Becoming a parent (especially a mom it seems) comes with the title of Chief Household Researcher. It's essentially one of the most thankless, time consuming, unpaid positions, requiring hours upon hours of work and agony.
At first it starts out with excitement and purpose. After all, you're doing this for a brand new Baby, and you want to make sure it's the most helpful and useful for YOU. Read all the buying guides you want, even from this site, but if it doesn't suit you and YOUR baby, that piece of gear is useless.
That's why a million of these buying guides exist.
Yet I seem to have read..a hundred million of them.
You see, I'm super precise. My chief weakness would be my perfectionism. It is a personality trait that transforms into a throbbing, pus filled tumor ingrained into my side that I really need to get rid of.
The whole buying process I'm fighting myself to cut that sore off.
A Day In The Life
This morning I woke up super pumped to finally get gear for the second baby. I'm in the final trimester and it's about time I stopped procrastinating. I have a ton of clothes from my first, but with the constant traveling and moving all we have left are baby clothes, a toddler stroller, and toys that won't be incredibly useful for the first few weeks.
I got rid of my first breast pump because I hoped by the time the second one came around the tech would be way better, and I'd feel less like an inefficient cow.
This time I settled on the Spectra S1, which gets less press because it's not as old as the Medela brand and has less insurance coverage. So I paid out of pocket to get one, but it's portable and my friends have preferred it to the Medela.
1) Ask Your Friends
Trust is a crucial part of the buying process, and most of the time we trust our friends or family the most for recommendations. Don't have alot of mom friends? Well you're stuck with me then!
Don't be afraid to dig into those Facebook connections you vaguely remember posting baby pictures though. They get it. And if they are too cool or busy to respond, they just want. And then you can come back to me for advice. Or just stick with me in the first place.
Anyway even though I've been around the block as a mom, I still will ask my friends who have had newborns more recently, because the baby industry keeps cranking out new gear. Plus every country the product availability has been slightly different – I can actually make a relatively good guess of what major gear parents will buy based on where they live.
2) Ask Dr Google
Even if you trust your friends or family, the internet still makes it so easy to do a quick search. Is that how you found me?
The internet is amazing. I remember pre-internet days, and I don't know how adults functioned back then.
3) Compare, Contrast
- My main criteria were:
- Safe (with enough lifetime until expiration)
For an infant stroller and travel system, I've decided on the Chicco Keyfit 30 infant carseat + either the Keyfit Caddy or Bravo stroller. The Keyfit 30 car seat seems to be recommended even by NICUs, weighs in fairly light at 9.2 lbs (without the base), and 22″ x 17″ width x 24″. I was looking for a fairly narrow car seat in case I can 2 car seats in the center in the side, because center is the safest soft.
In the states the Britax is also a popular brand but the Keyfit slightly beats it out in weight and width.
4) Find The Best Price
You can always save yourself the trouble and just buy these types of items on Amazon. Usually the pricing is quite competitive, and if you have Prime that gear magically shows up on your doorstep within 2 days. It's as if elves really do exist!
If you are a bit more pressed for cash, there are ways to get help on car seats, or search Facebook Marketplace or Nextdoor for options. You'll have to ask a few more questions, like has this car seat or base been in any accidents, does it come from a smoke free pet free home, etc. And then coordinate your own pickup like it's 1992. But there are plenty of deals and sometimes you won't mind the hassle.
M.S. Baby Shopping
It all comes down to how you actually value your time. If you have spent 6-8 hours on a buying process, you probably value your money more than your time. If you have more money than time, well, the internet might still prod you to spend a good hour or 2 down the rabbit hole.
You might want to feel attached and secure with your decision, like me. So I study, and I study hard.
The urban dictionary does quite a helpful run down on educational degrees.
B.S. = bull shit
M.S. = more shit
Ph.D. = piled higher and deeper
Let's hope that by the time all this is over I'm not buried deep in that Ph.D.