The nesting phase of my pregnancy is in full effect. However, our closing date has changed multiple times. We are now scheduled for June 20th closing. I’ve known for months we would not been staying in our current rental but didn’t know when we were moving. I definitely knew I needed to prepare for a nursery.
My husband and I began the discussion of buying a home February of this year. We knew finding a home before the baby arrives would be a challenge. We looked at 4 homes and fell in love with the first one (check out “Counting down to Closing” for pics of our home (pending)). It has been the most stressful few months trying to purchase this home. My husband and I decided to split up the to-do lists, since we both worked full-time and we didn’t want any confusion or redundency. He would manage everything that had to do with buying the home (realtor, mortgage loans, lawyer, seller, paperwork, closing, and etc…..). I would manage taking care of my pregnancy, our growing baby, getting rid of items in the house we didn’t need, finding baby items, and moving. This has worked so well. We give each other updates and share our thoughts.
I started my baby registry back in February. I’ve read so many articles and websites telling moms to register for absolutely everything. I didn’t want to register for everything because I didn’t want unnecessary items to take up space in my new home or waste my time returning items. Many of my girlfriends spent so much time returning items. Many of our friends had stock piles of baby clothes that were only worn once or twice. This has worked in my favor. I didn’t register for any baby clothes. We also advised our parents to not buy the baby any clothes or toys. As of today, we have received 6 large garbage bags full of newborn, 0-3, 3-6, 9, and 12 month old baby clothes, socks, burp clothes, bibs, and hats. My husband and I were the last of our friends to get married and have kids. So we were the major recipients of all hand-me-downs.
I browsed through many baby and mommy websites and store websites and many provided registry checklists. The most simple checklist was from Baby Center. I further used this list to narrow down what I needed before the baby arrives and for the first few months. Everything else I felt I could determine during the first 3 months after when the baby arrives home. In addition, I surveyed my girlfriends and Mama groups for what they thought was important to have including the brand names. I was surprised to get a very short list.
Most necessities were categorized similarly to the above but abbreviated. My abbreviated list as follows:
Clothing: (Free) A variety of sizes ranging from newborn to 1 year from our friends.
Diapering: I didn’t register for diapers or wipes. I decided to go with The Honest Company. Their products are non-toxic and eco-friendly. A months supply costs $80. Based on my research, I would save over $200 per month on diapers and wipes. The bundle is delivered monthly to my doorstep and enough for a month.
Stroller: My mother-in-law purchased my choice, the Baby Jogger City Select Single Stroller. I wanted a full size stroller that was multi-functional and would accommodate a second child when the time comes. When visiting baby stores, I tried out multiple strollers. I felt that this stroller was sturdy and safe. The retail price is $500. I registered at Amazon.com and they were selling it for $389.
Car Seat: Choosing a car seat was a challenge. Many has great reviews and recommendations. The prices were not competitive and many had the same qualities. However, I needed the car seat to be compatible with the stroller and light weight. I chose the Britax B-Safe Infant Car Seat. It weighs 16lbs compared to the other car seats that weighed 20 or so lbs. I needed to get a car seat adaptor so I can click the car seat into the Baby Jogger City Select Single Stroller. The cost was $33.
Pack and Play: I chose a travel pack and play for ease of traveling to parks and grandparents’ homes. This pack and play by Graco weighs less than 20 lbs and comes with a carrier. Check out the Graco video. It retail for $110 but Amazon.com sells it for $94.
Nursing Pillow and Nursing Cover (free): Back in February, there were promo codes being passed out on many moms and baby websites for free nursing pillows, baby leg warmers, nursing covers, car seat covers, and baby slings. The retail prices were from $40 to $70. I only had to pay for $10 shipping for each.
Bottle cleaning supplies (brushes, drying rack)
Bottle Warmer: I found a Tommee Tippee bottle warmer for free from my Mama’s group. The reviews were 50/50 so I register for a Dr. Brown’s bottle warmer that my girlfriend recommended. I have both just in case.
Safety and Health:
Tummy Time Mat
Toys/Books (free): Many moms from my Mama’s group seemed to be doing some spring cleaning the past few months and was giving away baby toys and books. I took home many blocks, trains, and rattles for the newborn age group. I found free baby books on Craigslist.
Crib: I decided that I didn’t want to purchase the crib and mattress second-hand. I researched for cribs that was versatile, safe, compact, and inexpensive. I finally chose the Dream on Me 4 in 1 Convertible Mini Crib for $125 . My brother-in-law and sister-in-law were wonderful to purchase it for us. I purchased the matching mattress for $65. This crib is to convert from a crib to toddler to twin bed. I hoping it will last until then.
Bassinet: Safety and versatile is important but inexpensive is a must. I personally didn’t want to leave my newborn baby by herself in a crib just yet. Especially if I needed to breastfeed every few hours. I also didn’t want her sleeping in the same bed as my husband and I because we both are heavy sleepers and moving around as we sleep. So I set my eyes on the Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper bedside basinett. The sides retract down so I can fasten at the bedside. It also has wheels so I can move it to any room in the house. The bottom storage basket for diapers, wipes, and clothes is extremely helpful. However, the retail price of $150 was a stretch. I knew I would be only using this for no more than the first 5 months. This bassinet had an age limit for infants up to approximately 5 months in age or when the baby begins to push up on hands and knees. So I began hunting around on Craigslist and the Mama groups. I was real careful on how, where, and the condition of the item would be in. It’s very important to ask questions and do a thorough inspection. I found 4 co-sleepers on Chicago Craigslist within a months span. One was used for multiple children so I passed because stabilty and safety may be an issue. For the second one, I asked for pictures of all sides of the co-sleeper and it looked unhygienic. The last 2 seemed in good condition. The father of one of the co-sleepers stated his son only used it for 4 months and started to crawl so they couldn’t keep him in there. They were selling it for $50. I asked if my husband and I can come by and inspect it. They were very willing. The first thing I do when I will be purchasing an item from Craigslist is location and safety neighborhood checks. After all, I live in Chicago were danger can be anywhere. Second, I bring someone with me, make sure there’s tons of people around, and parking is easy. The husband was nice enough to put the co-sleeper closer to the door. His safety is important too. I glanced inside and the place was clean and tidy, no pets, and the baby was in the living room. I thoroughly inspected ever inch and the stability of the co-sleeper and passed my test. I came home with my very first baby item…..
I scored this moses basinet for free from my Mama’s group. I didn’t need it but it would be helpful to bring to a park or outside function. An important thought with getting second hand linen or clothes is to wash everything with hot water and bleach first.
Changing Table Pad: I decided to skip the changing table and use one of our dressers. I found the $10 changing pad and cover and received more covers from our registry.
Changing Pad Linen
Next on my to-do list was simple baby furniture. I didn’t want to spend more that $80. Yes, $80!!! I wash;t activity looking but daily browsing was part of my day. Finally, I came across this Pottery Barn Cameron 2-Shelf Bookcase, Pottery Barn Cubby and Base Set, and 14 Pottery Barn baskets for FREE. Yes, FREE. The Mama’s group I’m part of on Facebook frequently sells or gives away their baby items. I was lucky enough to snatch all within 43 seconds of her posting. When we came by to pick everything up, the mama was so nice enough to add a Pottery Barn play table with 4 chairs. I felt so thankful, we bought them a bootle of red wine.
There are a few more pieces I’m looking for and some wall decor. I’ll share the results in a few weeks. I’m experimenting with paint colors. I would like to have colors that are gender neutral. We’re moving in the end of the month.
Wish me luck…….