February 4, 2008

“Baby Bargains” Isn’t Much Of A Bargain

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:59 am by bitsypieces

As time passes–and Hubby and I get closer to buying some stuff for Baby–I’ve started researching baby gear and items.  One of the most commonly recommended books for “baby on a budget” is Baby Bargains by Denise and Alan Fields.  I paid full price ($17.95) for the latest edition, since it’s updated regularly with new products.  (It also offers a money-back guarantee.)

So did I find any bargains?  Not really.  Here’s why:

  • The authors’ idea of a”bargain” is not the same as mine.  They consider $400 to be a mid-priced crib.  I consider it to be “pricey.”
  • The authors spend very little page-space discussing alternative sources for items, such as thrift stores or consignment shops.  They mention these secondhand resources occasionally, but they mostly assume that their readers are buying new.

There were some benefits to the book, however.  I found the information about safety very valuable… the authors did a great job of pointing out safety features and rating gear based on its level of safety.  They also did a fair job of pointing out unnecessary items or gear that is optional.

Two of the most valuable pieces of info for me:

  • The car seat I received at my early shower is the top-rated for both safety and convenience.  (Good news!)
  • Ikea’s cribs (the most reasonably priced I’ve found) get an “A” rating from the book authors.

When it comes to choosing baby gear, safety is my number one priority.  Second is price.  Third (and final) is appearance.  I was gratified to find that I don’t have to pay top dollar (or even mid-priced dollar) to get a safe piece of baby gear.



  1. I liked that book mainly for the explanation of carseats. I was so overwhelmed by carseats when I was pg with Kate. It also help me pick out my stroller. And IKEA cribs rock! Nice and simple and inexpenisve. I have TWO! 🙂

  2. Leanne said,

    I am also struggling with the budget, part of me wants nice, new things for our baby but then the realistic part of me takes over and thinks that if people are willing to give me things for free that maybe I should take them up on their offer!? Why pay for things that we may only use for a few months (like clothes and baby bath tub) ? But then I worry about the cleanliness of other people’s stuff?

    I agree safety is #1, and appearance shouldn’t even really matter – it’s not like the kid is going to tell you that it hates its bed cause it’s ugly!? I like to think of my purchases as ” a good value” it may cost a little more but it might last twice as long and I won’t have to buy a replacment one paying double in the long run. I don’t think you should always buy the cheapest just to save money.

  3. bitsypieces said,

    Glad to hear that you like Ikea’s cribs, Greenstylemom! It makes me feel good to hear other recommendations.

    You’re right, Leanne, that sometimes paying more for quality is worthwhile… especially when it comes to something that will be used for years or passed down to younger children. We’ll probably opt for the less expensive Ikea crib. But once the child is old enough for a bed, we’ll buy a nice bedroom suite that will last into her adult years.

  4. Tiffany said,

    Don’t forget that the baby will never remember what the room looks like. I have a second hand crib, and entertainement center that is used as a changing table and drawers, and some plastic three tier drawers. I would love a real dresser but no money and in reality we don’t have much room in the nursey for that. Also since you have a few more months stop by your local second hand stores for baby clothes.

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