21 Weeks

This week, Hamish took his fifteenth flight. Fifteen flights and he hasn’t even been born yet! I feel like I’m already raising him right. Granted, he was just a bundle of cells the collective size of a poppy seed for the first few—we didn’t even know he existed yet—but still, I feel like maybe I can use this as ammunition for when he’s older (“But you were such a good flyer when you were 21 weeks old! You were so quiet! You didn’t even kick anyone except me!”)

Last Wednesday, I came to London for work, and then on Saturday—when I technically ticked over into 22 weeks, but come on, I hadn’t taken my 21 week picture yet and wouldn’t it be a waste not to do that in front of the Eiffel Tower?—I took the Eurostar to Paris for a day. The original plan was that my sister Susie was supposed to come with me—we’d booked our tickets super far in advance to get the best deal and had been looking forward to it for months—but at 10 o’clock the night before we were due to catch a 6am Eurostar, she discovered she’d forgotten her passport. Thus, the third installment of The Burns Sisters Conquer Paris and The Burns Sisters Conquer Paris Encore Une Fois became, rather pitifully, One Burns Sister Attempts to Conquer Paris, But Finds It’s A Lot More Fun When There’s Someone Else There to Eat Macarons With.

(Wait, what am I saying? Hamish was there with me to eat macarons with. That’s why I ate so many, obviously. I was eating for two! Three, if you count the fact that I figured Susie would probably have wanted me to eat her portion in her absence. Crap, could have got away with eating more.)

I had a lovely, wonderful, extremely tiring time in Paris—I basically walked around all day, thus offsetting (or so one would hope) the extreme macaron consumption—and managed to purchase eight tiny little onesies before noon, all of them adorably sweet and stripey, and one of them even featuring the cutest little illustrations of firetrucks and ambulances. (How can the French make even their emergency vehicles look cool?) I went to the Eiffel Tower—thanks, nice Italian family, for agreeing to take my picture and not blanching when I suddenly whipped off my coat and pulled a set of turquoise papier-mache numbers out of my purse—and the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Elysées and many, many grocery stores, which are always my favorite place to go when I visit another country, and were, in fact—don't judge—the place I purchased five of the eight adorable onesies (nobody tell Hamish he's dressed in grocery store haute couture and not, like, Yves Saint Laurent.) I also got to feel him kick while I was sitting on the Metro, which made me start smiling like a loon—and several people start staring at me like I was a loon—but it was all worth it, even though I do rather wish he'd maybe start choosing another place other than my bladder to aim his kicky little feet. 

In other news, I always thought pregnancy brain was a myth, but it seems to have hit me full-force recently and the way it’s manifesting itself is through a desire to destroy my phone. Around 14 weeks, I dropped it and smashed the back of it. When I was 15 weeks, I dropped it again and smashed the front. At 16 weeks, I left the bathroom at work after drying my hands on a paper towel, picked up my phone—which I’d stashed on a shelf at the front—and promptly threw it into the trashcan, while walking out of the bathroom with the paper towel in hand. Who knows how long it would have taken me to figure out that I’d mixed them up if the woman entering the bathroom hadn’t given me a quizzical look. Would I have put the paper towel to my ear and tried to call someone on it? Would I have attempted to send a text?

As it was, I had to fish my phone out of the enormous trashcan—just as pleasant and magical as it sounds—while trying to give off a casual "oh yeah, totally meant to do that; what, you haven't heard? It's a British custom" vibe to incoming and outgoing bathroom visitors. At 19 weeks, I left it in a restaurant and was only rescued by a very kind woman who chased me halfway up a hill to give it back to me. And, as my most recent act of ridiculousness, last week I dumped the entire contents of my carry-on bag onto the ground at San Francisco International Airport when I became convinced I'd lost it again—my phone, I mean, though you could quite reasonably be forgiven for assuming I meant my mind—mere minutes before getting on my flight. (It was in a side pocket. Of course it was in a side pocket.)

Seriously, will this absent-mindedness go away anytime soon, or do I need to invest in two velcro strips and attach one to my phone and one to whatever piece of clothing I'm wearing at the time? Do I need—oh, please no—one of those belt holsters? 

Finally, the 21-week mark heralded the first time Sean and I ever stepped inside a Babies R Us store. Sean swore—quite adorably, although I am assuming also quite untruthfully—that he had been "really looking forward to it" and so we hit up our local branch Saturday night (yep, this is what passes for our social lives these days) and began what became a rather confusing and frustrating foray into the world of stroller research. I mean, help me out here: is it smart to buy one of those "travel systems" with the car seat included, or are we better off getting a stroller with a separate car seat? Does anyone have any opinions vis-a-vis the City Mini GT as compared to the Britex B-Agile? And while we're asking each other questions, is this who I've really become? Man, once I'm not pregnant anymore, I'm going to need to do, like, fifty shots of Jagermeister with Keith Richards to get a little edge back. 


