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Baby furniture - what to get and where to look

illiricaillirica Registered User regular
edited June 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
As some of you know from my previous posts, my husband and I are having a baby. As much as I have been putting this off, it is really time we started doing some serious shopping for the necessities. I've tried looking around a bit online, but all I seem to get are 800 sites that want to sell me things, and nothing that tells me what I really should be buying.

So, my questions are as follows:

1. What do we need? What do we really need?
I'm sure there are 50 varieties of solar-powered bio-mechanical baby-rocking robots that are really cool, but as far as actually needing one, the answer is probably no. Right now, we have basically an empty room and a dresser for clothes (mine from when I was a little girl) and some shelves (also mine from when I was a little girl). What I think we need is as follows:

-Crib
-Car Seat
-Changing Table
-Carrier or sling or something of that sort.

Might need / Eventually need:
-Movable playpen?
-high chair? (or wait until Christmas, baby will be 4 months then)
-gates for stairs (again, maybe wait until Christmas?)

Am I missing anything that you'd think of as a "must have?" Is there anything on my list that isn't really necessary? I'd rather not clutter up the house with things we'll never use.



2. How do I find out which one to buy? Where can I research if these items are safe, if they're good? What's a good value on them, and what's too expensive? When I see that many items have been recalled, where do I find the lists of what items have been recalled? Do I have to search them out one by one, or is there a master list of recalled baby products somewhere?


3. Where do I shop? Are there any stores that are particularly overpriced, or have shoddy return policies, or anything like that? Is there an advantage to store-shopping versus buying online?


Also, any other general advice for furnishing a baby's room would be appreciated. We moved into the house recently, and the room doesn't need repainting (it's kind of a boring color, but the paint's good so I'll probably just put up some wall hangings or posters for color). Floors are hardwood - do we need a squishy-mat or something?

illirica on
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Posts

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    It depends on how much $$$ you plan to spend, because babies really need very little. I'm going to come back later with much more detail, but I'll leave this post with one big helpful thing.

    Don't buy things that are infant sized brand new. Kids are only in bassinets for a few months, there are hundreds of nice used ones out there for you. Same with those swing chairs, once the kid hits 8 months, they're out of it (hell, they weren't even in it till four months I bet). Again, same with those tiny burp cloths, just get a stack of cheap blankets. Shockingly, same with the small bottles (if you go the bottle route), just get the 8oz to begin with.

    Find a consignment shop!

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • illiricaillirica Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I had heard most of that about the "buy bigger" stuff, but thanks for reminding me of the point. We really weren't planning on getting all the itsy-bitsy stuff anyway, I don't think - at least, we weren't planning on buying it. It is the first grandchild on both sides and first great-grandchild on my side, so we might end up with a host of relatives wanting to buy tiny things, but that one I can't help.

    As far as how much to spend, I guess I'm just not sure. I'm not a trendsetter, so I don't need to have the latest designer labels. However, I do want good quality items that won't fall apart and which are easy to use. I'm willing to pay a bit more for something that I'll really like as opposed to less for something that I'm just okay with. One of my more practical concerns is that I am "vertically challenged" so I want to make sure whatever we buy is comfortable for me to use. I've babysat for little kids before as a teenager where I found some of their cribs to be too high for me to be comfortable reaching in and out of, even with the drop-side down.

    We are planning on a second child at some point, so I would like to be able to use things again, which is one of the reasons I'm concerned with quality. Financially speaking, we're comfortable but not incredibly well-off, so we don't have to buy on the cheap, but I wouldn't want to spend too much money either. I would say I'm probably looking to do the furnishings (not counting the little stuff like diapers, etc - just furnishings) in under $2000, if that helps at all. That's just a number I'm tossing out, though - it may be way more than necessary, or it may be utterly impractical, and if either is the case I'm more than willing to have someone point that out to me. =)

    illirica on
  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Round Rock, TXRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Yeah, go with 8oz bottles. I also always recommend using cloth diapers for burp clothes as they're bigger and more absorbent.

