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Shopping for a Newborn I – The List





We spent the past weekend shopping around for things that we'll need for the newborn when he/she arrives.  I must say that there is a LOT of stuff that you need to buy and none of it is cheap.  From what we've learned, here is a run down of the must buy big ticket items and what to look out for.

Car Seats

There are 3 types of car seats, all go by the weight of the child.  There is the infant car seat which will typically support 5-22lbs, the toddler 22-40lbs, and the booster 40-80lbs.

The infant car seat is a must have as the infant will need to be transported from the hospital to home in safe manner.  Infant car seats are all rear facing to help protect the infants neck in case of an accident.  Look for an infant car seat with a removable base.  That way, the base can conveniently stay in the car should you decide to carry the baby around in the seat.

You can find 3 in 1 systems that can switch between infant, toddler and booster.  Alas, we chose a "travel system" stroller (more on this below), which includes an infant car seat.  So we're shopping for a 2 in 1 system that can go between a toddler and booster seat.

Note, it's probably best not to get a pre-owned infant car seat as standards and regulations change.  As well, who knows if the used car seat was previously in an accident.  Whatever the case, buying new is recommended here.

  • Cost: $80 – $150 each

Stroller

For us, it made sense to get "The Travel System".  What is "The Travel System?", it's basically a stroller that can fit an infant car seat on top of it.  That's why I mentioned having a removable base can be so convenient, you can just pop the infant car set onto the stroller and voila, no need to unbuckle the baby.  There are a lot of fancy strollers out these days, some with big wheels, others with suspension, all with their own advantages.

  • Cost of Travel System Stroller + Infant Car Seat: $120-$500 

Crib

Cribs are expensive!  I guess we could get a used crib, but with the new house coming up, my wife wants pretty things.  Cribs range from the regular kinds with a dropping rail to the convertible ones that turn into fancy sleigh beds.  Note that if you get a convertible crib, you'll have to buy the conversion kit separately (~$150).  On top of that, you would buy the conversion kit fairly soon as the store may stop stocking the item in the future.  

  • Price: $200 – $550 (Mattress is separate)

Crib Blankets/Bumper Pad

The crib blankets and accessories pricing is ludicrious.  Who would have ever thought that a little bit of material with some animals or Disney characters on them could cost so much.  From our shopping around, it seems that Walmart has the best prices by a long shot.  For example, the Winnie The Pooh set that my wife is set on was $150 at Toys R Us and $75 at Walmart.

  • Price: $65-$150

Mattress

Ah, you thought the high price of the crib would include a mattress.  I did too, but to my disappointment, the mattress is sold separately.  From my research, a firm mattress is best with at least 150 coils along with a rim coil right around the perimeter. 

  • Price: $70 – $140 

Change Table/Dresser

This item is not necessary, but it's a nice item to have in the nursery.  You can just purchase a change table by itself, however, we felt it was more practical to purchase a dresser/change table in one.  That way, as the baby grows out of those diapers and the change table becomes obsolete, the dresser can still be used for clothing.

  • Price: $200 – $400 

Change Mat

This is a waterproof mat that is placed underneath the baby during diaper changes.  I guess anything waterproof could be used instead of an official "change mat", like a tarp or something.

  • Price: $20-$30 

Rocking Chair

This one is apparently an essential for the breast feeding mother.  These can range from $250 at Costco to $600 at the furniture store.  Needless to say, we'll be getting ours at Costco.

  • Price: $250 – $600

Jumper

This may not seem like an essential item for the newborn, but according to friend/parents that I've spoken to, they can't imagine life without it.  According to other parents, these jumpers help calm the baby down and keeps them entertained. 

  • Price: $150 – $200

Playpen

According to my wife's new mother friends, a portable playpen with change table built in is an essential item if the young child will ever be staying at anyones home that's not their own (like their grandparents).  My wife was set on getting one and we lucked out in finding one at Walmart during one of their clearance specials.

