Author Topic: Decorating a Baby's Room, Registry Advice  (Read 9475 times)

Everything in Moderation

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Decorating a Baby's Room, Registry Advice
« on: November 05, 2013, 11:18:28 AM »
Hi,
I am pregnant for the first time and am trying to set up/ decorate our baby room on a budget, while still having some nice things.  Also, I could use some advice on what is and is not needed for a baby registry.  Registering is an overwhelming task and I want to get it right and not fall victim to buying unneeded baby crap.  We rather own less and send our baby to a nice day care/ school. 

So far, I have kindly required my husband to sand and paint an old book shelf that I got at Goodwill, an old dresser my husband bought from Target 10 years ago in college, a free TV cabinet (turning it into a closet), and 2 floating wall shelves from Goodwill.  Everything will match and look new.  I feel like I have a serious mustache from this decision, baby furniture is very expensive. 

Our climate is cold and we need a good sized carpet for the room.  Can't find anything on Craigslist.  Overstock.com seems to be the next best option.  Other thoughts?  I think I will ask for this for Christmas from my family. 

My splurge item was an upholstered gliding chair and ottoman.  This is my one item I have always wanted for a baby room.  These chairs can go anywhere from $400 to over $1,000.  I found a lightly used, extremely high end one on Craigslist for $325 and my mom split it with me for my birthday.   They were asking $500, so they probably paid a lot more for it.  It is the type of furniture construction that will last another 20 years.  Also, it is a neutral color, and can be moved to any other part of our home after the baby stage is complete.  This was a want, not a need, but I don't regret it.  What do you think? 

I really wanted to get a big wall sticker (tree with flowers), but this is now off this list, as the ones I like go from $50-$150.  It is a sticker for peat sake! 

We are going to paint the room, and frame some home made art with old frames.  My husband wants some cute Star Wars cartoon art from Esty, so he will get those for Christmas ($40 for 4 pictures).  My mom will help me make the curtains.  We will register for an inexpensive crib and 2 small lamps from ikea. 

Am I missing anything?  Other ways to save?  Feedback?


As far as the registry, here are some things I currently plan on getting  and not getting:

*reusable diapers.  Will still need to buy disposable diapers for the day care hours.
*high end breast pump  (I work so I need to be efficient)
*Very expensive wood high chair that grows with age to adulthood.  Thoughts?  I rather get something that will serve a purpose for decades and can be used by adults.  I generally believe in buying quality, not quantity.  http://www.stokke.com/en-us/highchair/tripp-trapp-product-concept.aspx 
*Average stroller, baby carrier, car seat, feeding pillow, blankets, burp towels, baby proof plugs, bottles and basic stuff like that
*Don't need a swing or other baby holding device. 
*We will make some of our own baby food, but I can use current items in my kitchen.  Don't need a $100 baby steamer and blender. 
*Don't need a diaper genie or wipe warmer.  Will use a medium sized tuperware container. 
*Don't need a lot of clothes, I will buy used on craigslist. 
*I won't register for toys, but over the coming years, I will either make my own Montessori based toys or buy used.  Our city has an amazing Craigslist market. 

This is not a complete list, but just some of the items that I have been thinking about.  What items did you register for or buy?  Which ones were a good idea or bad idea? 

Slowly, I have come to see that a larger car is not needed or important, until we have more kids.  We will be buying a second car (a need unfortunately), but it will be small and efficient and used. 

Day care...this is expensive, but our highest priority.  I make way too much to stay at home.  We will be paying $9,500 for 5 house of care, 5 days a week.  This does not include the summer, which is extra.  Very expensive, but worth every penny to us.  Education is a top priority.  We both have flexible jobs, so I can handle the pick up and drop off.  My husband will go in early and come home early, so I can finish my work in the later afternoon and evening.  We have seriously cut back on eating out and buying crap, so we can pay for this and save at the same rate. 

Any advice for new parents is appreciated.  Thanks. 

brand new stash

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Re: Decorating a Baby's Room, Registry Advice
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2013, 12:00:28 PM »
I recommend not buying the high end high chair.  Yeah, they claim to work until adulthood, but what adult wants to sit in a high chair, and from friends who have them, they just don't clean up as easily as the plastic ones.  Save the money and buy a used plastic high chair. 

You said that you don't need a swing or other baby holding device, but think about where the baby will be put down long enough to go to the bathroom.  It doesn't have to be a swing, and there are a million options, but have somewhere save you can put the baby for a quick minute to go to the bathroom or move a pot of boiling water on the stove, or something similar.

You don't have a baby carrier/wrap/sling listed, but those are fabulous.

For the carpet, check out home depot or similar big box stores.

You mention craigslist, but I highly recommend children's consignment sales.  They are all over the place, usually in the spring and fall, and have fabulous selections of used kids stuff.  They are great for books, toys....look here for the high chair, etc. 

You don't mention a crib.  But a crib and crib sheets (note, not a full crib set with the stuff like bumpers that are SIDS risks, but just a few sheets) are pretty basic too.

You asked what we think of the upholstered glider, despite already having bought it.  You bought it, so it is water under the bridge, but I think they are a waste of money.

dadof4

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Re: Decorating a Baby's Room, Registry Advice
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2013, 12:03:14 PM »
Good job on getting the furniture cheap, that is usually a major expense.

My splurge item was an upholstered gliding chair and ottoman.  This is my one item I have always wanted for a baby room.  These chairs can go anywhere from $400 to over $1,000.  I found a lightly used, extremely high end one on Craigslist for $325 and my mom split it with me for my birthday.   They were asking $500, so they probably paid a lot more for it.  It is the type of furniture construction that will last another 20 years.  Also, it is a neutral color, and can be moved to any other part of our home after the baby stage is complete.  This was a want, not a need, but I don't regret it.  What do you think? 
We got one for our first baby, after being told it would help with breast feeding. DW hardly ever used it. It's still in the baby room, the kids use it as a swing these days. Still looks new 13 years later, but I'm glad it only cost $100.
http://www.walmart.com/ip/6006620

*reusable diapers.  Will still need to buy disposable diapers for the day care hours.
*high end breast pump  (I work so I need to be efficient)
Good choices.