This made my head hurt. And made me want to buy extra birth control. ;)

(LOVE that your 21-week shot is in front of the Eiffel Tower. You seriously just cannot get any more chic. I don't think I could ever get pregnant, simply because I wouldn't be able to pull it off as chicly (that's totally a word) as you. And I'd be sitting here in my sweatpants eating olives from the jar comparing myself to you and your macarons and your supercute hat. No, no. I think for now I should definitely stay un-pregnant.)

Nothing But Bonfires
Mar 26, 2013

Katie: Aw, thank you! Trust me, 98% of the time I am also sitting in my sweatpants eating olives from the jar.

Mar 26, 2013

I love the b-agile. It has an extra safety feature of a side button to press before lifting the handle to collapse. I am using the britax car seat. They fit together very nicely. It is also strong enough to easily push my 60lb. older child too! Love it!

Mar 26, 2013

Tres bien!!!!!

Mar 26, 2013

You look adorable! From my experience the pregnancy brain doesn't really go away. Before getting pregnant I prided myself in having a very good memory. Not so much anymore. I think the lack of sleep has something to do with it too.
In terms of strollers, I have a Mountain Buggy Urban (http://mountainbuggy.com/en/buggies/our-range) and it's really the best thing I bought for the baby. Worth every single penny. It's not the smallest of strollers but I think it looks stylish and it's very easy to maneuver. It turns on a dime. You can buy a carrycot for an infant but I did not bother with it. The back of the seat is very adjustable, you can lower it completely so the baby can sleep. I put more miles on that thing than you can imagine. And even now at three, my son still likes to go on it if we go for a long walk.

Mar 26, 2013

I love and adore our City Mini!! The ease of folding it and throwing into the back of our station wagon really makes it my favorite thing in the world. I feel like I can do THAT with flair, whereas I kind of flail my way through the rest of motherhood-related agility tests (carseat extrication, for example). You look FABULOUS and I can't think of a more fabulous place to take a 21 week photo. :) LOVE it. :)

Mar 26, 2013

I saw your Paris photos on Instagram and I was WONDERING where Susie was. Such a bummer she could not come. Ive done some solo traveling too. I visited a friend in Switzerland and he couldn't take the whole week off so 3 of 7 days were on my own. It was still fun but you definitely appreciate the company once you have it.

Mar 26, 2013

Don't get the travel system. Get the car seat and the stroller frame thing the bucket carseat can click into. Way more convenient. We have a maclaran that my toddler now hates to ride in and a BOB, which he loves and we use for neighborhood walks, but is monstrous for getting in and out of the car. I also highly recommend getting an ergo or something similar. My almost 20 month old still will happily travel strapped to me. Otherwise, we just carry him places when he is unwilling to walk.

Mar 26, 2013

Also, ergo carriers are great for the airport. They don't even make you take them out for security.

Mar 26, 2013

You are treading into dangerous advice territory. Nothing like baby strollers to get the crowd riled up! I am the mother of two girls, ages 5 and 2.5, and I have bought a total of five strollers in the last five years (jogger, double stroller, travel stroller). I've used the $20 umbrella stroller the most. My one regret is the fancy expensive stroller I bought while pregnant that I thought I would need. You want a lightweight, easily foldable stroller. Yes, it is mildly useful for the first three to four months to take your baby in the carseat and then snap them into a stroller, but it is also super easy to just throw them in a carrier at that age. As soon as they are a little bigger, they can sit up and you will want to go places. Like plane trips. And car trips. And then you will want the lightest and most easily foldable stroller made. We brought a $20 umbrella stroller for our one year old to Italy and it went all over Rome, Lucca and Florence just fine. It's narrow, it fits in stores, you can throw it in the back of a cab, and even my mother knows how to fold it (she could never figure out the fancier stroller).

Mar 26, 2013

There are SO many types of buggies(strollers) that you really need to figure out how you think you're going to use it (walking, running/jogging, compact, etc). Of course this could all change after Hamish is born. Also, there is the price range, as you can find them ranging from under $100 to over $1000.

We went for a travel system, which was convenient for popping the infant seat right out of the car and snap it onto the stroller (no need to unbuckle/wake baby). We needed a separate car seat for when she outgrew that up to the time she moved to a booster seat, but were able to use the stroller until she was 2.5 yrs. Technically, she was able to still ride in it(size/weight) a while longer, but we wanted her to walk more and the stroller was rather bulky and took up quite a bit of trunk space. We might have used it longer if she would take afternoon naps, but she resisted them after turning 18 months old.

