Baby gear without bankruptcy

By Mir
August 28, 2007

The very pretty Jess writes:

A good friend of mine recently found out she is pregnant and is now looking for good carseats and strollers (particularly travel systems) and a crib. How do you find a great deal on baby items? Is there a better time than others to buy? It’s been difficult to find great prices on these items online or in stores, and we both prefer a GREAT price over just a “good” markdown. She’s leery of buying carseats secondhand due to safety concerns.

Since you are so pretty and kind and all knowing (well…almost), do you have any ideas on how to make having as inexpensive as possible?

Thanks, Wonderful and Knowledgeable Mir!

Do you see all of that gratuitous flattery? Isn’t she pretty?

I haven’t done an advice question in a while, so I may be a bit rusty, but let’s see what we can do with this.

As is so often the case when folks write in, there’s actually two questions here, whether Jess realizes it or not. The first question is what do you need for a new baby? and the second is how can you get it for less?

So let’s talk about baby gear for a minute, shall we? I remember being pregnant with my first. I did all of my research on decided on the items I simply “had” to have and blah blah blah blah. Suffice it to say that by my second, my ideas were very different. Heh. And I’ll happily acknowledge that everyone is different, of course, but here’s the bottom line: Buy only a bare minimum of gear before baby arrives. There are a lot of good reasons for this. First, you may change your mind about what you want/need once the actual baby is there. Next—especially if this is your first—people will probably buy stuff for you. So resist the urge to fly into a buying frenzy.

(What you must have when baby comes home is a carseat, some diapers, and possibly some formula and bottles if you’re not nursing. Everything else can be figured out from there. I’m really not kidding. Sure, you’ll want to have some gowns and onesies and baby bath supplies and the like, but think about it—if you didn’t, you could send someone out to fetch them and the world wouldn’t end. I promise.)

A few quick specific points to share:

1) Your friend is absolutely right to be wary of used carseats. While I’m all about recycling and consignment, carseats should always be purchased new. You’re talking about a basic safety item here, so this is not a place to cut corners. (Plastic weakens over time, therefore older seats may actually be less safe. In addition, you have no way of knowing if a seat was in a crash and therefore weakened. Don’t chance it; buy new.)

2) I personally believe the “travel system” to be one of the largest hoaxes perpetrated against the New Mommy population. Unless you’re going to go to the highest of the high-end options (this one, perhaps), the strollers that are part of “travel systems” as almost always awful. They’re heavy and big—generally speaking, they have to be, to accommodate an infant carrier—and the advantage of not having to remove baby from the carseat is vastly outweighed by owning a 70-pound stroller that you will later replace because you hate it. Trust me. If what she’s wanting is a stroller that she can put an infant carrier into, I suggest picking up (or registering for) one of these instead, and then selection of a “primary stroller” (the one you’ll use until the kid is 4 or so) based on other factors.

3) Most people do not put a newborn to sleep in a crib right away. You’re likely to want to use a bassinet or a cradle or even a pack-n-play that you can put right in your room at the very beginning. I know it is antithetical to everything the baby product industry wants us to believe, but: You do not need to have a crib before the baby comes home. Is it nice to have your “nursery” all set up? Sure. Is it probably easier to assemble a crib when you’ve had a good night’s sleep? Absolutely. But of all the “baby” gear you’ll buy, the crib is one of the most expensive items and the one you need least at the beginning. So tell your friend to take her time.

4) Here’s the corollary to number 3: There’s nothing wrong with a used crib. Surf Craigslist and local consignment stores for a great deal on a ridiculously-price crib. Do buy baby a new mattress (I recommend foam, because it’s much lighter to wrangle for sheet changes and such, plus it’s cheaper than innerspring), but the crib frame itself doesn’t get a lot of wear and so is a great candidate for secondhand acquisition.

Okay. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk actual shopping.

