Babystuff Bleg

We’ve got our checklists of the things that everybody knows every baby needs. For you parents out there, however, what’s missing from our checklist? What is the one thing that you had never heard about that you discovered after being a parent that you wish you’d known about. Anything?

One of the things we lack is a carrier thinger. Like, the sort that you wear so that you can wear your baby on you. Does anyone have any recommendations for what to get?

We’re going to start off with disposable, but hope to transition to cloth diapers. We’ll see if it happens. Any recommendations on cloth diaper contraptions would be cool, too.

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.


  1. My Baby Bjorn was just awesome. There are few things I miss more about that time than taking walks with a boy and a Bjorn.

      • My two cents. An inexpensive front-carrier that allows the baby’s legs to dangle works well. Keep the critter facing in until they’re old enough to really hold their head up, at which point you turn them around so they can observe the world–at about the same age they shift from really wanting to snuggle their face close to their parent and take real interest in observing what’s around them. (Not to knock Baby Bjorns, which are really good.)

        A little later shift them to a backpack carrier. You don’t need to get one with all the bells and whistles–those are for the parents, not the kid–but you do want a pocket you can shove random crap into, and one that sits the baby high enough that daddy’s back is not their whole view.

      • We have a bunch of carriers, different ones for different things, kind of.

        We started with a stretchy wrap (which is pretty much only good for a front carry) as well as some pouch slings (which work well for front and side carries). Later we also got a ring sling*, though I was never as much a fan of it as my wife was.

        Eventually, we got some wraps, mostly long wraps, but my wife has a short wrap she likes when she needs to tie the little one on pretty quickly and for shorter periods.

        We also have a Mai Tai (sp?). Darlene made this as well as our slings, and it’s pretty great. I use it almost exclusively for front carries, but it can be used for back carries. I start using this with the kids when they are strong enough to hold their necks up.

        We also have a Boba. This is pretty handy for quickly strappnig the kid on rather than using ties. Our main reason for getting it was because we were in a high rise that had many false fire alarms, and it’s the easiest quickest thing to use to get out of the house.

        These days, I almost exclusively use a wrap. You can tie it a ton of different ways, so you can find a tie that suits you. I tend to use a ruck carry. I recall hearing that you’re quite tall, so you want to make sure you get a really long one. I’m a shade over 6′ and I use a 4 or 4.5 metre wrap, I think. Though it does give me a lot of extra length to play with.

        I am not a fan of Baby Bjorns. When children are being worn, they should be in a sitting position, basically. You don’t want anything where they’re basically dangling from their crotch. If the carrier isn’t supporting their butt and most/all of their thigh, it’s not ideal.

        Darlene knows a ton more about this than I do. I can ask her to send some information your way, if you like.

        I really can’t stress how great these things are. A few years ago, there was a fire in our row of townhouses and we grabbed four things (other than ourselves) upon getting out:

        1. Our laptop
        2. Our wedding album
        3. The dog
        4. A wrap (it wasn’t a long one, so one of our friends quickly brought us one of theirs for me to use).

        And I agree with James. These things needn’t be expensive (though sometimes they are).


        *As with some of our carriers, it was homemade, from half a bed sheet, yet you’d never know.

        • If you’re looking to get only one carrier for the long-haul (ha, punny) but don’t fancy a long wrap – which gives the greatest versatility and comfort but with the steepest learning curve (Youtube is your friend) – get a buckle-carrier, also known as a soft structured carrier. Unlike a front-pack carrier (Bjorn, Snuggli, etc.) a SSC will allow both front and back carries and will support the child in a way that transfers his/her weight to your core rather than dangling him/her from your shoulders. Boba, Ergo, Beco and Manduca are four best-known names. FWIW, I recently wore our cranky and arguably insane 4yo on my back comfortably for over half an hour in our Boba (and I’m 5’2″).

          Avoiding strollers when using public transit, going to a restaurant, visiting outdoor events/fairs and going in and out of stroller-inaccessible stores makes life so much easier. Plus there’s that whole Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse factor.

    • I hated the Bjorn, it wasn’t rigged right (maybe this is my fault) for my size and it gave me horrible lower back pain after I wore it for more than about 20 minutes.