Best advice I can give is to go to the stores and try them out. Have Sean push them, too, and make sure you check the following:

1) Handle height & grip comfort - you're going to be holding on to it for potentially long periods of time and won't want to
2) Make sure the angle of the handles gives you ample room to walk comfortably. Neither you nor Hamish will enjoy constant kicks to the stroller when you're out an about.
3) How easy is it for each of you to fold/unfold it and lift up to a height for loading/unloading from the car?

Then there are other questions like "Is the maneuverability good for you?" "Is the fabric easy to clean for those food (or worse) accidents?" These range in importance differently for different people, but I recommend not purchasing until you test out the 3 biggies above. Nothing is worse than investing in the latest/greatest/safest/whatever-est item to move your baby about in safety and then find out you HATE having to deal with the mechanics of it.

Mar 26, 2013

I'd love to tell you that pregnancy brain goes away, but at the moment my son is almost 3 and I'm still waiting. Le sigh.

Mar 26, 2013

In my experience, pregnesia doesn't end until after you have the baby. I left my phone on top of my car, I'd have it in my hand while frantically searching my purse, I even one time used it to call myself to find my phone. That's right, I used my phone to call my phone. I would turn on the stove and then just wander off and forget all about it, I'd unload frozen groceries on the counter and get distracted and just leave them melting there. It was ridiculous!! But, it does pass. Even sleep deprived with a newborn i felt smarter and more on top of things.

As for strollers and all the gear, I'd wait on as much as possible. I have found that these things come to you. People are dying to get rid of their baby stuff, and hopefully you will be gifted lots of gear. I left babies r us crying many times because its just so overwhelming. Remember, though, buying the wrong thing will happen and it will be okay. You can make do, or you can get something else. I felt so much pressure to get every right thing before she was born, not realizing that you just keep buying stuff after they get here and you have a better sense of what they need, and the needs change over time.

My advice is buy the lightest weight car seat carrier, get a snap in stroller frame, wait on other strollers until the kid is older. When in doubt, get whatever Costco sells. They offer good quality, mid price range items. You know you can trust it, and they take the guesswork out of it.

Mar 26, 2013

If you're anything like me, pregnancy brain turns into Mommy brain and you never fully recover.

I'm looking forward to a photo of you with your phone holster. ;)

Mar 26, 2013

Ah yes, travel system meltdown. We ended up going for an all-in-one job, mostly because my brain was about to explode. (I don't know if there are Baby Elegance stockists on your side of the pond, but it's cute and red and didn't cost the earth.) But I am now 36 weeks along and we still haven't decided on whether or not to get an Isofix base for the car seat part and I can't think about it for longer than two minutes or I might cry.

I reckon once I'm not pregnant any more and have my critical thought faculties back (sometime around 2016 maybe?) I am going to do a whole lot of swotting, quit my job and restyle myself as a Preggo Shepherdess. And develop a wicked Jaegermeister habit. That'd work, right?

Mar 26, 2013

As far as carseats go, I chose the lightest infant seat I could find. It was a Graco SnugRide that has a max of 22 lbs. After she grew out of that, we had to find a convertible carseat that would actually fit into the Chevy Cruze rear facing. There weren't many. My older daughter is in a Radian which has a nice small footprint.

Babies R Us will allow you to test them in your car to see what fits well.

I bought a travel system combo, but looking back, I would have rather bought a carseat and one of those sets of wheels and then a nice Maclaren umbrella stroller.

Mar 26, 2013

We had the same debate on the City Mini vs the Britax B-Agile (my daughter is 8 months old today, so this debate wasn't *all* that long ago...). Ultimately, I came to the decision that the two strollers are mostly the same, but there are 2 differences:

1. We were getting a Britax infant carseat (the Chaperone), and there is an adapter for the B-Agile to get the carseat to snap right into the stroller. So easy.

But this was the deal-breaker:
2. The B-Agile's back axel is angled in slightly, so if you're of the tall variety (my husband is 6'2"), you don't kick/step on the back axel when you're pushing it.

Other than that, like I said, they're pretty much the same as far as weight and ease of storage, both of which were important to us, living in an urban place where we walk places 90% of the time.

Stephanie S
Mar 26, 2013

I spent my Saturday nights watching stroller demonstrations on You Tube. Obsessively. In the end, I got the City Mini. It's a nice stroller and all, but I don't know if I'd choose it again. I'm still not convinced it's the best though.

Mar 26, 2013

I heartily endorse any stroller that your carseat will strap/click on to. Not having to unstrap/untangle the tiny human when he's sleeping is a very good thing. Otherwise, the things I have ended up caring about re: strollers are:

1. How easily does it roll? You will appreciate the effortlessly smooth glide when you've packed the stroller with a rapidly growing child, his accoutrements, and 20lbs of groceries you picked up on the way home. I lived in a fairly urban area, so walked for all our errands. It made a big difference.