  • Price: $50-$170

Infant Tub

While shopping for an infant tub, we looked for one that could be folded away along with fit in the kitchen sink.  We found one for around $20, but there are others with less features and less expensive.

  • Price: $7 – $40

Baby Monitor

This one is a bit tricky and probably should get a blog post on it's own.  There are quite the few options in this piece of equipment that varies between audio, video, and motion detection.  It's hard to say which type is recommended but we are leaning towards the video monitoring which includes night vision.  There was a baby video monitor at Costco for around $150, but heard that the 2.4GHZ frequency can be a little unreliable.  Any suggestions or recommendations on a good baby monitor would be greatly appreciated.

  • Price: $50 – $250

Stay tuned for part 2 where I'll post my conclusions and some shopping tips.





45 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Oh boy – there’s goes the net worth for a while :)

    I would say that the video monitor is not very necessary although Brip Blap swears by his.

    Change tables get dangerous after a few months once the child can roll over.

    And don’t forget about the baby wipes warmer!! :)

    Mike

  2. Hey FT,

    I don’t want to discourage you (you probably are by now anyway!) but the portable playpen with a change table unit can go up to $300 (with music and vibration).

    you have to be careful though, the salesmen will tell you that you need all of this but not necessarily. Good luck!

  3. 3. Gerard

    Consumer Reports recommends against bumpers.

  4. Hey Guys, thanks for the tips.

    FP, with the new house nearing completion and the new baby, the net worth will may well take a temporary dip!

    FB, yes, you are right, those playpens with change tables can be quite expensive. We were fortunate to find one on clearance (in my next post). Luckily, the wife and I are both deal seekers. :)

    Gerard: Thanks for the heads up, I had no idea about the crib bumper issue.

  5. 5. smithers

    Hi FT,

    In my 6 month experience as a Dad you wont really need a jumper – at least until they are older and even then my sister in law who is a physiotherapist says they are generally discouraged these days as it impacts the baby’s spinal development.

    Also at our pre natal meetings they discouraged the use of bumper pads in cribs; they say there should be nothing at all in the babys bed except the baby, mattress, sheet and sleeping bag. This is to prevent SIDS.

    Otherwise you are spot on -this stuff doesnt come cheap and you will find you need most of it! Do a baby shower and people will chip in to help out for some things.

  6. smithers, i’m learning a lot about the do’s and don’ts just from this post! Thanks for the tip on the jumper, we will reconsider buying that one.

  7. FT:

    A friend gave us a baby monitor but we didn’t even open it. Our babies were screamers: we could hear them from a mile away! So, I’d say wait for your baby to be born and you’d know if you need a baby monitor!

    I’ll second (or third) the comments about bumper pads. We used them and the public nurse who visited us asked us to remove them.

    I’m surprised you didn’t shop for used for many of these items. Babies grow up so fast that it is not difficult to find “gently used” items. Good luck!

  8. Hey CC, LOL, I expect that a lot of babies are like that!

    Yes, we did look around for some used items (next post). This was basically a list of items from our research at the big box stores. It really was an eye opener to see how expensive these items were.

  9. 9. Curtis T

    Hey FT,

    After going through all of this about 10 months ago we found some pretty interesting items I thought I would share. You are definitely right on with the travel system and playpen ideas.

    Video monitors that I have seen are not that good, we just used a 50$ monitor set from Toys R Us. No problems with that at all. Its actually pretty amazing how easily you awake when the infant makes any sounds at all.

    With regards to the bumper pads we found a different solution. Walmart sells an Air Flow Bumper from Jolly Jumper. It is like a bumper pad but clings tight to the crib and has open mesh to allow air to flow freely.

    One item you did not mention was a Baby Bassinet. It allows you to have the baby sleep close to you in your room but still have their own space. They are available for about 100 bucks or less at Walmart. Also you might want to look at a bottle set/sterilizer even if you are breastfeeding. These can run 20 – 50$ for bottles and 40-50$ for a good sterilizer.

