As we prepare for homestead baby #3 to make his or her arrival this fall, we are slowly taking out our essential baby items from storage. When we found out homestead baby #2 was on the way (Baby A, two years ago) we decided that we were going to approach baby purchases with quality and durability in mind. Thankfully, because of those well researched purchases all of the baby items that we still have are in excellent condition. The following are some of the items that we used on a daily basis around our homestead that made our everyday chores easier with a new baby. Every family and home will have a different list of what they consider to be essential for their children. We based our essentials list on being comfortable, safe outside and portable.
Here is a list of things that we have found to be essential on our homestead in helping care for our little ones.
By far the biggest purchase we made was our stroller. We needed a stroller that would be able to handle our rough terrain and frigid winters. After reading many reviews we settled on the BOB Revolution SE Single Stroller. This stroller has been able to handle all that we have thrown at it. I’ve used this stroller daily during the winter months in all kinds of slush and snow. In the summer it has handled off-road hiking on trails and gone through creeks and streams. With the quick grab strap I am able to one-handed flip the stroller into an upright position, although it does take two hands to fold it down.
One of the ways I used this stroller on the homestead was during chore time. Every morning after R would get on the bus to go to school, Baby A and I would bundle up and head out for our morning walk. After our walk, (during which Baby A would fall asleep for his morning nap) I would do the morning chores. Parking the stroller in a safe place in the yard, I could see and hear if he stirred or woke up and was still able to get all of my daily work done outside.
Another thing that I love about this stroller is that when we were out and R was tired of walking, there was room for him to sit on the front foot rest. While still having plenty of foot room for Baby A and having great steering control of the stroller. We are anticipating using the stroller the same way with the new baby and when our (now) toddler is tired of walking 🙂 .
The BOB stroller comes with a bigger price tag and we definitely considered this purchase an investment. Thankfully we have gotten our money’s worth and will continue to do so with this next little one. After two years of continuous use, our BOB still looks new with only slight sun fading on the top from being left out a few times.
This was the next biggest purchase we made for Baby A. We decided the Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat was the best option for us because of its amazing reviews on safety and ease of installation. This car seat is super easy to install into both our car and SUV. It is a breeze to lift in and out of the vehicle due to its easy release button. We love this car seat so much we will be purchasing another for homestead Baby #3.
This car seat also has the option of buying a separate stroller attachment to safely attach the Chicco car seat to the BOB stroller, creating a complete travel system.
Another product we would consider essential on our homestead, the bouncy seat. During the warmer months Baby A would nap in the seat and it was a breeze to be able to carry him around the homestead. He would often nap in the shade by the garden while I weeded or harvested produce. Not only was this a portable sleeping solution for us but Baby A loved napping in it. He also loved to sit outside and watch us work, or practice sitting and grabbing at the toys.
While this Fisher-Price model has an option for music and vibration we didn’t use those features a lot with Baby A, he didn’t need them to fall asleep and for the most part we left them off. If you are looking to save some money on a bouncy seat you can choose a model without the sounds and vibration options.
We made this purchase after baby A was born, I wanted a portable bouncy seat that I could move around the homestead while he was sleeping. We will be getting another bouncy seat for the new baby since we have given the original away.
This is another purchase that we really invested in and I’m glad we did. Our ‘stash’ of cloth diapers that we purchased both new and used are still in excellent condition after being used exclusively for almost two years now. With proper care these diapers can save a family hundreds of dollars spent on disposable diapers. When we decided to use cloth I did a lot of research, and decided that the best option for us would be to buy a few different types of cloth diapers to see what would suit our family best. If you have access to a cloth diaper store in your area they may have trial packages that you can rent, to see if cloth is right for your family. I highly recommend trying it, if not for the economical savings but the environmental impact as well. To find out more about the types of diapers we use and how we like them check out these posts.
Some of the diapers that we continue to use are AppleCheeks and AMP diapers. Both of these brands are pocket style which we prefer, and they both held up well after two years of use. We have not had to replace any elastics or fleece. AMP diapers can be bought in a one size option and AppleCheeks has just come out with a one size diaper.
On the homestead we have found that babywearing is essential, we mainly use two types of carriers. The Moby wrap we liked to use while Baby A was really little and the Tula carrier when he got a bit bigger. In fact we have used both of these carriers from newborn to two years old, I’m sure A would still fit in his Tula but he prefers to walk now.
Our carrier was used every day when Baby A was not walking. From when he was a newborn and needed to be comforted (always during supper time) 🙂 , the Moby allowed me to be hands free and continue making supper for our family. Later when A was older and we needed to get fencing or outdoor work done the Tula was wonderful.
We also used our carriers for hiking and exploring the outdoors, both Leighton and I have carried A for hours while out hiking in the bush.
You can read my reviews and recommendations here for carriers and why we consider babywearing essential on the homestead in this article, Babywearing for the Modern Homesteader.
These are some of the products that we consider to be essential for us to continue to work on our homestead while caring for our young children. Everyone’s baby essentials list will vary, have I missed something that you would consider essential? Let me know in the comments.
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