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BTDT Moms: What is on the Must Have vs. Don't Need List?

NewEnglandLady

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If there is another thread that addresses that, please feel free to point me in that direction.

I've gone through the "useless baby items"-type threads and have gotten good info from the preggo stuff/baby stuff/toddler stuff thread, but would love to have one thread where the BTDT moms can list the items they couldn't live without and items that were not necessary for their infants. I know it will vary from kid to kid, but just having a general idea is really helpful when you're an overwhelmed expecting mom who wants to do everything right without falling into the baby business machine.

Thanks so much for any input!
 

Skippy123

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I would buy lots of different brands of bottles; I would not invest in one particular brand. We made that mistake and our babies like the cheap brand. We tried Dr. Brown, Nuk, Advent, Gerber, and a few others so try one of each before spending lots of money.

Aden & Anais swaddles, very comfy in the summer and light weight. Swaddles are a must, babies feel secure.

Fisher Price Rock and play sleeper. It helps w/reflux which most babies have so food digests easier being upright. Also it is approved for sleeping and you can put it by your bed. http://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-Newborn-Rock-Sleeper-Yellow/dp/B002M77N22

I love the Chicco Keyfit 30's carseat; they are great and well made.

California baby product line.

Up UP baby wipes

Diaper Pail by Arm and Hammer

Carter's Jersey Sheets

Sheet savers http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3613460&CAWELAID=427070958

I wouldn't invest in lots of clothes since people buy you lots for your shower. I have tons of clothes the boys will never wear that people spent lots of money on.

I will come back with more. . .
 

parrot tulips

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I know there are older threads, but I think it's nice having an updated one, since new products seem to be coming out all the time.

Skippy - So glad both your boys are home now! Are there any products/items you find especially useful for twins so far? Any items you need 2 of, and any where 1 will do?
 

Pandora II

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Great:

Bamboo fibre towels, sheets and blankets - feels like a silk/cashmere mix and can be thrown in the washing machine and drier
Burt's Bees' Baby Bee products- Tommee Tippee 'Closer to Nature' bottles - no fiddly parts, sterilise in the microwave, breast shaped, no-colic teats, brilliant
Manual breast-pump - sanity saver when your nipples have turned raw and then black and you can't face them going near your child's mouth. Electric ones are expensive so I would wait until you know if you will breast-feed first plus when you are really sore then it's nice to be in control!
cloth nappies as spit-up clothes - unlike muslins these actually absorb!
Hippychick mattress protectors - they aren't plasticy so don't squeak or become sweaty and yet protect brilliantly
Mei Tai sling - steer clear of Bjorn as they kill your back in no time and aren't great for the baby's spine
Harness Buddy reins - once they can walk these things are literally lifesavers (for them)
Anything by Stokke

- A really good PnS camera - I have a Canon G10 and it takes great photos while being small enough to chuck in the changing bag.

I didn't have this but I really, really wish I had got one of those nice donut rings in memory-foam or whatever for sitting on. I used to cry everytime I sat down the first 2 weeks as the episiotomy hurt so badly, it was worse than labour it hurt that much and I was making rings out of towels to try and achieve the same effect.

Useless:

Baby bath - just use the kitchen sink and then the bath-tub
Diaper Genie - nightmare thing, small bin is much better.
Expensive cutesy bedding - basic is better
Bouncer - Daisy hated hers but might have prefered a swing
Bumbo - Ditto
BabyBjorn sling - Very uncomfortable for me and D wasn''t that keen, plus hangs them from the crotch which isn''t a good idea. Moved to a Mei Tai and LOVE it, if I was doing it over I''d get a Moby for the first few months and then move to the Mei Tai.
Teethers - D had no interest at all.
Burp Cloths - Terry nappies are 1000x better. Muslins are crap at soaking things up... but are great for keeping the sun off in the stroller when she''s asleep.
Socks - I nearly always use tights.

