Wednesday, October 28, 2009

As Requested - Baby Gear Tips

     Yes, I take requests! This one goes out to Shawn, Leigh, and baby Gavin, who's brand new. I was sharing some tips with Shawn this morning and he suggested I post something on baby stuff.

In no particular order:

  • Store brand is your best bet for baby basics. Diapers, baby wash, wipes, etc. One exception - the smallest size (Newborn) is not available in store brand so you'll need to buy Pampers for that mini size.
  • Try the different stores' baby products to see what you like. We are huge fans of  Teddy's Choice  (Loblaw/No Frill/SuperCentre/Zehrs) diapers, at under $8.00 a pack compared to at least $13.00 for brand names.  Everything store-brand we've bought at PharmaPlus (Rexall brand baby wash, wipes, even soothers) has been great and a huge savings over brand name products. So far, the only store-brand disappointment has been Sobeys' wipes, which are a bit rough in my opinion. But shop around and figure out what you like, or more importantly, what your baby likes.
  • When diapering a baby boy, pull the front of the diaper up a tiny bit higher than level with the back. Boys saturate their diapers up front (how's that for diplomatic?) so you can avoid leaks by tweaking the waist-band height.
  • Don't waste your money on a changing table. Use a bureau-top or a bathroom counter. Or the kitchen table, the couch, your name it, just make sure you never leave the baby un-attended. (my legal disclaimer!)
  • My friend Sarah, who makes amazing baby quilts and is an amazing mom, gave me a great tip yesterday. Use an exercise ball to sit on and bounce/rock baby to sleep. I tried this yesterday and not only does it save your back and arms, but you can incorporate a little core muscle strength training while you're at it, if you want.
  • Here's a picture of one of Sarah's quilts. Very hip!
  • Go "gently used" for baby and kids' clothes. Once Upon A Child and Value Village have quality brand-name gear for a couple bucks an item. The money saved on clothes alone can nicely fund a college education account.
  • Baby and kids' clothing sizes are weird and unpredictable. My experience has been that the size listed on baby gear is the "best before date". For example, a size "3-month" sleeper will be too small by the time baby hits 3 months. Older kids' stuff (size 3 and up) tends to be "if your kid is 3 years old, they will most likely be wearing size 3".) 
  • Most importantly, the sleep deprivation phase is temporary! Take it easy, enjoy your little one, and sleep whenever you get the chance.

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