I really wanted to get a big wall sticker (tree with flowers), but this is now off this list, as the ones I like go from $50-$150.  It is a sticker for peat sake! 
An alternative is to get smaller stickers and make a scene with them. The effect is similar.

*Very expensive wood high chair that grows with age to adulthood.  Thoughts?  I rather get something that will serve a purpose for decades and can be used by adults.  I generally believe in buying quality, not quantity.  http://www.stokke.com/en-us/highchair/tripp-trapp-product-concept.aspx 
What????
This makes no sense to me. Buy a $20 high chair off craigslist, sell it in a couple of years for $20 on craigslist. Use a booster for another year.
Buy quality adult furniture for years 3-90.

*Average stroller, baby carrier, car seat, feeding pillow, blankets, burp towels, baby proof plugs, bottles and basic stuff like that
You can save a lot by buying a used stroller/baby carrier/car seat combo. CL again is your friend.

However, If you plan to walk or run a lot with the baby, get a good stroller!

*Don't need a swing or other baby holding device. 
YMMV. One of my four kids was very fussy, but a $40 swing would calm her down almost instantly. The other 3 absolutely hated it.

All 4 of them loved bouncer chairs. They would eat, sleep and play on those for much of their first year. I'm not sure we would have survived without them. :)
http://www.walmart.com/ip/21975843

*Don't need a lot of clothes, I will buy used on craigslist. 
Excellent. Look for bundles - a lot of people will sell big bags full of clothes, which will both be cheaper, involve less driving around, and set you up for a couple of years at a time.


*I won't register for toys, but over the coming years, I will either make my own Montessori based toys or buy used.  Our city has an amazing Craigslist market. 
Goodwill and garage sales are also your friend. Many garage sales are very kid's stuff oriented.

cynthia1848

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Re: Decorating a Baby's Room, Registry Advice
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2013, 12:06:56 PM »
You won't need the high chair for a few months.  I would suggest getting a ONE PIECE PLASTIC one.  No corners for goobies to get stuck.

If baby's room is cold - space heater may be cheaper than heating up the whole house.  Plus a humidifier for cold/dry months.  And SLEEP SACKS - those are awesome.

I would get a used swing or vibrating chair.  Those saved us when our babies were colicky.

Ditto to brand new stash on baby carrier.  I like the Moby wrap and the Ergo.

How often is your day care paid?  Is it 9500 per month? per year?

SisterX

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Re: Decorating a Baby's Room, Registry Advice
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2013, 12:14:41 PM »
Check out what your insurance will cover for the breast pump.  Mine will cover the entire cost of one standard electric breast pump, and as long as your insurance has maternity care it has to cover at least some of the cost.

CNM

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Re: Decorating a Baby's Room, Registry Advice
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2013, 12:17:21 PM »
I had a baby 15 months ago.  We did not have a baby registry and requested no presents.  Most baby things we got were hand-me-downs.  In reality, a newborn does not need/want very much.  They don't go through clothes as frequently as toddlers and they don't really "play" yet so toys were not very important.  I would, however, recommend getting a swing or rocker for your child to sit in.  It was useful to have a place to put the baby where I could watch him while I was doing something, like cooking, even though he was awake.

The other item to buy ahead of time is a car seat.  Hospitals will not let you take the baby home without one.  While you can find used car seats for sale, this is one item that I felt needed to be purchased new. 

But really, the best advice I can give is to save money.  I found that some things I had bought before the baby was born were useless, and others were worth every penny.  Also, things came up- expensive things such as additional emergency medical costs- and it was a relief not to have to worry about money on top of everything else.

Everything in Moderation

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Re: Decorating a Baby's Room, Registry Advice
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2013, 12:20:07 PM »
Thanks for the comments so far. 

I thought the high chair would bring up some discussion.  It falls under the 'want' category for sure.  We will be registering for all these items.  We have a lot of people that want to buy for us, 3-4 people that was to spend on big ticket items, kind of crazy.  So past the cost of the baby chair and setting up the room, we won't be buying all this stuff.  I completely see what you are saying though.  They are harder to clean.  Also, what older child would want to sit in it.  We only have 2 chairs currently around our table, so this would also prevent us from buying another chair to use when the kid is a toddler.   

I will check out Home depot for a carpet.  We will be getting a crib and basic sheet at ikea. 

As for the baby holder, maybe we do need one, so I can go to the bathroom. 

The nice thing about the chair is that it can eventually go in another room.  We don't have a lot of furniture, so it has future use.  I am pretty sure I will use it a lot, as I have been sitting in it non stop because it is so comfy.

I don't plan on buying the stroller and baby carrier used, because my family needs some items to buy for the shower.   All registry items will be paid for.  Personally, I rather buy all items used, and ask my family to donate cash for day care, but that would really offend people. 

The $9,500 for day care is for the year (5 hours per day), except for summer. 

Consignment sale...great idea.   


Everything in Moderation

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Re: Decorating a Baby's Room, Registry Advice
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2013, 12:25:25 PM »
"We got one for our first baby, after being told it would help with breast feeding. DW hardly ever used it. It's still in the baby room, the kids use it as a swing these days. Still looks new 13 years later, but I'm glad it only cost $100.
http://www.walmart.com/ip/6006620"

Also, this is what I was trying to avoid.  This cannot really go in a front living room or TV room, it is strictly a baby rocker.  Our upholstered chair looks like a nice recliner that can go in any room in our house.  Personal preference though. 