- too many of anything that may or may not work: I had 4 different types of swaddle blanket and Miss Independent refused to ever be swaddled :(sad


Things I didn''t have and didn''t miss:
Wipe Warmer
Bottle Warmer

Bassinet for the stroller - the Xplory had the option and I was so glad I didn''t get it, even though the stroller seat had a lie-flat option, Daisy went nuts if she wasn''t propped up enough to see out from week 2.
Snap N Go - we had carseat issues as it was, so the chances of D staying a second longer than legally necessary was slim. The Xplory takes the carseat and I used it when taking the train to my parents as they had no carseat, but it was not a great success in Daisy''s eyes!
 

natalina

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Must haves:
Aden & Anais blankets- such a great product- in addition to swaddling, big enough to use as a sun drape over stroller or carseat. Thin and easy to shove in diaper bag. I have even tied the corners and used around my neck as a nursing cover.

Kiddopotamus Swaddle-Me's- Awesome swaddle that Ellie (and now Brooks) never broke free of.

Ultimate crib sheet- I didn't have this for Ellie and didn't miss it as she never spit up. Now that I have a reflux baby, it is a lifesaver!

White Noise Machine/Projector- also known around here as the infamous "baby crack machine". Best thing EVER. Just used the sound for a long time, now Ellie falls asleep to sound and projector every night. Small enough to pack when going away, makes her feel like she's at home.

Boon Flair high chair- best high chair! So super easy to clean, comfy, and pretty cool looking, too.

Johnson's Vapor Bath- great when baby is stuffed up or has a cough.

Breathable bumper- offers peace of mind to mom and dad while keeping little limbs in the crib.

Good carrier- I just got the Lillebaby, and love it so far. I have put both Ellie (22mos) and Brooks (9 weeks) in it- separately of course- and it felt great for me and them.

Jumperoo/Exersaucer- we have the Baby Einstein one- Ellie loved it

Good swing- we have the FP Little Lamb one, both kids love it

Unnecessary:
Diaper Genie or similar- we have a stainless trash can that has the lid that opens when you step on the lever. Works great.

Wipes warmer

Crib mobile- we bought such a cute one, but never ever use it.

Tons of bibs, plastic cups/plates/utensils- you wash these so regularly, there is no need to have entire cupboards full.

Tons of onesies, sleepers, baby blankets- you will get so many as gifts. Also, you will be doing laundry every day (oh yes) to avoid stains, so it's likely you will use the same ones over and over.

Ditto Pandora on the bassinet for stroller- ours had one- I thought it was so cute- but much to my dismay Ellie hated it.


That's all I can think of for now.
 

Skippy123

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Bottle stuff:

I have this drying rack (2 of them) http://www.amazon.com/First-Years-Modular-Drying-Rack/dp/B000K53UEI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1312049670&sr=8-1

I have this Sterilizer http://www.amazon.com/Philips-AVENT-Express-Microwave-Sterilizer/dp/B001C3KXPG/ref=sr_1_3?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1312049740&sr=1-3

Swing:
I only have one of these for Miles since he has colic http://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-Little-Snugabunny-Cradle-Swing/dp/B0042D69WY/ref=sr_1_1?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1312049780&sr=1-1

PT, you can get away with 1 crib for the first few months. We don't even use our cribs. We use the Fisher Price Rock and play for the boys, it helps w/spit ups (we have 2 of them).

Oh, not sure if I can say this but MOMS sign up for Amazon MOM; you get free 2 day shipping and it is sooooo convenient; especially twin mommas where it is hard to go buy stuff.
 

noelwr

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I have to disagree with some of the things I read here.

we bought the Philips Avent bottles and that's what she got used to and we've never tried anything else.

the bassinet for stroller is perfect up to at least 6 months. ours even slept in hers in the living room during the day. we bought the Stokke stroller that has the bassinet and chair all together (plus you can buy the adapter for the car seat) and should last up to at least age 3.

the bottle warmer has been an absolute must-have.

the baby bath is perfect when you buy the chair that goes into it. when baby splashes, you can put his/her bath into your bath.

the diaper trash can with trash bag cassettes is perfect for stopping yucky odors.

agree with these must haves:

anything by Stokke (we have the stroller and the furniture)
Boon Flair high chair
swaddle blankets

and would add these:

the special breathable mattress cover for when your baby rolls onto its tummy and presses his/her mouth into the mattress
bibs with velcro and not string
3-4 of mattress sheet, changing mattress sheet, etc. then you don't have to do laundry every day.

don't think these are essentials:
swings, jumperoos, etc. our baby never had one and she's just been very happy playing on her play mat on the floor in the living room.
Baby Bjorn or sling - we hardly ever used this. it is too heavy for me to carry a baby on my body.
crib mobile - I agree we hardly ever used this. baby would always look to the side and never up.
wipe warmer??? I never even heard of that.
 