I am not personally aware of a specific time of year when this stuff is cheaper. (That doesn’t mean there isn’t one, just that I don’t know when it is.) Clothes can always be bought on season-end clearance, but babies grow fast, so I’d caution against stocking up on clothes, anyway. As for gear, Target and Amazon are always going to be the first places I look, both because they have a wide selection and because they regularly do markdowns. I also like BabyCenter for higher-end offerings, though you have to catch the sales there to make it worth your while (and don’t forget that FREESHIP49 will give you free shipping there on orders of $49+).

If you live in a town with a Burlington Coat Factory, their Baby Depot section is a nice place to do some in-person shopping of good quality stuff at reasonable prices.

Here’s another thing to remember: Although you can often find amazing deals online, for something like baby gear you must try this stuff out in person before you buy. I would rather eat my own eyeballs than shop at a large baby superstore which shall remain nameless, but it’s a good place to go try 20 different strollers to see which one you like. Maybe you make a decision and then you go home and order it online, but at least this way you’ll know what you’re buying.

I hope this gives you both a place to start. Hey, if she just found out she’s pregnant, she’s got loads of time. The best advice I can give is be patient. There’s always a sale happening or about to happen. Don’t panic and you’ll end up picking up everything you need, in due time, at reasonable prices.

(P.S. This is probably as good a time as any to drop in a small plug for, one of my other haunts. It’s a great place to read about all sorts of baby/kid products, from the ridiculous to the sublime. Also keep an eye on Cool Mom Picks and Parent Hacks for other recommendations and nifty suggestions.)


  1. After my baby was born in March, I found a book called Baby Bargains. This couple reviews items based on cost, safety, user friendliness, and takes suggestions from parents, as well. I was able to check out the 2005 version from my library, but I fear I\’m going to have to bite the bullet and purchase the 2007 version for the updates.

    Great comments! I\’d like to reiterate the \”don\’t buy too much\” – especially when it comes to clothes. If she didn\’t spit up (and sometimes even when she did), there were some times where my daughter wore the same sleeper for two or three days. Consignment stores are awesome places for clothes – since they grow out of them so fast, they often are like new.

  2. Great advice, Mir! I also caution people against the travel systems – everyone hates those strollers!

    I would also suggest that pregnant moms check out Baby Bargains, either the book or their awesome bulletin boards at (I think).

    If I remember correctly, Burlington Coat Factory has a fairly restrictive return policy on their baby stuff (not sure if it is the same for all their merchandise) so be really, really sure before you buy any big ticket items there!

  3. Great post Mir-especially since expectant parents are bombarded with “must have” lists. I want to add, that moms should never use a previously owned breast pump because of contamination risk; see the FDA site on this
    but also because you can’t always tell when a pump motor is wearing out and this can impact milk supply. In addition, moms can probably get a cheaper full size pump from a lactation consultant rather than a big box store-and most LC’s will provide free email or telephone support on pumping.

  4. Hmph, WordPress doesn’t like me today. I was trying to edit LK’s comment to a shorter link. Try this: Baby Bargains Book.

  5. My one son was born in December and the other in February and baby stuff goes on sale right around that time. I spent my entire pregnancy looking at the most beautiful high chair ever and I was watching it online.. all of a sudden close to the end of the year it went on clearance! So if you have the chance research and watch the price. They come out with new stuff every year and I wasn’t not too upset getting last years model for cheap!
    Thats just my two cents.

  6. Denise kind of already said this, but I think another must have when you come home is a breast pump of some kind, preferably a hand held one. I had the motorized one for later when I went back to work, but the handheld one was a lifesaver when my son had problems latching on and I needed to express some milk before my breast EXPLODED! I’m kind of partial to this one:
    (I hope that link works. If not, it’s the Avent Isis.)

  7. I have a two year old, and the biggest mistake I made was insisting that I get everything new. Wow, thinking of the money I spent on gear that she only used for a couple of months makes me a little ill. Buy the car seat new, of course, but just about everything else can be found used. I live in Dallas, and there are a ton of consignment stores, plus a couple of HUGE semi-annual consignment sales filled with baby clothes and gear.

