No Thanks

Our baby registry was not something that I was prepared to tackle. It ended up being like climbing a mountain when I was geared up for more of a bunny hill.  In fairness, I did put a lot of pressure on myself to take advantage of this opportunity to invest in quality products that we would use and love every day. 

I loved the idea of starting fresh with baby’s products and really supporting brands that I believed in to help us through this new chapter of life.   

But in reality, we are first-time parents in our mid twenties and my hopes and dreams for our registry weren’t always inline with our budget.  Deciding where we were going to invest and where we were going to save money became a huge challenge for me.  And I knew that other first-time mamas must be facing this too. 

Obviously, where we choose to invest our money is deeply personal so this definitely isn’t a one size fits all guide.  But I wanted to create a resource to save you mamas some time and energy by sharing where we chose to invest and where we chose to save.  Let’s get to it!

Where we saved money:

Stroller.  We’ll start with the stroller because I can’t tell you how many hours I spent researching strollers.  I wanted to invest in ONE stroller that would serve our needs for years and babies to come.  The stroller for this was the Uppa Baby Vista Double Stroller.  This stroller can be a single or a double and allows  you to clip in an infant carseat so it’s designed to grow with your family.  And if there’s one thing I love, it’s smart design that will function for a long time.  We know we want to have a big family so I thought this would’ve really come in handy. But it was really an investment. And when I asked around, I got a lot of mixed responses from parents that had multiple children as to whether or not they even used a double strollers after having baby number two. I came to the conclusion that right now isn’t the time to begin executing our 10 year stroller strategy because there are so many factors we just don’t know yet.   Joe reminded me that the best thing we can do is focus on this baby right now.  So, with that mindset, we went with this KeyFit Caddy Stroller Frame that we can clip our infant carseat into.   We've heard a lot of good things about this method of stroller-ing and we really think it'll be perfect for me when I'm alone with baby because it's light-weight and will be easy to maneuver.

Carseat.  I struggled with wanting our infant carseat to be totally non-toxic because it’s something that baby will spend a lot of time snuggled into when we're driving back-and-forth from Wisconsin to Minnesota. However, with the carseat, I came to basically the same conclusion that I did with the stroller.  The non-toxic carseats are above our price point right now and baby is only in the infant car seat for the first year of life (or less).  There are some great carseats out there that were within our budget. So we went with the Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Carseat.  We’ve heard so many good things about how well it functions and how easy it is to use.  And those were really important the most important things to us.

Highchair. I was so tempted by the sleek, minimalistic designs of the all wooden, beautiful highchairs. I got really excited about them and wanted to spend hundreds of dollars on the highchair. But after talking to other moms, who are much wiser than me, I got the advice that function over fashion is required when it comes to picking the right gear for baby. And although I would’ve loved to support those companies that are all natural and non-toxic, ultimately we couldn't put our budget towards that. On recommendation, we went with the Fisher-Price Space Saving Adjustable Highchair.  This sits on a kitchen chair, saving on kitchen space and making it easy to travel with.

Where we invested:

Crib.  Okay, onto where we invested money.  The crib was something that I knew I wanted non-toxic.  The crib was going to be an investment piece for us. We hope to use it for multiple babies so it makes sense to invest in something we love from the start.  There are (not surprisingly) a lot of considerations when picking a crib.  What was important to us was that it was safe for baby and the best way to ensure that is that is exceeds all US government safety standards.  We went with the Nest Crib by El Greco Woodworking, one of the few remaining US family-owned crib makers.  We were excited to be able to support American made with our crib purchase and think it’ll be great for baby.

Rug. I was really excited to find the brand Hook and Loom for an area rug for our nursery.  The nursery is on the same floor as my studio and it will also serve as the playroom where baby will be spending a lot of time on the floor.  We invested in a dye, chemical, and latex free wool rug that will be safe for baby and look amazing in the nursery.  We strategically picked this rug so that it could work in a lot of different spaces and will really be something we use for the rest of our lives. 

Skincare.  Skincare products for baby was an area where we went all natural and non-toxic on our registry.  The skin is the largest organ on the body so everything that goes on the skin directly impacts baby’s health.  When determining what products were the most important to invest in, skincare products made the top of the list.  We registered at Beauty Counter and Primally Pure for all things skin related.  These were great products to be able to put on our registry because they are pretty pricy and we aren’t sure exactly what will work for baby.  The generosity of our family and friends allows us to experiment and find the best products for our sweet baby.

Diapers. Diapers were a point of contention between Joe and I.  I really wanted to do cloth diapers and Joe said that he wouldn’t even change a cloth diaper (even though I knew he would if it came down to it!)  But I agreed with him that I didn't want to get in over my head or make a big investment in cloth diapers that I couldn't follow through on.  In the end, Joe so badly didn't want to use cloth diapers that he found a super great alternative that I think is going to work great for our family. gdiapers is a B Corp certified, Cradle-To-Cradle company that we think will be the best of both worlds when it comes to disposable and cloth diapers. They have a cloth outside but a disposable insert that totally decomposes.   I'm really excited to try these and I will definitely report back on how they work for us.

Writing this post has really made me appreciate how far we’ve come in our journey to get ready  for baby!  I plan on updating this post after 6 months to a year to let you know how they worked for us!

Want more lifestyle stories and inspiration from my simple life in the rural midwest? Join our tribe of homebodies, work-from-home-warriors, and mindful mamas :)

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