Sunday, May 6, 2007

Baby Furniture

This week I will be focusing my posts on baby furniture. Yesterday we were at SEARS and started looking through the baby furniture and toys. It was sure a lot of fun and when I looked at the prices I realized that we need to be saving money in a hurry. The selection was abundant and we found many things that we liked. When is the best time to start making purchases? I talked to one couple that started buying things after 12 weeks. That does seem early but the research I have done tells me that after 12 weeks and hearing a heartbeat means the chances of a problem are less than 1%. Please give us some advice on when we should start purchasing items, how much it will cost, the best places to shop, must have items and anything else that may help us out.


Anonymous said...

I'm an interior designer with Ethan Allen (where I bought my baby furniture). I would at least wait until the 12 week mark in your pregnancy. It's not really necessary to have it until about a month before the baby's due (so you can have time to organize and sustain those nesting urges you'll inevitably have). When you shop- make sure you ask for lead times as some stores have a 3 month lead time (others you can take with that day).

As far as places to shop- it depends on your budget. Babies R Us has a large selection ranging from low to middle. Target (maybe wallmart?) even has a few cribs for great low prices. I haven't seen the selection at Sear's, but I'm assuming it's similar to Babies R Us. If you want something more high end- check out any of the specialty baby stores and boutiques (there are some beautiful European lines that some places will carry). Ethan Allen discontinued their cribs, or I would send you there Wink. Pottery Barn has some cute things as does the Land of Nod.

You're going to want a crib, a changing table, a dresser or armoire, and especially if you're planning on breast feeding a glider or rocking chair. Some places have changing tables that have the dresser built-in. Black out shades are a good investment if you plan on using the BW method. You also might want to wait until you find out the sex of the baby- (so you know what style to get) if you are in fact going to find out.

Anonymous said...

It's intimidating, huh! I don't have an answer for you, but I totally understand. There is so much a new mom needs, it's overwhelming. I'm only 4 weeks, so I'm not even ready to start thinking about getting a nursery ready, I'm trying to focus on getting to that 1% mark.

BUT I will say this, my cousin did it right when she had hers. She bought alot of the big stuff in the beginning. I'd say about 2 - 3 months along, she started buying the crib, the bouncy seat, the car seat, picking colors, getting some clothes here and there - She got most everything she needed as she could afford them through the 6 - 7 months. By the time we all had a shower for her, she didn't really need anything! Everyone got her diapers. (you can always use those!)

That's another thing too - if you have a big family, alot friends, alot of excitement for you and your baby, you could possibly score big at your baby shower! Now I'm not saying you should count on large purchases for your shower, but you could get quite nice haul if you register for stuff you "need".

Depending on how you feel about used stuff, hit some garage sales this summer! That is the jackpot for baby furniture and you can score a deal. Maybe you have some friends that are done having kids? They might offer you some of their stuff to get the space back...

It will work out. I know it seems intimidating right now, but I think as soon as you feel ready to start accumulating the furniture, you'll be amazed how it all comes together. As far as when to start? That's really your call, but personally, I would think once you hit the 12 week mark and your doctor says things are progressing nicely, you are golden. Have fun shopping!

Anonymous said...

Again, when you start preparing for baby is up to you. But IMO it's better to start early and buy things a bit at a time. Where you shop and what you buy really depends on how much you can spend. You are right. There are ALOT of things you can buy that can help make time with your new baby easier.

These are some things I suggest you buy. Sorry for the long list but these are things that are very useful for baby:

Boppy Pillow - Good for MANY uses. Useful for breastfeeding, a safe place for baby to play, and very useful to prop baby up when they start learning to sit.
Play Gym - Play gyms are good place for baby to learn and exercise. This one is read, black, and white. All colors that are visible very early as infants start out with fuzzy sight and can only see certain colors.
Infant Swing - Swings are VERY useful for infants. This cradle swing has a colorful mobile and is a cheaper version. It swings back and forth and side to side. If baby develops colic, swings are often a useful place to sooth baby.
Mirror - Mirriors are great for play and learning. This one ties onto the side of the crib. It has babies favorite colors and teethign toys. You can also stand it up on it's own for baby to play on their tummy. All toys and extra bedding should be removed before laying baby down to sleep.

