Getting Ready for Baby: What to Buy?by Elaine Plummer
In preparing for the birth of a new baby, moms-to-be want to know what they need to ensure that they are ready to welcome the baby home. Parents want to be prepared with the essential items to help ensure a safe and comfortable environment when they come from the hospital, such as a sturdy crib, stroller and car seat, soft bedding and enough blankets.
While I consider myself a women’s health expert and can offer pregnant woman information about how to care for herself during her nine months -- how to prepare for her labor and delivery experience and even what items to take to the hospital -- I am a bit stymied on what to buy once the baby is brought home.
I do know that there are the basics of course, such as onesies, a bathing tub, thermometer, and more. However, new moms (and grandmothers) below is a list of the resources I used to find out what to buy. I want to credit my daughter for much of what is on this list, as she opened my eyes to different products and how she researched what she was going to buy.
Ask new moms.
They know what worked and what didn’t. While you can ask a mom who had a baby five years ago, she may not know about the latest and greatest items. Something new is always coming along that makes the mother of an older child wonder how she ever got along without it.
Go to the baby store registry online.
Most stores that sell baby items have an online presence and that is extremely helpful. Going to the store first can make ones head turn in circles, as there are so many items to select and so many brand choices for just one item.
My favorite store’s website has a featured category area of favorite registry items. There you can see what’s on parent to be’s wish lists. The items are categorized according to Gear, Activity, Bath & Potty, Feeding, Nursery, Health & Safety, Clothing and Layette, Infant Toys, Baby & Parenting Books, Music, Natural and Organic, and Just For Mom. All of this is helpful and a major eye opener, especially if you thought all you were going to need were diapers, a crib and love.
There is one book that I found really helpful when I first learned that I was to become a grandmother and wondered what to buy. It is titled: “Baby Bargains.” The latest edition, published April 21, 2011, is “Baby Bargains: Secrets to Saving 20% to 50% on baby furniture, gear, clothes, toys, maternity wear and much, much more!” This is a very helpful resource for those of us wanting to get the most for our money – and who doesn’t?
Most sites that sell baby items offer the opportunity for customer reviews of the item. I read those religiously to see what others thought. This can be especially helpful if you are torn between two brands for the same item.
Visit the brand sites for the products you are thinking about buying and you will find a wealth of information. Just like I recommend going to the Always site to determine the pad that mothers-to-be want to bring to the hospital and have waiting for them when they get home, there are sites for baby items. For example, the Pampers site has great information about diapers, diapering, sizing and more. I also really like the Fisher Price site - it has a playtime guide that provides tips and toys for baby’s age by month. Those are just two examples, and believe me there are many. Along with finding information on brand sites, there are often coupons and special offers that you can sign-up to receive.
Websites for New and Pregnant Moms.
Google new moms and you will find many sites specific for you. Once you find a site, use the search area to see if there is discussion about an item you are thinking about buying. There you will get the low down personal experience about an item without censoring or holding back of the emotion. If someone likes something, they will rave and rave and rave.
U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission.
This is a US government site that focuses on the safety of the products that we use. You can get great information about cribs, car seats, baby bottles, etc. when you use the search function on the site. There you can see if there have been recalls or warnings about a product and which brands may be problematic.
Any other suggestions on how you found the best products for your new baby?
Elaine Plummer is a health expert for Always and Tampax.