    I also had a lot of friends that offered to lend me things like swings and pack-n-plays that their kids were no longer using. I wish I had taken them up on the offer! I have cleared my house out of a swing, a baby bjorn, and a bouncy seat by lending them to a new mom friend. People are usually happy to have less baby stuff filling their closets and garages, so it doesn’t hurt to ask around.

    I second Mir’s comment on using a pack-n-play initially. We still use ours when we take trips and our toddler sleeps in it just fine.

    Good luck!

  8. Definitely find a consignment shop you like. They’re not all created equal, so it’s worth poking around in a few before you’re toting a newborn along with you.

    I liked my travel system stroller just fine. And my baby was of the ‘once I have been asleep, the nap is over even if I have slept 1/20th of a nanosecond’ ilk, so waking her up to move her was OUT OF THE QUESTION. Then when I had a second baby, I got a sit-n-stand jobbie that I like even better.

    I think the new carseat models come out in the spring — it seems like I see a lot of closeout “last year’s model” sales around then.

    Oh, and Craigslist is a fabulous place to find baby/kid stuff.

  9. A question near and dear to my heart, having just made it through the first year with my daughter, and now advising my brother and sister-in-law on their pending arrival …

    1. Look for a used snap-n-go – those frames onto which you can clip or buckle your infant car seat. I got one for $20 on craigslist and it was AWESOME. Easy steering, huge basket underneath for shopping (I was terrified of balancing that infant car seat on the grocery cart and did all my shopping with the snap-n-go for months). It very nicely replaces the stupid travel system concept! You will want to leave that tiny baby in the carseat rather than buckling in, then unbuckling and rebuckling into a stroller, then going in reverse for the trip home. Leave ’em in the carseat and fasten the thing onto the snap-n-go and you’re golden. Mine is made by Kolcraft and I loooooved it!

    2. Other things to get used or to borrow: bouncy seat (get one that has optional vibrate) and swing. You can’t know until you have the baby home if they will be a swing hater or a bouncy hater, so don’t spend the money on these big pieces of plastic that might never get used! Plus, you will only use them for a very short time. All that said … if you can find these super cheap and used ahead of time, it’s great to have them at the ready, when you are sleep-deprived and looking for any means of calming baby. You can also pick up a cheap pilates ball for bouncing the wails away (the baby’s AND yours!).

    3. Buy your carseat new if you don’t have a very trusted friend or family member that will pass one on to you. You’ll feel better knowing it’s sparkly fresh from the factory. I’ve never seen great sales on these (I think the companies know that parents won’t skimp, so they can always charge full price), but if you watch closely you might find one that’s being discontinued for new fabric colors or something. We got ours for $80 because the color was being phased out.

    4. Mir is right – you can take your time with the crib. We used ours to store blankets and overflow gifts for months and months – our daughter didn’t move to the crib until she was rolling over and the bassinet just wasn’t safe anymore. But, if you want to have the room all set up (and it really does feel better that way), look for a nice used crib – we got ours from a grandma who had a whole nursery set up for her grandbaby, and the thing had been used maybe twice. Be SURE that the crib is new enough that the rails are NO MORE than 2 3/8 inches apart. Also, if there is an IKEA near you, they have nice baby furniture at very reasonable prices.

  10. I agree with everyone who said not to buy too much up front–the amount of stuff we had when my daughter was born was beyond ridiculous. I will say though, that I disagree with the travel system opinions–we have a Graco travel system that we used for my daughter, and then again 2 years later for my son. The stroller part is light, easy to open and close, has a great basket, and is still big enough to put my 3-y.o. daughter in. That being said, we also got a jog stroller (which I never actually JOGGED with), so if you plan to do that, I would get the infant car seat that goes with the travel system, but get the Snap and Go stoller frame that Amy mentioned instead of the whole stroller. Also, we didn’t use the crib until about 6 months after the baby was born (either time), so it just sat there. We used the Graco pack-n-play with the bassinet attachment on top, and still use it as a play pen without the attachment. And its easy enough to fold up and take with you. There’s my two cents!

