When I first became a mom in 2009, I was a single mom and a Private First Class in the Army. I was broke. My daughters slept in bed with me in my small apartment. I made the best of the situation, and they made it out of infancy so it’s safe to say that even on the most humble of budgets you can raise a happy baby. At 28 years old I am a little bit more established with my new baby I am able to spend a little bit more and get the products I want for him. Even though I am working with a two parent budget, I am still cheap!
You don’t have to buy your new baby all new things. I know it’s your first baby and you want to give them the best, but sometimes the best can be second-hand and no one will know, not even your baby! Here is a list of items that in my opinion you should by new and what is okay to buy second-hand.
Things I would buy brand new:
A Breast Pump:
You can buy a breast pump second-hand, BUT buy all the parts new. Meaning, the flanges, tubes (They can get mold in them so just buy new), the membranes. They sell all these pieces separately so it’s easy to replace them.
I said I like to be frugal, so breastfeeding to me is the best option. It’s free, it’s organic, and I don’t have to stumble in the middle of the night to warm up a bottle. Best part is, insurance now covers breast pumps! There was a hiccup with my insurance when I had my son so I went out and bought a breast pump that was on sale at Babies ‘R Us my insurance eventually sent me a breast pump so now I have two.
I got the Ameda Purely Yours breast pump in the clearance section of Babies ‘R Us. This breast pump is ideal for a mom who will have a “Pumping Station” set up in her house. It has a lot of pieces in my opinion, six pieces in all. The bottles are made to be able to put a nipple into them as well, but in my house shit gets lost so the disks that are made to make the top leak proof when a nipple isn’t on it is just impractical. The pump is quieter than my other one but it’s not ideal for an on the go mom. The bag is a plus-it doesn’t scream “Hey I’m carrying a breast pump!”
My insurance sent me the Medela Pump in style
I like this pump a whole lot more than the Ameda, because it’s smaller and has fewer pieces. This one has two settings, one to mimic initial feeding and the other to help with let down. I used my Ameda bag to carry this pump around.
Bottles are another item that you can kind of buy second-hand if you wanted to but you have to replace the nipples. Stores sell replacement nipples so it’s easy to replace them. You should buy the nipples new because bottle nipples go through a beating with hungry babies. They can wear out and possibly break causing a choking hazard for baby, just not worth the risk so buy new nipples if you plan on buying the bottles second hand.
Even if you plan to exclusively breast feed there will come a time where your baby will need to use a bottle in the event that you two are separated. My advice, after you have established your milk, test out the baby bottle you intend to use. I didn’t do this the first time I left my baby at home with my boyfriend. The baby hated the bottle and it was very difficult for him to feed him. Poor guy! We tried three different bottles before we found one he actually would feed from, maybe by the third bottle he finally got used to taking milk from the bottle, or maybe he genuinely liked the third bottle best, we will never know.
I had registered for Bare bottles. They were new to the market and the nipple looked the most like a real one. Above all that it visually appealed to me, I liked the colors it was cute. They were expensive so I didn’t think anyone would buy them off the registry but to my surprise someone did. My baby hated these bottles, and I ended up hating them too. They flow too fast and the liquid gold I had worked so hard to make would leak all over his face… That is when I finally understood the term “crying over spilled milk.” It was difficult to get a decent latch either so we ditched these bottles. Shame.
I scoured the internet to find an alternative. I ordered Adiri NxGen Nurser. This bottle came highly recommended by other mom bloggers, so I figured it was worth a shot.
His daycare said that he drank the bottle, but again it was hard for him to latch on and he would get frustrated. I was distraught. I went right back to college when my baby was four months old and was determined to finish the semester so having a baby that refused to eat while I was gone constantly had me worried.
Then one day while cleaning out my closet I found a gift bag that Babies ‘R’ Us had given me when I created my registry. Inside were coupons and samples and a baby bottle made by Maam. I had forgotten that they gave me a bottle. The bottle looked old school which really failed to appeal to me but I was desperate to find him a bottle he liked so I tried it. The Maam Anti-Colic Bottle was the winner. Supposedly it reduces gas and burping, I don’t know how true that statement is but I do know that the bottle boast that it ensures easier feedings for your baby. I would agree with that claim.
Do not buy your babies car seat used, I repeat DO NOT BUY YOUR PRECIOUS ANGEL A SECOND HAND CAR SEAT. This is an item that if used, could potentially save your child’s life. It is just better to spend the money. Do you know that car seats have expiration dates? Yeah, they do! Most car seats expire after six years from the date of manufacture. Usually the date is printed right on the car seat but if not check the owner’s manual. When buying used you don’t know the car seat’s entire history. If that car seat was in a prior accident, pieces on the inside could have already taken the shock of impact and be broken. In the event that you are in a car crash, even if youR baby is not with you in the car at the time of the crash but the seat was in the car, you should replace it. When it comes to things like car safety I don’t penny pinch or take short cuts because the stakes are too high.
Also you can check http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/recalls/childseat.cfm to see if a car seat has ever been recalled.
I bought a Baby Trend Travel System that came with a stroller, and infant car seat.
This infant car seat is pretty standard. rear facing, fits up to 35 lbs. I chose this particular car seat because it was black and heather grey…cuteeeee!
With my girls I had bought them Britax Marathon Car seats. We got in a car accident and they were safe. So I wanted to buy new baby the same one.
This is the Britax Marathon Rear/Front Facing car seat. I chose the Nantucket one because I think it just looks so chic as far as car seats go. And this is the type of car seat you can buy for baby for his first ride home from the hospital until he’s ready for a booster seat (Birth to 6 years old). They are pricey but they are top of the line and if you think about it full price this car seat is $350, divide that by 6 years, it’s $58.34 a month to keep your baby safe and sound. Meaning you will get your money’s worth.
Mom Jawn Tip: If you are shopping for a new car seat check Babies ‘R’ Us open box section. This is where they have items that are other wise new and safe but do not have a box.For example when I bought my stroller travel system, the latch to connect the buggy to the stroller was cracked, I took it back to the store and a few days later I saw the car seat that belonged to the system on the open box shelf. Babies ‘R’ Us cannot put any car seat out on the floor if it has not been properly inspected by an independent inspector. I got this Britax Marathon at a discounted price $202.00 (Yay!)
Here is a link of a youtube video made by Britax on Car seat installation for this model:
Things you can buy used:
I REALLY wanted to get baby a RockaRoo Swing, but I COULD not justify to myself paying $249 dollars for something I would only use for his first six months of life. So I bought a second-hand Fisher-price swing from a friend of a friends for $60.
In my opinion, this swing isn’t cute, and the base of the swing took up A LOT of space in my tiny apartment bedroom, but it got the job done.
One day my baby’s daycare was having a yard-sale, and they were selling a RockaRoo Swing for TEN DOLLARS! I was so glad I didn’t spend the money on a new one. This swing takes way less space and looks cuter too. I think you can plug your music into it but I haven’t used the feature yet.
Both swings I got second-hand and were both a steal compared to buying new.
Almost all of my babies’ clothes are second-hand or purchase from a thrift shop. Guess what? No one knows, plus people really just want to ogle at your baby and make funny faces. They rarely ever look at a baby to see their fashion style. Oh yeah, and even though his clothes are second hand, they look new, and people do compliment me all the time about his cute little outfits. I buy baby organic bibs new though, just because I know babies sometimes stuff their bibs in their mouth so I feel better giving him a new bib that is made out of organic fabric that has not been treated with chemicals.