MKinVA

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Re: Decorating a Baby's Room, Registry Advice
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2013, 12:37:46 PM »
I warn you...your toddler is going to say, I NOT SIT IN BABY CHAIR! Just you wait. I have two in my attic. The minute our daughter saw that baby brother had the same chair, she would not sit in hers again. BECAUSE THAT'S A BABY CHAIR!


brand new stash

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Re: Decorating a Baby's Room, Registry Advice
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2013, 02:19:58 PM »

I thought the high chair would bring up some discussion.  It falls under the 'want' category for sure.  We will be registering for all these items.  We have a lot of people that want to buy for us, 3-4 people that was to spend on big ticket items, kind of crazy.  So past the cost of the baby chair and setting up the room, we won't be buying all this stuff.  I completely see what you are saying though.  They are harder to clean.  Also, what older child would want to sit in it.  We only have 2 chairs currently around our table, so this would also prevent us from buying another chair to use when the kid is a toddler.   


I think buying a $250 chair now to avoid buying a $20 used high chair in 6 months, and a $40 new  (or free from freecycle...which is what my kids sit at the table on) chair in two years doesn't make a lot of sense to me.   

For the registry, can you ask for gift cards to a place like Target, where you can buy things over the years?   


Myrmida

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Re: Decorating a Baby's Room, Registry Advice
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2013, 02:53:34 PM »
Consider getting re-usable wipes to go with your re-usable diapers.  For wipes, we have a couple dozen cheap baby washcloths.  Crafty people could also make their own.

Our rocker/glider has got a lot of use (and abuse).  You do want somewhere comfortable to sit for those bedtime and middle of the night feedings.  But don't delude yourself into thinking that it will go great somewhere else in your house.  Sure, it's washable, but after being spat up on, puked on, peed on and covered in a marker that a toddler got his hands on, there's a limit to what will come out.

I agree about the high chair.  We got a space saver high chair that clips onto a regular kitchen chair - best thing ever!

Receiving blankets are the best baby thing ever.  Don't bother with burp cloths, which are too small to be useful anyway.  Just throw a receiving blanket over your shoulder.  You don't need baby towels if you have some nice flannel receiving blankets.  People who say that you need somewhere to put the baby?  Just throw a receiving blanket on the floor.  You can usually find blankets, washcloths, baby towels, etc. at community baby sales and garage sales.

One toy that we had for our baby that we loved was a floor gym/mat with stuff hanging down that baby could swat at.  This was the only thing that kept our baby happy on his own for 15-20 minutes from a very young age - just long enough to have a shower, grab a bite to eat or start a load of laundry.

For baby food (which typically doesn't start until at least 6 months old, anyway), consider baby-led weaning.  It avoids baby food entirely and worked better for us.

KulshanGirl

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Re: Decorating a Baby's Room, Registry Advice
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2013, 03:08:40 PM »
I got the cheap-o $20 IKEA plastic high chair, and LOVED it.  She sat in it until she was a toddler (with and then without the tray, just right up to the table) and old enough to sit in a regular chair. 

Get the good breast pump.  Also, I had a My Brest Friend (worst name EVER!) pillow and found that I liked it much better than a boppy.  Put a tube of Lanolin on your registry and some milk storage bags.  Also, Medela quick wipes for cleaning the pump parts when you're on the go are good to have.  Also, the little round white rubber valve thingies, they come in a 6 pack I think.  When your pump isn't working well, it's usually those little buggers. 

Find as many newborn clothes that don't go over the head as possible.  Little kimono snap onesies are the best.  I hated trying to get the little clothes on over her head.  Also, newborn pants with feet.  Footed jammies are great, but we had two or three pairs of just little pants with feet and loved those.   Whatever clothes you get at your shower, when the baby has arrived you are going to discover your favorite uniform, and wish you had ten more of that.  :)  (Can you tell mine was kimono onesies and footie pants?)   

Don't bother with receiving blankets, get a few of the larger muslin (I think?) swaddle blankets instead.  They cost a bit more but you can actually swaddle a baby in one.  We still have them and use them for making forts and for dress-up, they are very versatile.

We totally skipped the baby bathtub and either spot-cleaned her with a washcloth or got right in the tub and bathed her while holding her.

Also loved the Graco Snap n Go stroller, it's just a frame on wheels that the carseat snaps into.  I wish I had found that on day 1.   

Put lots of board books on your registry.  :)

Edited to add:  Recieving blankets used for other things than as a swaddle/blanket - great!  I used cloth prefold diapers for those things that the previous poster mentioned, but receiving blankets would be great for that.  We got a ton and they got given away, we did save a few for doll blankets.  :)
« Last Edit: November 05, 2013, 03:11:43 PM by KulshanGirl »

savingtofreedom

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Re: Decorating a Baby's Room, Registry Advice
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2013, 03:53:55 PM »
I am in a similar situation.

I am due in February and went to register with some girlfriends.  I did my best to register for the bare minimum but it is easy to go nuts.   It is pretty common to get clothes at showers and I have been really lucky to get a ton of hand me downs - clothes and other baby items from friends.

I found a good deal on the stroller that I was interested in at Amazon (a friend recommended it to me - it is the Britax B-ready and it is convertible to a 2 child stroller - you add an attachment to the bottom).  Currently the infant carrier is free when you add it to your cart at checkout with the stroller.

Britax is also doing  promotion where you get a free convertible carseat when you send in 5 upcs for the stroller, infant car seat, a baby carrier and a large and small accessory.  In total my out of pocket for the stroller, infant carrier, second child attachment, window decal and britax carrier was about $570 which is by no means cheap but I think a good value for all items I will need.  They have a similar promotion for the Bob stroller as well.  My mom is buying this for me so I thought I did a good job considering the stroller runs at a minimum of $350 on the low end.

I paid for a glider too for about the same price and because I am working from home I see myself using it alot.

If you do utilize a registry - my friends recommended babies r us as they are good about returns - you can apply it to other baby/kid stuff or disposable diapers for daycare.  I have heard some mixed things about returns using Target's registry.