  10. 10. Sean

    Ditto on the “you won’t need a jumper for a while”… The baby’s neck has to be strong enough.

    A few suggestions based on 3 kids

    - Skip the infant tub, you can pick up a small rack that holds the baby at an angle that goes in the regular tub. The cost doesn’t matter much, but it’s much easier to store than one of those plastic tubs.

    - I’ve brought a chair upstairs when the first two were nursing, and even bought a gliding chair for the 3rd and they were never used. My wife found out quickly that she could nurse them laying down in bed.

    - Monitor – depends on your house. We bought one and never use it. When we moved the kids into their own room we could easily hear them at night (I’m a light sleeper, and you might find your wife develops a 6th sense for when the baby cries)

    Walmart has good prices and also a no questions asked returns policy. Anything breaks, they replace it.

  11. 11. Kevin Beitel

    I would strongly recommend the angel care baby monitor that has a sensor pad that monitors your childs breathing/movement. Our monitor went off only once for each of our two children. The lack of movement sent off the alarm and may have startled them, but I slept better knowing that we were monitoring them this way.

  12. 12. Mike

    You’ve already heard all about the bumper pads, so I won’t go into that one.

    Mattresses: From my reasearch at the time, there was no preference between coils or foam, as long as it was firm. When I went around to all of the stores, feeling crib mattresses for their firmness, I was quite dissapointed. Most of the spring mattresses were quite “floppy”. Eventually I looked in Walmart and found a really nice foam mattress. Bonus feature there was the plastic material. Wipes up really easily after a diaper leaks because it didn’t close properly or something. Also, if it lasts to the convertible stage, easy to wipe up from peeing the bed or puking. :X
    Another nice thing was that this mattress was only $35 (I wasn’t trying to be cheap on any of the baby stuff, it just worked out that way) and had a 5 year warranty. After 2 (heavy!) babies and using the crib as a day bed for 5 years, the mattress is still super firm. Will probably use it for the next baby.

    Tub: We never even used the tub, nor the tub insert. We just washed them in the kitchen sink or sat in the tub with them.

    Rocking Chair: My wife didn’t use the rocking chair she had. She practically lived in the papasan chair I bought her for Christmas. It’s basically a big bowl. Pretty comfy and set me back $300.

    Monitors: We had an audio only one. Worked great for allowing us to sit on the patio or do yard work with the baby in the house.

    Jumper: Never used, as we heard bad things about them. We did use a swing, to moderate success.

    Missing items:
    My wife will swear by nursing pillows. They are basically a horseshoe that goes around the belly and the baby lays on it. She got two, one for our room and one for the living room. They went with us on every trip. ~$50 I believe, but we got them for gifts, so they could be more or less.

    Baby Carrier: Just because you have a stroller, doesn’t mean you won’t want a baby-carrier. Straps on like a front sitting backpack. They can get pretty pricy, but sometimes the baby will just need to be carried even though you have the stroller.

  13. 13. Mrs Pillars

    We never bothered with a change table, we just use the floor with a change mat. We had an old dresser for the clothes. On the monitor issue, I really rely on it, but Mike doesn’t see the need as much. Both of us occasionally sneaked into his room just to check on the little guy in spite of the monitor.
    I also wouldn’t bother with the jumper just yet – you can acquire one later on. We used an exersaucer instead when the little guy was ready, which he just loved.
    I really wanted that rocking chair but I found that I was much more comfortable nursing on our couch or in bed, although I used the chair quite a bit at first. We’ll see how it goes with the second one, but now that I have a rocking chair, I can’t see myself wanting to give it up.

  14. 14. Cannon_fodder

    FT,

    Ah… the memories.

    We ended up getting two strollers once our child was older. A full fledged one for long walks when the child was only able or more likely to lay down and then the relatively simple one when the child could sit up. It was much easier to cart around and this is probably an item you could pick up gently used and not worry.

