Gear Guide

One important aspect of parenting is choosing the right tools, whether it's a car seat and stroller or shoes and school supplies.

Parents discuss what made their lives easier, and what they didn't really need. Get insider recommendations and share your favorites when it comes to gear, toys, and clothes.

Samm posted in Behavior Wednesday


My children absolutely don't respect their things, no matter how cheap or expensive. My 11 year old sons tablet has an absolutely smashed screen and I have told him that if he wants nicer things to take care of and cherish them. But to no avail he still destroys his things along with his 8 year old brother. And it's rubbing off to their 4 year old sister. None of them care for their things.

  • Cece

    I feel like instilling these things in them when they were younger would have been helpful . Just stop buying them things and if they ruin what they have so be it they have nothing. The 11 year old is definitely old enough to understand how to respect belongings . Maybe find some books that touch more on the subject? Books are great to help have conversations that you might not know how to start

  • Anonymous

    I agree. Or what might be even more impactful is if they have any money saved or little jobs, to show them how much work it is to pay off the fix. Make as real world as possible. The reason we care for our high cost items is because we know how much work we have to do to pay for them. So recreate that for them. Don’t sugarcoat it

Stokke Tripp trapp: removing the infant seat

When did you remove the infant seat? Like the little crotch area thing, and just let toddler sit on it like a normal chair? I have removed the straps already because she hated it... so the infant thing is the only thing holding her haha Thanks!

  • Kendall
    Jan 11

    Once my son could sit up pretty decently supported I put him in the regular stroller. Maybe 4/5 months?

  • Tiana
    Jan 11

    I did it the other way round. I removed the plastic shell, around 18 months,but left the straps. If he started his silly behavior, I’d strap him in. I pushed him up to the table, and took away the tray around 18 months too

New baby tech products announced at CES

A few cool new baby tech / parent tech products were just announced at the Consumer Electronics Show this week in Las Vegas -Mamaroo bassinet that looks to be a cheaper version of the famous Snoo bassinet -Willow generation 3 breast pump that claims 20% more milk than the 2.0 pump More

Mrs. HHH posted in Money Dec 28

Cash gifts given to very young children

What are you doing with money gifts given to young children? Mine is too young to “save or spend” his own money Sometimes I put it in his 529 account but this year the amount was very minimal.... sometimes I’ve used it to buy kid supplies and needs. Wondering what others do with cash given to kids 5 and under.

  • Anonymous
    Jan 02

    We have a 529 account. And a regular kids savings account. I wish my parents had saved money up through the years. But every little bit helps.

  • Stacey
    Jan 09

    My 2 year old has a savings account. Any money he gets we put in there. He has a ton saved since he doesn’t spend any yet.

Anonymous posted in Activities & Enrichment Dec 27

18mo old YouTube recommendations

Ok I give Up. I need good YouTube video recommendations for 18month old. 😬 also because we have a 6 hour drive to go skiing in January so I need her to stay in her car seat for a long period of time!!! - prefer little to no animations (mostly live action) - educational - music videos - trilingual household, so Mandarin Chinese or Vietnamese also? - not addicting (lol does that exist?) Tha... More

  • Anonymous
    Jan 06

    Toys and little Gaby is good too. (YouTube)

  • Charry
    Jan 20

    I know you said live action. But word partying mandarin audio worked well for us.

Sara posted in Gear Guide Dec 20

Watch out for counterfeit Amazon baby gear!

“The car seat broke into pieces in a 30 mph crash test commissioned by CNN, failing to meet the basic standards set by US regulators.” Some sellers are copying popular products like the Doona carseat/stroller and selling unsafe versions for a discount.

Anonymous posted in Technology Dec 17


I’ve been thinking about getting our 2 year old a tablet for Christmas. We are due with twins in January and I was thinking it’d be something special for him to focus on and do/play when we have our hands full, especially at first. My husband isn’t as convinced, says he’s too little and it’s unnecessary.... of course I’d control what’s on it and when he can use it, and even try and do some educ... More

  • Anonymous
    Dec 20

    I think that there's a lot of messaging out there that can induce "parent guilt" - things like shaming the use of tablets and technology for kids of certain (or all) ages. But I think that you need to be gentle with yourself sometimes (as all parents do). Sometimes you just need a momentary break and allowing 20 minutes on a tablet can give you just that. I know a lot of parents w... More

  • Genesis
    Dec 25

    When I met my husband, we each had young kids from a previous marriage. I was not completely convinced but at the end it is a nice way for kids to learn. My personal favorite tablet is a Samsung because it has kids mode already installed on it and you can see everything they do! You can control their playtime, apps installed, games played, (which by the way I love the app "fingerpaint"... More

Anonymous posted in Toys & Gifts Dec 16

Holiday Gifts for preschool teachers ?