My breast pump was free with insurance - I may have missed if you said you could get it from your insurance company.

gooki

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Re: Decorating a Baby's Room, Registry Advice
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2013, 05:41:54 PM »
If you have carpet throughout your house a wet vacuum is a god send.
http://amzn.com/B0016HF5GK

Perfect for getting breast milk, wee, pooh etc. out of carpets and furniture.

One of the best gifts I received was a collection of childrens books. They're also perfect for people who want to get you smaller gifts (saves getting lots of plastic crap).

PS CNM's comments are spot on so I won't repeat them.

theSchmett

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Re: Decorating a Baby's Room, Registry Advice
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2013, 06:15:52 PM »
The Glider, in my experience, was well worth it. We found one at a consignment shop.

I'd have paid full price for it without blinking.

Also, a high quality breast pump isn't a splurge, this is your kid's food.

My advice is to NOT get a diaper pail. Unless someone found a magic one... we did not want to buy one that constantly wrapped everything in plastic, so we went with one that opened to reveal a bucket, you fill the bucket, and move the handle to dump it down into the container and bag.  It was supposed to control the smells but not letting any air in or out, etc...

IT DID NOT WORK.

It smelled less to have an open plastic garbage can with a shopping bag in it. Empty once a day or more and just deal with it.

I never did get the smell out of the plastic of that can and we wound up recycling it. Couldn't even sell it.  Total waste.

sneeds

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Re: Decorating a Baby's Room, Registry Advice
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2013, 06:37:22 PM »
Definitely check with your health insurance company on whether they cover the cost of breast pumps. Under the Affordable Care Act most of them are now required to. That can save you a couple hundred dollars right there.

I'm a first time mom due in April 2014 and so far I've found this site: http://www.lucieslist.com/ helpful. It seems to give good advice on what you need and what you don't, as well as good comparisons for a lot of the big ticket items like car seats/stroller/travel systems, etc. to help you choose which one is right for you.

kimmarg

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Re: Decorating a Baby's Room, Registry Advice
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2013, 08:11:24 PM »
Thanks for the comments so far. 

I thought the high chair would bring up some discussion.  It falls under the 'want' category for sure.  We will be registering for all these items.  We have a lot of people that want to buy for us, 3-4 people that was to spend on big ticket items, kind of crazy.  So past the cost of the baby chair and setting up the room, we won't be buying all this stuff.  I completely see what you are saying though.  They are harder to clean.  Also, what older child would want to sit in it.  We only have 2 chairs currently around our table, so this would also prevent us from buying another chair to use when the kid is a toddler.   


I vote trip-trapp! I am 31. My parents still have mine. I sat in it well into elementary school (prob age 10 or so). Once I got to the point i was comfy in the dining room chairs we swapped it into another room as a stool/ extra chair.  In fact it is still really comfy as an adult chair! It does not look like a high chair at all. Also after me and several cousins using it it is still in good shape 30 years later. Heck I won't let me mom get rid of it in case I want to have kids!!

mrsggrowsveg

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Re: Decorating a Baby's Room, Registry Advice
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2013, 07:18:33 AM »
You don't really need disposables for daycare.  We send our baby in cloth every day.  Now that he is eating solids, we use these flushable biodegradable liners in the diapers that his teachers can throw out when they are dirty:  http://www.amazon.com/Bummis-BL-L-Bio-Soft-Liner-Large/dp/B0025YWL4W.  I heard that Viva paper towels work too.  I second the cloth wipes suggestion. 

Insurance should cover a breast pump.  Splurge on the car charger, it is well worth it.

I went for the nice wood high chair and it looks really nice but is hard to clean.  If I could do it over I would buy cheap plastic.

I would add an ergo or moby.  It is way more convenient to use then a stroller, especially in busy areas.  It also was amazing for fussy, gassy newborn baby on nights when he just wanted to cry.

Also, if you are doing carpet I would make sure to install it well before baby comes.  There are tons of chemicals in new carpet that will need to off gas.  Craigslist sometimes has enough carpet for a room.


cynthia1848

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Re: Decorating a Baby's Room, Registry Advice
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2013, 07:39:13 AM »
I think 9500/year is CHEAP.  When I was looking for daycare it was 2500/month for an infant.  You must live in a lower COLA area.

The Medela pumps are the best - I had both a symphony (for work) and a pump in style advanced.

Everything in Moderation

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Re: Decorating a Baby's Room, Registry Advice
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2013, 08:01:01 AM »
kimmarg:  Thanks for your perspective on the expensive high chair.  We think alike.  I know going in that it will be harder to clean, but that is okay with me.  I rather have something nice looking and that will last 30+ years.  Again, people in my family want to buy expensive items, so I rather register for something I want, so they don't pick something expensive that I dislike. 

I found out that I can get 2 breast pumps from my insurance company, 1 for work and 1 for home.  Score!  Thanks for the tip!

mrsggrowsveg: disposable diapers are required by most day cares, and at the Montessori school that we will be going to.  Oh well.   

cynthia1848:  Our day care could be more expensive.  We live in a high cost area, but we are signed up under a 1/2 day program, that that is saving us a ton.  Luckily, our work schedules are flexible so we can work in the evening and weekends to make up for the time watching our baby. 

I agree that diaper genie type things are not a good decision.  We will get a $5 plastic tuperware container and take it out every other day. 

I will check out that website and stroller suggestions.  Also, I have requested a Baby Book Theme shower, where instead of a card, everyone picks their favorite kids book.  I did this theme for my sister in laws shower and it was a huge hit. 

Thanks. 