Crib - You will eventually need a crib, even if you start baby out in a bassinet. This crib starts as a normal crib. Then converts to a toddler bed, day bed, and then a full-sized bed.
Sleep sack - Sleep sacks are wearable blankets. These are proven to cut down on the risk of SIDS and there is less suffocation risk as using a blanket.
Sleep Positioner - Sleep positions help keep baby safe while sleeping by keeping them from rolling. This one is ventilated and adjustable. Baby can use this to sleep on their back or side.
Bear - This bear hooks onto the side of the crib. It plays melodies and most importantly womb sounds. Womb sounds can help soothe baby.
Mobile - I like this mobile because it has lots of bright colors and shapes to help baby develop their eyesight and brain.

Bathtime & Potty
Tub - This tub has great reviews and goes from infant to toddler.
Changing Table - This isn't a big deal. You can change baby anywhere. But I suggest you buy one. Laughing
Diapers - Don't forget these!!! Get 1 package of Newborn and 1 package of size 1's right off. Some babies fit into N's but some start in 1's.

Breast Pump - These can be very expensive. I couldn't find the one I have. I suggest not skimping on this breastfeeding necessity. Get an electric not a manual!
Breast pads - Another essential for breastfeeding. I suggest these. They are disposible and have an adhesive strip to keep them in place.
Bottles - Which bottle you choose depends on your baby. Some babies are very picky. You may have to buy different brands and try them out.
Formula - If you choose to formula feed, I suggest an Iron fortified formula.

Again, sorry for the long post! Laughing

Anonymous said...

id say after 12 wks is perfectly fine...even if you wanted to wait til 16 weeks that 1 extra month itd be good...still gives you plenty of time to buy and save for everything!! Baby furniture sure can be expensive so where you can i'd look at garage/yard can find some nice thing for cheap and second hand store...every little penny counts :)!

Anonymous said...

I think it's up to you when you want to start buying furniture. With my daughter, we started buying stuff right away! I was young and it was my first, so it didn't even occur to me that something bad could happen! DH and I got pg last November, but lost the baby. We hadn't bought anything yet....other than a few trinkets here and there. We're pg again and we aren't going to buy anything until we either reach 12 weeks, or hear a good, strong heartbeat. So, it's just all about how you feel.

As for good places, I found everything I wanted (furniture, decor, etc) at Target, and it wasn't too badly priced! Hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

You don't have to buy everything brand new- even though you really want to. Hand-me-down clothes are awesome! Same with furniture, swings, etc. Check out craigslist- I know right now in the Boston area there is a brand new ethan allen sleigh crib for sale- super cheap!

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you are in Canada or the US but in my travels I have found Target and Baby Depot (Burlington Coat Factory) to have fantastic prices. I would kill to pay those prices. ie. my dd's crib at Baby Depot $199.00 and it is a 4-1 stages crib. Here at Sears the exact same one, both manufactured in British Columbia, is $399.99.

Canadians get hoses but I also found that large baby items were very well priced at Target and Baby Depot.

As for the accessories like swings, high chairs and exersaucers I second the comment for buying used. There aren't real safety concerns with those items. Garage sale season is coming upon us which is a great place for ppl to unload their baby paraphernalia. Also, my dd hated the swing we borrowed by my gf so its nice to know you didn't pay alot for stuff that your baby won't take to. KWIM?

Our New Baby said...

Bethann gave you some great advice! I work at Pottery Barn Kids. One thing to consider is how long you plan to use the furniture. Will you reuse the crib for another child or do you want a crib that converts to a toddler or double bed? Do you want a dresser that you can continue to use as your baby gets older? I always recommend using a dresser that has a removable changing table topper instead of getting a separate changing table. It's more economical and saves space.

Pottery Barn Kids has great stuff, and it is $$, but it's good if you're hoping to keep the furniture for a long time. It's very well-constructed and built to last. Plus, each line of nursery furniture also has big-kid pieces, so you can match your dresser to a bed, desk, nightstand, bookcase, etc later on. I didn't work there when #1 was born and I didn't know this, so we had to buy all new stuff when he moved into a big boy bed because the company that made his crib and dresser only made nursery furniture, not big kid pieces.

