Monday, February 14, 2011

Baby Bargains and Some ?'s for the Moms (Advice Please!!)

About 2 weeks ago I went to meet Grace for lunch (I got to meet choi boy!!!) and since I arrived a little early, I went into Family Christian Bookstore to browse. I ended up stumbling across a copy of the newest edition of Baby Bargains*, which I purchased.

This is my third time owning the book. The first time John's sister gave me her old copy not long after we starting trying (because we were going to need it soon, ha!). The second time my mom gave me a copy for Christmas when I was pregnant. I gave that copy away to a friend (and former neighbor) who was pregnant.  And so now we try again. I think there have been 3 or 4 editions of the book since that first copy John's sister gave me.

I have finished reading through it, skipping the sections that don't apply (breast pumps and items that are only needed for infants), and am now trying to compile a list of the things we need.

I know I want an Ergo baby carrier, pretty sure I would like a Britax car seat (not so sure about the price), and a Graco Pack 'n' Play to name a few items.

My sister gave me a Chico stroller, but I think I would also like a BOB or something like it for hikes/jogs.

She also gave me a booster. I think for now we will hold off on buying a high chair since at 16 or 17 months old, Joshua should be fine with a booster. Am I correct here? Part of what I am unsure of is how/if Joshua's prematurity will factor in. But since we already have the booster, I think we will try it and if it doesn't work, it will not be a big deal to go buy a high chair.

But what I am really unsure about is whether we should get a crib or a toddler bed. Google has been no help - I have read anywhere from 12 months to 3 or even 4 years old. Both of my sisters who are moms say toddler bed. I guess I am unsure if this is the right move though because of his prematurity and because Korean children tend to be smaller. Initially, I thought we would co-sleep, and we still may do that, but I have heard from a number of families who said their children took to their cribs right away and/or that co-sleeping just didn't work for them. In addition, my hubby is what I call a "grumpy sleeper," any little noise or disturbance bothers him, so I have realized that any co-sleeping arrangement would probably involve Joshua and I sleeping in his room. Also, I have no particular attachment to the idea of a crib in terms of setting up the nursery. I am at peace with the fact that we are not adopting an infant. As long as I get to decorate his room, I am happy.

A convertible crib would seem like the logical solution, but I am hesitant because they cost more and I really don't want the full-sized bed feature. I would prefer a twin bed or possibly bunk beds ( for Joshua's future brother, Lord willing, when we adopt again!).

Please weigh in. I would love to hear any thoughts or opinions.

*I would not recommend this book to anyone who is adopting unless you are feeling very secure in the fact that you are building your family through adoption. It is as if the authors of this book have no idea that there is any other way to build a family other than childbirth. Yes, I realize childbirth is the way for most people and therefore it makes sense that the book it targeted to the largest segment of the population. I wasn't upset by the book, but there was a time when the constant reminder of what I didn't and wasn't experiencing would have been very hurtful to me, which is why I mention it here.


thewonderfulhappens said...

first off, I would say you are right to skip the high chair. The booster seat should be just fine. Pay the extra money for the Britax car seat--it is worth it, and not just for the safety rating. I have used a few different brands and the Britax is the most user friendly and comfortable for the kids!!!
If I were you, I would go for the crib. Most kids stay in cribs until they are 2 or even older. That's my opinion. But I will be interested to hear what other advice you get!
Good luck!

Courtney said...

I think you are picking out great stuff!! And totally agree with the booster seat with tray...def don't need a high chair (I think we got henry a booster before 12 mo if that helps). I'm thinking definitely a crib. I can't even begin to imagine henry in a toddler bed right now. I don't know if this helps but a friend went to a sleep dr for her toddler (who knew they existed?)...and she said a lot of parents go to toddler bed too early. She said developmentaly (sp?) that they aren't ready until 2 years 9 months (that is when their brain can actually tell their little legs to not go).

The Sherrill Family said...

Ergo baby carrier is awesome. I love ours. I use it on the back now that Ruthie is older, but I know our nanny uses it on the front too. I've heard the Lillebaby might be the way to go, because unlike the Ergo, it can be used to carry a child forward facing too. See link here

It might just depend on how small Joshua is, but he's looking like a pretty hefty dude (in a good way), so you may be fine with him just inward facing.