Myrmida

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Re: Decorating a Baby's Room, Registry Advice
« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2013, 08:20:06 AM »
One last thing that is useful for cloth diapering is a large "wet bag" (a water resistant cloth bag to throw wet/soiled diapers into - they usually zip up or have drawstring) for home and a smaller one for on-the-go.  When it's time to wash the diapers, you dump them out of the wet bag and into the washer and then throw the bag in after.  That way the diaper pail doesn't need washing every time you wash diapers and the small one keeps your diapers away from everything else in your diaper bag.  The wet bags are also useful as a beach/pool bag to throw bathing suits and towels after everyone has finished swimming and changed back into regular clothes.

Also, don't get a fancy diaper bag - a regular back-pack will work fine and keep your hands free.  We actually found a backpack style diaper bag at a community baby stuff sale, but I wouldn't go out and pay full price for something so specific.

CNM

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Re: Decorating a Baby's Room, Registry Advice
« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2013, 11:49:38 AM »
+1 on the wet bag for cloth diapers.  We got 2 largest size Planet Wise brand wet bags (so we also have one while the other is being washed) and they work perfectly- no leaking and very very little smell.

+1 on the reclining gilder chair.  This is the baby item that has gotten the most use so far.   

In addition to craigslist, check and see if there are local parents' clubs where you live.  There is a meetup.com group where I live that is huge and very active and it's a great way to get cheap/free baby items.  There is also a smaller parenting facebook group.  I received several garbage bags full of baby clothes for free this way.  It's also a good way to connect with other parents and swap babysitting. 


MrsPete

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Re: Decorating a Baby's Room, Registry Advice
« Reply #22 on: November 06, 2013, 04:54:53 PM »
Sounds like you've done well on most of the nursery items -- I say go ahead and get the rug you want, but be sure to choose something with a print.  The baby will not be respectful of nice things for quite some time.  Have you checked Target?  They have some rugs for a good price.  I can't speak to the quality.

I loved my gliding rocker, and I used it quite a bit.  I thought I'd move it to another room once the babies were big kids, but I didn't.  It looked too baby-ish.

As for the wall sticker, could you paint a tree with flowers?  Or, do you have a crafty friend?  If you don't know anyone, call your local high school and see if either the art teacher or one of her students would do it for a fee.  I can't believe the materials could possibly cost more than $10.

I got a breast pump without charge from insurance, but I didn't pump at work for all that long.  It was just too difficult a task to keep up for long.  Do realize, though, that nursing isn't an all-or-none proposition.  Once nursing is strongly established (and especially after the baby is eating solid foods), it's very easy to breastfeed in the morning, in the afternoon, and at bedtime . . . but give bottles or solids mid-day.  I did this for two years with both my kids.  So, keeping this in mind, the pump isn't a necessity; remember, they didn't exist until a decade or so ago, and women have been breastfeeding since . . . forever. 

Along the same thought, keep in mind that nursing may not be as automatic as you think.  I had serious trouble positioning the baby -- and I hadn't expected that at all.  One visit from the LLL people (while I was still in the hospital) was plenty to set me straight.  Be quick to accept help at first!   And every time you sit down to nurse the baby, have a large drink beside you.  Your intake = the baby's intake, so never skimp on liquids.  I had no trouble at all with anything I ate while nursing, but every time I got busy and didn't drink enough, I noticed a decrease in my milk.  Breastfeeding is next to free, it's more convenient than buying/mixing/cleaning bottles, and it provides health benefits that last a lifetime -- few things are so perfect.

I recommend two breastfeeding accessories:  First, a pillow shaped for nursing.  I know, this looks like unnecessary junk, but you're going to spend hours each day feeding the baby, and this thing will save your back and shoulders.  With my first child, I didn't have one, and I kept a bed pillow on the sofa all the time.  While I was expecting my second, I found a nursing pillow at a yard sale.  I had no idea how much better that "shaped just right" pillow would be.  Now it's my go-to gift for first time moms!  Don't forget to take it to the hospital with you.  Second, you need breast shields; you will leak.  At first it'll be random, but rather quickly you'll only leak if a feeding is pushed too late.  Personally, I always liked the thin disposables; the washable ones were so thick that they seemed to add too much girth to my already large bust.  Nursing tops and nightgowns are nice to have, but hardly a necessity.   

Do not pay a premium for anything that will "grow" with the child.  Furniture is easy to buy used /cheap, and those "grow with you" items tend to be inferior quality -- pressed particle board, flimsy wood.  Someone else said it well:  Don't pay big money for something now to avoid paying pennies on the dollar a year from now. 

Whatever high chair you buy, be sure it has (1) a large tray (2) with high sides (3) that is easily washed and (4) can be removed with one hand -- that one handed thing is huge:  imagine the baby is squirming to get out of the seat, and you need two hands to remove the tray.  That baby can go over the edge and hit the floor before you can set the tray down.  Definitely choose a model that's easy to clean -- it's easy to say now that you won't mind cleaning it, but you will mind later.  You will get very, very tired of cleaning that high chair (and under it).  The worst high chairs are the ones with non-removable trays that "flip" over the back of the chair; you can't move the tray 'til you've removed the food and wiped down the tray (other wise you'll spill crumbs all over the floor).  I loved that my high chair could scoot up to the table so the baby could eat with the family (without the tray, of course).  I wish I'd bought a model on wheels.  Once my kids were sitting up well, I liked to sit them in the high chair in the kitchen while I cooked.  It kept them in a safe place, and I could talk to them while they played with small toys.  The thing they liked best to play with in the high chair:  An ice cube. 

You'll probably want two strollers:  First you'll want a full-sized comfortable stroller that lies down flat for when the baby's a newborn.  You'll use this stroller until age 3-4 for all-day outings, and you'll love that the basket (buy the biggest basket possible) will hold all your stuff.   You'll hate that it'll take up all your trunk space, and it'll be unwieldy to set up /put away, especially when you're alone.  Once the baby can sit up well, you'll want a small umbrella stroller to keep in your trunk all the time for quick trips.  You'll use this one more often than your big stroller, but you'll appreciate them both for their strengths.

