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Baby’s first playground visit: what to bring along? Plus: check out Rookie Moms!

I’m not sure why I don’t often plug other blogs on here, considering how many of them I read on a daily basis, but one of my recent favorites is Rookie Moms, a site devoted to keeping new moms busy, happy, and energized during their first year with a baby. I love how positive their attitude is: we got through the first year, and you can too! Yay!

On the Rookie Moms site, new parents share their stories of outings with babies, and talk about what worked, what didn’t, and what to think about before you leave the house, with frequent dollops of humor (for instance, if you take your baby to the pool, it’s a good idea to take the stroller into the locker room so you don’t “end up walking out to your car in just a bra and towel holding your baby in one arm and a diaper between your teeth”).

However, in this tale of tiny Piper’s first visit to the playground, we noticed one glaring omission: what stroller, and what other products, did Mom Heather and Dad Tyler bring to the park? I rounded up a few recommendations from our gear experts – check out these lists when you’re getting ready to put your little one on the swings for the first time!

Jill Hegstad, Magic Beans Head Buyer (and mom of Reese, age 8 months)

cameleonMy Bugaboo Cameleon stroller is perfect for the playground – the all-terrain tires can easily handle playground mulch and other surfaces, and the self-standing seat is great for when you want to take a break. A nice multi-purpose swaddling blanket is great to have along too, since one item can do so much – use it for shade, for a rain cover, to wipe up messes, etc. Bring a sweatshirt for yourself (that’s multi-purpose too), and a Monkey Mat for you to sit on and play with the baby. And don’t forget some spray-on hand sanitizer!

Meghan Monroe, Magic Beans Cambridge Store Manager

city-mini-gt_02My top stroller choices would be a City Mini GT or a BOB. The City Mini GT combines the light weight and the super-easy fold of the classic City Mini with tough all-terrain tires, so it can go anywhere! BOB Revolution strollers have even more enormous tires, and the new BOB Revolution Flex even has an adjustable-height handlebar, so if both Mom and Dad are headed to the park with the baby, it’s easier for you to take turns pushing!

If you want to go even simpler, you could just tote your baby to the park in a Stokke MyCarrier  – one parent carries the baby, one parent carries the diaper bag.

As for the contents of that bag: take along a Monkey Mat or a JJ Cole Essentials Blanket to sit on, pack some snacks in an Itzy Ritzy Snack Bag, and don’t forget some wipes! You can use these wipes on every part of your kid, and on icky monkey bars too!

Ben Sung, Magic Beans Wellesley Store Manager

janetriderSince we’re already headed off the beaten path, let’s go with a lesser known stroller from our assortment: the new Jane Trider! It has a sporty unisex look and awesome all-terrain capabilities – big foam-filled tires and adjustable suspension that you can turn up or down depending on the surface you’re strolling on. It’s made and designed in Spain, and it’s great for super-outdoorsy families.

Since the Trider has a decently-sized basket for assorted baby items, you might be able to skip a giant diaper bag – you can probably do with just the Skip Hop Pronto Mini Changer. Don’t forget a Wet/Dry Bag, and definitely bring along the Honest Wipes and Hand Sanitizer!

Nicole Wagner, Magic Beans Wellesley Assistant Manager

valco-baby-snap-4wd-stroller-black-all-terrain-SNP9233Let’s go super-light for this playground trip: the Valco Baby Snap 4 weighs only 13 pounds, and has an enormous basket that can fit your entire diaper bag. The puncture-proof tubeless tires and lockable front wheels will serve you well on mulch, and you can even get a tougher Snap 4 exclusively from Magic Beans – the Valco Baby Snap 4WD adds big tough all-terrain wheels!

If you want to switch to a carrier spontaneously while you’re exploring the playground, the BityBean Baby Carrier is just the one to bring along – it folds up to the size of a water bottle, so you can just keep it in your diaper bag at all times for spontaneous babywearing!

Bring along the Munchkin Diaper Fresh Bag Dispenser to wrap up and throw away dirty diapers – and yes, I second the Skip Hop Pronto, the Honest Wipes, and the Wet Bag!

Did you notice how every one of our experts suggested a different stroller? That’s because every parent has slightly different needs when it comes to the perfect ride for their child. Stroller-matchmaking is an art, and our store staff are masters, trained to help you select the stroller you can’t live without. So whether you’re a few months away from the beginning of your rookie year, or whether you’re getting ready to bring your newbie for her first playground trip, come into any Magic Beans store or call or Live Chat with our expert customer service team, and we’ll get you equipped!

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