We got the Roundabout 40. I'd recommend spending a little more and at least getting the 50 or 60. I didn't realize what they meant at the time and regret not getting a bigger model so Ruthie can be in the carseat longer.

I'd totally recommend a BOB or something. We have an Urban Mountain Buggy that I bought off a friend and love how smooth it is to push. This may depend on sidewalks around you or hiking/jogging trails, but having a sturdy stroller is a must with the snow and sidewalk cracks around here. I'd recommend getting one that does not have a fixed wheel, but does have the option to. If it means anything, I'd consider getting the BOB duallie for 2 kids because I think they rock, although I'm intrigued by the new Urban Mountain Buggy duallie that is supposedly coming out this year. I'm all about trying to buy one for function that could extend its wear if you are lucky enough to expand ones family. I was considering the Phil and Ted (which is very popular up here) but wasn't crazy about pushing or it's jogging capacity (my friend has one).

Graco PnP. Love it. You probably can get the simplest model since you may no longer need the bassinet or changing pad feature.

With the booster, it might depend on the type. We got one recently for Ruthie and it makes her too short to get to the top of the table. We love our Phil and Ted's high chair - as it allows Ruthie to sit at the table. It's also very portable and served us well when we've traveled.

I'd also recommend a crib. My aunt has a neat (old one) that converts into a toddler bed (it's low to the ground). You might be able to find something similar at Ikea. At 17 months, Ruthie is definitely still in need of a crib at this point.

That's my 2 cents. Obviously my opinion.

Becky, I've been so encouraged and excited to read your posts lately. I'm praying that the wait time is not long or at least flies by and I'm anxiously waiting to read about when you meat little Joshua.


Tina said...

I would say crib - I think the extra coziness/security could be really nice. His own little area. Both of the boys I nanny for looove the crib tent - big mesh zippy thing that goes over the top - I think it lends to the security feeling - for him and you guys. :-)

chubbymonkey said...

I am glad you asked all this as the bed vs crib has been on my mind too! I just spoke to my sister who has an 18 month old and she recommends a crib too. I was thinking we wouldn't need one because of the age - but maybe we do?

Niki said...

OK, since you asked about car seats, I'm going to give a quick plug for extended rear facing! I had no idea. I thought, at 12 months and 20 pounds you can turn them around forward facing. This is a minimum, not a requirement, or even a recommendation. A friend pointed me to a video on youtube of a little boy, and the effects of a relatively minor car accident. The crash test videos show how much safer a child is rear facing. The current American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation is to remain rear-facing to the limits of the car seat. I have a Britax roundabout 50. Em will be able to remain rear-facing to 35 pounds (She is currently almost 17 months old, and 27 pounds, but she is roughly 85th percentile--so she's a big girl). The safest person in a car is a rear-facing child!

OK, off my soap box now!!

The only reason I got my roundabout 50, is because I found it on clearance at Target. I got a SCREAMING good deal on it. (I thought it was a good deal when I saw it at $112, and then got up to the register and it rang up $49!!) Britax are great seats, but they are rather large. I've heard of people going to Babies R Us and taking a display seat to their car to make sure it fits appropriately.

We have this booster/high chair that has worked out great for us, and will allow Em to sit at the table when the time comes.

As for the crib, I have to say, I at nearly 17 months, I can't IMAGINE Em in a toddler bed. I can't reason with her yet for her to stay in bed on her own. I know someone else with a child her same age that wants to put their little guy in a toddler bed, but we plan on keeping Em in her crib as long as she will stay in it.

We have this crib from walmart that is a convertible crib. Many of the convertible cribs, you have to pay extra for the toddler rail. This came with it.

I have an Ergo, and really like it. I recently saw a recommendation for a different carrier that is on sale this week for nearly have the price. The rec is from a friend I trust, and she said she prefers it to her Ergo for a toddler.