    Furniture/stuff that I wouldn't want to live without:

    Bouncy seat - You'll use this pretty much until they start walking.
    Swing - This is a good way to get them to fall asleep if they won't nap.
    Pack and Play - Really great as a bassinet/crib/changing pad if you travel, but we also used it as a playpen, or just somewhere to stick them if you need to go do something, once they're getting into stuff.
    Changing Table - Our baby dresser has one built on, and it's awesome. Also recommend a changing pad.
    Boppy Pillow - Makes feeding or just holding easier on you, or for guests/grandparents. I never used it, but my wife loved it.
    Crib - Of course. Probably best to get a 3 or 4 in 1 so it lasts longer. You'll also need a liner thing (can't think of the name offhand). Mesh seems to be the current "I don't hate my baby" trend for that.
    Diaper Genie - If you're going the disposable route. They work pretty great if you use them correctly.
    Diaper Bag - Get a big one with lots of pockets and things. You can never have too much stuff when you're out with your baby.
    Car Seat - It's not just a good idea, it's the law.
    Carrier/Stroller Combo - These are great. They'll outgrow the carrier pretty quick, so be sure to get one that can be used as a stroller without it, but while they fit they're very handy. You can also get bases to use the carrier as a car seat until they outgrow it, which again is very handy.

    Other things:

    Gates - You'll definitely want once they get mobile. We use them to create a "play room" in our office, which helps not have to baby proof the whole house.
    High Chair - You won't need this for a long while, at least 6 months but probably closer to 8, when you start feeding them things other than formula. The baby won't even be able to sit up for a good while.

    I'd just check around online for ordering things. You can find some good deals that way. I know we used cribs.com for a few things. Be ready to drop at least a grand before it's all said and done. Baby stuff is expensive. As far as things, just read ratings on several websites to try and get an idea of what's good. Generally, you'll get what you pay for, I've found.

    Sir Carcass on
  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Round Rock, TXRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I think we spent about $1500 on all the stuff, so $2000 is a good point. You'll need to keep in mind things like multiple car seats if you have more than one vehicle. At $200 a pop, they add up fast. You'll most likely have to buy 2 different car seats within the first year. I don't think they cover that big of a range, but I could be wrong. But seriously, get the carrier/stroller/base, then a full car seat once they outgrow the carrier.

    Sir Carcass on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Just how vertically challenged are we talking about? I've seen some modified cribs so that women in wheelchairs can use them.

    Graco strollers are freaking amazing. Make sure you get one that has the base the infant car seat can clip into.
    When it comes to bigger car seats, they all have to pass pretty solid safety tests, so there's ultimately no real need to spend a ton. Any car seat sold in the states is really safe. The safest place for a car seat is in the middle of the car.
    Kids don't crawl for quite some time, so there isn't a huge need to get fences right now.
    Tummy time is important, but you don't need to spend a fuck ton on a tummy pad. Just put the kid on a blanket.
    You don't need a boppee to feed the kid in, just use a pillow.
    Get a short long dresser for clothes and put a changing pad on top of it. You don't need a special changing station.
    Diaper genies are worth it, even though I hate having to buy the special ring, the ones that use a nomal trash bag just really don't work nearly as well.
    Nursery water is probably a scam, but you'll buy it regardless.
    Target brand formula is the same stuff at a fraction of the cost, but you probably won't buy it.
    Babies R Us is pretty decent. They have a section they post the recalls in.
    Don't buy hats unless you know your kid will where them. Even at two months my son ripped them off. Same with shoes. Kids needs shoes when they walk, not before.
    Sleep sacks are amazing with infants cause damn, you change diapers all the fucking time.
    I bought my crib used, its in great shape. Its sitting in storage right now waiting to be sold. It could easily be used by many more kids. There is no reason to buy a new crib unless you just want to. I think I spent $80 on my crib and mattress.

    re: the high chair, my son was fed his first "foods" in his swing because the high chair was just still too big. Either get the high chair that attaches to a chair. The stand alones, even though they fold, are just really awkward.

    I used the fuck out of my portacrib, thats also in storage waiting to be sold.

    A rocking chair is nice but far from needed. If anything learn your five s's, that'll soothe a kid right quick.

    Improvolone on
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  • illiricaillirica Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    We just have one vehicle, so fortunately we will not need to purchase two car seats.

