When you get pregnant with your first baby, you know absolutely nothing about baby products, except for the fact that you OBVIOUSLY need EVERYTHING. After 4 kids, I now know this is simply not true. I have a list of "must haves" and a huge list of "don't bothers." Some things really are just unnecessary, and when you are trying to save money for all those diapers, it's best to keep that money in your pocket if at all possible. But if you're also wondering what is totally worth having, I've got you covered there, as well
So, as a mom of 4, here is my "Must Haves" list. (Keep your eyes open for my "Don't Need It" list)
Items worth investing in:
1. Crib. This is the most obvious one. You'll use it every day. Unless you are a co-sleeping family (we are not), you will use the crib for a minimum of 1 year, but more likely you'll use it until close to their second birthday.
2. A good car seat. We used a Graco infant car seat for our girls, but for the boys we bought a Chico KeyFit 30. Let me tell you, the Chico one blows Graco out of the water. Much easier to use and install, lighter, and cuter ;) Price-wise, they are relatively similar. For our older children, we love the Britax Boulevard. Easy to install, rear faces with a high weight limit (we rear-face until 2 years, which is MUCH safer then turning them around at a year). Our first Boulevard is still looking great and working perfectly, and it has gone through 3 of the kids so far. Britax car seats also have high safety ratings. Basically, it's worth it to invest in a good car seat. You'll use it almost daily, and you'll use it for a long time.
3. Boppy Pillow. Or a similar one like My Breast Friend. That pillow gets a TON of use, especially during all this midnight feedings! My 4 month old already sleeps through the night, and I no longer use it during the day because he's so big, but it easily lasted through all 4 of my children, and is still in excellent condition. This baby item is high on my list of must-haves!
4. Swaddle Wraps. Yes, I know how to swaddle a baby with blankets, and it's true that some babies don't like to be swaddled, but when you have a 4 month old who will only sleep if swaddled, those wraps are necessary! He can easily break out of a blanket (which means he wakes up), so those blankets are a life saver.
5. Hook on high chair. We do have a standard high chair. We use it and love it, but our Chico hook-on high chair is by far my favorite. While it's not ideal for the itty bitty ones, once they can sit up well on their own, these are much preferred. They take up less space, keep your floor space less cluttered, and can go with you anywhere, including friends houses who don't have children (and thus don't have a high chair). We even sometimes bring ours to restaurants as we usually prefer it to restaurant high chairs. AND, the material is easily removed and cleaned.
6. Beaba Babycook. Okay, don't be fooled by the price tag. Making our own baby food for just ONE of our kids with this machine saved us a significant amount of money. Times that by 4 kids and we've saved some serious cash. Plus, we know exactly what our children are eating (organic carrots from Gerber taste nothing like organic carrots made at home). It's easy, quick, and so worth the cost.
7. Vibrating chair, batteries optional. Our kids liked their simple, blue vibrating chair. But batteries are expensive, and it blows through them way too fast! By number 4, the vibrating chair is used as just a chair that bounces a little...no batteries necessary :)
8. Moby Wrap & Ergo. There are many wraps available in which you can wear your baby. Baby Bjorns (and ones like it) are not a good option, considering how they are "crotch danglers," meaning they hold your baby in a dangling position from their crotch. The Ergo, and others like it, hold your baby in a "seated" position instead of a "dangling" position and is MUCH better for baby's hips, spine, etc. Everyone has their favorites, but my favorites are the Moby when they are small and up until they are big enough to use the Ergo without the newborn insert. Then my favorite becomes the Ergo (I have the performance one this time around which is WAY lighter than the regular one I had previously).
What baby products do you believe to be absolutely necessary or are totally worth the cost? What are your favorite car seats and baby wearing carriers?
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