As any new parent, my husband and I fell into the Fisher Price marketing trap. Or that’s what I call it. And now we have a garage full of expensive junk I would never buy again. Just thinking about how much money we could have saved makes me want to be able to travel back in time to tell those two excited parents to be “You do not need a crib! Or a swing. Not even a huge clunky stroller!”
This is one of the few times we used that swing. Jason was 3 days old and we had just arrived home from the hospital. We of course wanted to try out all the baby gear.
This is what I would do if I could get a do-over. (But I won’t, since we are a complete family of three.) Skip the crib. Co-sleep. And if Jason would still prefer to sleep on his own (like he did as a tiny baby), I would immediately get a Montessori floor bed.
Around 11 months Jason started screaming whenever he was in his crib and awake. So we dragged the queen-size mattress from the guest bed to Jason’s room. And we all love it.
It is great for those fussy nights when you have a hard time staying awake while nursing. Since you are already in bed, you can just fall asleep! And only one parent at a time gets slowly kicked out of bed by a trashing toddler.
I also love how Jason will now wake up, climb into the arm chair and read books. Or play with his stuffed animals. He is not stuck in a cage with nothing to do but cry for mom or dad.
Here is the one baby gear item that turned out to be a must-have. The vibrating baby bouncer.
Whenever Jason fell asleep nursing and I needed to not hold him, I would gently transfer him to the bouncer. He would nap and I could watch my shows. Because let’s face it, sitting in the same arm chair nursing your child down gets old quickly.
My biggest must-have? A baby carrier. (Read this great blog post about babywearing.)
Be it a wrap. (Moby wrap in picture.)
Or a more structured carrier. (Ergo in picture.) The ease of having your two hands free, while holding your (mostly) sleeping child close to you is so much more convenient than using a stroller. We only really started using the big stroller after Jason turned one. And by that time he had been in a convertible car seat for 6 months. So having a lighter umbrella-type stroller would be a lot nicer. Too bad we are too cheap to buy a second one.
And there is one last thing I really recommend for moms with strong babies. The Woombie-swaddler. That thing saved our lives. Jason slept through the night because of it for two months. (And then he stopped. Yay us!)
You see how it has a zipper. Genius! There is simply no way out of it.
Using cloth diapers, breastfeeding and skipping the unnecessary baby junk we could have saved a ton of money. At least two out of three is not that bad. And there’s always Craigslist to sell the used stuff. To other clueless first time parents. Let’s hope they don’t read this blog post.