Dads & Dads-to-be

Am I the only one that feels this way?

My name is Drew and I am an expecting dad any day now. Throughout this process of preparing for our new baby I have noticed that it is difficult to choose what crib to buy, what dresser will work, should we get the angel care monitor, will our baby like the mommaroo, etc, etc... A lot of this stuff is expensive, and if the baby doesn't like some of the stuff we pick then we either have to try and return it, sell it, store it for the next baby, give it away, or trash it. I feel like there should be an easier way to do this. I mean we can demo and/or rent movies, music, cars, trucks, kayaks, and a whole lot of other things to see if we like it. Yet, I have not found an option for expensive baby equipment. Am I the only one that feels this way? I know there are safety concerns with car seats, and most of the time stores will let you demo them outside the store. But what about strollers, baby swings, mommaroos, pack and plays, cribs, angel monitors, video and sound monitors, and other gadgets like that?

Re: Am I the only one that feels this way?

  • Almost all babies like swings and bouncy seats, and they couldn't care less about what type of crib or pack n play, etc. you get.

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  • No, you're not the only one feeling like this. My son never did like the swing or the bouncer much. It is kind of a test and try as you go. Fortunately you can get a lot of this stuff used. If you have any friends or coworkers who have baby stuff, see if you can borrow or buy it. That helps save a lot of money.

     

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  • We got a lot of ours through hand me downs.  We tried the pack and plays a little but not much so gave most of ours away, we ended up with three that we didn't buy.

    Buying used helps on all of the baby items.  We go to Once Upon a Child for most of our clothes etc.

    Hope this helps.

  • Drew, you might have found a new business opportunity!
    3 angel babies; m/c 2009, 2010, 2011. Our little blessing is due February 2013. Lilypie Maternity tickers image
  • Secondhand stores are a cheaper way to go, you don't really get to "demo" them at home, but you don't pay nearly as much for them.

    As far as demoing baby equipment, I think the main thing is, you don't know what the kid (or in some cases, the parents) did to the equipment that they decided they didn't want to use... such as, a nice blowout diaper in a pack and play, etc. that may not have been cleaned up to a level where others may want to place their child in it.

  • The more stuff you can borrow from friends and relatives the better. Hand me downs are your friend for just about everything, with car seats being one major exception.

    You kind of just have to read reviews. Also, you can go to boards here and ask opinions on various products. Babies: 0-3 Months is a great place to ask specific questions.

    http://i.imgur.com/LQTLw2Q.jpg
    -My son was born in April 2012. He pretty much rules.
  • Where is Once Upon A Child located?
  • Yeah we bought the mommaroo used, and it was like $60 which is much better. I am still waiting for baby to be born to find out if she likes it. I have heard from other friends that either they love it or they hate it. My niece hated the mommaroo, but loved the simple rocker.
  • There are multiple locations... I know Indiana has some.  I do not know how many there are or where all of them are located, other than I've seen other parents mention it from other locations.  Go to their website and it will provide locations.
  • I kind of worry about the cost of all the things for the baby, but not because I'm afraid he/she won't like it. For me it just comes down to I worry about money. Period. I kind of feel the same way that some others do, though. The baby pretty much won't have an opinion either way on cribs/monitors/etc. I would suggest just working out a budget for the things you want and then prioritizing those things and go from there.
    BabyFetus Ticker
  • I definitely feel the same way.

    We basically bought everything under the sun and its all a test and trail period. Our son hates some things and is starting to tolerate others. To keep my sanity I just look at everything as an investment for our other kids to come (this is our first) otherwise I would go crazy with all the money we spend.

    My wife is starting to test out stuff with other moms...it really hasn't made a difference as I just packed away 6 baby carriers...my wife couldn't decide which one she wanted so she bought them all. :-/ 

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  • image DavidStamps:

    I definitely feel the same way.

    We basically bought everything under the sun and its all a test and trail period. Our son hates some things and is starting to tolerate others. To keep my sanity I just look at everything as an investment for our other kids to come (this is our first) otherwise I would go crazy with all the money we spend.

    My wife is starting to test out stuff with other moms...it really hasn't made a difference as I just packed away 6 baby carriers...my wife couldn't decide which one she wanted so she bought them all. :-/ 

    Thank you David! I feel for you. We just had our baby on Friday, and we have started testing some of the stuff. There are some things we are finding are good purchases, and others we are kind of shrugging our shoulders wishing we would have picked something maybe not totally different, but more practical. For example, our pack and play has a baby changer on it which is great and we are using it. However, the changer sits at an angle when we put diapers and such in the pouch. In my opinion that shouldn't happen since that is what the pouch was designed for.

     Thanks again, and good luck!  

  • I would guess that half the stuff we have is from my son's cousin.  That is mainly toys, his swing, play mat, bouncy and the car seat. We purchased the crib, monitor, stroller, playpen and all that other stuff.  Most of his clothing came via the baby showers.

    Heck, out of all the big stuff we bought upfront, including a new Grand Cherokee, the expense that gets to me most are the diapers and formula.  The other stuff was what it was, but the diapers and formula are monthly expenses that really do impact our budget at a minimal level.

    Babies are expensive, pre-teens are expensive, and teens are expensive. We all decided to have kids, and with that decision came costs.  I try not to think about it, but it is hard not to.  But as Jacob has gotten bigger, and I have gotten more used to being a father, I am more accepting of the fact that very little of the money we bring in will go towards anything that we may want...it is all about the house and the kid now.

