Mama Naturelle’s Budget-Friendly Baby Registry Tips

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One of my good friends announced her pregnancy this week (yay Steph!) and like every first time mom, she got right down to that overwhelming, frightening, migraine-inducing baby registry business. I feel her pain and I’m sure you all do too! πŸ˜‰

After sharing a few of my own registry items with her via text message, I figured I’d write up a quick post to share it with all of you expecting mamas as well — because no mom wants to end up with piles of items sitting around her garage! By buying those versatile, “long term use” items, you’ll get a lot more bang for your buck, believe me.

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This crib is awesome not only because of the drawer underneath (saves me so much space in Liam’s room! I store all sheets, swaddles, blankets, and sleep sacks in it), but also because it converts into a day bed and toddler bed (conversion kit included). No need to purchase a new bed when Liam outgrows it! Made of sustainable New Zealand pine wood, it’s also lead and phthalate safe with non-toxic finish. Perfect for the eco friendly home!

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I love this changing table by Ikea. When I first received it, my first thought was “dang this thing is huge” but turns out that’s an amazing feature. A sleek changing table might look nice and chic when your baby is 3 months and hasn’t figured out how to roll over, but once he does, you’re in trouble. This changing table is Liam proof πŸ™‚ and that says a lot! What I love about this item is that once Liam outgrows diaper changes, we will still get some use out of it: it turns into a child size desk! Saves you some money down the road…

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I wrote about this item before, but I’m really glad we bought it so I’ll reiterate πŸ™‚ Most monitors are basic, even though they’re pricey: they allow you to monitor your baby while he sleeps – No frills. Some of them have a mattress sensor (which is a little useless) or sing lullabies (useless too). The iBaby is incredible because first of all you don’t have to be home to check on your little one — say you’re out to dinner and grandma’s watching him, well, you can check and see if everything is going okay. You don’t even need wifi. Helicopter parent approved! πŸ˜€ Another feature I can’t live without is the recording: this gem of a monitor films your baby if he makes a sound or moves in his crib. If he wakes up before you do and doesn’t wake you up (like Liam does some mornings), you can scroll through the footage to find out what time he woke up at exactly. Amazing for schedule-oriented families!

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Our biggest mistake while putting together our registry was that we bought the Chicco Keyfit car seat and the matching caddy stroller, which is basically a big basket on wheels. Although the large storage space is great, we weren’t thinking that at some point down the road we’d have to invest in a second umbrella stroller… and have a random basket on wheels just sitting around in the garage. Not the best plan. We received the Activ3 Jogger Stroller as a gift a few months ago and ditched the caddy altogether- the Keyfit clicks into the stroller seamlessly and when your baby outgrows the seat, the stroller is still an amazing, sturdy, yet relatively sleek stroller for your toddler. We love it!

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The Pack and Play is another item I’ve raved about in the past… and for a good reason: it’s so worth it! I know those wicker bassinets  with canopies are adorable. Mama, I get it. But once your baby outgrows it, you’re probably going to end up using it as a bin for books or baby clothes; that’s the sad reality of it. If you get a Pack and Play instead (and God knows there are a variety of cute options!), it actually evolves with your child. Simply remove the bassinet component and it becomes a play yard. Liam loves standing in it and chewing the rails πŸ™‚ You’ll save a lot of money (and space!) that way. It’s also great on the go! If you want to keep it simple (like we did), get the basic Pack and Play without the napper/changer pictured above. I didn’t really see the point if he already had the bassinet portion and a changing table in his bedroom. Ditch the frills and you can score one for under 60 bucks. Thanks again, Amazon!

Some additional budget-friendly tips:

  • Buy more cotton onesies than fancy outfits (I guarantee they’ll still have tags on them in a few months!) and aim for slightly bigger sizes! Babies grow too fast!
  • If you shop at Buy Buy Baby, make sure you check for lower prices online. They will price match anything! Also keep your options in mind: I’ve found some gems at Burlington and TJ Maxx, for example. 
  • Invest in an Amazon Prime membership: you can’t beat two day shipping, and with their Subscribe & Save option, you get a great deal on items like diapers, wipes, etc.
  • When it comes to high chairs, pick one that has multiple seating heights (so it grows with your child.) The Graco Blossom is a winner because it converts into an infant booster seat, toddler seat, and kid chair! It comes with an extra booster so you can even seat two children at the same time. Can’t beat that!
  • When your baby outgrows his bathtub (we love the 4Moms one because it filters out the dirty water!), purchase an inflatable tub insert instead of a larger baby tub. It’s safe and comfortable for a baby who is becoming more and more mobile, and makes bath time less stressful and more fun for you too!

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Johanna Riehm teaches in the department of Communication and Media at Manhattanville College and in the department of English at Mercy College. She teaches courses in the history of communication, public speaking, and social media, as well as creative and technical writing workshops. Johanna’s work has been featured in Graffiti Literary Magazine, The Write Place at the Write Time, The Bangalore Review, Cactus Heart Press, and the LaMothe Review. She is working on her first longer work, a creative nonfiction novel called We Carved Our Names in Tamarind Trees.

7 thoughts on “Mama Naturelle’s Budget-Friendly Baby Registry Tips

  1. Ask for cloth diapers. You can save a ton of my money if you use cloth. Also shop at thrift shops for clothes. Kids outgrown clothing so fast, so I always find a ton of gently used clothing for super cheap.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, I’ve never heard of a convertible changing table! I got the convertible crib, the convertible carseat, and a convertible high chair-I guess I snoozed on the changing table-that is so cool!
    Definitely with the first commenter, cloth diapers are the bomb! We spent a little less than $400 on diapers before my son was born and, besides the disposables we purchased while we were on vacation, 14 months in we haven’t spent more!

    Liked by 1 person

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