    On the carrier/car seats/strollers, are there any which aren't too heavy? I'd heard that a lot of them were too heavy to use comfortably as a carrier, thus negating the point of buying it as a combination item in the first place. Being a tiny girl, I don't want to have to kill myself picking it up.

    Also, thanks for the reminder about the stroller! I have no idea how that one slipped my mind, but that's a definite must-have.

    Edit: Vertically challenged is 5'2" - not horribly so, but enough so that "Standard" sizes can be a little uncomfortable.


    Also, I think we're planning on nursing the baby, so I don't really plan to buy any formulas.

    illirica on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    The older your kid gets, the strong your arms will get.
    Besides, the carrier is just what we call it. Lets face it, you aren't going to walk around with it, you're going to put it in the stroller or a shopping cart.

    You don't need a speciality diaper bag, just a big ass bag and a diaper pad.

    Breast feeding may not work, don't think you're a bad person if it doesn't work.

    And I seriously love my Graco stroller. If you want to go running though you will need something else. This thing can only handle a walk.

    IKEA sells short cribs.

    Improvolone on
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  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Round Rock, TXRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Carriers are kinda heavy, especially once the baby gets a little bigger, but you'll find yourself using all kinds of muscles you didn't before, and you'll most likely get used to it. It's a lot easier to get the baby strapped in the carrier and then clicked into the base than bending over in the car messing with it.

    If the crib ends up being too tall, you could always put something in front of it to stand on.

    For the floor, I wouldn't worry about putting anything down. You most likely won't have the baby running loose in there until much later.

    As far as nursing, don't get too attached to a plan. :wink: We planned on just breastfeeding, but every woman is different and we ended up needing to supplement with mostly formula, then only formula after a few months.

    Edit: And I'll go ahead and pimp out Chicco for strollers/car seats.

    Sir Carcass on
  • illiricaillirica Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I've heard a lot of caution that breast-feeding might not happen, so we're prepared to take up formula if we have to, but we at least want to give it a good shot first.

    On the stroller-pimpings, how fast a walk can they handle? I don't run or jog (my knees dislike it) but I do like to take a good brisk walk (1-2miles) every day, so I want a stroller that will work with me on that. Our neighborhood has pretty good sidewalks, so it doesn't need to be all-terrain, but it should be easy to handle and easy to push around for more than just a block or so.

    illirica on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Brisk walk is fine, over grass it requires some solid pushing, but a jog will not work. Outside of the carrier to car seat thing that I freaking love, it also opens and closes very easily with one hand. So, so nice. Also, the Laura Ashley designs are really nice and change fairly often.

    Improvolone on
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  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Round Rock, TXRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    The more expensive ones like Chicco or Graco will generally handle very well. The have big thick wheels that are sturdy, and are also extremely easy to turn.

    Sir Carcass on
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Check out craigslist for used baby/child stuff, stuff comes up often and you can score stuff under half price of new.

    We don't have a dedicated changing table, we just drape a towel over whatever surface is handy (bed, table, crib) and change him on that.

    FYI, a carseat sized for an infant probably cannot handle a toddler that's over a certain size (30" or 30 lbs). We scored a decent graco package on CL, included a stroller, a carseat, and 2 bases (installed in the car). Once this guy outgrew that one we got a convertible carseat that should do him fine til he's 60 lbs or so.

    The sling we had the most success with was the ergo, can get a little sweaty when it's hot, but they all suffer from that. The ring sling was also good (lots of adjustment possibilities), but if the fabric is heavy it can get pretty sweaty.

    We have a collapsable playard/playpen which was useful for a few months (from crawling til toddling) though he quickly learned how to climb out of it.

    We had a seat called a "bumbo," probably not worth buying new but was tossed in for free when getting stroller package. It's good for sitting the dude somewhere when he's old enough to have good head control, but not yet sitting un-assisted.

    We hardly ever used the bouncy seat we have.

    If you breastfeed you'll likely not need a highchair for months, not until you start the transition to solid foods. We have a traditional highchair, but if I had to rebuy it I'd probably get a foldable on that attaches to the dining table rather then a free-standing highchair.

    Baby monitor?

    Recall links.

    Djeet on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Unless you get a fancy quiet crying baby, the baby monitor is probably useless. Well, that or you plan on being a far distance from your baby.