2. Can you push it with one hand? Sipping a latte, carrying an umbrella, answering a call, all made infinitely more difficult if you can't drive the thing with one hand.

3. How well does it travel? For both car and airplane use - I l.o.v.e. love our stroller (the UPPABaby Vista), but it isn't the smallest thing on the planet. It takes up a ton of room in the back of the car, and while it's stood up great to loads of international travel, and the sun/rain/bug shades have been invaluable, it's about 4 inches wider than I'd like, so it can be awkward to maneuver through European streets & doorways. Also, the flight bag is nice, but most airlines will treat it as a piece of luggage if it's bagged, rather than a free stroller.

We ened up buying a cheap-ish umbrella stroller when the kid was about a year, so it's easy to drag around, and we don't really care if it gets bashed up (we'd care if we bought one of the $200 umbrella models).

Mar 26, 2013

Ah, pregnancy brain. It doesn't really go away, it just turns into mommy brain. Now that I have a toddler and am pregnant again, I am lucky if I remember to get dressed in the morning!

As for strollers, we have the City Mini and we love it. We actually started with the Orbit G2, which is pretty fantastic, but it becomes less practical once the baby is big enough that you are no longer using the carrier. If I had to do it over, I would buy the City Mini and a car seat carrier. The City Mini has an adapter so you can snap the carrier onto it. This way, you only ever buy one stroller and it is good for the entire time your child uses one. The City Mini is light enough that it is great for travel, and it collapses with one hand, which is spectacular when you are holding the baby in the other hand. I swear I do not work for them, I just really love my stroller!

Mar 26, 2013

Thanks for asking about strollers, since I'm wondering myself? Have you considered the Uppababy Cruz? I think it looks great, but don't know.. Does anyone have any advice on that one?

Mar 26, 2013

Sadly the pregnancy brain just becomes new-mom brain. Seriously. This is my second time around, and this time is just as bad. Last night I was making myself lactation cookies (which you should totally make, they're delicious), and I baked some and froze a bunch. Only after taking them out of the oven and seeing them all flat and weird did I realize I'd forgotten the oats, which are a major component (like 3 cups per recipe). Oops. I've made them dozens of times before ... what the hell.

I recommend against the travel system. They're so bulky and ugly and terrible. We have a City Mini and love it. You can attach the car seat, so it's good for the early months, and it folds up with one hand--literally. Really easy to maneuver, great for the city. And it's pretty cheap! We never needed another one, although we did get a jogging stroller off of Craigslist for my husband to use.

Ivy has good advice on trying them out, though--make sure you can push them without kicking the back, or having to bend over to reach the handle, etc.

Uh, yeah ... people have LOTS of opinions about baby gear!

Mar 26, 2013

Babies R Us might be the only thing worse than maternity clothes shopping!

I was handed down a Bugaboo, and it worked great, but it was 2 pieces- the chassis (frame) and then the seat or bassinet. This takes up alot of room in the car and in the house. And I would never travel with it- too big. We recently bought a bumbleride flite because I wanted something smaller and lighter, and so far have been really happy with it. It comes with a car seat adapter, so I can use it with our infant seat should I ever have another infant. Systems are confusing, especially when you have pregbrain. My vote is choose what car seat you want, and then go with a separate stroller. And be real with yourself about how much strolling you will do with the baby, and that will let you know what you need! Oh, and I completely agree that you should just get a carrier for when the baby is little. I always thought of the extra weight as an added bonus workout to our walks.

Mar 26, 2013

Can you get any more chic? I don't have stroller advice because I don't have kids but oh man if I'm ever pregnant I want to go to the Eiffel tower to take a picture! Also where is the hat from? And the coat? You look great!

Mar 26, 2013

I just realized that I sound like a crazy person because you're not wearing a coat in this picture... I mean the green coat you Instragrammed? You probably already knew that, just wanted to clarify! :)

Mar 26, 2013

I third (fourth?) getting a bucket car seat and one of those click-in frame things, and a nice umbrella stroller. We got a Graco bucket seat and stroller - Graco is like the Honda of baby gear, apparently - and really only used the stroller when we could put the bucket seat into it. We mostly use our UppaBaby G-Luxe (I think, is what it's called), or a Beco Gemini baby carrier - husband loves the Beco, wears the toddler a lot more than I do - or she walks, since she's almost two and goes full-on demon baby if we try to keep her in the stroller for more than 15 minutes at a time.
My pregnancy brain thing was leaving my keys in the door. It got to the point that my husband would call me at random points throughout the day to ask if I knew where my house keys were.

