Friday, June 22, 2012

life (lahyf) | baby gear

Shopping for baby is no different than shopping for a brand new pair of jeans.  How you ask?  When buying jeans you: evaluate the brand, assess your budget and figure out which pair fits best for you.  It's not that different when you buy the necessities for baby.  Now that I'm in the final stages of shopping for baby gear I can't help but catch myself examining every stroller that walks by me to figure out what brand it is and checking out diaper bags that cross my path...debating things in my head like, "Should I get the most popular stroller that's almost twice the cost of my monthly car payment?" or "Do I get the one with good reviews, but only sub-par "cuteness" factor?"  Decisions, decisions.

When it came to my car seat and stroller though, it was love at first site.  I first spotted the Maxi-Cosi Mico car seat a few months back when Fit Pregnancy printed their annual Buyer's Guide.  If you're an expecting parent, definitely check out the recommendations in that issue online - it makes shopping for baby gear a lot less stressful.  The Maxi-Cosi Mico car seat was recommended by Fit Pregnancy as one of the best car seats to purchase in 2012 and admittedly the first thing I gravitated to was it's super cute look.  It has a retro, modern look and comes in a variation of colors.  I considered it a bonus that it was a reasonable price, got good safety ratings and weighs next to nothing.  With all that in mind I was sold!

Finding the perfect car seat was easy and the stroller was a no brainer because we went with a Quinny stroller that is compatible with Maxi-Cosi car seats.  There are so many fun models to choose from between new Moodd, Buzz and Zapp, that it made our decision really tough.

Each have fun, sleek designs and again that "cute" factor which I shouldn't really care about, but I do...and similar to the Mico car seat, the Moodd stroller was recommended as a stroller to buy by Fit Pregnancy's 2012 Buyer's Guide.  Ultimately though it came down to price point, ease of breaking the stroller down and weight, so we ended up with the Senzz.

Even though finding our car seat and stroller seemed fairly easy, it took awhile for me to get there.  Shopping for baby gear is slightly different than shopping for clothes in your wardrobe, but there are few rules from clothes shopping that can be applied to keep your head straight and game face on the whole time:
  1. Just like a designer pair of jeans or handbag, don't feel the pressure to buy expensive brands.  Yes, I fell into the pressure early in my pregnancy of wanting to buy the most expensive stroller that wasn't the most functional, but in the end we found one that was the perfect price and exactly what we were looking for.
  2. Name brands don't mean expensive.  There are certain things that you should buy the name brands of because they really are that much better.  However, it doesn't mean that it should cost you an arm and a leg.  There are so many great brands out there, like the Maxi-Cosi car seats and Quinny strollers, that are reputable and reasonable at the same time.
  3. Be open to used or hand me down items.  This I learned from my girlfriend Abby.  Kids grow out of clothes so quickly and some kids are so picky their gear that sometimes it's not worth buying things brand new.  Yes, take those hand me down clothes and absolutely you should be scouring Craigslist for a gently used swing - why invest more money than you already have when you have at least 18 plus years of supporting a child financially?  Save money where you can and honestly chances are no one will know that items are used unless you announce.
  4.  Buy what's best for you and your lifestyle.  Early on in my pregnancy I put stress on myself to buy EVERY LITTLE THING I thought the baby needed.  I realize now that my original list has been cut in half because I don't need everything.  Only buy the necessities that you think fit your lifestyle best, you can always buy the other secondary items later.


Johanna said...

Great post! Love your stroller choices!

ruthy ann said...

I think shopping for baby stuff is harder than jeans...because i'm clueless about the entire process! I swear it took me an hour to add one single thing to my registry!

BTW...thanks for stopping by...looking forward to following another mama to be!

Anonymous said...

Great choice in car seats! I have had two now and they are perfect. Since i couldn't find the Quinny strollers and they were pretty expensive I went with the Foray stroller. They are also compatible with the maxi cosi carseat.