What is a good gift for preschool teachers plus assistants. It’s quite a few of them which is why I’m leaning towards a group gift. Was thinking cookies but they just had a bake sale at the school so I’m assuming they may be cookie’d out. Any other good group gifts to give?? Tia

  • Anonymous
    Dec 20

    im not a teacher nor do i work in a school but our office recently received a giant basket of snacks and treats and there was enough for everyone to grab a little something. could be a good option though slightly expensive, it might still be less than going individual depending on size of school.

  • Anne
    Dec 23

    Can you take up a collection amongst the other parents and buy them gift cards? Even if you can't pull together a TON of money it might be enough to get everyone a $5-$10 Starbucks or Amazon card for a small holiday treat.

Lilina posted in Babies Dec 11

Toys for a 6 month old

Looking for some recommendations for good toys for a 6 month old. I’m a first time mom. Thanks so much!

  • Amanda
    Dec 11

    Balls! Any size, multiple sizes! Rubber balls are amazing. Any type of "manipulative" is great, too! You don't have to purchase expensive baby toys; rather, you can find items around the house that are just as entertaining to your baby! Cups (plastic or other non-glass materials), paper towel & toilet paper rolls, etc. Items that can be picked up and explored, but also safe en... More

Kate posted in Child Care Dec 06

What is a good present for daycare teachers? I would like something practical that they can use. The teachers are all pretty young. (I’m thinking gift cards?) Any other ideas??

  • Christine
    Jan 02

    Up until 5 or so years ago as the owner of the Family Child Care I received Christmas bonuses from clients that were equal to 1 week of day care. I was the one who gave Christmas bonuses to the employees which I continue to do. Clients sometime brought in goodies for the staff to share. It was a different time, the economy was different. Now gift cards are well liked. Most of my staff received ... More

Activity Cube or Activity Table

My little one will be 8 months tomorrow and he loves to pull himself up on things. Which toy do you think he’d get more use out of?

  • Ivy
    Dec 05

    We have an activity cube that I love and my 4 year old still uses it. My 9 month old uses it too, and they play on it occasionally, however, my 2 year old has pretty much never really been interested in it. I chose a cube because it’s better for storage, and was cheaper, but I think if you have the space and budget, a table could be nice. I think both would be great options in any case

  • Stacey
    Dec 09

    We ended up with two tables. The second one he has only had for a month or so but he has had the other one since he could stand. He doesn’t play with it as much ( he just turned 2) but he loved his table when he younger. He loved anything with buttons and switches and if it has sound that is even better.

Jen posted in Sports Dec 03

Trailer bike recommendation

Goal : family bike rides with 2 parents, 1 yo & 3 yo through flat, paved suburbia Question: what is the best trailer bike for the 3yo? Context: the 3 yo currently uses a balance bike, but can't yet do long distances nor is he tall enough to cross streets & be seen by drivers. We would like him to contribute (pedal) rather than just tag along. We would prefer the option to easily ... More


Trying to figure out what I should get as a present for my child. Anyone have any ideas or links they can share? Thanks in advance!

  • PK
    Dec 03

    Fisher-Price Rock-a-stack and Baby's First Blocks Bundle [Amazon Exclusive] We bought this as a set that came with the xylophone at target. It was perfect for this age. Also getting a little ahead, but the vtech push walker was also one of the best things we got our son. Lots of buttons to play with and push. And whe... More

  • Ying
    Dec 04

    I'd recommend the Gund's Flappy the Elephant, it will play peek-a-boo and sing "Do Your Ears Hang Low" with the push of a button. Very cute:)

Anonymous posted in Holidays Nov 30

Does Santa brings gifts to adults too?

Asking from a 1st time parent to a toddler who’s into the holidays now & is very excited about Christmas. I know each family has their “traditions”. I’m just curious, besides Santa filling up the stockings with little gifts, can he bring presents to Dad, Mom & other adults too? I didn’t grew up here in the US, I grew up in Asia (Philippines), we do love Christmas but more as being Catho... More

  • MamaNukesYopolo
    Dec 02

    Santa (for our house) usually brings something mom and dad need, like kitchen towels or sneakers or toothbrushes.