Mar 26, 2013

Your last paragraph - YES! My husband & I used the last two Friday nights to do some stroller research and came away more confused than ever. After seeking the advice of friends, I think we finally know what we're going to get!

Mar 26, 2013

I still remember doing the massive baby gear shopping trip to Target at 8 months pregnant, which ended in me sitting on an empty shelf and crying because there were too many choices and how the heck were we supposed to know which was the right one anyway?

We ended up doing carseat and snap stroller frame, which was totally easy and convenient. We also had a friend give us their old Bugaboo, which is a nice stroller but I would have been bummed out if I'd paid for it. If most of your stroller trips are originating from your house, then bigger is fine, but our go-to is the umbrella stroller we keep in the car. We have a super-cheap one that's worked fine. Although I wish it had had adjustable handles--definitely spring for adjustable handles.

Mar 26, 2013

Strollers! Gah! As the mom of a now 8 month old (how that happened, I have NO idea - she was Hamish-sized just yesterday, I swear!), here's my best advice: WAIT. Buy the Snap N Go frame that works with your carseat (I have the Chicco 30 that everyone I know loves, except for my baby, of course) and just use that until you have a sense for how you want to use it. Also wait on the high chair. I waited in both instances and I'm glad, although the stroller that I ended up buying (UppaBaby Vista, FANTASTIC LOVE LOVE LOVE but highly subsidized by adoring relatives because it is not cheap) would have been great for an infant as it comes with a pram attachment. There is a website called Lucie's List with really great registering advice and super helpful weekly emails that I highly recommend you take a look at before registering - it did me a world of good.

And totally unsolicited registering advice? White noise machine. So worth the $30 or whatever.

Mar 26, 2013

We had the snap-on wheels for the Greco carseat but only used them about four times before giving them away. We mainly used a Baby Bjorn carrier and then were given a Bugaboo that ended up being the best baby gear we had. Of course, we are now in the process of having to wean our 7-month old from napping in it, but we really used the carriage/pram part multiple times a day both indoors and out. We are about to switch over to the stroller part, and I have high hopes for it as well....

Mar 26, 2013

Every time I see a pregnant woman at a store fretting over strollers and carseats (as I'm pushing my cart overflowing with six kids and she's looking at me going "Is she the nanny or the mom?") I want to hug her and say "It's going to be fine. Really."

Buy the cheapest one that you think is cute for the carseat, buy the lightest weight one that you can fold with one hand for the stroller, and figure out the rest after the baby is here. Chances are you're probably going to end up replacing them when Hamish is about six months old anyway because he'll hate them/you'll hate them/they won't work the way you wanted them to/whatever. But you can't calm the nesting instinct and you won't sleep well unless you feel prepared for Hamish so you need to know you have those things settled.

Mar 26, 2013

Just another chiming in for the BabyJogger City Mini! Every.single.time that I close that puppy with one hand, I am thankful that we got it. I don't care about anything else - that in itself makes the decision for me. Highly recommend getting a Snap-n-Go stroller for whatever car seat you choose - those are easiest for fitting the car seat in (the big travel system strollers tend to be bulky and heavy). I grabbed ours off Craigslist which was super easy since it has essentially no fabric or anything that baby really touches to get gross or skeevy about. Someone mentioned an Ergo carrier and I'd vote for that too! I don't feel baby's weight at all with it on but my shoulders kill in the other types (Bjorn). Good luck! Try it all out in the store - try to assemble/dissemble/unlock/etc *without* asking for help first. That's what sold us on the City Mini.

Mar 26, 2013

Wow, wish I could take preggo pics in front of the Eiffel Tower, I'll settle for the beach in the sunshine though ;)

I recently pondered the whole stroller/ carseat/ travel system thing. I have an 11 year old and one on the way. I remembered the travel system being SO big and bulky and HEAVY, and I lived in my car so it was convenient for ease of in and out for the baby, but so heavy I hated it. I ended up using a carrier and a cheap mothercare umbrella stroller.

SO, this time around I have found that travel systems exist that are lightweight umbrella folding strollers that the infant carseat can click into! I liked the Graco Mosaic (only on UK market) and the Britax B-Nimble (only US market)and bought the Mosaic since the hubby was in the UK anyway. I've already made sure it fits in my tiny boot (score), AND it does not weigh a ton. It is a little heavier than I would have liked but I'm thrilled regardless.

Good luck, it's a mine field! Just make sure you check the dimensions of the folded stroller, buying something that won't fit in the truck would be hell.

Mar 26, 2013

Pregnancy brain does get better! Just not right away after the baby is born, and I must say that much to my chagrin, I'm still not nearly as smart now as I was before these kids stupefied me.