    When it comes to baby proofing, don't go too complicated. For kitchen cabinets and such, get the things that look like locks that go on the outside of the handles (or ties that keep them shut). The nice hidden catches are a bitch and can be defeated by kid with enough interest.

    We got a lot of use out of a mega gate to close off an entire section of a room. I went so far as to screw it to the wall.

    Improvolone on
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  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Round Rock, TXRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    We didn't use our Bumbo much because he'd eventually spit up when in it. We used it occasionally, though, just to acclimate him to being vertical.

    You don't have to go crazy on the monitor, but be sure you get one with rechargeable batteries.

    Edit: His room is on the other side of the house from us (which will be awesome later), so we have to have it. It's also good for knowing when he's awake since he doesn't cry much. He generally just quietly sits in his crib and plays.

    Sir Carcass on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    He generally just quietly sits in his crib and plays.

    I hate you (but my kid is awesome in other ways).

    Seriously, train your kid early on everything from being okay by his/her self, falling asleep when put in the crib (obviously this is a little later than just born), letting you brush his/her teeth, etc.

    Improvolone on
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  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Round Rock, TXRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I probably shouldn't also mention that in 18 months, we've had to get up during the night because of a crying baby maybe 5 times.

    Sir Carcass on
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    The baby monitor has provided more opportunities for us to have a sex life. We move the kid to another room where the camera is, that way we can have private time, but still be able to check up on him. Totally worth it just for that IMO.

    Djeet on
  • HeatherKHeatherK Registered User new member
    edited May 2010
    You've received a lot of advice about the must-haves and the more optional items, so I won't repeat what has been said.

    As far as whether to shop online or in stores... the primary advantages of shopping in stores are that you can see, touch, feel, and try out many of the products before purchasing them. With cribs, strollers, car seats, etc. it is really beneficial to be able to experiment with it a bit. For instance, with strollers, you can push it around the store to see how it turns, practice folding and unfolding it, adjusting the seat-back, etc. With car seats, you can play with the buckles, the straps, see how it removes from the base, etc. If you order online, you can't do any of these things.

    Also, since you're a new mom and there are so many options, you might want to seek out the help of experts in the stores. If you go to a locally-owned store, the employees tend to be well-informed about all things baby products. If you tell them the things you're looking for in a crib (you're short and need something comfortable for you) and a stroller (brisk walks around the neighborhood), they'll be able to show you products that are appropriate for your lifestyle and make recommendations. I've found their advice to be really helpful. If you want to find a locally-owned baby store near you, you can visit BabyProductExperts.com and type in your zip code in the store locator.

    Good luck! Shopping for a new baby can be overwhelming, but fun.

    HeatherK on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I probably shouldn't also mention that in 18 months, we've had to get up during the night because of a crying baby maybe 5 times.

    Wait, as in the first 18 months of your kids life?
    Wow. That's awesome.

    Improvolone on
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  • illiricaillirica Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Baby monitor is probably a must for us. Our bedroom is right next to the baby's room, so I don't think we need one for at night, but our computer/game room is down in the basement, so we would probably want the receiver there, since we spend a lot of time down there. If I want to watch a movie without getting up every 3 minutes, I'll need a monitor.

    Also, Carcass, I want your quiet-baby hax. You are obviously somehow cheating the system.

    I checked into our local craigslistings, and it looks like that's a good place to get some stuff that we'll need, but I did notice that a lot of them don't put brand information on their listings. I assume I could just contact them and ask for it before making an offer? I wouldn't want to buy something on CL and find out it had been recalled. I don't know how much we're going to get second- and first-hand. I know my parents want to buy a crib for us and don't want to buy a used one (I have no idea why, but there's no sense arguing when their minds are made up), so we'll probably be looking at getting that new - picking one out, and then having them buy it for us. We might do some secondhand shopping for the rest of it, though, it looks like there's a lot of gently used stuff in our area at reasonable prices - it's just a matter of deciding what we want.

    illirica on
  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Round Rock, TXRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    HeatherK wrote: »
    As far as whether to shop online or in stores... the primary advantages of shopping in stores are that you can see, touch, feel, and try out many of the products before purchasing them. With cribs, strollers, car seats, etc. it is really beneficial to be able to experiment with it a bit. For instance, with strollers, you can push it around the store to see how it turns, practice folding and unfolding it, adjusting the seat-back, etc. With car seats, you can play with the buckles, the straps, see how it removes from the base, etc. If you order online, you can't do any of these things.

