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List of baby essentials--sustainability + affordability

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List of baby essentials--sustainability + affordability

Postby esperanza » Mon Nov 24, 2008 11:12 pm

Hello all,

As my pregnancy progresses, the more I think about what we need to have at home by the time our baby is born.

Now, I'm having a little bit of a dilemma...knowing the current situation of our world (decade of the environment, food scarcity, economic crisis, high levels of consumption, war, and so on), I'm really trying to discern between what a baby REALLY needs vs. what companies such as 'baby's R us' want us to buy.

As a first time mom, I'm excited to get all the cute little things, BUT why buy things that are "nice" to have but not really necessary? What's the "green" way to go? how not to spend a load of money AND still be able to provide what my child really needs?

I'd love to raise my children with a level of consciousness about the environment and awareness about what's going on around the world. I'd like to start from the moment they come out of my womb. I don't want them to grow up thinking that a trip to the mall, buy, buy, buy, buy, consume, consume, consume is the key to happiness.

Anybody with me? I'd love to hear your thoughts, suggestions, ideas, anecdotes.

Peace!
me: 33 dh: 40
2 miscarriages (natural pregs. #1 Aug 2006, #2 May 2010)
IVF # 1 jan 08 BFN
FET #1 March 08 BFN
FET #2 July 08 BFP (DD born on April 2009)
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Postby sonu911 » Mon Nov 24, 2008 11:48 pm

Hey dear!!

I so agree with you!!

I think this mall, mcdonald's culture and wasteful expenditure has reached its saturation point. I am sure many would be thinking like us, and instead of going for all cute little things, would prefer buying things which are essential and basic.

I have witnessed in my own family such wasteful expenditures in such cases. Kids were given toys and other accessories when they were quite young for them, and when they actually reached the age to enjoy them, they had already lost interest in them!!!

In this spree, I started making cute little beddings for my little one with old bedsheets and covering them with new materials, doing some cute patch works on them. They no less then the expensive bedings sold at big shops, :)

Hugs...
Me,DH-35
3 ICSIs-BFN
FET-BFP/mc@7wks
4#ICSI-BFP
Anay came on 17th FEB, 2009
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Postby CT_Michele » Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:38 pm

Since I am currently loving and regretting some of my buying decisions, let me share.

Although I do not want to materialize my daughter, she is already getting spoiled by many others since this is a first grandchild all the way around. People are telling me all of the great things they want to get her for christmas, and I try to explain she doesn't need anything, but they are excited. So I will put the stuff away until she can appreciate it. I must confess too, that now when I go shopping, the first thing I think of is what I can get for her, but then quickly realize she has all she needs.

I had the big baby shower and got all the essentials, everything I registered for from the baby superstore, and some things I could not go without and others I wish I had skipped. She doesn't even like the baby swing, maybe one day she will. The play pen is awesome because it provides me with a downstairs changing station, so I don't need to go upstairs everytime...so convenience...yes, necessity, probably not. I think the crib bed sets are a big waste of money. They are adorable, but wasteful. The pediatric association reccomends against putting anything in the crib, including the beautiful bumper and quilt that come with the set. I should have bought sheets and a valance seperately. The mobile that matches the set, while beautiful, is impratical. She loved to watch it, but it winds and only lasts 3 minutes, so I would have to keep winding it. I ended up getting a battery operated aquarium that runs for 18 minutes at a stretch and it works wonders.

Those were some of my big pet pieves. When reading your original post, I think, but do I really need the stuff, even the stuff I love? Most of it, no, but I am so glad to have it. I don;t think having many of these conveniences that really help me out will affect the way the baby views things. As she gets older, "stuff" will be less. She will learn the value of hard work like I did and be proud to know she worked hard for everything she has, and yet be happy to know the most important things are those we don;t even have to pay for.