NewEnglandLady

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This is great--thank you, ladies. There will always be some items that some moms love and some moms think are pointless, but it's still helpful to have all of these recommendations!
 

janinegirly

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Already some great suggestions - and I took some notes even though I'm onto #2!

Invest in the essential items but wait on the ones that a newborn won't use right off the bat. And be prepared that even armed with all this info,, it may not apply to your baby!

For example, I never needed the ulitmate crib sheet that was on everyone's must have list - my DD never spat up or had a blow out. Now I am wondering if I should get one b/c maybe it'll be payback time with #2.

With swings, bouncers etc - this depends on your space situation (I think you're fine in this area) and hit/miss with each baby.

Bottle warmer - we definitely used this. And anything that can help with bottle cleaning/storing!

Aden & Anais - never used these but going to try them out for #2.

Breathable bumper - did not use with #1 (she co-slept and then went into crib at point where it was no longer a risk). Will give it a shot with #2.

Baby carrier - a must have to most, but my DD rejected it and got carried around since she is the only baby on both sides. #2 will HAVE to get used to it. For me I still hear varied opinions on which carrier is "best".

Video monitor - I'm on the fence with this - I don't think it's a must have but others might disagree (we do not have one). A speaker system of some sort though is in a big old house.

I agree that wipe warmers are not necessary. Also found that the recommendation for # of diapers needed for a newborn was exaggerated. The whole diaper pail thing is also over hyped, just choose what easiest to use (ie gets the stinky diaper into a pail fast!).
 

ChinaCat

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Again, this thread just goes to show how every baby is so different!

O was a pretty easy baby, no colic or reflux, and I EBF so my choices reflect that:

Must Haves:

Miracle Blanket
Aden & Anais blankets
Sound machine of some sort
Swing (this was baby crack for O)
My Brest Friend pillow
Pump
Onesies and not fancy clothes
Baby Bjorn or Ergo or some type of sling/carrier
Snap n Go worked for us as we could just transfer the car seat, but any stroller where the baby can stay asleep is great

That was it. Of course, other things were nice (Moses basket that I could move around from room to room, Bouncy sweet, whale tub, etc) but they weren't must haves.
 

Skippy123

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ChinaCat|1312218380|2981651 said:
Again, this thread just goes to show how every baby is so different!

O was a pretty easy baby, no colic or reflux, and I EBF so my choices reflect that:

Must Haves:

Miracle Blanket
Aden & Anais blankets
Sound machine of some sort
Swing (this was baby crack for O)
My Brest Friend pillow
Pump
Onesies and not fancy clothes
Baby Bjorn or Ergo or some type of sling/carrier
Snap n Go worked for us as we could just transfer the car seat, but any stroller where the baby can stay asleep is great

That was it. Of course, other things were nice (Moses basket that I could move around from room to room, Bouncy sweet, whale tub, etc) but they weren't must haves.
ha, the swing puts my baby to sleep. I just threw it out there since my baby has colic and it has been soooo helpful w/that.

Also, I put the FP Rock and Sleep out there since it is only $40 and you can put it next to your bed and it is Approved for sleeping; no need for an expensive bassinet that the baby sleeps in for a couple of months.

I agree, high chairs, swings, stollers can be bought later. The essentials like bedding, bottles, etc are needed now. :mrgreen:
 

janinegirly

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Skippy/CC: what swing do you guys use? I'm thinking of getting one, hopefully a compact one. We have the bouncer, but think a swing might be good now that we have more room
 

ChinaCat

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We borrowed one- it was a Fisher Price one. I don't see the exact one but it looked like one of these:

Either the Cradle n Swing Snugabunny or the Lil Lamb Dream Swing:

http://www.target.com/Swings-Fisher-Price-Toy/b?node=4080201

The big thing was that it swung both ways (forward/backwards and side to side). We bought a small cheap one for my parents house and it didn't work at all for O.

