Hey there! As I was shopping at Target for some stuff for Andie the other day, I was thinking to myself how we have learned a LOT in the last 7 months. In general, we are always looking for ways to save some dough…I mean, what parent isn’t?? So I thought it would be fun to do a post on some baby items that we have found it’s okay to buy the cheaper/off brand version, and the things where we just CAN’T. As always, these are our opinions and what we have learned and discovered! Some of these may have worked so well for you and that is AWESOME. I envy the mom who makes a cheaper option work!
I am categorizing these as SKIMP (buy the off brand, cheaper option, second-hand, etc…) and SPLURGE (GET THE REAL DEAL).
Ok here we go! In no particular order…
Why not start with one of the things we use the MOST?! I have tried numerous brands of diapers…Aldi, Target, Huggies, Pampers, Walmart off-brand, Baby-ganics…you name it! After trying ALL of those, I am a Pampers girl tried and true. And I notice a difference when Andie isn’t in a Pampers diaper. Yes they cost more…sometimes double, but there is something to be said about not having to change your daughter every morning because her pee has gone through her diaper and all over her pajamas…causing her to wake up earlier than she normally would. Mamas…can we put a price on extra sleep?! NO. No we can’t. One final thing…the one off-brand of diapers that I am okay with using during the day is the Target Diapers…are we at all surprised? Target IS heaven on earth…
Ok I admit…I have an issue when it comes to buying baby clothes. I can’t stop. BUT I have to say I am very good at not spending a lot of money on Andie’s clothing…because let’s be honest…she’s only in them for a hot minute before she has moved on to a bigger size. I can’t tell you how many things I have already packed up that she wore one time, and some not at all! I have found a few good kids consignment stores that I like to hit up once or twice a month (Ok, a week), and I have found great brand name clothing for a fraction of the cost.
#3 Baby Wipes
We received about 250 different packs of wipes at all of our baby showers, which was AMAZING…for more reasons than one. First off, you can never have too many baby wipes. Secondly, we got a variety of brands, so early on I was able to see what wipes we liked and what we didn’t. Now, you may be asking yourself “what does it really matter what kind of baby wipe you use”…I found myself saying the same thing BB (before baby). Hear me out. How do you feel when you’re wiping that sweet baby bum and all of a sudden that wipe rips and you find that your hand has indeed taken over the job of wiping, and is now covered in poo? Or maybe your baby has a rash and that wipe is making everything worse? Trust me. They matter. Personally, I am a fan of the Pampers Sensitive wipes. Yes, they are slightly more expensive, but in the grand scheme of things, wipes aren’t that pricey to begin with. So I recommend getting the nicer ones….or a glove for diaper changing time.
#4 Diaper Genie Bags
When it comes to housing your baby’s dirty diapers, I think it’s a given that you shouldn’t go cheap. But have no fear…we certainly tried to. We have a Diaper Genie trash can that we love, however, the Diaper Genie bags are a good bit more than any off-brand bags that fit the trash can (because God-forbid a normal trash bag fit…). SO we ordered some off-brand bags from Amazon to see if we could save some cash. I think it was the moment I walked into her nursery for the fourth time before I realized the bags were so crappy that the entire room smelled like a toilet. I went and got me some name-brand bags that day. Touche, Diaper Genie. Touche.
Much like clothing, toys come and go. One day they are infatuated with their baby guitar that lights up and makes noise and the next day they scream when you give it to them. So to make this short and sweet, there’s just no need for brand new toys when you can go to the thrift store and buy the same thing for a quarter of the cost. Because the next week you are probably going to be donating it right back to the store.
#6 Car Seat
When we found out we were pregnant, I immediately began doing research on all of the big ticket items we would be needing…like a car seat. There really are SO many options, and you need to find what fits best for your family. For us, we wanted to buy new. Car seats expire, so when buying used or second hand, sometime it’s hard to know the expiration date…but sometimes it may not be! While Andie was really young, we used the carrier that went with our stroller, because it made it easy to carry her in and out of the car, and since it clipped into her stroller as well, life became a little more simple. Once she outgrew the carrier (which was way sooner than I thought she would, but my child has been a diva from the start, so I wasn’t surprised…), we got this car seat. She can basically stay in it until she’s 25, so we are set for life.
#7 Changing Pad Cover
I looked and looked for the perfect changing pad cover to match Andie’s nursery, because looks are everything when it comes to a baby room…not functionality. HOWEVER, I quickly learned there is literally no point in the cover, because every time you get poo on it, it has to be taken off and washed. I decided to leave my changing pad completely uncovered, because it makes my life easier when I can just wipe it off with a baby wipe and move on with my life.
Verdict: SKIMP…AKA don’t buy.
I don’t know about you, but when it comes to my baby sleeping, I will give an arm and a leg for that to happen (Ok probably not really, but I would give Jordan’s arm or leg…). We have used several different options for sleeping as Andie has grown. We started with the Halo Swaddle and we loved it. Once she was able to roll, we bought the Merlin Sleep Suit to keep her still at night. Then when she decided to roll in the Merlin, we put her in the Halo Sleep Sack and we LOVE it. We have a fleece one currently, but are about to purchase a cotton one for warmer weather. Basically, I will do just about anything to help Andie sleep…because it is so good for all of us. And we end up spending more money on coffee in the long run when she isn’t sleeping, so it’s a win/win.
#9 High Chair
Ok you might disagree with me on this one, but when it comes to a high chair, I don’t see the need for something super fancy. I think as long as they meet all of the safety standards, it’s totally fine to buy this second hand, or buy a less fancy model. We have this one and love it! And it didn’t break the bank either (it really didn’t break the bank because we got it as a shower gift…;-)).
Spoiler alert – this one is a splurge. BUT, that doesn’t mean you have to buy new. When I say splurge, I basically mean don’t settle on a stroller because it’s cheaper. You use this thing a LOT, so it is worth investing in one that fits your lifestyle best, whether that’s a jogging stroller, double stroller, etc…whatever! We have this one and we have been very happy with it. It can be closed with one hand, so when we are leaving TJ Maxx, I can throw Andie on my hip, put the stroller in my trunk (all while jamming out to T. Swift in my head), and head to Starbucks. One thing I do wish I would have thought about was getting one that was adaptable for another kid. But I can worry about that when the time comes! I actually had a different stroller in mind but when I went to push it in the store, I noticed a HUGE difference between the two. So that’s another thing…go play with the strollers before you pick one!
There’s my list! Tell me where you are splurging and saving when it comes to baby products! I am always look for a good deal…
Until next time!