Well, in any case, if you have questions about any product you may be considering buying, let me know. I did an immense amount of research on everything I did get, I can tell you all the pros and cons. If I think of other things that were big wastes of money, I will let you know. Oh...nursery rocker and ottoman, I got mine at walmart for 150, I refused to pay 400 to the super baby place, just one way to save if you are intent on a rocking chair.
Me- 28 DH- 33 Male Factor
1st IVF- 12/07- BFP! Ella Michele was born 8/26/8
2nd IVF- 04/09 - BFN
1st FET- 09/09 - Chemical
3rd IVF - 04/11 - Embies didn't make it to ET
4th IVF - Fall 2011??
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Postby Fluffypuppygal » Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:51 pm

I'm so happy you wrote this!
I'm trying to just pick out a crib, and already I am getting a headache!! Do you buy new or used? Do you want wheels or no wheels? Why would I use wheels anyway?
Does it make a difference between a $200 crib or a $400 crib? (After all, they are going to only use it for maybe 3 years at most.) What is a folding crib? Why do I want to fold it? Should we go mail order and try to save some money, or buy in a store? Or do we wait and try to get a hand-me-down?
I don't mean to sound cheap, but I don't really have that many friends or relatives who are planning any baby showers for me, and my workplace has lots of single, 20ish mothers-to-be who are going to be getting most of their help and supplies from co-workers, so my husband and I are pretty much on our own and have to make frugal choices.
Any ideas?
Me - 37, DH - 46
1 m/c at 26, 1 ectopic at 27
BFP with 1st IVF! 1st beta 60.85, 2nd beta 975!! Its a boy!
3rd trimester starts February 14th.
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Postby CT_Michele » Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:11 pm

fluffy- even though we were fortunate enough to have a lot of help, I am always looking for the best deal. I hate spending more than I have to, so I do alot of online research and flyer checking before buying anything. I always check to see if there are coupons or promotions available, take the time to do it, it will pay off in the end.

Hand me downs are great, but there are a few things they suggest never to get "used," such as car seats. Car seats are always being updated to fit safety requirements, and even if you get one from someone you know, who knows if they dropped it and something went out of whack. When it comes to safety products, always go new, but look for bargains. I think a hand me down crib would be fine, but check to make sure there haven;t been any recalls before accepting anything. Also, I went for a convertible crib. It goes from crib, to toddler bed, to full size bed with the purchase of additional rails. I know they are a bit more up front, but in the long run, you save money because you don;t have to invest in new beds later. I got mine for under $400 and she will be able to use it for many many years. If you are looking for tips on specific items, feel free to find me on the boards and I will help in any way I can.
Me- 28 DH- 33 Male Factor
1st IVF- 12/07- BFP! Ella Michele was born 8/26/8
2nd IVF- 04/09 - BFN
1st FET- 09/09 - Chemical
3rd IVF - 04/11 - Embies didn't make it to ET
4th IVF - Fall 2011??
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Postby toobee » Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:28 pm

I got this book called "Baby Bargains"...I love it!
I got it from amazon and they are hitting on allot of the things you are all discussing. I am very much like all of you, I really want to be smart in what I buy and dont want to over do it as well as be consious of the enviroment etc etc....I have to be frugal as well because like fluffy I dont have a shower to look forward to because I live 2000 miels away from close family and freinds. But I do like this book. I am havign twins so I even have to get a new vehicle since I currently own a small car! But I dont plan on buying anything until 30 weeks or so. I plan on shopping at thrift stores like Thrifty, Goodwill, for item gently used. And sometimes Dollar tree or Dollar store has some great things as well.

Great post and good like ladies!!!
ME: 39 DH: 46 :) TTC for 8 years
3 miscarriages (concieved naturally)
3 blasts transferred - 1st IVF - BFP !!
Beta 1,2,3 = 497 /4056 /16,896 - TWINS!
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Postby kholtan » Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:29 pm

This is my kind of thread!!! I don't like to think of myself as cheap but more of a frugle person. I do not skimp on organic food, car seats, and products that go directly onto their skin but other than that I save wherever I can!

We took any and all hand-me-downs! And although I would have loved to buy every girl outfit I saw I figured she will be a girl forever and the hand-me-downs will eventually fade out. So, I resist what we want and get only what she needs.

As far as what I think I absolutley needed. . . .the activity mat! Mine LOVED this thing and played on it forever!!!!! Cannot imagine life w/o it! We bought a $120 convertible Jenny Lind crib for our kids and it has been GREAT! Not pricey at all and very sturdy plus it converts to a toddler bed. My kids both hated swings. The $3 bath sponge was a dream in the sink, I made my own bedding and it is ADORABLE! Much cheaper and I chose a more sophisticate fabric and it will last me much longer. Plus it was easy! I use Costco diapers, breast fed for 14.5 months and saved a TON there! Also, I buyt the clothes we don't have at the end of the season for next year. SAves a ton and stops me from going crazy since you have to weed thru it all.

