Saturday, January 16, 2010

Keevia's Baby Gear Must Haves (and ones not to waste your money on)

So. I now consider myself an experienced mother (HA!). You know, since my kid is all of 11 weeks old. But, I just wanted to list some of our must haves, and some of our "we could do without" when it comes to baby gear/clothes, so maybe if you are having a baby, know someone who's having a baby, or have a baby in a future, you can save yourself some cash and we all know that's needed now!

First: Research. Research. Research. Don't buy something just because it's pretty. I did this with my swing and I've regretted it ever since. Read as many reviews that you can get your hands on!

Second: You don't have to buy brand new! Your child will never know the difference, I promise. Now, I state this, but in my very humble opinion, all car seats SHOULD be bought brand new, unless you're borrowing one from someone and you KNOW that the carseat has not been in a car wreck. I, personally, would never buy a carseat second hand. BUT you can get some GREAT deals on carseats by joining blogs like Baby Goodbuys and Baby Cheapskate. I got my Britax Boulevard (retails for $309) for $194 thanks to one of those websites.

ALSO: Find your nearest Once Upon a Child or Kid to Kid (or other shop LIKE these) and visit them frequently. They generally do not accept stained clothing, and only accept the top brands, so you can find some awesome deals. Sign up on the email lists and save even MORE. I have, on more than one occasion, found stuff with the tags on there that retails for $25 and I've purchased it for less than $7. I also bought my stroller there for $70, instead of $159, and it just needed a good cleaning.

Alright, onwards to specific items.


1. Carter's Sleepers: You can NEVER have to many Carter's sleepers. Seriously. My love for these things knows no bounds. LOVE them. Did I mention that? They're soft, they wash well, they're comfy, they're warm... AND they're cute, so I'm not ashamed to take Keevs out while she's wearing one (especially when it's 10 degrees outside! brrr!)

2. Flannel Receiving Blanket: These things are so nice to have large amounts of! You can use them to lay under baby in the carseat when it's cold, to wrap around baby, to clean up spit up, to lay down for a diaper change, to catch random newborn pees... they are WONDERFUL and another item I don't believe you can have enough of!

3. Carter's Hooded Blanket: These things ROCK for cold weather when I have to get Keevs out of the car and I need to cover her head but then I don't want to put the toboggin on that pisses her off... yeah, it's wonderful. PLUS it's super soft and she self-soothes with it. The blanket cost $16 at BRU, but sooooo worth it.

4. Cotton receiving blanket: This one is mainly for nursing Moms. When I nurse in public (did anyone else have a Blue Collar Comedy Tour moment? No? Just me? Okay then...), and have to cover Keevs, she despises being covered by a regular blanket and she usually gets too hot (as do I!). She has several of these cotton receiving blankets that seem to be made of a t-shirt material. She'll let me cover her with one of them when she won't let me cover her with anything else. Oh, and P.S. the one I linked too is SO expensive... I'm SURE you can find them much cheaper, I just couldn't find links to any.

5. Britax Boulevard Convertible Carseat: I know it seems pricey... and if I even advocate the Britax Advocate (hahaha....) which is pricier still.. but we skipped the infant seat (well, we borrowed one for a little while) and went with this one. Keevia likes it a loooot better than the infant seat, and so do I. It's easier to get her in and out of. It's more comfortable. When I'm tightening her into the straps it tightens by clicks one at a time OR by just a quick pull... I like the one at a time so I don't choke her. You can adjust the shoulder height in increments instead of just in 3 big jumps. It's easier to install with LATCH, a little bit more difficult with a seat belt. Basically, it just rocks. Plus, she can rear-face until 35 pounds, and forward face until 65.

6. Bouncy chair. I just picked that one because it's super cute. But really, it doesn't have to be that fancy. Key element though... MAKE SURE IT VIBRATES! I heart ours and refer to it as "the poopy chair." Much like the carseat, if Keevs is needing to poop, I can pop her in this thing, turn it on, and within a few minutes she's usually doing her duty(dooty).

7. Swing. Okay, so it took Keevia a little bit of time to fall in love with a swing. But right now she's napping in it and has been for about 2 hours... oh how my love for the swing has grown! Please see the "Not to waste money on" section for reasons why I chose this swing as a link as opposed to other, cuter ones.

8. Mylanta. I chose not to provide a link with this one, just a kind of odd recommendation. Seriously, if your baby begins to show signs of a diaper rash, spread liquid mylanta on it. It neutralizes the acid and gets rid of the rash faster than even Butt Paste does (and I love me some Butt paste!)!

9. MAM Pacifiers : I mainly only recommend these because they are the ONLY ones Keevia would take. The NUK's were just too big for her mouth, and the soothies grossed me out (ha!) but she looooves her MAM paci's. Blus, they have SUPER cute designs and are relatively cheap.

10. Co-sleeper. I'm a HUGE advocate of co-sleeping/bedsharing. I picked out this specific playard before I even knew what we were having. I love it. It's sturdy, it's cute, and the top part lifts off. But, I'm sure you can find something else equal to for better than this one for your own use!

Okay, the "One's not to waste your money on" are coming in a different post as this one is hugely long, baby is waking up, and I'm hungry. I hope you enjoy this, and I hope it's helpful!

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