Baby Gear Selection Tips

Options are a beautiful thing, but sometimes, they can be completely overwhelming!  This if often the case with baby gear, where there may be hundreds of different choices for things that serve some or all of the same purposes.  Here are some resources we like to use when trying to make baby gear decisions.

1. Use Your Registry to Ask Your Guests

One of the wonderful things about Encore Baby Registry is the flexibility if offers.  A great way to get ideas about which brand or style of baby gear to use in different scenarios is to ask your registry guests to help you decide.  This can be done indirectly by leaving a registry item very general, rather than asking for a specific brand or style, or directly by also letting your guests know that you’d like their opinion.  For example, in your registry item description, include something like, “We’ve seen so many baby carriers that we’re not sure which type we’d like.  We would love to be handed down a carrier that you really loved.”  If there are specific features you want the baby gear to have, make sure to mention those: “We’d like a stroller that can accommodate an infant car seat and has a seat that reclines and a height adjustable handlebar.”

2. Check Out Baby Gizmo or Baby Gear Lab

We wrote a blog post a while back about why we love Baby Gizmo’s video reviews, but we’ll sum it up here:  Hollie Schultz, mother of three, makes concise, well paced videos that often cover product features, model upgrade information, comparison information, real life props (like real babies and diaper bags to stuff in stroller storage compartments), extra insight you won’t get on the manufacturer’s website, and product pros and cons.  Seeing a baby product in action on a video is also a big step up from viewing it in just pictures.  To see Hollie’s baby gear videos, go to Baby Gizmo and use the “videos” and “product reviews” menus at the top of the page.  Her videos often also come up in searches for product reviews on youtube.

Baby Gear Lab’s review section offers information in comparison chart form for a wide variety of baby gear.  It is a great way to look at gear options provided in a side-by-side format with information on pricing, ratings, pros and cons, and product specs.

3. Look at Star Ratings and Reviews on Amazon is a great place to find (mostly) unbiased product reviews from a wide variety of customers.  Sort reviews by date, with the newest reviews first, as baby products may change over time, for better, worse, or both.  Also, look at both one star reviews and five star reviews to get an idea of pros and cons for each product.  Reading the reviews may reveal that some parents’ reasoning for a one star review may not be relevant for your situation.  For example, a stroller that isn’t tall enough for parents over six feet tall may lead them to give bad reviews, but if you and the people who will use the stroller for your baby are under six feet tall, these reviews can be discounted.  You may also find issues you hadn’t considered.  For example, a highchair that converts to a toddler booster, but is too tall to slide under a standard dining room table top won’t likely say that in the manufacturer description and it may not show in the product pictures, but parents are likely to share these types of baby gear shortcomings in their reviews.

Make sure not to get too sucked into reviews and to take them with a grain of salt since one parent’s must-have baby gadget is another parent’s dust collector.  Every baby and every family is different, which is one of our Top 5 Reasons to Go Secondhand.