Do you need a swing?  I loved mine with my oldest child.  She'd happily swing for 30  minutes at a time, and I could get something done around the house.  In contrast, my youngest hated to be "contained" in any way and much preferred to be placed on a blanket on the floor.  She's also the one who walked at 7 months.  Best option:  Borrow, or buy used. 

I did lots of homemade baby food with a small food processor (forget the blender -- use the right tool) and an ice cube tray in which to freeze the food.  The one baby food you really do need to buy is baby cereal; no adult equivalent exists.  And you'll want to keep a few jars around for times when you're having something the baby can't chew /shouldn't have yet.  And jars are great for when you're going out. 

Yes, clothes, toys, blankets are things to buy used.  The baby'll go through them so quickly that they're semi-disposable.  Definitely something upon which to skimp.  And pretty much anything that didn't exist when our parents were kids . . . isn't necessary.  Diaper Genies, nursery monitors, electric rockers, and more, more, more, more, more.  You know you don't need those things. 

In contrast, do not skimp on the high chair, the car seat, the crib and the stroller.  You'll use these things every day for years -- possibly with a second child.  Choose models that will make your child comfortable (which makes your life easy) and are super-easy for you to operate. 

You didn't mention two necessities:  Books and photographs.  You'll want plenty of each. 
« Last Edit: November 07, 2013, 10:27:23 AM by MrsPete »

mariejm

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Re: Decorating a Baby's Room, Registry Advice
« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2014, 01:41:00 PM »
I just saw this and here is my take on take on what baby's need - baby's prefer to sleep with their mothers, in the family bed, making breastfeeding and sleeping through the night easier. you can read James Mckenna and his book. Babies prefer being worn then being in a stroller or plastic baby carrier, read "Our Babies Ourselves" and check out the Ergo carrier, something that is usuable for the entire newborn-toddler years of life and part of the second year. Strollers are great for toddlers, in moderation. Take them outside, to parks, to new places to play and for errands, a stroller gets them to and from quicker then carrying and they get tired easy and are quite little to keep up with adults. As a mom it is great to consider life from their perspective and as an adult understand that parenting young children means most everything will take longer then it used to when doing things on your own! the good part is that you have beautiful children ;) and their brains grow the most the first 8 years! what a delight!

   Best baby book and toddler book: Your Baby & Child by Penelope Leach
   Best teaching method for 2-8: Teaching Montessori in the Home (as a toddler you can have       "school" one hour per day and the children gain lots of skills and satisfaction)
   Best exercise: trampoline, big for when they are old enough and a small house one to bounce with parents when they are younger- toddlers and kids love them!
  Best investment: jungle gym with swingset, toddlers and above adore these

These are my thoughts just at this time. The research I've done on labor suggests having the birth in a quiet, calm environment and not at a hospital with people rushing in and out, with pressured inductions common, and a caesarean rate of 30%. Calm and vaginal is preferable for the baby. Stress and distress makes birthing unbearable and actually closes down the process of opening up. I like birth centers for an alternative to a hospital, with no circumcision and immediate breastfeeding. If you read "Attachment Parenting" you'll get the info on why immediate breast feeding and no bottles ever (at the hospital you have little control over whether your child is given a bottle). Having a meeting with a lactation counselor pre birth and a follow up meeting with lactation counselor 1-2 days after birth, to get all your questions answered. Breast feeding is a delicious way to nourish your baby, ideal for the mom and the child.

Also, understand that birthing is hard. Having after care is a not talked about in our society, and its highly necessary for the mother. Your concern will be your child, and you will need someone to take care of you. Having extra support for the mother prearranged for the first week or two after birth is ideal, in-home care is best- husbands are great, but you will need care taking and pampering preferably from a women who has had her babies and has understood what you have just gone through. Worth the investment. Counseling for post-birthing processing is a great resource as well, I find women like to talk about their birth experiences and get personal insight on the process and how it went. Husbands can be greatly involved as he wants, its great for the baby to bond to several people, a team of caregivers who love and respect the infant. its a steep learning curve for mom :) so remember to take of yourself and also feel enjoyment in your role as mother! 

*On a personal note, I plan to birth my children at home with a midwife, utilize a birth pool and a birth stool. I know that contractions are actually meant to be lived through versus needing to  push, and babies are born around the world at home- I would rather do it myself and keep intruding doctors out. I know that midwives know what they are doing and a hospital is always just 15 minutes away should anything need medical intervention. I will purchase/trade for support first 1-2 weeks after birth, someone to stay with us as I adjust. as I get used to being a mom and caring for a baby. Visits will be restricted for a few months, I know family gets excited about new arrivals and at the same time mothers and babies need calm for the first few months. both baby and I will take time to adjust and grow our bond. Afterwards, party on!

historienne

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Re: Decorating a Baby's Room, Registry Advice
« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2014, 01:56:24 PM »
I just saw this and here is my take on take on what baby's need - baby's prefer to sleep with their mothers, in the family bed, making breastfeeding and sleeping through the night easier. you can read James Mckenna and his book. Babies prefer being worn then being in a stroller or plastic baby carrier, read "Our Babies Ourselves" and check out the Ergo carrier, something that is usuable for the entire newborn-toddler years of life and part of the second year.

Just a reality check on this - your baby may or may not meet this description.  My baby loves her ergo and swing (won't nap anywhere else) but I've known plenty of moms who bought a high-end baby carrier only to find that their baby hated it.  So many of these preferences vary baby to baby; even if *most* babies respond well to carriers, there's no guarantee that yours will.  Or that these choices will work for you.  I'm down with co-sleeping in theory, but in practice I could never get a sound night's sleep with my daughter in our bed, so into the crib it was.  In general, you'll do best if you don't commit to too many specific choices about where your baby will sleep/nap/eat/etc before you actually meet the little person.

