Essential and Non-Essential Baby Products
Shopping for baby products can be overwhelming - especially for first time parents. With a plethora of options, choosing and deciding on which product to purchase is not as easy as it first seemed to be. Although the market offers every tangible thing a baby needs, sadly though, so much of it is completely and utterly useless.
Rule of thumb for every shopping mothers, ask yourself this question, "What do I really need?" Aside from the obvious basic baby products, there are items as well that can make a mom's life relatively easier.
Essential Baby Products
Items listed here are essential, yes, but rest assured that even without these items, you and your baby can still survive without them - just that they are a big help in raising your baby specifically in the first year. There are separate articles though that offer advices and tips on shopping must-have baby products, for parents who are still starting from scratch.
1. Diaper Changing Table - This one's never a waste of investment because it can be used both at home and away from home. It's better to choose the moveable one since it can be quite handy for those unplanned moments that just happen when you least expect it.
2. Stroller - Indispensable in child-care since babies do get heavy after awhile. Babies grow up fast and sooner or later it can be quite tiring constantly carrying them. Choose a sturdy and secure one, especially those with a braking system and adjustable hood to monitor the amount of shading and sunlight filtering.
3. Infant Car Seat - This one's essential for child safety - and yours. Even though you won't be going out often with your kid, it's still better to have this one. Besides, most hospitals don't release both mother and child lest you have an infant car seat.
4. Strap-on Baby Carryall - Whether worn on the back or front, is a gift for all mothers as the arms do get tired from carrying the baby. Besides, when using a baby carryall you are free to do something else with your hand, as well as promote bonding between parent and child because of the physical contact.
5. Toys - These are essential still. Aside from keeping your baby occupied, or for their enjoyment, toys are good tools for your baby's growth and development. Choose toys that can serve multi-purposes like building blocks which not only improve their perceptions but can also stimulate their imagination and creativity. Sound-making toys, on the other hand, can improve their hearing senses, promote recognition and eventually imitation of the sound. By pressing the stuffed toy they'll learn that it produces a sound - that's learning cause and effect at an early age.
These are just the tip of the iceberg, actually. I could list more and more but I'd also like to give emphasis on other "extra" stuffs that can also help you in taking care of your little one. Although some of these stuffs may work greatly for some mother and baby, it's no surprise though that it might be the opposite for others. After all, needs and wants vary from baby to baby.
Non-Essential Baby Products
Most of the products listed here are not what you'd categorize as staples in child care - just that they do help moms a lot and babies more comfortable.
1. Bumbo Sitter
This one's making a buzz in baby world as a lot of mothers are turning to this one as opposed to a high chair. Tagged as revolutionary concept, Bumbo sitter allows your baby to sit independently upright without any need for uncomfortable straps or fasteners. It's comfortable, it's safe and it's hygienic.
2. Snappi Fasteners
There are different types of diapers, and if you're using a prefold cloth diaper, save yourself the trouble from diaper pins and use this one instead. Not only will it give you a snugger fit (keep in mind, a loose diaper is a disaster waiting to happen), it's stretchable, more reliable and easy to use.
3. White-noise Machine
Sound machines are flooding the market, and naming only one specific product for this is mostly useless since first, a baby's reaction to certain sound varies; and second, the physical feature of the item must be considered - whether it comes in the form of a stuffed animal, a chime or freestanding. White-noise machines or sleepers help sooth your baby to sleep. A tip in choosing a good one is to find an item that plays for longer duration.
4. Night Light
Not to bright, yet not waking up to total darkness. A night light offers a soothing beacon in a dark room. Aside from the baby's comfort, this can make checking on the baby easier for you as there's no need to turn the light fully on and risk waking the baby. Besides, it can provide a good distraction for your baby when changing diaper.
5. Glider or Rocker
Mother and child can survive without this one but it can be quite handy especially for feeding and those nights of rocking your baby back to sleep in their first year. A rocker can serve many purposes, whether to nurse your baby - good position for both the mother and child, or just a cozy place to bond with your little one - napping, reading or just snuggling. If it's a quality one, it's bound to last for years.
Frugal Shopping Tips
Whether it's for basic or extra baby products, it's best to exercise frugality when shopping. Below are a few quick tips to keep in mind to get the best deal without depriving your baby his or her needs.
Buy in bulk. Although it may come off as far more expensive as purchasing retail, buying in bulk is actually less expensive - think long run. Diapers and baby wipes are the two top items you need to stock up on, and save money from.
Buy store brands. Most often, these items are cheaper (about 10%) than that of their name brand counterparts. Just because it's cheaper and doesn't carry a known label doesn't mean it's low quality - as a matter of fact, some are even better. So long as your baby's comfortable with it and doesn't cause your baby any harm (rashes or allergies), choose that.
Used save. Unlike teenagers, babies don't care if they are wearing hand-me-downs. Whether it's clothing, furniture or gear, try shopping for used yet still good and solid baby products. The clothes can sometimes be from relatives or friends. Just mind the sanitary condition of the things though.
Giving the best for your babies doesn’t mean getting the most expensive out there. Ultimately, all that really matters is how you take care of your baby - and how good you are at it.