Here is the info from her about it "Zulily has boba baby/toddler carriers for $60 through the 16th (they're usually $100). We have one of these and love it! I prefer it to the Ergo or the Beco Butterfly II, especially for bigger babies and toddlers. Our girls love the adjustable foot straps for extra leg support now that they're getting bigger so the carrier doesn't put pressure on their thighs and that helps keep the weight balanced on the wearer's hips where it should be. It has a longer body than the Ergo so they get better back support and can't lean away from you and I find it a lot easier to adjust than the Beco Butterfly carrier we had and like that there's no fabric between the wearer and the kiddo. They're not ideal for newborns. There are coupon codes for a little extra discount too. Coupon codes are $5 off coupon: GA1189 or 10% off $30+ so $6 off the carrier with coupcab316 (I don't think they stack)." If you aren't a member at Zulily, I an send you a referral.

I love to see you asking these questions!!

Amy said...

Hi Becky,
I found the Ergo baby carrier and just had to buy one for myself! I thought it would be perfect since it can hold up to 40 pounds; thus being able to handle whatever size our boy is when we bring him home. I also like that I can carry him in front, back, or on the side.
My in-laws gave us a convertible crib/bed for Parker. I agree with you, that I will probably not use the full size bed feature with it. But, I think by having a crib to start off with it might provide some extra security as he gets used to sleeping in his own bed. I thought I could also do what my sister-in-law did with their 20-month old. They converted it into the daybed feature and put a safety net on the side of it so he wouldn't fall out of bed.
Thanks for sharing you post; I got a lot of good information from what you shared.
Take care!

Flakymn said...

I would vote for a crib. You can stay in the crib for many years and especially because he'll be smaller and catching up a bit, a crib would be the way to go. My advice: find one second hand and we bought each of our toddler beds for $10-20 used as well. Way cheap (or you can go straight to a twin or a bunk).

I don't think you need a high chair at all. I stopped using them as soon as they were sitting up unassisted. Just took up too much room.

A pack-n-play is quite important and YES I VOTE YES ON THE BOB!

Grace said...

we love our booster seat and it works just fine -- we didn't have the room for a high chair anyway! i'm also going to say go with a crib. ours came with the toddler bed railing, and it wasn't much more expensive than a regular crib. cb loves his crib, but i know some kids don't take to it right away, so i'm not sure what i would have done in that case! we plan on having c stay in his crib until he starts climbing out (which hopefully won't be for a while!!!) and then we'll put on the toddler rail until he becomes too big for it. this is the one we have:

also, we don't have a pack and play and i'm not sure how much we would have used one if we did. maybe for travel?

we love our britax car seats! we have the boulevard and the diplomat and love both.

good luck! let me know if you need help!

Amy said...

Hi, we used a highchair when Samuel came home, but only because we already had one. It wasn't long before we switched him to a booster seat. Sam is still in his crib, and he'll be 2 in a few weeks. He has slept in it since Day 2 problems, no issues, sleeps all through the night, and he was a co-sleeper with his foster mom in Korea too. We slept with him his first night home, but then switched to the crib. He was and still is a very light sleeper. I don't think I could sleep with him...he moves a lot when sleeping. My older son was out of his crib at 24 months, but he was a climber. Sam hasn't experimented with climbing out yet. I'm going to keep him in his crib as long as he's happy. No on the pack-n-play...we rarely used ours with both boys. I sold it in *new* condition at a garage sale. How exciting to be making some plans for your little guy's room! Yay~

A said...

this post makes me so excited for you! and it kind of makes me go into a tizzy- how in the world am i ever going to distill the immense amounts of information on products to choose anything?!

it seems like you got some great input, though!

Courtney said...

Also wanted to mention to check out craigslist if you are worried about cost of cribs etc...there always seems to be a post of grandparents with hardly used brand new cribs trying to sell!

Also wanted to say that this post makes me so excited and happy for you :))!!

Dave and Elaine said...

No need for a highchair! We have a booster for LB that has grown with her since she started solids at 6 months! Highchairs are way to bulky and take up so much space. The booster fits on the kitchen chair and is so much more practical.