But I would check this one out, it looks awesome. Might be overkill, but worth checking out:

http://www.4moms.com/mamaroo
 

Laila619

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I think the Pack 'N Play ended up being useless to us. The only time we used it was to change our son's diaper (it had a changer on it). Otherwise, he refused to sleep in it--he hated it. Maybe we'll use it more when he's a toddler though, so he can play safely in a contained area.

Let's see--we got a ton of of those terry bibs, but we never use them. Those tiny burp cloths are pretty much useless too, since they're too small to contain any spit up. We used a receiving blanket as a burp cloth. Babies can spit up a lot!

Pacifiers--I'm glad we didn't buy any since DS doesn't like them. We got ours free from the hopsital.

What I am SO glad we bought was also Skippy's recommendation: the Fisher Price Newborn Rock 'N Play Sleeper. This was a lifesaver for us! My son slept in this basically until he was 7 months old!

Also a waste for me was a nursing pillow like the Boppy or My Brest Friend. They're helpful when you're first learning, but then once you become a nursing pro, they're kind of a waste of money. I just use a regular old pillow.
 

Laila619

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OH, I also can't recommend enough Halo sleep sacks with the attached swaddle wings and Swaddle Me swaddles. Both are great! We swaddled until DS was 5.5 months.
 

Skippy123

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ChinaCat|1312222742|2981692 said:
We borrowed one- it was a Fisher Price one. I don't see the exact one but it looked like one of these:

Either the Cradle n Swing Snugabunny or the Lil Lamb Dream Swing:

http://www.target.com/Swings-Fisher-Price-Toy/b?node=4080201

The big thing was that it swung both ways (forward/backwards and side to side). We bought a small cheap one for my parents house and it didn't work at all for O.

But I would check this one out, it looks awesome. Might be overkill, but worth checking out:

http://www.4moms.com/mamaroo
I bought the Sunugabunny because it PLUGS into the wall and the others run on batteries. The swings are big though so maybe hold off on it till you need it??

http://www.fisher-price.com/fp.aspx?st=2000&e=product&selcat=bgsw&pid=56778
 

Skippy123

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Laila619|1312224758|2981721 said:
What I am SO glad we bought was also Skippy's recommendation: the Fisher Price Newborn Rock 'N Play Sleeper. This was a lifesaver for us! My son slept in this basically until he was 7 months old!
Miscka has this too; I bought it because she loved it after I read about her son having reflux.
 

Loves Vintage

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Not necessary: uhm, a crib, crib sheets, crib skirt, lol. You should probably get one, just in case your kid is willing to sleep in one.

Seriously though, I keep thinking of posting things here, and then forgetting, so I'll probably be back a few times. Let's see. I wanted to mention that I kept seeing this thing http://www.amazon.com/Kiddopotamus-.../dp/B000DZS720/ref=acc_glance_ba_ai_ps_t3_t_9 and wondered whether we should get it. Turns out we did not need it, because the Graco snugride has a newborn insert that helps keep their head from moving around. That's really all you need. I suppose if your carseat does not come with one of those newborn inserts, you might want something like this, but I think you aren't supposed to add components to a car seat that are not approved by the car seat manufacturer, so I'd probably just get a snug ride. I got mine at Albeebaby because they had the lowest price on snugrides at the time.

Did anyone have the snuzzler? I wonder if it helpful for smaller babies? My kid was never small, lol, so we never would have used it.

Oh, and I also wanted to point out, that the mommas-to-be might want to take a look at that link. That's how you want your carseat staps/buckles to look when your kids is strapped in. I honestly did not pay much attention to how the kid is supposed to be strapped in, UNTIL after I drove around with her a few times in very poorly buckled fashion. Straps should be straight like in the photo, with that buckle thing (forget proper term) pushed up to her chest. READ your manual before baby arrives!!

Snap and go stoller would have been a waste for us. I only took baby to dr's appointments for the first few months, so there was really no need for a stroller that early on!! I just carried her in her seat.

Swing and Rocker were ESSENTIALS for us! I got our swing from a CL mom: http://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-...s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1312471515&sr=1-3 We used both daily!! She still uses the swing on occasion.