I just stick to the thought that my kids need me more than any material thing we can buy and I try to wait 20 minutes before I purchase anything and it usually stops me from buying impulsively!
Me 35, DH 35
Ectopic Oct. 2005
IVF transfer 1-21-07. . .TWINS!!!!
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Postby CT_Michele » Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:46 pm

toobee- i also had to get a different car since my 2 dr coupe wouldn't cut it anymore. But I found an older 4 dr honda, just like my 2 dr on craigslist for a great price. Ladies- I would frequent craigslist a lot, you will find a lot of gently used baby items.

Kholtan- i also have a $3 bath sponge and buy my diapers at samsclub. I also formula fed and use the samsclub formula, we did alot of research on it and found it has all the same nutrients as enfamil lipil and is half the price. I also shop clearnace racks for clothes. I buy future clothes and save a ton. Actually, this past summer while she was still in my belly, I bought christmas dresses from kohls for 90% off. I got 3 or 4 $30 dresses for $3 a piece. Definitely the way to go!
Me- 28 DH- 33 Male Factor
1st IVF- 12/07- BFP! Ella Michele was born 8/26/8
2nd IVF- 04/09 - BFN
1st FET- 09/09 - Chemical
3rd IVF - 04/11 - Embies didn't make it to ET
4th IVF - Fall 2011??
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Postby esperanza » Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:06 pm

Oh! thank you so much ladies for all your great responses. I find this conversation to be very valuable. I'm also faraway from home and in a new place (we just moved to this state about 3 months ago), and I don't want to overwhelm people I barely know with these types of questions. I will certainly take note of your advices.

Please keep it coming...I'd love to learn more and read other folks opinions.

Cheers!
me: 33 dh: 40
2 miscarriages (natural pregs. #1 Aug 2006, #2 May 2010)
IVF # 1 jan 08 BFN
FET #1 March 08 BFN
FET #2 July 08 BFP (DD born on April 2009)
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Postby esperanza » Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:08 pm

Bump. any more stories or ideas?
me: 33 dh: 40
2 miscarriages (natural pregs. #1 Aug 2006, #2 May 2010)
IVF # 1 jan 08 BFN
FET #1 March 08 BFN
FET #2 July 08 BFP (DD born on April 2009)
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Postby esperanza » Thu Jan 01, 2009 8:06 pm

Oh Dani, I love your post. Thank you so much for your ideas and advices. I will certainly follow them and do some research myself. I will share anything I find as well.

Happy New Year!
me: 33 dh: 40
2 miscarriages (natural pregs. #1 Aug 2006, #2 May 2010)
IVF # 1 jan 08 BFN
FET #1 March 08 BFN
FET #2 July 08 BFP (DD born on April 2009)
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Postby JamieP » Fri Jan 02, 2009 4:17 am

My biggest bit of advice would be to use reusable diapers. You need to do a bit of research on it but these days there are lots of great 'systems' you can chose from. Most come without pins and you can get flush-able liners that take care of most of the mess. I swear they are not nearly as messy or difficult as you would think and really are no different that using disposable ones when it comes to putting them on. I do a wash once a day and hang them on the line to dry - it seriously takes 10 minutes to do it all and then another 10 minutes to put them all away in the evening. Most these days do not even need folding.

I have to admit that I starting using them more for health benefits rather than environmental ones. Disposable diapers are unregulated - they can put whatever they like in those things and don't have to tell you what it is they are putting in them. And there have been NO long-term studies into the effects on skin of constant exposure to the polyacralyte super absorbent gels found in most disposable diapers. But anyway aside from that here are some environmental facts for you.

• It takes one full cup of crude oil to make the plastic for each “disposable” diaper.

• It takes 4.5 trees to make the pulp used in “disposable” diapers for one baby over 2 1/2 years (ie: 7 million trees a year are felled for UK babies)

• “disposable” diapers use 3.5 times more energy, 8 times more non-renewable raw materials, 90 times more renewable materials than washable diapers. It takes as much energy to produce one throwaway diaper as it does to wash a cloth nappy 200 times.

