Gone are the days of crib, play pen, swing and high chair being the only baby essentials. Bedding, safe places for baby to play, and mealtime seating are still important but parents of infants would argue that these four are the only pieces of equipment qualifying as essential. Here are a few relative newcomers.
The pack and play makes the list because it serves multiple functions. Designed similar to the playpens of old; the pack and play sports a narrower design making it ideal for portability. Beyond this, many models also come with a bassinet, changing pad, storage and attachable mobile for baby's entertainment.
Baby jumpers have changed considerably from those of decades past. Though basic jumpers consisting of a canvas-like seat and straps that hook the jumper seat to a door frame are still available; the newer styles have far more to offer the baby learning to touch, jump, and find interest in everything around him. The newer styled jumpers have music, lights, and colorful play toys attached to hold baby's attention for long periods of time even when he's not jumping. These are sturdy floor models and no longer a concern that an active baby will dislodge hooks from the door frame while bouncing.
Commonly referred to as simply the "Bumbo", this seat is a foam rubber seat designed with a "horn" in front that goes between baby's legs and a deep seat for baby's bottom to settle down into. The seat's contours allow for even younger babies to sit upright, safely. The bumbo is lightweight, yet due to it's design; doesn't tip easily with baby's shifting movements. The seat is versatile enough to use for feeding, play time or to take on trips.
Baby audio monitors have been around a long time. Today's monitors, though, not only have clearer audio but they also have longer range. As a plus, with newer technology, baby monitors also come in video styles so you can not only hear baby, but see what she's up to when you're in the other room.
The convertible car seat is likely to be one of the more expensive items on this list depending on the make and model. What is great about this type of seat is it's versatility. Because of the fact that it's a convertible style, it can safely carry a child through all his stages of growth. Many styles have added padding for infants so they are more secure in the bigger seat and detachable headrests for older children. Select models convert into a booster seat to meet age and weight requirements.
Note: The Bumbo seat has had a 2012 recall alert because of children falling out of the seat due to lack of seat belt restraints. The manufacturer is now offering a safety belt kit for the Bumbo seat and can be contacted to obtain one free of charge.
As always, infants and small children should not be left unsupervised.
select one here...