    Crib – I tell you, the first time your child wanders out of his/her room after a nap you will look at your wife in shock. To actually see your child climb out of the crib on their own really tells you that kids are incredibly smart. How the heck did they figure that out because last time I checked, they didn’t have Prison Break when my daughter was 1 1/2.

    Rocking Chair – Believe me, you WILL be getting up in the middle of the night and bottle feeding your loved one (I also developed the habit of getting my wife a hot chocolate or a tea when she woke up to breastfeed – I felt guilty continuing to sleep while she was awake). I enjoyed having the glider when I was feeding our daughter in the middle of the night. It helped me and the baby. Oh, and when you get to see your child fall asleep at your wife’s breast and then see the baby’s reaction when you try to pull his/her away… it’s one of life’s beautiful times from beginning to end.

    Jumper – It’s too bad these turn out to be potentially bad for kids because they are so much fun! I loved watching kids in jumpers (we didn’t get one for our child).

    Playpen – we got a fold up one with mesh sides and zippered flaps and top. It was great to go to the park and allow our daughter to play without worrying about bugs and dirt and the like. It also allowed her to have a nap without worrying about the sun, leaves or bird droppings by closing up the top. I think we also took it to people’s houses which weren’t child proofed.

    Baby Monitor – just yesterday Dell had a deal on a video monitor for $100. We used our traditional audio-only monitor because we had a 3 story home and our family room was in the basement, and also when we were outside on the deck enjoying the summer weather. The ones with the line of LED’s are helpful because if you have a lot of people around sometimes you don’t hear the noise but the LED’s lighting up are attention grabbing.

    Don’t take this as advice, just a personal observation. My sister and I brought up our children differently. We took our baby with us everywhere (restaurants, parties, etc. as long as it was non-smoking) and didn’t let her sleep schedule dictate our life. It was amazing how she could sleep through really loud gatherings. My sister, OTOH, would freak out if anyone made the slightest sound because then the children would get up and start crying. Her children are such light sleepers we literally have to whisper in a room on the other side of the house or else my sister admonishes us. Start as you mean to go on…

  15. It’s amazing to see the insights from existing parents and how common this stuff is. Going through this shopping experience for the first time was pretty overwhelming and it’s funny to see that it’s common. :)

    It seems that I still have a lot to learn, thank you all for sharing your experiences.

  16. Just to add on to Cannon_fodder’s great comment…

    Once the kid is a few months older (ie 6 months?) – you will definitely want a smaller stroller to keep in the car – a cheap umbrella stroller ($15) is what we use.

    One of the drawbacks of the combined stroller car seat deal is that the stroller is quite large and takes up a lot of space in the car.

    felt guilty continuing to sleep while she was awake).

    I never had this problem :) (sorry Mrs. Pillars!)

    Playpen – they are pretty handy especially if you stay overnight somewhere like on a trip. You probably don’t need one right away.

    Start as you mean to go on…

    Excellent advice – I wish we would have done things differently with our son regarding not letting him dictate everyone’s sleeping sched for the first year.

  17. 17. Frank Conradie

    Our son is 16 months old, and here are my observations:

    * Rocking chair – we borrowed one from a friend, but probably only used it once.

    * Battery operated swing – our son hated it, but some of our friends’ babies love it.

    * Monitor – only used a basic audio one for a short while, and I also think the video is overkill.

    * Playpen – great when traveling, camping, etc. It even fits in our (rather large) tent ;-)

    Here are some other items that came in very handy:

    * Highchair – absolute necessity! We also have a small foldable eating chair that can attach to a table, that we use when we go to restaurants, as their highchairs are often pretty bad.

    * Small/lightweight travel stroller – we bought a very basic cheap one for air travel, as your regular/fancy one will probably be too big.

    In general, borrow or buy used stuff if you can (except for car seats), as most things are only used for relatively short periods. We were lucky to get loads of stuff from friends and family.

