question: buying car seats, strollers, cribs, and other gear

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from stefani2. Show stefani2's posts

    question: buying car seats, strollers, cribs, and other gear

    hi all - question on all the gear you need to buy when you're having a baby.  did (or are) you all research(ing) brands, safety, blah blah blah, or did you just figure if it's at BRUS it's OK and you'd just pick based on price/looks/whatever other criteria was important to you?  i'm not really sure where to start or whether or not i need to agonize over every decision, or just go to store and start buying.  and if you did research - are there any books or websites or other resources that are helpful?  thank you!
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from CoffeeQueen. Show CoffeeQueen's posts

    Re: question: buying car seats, strollers, cribs, and other gear

    The Baby Bargains book is amazing. I HIGHLY recommend it!  Also, start paying attention to what you see other families using (like strollers, carriers etc).  You don't have to take it this far but I became really bold around 20 weeks and started approaching people in public and asking them about thier jogger/sling whatever. Haha, crazy lady! :)

    Do you have friends with kiddos?  Ask them what they actually used and what collected dust.  This will help stifle any impulse purchasing/registering of things BRU (for example) will have you thinking you can't live without.

    I didn't get into the Consumer Reports stuff on gear, I just read the reviews on either BRU.com or Amazon.com.  To reiterate, Baby Bargains was an awesome go to source as was babycheapskate.com.  Babycheapskate has a tab at the top of the blog called "Essential Articles" where the blogger and readers have reviewed and compiled lists of everything you possibly need (crib mattresses, high chairs, strollers etc).  It spans every price point too!
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from kiwigal. Show kiwigal's posts

    Re: question: buying car seats, strollers, cribs, and other gear

    I second the recommendation of "Baby Bargains". That was an invaluable resource for me and DH. We used it to help with all the major purchases we made. Safety, reliability, and durability are major criteria in their ratings. I also used Amazon ratings and reviews to get a better sense of products.

    Once we could narrow down choices based on our "research" then we did make some final decisions based on price and aesthetics.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from winter09wedding. Show winter09wedding's posts

    Re: question: buying car seats, strollers, cribs, and other gear

    I started a similar post a few months ago...
    registering- where, what, etc. winter09wedding 61

    I bought the baby bargains book and really liked it as well.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from ml2620-2. Show ml2620-2's posts

    Re: question: buying car seats, strollers, cribs, and other gear

    I spent over an hour reading through the registry post on Saturday, it was very helpful!

    We received lots of hand me downs for most things, an although my friend was horrified that we did not check everything for safety recalls, our theory has been "if their two kids didn't destroy it or hurt themselves, I am sure it's fine."

    A friend recommended doing the registry on line with BRUS, because then you can read all the reviews for the products offered. I plan on doing that (also, the idea of going into a BRUS freaks me out).

    I had the melt down Saturday night about how I was going to be an awful mother because I didn't have the right products. My mom talked me off the ledge Sunday by assuring me people buy too much useless crap for their baby and that we can easily start with the basics and get what we need as things go along.

    Relax, enjoy and have fun with the registry as much as possible. But life Coffee Queen said, your best resource is people who have been there and done that.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from SarahInActon. Show SarahInActon's posts

    Re: question: buying car seats, strollers, cribs, and other gear

    I really like www.carseatblog.org as a good place to start.  They do lots of reviewing and stay up to date with all of the latest research.

    http://www.consumersearch.com/car-seats is another good cite, they tend to consolidate lots of other reviews and opinions.

    I stay away from Consumer Reports, however, as I have totally lost my faith in them.  They have made several MAJOR mistakes in the past few years and are very slow in retracting misinformation and moving to make corrections.

    They next place I always check for real opinions on use is amazon.com.

    I find that reviews issued in books are sure to be out of date by the time the book is actually printed
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from GC1016. Show GC1016's posts

    Re: question: buying car seats, strollers, cribs, and other gear

    Do not just go to BRU and start buying/scanning.  I mean, you'll wind up going there, but you should go in informed or you will lose your mind.  Trust me on this.  And there are lots of things at BRU that aren't necessarily OK/safe for baby, especially carseat accessories (the mirrors so you can see baby; the BundleMe's, the neck supports -- all no-no's).  Take all their registry advice with a grain of salt -- they're trying to sell you stuff.   

