Baby shopping: one of the most exciting things about pregnancy. The moment I saw two lines from my pregnancy kit, I already made a mental list about what we should buy, which animal prints to collect, and the brands I wanted. I never thought of money or the price – I just wanted the very best for our first born!
In short, "Ayokong tipirin ang anak ko.”
Ready to splurge
Back then, I made sure our baby things were complete – and more. If the list said I needed 5 pairs of mittens, I would buy 10. Even after Sofi was born, I would get something because “someday, she might use it.” My husband always joked that no trip to the mall or supermarket would be complete without some kind of parenting-related purchase.
Ten years later, I got pregnant with our second child – another baby girl! I made another mental shopping list, and because of social media and all the celebrity moms and baby shops I followed on Instagram, I knew exactly what to buy. Crib, stroller, bathtub, baby carrier, all the basics in extra quantities – yes, I never learned.
Worth the splurge or waste of money?
I don’t regret buying the best we could afford for our baby, but some of our purchases gathered dust. We didn’t use the crib much because she preferred lying next to us on our bed. We ended up using it to store unused baby things and then packing it away after two months because it took up too much space. She didn’t like being in a stroller, though we were able to maximize the baby carrier. That was a good buy.
I also tended to buy too many extras – extra bibs, bottles, and even extra food preparation tools. When she started solids, I bought a fruit and vegetable masher, grinder and feeding tube – yes, three kinds. Looking back, I wasted a significant amount of money! But what were worth the investment?
- Basic clothing like pajama sets, mittens, receiving blankets, booties, baby hats. However, don’t buy a lot, since you can always get more when you need them. Don’t buy too many newborn-sized clothes because babies grow fast!
- Fruit and vegetable grinder. This was the only food preparation tool I really used for making baby food. Before you splurge on any equipment, ask yourself what functions you really need and what kind of food you want to prepare.
- Baby Carrier. This was one of our best purchases, which we used from the time she was six months old to past her second birthday. It was convenient, since I had my hands free and I could bring her with me on errands, ride the MRT, and even pick up her Ate from school. And, we got it for less than P3,000! Just make sure you get a carrier that can carry your baby's weight.
- Rubber mats. Place them next to your bed and the play area to protect your baby from bumps and bruises when she starts learning how to crawl and walk.
- High-quality, safe toys. Get toys that will develop fine motor skills, have different textures and contrasting colors, make sounds, and are easy to clean.
- High-quality bottles. We didn’t get an expensive electric sterilizer because we wouldn’t use it for a long time, so we invested in branded baby bottles that were durable, safe and BPA-free.
Think it over:
- Crib. Many moms agree that it’s an expensive purchase that most babies will only use for a short time. Buy it after giving birth when you’re sure that you’ll use it.
- Stroller. While great for families who travel often, I found that baby carriers were more convenient especially for going to the mall. You don’t need to wait for an elevator!
- Baby rocker. Most babies prefer cuddling, and experts say that skin-to-skin contact is good for a newborn’s health! Most baby rockers can only be used for the first two months.
- Changing table. Just get changing pads that you can use anywhere, and can bring with you wherever you go.
- Walker. These are not only expensive, but unnecessary and even dangerous. The American Pediatric Association has banned walkers with wheels.
Lastly, it’s okay to receive hand-me-downs from close relatives or friends. Not only will it save money, but it’s more practical since you only use most baby items for a short time. I hope these tips will help you decide what to get, and where to save and splurge. But in the end, it’s about your own parenting style and what your baby needs.
About The Writer
Jen Maslang is a forty-something wife and mom to two daughters. A homemaker for 13 years, she's still learning the ropes of motherhood and she wishes to make an impact on her daughters’ lives and to raise them as strong, independent, God-fearing women. She believes that self-care is a priority because you can’t pour from an empty cup. Jen shares her views, discoveries and recommendations on her blog, www.shopgirljen.com and her social media platforms.