  18. 18. George

    Bumper pads are entirely unnecessary, and they’re a safety hazard – the only things that should be in the crib are the mattress, the baby, sheets, and a blanket.

    Change tables are nice, but they’re not really necessary. We just used the crib (and later the floor) along with a $5 change pad we picked up at Wal-Mart.

  19. 19. Rod Payne

    Have you considered freecycle? It’s not appropriate for everything on your list, but it might help.

  20. 20. Greg

    Great post! Myself and my wife have been talking baby for the last month so we’ve both been doing a bunch of research on the costs of stuff as well.

    Damn little critters aren’t cheap. :)

  21. Alright, I’ll drop in my two cents here as well.

    Stroller – Yes the big one is handy when they are small, but you will drop back to a smaller one when they get older. Take them everywhere when they are young it does help them to be deeper sleepers. Also don’t get up at the first cry, sometimes they just make a little noise and go back to sleep.

    Crib – A point you might want to consider is Ikea has one for $200 which includes the conversion kit to a toddler bed. We got one and LOVED IT.

    Change Table – I didn’t bother we use a mat on the floor, but a dresser is useful for most of their lives.

    Rocking Chair – It depends on the mother and baby. Some like it and others hate it. Try to borrow one at first to see if you like it.

    Jumper – In our case we were told it was a bad idea for our premature child.

    Playpen – Is very useful if you travel a lot. Otherwise it isn’t too useful.

    Infant Tub – Skip it and use a towel on the bottom of the tub.

    Baby monitor – You might need it depending on how noise carries in your home. Some houses you can’t hear them while mine first house I could hear the kid outside easily.

    Best of luck FT.

    Tim

  22. 22. Elaine

    Have you considered cosleeping? (see http://www.cosleeping.org/) That eliminates a crib, mattress, monitor, etc. and $385-1090, using your estimates. Saves a lot of sleep for you both, but especially for your wife if she doesn’t even have to get out of bed to breastfeed.

  23. Have you considered cosleeping?

    Our doctor told us that this is not the safest way in terms of SIDs. He told us the best place for a newborn is in the parent’s room – but not in their bed.

    Personally I couldn’t get a wink of sleep with a newborn beside me.

    Mike

  24. 24. Elaine

    Check out the articles linked above. Babies sleeping in a bed with a mother who is aware of infant sleeping safety (e.g. not using a waterbed, soft mattress, too many blankets/pillows, etc.), and who does not smoke or have an alcohol or drug problem, have a *reduced* risk of SIDS.

  25. 25. Isabelle

    I would definitely recommend a little freecycle.org perusing. Also: garage sales, Salvation Army Store! I cannot picture myself spending more than a few dollars on items such as a baby bath or monitor. You can surely find a used rocking chair, and it might have some added charm… Same goes for clothing, there is lots of children’s clothing in excellent condition.

    I personally prefer older items made of natural materials, cotton, linen, wool, wood with natural finishes. When I see all the plastic, polyester, particle board and laminate stuff in department stores I just think about the potential VOCs and offgassing. http://www.natureneutral.com/learnOff.php Friends bought a stroller and when they pulled it out of the box it smelled like a new car. That was pretty scary to me.

    I guess I have strong opinions on how corporate branding can turn young children into well-trained consumers. I don’t mean to criticize, but I’m not sure kids(or parents) need Mickeys, Doras or Leap Pads. The world is full of leaves, bugs, books, and wooden spoons. Teaching your children to appreciate a few simple creative toys could save you lots of money in the long run. No batteries, no headaches, no keeping up with the Joneses.

    My favourite eparents(!) are Dutch and Wood of Sweet Juniper. The man used a cardboard box in lieu of a playpen, boasting about how economical and biodegradable it is… http://www.sweet-juniper.com/

    I can appreciate that you’re providing tools for budgeting. I hope that you’ll appreciate that I’m trying to provide a different perspective, for those who are interested. I live in an Inuit community. People here raise well adjusted children without all the paraphernalia… Babies spend lots of time close to their mums and other kids. The sense of community and natural stimulation seems to compensate for the lack of playpens, swings…

  26. 26. Isabelle

    Oops. I forgot to mention. Warm an old thermos with hot water, place a few wipes in before going to bed. No need for a wipe warmer.

