[Note: If you aren't at that point of your life where babies are important, I understand, I was there last week... or so it seems. I suggest you scroll down to the part about the Rockabye CDs and think about picking up some soothing relaxing music and then go read another article.]
The last three days have been quite the blur. Over the weekend my wife and I put in a lot of time researching baby products. There's so many of them. It seems like a vast majority are used for very specialized cases too. It makes me appreciate the simplicity of having a dog.
On Satruday we hit the local yard sales in search of deals. Yard sales are well known for being hit or miss. However, we ran into an additional problem that we didn't anticipate. Almost everything was pink or blue, which is only helpful when you know the gender of the baby, which we didn't. There were some items that looked like they were in tremendous condition, but we had to either let them go or risk having to resell them. We decided to just let them go.
Despite the gender issue, we were able to pick up a few items at the yard sales. At the rate we are going, we'll have most of our stuff bought with months to go. That's one post, I'm looking forward to writing. It will look a lot like this one: The Room that Craiglist and Yard Sales Built. I might even be able to reuse the same title.
Yesterday, we were able to solve our shopping problem. We found out that we'd be having a boy. It's exciting to us, but I won't bore you with more details on that.
Sunday we went to a baby expo that was called, no-joke, Prego Palooza.
Best and Worst at the Prego Palooza
Let's get the bad out of the way first. The worst part of Prego Palooza was the first 45 minutes. I found that it directly compares to watching the first 45 minutes of New Moon, the 2nd of those Twilight movies. Pretty much every male, including myself, were wondering around like zombies. On some level, we were zombies... we simply had the soul sucked out of us.
The expo in general had a bit of a Shark Tank feel to it - many mom and pop small businesses trying to sell their innovative solution to a baby problem. One business opportunity that was overlooked was the convention itself. It may sound counter-intertuitive to sell shots of Jack Daniels at a baby expo, where much of the clientele can't consume the product. However, I can tell you from experience there were a minority who would have put down big cash for a few shots.
There were a couple of great products at the baby expo:
The Rockabye Baby Lullaby CDs were the biggest highlight for me. These are famous rock band songs converted to lullabies. Think slower and more xylophone (as opposed to cowbell). Once you start listening them, it is hard to stop. The best executed in my view were The Beatles and Weezer. My favorite was Tool, though it didn't have Prison Sex and sounded creepy - but in a good way. Other highlights include: Coldplay, U2, Queen, Def Leppard, Pearl Jam, and and many more. The one notable band that I see missing is The Who. Maybe there is a licensing issue holding things up.
Next up was a product that we actually bought: this 6-in-1 blanket from Babee Covee. It is a car seat cover, shopping cart cover, blanket, high chair cover, stroller blanket, and a nursing cover. It's also one of the softest blankets I've ever put my hands on. At $40, it is a little pricey, but some of the nursing covers were just as expensive. Also, I like helping out a local small business.
Another good product that we saw was the Push Pack by Small Batch Studio. It is a kit of travel size essentials for the moment when the baby arrives and you don't have time to pack. While I like the idea, most of the stuff we have at home, so rather than spend the $65 (it was $45 at the show), I emailed myself a link to their website. We'll make a customized version of this ourselves and save a lot of money.
One of the reasons we went to the expo was to learn more about cloth diapering. The biggest thing we learned was that:
Everyone has strong opinions on Cloth Diapering
Without a doubt, the cloth diapering debate is by far the most polarizing topic known to man. When we mention we are going to give it a try the reactions are amazing. The reaction from friends and family who have parenting experience make it sound like it is similar to attempting to complete an Ironman triathlon while balancing an egg on one's nose: "Good luck with that!" is the reaction.
However everybody at Babies R Us and any baby expo says it is an awesome choice, and by far the easiest, cheapest, most practical, best for the baby (less diaper rash) choice one can make. They stop slightly short of building a statue in our honor.
As best I can tell it is the difference between Boston and San Francisco mentality, with Boston being the former and San Francisco being the later.
I'll have more on cloth diapering as we learn more and get some experience with it. There's surely a cost comparison post to write if it works out. Though I'm pretty sure you can find a few of those at The Simple Dollar.
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