I will think of more and will be back . . . .
 

NewEnglandLady

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This is so much appreciated--I'm putting all of these into a spreadsheet with links, so it's definitely going to use. I feel so much better just getting it down into an organized list.

I have a quick question for you ladies: for some questionable items, does it make sense to buy from a store like BRU where I can return very easily? My plan for now is to buy the majority of things I think I'll need (we have lots of extra space, which could be bad!) and then return them later if I end up not using them at all. So something like a swing--I THINK I'll probably end up using it, but some moms don't, so is it okay to buy from somewhere like Amazon or should I go ahead and buy from BRU where I know I can return months later in case we don't end up using it? Does that make sense?
 

Puppmom

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I have two of these - http://covermestrap.com/ - and I love them. I got so sick of having a million bibs and having to remember to bring my nursing cover everywhere. DS is also very attached to his blankie so I use it to strap the blankie to the stroller so we don't lose it when we're out and about.

For a bib, I use this to clip any wash cloth or burp rag to DS. Best of all - I don't have to put those stinking velcro bibs in my laundry!

ETA - I just realized I described all of the ways I use this and you could ascertain that just by looking at the intro page of their site! Oh, and don't pay $12 for this. They come up pretty often on the bargain sites. There are also similar products that cost less.
 

janinegirly

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Looks like there are alot of mentions of the FB Swings (Snugababy,etc.) so I may have to look into it. As I mentioned we do have a bouncer but the swings look a lot better but they are huge! I always get scared off of them for this reason, but if it's a lifesaver then I'll get over it (since I'll have 2 little ones and need all the lifesavers I can find).

NEL: I would agree - buy items from BRU so you can return exchange which I did a lot of those first few months. I have such a love hate with BRU- store drives me crazy but it is convenient.
 

Lanie

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NEL -- I personally wouldn't buy anything from BRU without a coupon or gift card. They are so overpriced even with coupons. Things like a swing, I would definitely get, bc the chances your baby won't like it are less than the chances that it will be a life saver for you. But I realize it's a pain to return things to Amazon. Are you talking about if you get the swing, baby doesn't end up liking it, and then you take it back? Would BRU take back an opened up swing? What I did, was I had many friends with babies, so I would try out their stuff first, and then go buy it after. I tried out a swing, a bumbo, even pacifiers to see if he liked them. And then when you get to the exersaucer/bouncer stage, you can take your baby to the store and have her try things out right there. Mine likes anything and everything I throw at him! The only thing I'm mad about is my Ergo. He HATES it. And that darn thing was expensive!
 

janinegirly

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BRU will take it back (swing in a box that has been opened and resealed). Yes I guess the obvious would be to buy with coupons but even that can be a hassle because those are rarer these days (but worht trying to stash). They will also accept competitor coupons (Bye Bye Baby) but they don't always make it easy. What I am doing is starting a registry (I'm not expecting anyone to buy from it but me, but if they do that's a bonus!) and then I will use the completion code and buy everything at once. I do think the return policy of a b&M store is worth the slightly extra $$ until you figure out what you really need. Amazon is my go to now that DD is older, but not so much those first few months (unless for things I know I want like cloths, diapers etc). I returned alot of things (or rather exchanged b/c I always needed something) - returned the ulitmate crib sheet, wipe warmer, blankets that were unneccessary,etc.
 

Loves Vintage

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Is there a time limit for BRU returns?

I returned only one item to Amazon and found it to be quite easy, but I would much rather leave a box on my doorstep than actually leave my house to go to BRU, which is quite a drive for me.

RE: BRU coupons, I often find Amazon pricing to be better even WITH the coupons at BRU. And, the coupons they give at the register always seem to expire by the time I get back there anyway. Of course, that's because I order EVERYTHING from Amazon.
 

Skippy123

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ops double post :???:
 

Skippy123

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Loves Vintage|1312488875|2984268 said:
Is there a time limit for BRU returns?

I returned only one item to Amazon and found it to be quite easy, but I would much rather leave a box on my doorstep than actually leave my house to go to BRU, which is quite a drive for me.