    You can always go see it in the store and then go order it online. That's what we did.
    I probably shouldn't also mention that in 18 months, we've had to get up during the night because of a crying baby maybe 5 times.

    Wait, as in the first 18 months of your kids life?
    Wow. That's awesome.

    Yep, though that's a little disingenuous. At first we were feeding him every 3 hours, which meant getting up and getting him up. After a few months we were able to switch to every 4 hours. Then a little later we were able to start eliminating night feedings. So we got woken up by an alarm instead of a crying baby, but he'd pretty much go right back to sleep after we fed him. We'd take turns on the night feedings, so it wasn't too bad (she'd do 2am, I'd do 6am, etc). But once we stopped waking him up to feed him at night, I'd guess he's actually woken us up maybe 5 times. He's always been a really good sleeper. He's pretty much always slept from 9pm till 10am. Yes, I know how lucky we are, and I kinda dread the second one.

    Sir Carcass on
  • JacksWastedLifeJacksWastedLife Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Regarding strollers, we do 3 miles every day (sometimes twice) at a very brisk walk. I would absolutely recommend a baby jogger city elite. You can lock the front wheel for jogging stability or let it rotate for turning on a dime

    JacksWastedLife on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I think a video baby monitor is a bit much, but definitely get one that has lights telling you "hey, something is making noise!"
    Those are great when you're, for example, playing a video game. You'll see dancing lights but might not hear anything.

    Improvolone on
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  • pheknophekno Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I wish I would have read this thread before we did the rest of the shopping on our Babies R Us registry last night. We still had to get a stroller/car seat/carrier. I believe they now refer to them as "travel systems". Apparently the one gotcha regarding those things is that the car seat/carrier is only usually good for kids up to 22 pounds. After that you have to get them a different car seat. Graco does make them that accommodate kids up to 35 pounds.

    All in all we ended up spending around $550 on the rest of the stuff we needed including the $270 travel system.

    My wife is due in three weeks.

    Edit: Also, regarding baby monitors; we were given one that vibrates when sounds occur in addition to lights.

    phekno on
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  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Having went through having just an audio baby monitor before getting a video monitor I disagree, in that the video monitor is much more useful.

    Cause he can cry out and it can be quite obvious from the video image whether he's actually hurt himself or if he's just playing. Silence without any context is actually kinda scary; I know I checked on his breathing while he was asleep til he was past 1 year old. And the action of checking on him may trigger some needy behavior, if you can see that you're not needed you avoid creating a situation where he needs to be soothed.

    And you can get them for like $100.

    Djeet on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    You do not need a special baby bath, but they are kind of helpful.

    And I've been convinced on the video monitor. Cry it out is a great tool.

    Improvolone on
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  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Round Rock, TXRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Oh yeah, forgot about the bathtub. We used one until he wouldn't fit in it anymore because it is much easier to do that at the sink than kneeling over a bathtub. The one we have had this little reservoir that the faucet runs into that feeds it into the rest of the tub, and in that reservoir was a temperature monitor with a color LCD display. It would have a blue background if it was too cold, green if it was okay, and red with a beeping alert if it was too hot.

    Sir Carcass on
  • PeenPeen Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Just wanted to say thanks for all of this guys, it's saved me having to make a thread like this in a month or two.

    Peen on
  • illiricaillirica Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I'm glad other people are getting some use out of this thread - nice to know I'm not the only bemused parent-to-be on the forums.

    I'm really not all that worried about things with weight limits. My husband and were in competition only with each other for being the tiniest kid in our grade through most of elementary school. I was 20lbs at 2 years, and IMO by that time we'll probably be getting a new car seat /etc. anyway so we can pass the other one down to potential baby #2. I think our kids are going to outgrow things developmentally well before they outgrow them physically - but I can see how that would be a valid concern for a lot of people.

