Monday, November 30, 2009

mama-to-be Monday - shopping for the babe

It goes against my grain to do a post without a photo but it just doesn't look like a photo is going to happen today.

So . . .

here is where I'd like advice from you guys.

Someone (aka, a grandma) has expressed some interest in doing some Christmas shopping for the sweet baby. We haven't registered yet and were kind of planning to wait until January to do the big ole whopping registry trip, figuring out all of those foreign contraptions like strollers, car seats, carriers, etc. Plus, we're sort of timing it to go with some friends of ours who are also expecting for a fun trip with the guys wielding those crazy scanner guns and us girls doing the oohing and ahhing . . .

I do think it would be nice though to start collecting some ideas of stuff I'd like the baby to have, especially if a grandma wants an idea, right?

This is all new to me. I read somewhere that registering for your wedding is like a trip to a well-loved and very familiar theme park, all those home items that you've been looking at for years and that registering for your first child is somewhat more confusing . . . daunting, etc. although certainly not devoid of it's own fun and enjoyment.

Anyway, here's where you come in. What are some of your favorite places to shop for babies, your own or other people's? What are some cute/fun/unique baby things you've seen lately? What's your favorite baby gift to give? Do you have a favorite etsy shop or two that sells stuff for little ones? What are some websites I should browse?

Thanks, you guys!



Mindy S. said...

Check out the book Baby Bargains by Denise and Alan Fields (either from the library or at the bookstore--make sure you are getting the newest edition). I don't always agree with everything that they say, but they have a good compilation of ratings and reviews of tons of baby stuff. I also like reading reviews at and You can get a good feel for how things actually work. Babies R Us really is my favorite place to shop for baby stuff. It is your basic mega store and there isn't a whole lot of unique stuff there, but they really do have the best selection of all the basics. Shopping for a baby really can be overwhelming, but it is really a ton of fun too! Have fun!

Karen said...

Thanks so much for the assist. Santa will appreciate it.

MM said...

Here's my tip. I own a Moby wrap, a sling, AND a baby bjorn carrier. I reccommend both the Moby and the Baby Bjorn. You'll love them and you'll use them. And your husband will use the Baby Bjorn too. They can both be quite pricey, but trust me you'll get your money's worth. Kate probably spent more time in those than in her stroller those first few months!

As far as a gift for the BABY, why not let grandma look for a sweet music box for the nursery?

Amy L said...

Hands down my favorite gift to give now is the Miracle Blanket. It is by far the best swaddling blanket around and was a lifesaver for us many times. We didn't have to swaddle at night, but it helped so much for naps. Halo Sleep sacks are another favorite. I've also started giving copies of Baby 411 (by the same authors as Baby Bargains, which was also a favorite of mine before Claire's arrival).

One of my favorite presents the Christmas before Claire arrived was a nice diaper bag. I got the Ju-Ju-Be Be All and have loved it. You also can't go wrong with Petunia Pickle Bottom bags. :)

There are too many cute things on Etsy to recommend just one shop!

I have a long, very thorough list of registry items that was passed down to me and that I updated with what we actually used, what we never used, what we couldn't have lived without, etc. Let me know if you're interested in a copy!

Heather said...

We did our registries at Babies R Us and Target. I'm glad we did. It allowed us to see and play with everything. Before we went, I went to Consumer Reports and got safety info on the major stuff so I already had an idea of what I wanted when we went. I wish I'd had my Moby wrap when E was little, but I'm so glad I'll have it when I need it for the next baby. It takes time to put on so I really liked having a Baby Bjorn (borrowed) to put on quickly!

Also, you may not be thinking about cloth diapers, but if you are, several places online will let you set up a gift registry. Let me know if you're interested and I'll figure out which ones I like.

Kori said...

Definitely BabiesRUs for the basics and big things. Target has some cute stuff, and sometimes not cute stuff as they cycle through their things. :-) For unique stuff you need to find some boutique shops locally! They always have gorgeous things - from clothes and blankets, to frames and room decorations and jewelry and toys and books. But they aren't chains, so someone by you would have to tell you about yours! We have a really fun one in Searcy and the owner goes to church with us. There is another fun one in Cabot too. Have fun!

Anonymous said...