Strollers... after two kids and five strollers (I hang my head in shame), I'd say that you can only do it wrong anyway. Does that make you feel a little less pressured?
My wisdom is this: When you choose a stroller, remember that you will use it for long after you stop using the infant car seat, so make sure it works well in that variation. A shade canopy thing cannot be too large (as a matter of fact, it's always too small), and larger wheels make for more comfortable driving/pushing.
When my kids were really little still, I 100% preferred baby carriers (ring sling, Moby wrap, Ergobaby) to the stroller. I feel so much more comfortable having them snuggled close, and they seem to like it better too.

Mar 26, 2013

Chiming in for BabyJogger City Mini and a Snap-n-go for whatever carseat you choose! Every.single.time that I can close that puppy with one hand I am thankful that we got it. My advice is to attempt to assemble/dissemble/lock/unlock/close/etc the gear *without* asking for help first - that's what sold us on the City Mini! Good luck!
(Spam filter ate my longer first comment)

Mar 26, 2013

The pregnancy brain never goes away, it just becomes "mommy brain." prepare to be absurdly stupid for most of the rest of your life. I'm just hoping it goes away once the kids are out of the house.

Mar 26, 2013

Oh, we haven't ventured into Babies R Us yet..but I know we need to soon!! I'm about a week ahead of you.
I did a little pre-research on strollers/car seats and found this website to be helpful. I think the car seat that snaps into a stroller base seems to be the best idea for infants. No waking them up to move from one to the other!! Good luck!

Mar 26, 2013

I had a travel system for my first and would not get that again. So bulky! For my third we got a Graco Snugride and a snap n go frame, it is perfect. I also have a Citi Mini double and love it although the basket is not easily accessible. That was not a deal breaker for me though. I also have a Baby Jogger single jogging stroller.

Personally, I would get the carseat and a snap in frame. Wait until you know what you are exactly looking for before you buy anything else. Your ideas may change after Hamish arrives! Honestly, you may end up with a couple that do different things. No stroller will be a perfect all-in-one.

I also recommend an Ergo. I've had mine for 5 years, through 3 babies. Best investment ever--actually, I registered for it so it was a gift. I carried my middle son until he was almost 2 and my belly got too big to wear it. Now #3 is in it all the time. Very handy for shopping with 3 kids. :)

Mar 26, 2013

Had to laugh at the mention of grocery store bought clothing. Was it Monoprix? I bought my then 1 month old nephew some gorgeous clothes at Monoprix last time I was in Paris and couldn't get over how adorable everything was. I could've bought the whole lot!

Mar 26, 2013

As a former employee of a stroller department at a baby store, I feel compelled to add my $0.02 to your comments section.

Just say "NO" to travel systems. In fact, after having my 2nd baby, I much preferred to just leave the car seat in the car where it belongs. It's too heavy to lug around, even if you attach it to a stroller. My second one also HATED the car seat when he was new, too, which made us baby carriers all the way.

Get the smallest, lightest, easiest-to-fold stroller you can for your terrain (if you do a lot of walking on cobblestones or rougher patches, go with the City Mini GT over the B-Ready, definitely). But keep in mind that even if you get the car-seat adapter for the baby bucket, you may not actually use the stroller for quite some time.

Go Moby or Baby K'tan for the newborn and Ergo or something similar to carry the 6+month old. In traveling and walking though busy areas, I found a baby carrier to be much easier (even with just one child) than lugging my stroller around. Also, if you have a Buy Buy Baby near you instead of Babies R Us, they're way better ;)

Nothing But Bonfires
Mar 26, 2013

Guys, thank you all SO MUCH for this invaluable advice! I am feeling calmer just reading it.

Sandy: My coat is from Old Navy! It's a couple of years old, but I'm sure they still make something similar. I bought the hat in Ecuador when we were on vacation there in 2007 -- it's sooooooo warm because it's made of alpaca.

Jane: Yes, it was Monoprix! I bought five onesies, three bags of Carambars, a wheel of cheese, and a loaf of bread. One stop shopping!

Mar 26, 2013

Check out the bob stroller. You can buy used on Craigslist it was the best purchase ever. I love that it went to 77lb kid. And you can steer with one hand and golds easily. I used some others but that was by far my favorite. I've passed to my friend and I hope she lives it as much as I did.

Mar 26, 2013

As a nanny I've used many a stroller and I can confidently tell you, without a shadow of a doubt, you want the Uppa Baby Vista. Just do it, and don't look back. It is worth every single penny. I promise!

Mar 27, 2013

I'm all in for the Jägermeister shots!

Mar 27, 2013

Babies suck your brain cells, this is true.

We have a Phil & Ted, which we love but you need to pick based on how often and where you will be using it. Ours is great for all terrain and easy open and shut. We did have to inflate a tire when we got it but we have used it in airports, beach, and gravel and it's a smoooooth ride! I used a book about baby items to help me pick so I could skip doing the research.

