Monday, April 18, 2011

Buy This Not That -3 to 6 months- Edition

If you read my last post on my top five newborn essentials you know that I don't find anything below to be necessary, but in general, they can still all be very helpful. The key however is to know what you need and not overspend. Below I will show you 10 items, 5 I recommend and 5 you should avoid. For one reason or the other, but mostly to save you two things: money & space.

We've had three kids, sometimes on a shoe string budget, but always in 1000 square feet. If there's one thing I know it's how to have babies in small spaces.

$39 vs $179

For the same amount of mattress space for the baby---I enjoyed the savings and connivence all around. If a standir.gif is something you're interested in you can always purchase one alone with the basket.

A lot of the time a newborn baby [for those first few months] may sleep in bed with you, or in a pack in play next to you, or in it's crib. But, if you're like me, you prefer to keep that little one close to you all day. And what about for naps? Or traveling? I borrowed a bassinet with my first because I knew I could not afford one, nor store one after he or she had outgrown it. However, for the next baby I invested in an inexpensive Moses basketir.gif. I paid about $40, but I've since seen them for half that at consignment sales.

I preferred the Moses basket over the fancy expensive bassinet for three reasons: money savings, more space efficiency [during & after use], and easy to transport. I enjoyed being able to tote the baby around the house where I was or taking it over to friends houses.

$59 vs $149

Again, on my last post, I recommend a carseatir.gif that can snap in a snap and go stroller. I made the fatal [well okay, not fatal] mistake of purchasing a stroller that was $350. Looking back, I really wish I would have just bought this basic baseir.gif to transfer my carseat into the first year. All a stroller needs to do is push the baby and hold some junk. It's going to take a beating in the back of your van---no matter what. It's going to eventually break---no matter what. Might as well save your $100-300...especially if you ever planning on having another kid. You'll just wish you'd invested in a double strollerir.gif the first go around anyways!

If you're planning on buying a convertible carseatir.gif instead of an infant carseatir.gif, I suggest just buying an umbrella strollerir.gif. You can always lean back a baby that can't sit up yet. They are inexpensive [can be found from $20+] and in my experience hold up for years. SO easy to tote around too.

$16 vs $16


*Update: Bathtub above was recalled for serious danger to a few infants, I am currently looking around for another to suggest to you*

The savings here isn't financially related, although you can spend upwards of $60 if you buy fancy bath tubsir.gif or "spas" for the babiesir.gif [in my opinion this is going way too far]. The savings here is purely space related. First of all, my last child has probably never even been bathed in a baby bath tub. It's been just me holding him in the kitchen sink, but that's the third child for ya. 

But, if you do want a baby bathtub I suggest a mesh one that folds up. Again, space saving, because I certainly didn't have space to save a large plastic tub when they grew out of it and stared wanting to sit up in the tub. Also, the mess makes it easier to clean. Just rinse, or pull off and wash. You gotta scrub the big bulky plastic or inflatable ones.

$62 vs $118

Maybe one of the only good buying decisions I made as a first time mom was to buy one of those "new" travel swings verses a large stationary swing. Again, our tiny house had no corners left and there was no way something that big could fit---even if only for the few months babies actually use swings. The travel swing folds up and stores so easily, and offers all the same space and entertainment the larger one does at half the height...and cost. I've seen travel swings as low as $30 new, and less than that at consignment stores and sales.

Another reason I really like the travel swings is because they look and feel just like a bouncy seat. I don't really see the point of investing in a bouncy seat and travel swing. They essentially do the same objective: safely occupy your child so you can...shower. I suppose a bouncy seat vibrates, but I'm not sure a newborn would ever know better if you only introduced them to swinging.

I will say this though, I've been given several different types over the years and I have become a fan of those that have a mobile [or something to dangle above the baby]. Mobiles seems to have really entertained my kids better than nothing to look at. Bonus: if it has sounds and lights, although I've noted the lights seem to occupy more than the sounds.

$37 vs $25

Play Mat
During that 3-6 month period, depending on the child, he or she will start to desire to be on their back and belly and "play" with toys. They will gaze, reach, and roll over. They start to gain better eye and hand coordination and will enjoy getting mentally and physically "worn out" from playing with objects like those above.

I know it seems like the item on the right is the better deal, but I promise you for the extra $7 you're going to get a much better product. I've owned items similar to both and really enjoyed the play mats and play gyms that have the larger mats and criss crossed bars with hooks you can dangle toys from. They are very portable and easy to clean. You will really enjoy the larger space and again, like the swing, something for your child to look up at and not just roll off.

Play mats and gyms range from $40-70+. Do I dare say it again? Check your consignment stores first because although I have used this with every child---you don't use it for long. Soon, they will be sitting up and crawling around---getting into everything and having no need to stay in once place. If only...


I know we all love/hate different products,
I hope some of my suggestions were helpful

Please pass along to new moms in your life!


  1. Awesome advice! My family went crazy buying things for Jadon since he is the first grandbaby. One thing I haven't thought about that you mentioned is storing the items until the next baby comes. I am very thankful that you are willing to share! I hope that more and more moms share practical advice with other moms!

  2. I'm giving an extra "amen" to the stroller, swing and play mat--my favorite choices too! I love, love, love the Snap-n-Go type of stroller, because it's lightweight and takes up less trunk space. They suckered me into the big travel system with my first too, the thought of it still makes me shudder.

  3. Good call on these! :D I have a few things (like a giant bulky bathtub) that I might switch out as more babies come...but we shall see. Have you done any blogs on breastfeeding? Dreading that. :) I tried to search but it didn't seem to like me!

  4. Love my take a long swing! Totally agree about thinking ahead of time about storing stuff.



Related Posts with Thumbnails