  27. 27. Paul

    I am with Isabelle. You have great savings habits, so you should make yourself a goal “spend no more than $500 on baby things in the first year”. Get to know other parents, ASAP! Almost everything a baby needs in year one, it doesn’t need by year two, so baby gear in near-mint condition is piled up all over the place, and people want to get rid of it, for cheap or nothing. This goes for furniture, and goes 10 times over for clothes. Do not buy any cute outfits for your child, you will receive more than they can wear, via gifts from people. Our local community center has boxes and boxes of free-to-take baby clothes, again in near-mint condition. Babies grow out of things in mere weeks, and don’t move around much, things don’t get worn out. Check out community services, for instance your community may have a “toy library” you can use. Kids get bored of toys fast, and using a toy library is a way to keep them amused without filling your basement with colorful poly-vinyl. Also, really small babies just like things with interesting textures, and sounds: glass jar full of beads, piece of wood, cloth beanbag, etc. Start simple. The things you can’t beg, borrow or steal, buy from a children’s consignment store — as an added bonus, when you’re done you can take the stuff right back to the store and get most of your capital back! That’s where our crib and change table came from, and are going right back to.

  28. 28. thrifty momma

    I’ve had two little ones in less than two years so here’s my little bit of input based on experience

    Don’t forget a good baby book. I recommend “what to expect in the first year”. also have a suggested list to show people/grandparents for your baby shower. You’ll be suprised how generous people can be.

    If you know the source of a car seat (One was given to us from a family member, another two i recently bought from a nurse, and another was a baby shower gift) the thing you have to ask, is if it was in an accident. If a seat is gently treated, from a reliable source and only a few years old you are can be pretty sure if is safe to use. It is also good to have the safety manuals, or find them online.

    Bumper pads are not considered safe at least for the first while… they increase risk of SIDS, although it can be frustrating to balance this against the risk of the baby bumping their head, and waking themselves up crying. I recommend a huggy device by “safety first” that you should be able to find at walmart (basically like two hollow ventilated pillows) that helps the baby sleep on their back(the recommended safe sleeping position. I also found this useful for nursing lying down to prevent rolling on the baby. I found putting a pillow between my knees also reduced this risk greatly. You can also buy guards to put along the bed or side sleeping cribs that can be pushed next to the bed or pushed away when time to encourage independent sleeping comes.

    When feedings were frequent I spent many hours sleeping upright nursing in an upholstered swivel rocker (sometimes it was the only way to get rest) It was just the right size for me, and supported my neck… i found a peanut shaped nursing pillow, and microgel pillow have been very useful. A wooden rocking chair is not very comfortable, and as the baby gets bigger you may find it necessary to have a place to spread out more. A comfy couch with lots of pillows can do the trick. After a year of sleep deprivation, I started using a timer so I could wake up and get the baby in the crib and decent rest in my own bed. You will need a footstool at an ergonomic height as feet tend to swell when you nurse, and it involves many hours. Many people swear by gliders, even if the interior decorator in me doesn’t love them, it feels like being on a cloud if you have a good one. We are lucky in that the best gliders in the world for nursing are made here in canada by dutalier.http://www.dutailier.com/ I’d prefer a upholstered dutailer and ottoman, and would have loved to had one customized for the nursery, but we saved cost and went with one of the ones carried by sears at their introductory price. I figured after three years of nursing I had earned my dream nursing chair, and wish I had had it earlier. you should be able to get one for 399 dollars with a footstool if you catch it at the right time. I padded it with a fleece blanket to take the edge off of the wooden part of the arms, and it is doing a great job of helping my little guy get to sleep.