I know it's overwhelming, but when you do go furniture shopping and register for baby items, most places will give you a checklist of all the things you could possibly need. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

There are a few things I couldn't have lived without:
Breastfeeding pillow
Swing (my DD loved it, some babies hate it)
Exersaucer (don't need until about 4 months and up)
Jolly Jumper (second most used item after the exersaucer)

Things I never used:
Change table, I almost always changed her on my bed and when she started rolling we moved to the floor.
Baby tub (I just found it easier to put her right in the big tub with one of those wire & mess head rests)
Bouncy chair (DD hated it)

The only things we purchased before she was born was a crib, dresser, travel system (stroller & car seat) because we knew what we wanted. I was very blessed that my work threw me an incredible baby shower and then my family did one also. The majority of the big items we were comtempting purchasing we ended up getting as gifts.

Once we had DD, I did a rush trip to the 'Once Upon a Child' second hand store for clothes. For the 1st year the clothes hardly wear out, might get the odd stain so you can get used clothes in great condition for an awesome price.

Anonymous said...

Great suggestions! Also keep in mind about gifts you may receive especially clothes and layettes. If you are having a baby shower b/f the edd, then I suggest having a baby registry at several stores and select items that range from inexpensive (washcloths, bibs, diapers, etc.) to the more expensive ones (crib, furniture, stroller, etc.) so that your family and friends have a wide price selection.

Two things to remember when buying for baby.

1. Don't let the salesperson pressure you. Do your research first and go to the store with a list. A great site to check out is, this is where you can get great reviews on practically anything from people who have bought it.

2. Keep all receipts and price tags on the items. You might need to return/exchange some of them. We were soooo sure of having a boy but dd came into our lives instead. Kiss

Happy shopping!!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh gosh, I have no idea how much she spent on the baby stuff. I know that she got alot of the furniture used from ads in the paper and friends she knew. I know she got that stuff really cheap - I think she paid $100 for her crib that turned into a toddler bed. As for the grand total? I have no idea. If you start early, you can afford to hold out and look for good deals. Good luck!

Mom At 35 said...

Great post! I'm about a week behind your wife (9 weeks here) and this blog has become helpful for me already. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

With our first ds we really did not buy hardly anything (furniture wise) We bought a dresser that has a build in changing table from IKEA and a rocking chair. Everything else we got given to us (used stuff from their kids) brother gave us a crib, a stroller and a playpen. We did buy a high chair which we then passed on to my SIL. Also we bought new baby gates. For clothes I bought a lot of second hand stuff. I mean the baby is going to wear it for a few months, why buy a ton of brand new stuff when you can buy it used and generally it is in practically new condition because someone else's baby wore it for a few months. Car seat we bought new, I wouldn't consider buying a used one unless you get it from someone you know who can tell you exactly how old it is and for sure that it has not been in an accident. I think it is silly to spend tons of money on stuff that is only going to be in use for a short period of time when there is such a huge market of second hand stuff that is generally in good shape. Also I find that most people are happy to pass stuff on, I have passed on lots of stuff to my SILs and for my 2nd baby I am going to get a ton of stuff back because since I've had my first they've had 2 each and of course they've had stuff given to them and things that they've had to buy new etc. Some of the popular pregnancy books have lists of essential baby things to have when you bring your newborn home and things you can wait and see if you think you will need them. Like my one SIL bought a swing and it is not something I ever considered buying but she found she couldn't do without it. Anyway to sum up I wouldn't spend a ton of money until you've thought through what you really need and had a look about and seen what you can get used or given to you from friends or family that have already had kids.

Anonymous said...

If possible (I know it's hard!!) really only buy the minimum of what you will need and buy the rest after bub is born. I would do so many things differently afterwards - just the little things that don't seem important at the time, do now. More like the type of stroller, nappy bag etc. Another tip too, always check if you need to order. I left it until week 26 to order and then the cot didn't come in until the week she was born!! Borrow things like a bassinette as they only need them for such a small time.

Anonymous said...

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Christine Hales said...

let me help you choose the best baby furniture in the city of angels.

Andry said...

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