New Stuff & Hand-Me-Downs

In other random, baby news there are some products that have changed in the 3 years since I had M.  I remember that the Aden + Anais muslin swaddlers* were just hitting the scene when she was about 6 months old.  I thought they were overpriced and kind of pointless.  But, during one of my many lunch-time Target runs during this pregnancy I saw that they made a line for Target that cost $29.99.  I hesitated and it paid off because they went on clearance.  I snagged the last set of 4 for $14.99.  And let me tell you they are priceless.  I use them every. single. day.  Especially for a summer baby because they are so lightweight.  Perfect for swaddling (which MAD still loves), but also a great nursing cover, light blanket to ward off overzealous air conditioning, a stroller cover for when he’s sleeping – it still lets the breeze through.  I don’t worry so much about it covering his face because it’s so breathable.  I haven’t used any of the dozens of receiving blankets we have in favor of the Aden + Anais muslins. Honestly – best impulse buy ever!  I would buy the full price set for a baby shower gift in a heartbeat. 

Also, the Sleep Sheep.  I thought they were cute, but (again) pricey and unnecessary.  Fast forward to this week when they put one in his crib at daycare and he fell asleep in minutes with no fussing.  I’ve watched it work its magic myself during several of my visits.  We will be sheep-hunting this weekend, for sure! 

His room has M’s old crib (which belonged to her 2 cousins before her).  It’s (gasp!) a drop side and I have no intention to replace it.  Don’t get me started on how stupid I think the crib recall is. Over 3 million cribs have been recalled for 36 deaths in 3 years, all of which were the result of either a broken part or user error. That’s a .00012% failure rate.  Your baby has a better chance of being struck by lightning then getting caught in a faulty crib.

More babies die every year from suffocation in blankets, bumpers and toys than from defective cribs, yet you don’t see them recalling the cutesy, insanely expensive crib bedding sets.  I had to MacGyver a flat bed sheet to be a crib skirt since I couldn’t find anything that wasn’t part of a set! Why would I want a crib-size quilt or bumpers when you aren’t supposed to put a baby and those things in a crib at the same time?  I just wanted something to cover up the space between the raised bed and the drawer below and the one we had in M’s room doesn’t match the walls in MAD’s room.  Seriously new moms, here is what you need: 2-3 sheets, 2-3 waterproof mattress pads/covers and a crib skirt (aesthetic reasons only).  Maybe down the line you might get this.  I just saved you $200.

Whew! Sorry, I think I just got way too worked up over baby bedding.  Moving on…

All the hand-me-down stuff I got for M (play gym, bouncy seat, portable swing, pack-n-play) is holding up fine. That is except for the Bumbo.  A friend gave me hers when M was a baby.  I loved it, she loved it – for all of about 3 months.  It’s a great invention, just not worth the $35 retail price for such a short time.  So in the spirit of paying it forward, I passed it on to someone with the intention of getting it back, but then we moved and oh well – I’d just get a used on from Craigslist. 

However, I didn’t think to ask if the owner smoked because what kind of asshole smokes around a baby?  Apparently the person I bought it from is just that kind of an asshole.  And foam rubber soaks up odors because it’s a sponge.  So, after Googling and Tweeting for advice, I sealed it up in a plastic bag with a huge dose of vinegar and a jar of baking soda for a week.  Last night, after a week in solitary deodorization confinement I removed it and …. It still stinks.  Guess that’s a wasted $20 and I’ll probably shell out the $35 to get a new one.  At least I know I can get $20 back on Craigslist in a few months. (I’m still a huge advocate of buying used baby gear, though – just stick with resale shops where you can give things the sniff test!) 

So, to any of you newer moms – what’s your “must have” item? What am I missing out on since I avoid Babies R Us at all costs? Veteran moms, what was the most useless/impractical thing you bought for your first?

*I got nothing from Aden+Anais.  I bought my own swaddles and love them so I’m telling you about them.

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3 thoughts on “New Stuff & Hand-Me-Downs

  1. lindsay says:

    curious…are you opposed to Babies r Us for a specific reason? I don’t have kids but always wonder if parents feel pressure to buy half the stuff they have for their infants. looking forward to your other comments.

  2. kakaty/Kate says:

    @lindsay – that’s exactly why I hate baby stores like BRS, there is so much crap there that is not only unnecessary but expensive, too. Plus the store is so huge it’s like walking a gauntlet just to buy one item. Even the stuff that I consider not necessary but very useful is hard to buy because everything makes noise/lights up/does something anymore. I’m so gratful I have my sister’s old playpen (Pack-n-Play) because it’s just a simple playpen. Today they all have mobiles, play music and have 10 other pointless add-ons.

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