    my other tip: let other people get carried away with toys, because they will. If you are moving into a new house, just make sure the nursery is painted way in advance… we had new paint and carpeting and I kept the baby with me until the toxins had gone. I can’t recommend a good air cleaner enough… apparently the honeywell true hepa is the best deal for the money (just don’t get one too big or small for the space). the white noise helps everyone to sleep better, and it’s a much healthier environment.

    in terms of making things beautiful.. valances are excellent value for money. I love the kidsline series…. don’t be afraid to mix and match themes to do something unique as long as it works. sometimes using one piece out of a series has as much punch as having everything too matchy matchy. In fact mixing thing up can give you the best of many different worlds and be less expensive. Mix old and new. Save here, splurge there. It’s what high end decorators do.

    Second hand cribs in good shape can be just as pretty as a new one.. but even new, most of them are not are not that expensive. Just get a name that you can trust like stork craft. I found the Baby Einstein playpen to be excellent value. It is brightly coloured, comes with all kinds of toys and doubles as bassinett for the first few months.

    Change tables will save your back, and this is especially appreciated in the first few months after giving birth, and who doesn’t love storage… but frankly when it came to my second baby, I think he may be in preparation for the wrestling team. After he hit five months I’ve only been able to change him on the floor. It was the only safe place… have lots of interesting toys on hand to distract them.

    Again, second hand clothing and bedding are healthier and softer, but you’ll soon be washing it often enough, so I wouldn’t be too worried about the toxins in new materials. (-:

    Don’t feel badly about using second hand. Many people buy more than they can ever use, or have a chance to wear out. And as one friend said when it comes to accepting a favorite hand me down outfit “you know the love is already in it”.

    Other than that.. be patient with each other. Sleep deprivation can by trying, but once you get through it they are the best and most amazing thing in the world. Better than your first million by far.

    Congratulations!

  29. 29. Little Ms.Scrooge

    Wow! Babies are sure ice breakers. Has anyone checked if this is the post with the highest comments in a 24 hours? Good luck with the new milestone in life. Sure, your net worth might take a little dip, but the joys and rewards more than compensate for it. Enjoy the new journey ;)

  30. 30. thrifty momma

    p.s. we had a lot of fun in jumpers a generation or two ago, but from what i’m read they are now considered dangerous, much like throwing the baby in the air which could rattle the brain… most of what was known before 1987 was through experience. Since then more is based on studies. I’d check into that a little more if I were you. I didn’t trust it myself… but the swing is a Godsend… just be sure to not let them nap too long or they’ll have a harder time sleeping at night. Some people swear by baby slings, but honestly the babys were up in my arms so much nursing that I didn’t feel bad putting them down to play or swing away while I had to do housework. oops.. speaking of which my littlest guy just fell asleep. time to wake him up, or he’ll have us both up all night. There are other things like exersaucers that are just as much fun (well almost) and strengthen legs. we had one passed onto us from a little cousin that was a safety first car filled with interactive toys… interactive toys that encourage creative play and cloth books are good investments to keep them busy, but it’s tempting to go over board. Just rotate a few, and help them get engaged to play and they won’t get bore

  31. 31. thrifty momma

    Did somebody say a playpen wasn’t useful?oh boy. i don’t know what i’d do without… especially when he hit the age where he liked started teething and wanted to chew the crib the minute he was awake. it would be hard to get much done around the house or even take a shower without one, and gives them a chance to play freely and build coordination. I know people say you shouldn’t use a tv as a babysitter and, but in all honestly it can be very educational if balanced with other things. It is more a matter of the sound being too high that is tied to ADS, than television in itself. I tend to avoid any channals with horrible commercials. But if you avoiding paying for things like treehouse and pbs with quality programming, you can find all kinds of wonderful childrens dvds/videos/music at many libraries (Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and bunch based on award winning children’s books was a big hit). Kept in moderation it’s a great way to learn language and music skills. The older they get and the more they can do the more you can wean them away from tv. My toddler is quite happy to not watch it, although it did prove useful when things had to be done, and I knew he was learning something. I can’t believe how much he’s retained from nature shows. As long as it is balanced with other things and especially reading… I’m not sure the baby einstein dvd’s are worth it, and studies seem to agree, but the music cd’s were lovely for a small baby to sleep to if the crazed xylophone player doesn’t get to you… and check out the “there would be giant’s” children’s albums for something everyone can enjoy. okay i’ve probably said too much.. but then i’ve been in babyland for a few years now so you have to forgive me. welcome to babyland. (-:

