Over the years I’ve had a number of research projects for work. Now I get to research baby stuff for our baby! This easily tops any topic I’ve ever had to dive into. I thought I would share what I’m working on so far and a few exciting finds.
In addition to reading helpful blogs, I mainly rely on Amazon user reviews for the products I am interested in. They’re written by real people, who really bought and tried the item, and there is no incentive for them to be inaccurate or misleading.
We have to be careful with budget as well as size of items. We’ll be adding this baby to a one-bedroom apartment that is not quite 600 square feet, so we cannot accommodate all the wonderful bells and whistles that come with having an infant these days. Other than the small disappointment of not having a crib in a dedicated nursery room, I welcome the space constraint, because I prefer a minimalist approach to life when possible.
One thing I decided to do early on was figure out which models of various equipment pieces we wanted, and then go bargain hunting for those specific items. It’s fun to just peruse Craigslist or the thrift store and buy something that’s a good deal, but I decided to research everything and try to make educated decisions before searching for money-saving options. Hopefully this will save money in the long run and ensure quality as much as possible. =)
Strollers are must-haves in LA, even for church, because we park so far away and the campus is large. We were in search of a few basic features in our stroller.
1. We wanted a jogger that had a front wheel that swiveled, but had the option to lock for actual jogs/runs. Swivel wheels are potentially unsafe for running, as they can unexpectedly divert off the sidewalk or path. But they’re extremely handy for walks and maneuvering in tight spaces, so we were looking for both features.
2. We also wanted a jogger that was easy to fold and unfold, preferably one-handed.
3. We needed one that worked with a carseat so we could easily transfer baby from car to stroller when he/she is small.
4. Lastly, we could not justify the spendiness of a lot of the deluxe options out there, so budget was a consideration.
These criteria all happened to meet nicely in the current #1 bestselling jogger on Amazon, the Graco FastAction Fold Jogger Click Connect Travel System. It had excellent, helpful reviews and seemed perfect. The day after we agreed on this model, I found it, along with the corresponding car seat, brand new in the box on Craigslist for $150, even in the color I wanted. We saved $120+ and still got the set brand spanking new! God’s provision at work!
My apartment manager job will pull me out of the apartment on occasion, so I need an excellent, reliable baby monitor system. After searching and being unhappy with everything I found, I realized that for $5-$10 I can purchase an Apple app with audio and video monitoring! I’ll simply take my iPhone with me and be able to watch and listen to baby from anywhere on the property, with no thought to connection range. I’m still deciding on which specific app, but I am so excited about this cheap, reliable solution!
We both agreed to rule out saucers and similar bulky toys for now, but we loved the idea of a jumper. I am watching Craigslist for this one.
Once again, God provided through Craigslist. Obviously a rocking chair is something we could do without, but it was a specific luxury I really hoped we could find. I sat in all the gliders at Babys R Us and it was amazing what a difference in quality and comfort there was! This set is $299 before tax at Babys R Us and was my favorite. I found it on Craigslist for $170. It has only been sat in twice and looks and feels brand new.
My current research project is a baby carrier/front pack. Andrew wants one that he can use, so I’ve ruled out wraps and slings. So far it looks like Ergo might be the way to go, but we’ll see. =)
How about you? Do you have any tips or tricks when it comes to researching equipment and finding bargains?