Also, I'm sure some people have negative experiences with hospital births, but it is totally possible to have an unmedicated, low-interventions vaginal birth in a hospital, and start breastfeeding immediately with no pressure to give your baby a bottle.  I did!  Obviously, if that kind of thing is important to you, you'll want to make sure that you choose a supportive hospital, but there's a lot of middle ground between home birth and c-section factories.  Also, if you just want the epidural, that's fine too - there's no medal for surviving the most pain in labor.

I agree 100%, though, on arranging supportive in-home care for the first few weeks after birth, if at all possible. 

MicroRN

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Re: Decorating a Baby's Room, Registry Advice
« Reply #25 on: June 13, 2014, 03:46:04 PM »
It sounds like you're on track with a lot of things.  The furniture sounds great.  I'll disagree with most of the people on the highchairs.  We value Montessori-type methods, and one of those means letting children do everything they can for themselves.  We have 2 Svan highchairs (similar to the Stokke, both bought used on CL), and our kids climb up into the chairs on their own for meals, rather than being picked up and strapped in.  They love their chairs so much.  At first for each we used a Fisher Price cheapie plastic high chair and that was great when they needed more body support and an easily cleaned plastic tray.  Once they got to a more independent stage, about 12 months, we went to the Svans and they ate properly at the table with us.  That doesn't mean you need it right now though.  I see them pop up used all the time if you keep an eye on Craigslist.  We also have a miniature table and chairs. Since you mentioned Montessori style toys and daycare, you might want to check out "Montessori from the Start."   

In general, you'll do best if you don't commit to too many specific choices about where your baby will sleep/nap/eat/etc before you actually meet the little person.

Well put.  It's really important to not be too dogmatic about things with kids.  They're individuals too.  I made my own ring slings.  My first loved being carried in a sling, my 2nd never really liked it.  He prefers facing forward in a stroller, though he'll tolerate the frame-style baby pack that puts him up high.  I didn't like bedsharing because I slept too lightly, but a co-sleeper bassinet made sleep work well for everyone until about 5 months for one and 7 months for the other.  Both of them got into "it's playtime" mode and had to be in a quiet dark room alone to fall asleep.  One loved homemade purees, the other refused to eat any solids until about 11 months and started directly on table food.   

MrsPete

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Re: Decorating a Baby's Room, Registry Advice
« Reply #26 on: June 13, 2014, 07:14:12 PM »
These are my thoughts just at this time. The research I've done on labor suggests having the birth in a quiet, calm environment and not at a hospital with people rushing in and out, with pressured inductions common, and a caesarean rate of 30%. Calm and vaginal is preferable for the baby. Stress and distress makes birthing unbearable and actually closes down the process of opening up. I like birth centers for an alternative to a hospital, with no circumcision and immediate breastfeeding. If you read "Attachment Parenting" you'll get the info on why immediate breast feeding and no bottles ever (at the hospital you have little control over whether your child is given a bottle). Having a meeting with a lactation counselor pre birth and a follow up meeting with lactation counselor 1-2 days after birth, to get all your questions answered. Breast feeding is a delicious way to nourish your baby, ideal for the mom and the child . . .

*On a personal note, I plan to birth my children at home with a midwife, utilize a birth pool and a birth stool. I know that contractions are actually meant to be lived through versus needing to  push, and babies are born around the world at home- I would rather do it myself and keep intruding doctors out.
Having actually given birth twice, this "beware of hospitals" stereotype has been pushed heavily in the last two decades, but my experience -- in two different hospitals -- weren't like this at all.  After setting us up in a room, a nurse came in every 30 minutes "to check me", but we were left on our own most of the time.  The staff was absolutely available to us, but they were not intrusive.  I had a rocking chair and was allowed to walk around.  The only thing that was restricted was food.  The doctors came in a couple times, but they were not dictator-like; rather, both doctors who delivered my children were very nice and listened to what I had to say.  The environment was never stressful, even when things became painful.  Pain medication was offered to me, but when I declined it, the doctor and nurses told me that if I changed my mind I just had to ask. 

As for contractions being lived through versus needing to push, you might want to research that some more.  The reality is that when contractions begin, you'll say, "Was that a contraction?  That little thing?"  Then it'll become, "Okay, I know that was a contraction, and I can totally handle it!" -- and you may stay in that "easy-to-bearable" phase for a whole day.  After a while it'll turn into, "I can do this but it requires effort".  And when you reach transition labor, it'll be bad -- but it'll be an hour at most.  No one will encourage you to push until transition labor is finished; in fact, pushing too early would be very bad, and the nurses will actively discourage you from doing that -- pushing before your cervix is ready can lead to swelling, which can necessitate a c-section.  And when you begin pushing, it isn't exactly pleasant, but it also isn't painful.

I totally agree that it's wise to set up support for your first few weeks home.  You'll be recovering, and you'll be learning to take care of a new baby.  The #1 thing I wanted in those first few weeks:  GOOD MEALS.  I don't know how many calories are used up in labor, but I was HUNGRY for a solid week.  I strongly suggest making up some high-nutrition casseroles that can be frozen, and when friends ask what they can do, say, "Bring me dinner!"  You'll get all the breastfeeding help you'll need in your short hospital stay.  You really won't need much other support. 
 
Just a reality check on this - your baby may or may not meet this description. 
Excellent point.  My first LOVED her swing, and it was so easy to bring it to the edge of the kitchen so I could prepare dinner -- I could see her, talk to her, and I knew she was safe.  I just assumed my second would be the same.  Nope, Child #2 HATED being confined in any way, and -- except for my arms -- she much preferred to be on the floor on a blanket. 

Real babies don't always do what books say they will do!
Also, if you just want the epidural, that's fine too - there's no medal for surviving the most pain in labor.
It's wise to inform yourself about medication options . . . but wait 'til you're actually in the situation to make the decision.  My labors were quick and completely textbook -- but my sister was in labor for three solid days (why she didn't accept the C-section, I don't know).  Her need for medication greatly outweighed mine!  Neither of us could have known ahead of time what would happen once we were in labor.

