Monday, May 12, 2014

Baby Gear Galore at Gearapalooza 2014

Mr. Lovebird jokes how it's going to take a lot to get me to leave NYC if/when that day comes, but for now I'm soaking it all up. There is just SO much to do here ALL.THE.TIME. and for different life-stages I'm finding NYC really is a well-rounded city (I just might retire here!).

Being a pregnant mom in the city has been great especially this time around since last time I wasn't as connected in the blogging community. Now I'm taking advantage of all there is going on and keeping with my recent post about filling in all the details of the places I've been lately I'm excited to recap finally meeting The Baby Guy recently at Gearapalooza held at NessaLee Baby.

I missed hearing him a few weeks prior at the larger Brooklyn Baby and Family Expo (yes, that recap is forthcoming!), but this event in suburban NJ was much more intimate, which is more my speed! He spoke for over an hour and ran through allll the best of the best baby essentials spending A LOT of time on car seats and strollers. He was extremely personable and honest - even though he doesn't have kids of his own, I can totally understand how he's risen to the top as *THE* baby gear expert!

Here are a few brands and products I was excited to experience at Gearapalooza:

Dr. Smith's - yes, diaper rashes are rare when cloth diapering, but just in case I loved that this is cloth diaper compatible! I'll be holding onto this for my arsenal.

Dekor Diaper Pail - we used a hanging wet bag last go around, but this one is a contained pail with a washable liner just for cloth diapers. Rather than just a hanging bag, this time around I really want a pail, and I like how it can be child-proofed giving me a bit of peace of mine especially since our nursery is on the first floor and the master suite on the 2nd floor.

Quinny Yezz - I've written about this stroller before, but I was super excited to see it recommended by The Baby Guy. I even had to raise my hand and share my Squeaky Wheel story about Quinny's awesome customer service (yes, I still need to post it here!). This stroller is especially amazing for me because I can easily go from baby-wearing (I wore Nia til age 2) to putting my baby in the stroller when he's ready and it will help me continue on my traipsing around the city without missing a beat! I love anything that helps me be a mama on the go!

Also, I asked the Baby Guy about his thoughts on the inflatable car seats such as the BubbleBum, and he gave a, "Well it's better than nothing" answer this being of course before the HUGE announcement last week from Uber about their new Uber Family offering AND in parternship with The Car Seat Lady (even better!). I can't wait to try it out!

Anyway, back to Gearapalooza. . . .

The chat with the Baby Guy was catered by Whole Foods and quite tasty and there were tons of giveaways considering the small size of the event - it was a pretty amazing ratio! I attended with a fellow mom from my local moms' meet-up group whose due date was literally any minute. We had a good time together and were hopeful to win something cause the odds looked good - I especially wanted the Chicco KeyFit 30 - but a faction of moms showed up from PA (with their kids in tow and this was a smaller baby ONLY event O_o) and somehow managed to win most of the prizes. The raffling process wasn't quite fair as the organizers loosely shuffled completed 8 1/2x11 forms we passed down the aisles instead of doing a ticket in a bowl type of raffle.

Regardless, the gift bag was pretty awesome as the Baby Guy ran down a few baby items, and I realized we had either given them away or discarded them due to lack of space when we last move. I was very happy to pick up a few in the gift bag including a Stokke Flexi Bath and a Skip Hop Pronto Changing Station (love the print!) - just these two items alone were $70 which along with everything else in the loaded gift bag more than covered the price of the $50 ticket:

We received the orange one! {Image credit: Stokke}
{Image Credit: Skip Hop}
I do have to share one awkward moment was when the Baby Guy mentioned aftermarket products for car seats are a definite NO and then the event staff proceeded to hand everyone a Maxi-Cosi Infant Car Seat Footmuff. Maybe I'll just use it for stroller use?

Oh and one last highlight of Gearapalooza? Meeting The Angry Baby! He really is quite awesome in person: 

You *must* follow The Angry Baby on Instagram for maximum impact!
Anyway, it was a good gear-round-up event that I highly recommend if it comes to your area - it's on a 12-city tour this year (check dates and cities here).

I'm finding there's really only 4 basic newborn essentials - everything else is just extra, fun stuff: boobs, co-sleeper, wrap and cloth diapers (we kept Nia mostly in gowns/skin-to-skin as a newborn) What are your essentials?