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Mrs. Maroon

August 27, 2014

Waiting on Mini Maroon 2 – Part 2

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Following the theme from FF #8, we continue in the preparation for baby… (I started writing this with the intention of it being another Friday’s Frugalities segment. The ideas just kept flowing, so this particular idea got upgraded not one, but two full-length articles!)

Since this is our second child, I certainly have a different mindset than last time. But knowing what I know now, what is the advice I’d give to a First-Time Mommy-To-Be, as both a ‘seasoned’ mommy (although I use that term VERY lightly) and a frugal shopper? Like I mentioned in FF #8, we made sure most of the reusable gear was gender neutral for us to use in the future. We seriously considered all of the so-called necessities when deciding what we were going to buy. Let’s think about the basics…

SLEEPING. Every new parent dreams of a baby that sleeps well. But that requires a safe place for the baby to sleep. We were fortunate enough to have an excited first time grandpa, that just happened to have 45+ years of experience as a shop teacher, at our disposal. So now we have a one-of-a-kind, custom crib crafted by my father-in-law and lovingly finished by my mother-in-law. I don’t have a tally on the final cost of it. But I would never place a price on the value of a custom crib made by my children’s grandparents.

We are also a family that seems to be constantly on the go, so a reliable portable bed was important. We actually took a very fancy playard gifted to us and exchanged it for a basic and smaller version. A built-in changing table is a great idea, but I can sit on the floor for the extra $100. We are guilty of a splurge though… pre-formed swaddler wraps. Mini 1 slept like a champ when he was made into a baby burrito. So, I unapologetically bought the wraps. I choked down the price a couple times, but ask a new parent to place a price on a decent night of sleep.

FEEDING. Everyone has an opinion on what a baby should eat. I have no desire to enter that debate. But what I know is that it seems to take a lot of stuff to feed a baby – just come look at my kitchen for some ideas. Since I have a full-time job, we knew that bottles were in our future; one of the inescapable realities of a working mom. By not going super over-board (and washing, and washing, and washing) we didn’t spend a fortune on a supply of bottles and all the accessories.

We do have a splurge… the Baby Bullet. My mother-in-law was a lover of all things food, and had the cooking skills to back it up. She was tickled pink (well, blue the first time) to buy the Baby Bullet. I used it regularly and really enjoyed making food for Mini 1. And In hindsight, the blender we already had would have worked, but who doesn’t love a little jar with a smiley-face on it to feed to a baby? And I REALLY didn’t need to buy the separate cookbook. I mean, I didn’t need to spend ~$25 for a book to tell me to steam and mash fruits / veggies. Lesson learned. But I assure you that Baby Bullet will make an appearance in our kitchen in the near future.

CAR SEAT. Unless you are a hermit that never needs to leave the house for anything, or are wealthy enough to have a full-time in-home nanny (the Maroons are FAR from either of these two scenarios), a car seat is an essential part of any family’s preparation for baby. In fact, I think most hospitals check to see that you have a proper car seat before releasing you on your own to care for your 3-day old baby, while forgetting about that elusive instruction manual we all secretly hope they tuck in our bag. We went with the middle of the road infant carrier. It worked great for us being very portable between our two vehicles.

After what seemed like forever and the blink of an eye, all at the same time, Mini Maroon was ready to graduate out of the infant seat. Convertible car seats are not nearly as portable, but being a household with two jobs, we had to have two car seats. After entirely too much internet research (which after a while can convince you that even as an adult, you really aren’t safe facing forward in a car), I decided I had picked the ultimate convertible car seat for my car from a safety perspective. The family took a trip to the local big baby box store to check it out. I was convinced I wanted it, despite the ~$300 price tag. I justified to myself that he rode in my car more often, and for longer trips, we’d always take the ‘safe’ car seat. While Mr. Maroon humored me, he was not willing to spend the same on the so-called secondary car seat for him. He picked one at less than half the price of mine. I was willing to go along since all car seats have to pass the same safety test.

Now, I’ll let you guess which car seat Mini Maroon prefers… I often encounter a battle to get him into my car seat. When we’ve taken mine on long trips, Mini constantly asks to get out. None of those things happen with Mr. Maroon’s car seat. Fortunately car seats are very reusable down the line. But if the occasion arises to shop for another car seat, you can bet my approach will be very different.

So my brain keeps swimming with ideas. But I will save those for next time… stay tuned!

~ Mrs. Maroon

FF #9 - Clean Out the Fridge
FF #8 - Waiting for Mini Maroon 2

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