  11. I’m saying it again because it cannot be said enough: DO NOT BUY A TRAVEL SYSTEM. Listen to pretty pretty Mir. I ended up selling mine on consignment and buying a higher end umbrella stroller (Maclaren) which I heart and feel was well worth the money.

    As a corollary to that — do make sure you take BOTH yourself and your husband/partner/etc to try out strollers. Some are better for short people. Some are better for tall people. Some fit everyone in between. And some seem to require four hands to fold up. Unless you’re growing extra hands in addition to a fetus, stay away from those.

    Don’t buy a lot of any kind of bottle. Some babies are particular and you may need to try several kinds to find one that is accepted.

    I’ll also second the recommendation for a foam mattress. Target sells them for ~$40. They are just as safe, but way easier to manage, weighing less than 10 pounds.

    The important thing overall is to keep in mind your lifestyle. Do you have a small house? Probably don’t need a baby monitor. Small space (or just don’t wanna buy a lot of furniture)? Definitely skip the changing table — any flat surface works.

    Ok. Long-winded. Done.

  12. You also have to be careful regarding used cribs. You are supposed to measure the distance between the bars to make sure and infant’s head can’t get wedged in there. This was a big problem about 15-20 years ago, not sure if more recently manufactured cribs have removed this threat (probably).

  13. I toooootally second the no crib thing. If I had to do it all over again, I’d have spent way less on the crib. I still love my fancy custom Javis-Davis bedding, but honestly, my daughter didn’t even sleep in the crib for the first year and the Ikea one would have been just dandy. Good thing we’ve now got a second girl to make it a little more justifiable.

    (Thanks for the Cool Mom Picks shout out. Have I told you lately how pretty you are?)

  14. I love all these suggestions! We loved having the crib attached to the bed as a sidecar (like a co-sleeper), but before we did that, it just held stuffed animals. 😉

    I got less and less ready with each child. One kid loved the swing, the others didn’t. One loved the bouncy seat, others didn’t. We had 2 kids who were anti-stroller (used the sling), but the 3rd loved the stroller, and I longed for a good stroller – our travel system one was crappy.

    And my big tip about feeding older babies is to use a clip-on seat rather than a whole high-chair setup. It costs less and takes up *so* much less space. Plus it’s portable!

    Oh – and for older cribs, you shouldn’t be able to fit a coke can between the slats. I loved knowing that, as it was super-easy to check.

  15. Freecycle is an excellent place to get a free, used crib. I am constantly seeing offers for free cribs on my local freecycle list. If the mama-to-be is set on having a travel system, I’d advise trying to find (on freecycle, or to borrow from a friend or neighbor) just the travel system STROLLER, and then buy a new infant car seat from the same manufacturer to snap into it. You don’t have the same kind of safety concerns with a used stroller that you do with a secondhand car seat.

    If she’s going to have a baby shower, I’d advise registering for lots and lots of stuff, and not just infant stuff but things she’ll need for an older baby. So don’t just register for the infant car seat, register for a convertible one, too. Register for the high chair (or even better, a feeding chair that straps onto a regular chair, MUCH better and easier to clean and less expensive), a fold-up feeding chair, and all the spoons and bowls and sippy cups.

    I also believe that for a few baby items, it’s totally worth it to go top of the line — strollers and convertible car seats, particularly. For my son, I had two sets of everything, one for my house/car and another for my mom’s. My Maclaren umbrella stroller was pricey at roughly $150, but was 100x better than my mom’s $15 umbrella stroller; the Britax car seat was also infinitely easier to use than the $65 car seat we’d bought for her car. Register for these items if possible, and if that’s not possible, scour the web for good prices and coupon codes.

