Whether you’ve just found out you’re expecting or your baby is almost here, chances are you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by all of the products you need to ensure your baby is happy and comfortable. When it comes to baby gear, everyone and their dog seems to have an opinion about what the must-have items are, but which products do you really need, and how do you know you're getting the best?
Product protection is always a good place to start when talking about quality. An extended warranty plan on your baby products can not only guarantee that you're covered in the event of an accident, it can also help save you money. In this article, we’ll take a look at 4 must-have items for new or expecting parents, and what features to look for.
1. A good stroller
A good stroller is one of the most important purchases you’ll make as a new parent. From leisurely walks at the park to trekking through dozens of miles at Disneyland, your stroller will become your new best friend.
As a first-time parent, you might be surprised at how expensive strollers can be. While you don't need to purchase the most expensive baby stroller on the market, investing in a good stroller will not only make your life easier, it will pay itself off in the long run. Here are some characteristics to to look for in a stroller:
- Weight. Although sturdiness is a good thing, you’ll quickly become exhausted if you choose a stroller that’s too heavy. Look for a lightweight, yet capable, stroller.
- Foldability. We’ve all seen those poor parents at the airport trying to wrangle a stubborn stroller that won’t fold–you don’t want this to be you. Foldability is one of the most important things to look for in a stroller.
- Maneuverability. How hard is it to push? Look for a stroller that has good steering and is adaptable to different surfaces.
2. A good diaper bag
As a new parent, your diaper bag will be one of your most loyal companions, so it's important to choose it well. While there are hundreds of diaper bags on the market claiming to be the best, the greatest diaper bag is the one that most suits your style and needs. Here are some ideas of what to look for when choosing a diaper bag:
- Capacity. As a new parent, you’ll probably be surprised by the number of things you’ll want to bring with you on the go. Between pacifiers, burp cloths, clothing changes, and toys, a small diaper bag simply won't be able to hold everything you'll need. Look for a diaper bag that’s spacious, without being too large to carry.
- Organization. With all the items you’ll need to store in your diaper bag, it can quickly become a chaotic mess. Look for diaper bags with pockets and other organizational mechanisms, along with insulated pockets if you’re going to be bottle feeding. You can also purchase a diaper bag organizer to help keep all your items in their own separate spaces.
- Maintenance. While something fancy like a Gucci diaper bag or a Coach diaper bag might be what most catches your eye, as a new parent, reality will hit you like a load of bricks. Between spit up, juice spills, or scattered snacks, your diaper bag is likely to need a wash (or several!) at least once a month, so look for one that is wipeable, machine washable, or otherwise easy to clean.
3. A smart baby monitor
Gone are the days when exhausted parents had to visit their baby’s crib dozens of times per night to check their sleeping position or make sure they were doing okay. Today, parents can see what their baby is doing from anywhere in the house with a smart baby monitor. Smart baby monitors are also eligible for protection under an extended warranty plan, which is a great idea for all your new baby products. Here are some ideas of what to look for in a smart baby monitor:
- Video capability. While audio is useful, a smart baby monitor with video is even better. With video, you can see how your baby is positioned, whether or not your baby is awake, and have peace of mind by seeing them sleep peacefully before you settle down for the night. While more expensive, video capability is an excellent feature to have.
- Night vision. One of the most frequent times you’ll want to check on your baby is at night, so a baby monitor with night vision is a must.
- Extra features. While not a requirement, the extra bells and whistles that some smart baby monitors have can really be beneficial. Features like lullabies, video recording, and more than one camera can make your life much easier as a parent. Additionally, a WiFi baby monitor makes it possible to see your baby from anywhere, with the correct login information.
4. A cozy swaddle
A good baby swaddle can be a lifesaver in the wee hours of the night. When your baby can’t be calmed or isn’t interested in sleeping, a baby swaddle can comfort and lull your baby back to sleep. However, not all baby swaddles are created equal. Here are some important features to look for in a baby swaddle:
- Stretchiness. A stretchy material is a must in a good baby swaddle for getting your baby as cozy and snuggled as possible. Avoid taut fabrics that can inhibit a snug wrap.
- Strong velcro. A baby swaddle is only as good as the strength of its velcro. Strong velcro is imperative for keeping your baby snug and secure throughout the night.
Becoming a new parent is an overwhelming and exciting time, with a lot to prepare for. Buying the right products for your new baby might seem like a small thing, but it can be huge for helping take some stress off your plate. Product protection goes one step further, making sure you're covered in the event of an accident or other damage.
Shop with the Mulberry browser extension to ensure you're getting the best product protection plan available, which will go a long way in extending the life of your purchases. You'll be able to view the extended warranty plans available for your products in real time as you shop.