ADVICE FROM A REAL MOM, WHO WAS A REAL PRE-SCHOOL TEACHER AND NOW REALLY RUNS HER OWN DAY CARE

… because you definitely aren’t accepting advice from those without kids
 (is there anything more annoying??)
 
“Tell me what to buy.” I said as I stood in Target staring at strollers. On the other end of my iPhone was my best friend Delaney.  In my mind, she is the queen of child-care. Not only does she have two sons, but she owns and runs her own daycare. She is constantly around babies.
 
Baby-whisperer, tell me your secrets. 
“You don’t need as much as you think you do.” She told me.  “Especially if you pick items that have multiple functions. For instance, get a pack and play that has a bassinet and changing table attachment.”
I walked over to the pack and plays. There were too many.
“Help.” I moaned.  “Can you do this for me? Please?”
Guess what! She did. She made me lists of things I must get, things I could get, and things I just didn’t need no matter what Pinterest told me. I bought the must haves and added the “nice to haves” to my registry.
Since you don’t know her, go ahead and compare her picks to what you are considering purchasing!
MUST HAVES
1. Compact Stroller:
Make sure that it does the following:
-allows your infant to fully recline
-allows you to attach a car seat
-has sturdy wheels
-has a roomy storage area.
-light weight, easy to fold
-large canopy
-reversible seat
-adjustable handle so hubby does not have to lean over to push the stroller
**cup holders and extra storage can always be purchased separately and added if your favorite stroller lacks them!
***If you are in the market for a double stroller, go for the ones where seats are behind one another and reversible. They are easier to get through doors and store aisles than those where the seats are next to each other. (Bonus, the kids won’t bug each other so much either!) Adding a ride on board to a stroller may be all you need if your kids are more than a couple years apart.
Her Picks:
2. Infant Car Seats
Many parents try to save money by getting a car seat second hand. After all, they last you about a year before your kiddo grows out of them. If you are going second- hand, make sure the seat is not expired! The average life span is 6-8 years.
All-in-one car seats get more amazing as the years go by.  I favor the ones that will serve your kid until he is 8 years old. They easily adjust into many reclining positions, have a handle to raise or lower the back of the seat,  and are easy to install into your car. Some convert to a booster.
Her picks:
Graco Milestone All-in-1 Convertible Car Seat, $200 range

Graco 4Ever All-in-1 Convertible Car Seat Graco 4ever Car Seat
$220-$300 range depending on color choice.
3. High Chair 
You can choose between a hook on chair or a free-standing high chair, depending on how much space you have in your kitchen or dining nook.  The hook ons are a great option that you can easily take to grandma’s for dinner.  Just make sure the hook on is paired with a sturdy table.
4. Activity Centers and Play Mats
These are a huge help to keep your baby busy while you try to fold laundry. Your little one will learn to put weight on his feet and build muscles bouncing and exploring his circle of toys.
5. Pack and Play
Make sure you get a multi-functional product that includes a bassinet. Some have a changing station. These are great to keep your baby safe while you do chores around the house or for a nap at the park.

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