  16. Thanks for the information! I also just found out (a couple hours after emailing you, actually) that my sister is pregnant, too! I’ll be passing the info along to her as well.

    Thanks, pretty Mir!

  17. Leandra,

    I second the Avent Isis. I found it extremely comfortable, and it worked even better than several hospital pumps. Our midwife has several that she lends out to her patients – after sterilizing them, of course. But using a second-hand electric pump that you can’t completely sterlize? Eww!

  18. Oh, if you are planning to wear your baby in a sling, they you probably won’t need a swing and bouncer.

  19. I know JC Penney always has their baby sales in September and February – I think that most other stores follow suit. (Also, congratulations to your friend! What an exciting time)

  20. I loved the snap-n-go, and my kid still sleeps in a pack-n-play at 19 months. The pediatrician likes that he can’t possibly climb out.

    Graco makes a travel version with a bassinet on top that was an EXcellent space-saver, and super portable. (Because hotels run out of cribs and besides- ew.)

    The highchairs that clip to the table and the cheap plastic ones that strap to a normal chair (and can go in the dishwasher!) are wayyyyy cooler than those crevice-y ugly plastic huge things that seem so popular.

    I used my Medela pump to help in labor- I would recommend getting that thing early just to help you get used to it. I found pumping kind of trippy at first.

  21. Baby Bargains is great for helping you figure out what is important to you and what to look for. Make sure you get the most recent version, since ratings and equipment can change drastically from year to year.

    I was one of the moms who spent a TON of money on a crib (convertible) and dresser/hutch/changing table, and a glider. Guess what — within a few months I was sick of the furniture. I really, REALLY wish I’d gone the IKEA route and saved my $ for fun decorating later.

    One thing I did do was look up my designer Covington fabric – $20/yard or more retail, but less than half that on ebay. I bought 10 yards of 2 fabrics and had a friend make a bumper, crib skirt, and fancy blind and shelf for the window. It looks fantastic and cost far less than the high-end designer stuff itself would have been. The vintage alphabet print is one I haven’t tired of, and it’s gender-neutral.

    I use my Graco travel system and really like it — it’s the Lite Metro version, not as massive as the bigger one, not as light as the frame versions.

    You will get a million tiny outfits and in 2 or 3 months will be putting them away! Make sure you ask for stuff for 6-9 month olds. Hanna Andersen clothes are expensive but my daughter wore one outfit literally every other day — it was so comfortable and easy to put on her. I highly recommend them and will buy a few when this baby comes.

    Don’t buy the diaper burp cloths. They don’t absorb and tend to smear stuff around. Go to TJMaxx and buy a stack of hand towels instead — the terrycloth will absorb liquid much faster and better. Projectile vomit is not your friend.

    I’ve found that Carter’s clothing is fantastic and durable and cute. Target bottoms don’t have enough allowance for diapers, so shorts and pants are always sliding off in back driving me nuts. I love Gymboree (lovely and durable clothes) but eBay is great for this — you can get stuff half off. Or I just wait for the Gymbucks sales at the retail stores.

    Sign up for your local grocery store’s Baby Club. I got coupons every month or more, not just for baby stuff but also for milk, bread, produce, etc — saved tons and tons of money there (mine is via Publix).

    Oh, and if you have a girl, I found that light green socks are almost a perfect match to every outfit, since the green always picks up a flower or leaf in the clothing pattern. Sometimes it’s hard to match pinks. Corny detail, I know….

  22. Another tip is to register at the Pampers and Huggies websites. They will send you coupons that you can always use. And I think it’s Pampers that allows you to collect the UPC codes to get free great toys/music/etc. I found out the hard way never to try store brand diapers or even Luvs. They always leaked. Ick.

    Wipe warmer=not needed (we got one as a gift)

    Borrowing a swing or other large item is a great idea!

    Check out TJMaxx for misc baby stuff too. It’s especially great for picking up a crib sheet or other items that don’t necessarily need to match perfectly.