    I'll have to think a bit about the video monitor idea. I think getting one with lights on if nothing else is definitely a good idea, not sure if I want to go all the way for a video system or not. Early babysitting experience has already made me a fairly good expert at the "let 'em cry" philosophy, though I realize I may react differently when it's my own child. We may hold on the baby monitor until we've done some other shopping and see how the budgeting is looking at that point and if we want to shell out for the video... though you folks do make a convincing argument in favor of it.

    Is it worth buying a baby tub as opposed to just bathing the child in the sink? What would the advantages be?

    illirica on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Infants can't support themselves. Having a type of bath chair for them to lay in is nice, but honestly bathing with them is just as easy.

    You get a new car seat at certain age, height, or weight, whichever comes first.

    Improvolone on
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  • JacksWastedLifeJacksWastedLife Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    http://www.target.com/Fisher-Price-Whale-of-a-Tub-Infant-Bathtub/dp/B0018Z8CN8

    At that price, it's definitely worth it. The little butt rest keeps ours sitting upright and loving her baths. And you can remove it as they grow.

    JacksWastedLife on
  • KistraKistra Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Definitely go to a store like Babies'R'Us. I don't have kids but I spent a lot of time shopping with my best friend who is the same height as you and she couldn't use a bunch of the dropside cribs comfortably. You don't need to buy there, but try out a bunch of the cribs and see what is comfortable for both you and your husband. My friend's husband isn't particularly tall, but we dragged my husband along a few times and he's over 6' and there were only a handful of cribs that both my friend and my husband were comfortable using.

    Yardsales rock for things like baby baths, bouncy chairs and slings. Anything that will be sold used for less than $20 I don't see on craigslist very often but I have found at yard sales. Also look and see if there is a freecycle yahoo list for your area. I'm on one for philly and see baby stuff all the time.

    Kistra on
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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    GET ORGANIZED WHEN IT COMES TO BABY CLOTHES

    Have drawers, boxes, everything labeled. Sort according to size. Figure out "I only need 20 onesies a size" or whatever the magic number is for you and stick to it. Especially early on, geezus to kids go through clothes fast.
    You don't need a million onesies, and for the love of God tell people what you don't need.

    Improvolone on
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  • illiricaillirica Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    All right, time for an update and some more questions. Firstly, thanks again to everyone who's taken the time to respond so far - a lot of your input was really valuable.

    That said, my husband and I went out to some stores today to look at some products and get a chance to try them out, and consequently I've developed a few more (better-informed) questions.


    Firstly, on the idea of car seats:

    We've tried out the combination carrier/car seats, and decided not to buy one. The reasons for this are, firstly, that being as small as I am, the bottom of the carrier bangs against my ankles when I carry it, which is extremely annoying. The carriers were just not properly sized for me to use them as carriers, so I think we're going to go with a strap-on style carrier instead. Secondly, we drive a 2-door Honda Accord, and there isn't enough space to get the baby carrier part out of the car without lifting it almost to the roof and tilting it at an odd angle, even with the front seat folded all the way forward. Since that much maneuvering wouldn't be safe, I don't think this option works for us.

    So, for buying the car seat itself, it will just be used as a car seat. That said, we have been looking at some of the ones that can be used both rear- and forward-facing. I wouldn't mind getting one of these, since that means we won't have to buy another car seat when the baby grows, but I am wondering if it is safe to use one of these on a newborn baby - does anyone know if a newborn can be properly secured in one of these types? Do we need to get a separate infant car seat and then graduate to a larger one? I'd rather not do this if possible, since it seems silly to buy two car seats for one baby, but if it's not safe to use the convertible style, we'd have to revise plans a little. We're looking at something like this or this, which, judging by my and my husband's weights as children, would actually work until our child is old enough not to need a car seat any more. Does anyone have any thoughts on this, specifically with an eye to using one right away? Most of the customer reviews seem to be parents who bought one of these once their baby outgrew their infant seat, which is why I'm asking if we should be getting an infant seat first or just going straight to a product like this.



