Five Tips for On-Budget Baby Shopping

Though you may realize that a baby is a precious thing, once you hold yours in your arms you start to comprehend what ‘precious’ really means. We would do anything for them and when it comes to buying, we’d buy whatever there may be available.

There are thousands of products for babies and often moms-to-be feel that they need to buy many of those in order to begin parenting with the right foot. When you are on a limited budget this may create unnecessary anxiety and stress. If this is the case, you should keep well in mind that whatever you buy for your baby, it is you she needs before anything. Expensive things won’t make up for love, care and attention.

Furthermore, know that your baby will grow by the hour. It is pointless to buy too many things for her, for clothes will get small in a blink, toys will be obsolete before she can have any significant experience of those and so will accessories. Here are some tips to baby shopping:

1. Clothing

Disposable diapers have changed the world of baby care. This means that the changing rate for clothes need not be too high. Also remember that babies are not dolls. You may be tempted to make them look like adult miniatures or play cuties, but the priority should be to dress them comfortably.

So choose no more than five baby sets before your baby is born and buy new only if/when needed. Pick comfortable materials fit for the season and you’ll be good to go.

The time will come when you child will demand a certain type of clothes. It is a good idea to save your money for that day.

2. Bed

Your baby will spend most of her time in her bed, 16 to 14 hours during the first year of her life. Choosing the right bed is very important.

Since you are on a budget, avoid cribs. Cribs are only used in the very first weeks of life and become useless as soon as the baby begins to move. Buy a bed instead, where you can put your baby to sleep for a longer time.

Sometimes a travel cot may be a better choice considering that it has no bars where the baby can stick her head into or bang it. It is less expensive, the baby can play freely and safely inside, it is compact and you can move it around the room. Since they may be easily packed you can take it along wherever you go making your baby feel always at home. Moreover, many travel cots come along with their own crib should you really want one. You may want to buy a small mattress in the size of your cot if it becomes a permanent solution, though not too thick for soon the baby will be able to stand and may actually fall out.

3. Baby carriage

They come in all colors and shapes, often with many accessories. The choice of a carriage is very personal and it depends on your life-style, habits, home, surroundings etc. The primary purpose of baby carriages is to enable you to take out your baby without having to carry her all the time. Yet you may use it at home as well, to help your baby fall asleep, to move her around the house or have her near you safely while you do your things. Do, therefore, choose a light and compact model that takes little space, that you are able to carry yourself and fold when necessary. Some light and compact carriage models are fit for newborns so if you pick the right one, it may be with you and your baby for a long time.

4. Baby carrier

If you really wish to spend money on something else, consider buying a baby carrier. To me it is even more important than baby monitors or other gadgets. It is great to be able to hold your baby all the time near your heart and still have your hands free. You can keep doing your normal house-keeping, shopping or other activities without looking back and worrying about how your baby is doing in the mean time. Keeping her near you and talking to her, is a very natural teaching process that will help in your baby’s development. On the other hand, your baby will love being with you at all times.

5. Toys

Do not spend your money on toys and expensive decorations. Your newborn baby will not appreciate them and as she grows a multitude of toys will only confuse her. In order to allow for the healthy development of your baby, she needs to be in contact with diverse colors, shapes, materials and fabrics. In the first months of her life, any safe object is an experience to her so don’t rush into complicated and expensive toys. Take your time to know your baby and buy one toy at a time so that she can have a proper experience with it. Choose toys designed for her age and see how she interacts. You will know when is the moment to buy the next toy.

In the end, health, safety and comfort are three things that you should bear in mind when you shop for the baby, so do not buy cheap: shop wisely. Before buying anything for you baby, do your research. Do not rush to buy everything beforehand but wait and see. Your baby will be your best advisor in the matter.

Baby Shopping Cart Covers – A Safer Seat For Your Baby

There is a relatively new product that is becoming more and more popular with parents, grandparents and babysitters alike that allow a baby or toddler to be protected from the germs that are on those dreaded grocery store carts – not to mention, they are also cushy so they add comfort for the little ones and also have fun colors and patterns that really attracts their attention.