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  • You're not alone.  I have a similar feeling of dread, every time we go to tick something else off 'the list'.  "What?  A pack of muslin cloths cost how much?!  Can't we get them cheaper?  Do we know anyone with some used ones?!"  Before you know it, it's a week before the due date and you've already been round in a circle like a hundred times, and you end up running to the corner store to buy them at 3 or 4 times the price you think they should be, just to keep the peace.

    It's probably a male thing of wanting to get as much bang for your buck as possible, not wanting to spend money on plastic stuff that may or may not do the job you need it to, and even if it does, might get straight out rejected by baby. 

    I guess we better get used to it because it's probably a theme that is going to carry on for the next twenty years (plus)! 

    (Having said that, I think it's a healthy thing for us dads-to-be to maintain this feeling of reservation, to take on the role of stubborn objector, because as dads-to-be we think differently to our respective mums-to-be.  This is a gross generalisation I know - possibly a clich? - but in my experience the female way is not to shop around, the male way is to sit on something for weeks and to drive out the best bargain.  Both ways work, and once you weigh it all up you will probably end up having saved money somewhere and blown it somewhere else.  But best to have some bargains in there somewhere).

    Anyway in terms of baby-shopping I personally found the following things have helped soften the blows.  

    1. Daily checking online resources such as Freecycle, Gumtree/Craigslist, eBay, Amazon etc for good, clean bargains.  Almost part of my daily routine.  We got a top end crib for less than half the price it usually is, this way.  Also a free baby bath.

    2. Used my best judgement about when to impulse buy and when to allow extra thinking time for buying things. EG we saw some good quality baby grows online, in a sale, and snapped them up, but took three weeks to decide that we didn't really need an expensive thermometer.  Try walking away from that thing on the shelf in the store.  If after a few days, you think it's still the best value and you really do need it, go back and get it.

    3. I chatted to experienced parents, other dads that I know.  They will tell you what's really important in hindsight and what's not.  Trust that over what the baby industry tells you are 'must-haves'.

    4. I accepted long ago that I am definitely doing to waste money on things that we don't end up using.

    5. Allow your partner a few of her own impulse buys, ie when you come home and she excitedly shows you a change pad cover that cost a small fortune, and your heart sinks a little bit, hide your despair and give her the credit she deserves for carrying your child.

    NB All of this was dependent on my having at least a little bit of knowledge about what was on 'the list' and what it's all used for.  You can't fight your corner if you don't know what it is.

  • Borrow borrow borrow.  Many parents know the expenses get crazy and are eager to help other parents.  Most of the "stuff" you see is not necessary.

    Bottle warmers (um a cup of warm water will do this quite well)

    Video monitors (you can get a $10 monitor that will pick up if your child as much as flinches)

    Pack n play - our kid never uses one

    co-sleeper - had one and our kid hated it

    crib - you can buy a cheap one at ikea and it works the same as other and isn't huge so it will actually fit in a nursery.

    shower - you will get tons of blankets and clothes - don't expect to get much more.

     

    The first month we used mainly what the hospital provided - blankets, diapers and wipes and the pump we rented.  Oh and we bought a pack of used bottles for the pump but didn't really need those as those were supplied by the hospital too.  Infant carseat.

    Second month he used blankets, spit up rags (we used old fashion diapers), diapers, wipes, onsies and that $10 monitor.  I used the moby wrap which was a gift. Infant carseat.

    Third month the bjorn (borrowed), blankets, spit up rags, diapers, wipes, onsies, monitor and a borrowed swing.  Infant carseat.

    See what I'm getting at?  You can do it on the cheap if you don't fall into the "we have to buy everything new and all the new gadgets that nobody uses after the firs tuse anyhow". 

    The only thing we bought new was a carseat for $80 or so.  We received the moby as a gift and diapers as a gift (we use cloth diapers) 

  • image &orchid&:

    Borrow borrow borrow.  Many parents know the expenses get crazy and are eager to help other parents.  Most of the "stuff" you see is not necessary.

    Bottle warmers (um a cup of warm water will do this quite well)

    Video monitors (you can get a $10 monitor that will pick up if your child as much as flinches)

    Pack n play - our kid never uses one

    co-sleeper - had one and our kid hated it

    crib - you can buy a cheap one at ikea and it works the same as other and isn't huge so it will actually fit in a nursery.

    shower - you will get tons of blankets and clothes - don't expect to get much more.

    Unfortunately, YMMV on a lot of stuff. We still use the pack n play we borrowed from a friend for temporary baby containment and for sleeping over at MIL's house. We also borrowed a co-sleeper which was great for us until he outgrew it. Our crib is from IKEA and theoretically converts to a toddler bed.

    You're right that for the shower everyone wants to give newborn clothes, blankets, and toys. Sometimes experienced parents will give other stuff, and we had two cases "oh poop, we forgot to get you a gift, here's some cash". You can gently encourage people to buy 3-6mo clothes instead of newborn sizes. Our kid was huge and only fit in NB for about 3 weeks, one of which was spent in the hospital.

    http://i.imgur.com/LQTLw2Q.jpg
    -My son was born in April 2012. He pretty much rules.
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