• “disposables” produce 2.3 times more waste water (at the production stage) and 60 times more solid waste than washable diapers – one baby in disposables will produce 2 tonnes of solid waste!

• in a household with one baby, “disposables” will make up 50% of total household waste. Just one single item, “disposables”, make up 6% of total waste in most cities.

Anyway, as you can probably tell I feel strongly about this and think this is the one best way to show your commitment to the environment. And I would not be surprised if one day in the not to distant future we hear that they are also not good for your child's health. If anyone wants more info I can email you what I have - just PM me your email address.

I use cloth diapers exclusively until the baby is about 6 months old and then when they start getting really wet at night and I am no longer getting up to feed them I use a disposable at night so I don't have to change them in the night.

Lastly I also use glass bottles but mostly for health reason although the fact that they can be recycled helps too. If anyone wants to hear my rant on that please let me know
:wink:

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Postby Warren Dew » Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:16 am

We haven't really bought much that we regretted. Partly that is because we didn't buy anything until we knew we needed it. My wife satisfied her urge for cute baby clothes by knitting baby sweaters, which we need plenty of in Boston.

We accepted lots of hand me downs, especially clothes. Babies grow out of clothes so fast, second hand clothes have likely only been worn a few times. We did try to do some management on the gifts to make sure we didn't get too much of any one age range; otherwise we'd probably have had twice as much newborn stuff as we needed, and no 6-12 month clothing.

One note on the baby clothes: vanity sizing works the opposite of the way it does with adult clothes. Our daughter, who is average size on the growth curves, outgrew the 0-6 month stuff at about 3 months. Just something to keep in mind when planning what to get.

For what we ended up buying ourselves, we did buy some organic leotards from Baby Gap - environmentally friendly but not that sustainable. You can't have everything.

The most sustainable and environmentally friendly way of getting things is used, of course. You might be able to get a good crib used on eBay - we've gotten some good values on other furniture there. If you aren't going to be getting a lot of baby clothes as gifts, eBay might have those, too - now I kind of wish we'd checked.

We use disposable diapers. I can understand being worried about what's against the baby's skin, but with respect to the waste, most of the weight of a used diaper isn't the diaper itself, it's what comes out of the baby - and that has to be disposed of one way or another, anyway, unless you figure out a way to use it as fertilizer. I figure the environmental benefits from living only 10 miles from work instead of burning lots of gas commuting from the suburbs way outweighs any environmental costs from disposable diapers. That said, if you want to save money by using cloth diapers, go for it.
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Postby JamieP » Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:28 am

There has been some concerns about the untreated/raw sewage from disposable diapers going into landfill and seeping into the water-table. With cloth the sewage goes down the toilet and is treated.

Imagine if you lived only 10 miles from work and used cloth diapers!

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Postby sugabeanzs » Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:27 pm

I would agree with buying things used on craigslist. Again, not on car seats or anything safety. With twins, I had to use disposable because I spent enough time on laundry and feeding them so I did not want to spend more time there. Call it selfish but I need time to myself as well.

As far as toys go, get a rattle and a play mat and maybe something that plays music, and a mirror for them to look at themselves in. We have not bought too many toys but them (twin girls) being the first grandbabies people spend money on toys for them and they are not interested in a lot of them and some are for when they are older. They want to play with their hands, talk to mommy and daddy, and look at themselves in the mirror. Now mine LOVE the swing so I would suggest that. But that may just be my babies.

I bought my cribs used. I did do a search on them to make sure they were not recalled or whatnot. Safety is first of course.

Just buy a sheet and maybe a bed skirt if you wish. Everything else can not even go in the crib! Waste of money there!

Look around, find bargains. Babies can be "cheap" if you do not go overboard. Accept hand-me-downs. Seriously, they will outgrow the thing in a month or spit up all over it or poop all over it.

We are very blessed and have not bought any clothes (minus Christmas dresses but those were on sale) we got hand-me-downs from friends and my mom bought a lot for us. We go through lots of diapers and I ask for those as gifts instead of toys.

Think about it, when we were younger we did not have half the things that are out there now and we turned out just fine! You can spoil a baby really easily but all they really need is a good ol paper towel roll and some Tupperware to play with! lol
Me: 24 PCOS Husband: 25 Nada!
First IVF Jan 2008 Twin girls!


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