    Two words: Baby Bargains.  I literally just read through it and registered on-line.  I also polled new moms about what they used v. what was a waste, approach strangers to ask about their strollers/baby gear, and bug friends for hand-me-downs. About that: I concur with ML -- I am a bit nutters about hand-me-downs, as I have totally drank the Kool-Aid about the safety implications, but at some point you have to say, OK, enough, and go with your gut.  I've politely declined some things that either I can't know what brand/model it is, or if it's just icky, but swings/bouncies/gates/etc ...?  Bring it. 


    You might want to post separately about registering for twins.  There are a couple of MOT's on these boards who might have some good advice/resources.  That's a bit unique! 

    Oh, and I find the on-line reviews VERY helpful, but much more so on Amazon than on BRU.  Those are more entertaining, grammatically-speaking.  ;) 

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from GC1016. Show GC1016's posts

    Re: question: buying car seats, strollers, cribs, and other gear

    PS -- not to say we don't have major indulgences on our registry, or have purchased things that are probably more than we need (I'm looking at you, Fancy Stroller).  But I'm pretty comfortable with it, and I can tell you that the way I felt about registering pre-Baby Bargains (highly anxious) v. after-Baby Bargains (this is fun) made the time spent reading totally worth it. 
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from nene72. Show nene72's posts

    Re: question: buying car seats, strollers, cribs, and other gear

    I also highly recommend Baby Bargains.  It really helped narrow down what you will need as well as products which were better received by parents.  For my registry, I did my research via Baby Bargains and then went to BRU.  I even worked with the registry consultant who helped guide me through the store (until my pregnancy, I became overwhelmed each time I went to the store).  I used their registry as a guide but I knew there were certain things I did not want and politely declined them when they were mentioned.  Also, remember that you can change your registry at BRU online.  There were so many things that I registred for and later changed based on what I read in Baby Bargains (or what I was able to get through another source).  I also second (or third) the recommendation of asking other parents who you see using the prodcuts you've registred for about their thoughts.  Obviously, you'd have to feel comfortable doing so but my experience was that parents were more than willing to answer a few questions.  Good luck. 
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from canukgrl. Show canukgrl's posts

    Re: question: buying car seats, strollers, cribs, and other gear

    I secon (third?  fourth?) teh vote for baby bargains!  I bought it for my sister when they were TTC and ended up giving it to her the day she found out she was expecting!
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: question: buying car seats, strollers, cribs, and other gear

    ML, the only thing I have to add is that I laughed that you were freaked about going in to BRUs -- I know exactly how you feel.  Whenever I had to go in there to buy a gift in the past, I would feel all dehydrated and panicked, and I'd have to get a smoothie after.  When I actually went in with my own baby in mind, it was way easier!
    In general, I agree about doing research in advance, but it might help to then go to the stores and see and and try out some of the equipment.  It made us feel more comfortable about the stuff.  Whether it's BRUs or Magic Beans or wherever.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from Brighton1. Show Brighton1's posts

    Re: question: buying car seats, strollers, cribs, and other gear

    I've been using Consumer Reports and Baby Bargains to research gear like car seats, cribs and strollers.  For smaller items, like bouncy seats, swings, bottles, etc., I've been using user reviews on BRU and Amazon. 



     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from stefani2. Show stefani2's posts

    Re: question: buying car seats, strollers, cribs, and other gear

    thanks everyone.  follow up question, and please don't think i'm snobby for asking this - though i'm not sure how to phrase it w/o it sounding snobby - but here goes: does "baby bargains" have all the typical baby brands or is it bargain brands only, that you have to hunt out?  for example, does it include typical brands like graco, baby jogger, bugaboo, etc.?  just want to be sure the book/resource includes all the typical baby stuff one would be choosing from.  not that i'm looking to blow money here, but i am also not looking for a major project just to save a few bucks - have enough on my plate!  :)  thanks!
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from MM379. Show MM379's posts

    Re: question: buying car seats, strollers, cribs, and other gear

    Baby Bargains is great Stefani - it has everything from $ brands to $$$$$ brands.  It is really thorough.  There are times the book tells you not to waste money on $$$$$ brands but there are times it tells you that you do have to fork over the $$$$$ on certain products.  For major necessities (cribs, carseats, strollers, etc) it reviews every single brand and then gives you their top picks.  For other items (bouncy seat, baby gates, etc) it usually lists a few top picks.  The basic "bargain" of it is that it tells you when you should buy something, when it is worth investing the bucks, but also when you can skip something that is excessive or unnecessary or there is an equallly qualified product at a lower price.  An example, they do give one model of Britax convertible carseats their highest recommendation and rate it as a top pic - this is definitely not a bargain carseat.  On the flip side, this model they recommend is not Britax's most expensive version with all the bells and whistles.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from stefani2. Show stefani2's posts

