Splurge vs Save: Baby Edition

Splurge vs Save

So clearly when it comes to kids, especially our first, we tend to think we need every new gadget, device, product, etc on the market!!! Well, after some experience, and A LOT of purging, I have realized what kinds of things are worth “splurging” on and what is worth “saving” on. Here is my list:

SPLURGE:

- Car seat – Safety first. This is definitely worth investing in. But, don’t be shy to ask your friends with slightly older kids if they have one you can use – as these can be quite expensive.

- Convertible Crib & Mattress – I think a good crib set is worth the investment, especially if it is the convertible kind that you can use in your child’s toddler years. Again, if you plan for multiple kids, you may be able to transition the older one into a bed and then reuse the crib with the baby!

- Crib sheets – You will use these for a long time (I am going on 4 years and counting). Knowing that your baby’s skin is always on the fabric, I think its worth getting quality, soft, cotton crib sheets that will be around for the long haul.

- Towels – Again, these will be used for a long time in my opinion. I originally had bought some cheaper towels from Babies R Us, but they ended up fraying and were not as good after a few washes. I then bought the Trend Lab towels which I really liked and then more recently the Ikea Kids Towels which I really like and now use for their swim class too! I have also been gifted the Pottery Barn Kids towels which are really nice and hold up as well (also a great gift idea).

- Bottles – This one is tricky because sometimes you end up trialing a bunch of brands before you find one you like, or you may be one of the lucky few who is good to go with your first pick. Since you will likely use these for some time, and maybe even with your future children (minus new nipples for the bottles), it is worth investing in a good set of bottles. HOWEVER, sometimes, you are able to find all the brands at discount stores like TJMaxx and Marshalls. Always check those stores too for a bargain, especially if you are in your trialing stage.

-Baby Monitor – You will likely be obsessive in the beginning with wanting to make sure your baby is breathing, or if he or she is sleeping, awake, what facial expression is happening, etc. Believe me, we have all been there (at least with the first :P). Well, this camera/system is likely to keep you sane those first few months/years (we still use ours and our eldest is almost 4 years old). I think this one is worth the splurge.

- Maternity clothes – Again, I shopped sales for this one, but if you plan to have more than one child, I definitely think getting things that you feel beautiful in and will hold up are worth it. It is hard enough being preggo and getting dressed, might as well invest in a few pieces that make you feel awesome! And you don’t always have to shop the maternity section, you can get away with larger sizes in the beginning! So go for it, afterall, you are working hard growing a little person!!!


SAVE:

- Dresser/Changing Table – I have realized that you do not need a $700 dresser, when the Ikea Malm dresser works PERFECTLY! I had originally bought a dresser that looked beautiful, but the small drawers ended up being super impractical. Reality check – things will not be as perfectly laid out in the drawers as the day you set them up BEFORE bringing baby home :).

- Toys – Gosh, you move through these things sooooo fast, and HONESTLY, kids are just fine playing with your tupperware (you can get these at the dollar store!). I had been gifted SO MANY TOYS when my girls were young to realize that they really didn’t care or appreciate all of them. You are better off getting a few simple things to learn letters, colors, shapes and then use what you already have for them to learn to make noise and stack and sort. Also, hand-me-downs RULE! Start a friend rotation with similarly aged kids so that every 3 months its like your kid has new toys, except you didn’t have to buy them!!!

- Clothes – Again, invest in comfort over looks. You may need 3 party outfits for a whole year because they grow out of their clothes at lightening speed. I usually buy clothes on sale, and at the end of a season since stores tend to come out with the season lines way earlier. And ALWAYS wait for sales and sign up for the emails because you will constantly get coupons which will help you save tons in this department. Kids use clothes for a max of 2-3 months at a time, and some skip sizes all together. Also lets face it, everything will get puked on, peed/pooped on, or spilled on. No need to waste too much of your hard earned dough on fancy fabrics for babies! This may change as they become potty trained, feed themselves without needing bibs and can hold down their meals, but until then, SAVE!

Crib Accessories – Bumpers, skirts, mobiles, toys, and the list goes on. Save your money. None of these things are recommended to place inside of a baby’s crib! All you need is a crib sheet, and if you must, a Breathable Bumper. That’s it! I agree that it makes the crib and room look nice, but honestly you will just end up stashing it away and wasting your money!

There you have it, a beginners list of where to splurge and save on your baby products wish list! For a list of essentials for first time registries, check out this list I put together for you!

