Tuesday, August 3, 2010

For Babies: Buy And Sell

A couple of my awesome blog buddies are expecting. No, not PRs, but rather babies. In each case, baby number one (and both are girls, woo hoo).

I figured it was my duty, as a parent of young girls, as someone who not too long ago was in their position, to offer up some advice and tips. Pregnancy is long and potentially painful. I remember Mrs. LB being so sapped of her energy during both of her pregnancies.

Now, I can't offer advice on how to feel better. But I can offer some tips on what could make things smoother at some point down the line.

Things You Should Buy

It might seem like there is a ton of time left until the baby is on its way but if you start buying things now, little by little, you won't be hard-pressed for time to do shopping when the baby is almost here. Plus, I'm guessing you have more energy now than you will at 36 weeks.

* Diapers. We bought tons of diapers throughout both pregnancies. We bought newborn diapers, size 1 diapers, size 2 diapers... didn't matter. We figured one pack now would save us a bit of time and money later. Mrs. LB would clip coupons and use them to buy up diapers during the pregnancy. You're not going to know what brand you prefer and what brand you detest (I don't think we cared for Luvs much, if I recall correctly) but if you buy up diapers now, little by little, you won't have to buy a pack every 3-5 days when the baby is finally here.

* Clothes... sort of: Chances are you'll get plenty of clothes from the baby shower... or showers. So you might want to hold off on a full-out shopping spree until after the shower, just to see what you get. You might not have gotten many onesies, for instance, so that might be worth buying up afterward. However, you will probably get a lot of newborn clothes and maybe some 0-3 or 3-6 as well. Chances are you will not get a lot of 6-9 mos. or older than that. We hit a wall with Yvie where we had a ton of clothes at first, but then as she got older we didn't have much to choose from. We realized that a lot of the clothes we got at first, she'd grown out. So maybe buy ahead to 6-9 mos. or even 12 mos. or so.

* Shampoo, Desitin, baby q-tips, baby soap... etc.: Mrs. LB always goes out and buys up a bunch of this stuff when she gets invited to baby showers, and people are always appreciative. It might not be an attractive gift per se but that's the thing - you probably don't think of these things much until you have to buy them or worse when you are scrambling around because your baby is crying. There are a few other things that could go on the list, like baby Orajel or the drops that help with gas, but definitely get some of the essentials.

* Changing Table: Mrs. LB wanted a changing table. I didn't. I told her it was a waste of money and that we could change them anywhere - on the bed, on the floor, wherever. Well, I was wrong. I grew to really enjoy the changing table. We kept our diapers there, wipes, Desitin and a bunch of other things. It helped us stay organized and was pretty essential after all. It's just another example of Mrs. LB knowing more than LB :(

Things You Should NOT Buy

* Bassinet: This is the biggest waste of money. Sure, they look nice and seem like an essential piece of furniture but your baby is only going to be in them for maybe six weeks. After that, it's off to the crib (well for Yvie and Kennedy it was). Guess what happens to the bassinet? It sits there. Unused. Taking up space. We borrowed one luckily as we didn't end up buying one, and before we knew it Yvie was hitting the side of that thing whenever she rolled around. She got way too big for it way too quickly. I don't remember Kennedy in it. The bassinet is up in the rafters of our garage, waiting to be tossed or donated.

* Baby bath tubs: You're going to get like five of them at your shower. Register for one, but don't buy one until after the shower, if you still need one by then.

* Diaper Genie: Those things are useless! We had one and it was so much effort to not only put the diaper in there and twist it but to change the bag and toss it, and then refill the damn thing. It's easier if you have a designated trash can for dirty diapers somewhere that it won't stink up the place. I think we just used to go outside and toss them in the trash can outside, at least when it was filled with crap.

* Diaper Bag: Maybe this is just more of a personal thing, in that I just didn't care what kind of bag I lugged around, but this doesn't seem essential to me. For starters, we got a lot of them free. We got one at the hospital and I think someone gave us one at a shower. It's tough to figure out what you like in a diaper bag until you are actually using one, so you might be better off taking a wait-and-see approach with this. I mean, you might buy an expensive, designer-looking diaper bag and then realize that you want comfort more than looks, for instance. The one I used the most at the end was a pink diaper bag a friend of mine gave me because he bought it for like a dollar somewhere. It was comfortable to carry and I didn't care if I spilled crap on it or in it or whatever, because you will spill crap on it or in it... sometimes actual (baby) crap.


Willoughby said...

That's some great advice! I had a different experience with the changing table, though. My sister in law leant us hers because we never got around to buying one before our son was born. As it turned out, I almost never used it. I liked using a blanket or changing pad on the floor instead. It seemed easier to me and there was no chance he could fall. When my daughter was born I just continued using the floor.

One piece of advice that I'd like to add is that you shouldn't feel pressured to do things the way other people want you to. Diapers, for example. If you use disposables, someone is going to tell you that you should use cloth, instead. If you use cloth diapers, someone will tell you that it's better to use disposables. Ignore everyone and do what you want without feeling like a bad parent!!

Katie A. said...

This is a great post...hopefully one day it will come in handy :)

Tricia said...

I beg to differ on the diaper genie thing. While the original was junk, I'm a HUGE fan of the Diaper Genie II. (no twisting)Works great!

And the thing I wish I hadnt bought was a baby bed. Seriously, my kid never slept in it. Along with the bedding that was about $700 down the drain.

Whitney said...

This is great stuff, LB! Thanks! We've started buying diapers and wipes every time we go to Costco, and it's the only thing that we've bought so far. I'm trying to hold back on the baby clothes. :)

Jill said...

I was so relieved to NOT be once of your blog buddies who is expecting!

Raoulysgirl said...

Great advice!!! The only comment that I would add is this...

Both of my girls were allergic to certain wipes (I think it was the fragrance)...and Ilisabeth couldn't wear Pampers (they gave her a rash).

I do, however, agree on the Diaper Genie. We never used ours!!! It was too much of a headache!

Zoƫ said...

I'm totally laughing at the diaper Genie advice! It does seem like a total gimmick...I mean, the refills itself are EXPENSIVE!

Thank you so much for posting this, LB! You rock!

And I love that you carried around a pink diaper bag. :)