The moment you find out that you are expecting your first child it's like you turn into a shopping maniac. Searching high and low for every single item you think you’ll need for the 1st year of life with this tiny little human. I know with our first I registered for everything under the sun from cribs to walkers (because a 3 month old totally knows how to use a walker at only a few weeks old). Thinking back and talking to new moms I realized that if you put a little strategy behind your registry items you can get exactly what you need for when you need it.
Here’s the deal… instead of making the mistake most people make by registering for everything you will need the first year, just focus on registering for good quality items and only essentials. I know you think I'm crazy but bear with me so I can explain the why behind this madness! You may think its a little too much to put big ticket items on your registry, but if you have 3-4 of those on your registry and just the essentials like diapers, wipes, blankets, etc, people will be more than happy to put money towards those big items because they know you need them! So don't go crazy on gear you won't need for a few months. Being three kids deep, I’ve learned that investing in quality over quantity has really been a huge benefit when you have kids. Try to think long term. Do you plan on using these items alot? Are you planning to have more kids? If the answer is yes to both those questions then PLEASE invest in good quality registry items.
So here is my list of what you should save on and what you should splurge on.
SAVE: CRIB/ BASSINET
My advice would be to search for a secondhand crib/bassinet. Most cribs are only used for 2-3 years and are kept in pretty good condition and bassinets are used for even less time. I just recently bought a crib for $50 in excellent condition that is normally $300 and got an awesome bassinet from a friend for FREE! So search those Facebook sites and you will be bound to find the perfect one!
I read an article a few months ago when searching for a mattress and it strongly suggested NEVER getting secondhand crib mattresses which I would have to agree with. With Winslow I never did any research regarding mattresses I just assumed that any mattress would work. When looking for a good quality mattress always look at the reviews and find one that is FIRM and SAFE for baby. I’m a huge advocate for breathable mattresses. When Kinley began sleeping in her own crib and rolling over at such a young age I was concerned that she wouldn’t be able to breathe if her face got stuck from rolling over. I ended up doing alot of research and saw so many reviews of the Newton Crib Mattress and was sold! The first night in her crib I slept like the baby knowing that if anything where to happen, she could breath.
Here are my top Mattresses:
Thank the breastfeeding gods that pumps are now covered through insurance! This used to be a pretty big ticket item. You will definitely want to get a pump so that you can store up a supply for a rainy day or if you just need to get your nails done and leave the baby at home!
FYI... If you don't know yet there is a breast pump coming on the market within the next few months that is completely hands free and wireless. The Willow Pump allows you to wear the pump in your bra and isn't hooked up to anything! I really cant wait for this! Stay on the lookout, but be warned if you decide to purchase this one you will have to pay out of pocket a pretty large chunk of change.
Okay so this one is one of my pet peeves recently. I don’t know why but I get super frustrated with Moms who buy strollers that aren’t going to last them past a year. I mean think about it, that stroller gets toted around, thrown around and beat up on all day long. Wouldn’t it make sense to invest in a good quality one! Also if you think about it, the majority of well made strollers have great warranties on them so if anything does break they are pretty good at sending replacements. My favorite brand of course would have to be Uppa Baby. It has the ability to convert to tandem which again is another benefit and something to think about if you plan on having more kids. I've taken mine on planes, cars, park, beach and on all sorts of terrain and it is still in pristine condition!
Here are my top Strollers:
Having just given birth to my third baby girl I can say that I'm so glad I never bought expensive brands for her to wear in the early months. Target and the Old Navy Clearance section will do just fine. They grow so fast and sometimes spit up on whatever they are wearing that you may get 2-4 uses out of an outfit before it's either ruined or they don't fit it any longer. So don't waste too much money on outfits, to be honest, for the last 2 months Aubrey has been in a diaper the majority of the time haha!
SPLURGE: CAR SEAT
As a Mom you should never ever sacrifice the safety of your child. I don't think any Mom intentionaly would put her child in danger, but I also think that car seat safety is a huge deal and should be something that is not taken likely. All car seats must go through rigorous testing to be allowed on market. I think purchasing a car seat is more about preference when looking at what brand to buy rather than which car seat brand is safer.
SAVE: SWINGS & BOUNCERS
Like I've said before, Baby is only going to get a few uses out of most of the items you purchase. It is best to save on the stuff that they will only need for a short time, rather than spending a ton. Swings and Bouncers I have found are one of the items you can definitely save on. Again, I'm huge on buying certain items secondhand because it saves you so much money! This is one of those items that if you can find secondhand you will be golden! Here are some of my favorite swings and bouncers!
Just the other day I bought a cheap ring sling because I wanted to test out if Aubrey would like being in one. Even though I bought it with the intention of not using it for a long period of time, I realized that having a good quality baby carrier is a must if thats something you want to do. The one I bought was horrible and the fabric began tearing only a few minutes of wearing it and adjusting the carrier. Here are some favorite brands and the most bought items among Moms (and for good reason, they last forever).
I hope this helps to give a little bit of direction if you are a new mom searching for just the right items. It can be overwhelming when you look at everything that is on the market. My advice would be do your research and look at the reviews of those products before buying.
I would also love to hear what items you SAVED on and what you SPLURGED on!