Intelligence versus Effort: What are we praising?

drawing2.jpgI have been reading this book called Mindset by Carol Dweck and let me tell you how in just the first couple of chapters it has made me realize that I may be praising my kids all wrong?! Dweck talks a lot about how starting from when kids are very little, we praise their intelligence non-stop. Examples like: “You’re so smart,” “You’re the best,” “You’re great,” “You did so well,” you get the idea. However, that type of praise, the praise of intelligence, is perceived by kids to be something innate, something that they cannot change or improve. They believe that what talent they are born with is the talent that they have. So they tend to only stick to things that they are “good” at and shy away from a challenge. They look to maintain/prove their appearance of being the bestest, smartest, greatest at the things we constantly praise them for.| However, there is a different type of praise. Praise around effort. Examples include: “I like how you concentrated on your worksheet without asking for a break,” “You must have practiced really hard” (after having a good game/dance recital/etc). This type of specific praise lets them know what they did to deserve the praise and what they can continue to do to get more. They learn that with effort comes success/praise/improvement. AND that if they are not good at something, they can exert effort and become good at it. They think of challenges as opportunities and not as limitations. MIND-BOGGLING isn’t it. We all do it, want to show everyone that our kid is the best, greatest, smartest, and most beautiful child in the world. But with that, are we setting them up for failure? Here is the article that got me thinking, and that even 8 years later, we have not made much progress. This book is an excellent read, highly recommend it. Enjoy! Have you had an ah-ha moment from reading just this short snippet on praise?

Toddler Bites …

Over the last few months, I really thought about things that were making me frustrated/sad/mad/impatient etcetera with my kids… Quite to my surprise there was a laundry list of which most of it had to do with me! So I decided – since there is NO WAY I could be the only one dealing with these kind of issues through the toddler years. SO I want to make this a place where we can share our journeys of Raising our Babies together… the ups, the downs, the tricks and the tips… lets all get together and get through this insanity!

Today I would like to share one of my biggest dilemmas – and I HOPE you will chime in to make it all make sense for me/provide guidance and/or validation.

eating-2

Over the last 6 months, I have really been pushing my 3-year-old daughter to feed herself. Mainly when we are at home, but also times like at parties – especially if the “big kids” around her are feeding themselves. In my stubbornness to have her feed herself and be a big girl, every night at the dinner table has been “Take a bite or else…” “Take a bite and I will give you…” “Take a bit or no…” “Take a bite if you want to…”! Unless its something she wants to eat (mostly food with no nutritional value), every night there is this ongoing saga where tensions rise, then she ends up being a ‘bad girl’ for not finishing her food after being given an hour to do so, and she loses out on being a ‘good girl’ for the small amount she did eat herself. I tried the just let her eat however much she wants and she will learn, and she has legit gone 2-3 dinners of not eating a bite. I should also mention that her 2-year-old sister sits across the table from her being fed by an adult.

So, at the start of 2015 (she is now 3.5 yrs old), I decided to just go back to feeding her (only our ethnic food, as the other stuff she still eats on her own), where I tell her stories and she just eats. Dinner is finished in 20 minutes, no one is tense, everyone is a good girl and then we can go on to playing before bathtime and milk. I do feel like it’s a step backwards, but for the sanity and happiness at the end of the day… is it worth it??! HELP!!! How long did you feed your toddler? How did you transition to full meals on their own? Are there any tips/tricks you have used to get your toddler to eat on their own – even stuff they may not like!?

5 Minute Hair Styles

5 min hairOn top of the other 100 things us mommies have to do in the morning, getting our hair to look “presentable” is just another thing on our checklist. My sisters and I have come up with 9 quick hairstyles that any woman can put together in 5-minutes or less! After figuring out a 5-minute makeup look, the next thing on our checklist was our hair! After all, hair, makeup and attire are the three most important things to make us look (and feel) like we have it together! All you need for these simple styles are a couple of bobby pins and a plain black no damage hair tie (or two). Here are the detailed how-tos. Enjoy and happy styling!

Perfect Pre/Post Preggo Pants

Alright, let’s talk about my latest discovery… the best pre- and post- pregnancy pants ever… My younger sister found them by accident and now we literally own every single pair! They are the UniQlo Leggings Pants!! They come in great colors and have a real button in the front and real pockets in the back. The ‘zipper’ and front ‘pockets’ are sewn in seams, so your pregnancy/mommy brain never has to worry about accidentally leaving your zipper undone! Best part is that they LOOK like real pants and have an amazing stretch at the waist and legs to really accommodate your pre- or post- preggo belly! I literally wear them to work everyday… Definitely check them out when you can… you will not be disappointed. Oh wait, did I forgot to mention that they are ONLY $22!!! Yes real- looking, super comfy stretch pants for only $22! I will post a few outfits that I came up with wearing these pants and simple tops, getting looks for under $40! Stay tuned….