, it guess it falls under the junk category?)
posted by amberglow at 10:45 AM on December 18, 2004

Slings are not cool, but they are the best of all possible baby-toting inventions. All other baby-carrying devices are inferior.

That Bugaboo looks excruciatingly worthless. For a light-duty stroller, you won't beat a Maclaren, although there is a certain retro cool to an Emmaljunga, and they're built like tanks.
posted by majick at 11:00 AM on December 18, 2004

I'll second the Maclaren "umbrella" stroller--we found a version that's similar to what majick linked to, that you can basically collapse or expand with one hand, and pretty well-priced at one of the major baby stores. (They'll usually sell off last-year's models at good price, once the model year rolls around.)

Another worthwhile investment, while it's not exactly cheap, we absolutely loved the B.O.B strollers, and they're definitely cheaper than that Bugaboo monstrosity. We started with the single, and moved up to the dual model when we had our second--they're really rugged, they've actually got small shocks, and they break down to a fraction of their normal size for transport. We've taken them over hiking trails, into parks, everywhere--they hold up forever, and they've got a really smooth ride.

There was also a kind of extreme baby jumper that we had, that hangs in the doorway, but it used bungie cords for the springiness, and instead of a little seat, had a kind of strap and velcro mechanism. It let the kid really get some bounce going, but they were very securely held in. (Not necessarily for every parent's taste, but I've learned to own and accept my role in raising crazy kids.)

Finally, my wife absolutely loved having a sling for around the house. Getting around outside, we tended to use the ubiquitous Bjorn--we just found it more practical, and both our boys loved facing out at the world like that. But for just carrying a little one around while you're indoors, a sling is hard to beat. You can pop the kid in and out in just a sec, and it's great for the baby's back and the carrier's.
posted by LairBob at 1:29 PM on December 18, 2004

When our daughter was an infant, the Baby Bjorn (used, via friends) was awesome. We also have a BOB (used, via eBay) jog stroller and its pretty nice too. Now that she's a toddler, we carry her in a Kelty backpack (used, via CraigsList).

PS: you can be cool without paying retail.
posted by turbodog at 1:47 PM on December 18, 2004

turbodog's absolutely right--half the stuff I mentioned we got through the local consignment stores. There's absolutely no reason to buy everything brand-new, when kids grow out of most things well before they're worn out. There's a huge market of good condition, second-hand kid stuff out there.
posted by LairBob at 4:36 PM on December 18, 2004

Seems like I'm always late to the parade. I have to recommend the Bjorn and sling for different reasons, at least slings can be cheap. Same with the BOB and Maclaren, neither of which are cheap, and either may be cool depending on your definition. Maclaren makes lots of good strollers; the small and light end is the Volo (extremely light) and the Daytripper (slightly more functions, what we have). Used is definitely recommended. Hopefully you have friends and family that may loan stuff, too. We've been on both ends of that sort of deal.

So it seems that I have nothing original to add.

I would think that if you're looking for something that nobody else has ("in the US" assumed), then you should start looking abroad at various ethnic solutions to parenting problems. Note that the mainstream is getting a lot of this, though: Maclaren is British, Baby Bjorn is probably not US (or just good at marketing, I dunno). Slings are, of course, probably somewhat universal. Or maybe you want something that other people have, but only the right people.

I can't figure it out; I guess I'll never be cool. :P
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 10:06 PM on December 18, 2004

With our first child we had a Snugglie carrier and found that it pinched her legs, so for our next one we bought a Bjorn on eBay. If you're going the eBay route for something like the Bjorn, be aware of a recall for certain types of Bjorns. I also remember seeing something from England that was like a cantilevered seat that would strap around your waist on a belt called The HippyChick. It seemed like a neat thing to offset the weight of an older infant/toddler without a more complex apparatus.
posted by phirleh at 7:30 AM on December 19, 2004

Never buy baby stuff at full price; it's always overpriced. And remember that you can sell it off/hand it on when you're done and maybe recover some of the cost. Babies don't use anything for long. And there are a zillion no-name products that are basically the same as the Baby Bjorns and the Bugaboos (I've never seen a Bugaboo before - what an odd-looking contraption!).

That hip seat thing looks quite cool, especially with a toddler whose legs get tired in about fifteen-twenty minutes. I wonder if it helps prevent the wonky-hip thing most mothers get (dads don't tend to carry their kids on their hips).
posted by tracicle at 3:48 PM on December 19, 2004

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