Your Baby Gear Dilemmas, Solved

Not sure what to scan? Let gear expert, Jamie Grayson, solve your registry stumpers.

Everything in this slideshow

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Play Yard

Amazon

Play Yard

I want a play yard I can set up without the help of an entourage. Katy, Winter Garden, Fla.
Play yards can be kooky. Do you lock the walls first? Do you start by pressing the center? Do you just throw it in the trash and let your baby sleep in a drawer? (That last answer is no!) But believe it or not, you don't need a bachelor's degree in baby gear to master the 4moms breeze ($300, amazon.com). You can open and close it with one hand. To open, push down on the center logo; the walls expand and lock. To close, pull the turquoise loop, and the walls fold inward. Done!

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Compact Car Seat

Amazon

Compact Car Seat

I have a compact car and want a seat that's small but safe.Jenn, Narberth, Pa.
If you're looking for a throne for your infant that doesn't require a second car payment, let me steer you to the Cybex Aton 2 ($299, amazon.com). The front-to-back seat depth is 4 inches shorter than most models on the market, and the base is 9 inches wide (a few inches slimmer than other options), allowing it to fit in small cars like a champ. Still, it holds a baby weighing up to 35 pounds. And while it may be petite, it doesn't fall short when it comes to safety. A unique belt-tensioning plate at the base gives you the assurance that you've installed it securely, and a load leg transfers force from a crash impact down to the floorboard. In other words, you don't have to trade in your sporty little car. Take a seat and relax!

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Tiny Tub

Stokke

Tiny Tub

My apartment is the size of a shoe box, so I'm looking for a tub that will fit under my bathroom sink.Heidi, Chicago
It doesn't take long for baby gear to multipy and claim every nook and cranny of even the most palatial home. There are lots of great collapsible bathtubs on the market, but the one that gets my small-space stamp of approval is the Stokke Flexi Bath ($40, stokke.com). Its long, rectangular shape accordions to open and close easily, making it a cinch to stow away. When bath time is through, use the integrated drain to empty the tub, pat it down with a towel, snap it shut, stuff it away and then—this is the most important part—run yourself a jumble-free soak with plenty of bubbles.

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Second Chair

IKEA

Second Chair

Any thoughts on a highchair I can keep at my parents' house that doesn't cost too much?Cara, Greenlake, Wash.
Look no further than the trusty IKEA Antilop ($20, ikea.com). It may be el cheap-o, but it's also el great-o. The less-than-7-pound seat has no seams, so it's a breeze to clean, and the legs pop out so Grandma can throw it in the closet when it's not in use. Because, let's be honest—while she loves your visits, she probably doesn't want baby things on display.

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Preemie Pouch

Preemie Pouch

I'm looking for a way to carry my preemie nice and tight until he packs on a few pounds.Kim, Atlanta
The Boba Wrap ($38, boba.com) is one of my favorites because the fabric has a bit of stretch, so you can tie it tight and keep Peanut snug-as-a-bug against your chest. Nota bene: Wrapping can be intimidating at first, but with practice it's easy to master. To start honing your skills, check out Boba's website for instructional videos. That's a wrap!

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