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.
The Rockabye albums are the best!
Just a heads up before you spend anything on them… you can get them on Spotify.
Lazy Man says
Thanks Tom. That is actually going to be a nice savings. Now I just have to figure out how to Spotify the baby room. Maybe an iPod Touch via wifi will work its magic well. That’s a great thought.
I won’t argue the other points, but I’d be amazed if cloth diapering was actually easier than disposable. Disposable is pretty easy, aside from the occassional blowout. 30 seconds to change, maybe (assuming no wriggling).
Lazy Man says
Yeah the easier part of the cloth diapering struck me as an odd too. It seems to stem from experience of being used to it. Perhaps it might be like how my mother thinks that VCRs are easier to use than DVRs. From her viewpoint, they are.
The Money Mail says
“It makes me appreciate the simplicity of having a dog.”
This scares me like anything, i don’t even have a pet, I guess when you are ready to have a baby there is no obstacle.
Just a question, are you not concerned about the items you are buying from the yard sale in terms oh how clean they are and the qulaity of them?
Also I notices a missed word in the post:
” I can *tell* you from experience there were a minority who would have put down big cash for a few shots.”
Lazy Man says
The Money Mail,
Thanks for the find. So far we’ve targeted items like dressers and Baby Genius DVDs. I picked up a stroller today. That we’ll soap down and clean obviously. I might even bring out my pressure-washer on a very, very low setting. The quality of the items can be typically judged at the yard sale. If it doesn’t look like a quality product, we don’t buy it.
Plex Luthor says
Congrats! I’ve been away and not following your blog, so I didn’t know you were expecting.
We have two kids, a boy and then a girl and tried cloth with both. With our son, we used Pampers newborn for a couple of weeks, but found that cloth diapers didn’t blow-out. Ever. It was worth using them just for that. Get someone to teach you how to fold them, and get a sprayer for your toilet, and they don’t take much more time than disposables. We used prefolds and BumGenius one-size pocket diapers.
With our daughter, we tried cloth, but she had very sensitive skin, and my wife read that you shouldn’t use ointments (like desitin or whatever) with cloth diapers. So we used disposables “just until the rash cleared up” but she’d get the rash back whenever we switched to cloth. I’d rather have a happy baby than save a buck, because sleep become more precious than money with a newborn. As far as disposables go, we found Pampers to be worth the money for over-night, since they seem to hold more liquid or fit better or something. During the day we use whatever is cheapest (which is Aldi brand, around here).
I can’t find a link to the toilet sprayer we actually used. If you’re handy, you can make them yourself from kitchen sink sprayers and a few parts from a hardware store. But something like this: http://www.pottypail.com/learn.php
Lazy Man says
Thanks for the tips Plex Luthor. We are looking at FuzziBunz brand. My wife is leading the charge on the research front for that.
cloth diapering: i cloth diapered my older two kids. i used diaper covers [about $12 each, i loved the crazy colors and patterns] and very good quality diapers. washed at home, 2 loads per week. what took time as opposed to disposables is that with cloth you have to change EVERY TIME THE KID PEES. which in my case, [1st born was a preemie, 2nd had underdeveloped digestive system] meant 14 changes per day for the first year. i worked at home, so it wasn’t a big deal.
breast feeding: did that for 2-3 years. my kids were constantly on the breast, which meant, nurse, change, nurse change. DO NOT BOTHER WITH NURSING COVERS. everyone knows what you are doing, don’t smother your baby. get some nice nursing tops [they have slits] or wear tops you can pull out, and good quality nursing bras. makes a huge difference. DO NOT BUY A USED CAR SEAT EVER. i loved my infant carseat/carrier that clipped into the stroller. easy easy, only $120 new at target. test how the stroller opens and closes and rolls. i walked everywhere, had graco. not expensive but sturdy as anything. i also had a prego umbrella i got at a yard sale for travel.
Value Indexer says
Here’s a great post we used as part of our research: http://sustainablepersonalfinance.com/why-use-cloth-diapers/. We’ll be putting them to use soon!
I’ll only comment on the Lullaby CDs. We listened to a bunch and only bought Beatles and Led Zeppelin. Beatles is BY FAR the best one. Even if you Spotify baby room, you should find a way to burn on to a CD or something. We only use them in the car and they are sanity saving on even decent sized road trips.
Lazy Man says
Using them in the car was one of our biggest concerns. Falling asleep at the wheel seems like a real possibility.
I also have an opinion about cloth diapers. I know people say that they prevent diaper rash, but that is the opposite of my experience. Like the commenter above said, you have to change them every time the kid pees. That is a a lot more time changing diapers. And I don’t care what people say, cloth diapering (and washing) does take a lot of time. In fact you have to change them so often, and they can be so expensive, that I find it a bit dubious that they even save any money.
That said, we do use cloth diapers, and plan to continue to do so with any future kids.
@The Money Mail the first time your kid poops on everything it will be just as soiled. Might as well get someone else’s used stuff and practice washing it :P