  • antigrav_kids
    Dec 04

    When I was a kid, Santa totally brought presents to my parents. Also, one of the perks of Santa was that they didn't wrap gifts. If it was sitting out unwrapped, it was from Santa.

Jogger/car seat recommendations

I’m wanting to find a good jogger and car seat combo. The one we currently have doesn’t navigate well and the car seat seams uncomfortable..I plan on doing a big road trip from California to Canada over Christmas and I want my little 5 month old comfortable and safe while in car or walking about uneven terrain, I’d love to get back into some light jogging again!

  • Alice
    Dec 04

    Thank you! I see the x3 but is that what you meant? I can’t find an x5 ..the x3 mini looks good though. Are you able to jog with it ? Thanks so much

  • meghan
    Dec 04

    Yep! x3 :) not mini. I think you’re thinking of the city mini. City mini is not a jogging stroller. The x3 has a wheel that can be fixed straight for jogging or running, city mini doesn’t. That’s what you need for a jogging stroller. What’s great about the x3 stroller is you can make the front wheel fixed straight or make it turn while you’re still moving. The Bob from what I remember you have ... More

Jackie posted in Holidays Nov 30

Christmas gift fairness

I have a 10 year old step son and an 18 month old daughter and I’m not sure how to make gifting fair between the two. Our 10 year old put a list together and all of his items are anywhere from $70-$300!!! He doesn’t play with any toys and only likes video games!! Ugh I blame my husband for that one. At this age do you not worry about making sure they each get the same amount in dollar wise or ... More

  • Sara
    Dec 01

    I definitely wouldn’t worry about making things fair. Your 18 month old will have no clue and won’t care. Spend on the 10 year old whatever you’re comfortable spending. If you want to get everything on the list great but the list is not an obligation to get all those items! As far as the 18 month old, putting money away in savings is a wonderful idea if you can afford it. They’re happy unwrappi... More

  • Anonymous
    Dec 01

    How it went for me growing up is that we made a list, and then we got some of the items. You dont get the whole list. But you do spend the same amount in money.

Looking for a pack n play/put away bed

I have been looking into pack n plays for my toddler and infant to sleep in. I want something that I can put away so they have room to play during the day (we live in a small space). I’m just worried it might be small for my toddler. Any recommendations? I need two.

  • Brandy
    Nov 26

    I own this and it’s a good price, size, and can easily be put away

Anonymous posted in Toys & Gifts Nov 19

3yr old Christmas gifts ???

My son is 2 1/2 and im having the hardest time trying to figure out what to get him for Christmas (and ideas to give other people for him). Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!! :)

  • PK
    Nov 20

    We have a LOT of cars too but no airplanes or helicopter toys. So I got my son an airplane toy from green toys. And we got some stuff from Lakeshore. Alphabots and “nuts about numbers.” My son is almost 3 and we have been working on letters and numbers but don’t really have toys for that. He’s also been getting into robots so the alphabots were perfect. He also has an interest in power rangers... More

  • B
    Nov 20

    Magnatiles, play kitchen and food, ball and tee, scooter

What kind/brand of breast pump do you recommend for newborn?

  • Kieli
    Nov 19

    I used Ameda Purely Yours with my first daughter while I was working. I liked it because rather than having a button to get the mode, it’s a nob so I can get it just as I like it. Plus the bag it came in was perfect fit for everything plus my snacks

  • Sarah
    Nov 21

    I had Spectra S1 and S2 and loved them both (same pump, one is battery charged and one plugs in). Everyone I know who has them loves them too.

Ady posted in Diapering Nov 16

Sunscreen and swim diapers for toodler

We are planning to go to Mexico next week.. anyone know of any sunscreen brands for my 18 mon dd......and can anyone suggest how to keep baby comfortable in a diaper in the pool? Last time she got rashes because of all the time she spent in a wet diaper in the pool.

  • anonymous mom
    Nov 20

    Blue lizard baby sunblock is amazing and is the only one that’s never made my daughter break out. For swim diapers, I just use pampers brand and they seem to work okay. If they are causing your child to breakout, why not just give her no diaper and watch closely for when she poops and pull her out quickly if it happens?? The diapers don’t hold the pee in anyway, just the poop, so I’d just do t... More

  • Vonda
    Dec 05

    We got cloth swim diapers from grovia. They were great. I really loved ‘All Good’ sunscreens. Baby Bum works too. And Badger works great.

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