Kori's post just reminded me of Ru-Ann's that was in Pasadena Plaza many, many years ago that had lots of ties to Sun Valley.

Karen said...

Oh, my Rue Ann's. That was Mama Rue's mother's shop and they had beautiful things. A trip down memory lane.

Christian @ Modobject at Home said...

Be sure to find out the details on Target's return policy. From what I understand they've gotten really finicky about how much merchandise you can return in one year (even when you have a registry) which could pose a problem if you receive duplicates, etc.

I've got a few good links to blog posts written by new mothers outlining some of the products they love. I'll send them your way.

Overall, I'd say Babies R Us is a good place to start and don't neglect the amazon product reviews, those are helpful too.

And, quite honestly, as a mom going on baby number 3 I can't say it enough... less is more! Seriously. Get a good, lightweight stroller, a sling, a *good* breast pump if you plan to nurse, and a crib and the rest will fall into place.

Gina said...

As mamma to an almost 3 month old I'm knee deep in babyland right now. The things we cannot live without are: 1) a GOOD breastpump. I love my PJ Comfort pump. It has soft silicone cups and is hospital grade so it lasts through major useage. They are expensive, but I got ours on Ebay for less than half the regular price.

2) A wonderful travel system. We have the Chicco Keyfit system. It's the easiest stroller to put up... you can do it one handed while holding a baby. And the care seat is seriously a breeze to pop in the car. It clicks right in to the base unit.

3) a wonderful sling. We have the fleece sling from Kangeroo Korner. It's super easy to use and can work for a newborn as well as a 2 year old. Plus it works for both Bill and I. There are no moving parts or rings to attach.. we love it's simplicity.

4) A rocker... this is a purchase I suggest splurging on. You will live in said rocker for the first two months so get a comfy one.. you won't regret it.

5) as for where to shop, we did a lot of shopping at Babies R Us for the big items, but for the rest, I hit all of the kids consignment sales in and around Louisville. And we were garage sale obsessed for months before Jacob arrived. I just can't bring myself to pay full price for things now. They grow SOOO fast and you can save SOOO much. The only new stuff we purchased were his crib, rocker, changing table, swing, and pack and play. All esle was either garage sale or consignment.

Regardless of where you shop, you are going to have the best time.. this is your first baby and there's nothing quite like that joy and excitement :)

By the way, you're 20 weeks now.. are you guys going to find out??

Becky said...

It's so funny to see all of the advice and see how different we all are.

Places to shop: Babies R Us for sure. I actually also like Wal-mart. They have a good return policy(everything!),and it's cheap. We registered at BRU and Target though.

Strollers-my advice would be just get one you like. Some like the Chico. I had a Graco. I personally think they're all fine. I ended up with like 4 anyway. I will say this though...the pattern is important if you're thinking to keep it for more than one kiddo. We did neutral stuff just in case. Also, just know that you will probably end up with as many as I have and think about how much to spend.

Carseats- Many are good. I'd just get an infant seat with the highest weight limit. Then you don't have to buy a convertible very soon if you don't want to.

Breastpump- I pumped nonstop forever at school. I had a Medela PIS. I think it's the best. It got me through both kiddos pumping a LOT!!! Spend the money on this one!

Baby carriers- There are tons. I have a bunch of those too and don't really like any of them. I had a sling, a mei tai, and a Baby Bjorn. I just don't think they're comfortable. I do hear the Moby is great though. Aaron just wouldn't let me buy yet another!

Miracle Blanket- had it, loved did Riley

Etsy- I have a ridiculous amount of favorite stores and items. I've had great lunch purchasing from many stores. I'd spend every cent there if I could.

Bottles- Believe it or not babies seem to prefer one bottle over the others. It would be great if we knew which bottle that would be. I'm just saying that you might want to get a few different kinds. I had my heart set that the girls would like Dr. Brown's and bought a lot. They didn't. Oh well!

Have fun!!!

Sandi said...

I like Target for baby stuff in general, but my favorite gifts were the homemade things -- blankets, personalized burp cloths, etc. As far as what we used the very most, cloth diapers (used as burp cloths), car seat/stroller combo, blankets (especially lightweight and bigger than receiving blanket for nursing), swing/bouncy seat, and front carrier (I think ours was Evenflo).