RE: BRU coupons, I often find Amazon pricing to be better even WITH the coupons at BRU. And, the coupons they give at the register always seem to expire by the time I get back there anyway. Of course, that's because I order EVERYTHING from Amazon.
Ditto LV!
BRU is 90 days; I am pretty sure! Or at least that is what they tell me! Sign up for coupons NEL; they are super overpriced.

Or get your swing from Target; I think they are cheaper?? Their return is 90 days too!

Sign up for Amazon MOM's club NEL. Also do the subscribe and save on diapers and then unsubscribe after you placed your order so you can get the best price on diapers!!! :bigsmile: I learned that tip from MARA!!! Mara and Snlee helped me w/the best deals. hehe :mrgreen:
 

janinegirly

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Loves Vintage|1312488875|2984268 said:
Is there a time limit for BRU returns?

I returned only one item to Amazon and found it to be quite easy, but I would much rather leave a box on my doorstep than actually leave my house to go to BRU, which is quite a drive for me.

RE: BRU coupons, I often find Amazon pricing to be better even WITH the coupons at BRU. And, the coupons they give at the register always seem to expire by the time I get back there anyway. Of course, that's because I order EVERYTHING from Amazon.
does amazon charge for return shipping? If not, then it is worth it. Amazon (S&S)is def better for diapers - I think I mentioned that before. I think BRU's return for registry items is a bit more lenient or maybe starts after birth - can't remember though. You may want to pick up Baby Bargains books too and get on some of the mommy bargain forums, those are a big help for where to find best deals etc. I'm just sharing what I did - I am by no means a BRU fan, but it did serve its purpose and provide convenience factor for quick buys/returns that I needed asap (and organizing my lists via their registry).
 

Loves Vintage

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Janine - I'm not entirely sure. I just now recalled there was another return I made. One was for a warranty issues, and for the other, I just didn't like the item. Amazon sent me return shipping labels for both, and I didn't pay return shipping for either. Maybe it's because of the Amazon mom program. I will look into it and check back.
 

swimmer

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NEL! Congratulations! I haven't been around so miss good news, so happy for you!

Are you going to do cloth diapers? I do and cloth wipes so the wipes warmer is where we keep them moist and warm...chemical free!
I would have lost my mind without a ring sling, but they are for taller women I guess. It is like nap magic, a warm close to mom swaddle, I can still feed him while walking if need be and he is 15 months.

Honey, for a swing, bouncer, etc, craigslist! I've gotten great stuff without going more than a town or so away. A friend got a bugaboo then was given an uppababy so sold the bugaboo for more than she bought it for as she had a bidding war. She was considering getting into a side biz but then the baby came! Also my town has a family action network, yours probably does too, check yourtown patch if you don't know about it already. I've gotten a sandbox and a Bob stroller for free from women seeking to clear out their stuff.

Every baby will be different, mine naps in the pack n play downstairs daily and loves to be get in it with some stuffed animals, almost like some dogs crave their crate. odd, but they are all different little animals and its hard to predict. Mine hated carseats and swings, you just won't know till they arrive. That is the glory of craigslist though.

Hoping you are doing great, a friend and I have a google spreadsheet of every single thing and it is geared for our area, hmmm, maybe i have your email in a gtg email...off to hunt.
 

NewEnglandLady

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6,299
Thank you, again, ladies.

I think I'll go ahead and order from Amazon/baby discount sites (babysteals.com, etc.) for those things on my "must have" list to save $$. I may go ahead and go through BRU or Target for some other items, though I should be able to use gift cards and coupons for those purchases. Two of my friends have said that they've been able to return items up to a year later at BRU (so they seem to be lenient with the 90 day limit). I'll do some more research.

Thanks for the Amazon MOMs club recommendation, Skippy! I'll definitley be doing that today.

Swimmer, thanks for chiming in! I'm definitely going to scout CL for some things, though D has already expressed hesitation...he is a little OCD and is in total first-time-Dad mode right now. Don't worry about the spreadsheet if you can't find my email address, I appreciate you even thinking of me! And I love comparing the Pack 'n' Play to the dog crate, hehe. Maybe I can just skip the Pack 'n' Play altogether and just stick some blankets in the dog crates...they are very large :)

Thanks again, ladies! I can't tell you how much this helps me!
 
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