Tuesday, January 5, 2010

OPINIONS PLEASE: Best and Worst Baby Purchases

So one of my besties asked me the other day what baby things I wouldn't have purchased had I not been a first time mom and the perfect prey for these baby product companies who thrive on my cluelessness and my desire to get everything my child just may need. Anyway, I thought this would be a great idea for a post and an open discussion----the things we got that are a HUGE, pointless waste of money and the things we couldn't live without. Hopefully, this will help some other unsuspecting first-time mommies (or soon-to-be) from falling prey to the trap of all things cutesy. :-)

Someone tell me why exactly I got this??

The whole baby bedding set-- Now let me tell you this was one of THE most stressful and "important" decisions I thought I made prior to Bug's arrival. This decision determined the decor and cuteness factor of her room. I mean, it practically shaped her future, right?? :-) How could I possibly have her sleep in a room that wasn't perfectly decked out with all its girlie goodness?? Well let me tell you, I found my Confetti Girl by BananaFish bedding set at a ridiculously cheap price at some random online store, so I thought, "Yay, I can afford to get some accessories!" I got the comforter, the bumper, the bedskirt, the plain pink sheet, the valance, 2 of the matching pillows, the round rug, the hamper...and I was going to get the lamp, but the one I wanted was out of stock. While this stuff was on sale and "inexpensive" for what it is...it was still a couple hundred dollars. Well, let me tell you about what I've used and what was the biggest waste.

OK, most of the typical 4-piece bedding set (skirt, bumper, sheet, comforter) is a complete waste. Babies aren't supposed to sleep with comforters/loose blankets OR bumpers in prevention of SIDS. I never did the comforter (it's resting on my rocker for decor purposes ONLY--you know how many other cheap blankets I could've gotten for the same purpose?? WASTE!), but I did try to use the bumper because it had double ties and I didn't think it was dangerous (plus, it was SUPER cute and everything in me wanted to use it for that reason alone). Until one day her face got awefully close to it, and I FREAKED out. I took it off right there in the middle of the night and never looked back. Babies like to scoot to the edge of something even before they can move well--all the more reason to not have that cute, fluffy bumper. I ended up getting a breathable bumper for $15 so her hands & feet couldn't get through but also that she couldn't get suffocated OR use it as something to stand on to get out of the crib. I used the skirt until a couple months ago when she started standing up in her crib and I had to lower the mattress to the lowest setting. The bedskirt could no longer fit---sad day! So now my adorable bedding set that I had to have has dwindled down to a plain pink sheet. Had I known this, I would've invested in some cute sheets and spared the rest.

The rug was also unnecessary. I used to have it by the crib, but every time I walked over there, it would bunch up. A rug on a rug isn't the most crucial thing to have.

I also have only used my matching hamper to throw stuffed animals in because my laundry room is 2 doors away and her stuff usually has food all over it and needs to get washed ASAP. So that was also pointless FOR ME, although maybe will be used later. I know my bestie uses hers frequently.

I use my valance, but you wouldn't know it because I've thrown a brown sheet over it to keep the room dark for her naps. Would've preferred making my own blackout curtains or shades, but that's for another project later.

All "Baby's First" clothing and accessories-- I know, I know...I fell into this trap too. These baby's firsts are probably bigger firsts to the parents than the babies. The companys know this and they know that we parents are the ones with the money, so they get us on the emotions. All those "baby's first" stuff can really only be worn once. Baby's First Easter, St. Patty's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas....etc. Unless you get a really good deal on it, I wouldn't waste your time. Instead, get a bib with a turkey, snowman, egg/bunny, whatever....that way they can use the same bib for a year or two. Otherwise, make a cutesy sign and have them hold it up for a picture while they're in their holiday gear. You can wear snowman PJs or onesies all winter long so you don't have to feel ridiculous when they're wearing their "Baby's First Christmas" onesie in January so you can get the wear for your money.

Things I couldn't live without on a daily basis:

My Chicco traveling system---it's awesome. The carseat is one of the best rated and the stroller is amazing, in my opinion. I have the grey and green one so it was neutral for use with any of my future children.

My Diaper Genie ELITE--You just push the peddle and the thing pulls the stinky diaper into its belly so you don't have to smell it---until it gets super high, but I've found you can always smoosh more in there then you think. It holds a good amount of diapers too.