Mar 27, 2013

French baby clothes tend to come up small Something to bear in mind if your baby, like mine, is on the big side.

Mar 27, 2013

After three kids I feel like I've finally figured out that the best thing you can do is get a comfortable, durable umbrella stroller. I've had Graco strollers, Peg Peregos, Bobs and I can tell you my absolute favorite is my current UPPA Baby G-luxe umbrella stroller. Being that you travel so often, I would definitely steer you this way (not that you've asked any of us for our two cents). I would agree with other readers who advise you to get the contraption that holds the infant car seat. Lugging around a heavy stroller is no fun and they never fold up easily. The umbrella stroller will hold your child till they are huge --- say, four years old. It will be your best friend at the airport and in your trunk. It will NOT fail you :)

Mar 27, 2013

Keep in mind your future baby plans when you're deciding what stroller to buy! (Also, I know, already getting questions about baby 2when you're still pregnant with baby 1), but if you want them to be close together (like I did) I wish I would have thought to register for a convertible stroller (I now have the city select stroller for my 2 year old and two month old after doing tons of research (I had the BOB when it was just one, which did steer amazingly, but was pretty much too big to bring in the car anywhere). I decided on the city select because there seemed to be the most options for how to configure both seats and the second seat is the same as the first (some have a lower weight limit). It's also great as as a single stroller--super easy to push, even with one hand, a big basket underneath that will hold a diaper bag plus more (the bob had a basket, but it was impossible to get anything into it because the access to it was SO BAD)...anyway, apparently I have very strong opinions on this...

Also, I highly recommend the moby wrap for the first few months, the babies love being snuggled in there, puts them right to sleep.

Mar 27, 2013

A word of advice: *Only* take stroller recs from women who live in San Francisco.

There are many well-intentioned, experienced mothers from other parts of the country where people drive almost everywhere, rarely take public transit, and use strollers on flat surfaces. These women will lead you astray!

San Francisco new moms, you want something that can handle hills with one hand only and fold easily, ideally using one hand and with a single movement. Three wheels is best.

Don't skimp. If it's a good stroller, you can resell on Craigslist and recover a significant portion of the cost. Choose the one you like, in the color you like.

Mar 27, 2013

check out nuna.eu - their line of products strike me as very "you". currently, their high chair, bouncer and playard are available in the us...but their stroller and car seats should be available soon. however with your jaunts overseas, you could easily get your hands on one over there! their buggy, the pepp, is amazeballs!

Mar 27, 2013

Yeah, don't buy a stroller yet. You really don't need a big fancy stroller for a tiny newborn. You don't need almost anything except diapers, a few onesies and swaddlers, and a bassinet/cosleeper/dresser drawer. Don't let anyone tell you different.

Mar 27, 2013

I heard from friends that Stokke Xplory is worth the price! :) Have you thought about cot yet? Try searching Vulu cot, (can't put URL here on the comment) it's the cot you'll need from new born til he's 5yrs old! :p
Note: I don't have a child yet, I just got this info from friends. :)

Mar 28, 2013

Love the photo! I'm glad you waited for Paris to take it.

I'll just chime in on the stroller conversation. I would have a whole fleet of strollers if it were practical; different strollers serve different purposes, and there's not one I've found that does it all. Because you love to travel, I recommend an umbrella stroller that your infant car seat can click into. That way you're covered for most situations you'll encounter. The City Mini is indeed a fantastic stroller for city living, but not for traveling. It's still pretty big folded up, and you do not want to be dealing with that on the Metro when Hamish has his first out-of-the-womb trip to Paris. The Bumbleride Flite is a solid choice, in my opinion, and if it appeals to you, I know they often provide them for bloggers to review.

Mar 28, 2013

By any chance, do you have something in which you might fit 50 shots of Jagermeister? *wink*

Mar 28, 2013

As someone who has traveled extensively with her 18 month old, usually without my husband, I say ditch the stroller combo. The first few months baby will just end up crying and you'll end up lugging around that heavy car seat. Buy a Moby wrap or Ergo with an infant insert and you and baby will be MUCH happier. I think I used our stroller once before my son was about 9 months. Also, it is SO much easier navigating an airport with baby in a carrier vs. a stroller. Like someone else said, they don't even make you take baby out of the carrier when you're going through security. By the time I really started using a stroller (only recently) my son would have outgrown the infant car seat. Simplify your baby stuff and everyone will be much happier!