      Lots of people like ’em, though.

    • When I worked at the restaurant, the “Over The Shoulder Baby Holder” that one lady used always struck me as impressive. It let her do everything hands-free while still keeping the baby close enough to nuzzle if necessary.

    • I also love buying baby books.

      Zazzy? Not so much. One time we read Jez Alborough’s “Hug” in Barnes & Noble. It’s a simple board book will literally two different words in it. Somehow she was confused by the ending. She acted like it had some sort of M. Night Shyamalan style twist.

      We now no longer go into the kids’ section of B&N.

  2. Boppy pillow. Bottle warmer. Diaper genie. Bottle drying rack.

    (Obviously, if you’re going to nurse exclusively without pumping, then the bottle stuff doesn’t make sense.)

    • Personally, we found that if you have a microwave, you can save the $ and counterspace of a bottle warmer. Just heat a coffee mug of water in the microwave for a minute, then drop the bottle in that mug of warm water for another minute. It’s just as fast, IMO.

      This is a ways off – but when you get a high chair, ours has three functions that are hugely helpful – easily adjustable height; the release for the tray is a single one, on the front so it can be done one-handed (most are two-sided, on the left and right sides, which is hard if you are holding a baby); and most important, the tray we have has a second removable thin tray that sits on top of the main tray. So you can quickly remove the food when they are making a big mess, or for easy cleaning or whatever.

      I didn’t learn about these until it was too late, but something like this seems it could be helpful at the beginning when you are super sleep-deprived:

      • We keep the bottle warmer in Squirrel’s room, which saves us the trouble of stumbling blearily down to the kitchen, removing bottle from fridge, heating water, plunking bottle in said water, etc.


        • Ah, a layout thing, makes sense. For us it is all pretty adjacent.

  3. We’re supposed to have a list of things to get?!?!?! Right now, I’m solely focused on making sure A baby makes it back from the hospital… ideally OUR baby, but we’ll really take any baby at least to start. HELP!

    Slightly more seriously, on “Shark Tank” I saw someone pushing a reusable diaper called FuzziBunz. Hideous name aside, it seemed like an upgrade from traditional cloth diapers. She also mentioned that she can’t protect her patent so a bunch of competitors are making the same, meaning there is probably a bit of variety out there. I’m going to look into those.

  4. Regarding carriers – we never could make a sling work for us at all. Baby Bjorn was better, but she didn’t really like it either. I just carried her around. It doesn’t take long before you get really good at holding baby with one arm and doing everything else with the other.

    The Boppy is awesome, absolutely get one.

    One thing I highly recommend is to start trolling yard sales, church sales/swaps and consignment shops for as much as you can. Nearly everything for babies lasts longer than a child can use it, lot’s of it lasts more than three or four will use it. Clothes can be the same way, especially for the first year where they fly through a size every two to four months.

    If you have a great network for hand-me downs, then work that, but if you don’t, get out there and check them out. A Bjorn is a good example of a very durable product that you should be able to get secondhand if the cost of a new one is scary.

  5. I never thought we would need a hiking backpack but we used it all the time. I guess that just depends if you like to hike. As for strollers I liked having a big fancy one and a compact one for the quick trips.

    • I am not sure what good that would do for Doc and Better Half, but, I will say the pump was a godsend for us.
      I cannot recommend one highly enough, even if mom is planning to be at home full-time and breastfeed, it was worth it’s weight in gold.

      • it was worth it’s weight in gold.

        Yes, but fortunately they can be had for considerably less than that.

  6. Re: Diapers.

    We did our first kid in cloth diapers, 2nd and 3rd in disposables. I never discerned any real difference as far as the kids’ comfort was concerned. Some folks like disposables because they’re supposedly better for the environment, but life cycle analyses cast doubt on that, given the environmental effects of growing cotton, and the fact that you need to wash the things in hot water and use bleach on them. (They make great dusting cloths, though.)

    I’d suggest trying both and seeing what feels easier and more comfortable for you, and if you’re thinking about political values, recognize that it’s pretty much a wash (except for the signalling value). But when you travel, absolutely positively stick to disposables. You do not want a car full of shitty cloth diapers or to have to deal with a messy cloth diaper in the airport.

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