We also have a Britax and LOVE IT! I do feel they are top notch for security. I went with Britax because a friend of mine (her oldest is 7) has used them with all her kids and loves the seat and has never had a problem with them.

Crib...When we thought we were going to adopt this summer and LB and the new baby would be 24ish months apart, we had decided to go ahead and purchase another crib for the new baby because I just was not ready to have LB in a toddler bed (even at the age of 2!). I just like the idea of her being contained in the crib. So far she hasn't climbed out or attempted. I think it would be very difficult to keep a 16-18 month old in a toddler bed! I know it would have been a nightmare with LB! I intend to keep her in the crib until 2.5 or 3...I figure I will just know when it is time and when she is ready for that freedom. You mentioned co-sleeping and if you did that, Joshua probably wouldn't need a crib at all and would just go to a regular bed when he was old enough to sleep on his own. I can see this would be a tough decision to make since you aren't sure where he will sleep best until he is here!

All this is just so exciting though. I am glad you shared all this with us!

Dave and Elaine said...

Love what Niki said about extended rearfacing. We kept LB rearfacing until she was 18 months old! I only turned her around when her legs were cramped up. I wanted the Britax because it had a special feature that is supposed to make front facing safer.

Joia said...

I would go with a crib - Our kids didn't move out of there's until they were two!

Christy said...

Interesting - I've never read the book. I have to tell you - I LOVE my carseat. I am a car seat nut (safety wise) and this passed all the tests Britax did and is comfy, and not as expensive. Plus I LOVE the way it adjusts - so easy to buckle the kid in loose then tighten. I'm actually just buying a new cover and handing it down from Ella (for 3 years, then the seat expires and I'll have to figure something out). It's the Evenflow Triumph Advance.

I'd also say go with the crib (or convertible if you can find a good deal) - my kids were in their cribs until 2 1/2. We switched Ben b/c we were expecting Ella. We switched Ella b/c the summer seemed like a good time to be sleep deprived if necessary?!?! But both transitioned very well at that age.

Let me know how you like the Ergo - I'm thinking of getting the Chunei. Not positive yet though...

Anonymous said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE our Britax car seat. It is worth every penny. We had a highly rated Graco one first then this one. I would not purchase another kind. It is so easy to install, the newer ones have height adjustment WITHOUT Rethread and it seems to be pretty comfortable for our little guy. Also, IMO the convertible crib is with it. Lil' Buddy is about the age your little guy will come home and he has a LONG time until he is in the toddler bed. I also like having the high chair for him, he is no where near ready for just a booster.
If you have other questions, send me an e-mail!!!

Melanie said...

It's funny everyone is saying crib because I was going to say twin bed. :-) I can't remember at what age my girls switched, but I think it was right around the time they turned 2. So I was thinking you'd not get a lot of use out of a crib. You might buy a used one so you're not spending hundreds on something you might only use for 6 months. And I used my pack-n-play ALL. THE. TIME. Especially if we traveled, like to Grandma' was so handy to have a place to put them. Or just a safe place to put them down so I could do something else for a minute!

I think you're good with the booster chair, too. We liked it better than the high chair.

Just my opinions based on my experience. :-) I'm enjoying following your journey!

GrandmaDe said...

I think a crib because of the cozy factor. But I definitely feel that he needs his own room and you and Jon need your own room (together) There are really really sensitive monitors out there now so that you could go to Joshua as soon as you heard him peep or you could listen a little to see if he is learning to self soothe. If you go to actually sleep in the room, it will continue that problem. I'm sure you also know that as his mom, you will develop a sense of when a cry is 'serious' and when he is 'working it' :) I'm so excited that you are ready to get his things together! Hugs!!

Waiting4Him said...

So most everything was covered here I just thought I would share about Eli's transition. He has never slept alone but does great in the crib in our room. I think he is actually more comfortable. Even if he falls asleep in our bed we move him and he sleeps better. The crib is great because I do not have to worry about him getting out and being alone in our room. Next the Ergo is awesome. Eli loves riding on my back or in the front. I use it between 4 and 6 when he needs held while I cook dinner and use it when out for attachment instead of the stroller right now. Just a few little thoughts!