    Secondly, on the idea of cribs:

    My husband and I are really liking the mini-cribs. Does anyone have any reason not to buy one of these (i.e. to favor a full-size crib)? I think I mentioned in the first post somewhere, but I still have all my furniture from when I was a child, so we do not need a crib that converts to a bed. The rooms in our house are kind of small, so if we could save space with a mini-crib, that would really be awesome. They seem big enough to me, but I thought I'd ask. Does anyone have any positive or negative feedback?

    illirica on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    By mini crib, do you mean bassonet? Keep in mind that if the walls on the crib are shorter, the kid will climb out sooner.

    Quite certain you need an infant car seat, a toddler car seat, and later a booster seat.

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • illiricaillirica Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    No, not a bassinet. Something more like this (that's not the one we liked, but it gives a good idea of what we're looking at). Essentially it's a sleeper crib, just much smaller. The ones we've liked have had 4 adjustable height positions, and it does go all the way down so the kid can't climb out any earlier than a regular crib. Basically the only difference is the size of the mattress area, which is 24x38" instead of about 30x52" like a regular crib.

    illirica on
  • Mom2KatMom2Kat Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I had one of the at the time new 3 way convertibl carseats. It was the Alpha Omega wich at that time was one of 3 that went rear facing to 30lbs. I love this seat and we used it for 8 years. You absolutley do not need to have seperate infant/toddler/booster seats. the longer you can keep them rearfacing the safer they are. even if thier legs bunch up it is safer. We went with the convertable instead of the carrier because the stroller we liked did not accept carriers and was a pram style (flat bed facing us) to Todder full upright stroller with kid facing forward. Carriers are not usefull for very long and if you get a snugli or sling it is so much less stuff that you have to carry.

    Look for 5 point harness and 2 or more seatbelt paths for the booster seat part. If you are in the states most fire departments will check out your car seat and will teach you how to install it right. The seat is no good if installed badly and most of the time they are done wrong.

    On the crib front ask around friends who have had kids or family that have had kids in the last 10 years. I have loaned out my crib 3 times now. Just becarefull of ones older than say 10-15 years because the bars are probably to far apart.

    Don't bother doing up the nursery like some picture in a magazine. The kid will not notice how everything matches. Go ahead and decorate some but by the time they start to notice the room they will want Dora or whatever all over the place.

    I was not a big fan of changing tables since after the first year they are kinda useless. You will be capturing and changing diapers wherever you can grab them once they really move. plus the kids get to large and squirmy for a table. Plus they always look like changing tables no matter how you try to disguise it. Just get a nice dresser of about 4 drawers and get a changing mat. Hell my daughter got changed on the floor with the changing mat out of the diaper bag more often than not, because well hey, she can't fall off the floor, and her room was too far away.

    Oh and have fun!

    Mom2Kat on
  • illiricaillirica Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    As far as changing tables, we are actually looking at changing trays instead, now that we have looked around a bit. I have an old dresser (flat-top) from when I was a little girl, and we found a changing tray that we can screw on to that instead of buying an entire changing table, which is one more big piece of furniture we don't need in a small room.

    illirica on
  • Mom2KatMom2Kat Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I would just get the insert part and skip the wood fram and any bolting it down or anything. And you save $100!

    Mom2Kat on
  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Round Rock, TXRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Mom2Kat wrote: »
    I was not a big fan of changing tables since after the first year they are kinda useless. You will be capturing and changing diapers wherever you can grab them once they really move. plus the kids get to large and squirmy for a table. Plus they always look like changing tables no matter how you try to disguise it. Just get a nice dresser of about 4 drawers and get a changing mat. Hell my daughter got changed on the floor with the changing mat out of the diaper bag more often than not, because well hey, she can't fall off the floor, and her room was too far away.

    We're the opposite. Unless we're out somewhere, we always take him back to his room to change him (he's 19 months now). It's just so much easier when you have everything there. Yeah, sometimes he squirms and wants up, but it's easy enough to distract him for the minute you're in there. We don't even keep his diaper bag in the house now. It's in my wife's vehicle, which makes going places with him that much easier.

    But I wouldn't recommend getting a dedicated changing table, especially if space is an issue. We have a dresser/changing table combo that has 3 dresser drawers and a cabinet with smaller drawer above it. We have a diaper holder thing hanging from the knob of the smaller drawer, and in that drawer we have his wipes, creams, etc. We just have a changing pad sitting on the top of it.

    Sir Carcass on
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