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5 Things the big stores don’t want you to know.
In preparation for our first child back in 2006, my husband and I bought everything. We went all out for nursery items, strollers, baby carriers, and diaper genies. All of which were good, but some things we only used a few times, or we got so frustrated with and we never used at all.
Now it’s 2016 and I’m pregnant with number five. I’ve learned a few things and wanted to give my experience, for what it’s worth, on things you really need, and things that are just novelty items that big companies hope you spend your money on.
You might think I’m crazy by telling you to carry your baby and then stroll them around in a $24 stroller. But here’s the thing, we had a huge stroller that carried the car seat then transitioned into a regular huge stroller, but we never really brought it anywhere or used it much, because you can’t get it into small isles in the mall, or in your car for that matter. I’m sure there are a few that are really good, but they also break the bank.
So why not just get a baby carrier or a Moby wrap and bring your baby easily with you wherever you go? No lugging around huge car seats or trying to maneuver your way through small isles, not being able to have a cart for the things you want to buy. Plus, your baby is right by your chest where she is comforted and has easy access to nurse.
When baby is too big for carrying around you can get a small, easily maneuverable umbrella stroller. This we did end up using for all the kids and it always worked out great. No, it didn’t have a drink carrier but that I could trade with no problem for ease of use, it takes up hardly any space and easy to unfold, and use.
2. Pack-in-play with the top basinet.
Yes, you can get an amazing basinet with all the bells and whistles, or just pull up this Graco Pack ‘N Play Playard up to your bed and use it. It can double as a play place for your little one later on. With one of these you can even wait to buy a crib till their three or four months old. Especially if you have multiple children and need to ease the new baby into the older baby’s crib.
3. Hand held pump
This is for exclusive breast feeders, so if that’s not you feel free to skip. I spent an arm and leg on an amazing electric pump that I hardly every used. Seriously, if you exclusively breast feed, just get a hand held pump for those few occasions where you aren’t with baby. It isn’t as hard as people may make you think. A few minutes of pumping always gave me enough milk or relief when on vacation.
4. Clothes, blankets, and swaddles
Yes, you do need to cloth your kid, and the best thing to do is not over think it. You need to have the basics, especially for your newborn, and many of the things you need family members and friends will gladly gift to you even if you don’t have a baby shower. And swaddles help those who are swaddling challenged. Most babies feel secure when swaddled and sleep much better, so this is a must. SwaddleMe Original Swaddle 2-PK, Woodland Friends (LG)
5. Car seat
You have to have one of these or they won’t let you leave the hospital. I would suggest getting a convertible car seat right away and just skipping the infant car seat. Most convertible car seats are more than equip to carry your new born, and if you are following suggestion one and carrying your baby in a wrap, you won’t need to lug the car seat everywhere. Plus this will transition into their toddler and preschool years. One purchase!
All in all, having a baby is a huge milestone and stressful in its self. Don’t let cultural norms or commercials bully you into spending a fortune on things you really don’t need.