This clever little invention is not only user friendly, but one-handed user friendly as the maker realizes you will most likely be holding your little one in one arm while you secure the cover with the other. It takes about 10 seconds to throw the cover into place and secures with Velcro straps. Once you have your baby or toddler buckled in the shopping cart cover, you also have the option of using a bottle pocket, toy pocket, multiple loop attachments which allows you to secure small toys and pacifiers so the child cannot throw toys or pacifiers on the dirty store floor.

There are also Double Shopping Cart covers for those who have two small children. They have extra storage and a “mommy pocket” for diapers, wipes, sippy cups etc.

The shopping cart covers are 100% cotton and therefore 100% washable so having more than one is always nice to be able to rotate in and out of the wash so you always have a clean one – it’s also fun to have different patterns to play with depending on the child’s mood and they can also have fun getting to “pick” which cover they get to bring along. The covers fold easily into a tote or diaper bag for carrying and storage. In addition to fitting into all grocery store shopping carts, these covers can also be used on park swings and on restaurant high chairs. Some models can also be used as car seat covers – which anyone caring for a toddler can appreciate!

I really love that this product is available for our little ones. The most important thing is that it protects them from the germs that are inevitable on grocery carts, swings and public high chairs without this cover , but what I also love is that it’s a great gift for baby showers, bar and bat mitzvahs, christenings, birthdays, etc. Some websites offer custom made covers where you can add the baby’s name – which is always a nice touch. I’m always on the search for a really nice, unique gift and not only is this one of those products, but this is actually extremely useful – the recipient will really appreciate it – and so will the baby – those grocery cart seats can’t be comfortable.

Buying for Baby

Well, what else can be as exciting for proud parents-to-be than the first glimpse of their bundle of joy? Shopping for baby of course. Here is some help to start your baby-shopping adventure.

Buy a car safety seat. It’s the law!

You need to buy an approved car safety seat before your baby arrives. Your precious newborn has to be safe and cozy on his first car ride from the hospital to home. Some hospitals insist on you purchasing a car seat before they let you take baby home.

Shop for a soft-padded, rear-facing infant car seat to hold him snug and secure and support his back and neck. You can also go in for a lightweight one that can double up as a carrier or a rocker.

Buy an uncomplicated system with a permanent base in which the seat effortlessly snaps in and out, so that you don’t have to refer to the manual every time you use it. If you are not confident about safely installing one, seek professional help.

Baby’s Layette

Babies are not always born on days with the best weather. Be prepared with a basic layette for any kind of weather. Thankfully, babies cannot recognize designer wear, so it is easy to stick to your budget.

Opt for soft, absorbent clothes that can be machine-washed and dried. For cold winter months, buy long sleeve undershirts, stretchies, sweaters and pajamas with built in feet. Stock a few mittens, socks, warm woolen blankets and snug hats for outings. Buy a soft woolen sleeper to keep baby warm and cozy at bedtime.

For the summer months, you need short sleeved or sleeveless suits, hats or bonnets to protect baby from the sun and light cotton blankets.

There’s more to buy

The list includes a baby crib and mattress, crib sheets, nappies/ disposable diapers, baby wipes, a baby bathtub, mild bath soap, soft towels, a sling to carry your baby and a few toys. Choose the right toys for your newborn so that they do what they are meant to- stimulate her and provide entertainment.

Tips for happy shopping

Start shopping for baby 2-3 months before you are due or earlier if you anticipate bed rest in late pregnancy. If this is your first baby, shop with a close friend or relative for helpful advice.

Dads-to-be can get involved in shopping for baby to get a feel of their impending responsibilities. A better and less tiring option is to split the list, especially if you always disagree with each other’s taste.
Go by your list, not the store’s. A designer wardrobe might look appealing; but your little one will outgrow her clothes quickly.

Don’t let the buying overburden you, savor and cherish each moment as you imagine a new life soon snuggle in all those cute outfits!

There is nothing more comforting than being prepared for your baby’s arrival. After the marathon of childbirth, the last thing you want is frantic shopping trips.

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