  23. I’ll add that many cities have active moms groups that either have occassional sales that are open to the public, or that facilitate sales between moms. I obtained and got rid of lots of good baby gear through that route when I lived in the Bay Area. Check for local yahoo groups or meet-up groups, or Google “your town” and moms groups and see what comes up!

  24. If you are going to get a baby carrier, please, please, please skip the commercial ones. They really stink compared to lesser known brands. Check out You can get new or gently used carriers. People trade them all the time, so you can try one and if it doesn’t work, swap it for a different style.

    I ditto everything said so far. For baby #2 we were much more savvy and didn’t waste our money. We bought used and resold it immediately when we were done using it for about the same price we paid for it, so we either “rented” it basically for a small fee or didn’t spend anything at all in the long run. And ALWAYS if you want to make the most money, but high quality used. You get the high quality item that has already lost it’s initial “new” value. It will hold up and lose very little value.

    I had the Stokke Xplory stroller and I used it for almost 2 years. I actually sold it for more than I paid for it (got it on a major, major sale new). If you don’t live in a major metro area with a great craigslist, find a friend or relative who does so they can pick it up for you. Ebay is good too.

  25. Just wanted to add a website to check for the high-end strollers and carseats –, always has free shipping and is usually the place where I find the lowest prices on carseats and strollers.

    But having said that, I once found a clearanced, possibly marked wrong, $67 Britax Marathon at Target (normally $269.99), just keep seeing what has their red stickers!

  26. Ash makes a good point above. If you’ve got time and you live near a Babies R Us or Buy Buy Baby, stop in periodically and scout their clearance area. They regularly have new car seats, strollers, nursery accessories, etc, marked WAY down because it was returned already assembled or without a box, etc. Also, at least in NYC, Target regularly donates their floor samples and last-seasons to the local Goodwill, and the folks who price things at the thrift shop sometimes have no idea how much these things regularly run. I bought a $150+ jogging stroller there for $40 — new, in the box!

  27. We almost bought into the travel system thing. Fortunately we were in store and my husband was feeling the carset and it has absolutely no padding at all and was as hard as a rock. And the stroller was super bulky. We ended buying a carseat and stroller seperately — both much nicer than the ones included in the travel system — and we spent $20 less! And for the record, almost all Graco carseats will attach to almost any Graco stroller. Which means you can have a travel system, even if pieces don’t come together!

  28. We were given the Graco Metrolite and it’s actually a really good setup. It includes the Snugride, which is an awesome infant seat, and the stroller is very light, folds easily, fits in the trunk of a compact car (we have a Civic), reclines pretty far down, has a generous canopy and has one of the biggest, most accessible baskets of any stroller out there. I think the other travel systems are complete crap, but the Metrolite actually doesn’t suck. It’s also very affordable.

    I highly recommend and for ring slings, which I think are one of the easiest and most versatile baby carriers. Please don’t buy a Baby Bjorn. Your back will hurt and who wants to dangle from their crotch? I mean, seriously: ouch. Bjorns are expensive and not as good as other carriers.

    We have a Graco swing and would not have survived the first three months with our very colicky daughter without it. She did not want to be worn. She wanted to swing back and forth. God Bless the Graco Swing.

    Skip Hop makes great casual diaper bags and they’ve recently made a special version of two of their products for Target. Lexie Barnes and Fleurville are my favorites for “pretty” yet functional bags, but they can be very expensive; Ju Ju Be makes a great bag but they’re kind of heavy on their own. There’s a Yahoo Group called “babybags” where people buy, sell and trade diaper bags. I’ve gotten some great buys on there.

    Born Free bottles are BPA-free as are several other brands. Bisphenol-A can leach from plastic into your baby’s milk or formula; even Baby Bargains is now recommending that you do not buy from manufacturers like Avent who do not make their bottles out of food-safe plastic. Medela bottles are also made out of safe plastic.

    IKEA makes a great crib, changing table and other items. They have baby decor and really nice wooden toys. And, they’re super inexpensive.

