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Must-have baby gear for Chicago parents

When you become a parent, you trade your complicated Starbucks order for the smorgasbord of baby gear options. But how do you decide which high chair is best or which car seat can be installed easily?

Overrated

Chances are your biggest diaper blow-outs won’t happen in the safety of the nursery. So forget the changing table (unless you’re suffering with excess space), and pop a changing pad on a dresser. Don’t bother with a wipe warmer, no matter how sweet and soft your baby’s little bottom. As Grayson says: “Wipe warmers are a joke.”

We sat down with Jamie Grayson, aka “The Baby Guy” and Bump Club and Beyond’s gear expert, to talk strollers, carriers and all the essentials.

Basics

Oh the places you’ll go! When it comes to strollers, Grayson recommends the UPPAbaby VISTA ($729.99), which features a bassinet and a reversible toddler seat, “enormous” sun canopies to keep baby shaded, a compact fold and a large basket for your diaper bag. Plus, for tall parents, the handlebar is adjustable up to 42.5 inches.

Photo by TK Photography

Baby wearing is all the rage, and you can take baby on all kinds of adventures with the Beco Gemini ($130). The back cross straps lend additional comfort and support, which is helpful with a 40-pound weight limit. And at six or seven months, turn your little one around so they can take in the world.

Photo by TK Photography

For city parents, a cab-friendly infant car seat is essential. That’s where the CYBEX Aton 2 ($299.95) comes in. Its European routing path for the seatbelt means you can move it from car-to-car with ease and still know it’s secure. It’s also lightweight (nine pounds), and is compatible with most major strollers.

Photo by TK Photography

Once your little one weighs more than 35 pounds or is longer than 30 inches, it’s time to switch to a convertible car seat. Grayson likes the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Convertible ($329.99) because it’s rear-facing up to 45 pounds, which is a safety perk. The shape gives parents a little additional leg room, and it’s easy to install. If you’re going to splurge on one item, this is it.

Photo by TK Photography

The Stokke Tripp Trapp ($249) doesn’t look like your typical high chair, but it’s Grayson’s favorite. The chair is designed to fit a standard 30-inch dining table for maximum parent-child interaction. Plus the adjustable foot support prevents feet from dangling and throwing little spines out of alignment.

Photo by TK Photography

Find more essentials from The Baby Guy in the print version of Hey Baby Chicago!

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