Posted by: theweesak | October 18, 2009

All the crap…

So far, I have learned a lot from this whole parenting thing. I know I am only 4 months in and am sure that there is a TON more learning to do. However, I figured I would share a few things I have learned about all of the merchandise for new babies, parents, pregnant mommies, etc. I have only done this once, and don’t have a ton of experience — but this is my 2 cents. We are the first (or so) of our friends to make the plunge into BabyWorld, so the more people I can help save their money from falling into the Pit of Baby Crap the better.

First, there are the basics that every Mom and Dad need. A whole schwack of receiving blankets, washcloths and onesies (I have found Superstore’s Joe and Walmart’s George to be the best). Lots of blankets for the floor — great for making all places baby-friendly. We like Huggies diapers (Tip: Costco’s Kirkland are the same diapers — made in the same factory and everything, just a different picture on the front), and wipes we don’t have a preference. We also have a play-yard (most are the same, but we like the vibrating and music functions on ours), a Snugli carrier and Ikea change table (which we love — Stella couldn’t roll off of it if she tried!).

I have broken down some other items to hopefully save someone some time or money:

My Top 5 Favourite/Most Frequently Used Items:
1. Bumbo with Tray — We love this. It is light weight, fairly portable and multi-functional. Stella loves it because she can sit up — and often I’ll plunk it down on the counter while I make dinner. She feels like she can be right in the action. Although I was a little skeptical to spend the $ — $65 for the seat and an extra $17 for the tray, we found a deal on Kijiji (more on this later) and got the set for $45. I’d spend it again in a second. The only thing wrong was I didn’t get it earlier!!
2. J.J. Cole Bundle Me for the Car Seat — A god-send. I can’t even imagine having to bundle her up and then wrestle her into a car seat in the winter! Currently, we are using the “Lite” version – great for transitional seasons (Do we have those in Calgary??), but I am seriously looking at the “Original” which is a little heavier for winter. Well worth the $40 (Lite) or $60 (Original).
3. Leg Warmers — Not only are these little guys cute, but they are comfy and functional too! They are great because you don’t need to take them off for diaper changes (not dangerous ones anyway), they keep her chubby little legs warm, and if she is too hot, they are a snap to take off! Plus, they come in a ton of cute patterns and depending on where you can pick them up, can be pretty cheap. We picked up a few pairs at Babies R Us for $5 each.
4. Baby Einstein Musical Motion Activity Jumper — Or anything similar is awesome. Now, I didn’t want to go too over board on the whole toy thing. I still want to have a living room that I can have a few people sit in without having to dodge toys like land-mines. This jumper helps – and here’s why. a) It combines the idea of an exersaucer and jolly jumper into one. That is 2 big “baby appliances” morphed into one = more space. b) This model has extra hooks all over it to hang spare toys — storage (yessss…). c) Last, but not least, Stella loves it. She’ll spend up to 30 minutes in this thing (remember — a long time for baby attention spans!) and loves to move the beads, suck on the toys, look in the mirror, play the piano and jump around. We were recently out of town and when we came home, I put her in here and you could tell she was in her happy zone. It was so cute — Like she knew that this was hers, she loved it, and she missed it. In fact, sometimes when she is fussy, I’ll put her in here and she is all better. I think she likes the idea of being vertically independent (or as much as she can be). This MAY be trouble later, but for now, it gives me a few seconds to myself (which now-a-days is usually spent doing laundry or cleaning – joy.).
5. Sophie the Giraffe — This giraffe gets all kinds of attention from both Stella and K9 alike. Although Sophie greatly resembles a dog toy (as Boomer will let you know — he went and sniffed out Sophie in my suitcase numerous times this past weekend) she is loved by Stella. Nothing special, just a giraffe made of natural rubber and dyes, great for chewing on, sucking on, throwing on the ground, gripping, squeaking, etc. Plus she’s portable and easy to clean. Put her on your registry — she’s about $22.
BONUS — I love my diaper bag — Skip Hop Duo Deluxe. As a bag LOVER, I didn’t think it necessary to carry a glorified plastic baggie when I could carry this:

You can get Diaper Bags at ridiculous costs (like $300!?!?) — This one was about $75. Nothing too pricey, especially since I carry it everyday and will for the next 2 or so years. My advice — splurge a little. Skip the generic Graco navy blue flap over, head to a baby boutique and treat yourself. Or, if you are like me, ask for it! My lovely husband chose this one, with the help of Caterina and gave it to me as a surprise gift at the baby shower. That man knows the way to my heart.

Honourable Mentions:
1. Bella Band — First Tri Bloating is not cool, and having to buy maternity pants to accommodate for too much ice cream is a blow to the ego. Enter the Bella Band. Wonderful spandex to slip over undone pants. Glorious. (I may be whipping this bad boy out for future Thanksgiving, Christmas and the like dinners.)
2. Medela Swing Pump — Battery or plug, small enough to carry around. Pump more, faster Bessie! ‘Nuff said.
3. Peg Perego Primo Viaggio SIP Car Seat — Super safe, comfy and the best side impact protection on the market. Plus, we have the super cute Cedro – Citrine Green colour.

Things that I have found to be over-rated:
1. A Nursery Set — Yes, yes I know. When I was pregnant, I too dreamed of rocking my already sleeping baby into a 9-hour slumber in the soft glow of her Sarah Richardson inspired design nursery. I then went shopping and found most to be over-priced, and found nothing I really liked. My solution? Pick out separates. It’s cheaper, and who wants to be match-match anyways??
2. Wipe Warmer — We don’t have one. But really now?? There is a line. Plus, I’m not really into wasting energy to warm wipes to wipe a bum. Call me crazy – to each their own.
3. Baby Gates, drawer lockers, etc. — Now, I may end up biting my tounge on this one, but my primary plan is to try to teach Stella about safety rather than blocking her from things that may hurt her. i think she’ll learn better this way. Laugh it up, in 3 months I’ll be flustered in Walmart buying 11 baby gates.

Things that I want or will need soon:
1. A jogging stroller that doesn’t cost $600. I love my stroller, but is not a great all-terrain stroller. My Peg Perego Aria weighs in at only 10lbs, but is sturdy and looks like a 30lbs stroller.
2. A forward facing car seat. I won’t need this for a few more months — haven’t even started looking.
3. Baby Mittens that when she sucks on, won’t get cold and soak through. Someone needs to make these…
4. A car with heat vents and a light in the back. I didn’t think about this when purchasing my vehicle. I love Stanley (my Jeep), and he has done me well, but just a note for next time…

A note about Kijiji.
Use it!! It is wonderful! A few benefits of Kijiji and like sites:
1. Better for the environment — Re-use!
2. Better for our community.
3. Cheaper for you! — Benefits for the seller.
4. Realistically, you are only going to use some of these items for a few months, then re-sell them or give them away anyway.

Just be careful who you buy from, check their other ads. And I usually give everything a really good clean. The people I have bought from have been in or around my community and are families just like us!

Thanks for reading! If I can think of anything else, I’ll try to add.

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