    Also, elaborate nursery decor is kind of a waste of money. Your baby can’t sleep with that quilt that comes in a bedding set, or the bumpers for that matter (SIDS risk), so why spend all that money? Paint the walls a nice color, hang up some art, get a cool mobile and nice sheets.

  29. Oh – Costco diapers are awesome. My daughter is ten months old and we’ve only ever had one diaper leak, and that was with a blowout that was awesome to behold. Costco diapers: inexpensive and fabulous!

  30. I echo the recommendation to skip the commercial baby carriers and visit There are some amazing options out there that will be much more comfortable.

  31. I haven’t read through ALL the comments yet, so maybe someone already made these points, but I just had to throw in my 2 cents.
    1. Buying used is an awesome idea, but make sure to familiarize yourself with current safety standards and recalls first. Safety standards can change rather quickly in the baby gear industry and you wouldn’t want to find out the hard way that a certain style of crib has been banned or that swing you got at a garage sale was recalled.

    2. I know it sounds ridiculous, but take a bag of flour or sugar with you when you shop for things. Trust me when I say that baby gear gets exponentially heavier when you add the dead weight of a sleeping baby to it. Try carrying the infant carrier around without dumping the bag out on the floor. That’s the angle you’ll have to carry it all the time and it might turn out to not be as comfortable a handle as you first thought. Those Baby Bjorn carriers are great, but add 10 pounds or so to them and they’re a lot less comfortable. Get my point? I really wish I had thought to test that stuff out with some weight to it before I bought (or registered for) it all for my firstborn.

    3. Lastly, check out She posts all kinds of great deals on kids stuff. From diapers to clothes to carseats.

  32. I ditto all comments above. I learned with my first child 90% of the baby stuff out there is not necessary. My sister has a sit & stand stoller ( that is my favorite stroller EVER. It is for mulitple ages children (siblings), but even with my one child I really loved it, it is worth every penny. First stroller I have ever pushed and not complained about. I stocked up on jar baby food with coupons only to find that my child won’t eat it. My advise is on small items go day by day each child is different.

  33. Heartless Baby Shower Tip:
    If you can tell where they got the cute little baby gift outfit (or anything else), keep the tags on it and/or keep it in the box. You may get WAY too many of them, and at least you can return the ones whose sources you can identify. Turning in a few cutsey outfits even at a cheap place like Wal-Mart will buy you a LOT of diapers. Even if you just get store credit– just keep it for when you suddenly run out of shower clothes at around 9 mos size.

    Strollers and Carseats:
    We decided to buy the ONE that we’d need for all stages rather than buying the first of several models as the kid(s) grow(s) (we’re planning on two or more). This enabled us to feel good about spending more money on those items, so we bought quality– Britax Marathon for a carseat, Phil and Ted’s e3 (now Sport) for a stroller. Both should serve us for the duration. Pay more now, spend less in the long run.

    By the way, that stroller is amazing if you’re having the first of two or more kids. Check it out.

    Infant Carseats:
    Overrated and very short-term. Hard to carry that handled thing once they weigh more than 15 lbs or so (and that happens fast). We chose to use a sling (Maya Wrap was the brand), and our gal seemed fine with transitioning in and out of it as we arrived and departed in the car. Really, it wasn’t that big a deal. Plus, in the sling, you’re less likely to have strangers touching and breathing on your baby in their adoration. That always kinda freaks me out.

    Bumbo Seat: Well worth the money. WELL worth it. Although the other brand (I forget the name) now comes with a cute watermelon tray, and that looks really handy too.

    Gliders/rockers are very handy in the nursery room (if you have one), but the matching gliding ottomans take up a ton of room and don’t do much. Those little stools (I think they call them “nursing stools”) would be better– something to push off of.

    Oh man, was the video ipod nice during those nighttime nursings. I’m not saying it’s a need– but if you or your husband has one, learn how to download free tv episodes, movies, podcasts, etc.

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