The benefit for avoiding medication happens after the birth:  Recovery is so much faster without drugs.  However, in the grand scheme of your whole life, whether you're "yourself" the day after your child is born doesn't really amount to anything.  So go in with knowledge, listen to your doctor's advice, and make an informed decision based upon what's happening with your body. 
« Last Edit: June 13, 2014, 07:19:18 PM by MrsPete »

Credaholic

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Re: Decorating a Baby's Room, Registry Advice
« Reply #27 on: June 13, 2014, 10:23:21 PM »
+1 to the person who said make sure you get the car charger for the breast pump. You'll also want a double pumping bra!!! You'll find that the pumping breaks at work get very tiresome. It's so much faster (and I think even pumps more milk) to do both sides at once, and makes pumping in the car on the way to and from work feasible, which cuts down on two pumping breaks you'd otherwise have to take. Those 5 hours you have covered by day care are going to fly by, especially with 20 minute pumping breaks cutting into them even further.

Just make sure the chair you have in the nursery is comfy - unless you get blessed with a great sleeper, you'll likely spend many hours in the middle of the night in that thing, you may even be falling asleep in it. Keep a nice warm blanket within arms reach too so you're not stuck under a nursing baby with your feet freezing off.

My son loved a swing, even got us through nights when I couldn't get him back to sleep in his crib. Other babies don't. Found a good one on Craigslist, and Fisher Price even replaced the motor for free when it burned out (he REALLY used that thing) so we'll have it for the next baby.

You definitely have to have a wet bag for diapers in your diaper bag, and Planet Wise seems to be the go to with lots of cute options. We also have a big wet bag that lines the tall bin we use for diapers (it's actually the same bin my mom used for all three of her kids! Just cheap plastic, who knows why she kept it all those years...)

I love BumGenius Freetime diapers - no stuffing! But I think with cloth diapers you have to experiment a bit and figure out what works for you. We started with a collection off Craigslist and then bought more once we knew what we liked. I thought I was going to like the velcro tabs best, but they just don't do well in the wash (even with the dryer tabs). Get snaps. Powdered detergent is better than wet - Kirkland Signature from Costco works great with a splash of white vinegar and a sprinkle of baking soda. If you have a high efficiency front load washer, be prepared to do two washes, they don't wash as well as the old water hog uprights. Oh, and thegreennursery.com was the best deal I could find for diapers outside of Craigslist or eBay.

I really don't get the Stokke Trip Trap thing. What adult wants some random chair that doesn't match the rest of the dining set?

Try going to a carpet store, finding a remnant, and having it finished if you want a large quality rug for the room.

The only thing I didn't see on your list or mentioned elsewhere is a forehead thermometer!

Regarding the birthing tips, I had a natural birth in a hospital, so it is totally possible. There was no noise or stress, the nurses were very respectful and supportive, and I was mainly allowed to labor with my husband. There's nothing more bad ass Mustachian than repeating to yourself through transition contractions "I will not pay an anesthesiologist!" Got me through the worst of the pain, and didn't have to deal with any of the complications or longer recovery that can come with interventions. That being said, most medicated deliveries will go smoothly, I'm not trying to judge! But I've heard of people having back issues for years from epidurals, and seen people end up in c-section situations that I think were likely caused by the same, and I wanted to do my best to avoid any of these scenarios. I swear, my cheapness is what got me through ;) Now that I know what to expect from labor, we're having our second at home with a midwife.

Luthien

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Re: Decorating a Baby's Room, Registry Advice
« Reply #28 on: June 14, 2014, 06:43:30 AM »
My favorite high chair is the one that retails for $25 with a tray at IKEA. It doesn't have cracks or crevices and is so easy to clean. Comes in a few different colors and has a modern look. Doesn't take up a lot of space either. It's collapsible (legs easily come off without tools) so we were easily able to travel with it. When we were done with it we sold it for $20 on craigslist.

labrat

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Re: Decorating a Baby's Room, Registry Advice
« Reply #29 on: June 14, 2014, 07:15:45 AM »
**Saw after I posted that OP has already delivered :)  Hope this info helps someone else!

Target and IKEA have decent rug options for reasonable prices.  If you (or your family) are willing to spend a little bit more at IKEA (say ~$200) you can get a very nice wool rug that will last a lot longer and feel a lot nicer than a cheapo rug.  I'm currently saving up our pennies for one since I consider it a long term investment.

I went with the Gulliver crib from IKEA and love it - great price and is very sturdy.  Also comes with a toddler conversion rail.

If you have great CL where you live, you can get any baby gear for pennies on the dollar.  I found extra car seat bases, a stroller frame, and a baby swing this way.  I was also thinking I wouldn't need a swing, but my little one needs a little extra movement for soothing and the swing is awesome. Time is your friend, so start looking as early as possible to score the best deals.

Also, join a local mom's group.  I've found that at least 75% of the time if I need to borrow something for a couple of weeks/months or just try something to see if baby likes it, all I need to do is ask!
« Last Edit: June 14, 2014, 07:19:47 AM by labrat »

j-lu

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Re: Decorating a Baby's Room, Registry Advice
« Reply #30 on: June 15, 2014, 06:51:16 PM »

As for the wall sticker, could you paint a tree with flowers?  Or, do you have a crafty friend?  If you don't know anyone, call your local high school and see if either the art teacher or one of her students would do it for a fee.  I can't believe the materials could possibly cost more than $10.


I did this, and I am NOT crafty.  I fell in love with a wall mural I saw on Etsy for $100.  It was a tree with Owls.  I printed out a picture of it and painted it myself.  I used paint I already had bought a couple of owl decals (I wasn't going to attempt to paint owls :).  Total cost was about $10