My wipe warmer--Ok, so I didn't register for this and thought it probably would've been a waste of money, but when I never had to deal with an upset baby (until now when she wants OFF that table and to crawl around) due to cold wipes on cold days....LOVE IT! It's also nice having warm wipes to wipe her face and hands now that it's the frozen arctic here.

My video monitor--I know some people would HATE one of these because they feel like they'd be constantly watching it. I wasn't that person, so I found it invalueable. That's actually how I saw Bug's face close to the bumper that night months and months ago. I'm not going to lie...it was REALLY awesome to have in the beginning. I'd have her inside sleeping while I'd be able to lay out and relax in my yard. I could see if she was just crying and fussing to get comfortable or if she was really done and ready to get out. Saved me a lot of trips up to her room to check on her when I was laying out with my straps untied. :-) It's also been great to have now when she's overtired and crying in bed. I can just watch her and tell if she's rocking and tossing and turning in her crib and will cry herself to sleep or if I'm going to go in and help her. LOVE it!

My Plumb Blink CD-- My bestie burned a copy of it for me and it's something I use for every nap and bedtime. As soon as she hears the music and I turn off the lights in her room, she's resting her head on my shoulder, sucking her thumb, and it ready to hit the sack. It's by a Christian group (Plumb), but it's basically the sweetest most calming lullabies you've ever heard. I believe she wrote them for her baby. They brought tears to my eyes so many times when I rocked her before putting her in her crib. I couldn't live without this. Best gift!

My gliding chair--- My bestie gave me an old glider that she was given and didn't need. My husband painted it a dark brown to match our espresso furniture set and my sister re-covered it with soft, tan fabric (to be used in any future nursery). I love that thing and all it cost me was $$ for paint and fabric.

My camera & video camera--I think this speaks for itself. The faces, sounds, moments, silly antics.....all caught for future reminescing and wondering where the years went.

My decorative baskets/buckets--They're big and they hold everything (not to mention, they match the bedding decor that once was). I've got one on the changing table, anothers on the ground holding her toys. I also have a matching ottomon that holds her stuff.  Anything for cute storage.

My Medela Pump N Style Pump--Well, technically I borrowed it from a friend of mine who used it all of maybe 3 times (I know, I know...you're not supposed to borrow these). Anyway, I got new tubing and accessories for it, but I don't know what I would've done without it, especially in the first 6+ months. I'm not pumping as much now because I need to keep my dwindling supply up and it's better if she's nursing because it gets more milk out.

My Bumkin Bibs-- I started off with regular brands of these types of washable, plastic bibs with pockets to catch the messes, but my bestie introduced me to the real deal: BUMKINS. They're SOO much easier to wash. They keep in better condition. They may be a little more expensive than the others, but totally worth every penny of it, which means a lot coming from a cheap person like myself.

Some of you may disagree with me and found uses or the lack thereof for some of the goodies listed above. I'm also sure there's plenty more that I could come up with that I'm momentarily forgetting, but that's where YOU come in. What are your best and worst baby investments?? Let's get a good reference list going for those new or soon-to-be mommies to save them some time, energy, and money.


FeliciaE said...

I honestly can't say there is anything I regret buying...well maybe the diaper storage thing that is on a hanger. Not sure what it is called.

Now my can't live without items...bouncer seat (worked great to feed Miss Monk in when she was just learning to eat)

Diaper Changing Table...How I managed without one wit Drama Queen I do not know.

The Jumperoo!! This thing was great.

And the Baby Moniters that has the night light with it. Loved that thing!!!

Stephanie said...

Wasted my money on:
A full sized high chair - the small ones that attach to a chair are just as good and don't take over the kitchen
Baby Monitor - our house has thin walls and my son slept in our room until he was 4 months old anyways. I used it more when we were transitioning him to his toddler bed than any other time.

Loved having:
Pacifier keepers - the clips that keep the paci off the floor and the pod things that attach to your diaper bag. Anything to save me 30 seconds from searching for one when he was screaming.
Tiny Diner placemats - the only way we were able to eat out from about month 6- 13. He was a plate thrower and restaurant tables are yucky.
My sling has been a lifesaver with #2. I can keep him with me and still do things with my older son.
A good camera. While any camera would have been fine, I am so glad I got a new camera right after my son was born. With this one, I'm adding Shutterfly (or any online photo site). Our families are far away and it's nice to be able to upload pictures for them to see.