Mar 28, 2013

I would not go for the combo. get a convertible carseat that can hold hamish rear-facing til he's 35 lbs & fwd facing for another 10 or so. it'll never some out of the car. get a simple stroller (not an umbrella; not enough support for baby & you can't lay them back if they fall asleep, plus it's nice to be able to cart your crap around in the bottom. and get one with a shade, so that if you are out & he falls asleep, you can close that up), & then get a carrier.
a moby is great for babies up to 20 lbs. a soft structured carrier like an ergo or boba or beco is wonderful as baby gets bigger and men seem to like to wear those, also. I love my ring sling & you can use it for little bitty babies & then for quick errands as baby gets bigger. I have an almost 13 month old (*sob*) & I still put her in her ring sling whenever we go to the grocery store.

Mar 31, 2013

Admittedly, I didn't read all 55 comments before me, so I'm sure this is redundant, but:

--Avoid the travel system--bulky and unnecessary for city-dwellers, I think.
--Invest in a trusted infant carseat and a Snap-n-Go (which you can sell on Craigslist in a heartbeat when you're done).
--Experiment/ask friends for carrier recommendations. I had great luck with a Maya Wrap ring sling for my boys when they were infants, and an Ergo as they got a bit older.
--Get a high-quality umbrella stroller (I loved our MacLaren Quest Sport (not the lightest-weight, but I traveled with it extensively--to New Zealand with a 14 month-old, even!)

Good luck!

Mar 31, 2013

My babies are too old for me to contribute to the stroller debate so all I will say is you are so adorable! I know you may not feel like it but you are. :)

Apr 01, 2013

What is it with pregnancy and phones? I recently "lost" mine in the house, searched for it frantically for 15 minutes before work while stressing out my husband and making him call me 14 times. We followed the vibration sound all over the house until I finally sat down in exhausted frustration and realized my butt was vibrating. Well, I didn't realize that until I tore the bedding off the bed, convinced the phone was hiding in there. Um, no, crazy person, it's been in your back pocket the whole time. And who knew that my butt had become so desensitized that I couldn't feel 14 different vibrating phone calls? At least we laughed so hard we cried that morning once I finally 'fessed up :-) Good luck with everything!

Apr 08, 2013

1. Do you just carry those numbers around with you? You're adorable!
2. The City Mini is amazing, light, so easy to fold and such a great stroller. Be forewarned though, the company is called BabyJogger and yet they only make a few baby joggers - city mini is not one of them!
3. If you ever for a minute think you will have more than one baby (hard to imagine right now, but it could happen!) then seriously consider buying a stroller that can be converted to a double, like the City Select. It's heavier and more $$ than the mini but I tell you from experience (I am 30 weeks with #2) that you will thank yourself later!

May 06, 2013

Hi, Holly! I'm a long-time fan of your blog and have been meaning for a while to post a comment to this entry. I'm not sure if you'll read this or not given that it's been a month since this particular post, but I REALLY wanted to give you my two-cents on your stroller question... so here it is:

Please consider skipping the stroller altogether and getting a good baby carrier instead. Ergo, Beco, wraps - there are lots of excellent choices. You'll not only have your baby close to you the way that he wants to be, but you'll also be traveling so much lighter. This is particularly an advantage in an airport when you can breeze through with no more than a baby strapped to your front and a backpack on your back. (Side note: I flew more than 50 times with my daughter when she was a baby and admit that I always felt rather smug at how I could breeze through security and wander the airport so much more easily than parents with unwieldy strollers and tons of gear.) Not only is traveling easier, but you can get things done around the house or do your shopping much more comfortably as well.

The biggest advantage, though, is the emotional comfort your son will have at being snuggled up next to you. As he gets older, having him strapped on will also allow you to more easily point things out to him as you wander about, which helps with language acquisition. My well-traveled daughter is now five, but my son is two and I still use my Ergo with him quite frequently.

Hope this helps. Congratulations on your upcoming new addition. :)

Jenn Amano
May 26, 2013

Re: Strollers...

I would buy the carseat you want + a 'snap and go' type stroller for the first year or so.

Then, when baby boy outgrows the carseat, buy the bigger stroller separately.

We went with a Graco carseat travel system initially and then sold the stroller (it was 30 pounds!!!).

I chose the City Mini because it is a full-size stroller but it's very light. I debated the B-Agile, but the City Mini's fabric is more wipeable/durable in my opinion. I LOVE the City Mini! I use it every day, and it was worth every penny. Watch on Amazon-it goes on sale.

If I were planning to have another baby close together, I would get the Baby Jogger City Select. It's a single that converts to a double. It's pricey, but very practical for, say, toting a 2 year old and a baby at one time.

Good luck!

Jun 09, 2013

Hi Holly,

I just started reading your blog, 4 hours ago. Needless to say, I have been unable to stop. I have had quite a fair share of emotions , ranging between crying and laughing at some comments! I feel like I know you and your family well. Keep us informed and congratulations on the pregnancy!

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