  32. 32. thrifty momma

    well.. i’ve just read what isabelle has had to say, and i really admire her for it. I do try to bring those other things into their lives (we started tending a garden together), and cardboard boxes are a favourite toy if not a safe playpen, but when it’s just you and you work at home with two little ones and grandparents are miles away… things like swings are a blessing. So far everyone seems well adjusted… I try to keep the branding in check, but Dora really isn’t all the horrible if you give her a chance. (the back ground paintings inspired by Rousseu are wonderful, and I love that my son is learning other languages besides the ones we introduce).

    Despite being the most widely used brand in the world Winnie the Pooh is not responsible for corruption in big business. He’s a very nice bear. Don’t feel guilty … did i say I had already said too much?

  33. 34. George

    Thrifty Momma writes (re: Television): “Kept in moderation it’s a great way to learn language and music skills.

    This is just plain false. Children might learn some vocabulary by watching TV, but they don’t learn language very well via television. The best way to stimulate language development in children is to talk to them.

  34. 35. Sarah

    I’ve just discovered your blog! As far as baby stuff goes, wait as long as possible and try not to buy anything right away. If this is your first, people will give you TONS of stuff. Literally, we bought a couple of outfits for my (now 8 months old son). We were given used: dresser, breastfeeding pillow, crib, clothes, toys, exersaucer, jumping thingy, bouncy seat, playmat, and probably more stuff I’m forgetting. My mother-in-law bought us the travel system (but I would consider buying a nicer stroller than comes in the travel combo and just get the car seat and base. The travel system stroller is mediocre).

    Even if you need to buy (other than the car seat, which is essential and probably should be new, unless you know the previous owners). Wait until you feel you need it. Your kid will determine if it’s useful. (Borrow stuff, if you can to see if they like it). I found I slept with our son for the first several months, so crib stuff wasn’t essential in the beginning.

    Definitely look into freecycle.org. There’s almost ALWAYS someone giving away baby stuff.

    Finally, have you considered cloth diapers? We were given a starter pack at our baby shower, and they’re fabulous. They’re not really any more work than disposables, and now we’ve got enough diapers for all the rest of the kids we plan to have. (If you want more info., let me know. I could go on at length).

    Sorry for such a lengthy reply from a newbie, but I guess I have a lot to say about baby stuff!

  35. 36. aileen

    If anyone wants to buy an old carseat, you have to check the sticker on the carseat as carseats have an expiration. Oh, and you must purchase the carseat in Canada even if it is cheaper in the States. I believe Canada has stricter standards than the US. The carseats have a maple leaf sticker on them. If you are pulled over and using not an approved carseat or maybe an expired one, you could be fine.

  36. 37. W

    Wow. That’s alot of money. We bought a new travel system for $199, but by buying used we spent well under $100 on all the other things on this list put together (well, the new playpen was a gift).

  37. 38. JHS

    Reading that made me tired. Glad I’m past that stage of my life! :-)

    Thanks for participating in this week’s Carnival of Family Life, hosted at Diary of 1!!

  38. 43. Peter

    To each his/her own, but I have been changing my kids diapers sitting on the floor without any sort of change-mat. This way you save $$$ from not having to buy the change-table/change-mat and you also never have to do acrobatics to hold the baby down while you reach for extra wipes (and you never have to worry about your baby falling…).

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