    Re: question: buying car seats, strollers, cribs, and other gear

    thanks MM - i guess i'll be going on amazon.com to order!  :)
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: question: buying car seats, strollers, cribs, and other gear

    Stefani - I also was not sure about the word "Bargains" in the title - but it's not actually a whole book just dedicated to "bargain" baby stuff.  It covers everything.  What I actually like most about it is the general info it provides.  I am reading the specific recommendations as well, but the intros in each section are helpful if you just want a general overview of their opinions on certain features on certain stuff.

    Good luck!  I'm right there with you in freaking about a bit about registering.  The book helps.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from rhm327. Show rhm327's posts

    Re: question: buying car seats, strollers, cribs, and other gear

    I actually got overwhelmed when I went to go register at BRU. I did a few things in the store and did most of the rest online. I used the "Baby Bargains" book as my guide (with personal taste and friends/relatives with babies for extra opinions). Fortunately, we got several hand-me-down things from my SIL - my nephew is only 15 months older than ds and it is all in excellent condition (ie: infant car seat, bouncy seat, swing, etc).
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from stefani2. Show stefani2's posts

    Re: question: buying car seats, strollers, cribs, and other gear

    OK, i'm confused and need help AGAIN... is it baby bargains by Denise and Alan Fields? thanks!  :)
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from rysmom. Show rysmom's posts

    Re: question: buying car seats, strollers, cribs, and other gear

    Yes, that is the one.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from bostonhime. Show bostonhime's posts

    Re: question: buying car seats, strollers, cribs, and other gear

    I have the Baby Bargains book and read through a lot of it...but really, once you get into a store it's completely overwhelming. The first time I stepped into BRU I wanted to turn around and walk right out. There's so much stuff there and most of the stuff you don't really need.

    I did a lot of research on stroller and systems. When I got to the store to check them out a mother approached as I was looking at a particular travel system and said she had the same one and loved it. She proceeded to go through the whole system with me (with her toddler and mother nearby), telling me all the features, and the pros and cons (the only con really was that it was a little large for her car - but I have a minivan so size is not an issue for me). It was wonderful to get a first hand recommendation. We thanked her and went on our way afterwards. We eyed every stroller when we went out - at malls, restaurants, walking on the street. We saw a few ppl with the stroller system this woman recommended to us and I went up and asked each of the mothers what they thought of it - they all loved it! So we ended up going with that travel system: Baby Trend Expedition LX. It's SUPER easy to fold up and not too heavy. It has real rubber wheels - not like a lot of strollers that have plastic wheels. It's a jogger (even though I'm not going to use it as a jogger) and the front wheel swivels but can also lock - very easy to maneuver. Another plus is that we got it at BRU and with coupons and discounts only paid $150. Woo-hoo!!
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from winter09wedding. Show winter09wedding's posts

    Re: question: buying car seats, strollers, cribs, and other gear

    I also a couple more thoughts about this- I went through Baby Bargains before registering, and then used the "mock up" lists that they give at different places to get a list started - particularly of stuff we wanted to play with in the stores like strollers and diaper bags(we are registered at BRU and Magic Beans). Then I changed stuff online (there are many people in our life who don't order online, and when you register online I found that much more of your stuff is not available in stores- BRU nicely breaks it apart on the list)- this also allowed me to look at product reviews on Amazon, which was highly rec'd by the boards.  However, as one last step I had my brother (with 2 little ones) and a close friend (with 3 little ones) look over the lists and tell us what to add and take off. For example, I didn't think about registering for diapers, but my brother recommended it at BRU because then you can use the completion discount to buy them, etc.

    And... we found out this past weekend, that the nightstand of the furniture set we picked out acutally takes 4 months, because they are special order (as are all nightstands and rails at BRU apparently). Since I am due in 6 weeks, we headed over to Target... I didn't start the process early enough to plan ahead like that- instead I waited until I had to, and then used the fear to get me through registering.  So, if you are eyeing a brand new complete set of furniture, I would start with that Smile
     

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