I haven’t done one of these ‘favorite baby things’ collage posts in a while, and with it being summer and needing to get out of the house everyday, I have a few things that I’ve come to rely on to make getting out of the house as easy as … well, just easiER. I found out real quick after having my son, that getting outside and into fresh air, no matter how hot or cold, were vital to my (and my kid’s, but more mine) mental well being. If we don’t go outside, we both get bored and agitated so it’s best for both of us if I make it a point to do some sort of outing each day, no matter how small.
So I put together this list with all my favorite gear that I use almost everyday (in the summertime at least, as I write this) that I really love, and where we bought them. I did my fair share of researching these items like reading reviews before I purchased and comparing to similar products, because that’s just the control-freak that I am. I wish someone would’ve told me about a few of these things before all the trial and error purchasing (like sippy cups! Holy crap we’ve wasted so much money on leaky sippy cups).
- Jogging stroller – We got this Baby Trend Expedition Jogging Stroller from Amazon. It’s the best thing ever. We got one as soon as Lachlan grew out of the travel system we used. This jogger can easily roll over tall grass, rocks, sand, curbs, you name it, I’ve gone over it. The only downfall is the tires are like bike tires so they are prone to flats, which are easy to replace, just get a new tube from Amazon. But seriously, life changer with that deep basket, cup holders, adjustable sun shade, and snack table.
- Umbrella stroller – We got this Baby Trend Tri-Fold Mini Stroller from Target. If I’m going to the mall or somewhere indoors with a smooth floor, I prefer to use this stroller instead of the jogger because it’s much smaller, lighter, and easier to squeeze between the clothing racks at H&M. I searched high and low for a stroller like this, one that has a sun shade AND a basket underneath AND cost under $100 AND folds up really small so as to still allow space in the truck for groceries. Not so easy to find all those features!
- Hat – My kid thankfully likes his baseball hats, but won’t wear a sun hat. As long as you can find a hat they will tolerate, this will save you from sunburn and judgmental eyes (though F those people, because you know you put sunscreen on the kid anyway). I’m a fan of these baseball hats from Bubba’s Truckers. So many people comment on how much they love this hat! They are super cute and adjustable in the back.
- Sunscreen – I’m not going to get into the sunscreen debate over which is safest and blah blah blah, but I really like the ThinkBaby brand and I’ll even put it on me because it’s what we have on hand. I will say I did do that “safe sunscreen” research and this brand came up on the “good” list, so I’ll just leave it as that. Get the two pack so you don’t have to scour the house to find one!
- Slip on shoes – Whether they are Crocks, flip flops, or velcro sneakers, as long as you can put them on in under 5 seconds, and they stay on while walking, I don’t care. Bonus if they are waterproof! I’m a big fan of these flip flops from Carter’s.
- Backpack – I got this SwissGear City Pack from Target. It’s light, it’s smallish (I’m 5’3″ so it fits me perfectly, doesn’t feel too “schlepy.” I don’t like the typical big baby bags that hang over your shoulder, that shit hurts and they are too big and don’t stay in place. So I bought a backpack and made sure it had a ton of pockets for my own things, for diaper things, plus a bottle holder on the side so I can whip out Lachlan’s drink in 2 seconds flat like I’m Quick Draw Mcgraw without having to take it off my back.
- Snack cups – I won’t leave the house without snacks. My go-to snack on the go is cut up strawberries/pears/or apples (bananas are too messy), pretzels, Ritz Bitz crackers with cheese, or Cheerios. I like the snack cups that make it hard for the entire contents to spill out when thrown. I got mine at a consignment sale but they look like this.
- Sippy cup – It’s trial and error to find sippy cups that truly don’t leak. And I really like these NUK Gerber Graduates cups. They are a good size (9 oz), they fit in most cup holders and are easy to wash. They are also pretty durable and can handle a good throw. (Random side note: We discovered on our last trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, driving up to 12,000 feet elevation makes the cup leak, and that was the first and only time it ever did)
- Hiking pack – We like this Kelty Transit 3.0 Child Carrier from Amazon when we go on hikes and can’t use a stroller. He’s much to big and heavy for an Ergo or other soft carrier like that now. I think we still have yet to discover how to lower the seat in the bottom of this pack, because Lachlan is so tall that his shoulders almost don’t fit inside the straps at the top, but it works for now. It’s also got a sun shade, but we haven’t used that yet because he’s usually wearing his hat.
- Water bottle – For me! I got this S’well water bottle with my Birchbox (affiliate link) points, so it was free. I got the 25 oz one (which just so happens to be the same size as a bottle of wine!), it keeps
winewater cold, and it’s stainless steal so it doesn’t have a funky smell after a while. And if Lachlan is still thirsty after his milk is gone, I can pour some of mine into his cup with plenty left over. It’s skinny enough to fit comfortably in my backpack.