Buying Baby Gear: Here are the things that you can avoid buying. Know how you can save on baby gear, and some of the essentials where you need to spend.
Having a baby is definitely one of the most joyous moments in the lives of parents. All parents want to provide the best for their little ones, but then there are several things they do or buy that are totally unnecessary or probably not required at that age. And that’s because most parents don’t have any clue as to what needs to be done.
But then life is all about trying new things, making huge mistakes, learning from said mistakes and then moving on. To help other new moms and dads, I’m sharing some of my parenting regrets that are still fresh on my mind:
1. Buying expensive clothes
Seriously, why did I spend so much money on cute dresses and coats that I was too scared to even put on my child in case she spit up on them? Buying “special occasion” outfits for a baby was one of my biggest wastes of money as a new parent. “Special occasion”? Who was I kidding — it was a special occasion if we made it out of the house most days! Needless to say, most of these frilly fancy outfits have ended up on eBay or passed down to other kids who will likely never wear them as well.
2. Putting hair accessories in my baby’s hair.
My baby was bald for her first two full years, save for a few strands of wispy blonde hair. Desperate to make her look girlier, I tracked down non-slip hair clips for “ultra fine baby hair” and stuck them on her two strands of hair. When I look back at photos, it just looks like she has a piece of felt glued to her bald head. Major fail.
3. Purchasing gear we didn’t need.
Before baby came along, I went nuts ordering every single baby item I laid eyes upon. I wanted it all — just in case — but learned that some things really aren’t necessary. The two items that stand out as my stupidest purchases are a wipes warmer (which I returned when I came to my senses) and an expensive, giant stroller that I came to loathe. I still wish I’d researched other stroller brands more thoroughly and bought a better designed, more practical and less pricey model.
4. Signing up for infant classes.
I blame this on my desperation to have adult company and my desire to fill the endless-seeming days. I enrolled my baby in countless music, gym and movement classes that were often a total waste of time and money considering my baby’s early personality (she hated them all and screamed bloody murder when we went). If I could do it all over, I’d just take her to the park and let her watch the birds and squirrels until she was old enough to show an interest in things for herself.
5. Reading too many baby books.
Because (like all new parents) I knew nothing about parenting, I read every baby book recommended to me in hopes that I would learn all the answers. Instead, I had a baby who didn’t succumb to the shushing, swinging, swaying or any of the countless other tips provided to get babies to sleep or stop crying. It left me feeling like a parenting failure–that is, until I threw out all of those books and started going with my gut instinct instead.
6. Taking no for an answer.
In my experience, our instinct as parents always trumps other people’s opinions. We know our children better than anyone does, so when something isn’t right, we feel it deep inside. During the first six weeks of my baby’s life, I was at the pediatrician at least once a week, sometimes more, searching for an answer to why she was so miserable. I knew something was wrong, even though the doctor told me she was just a colicky baby and that she’d outgrow her symptoms. After getting frustrated, I started doing some research myself and demanded to see a specialist (against the pediatrician’s advice), who confirmed that my baby needed medical help. I only wish I’d had the guts to stand up to the doctor sooner and save my baby weeks of needless misery.
When my husband and I first ventured into a Babies R Us, we stood mesmerized for quite a while in front of the Mamaroo. If you haven’t heard of this device, it is an infant seat that moves in 5 different patterns and has an MP3 plugin for your iWhatever. How is a new mom to decide between this $270 baby seat straight from the Jetsons and the $15 vibrating bouncy seat at her local consignment store? Here are some pro tips from expert moms on where to save and where to splurge on baby gear.
Save on These Expensive Baby Items
Well, you really don’t have to avoid buying these baby items, but definitely there are some cheaper alternatives that you may consider.
- Find out what’s on offer at your local baby and kids consignment store
- Talk to friends and coworkers with older babies (do they have some important baby products that they would like to dispose off).
- You can also consider buying secondhand or choosing inexpensive alternatives.
You get cribs that look great, sets up easily, and even converts to a toddler bed. However, you may not need the crib for at least a few months if you sleep baby next to you in a rock n’ play or sidecar cosleeper (available online or at a consignment shop).
- Crib Set
There’s no doubt that themed crib sets (comforter, crib sheets, bed skirt) look adorable. But then the little patterned blankets are only for decorative purposes. Besides, the crib sheets that come with those sets are too thin and scratchy. Instead of a crib set, do consider getting some great quality crib sheets.
- Baby Bathtub
these are important but you have lots of options available, with many available for cheaper prices. so do shop around.
- Everyday Clothes
Most new moms are gifted or handed down plenty of clothes for their newborn. So before heading to the store, just check if you have used all those baby clothes that were gifted to you.
- Diaper Pail
Here’s a cheaper alternative – buy a trash can with a lid. Put a trash bag in it. Take it out when it stinks. It serves the purpose of packaging your baby’s diapers.
- Bath seats
They might look useful but are very hazardous. When using these, you cannot leave the child alone even for a second, however important that distraction might be; its can turn out to be a matter of life and death. In case you still want one, make sure you’re around all the time till the baby is out of the tub.
No doubt they are important because of the dangers posed at bedtime, it allows you to watch real-time footage of your little one (you can even watch the footage on your smartphone). But think before investing in one with lots of fancy features; you do get basic baby monitors as well that es the job well.
Baby Gear Where You Should Not Compromise on Money
You should not be thinking about saving all the time (although do look out for the best deals on baby products). Here are some of the things where you can spend the extra dollars to buy a better product to ensure safety and comfort for your little one.
Baby Carrier / Babywearing Device
Babywearing is great for mom and baby for lots of reasons, but it only works if everyone is comfortable. Usually local independent baby boutiques will let you try on a few different types. When you find one you love, go for it. Your baby (and back) will thank you.
- Cloth Diapers
You will be spending a lot of time dealing with diapers, and babies need to be comfortable in those, so pick up the better ones out there.
- Infant Car Seat
Another important product that ensures safety for your little one. Besides, there are some hospitals that will not let you take baby home without a properly installed car seat. Do get a better quality one that is easy to install and adjust.
- Diaper Bag
You may buy a diaper bag, or even use any roomy bag or backpack with good storage inside. You need this as as long as your little one is in diapers.
As moms, you don’t have to freak out if you think your baby has a temperature; the best way is to check if he/she really has a temperature. Besides, babies universally hate having their temperature taken. You may go in for the convenient forehead thermometers, that allows you to take your baby’s temperature while he/she is asleep.
Do spend on an Infant formula for your little one, but breast-feed as often as possible; mother’s milk does a lot of good to the baby.
Even those who have good control over their budget can actually be overwhelmed looking at the costs associated with a new baby, and the price tag that some of the cool baby gear can have. I am sure these baby gear tips will help you save some money that you can use somewhere else (on something important of-course).