Monday, February 13, 2012

Thank goodness for things like "The Babies R Us Big Trade-In"

Once upon a time, there was a couple expecting their first child. Once they found out they were having a daughter, they did what most parents did- celebrated, rejoiced, and registered.

Then our beautiful baby came. We had a ton of stuff for her based on what we needed and was recommended to buy or sadly because they looked cute. Now six months into our adventures with Addie, I realized there are a couple of things I should have known BEFORE registering for the floral bouncer seat because it was so darn cute.

1. Bouncer seats: We use ours everyday. If we didn't, I would never shower. So, what I should have checked was the weight limit. Most are made for infants and can be used up to 25 pounds. There are some that are newborn to toddler. So much better! They convert into seats that are accommodating for your big girl up to 40 pounds. I am trading in my bouncer this week!

2. Stroller and infant seat: I am a huge fan of the infant seat. When they are tiny and sleeping, it is fantastic to simply "snap and go." However, I made the huge mistake of buying a travel system based on parental pressure and price. I bought (was given) a jogging stroller travel system. Honestly it seemed like a great investment- especially at the soccer games, but once we moved Addie to a regular carseat, the jogger was too big to bring to the mall and she hates the umbrella stroller. Now after research and having a baby, I realized that I need more of a grow with Addie stroller. I found the Britax B-Ready or those similar (City makes one and so does Bugaboo) are great options. The Britax has the option for Addie to face me and be up higher than the umbrella. Plus, it can hold a toddler up to 40 pounds plus converts to a dual stroller. It is perfect for people looking to expand their families (some of us sooner than later!). Had I known this, I would have purchased the Britax infant seat from the start. Now I am trading in!

3. The high chair- a necessity. We weren't sure what we wanted, so we registered for a compact and cute version that attaches to a chair. It was great while she was an infant. It reclined fully, and she could sit at the table. I even was a proponent of the portability. But once we hit six months, it is cumbersome at the table, she doesn't enjoy sitting in it for long periods of time, and we now use the boosters at restaurants. So, we are now shopping for a stand alone version that we can wipe down completely (no fabric thank you), can roll from room to room (carrying the chair was ridiculous), and is infant to toddler (the other seat was too). Another trade in!!

I don't have all the answers yet, but I working on purchasing more carefully from this point forward.

Things to consider:
Longevity
Durability
Usability
Cleanability
Cuteability (it does matter!)

Ask friends what they used, read online reviews, and don't be pressured to buy because of price. Sometimes you get what you pay for.

Here are some items I would buy again and again:
1. A playmat
2. An exersaucer
3. A pack and play
4. Anything musical
5. Books
6. An Ergo baby carrier
7. A Deckor diaperpail
8. An infant seat and some sort or snap and go stroller.

The jury is still out on...

To swing or not to swing. Some babies love them, but Addie hated hers. Next time, I would wait and see.

The baby bath tub aka "the spa." I used the infant insert for about a month before she was too big. Then the tub needed to be stored. It was all a hassle. Next time I would just use her bath chair (16 dollars at BRU) from the beginning. BUT I only had one bathroom, so if you had two, you may keep the bathtub longer.

Baby bedding! Sheets are a necessity, but the APA once again has bashed bumpers because if SIDS and asphyxiation risks. I loved her bedding, but I never used the bumpers or the pillow. I only used the sheet. And by the time she is ready for bedding, I will purchase a toddler or twin set.

In the grand scheme of things, I am ├╝ber grateful for the events like the Big Trade In. It saves me some cash that I would otherwise be throwing away or trying to sell at a garage sale. This way I trade in, receive 25% off, and trade up!

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