Baby Buys – Part 9: Creepin’ on the little one

Back in my 2nd edition of Baby Buys, I mentioned that I had decided to go with the Philips Avent – SCD570/10 Dect Baby Monitor. I purchased it from West Coast Kids (WCK) at the beginning of June. After numerous phone calls and emails (many of which we not responded to), I finally decided to cancel the order. WCK originally told me it would be on back order for 6-8 weeks, but it had been over 12 with no idea of when it may be available. Lesson learned: I need to listen to the many warnings that WCK has horrible customer service. 

Instead, I went with the Motorola 2.8″ Wireless Audio/Video Baby Monitor with Pan/Tile (MBP41) in White. I found it on sale at Best Buy for $128.99, regular price $258.99.

The Baby Bargains book gave Motorola video monitors a B rating. My brother and sister-in-law actually have this model and really like it. I actually saved $4 between the first model I tried to purchase and this one, so I figured the price was right to try it out.

I wasn’t convinced that I NEEDED a video monitor, but a good friend kept nagging me about how convenient they are to use. It kinda creeps me out to think about constantly watching our child though. I’ll let you know how it works out for us once we actually start using it.

motorolamonitor

Check out our other purchases:

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Baby Buys – Part 8: Diaper pail

Two weeks ago, I asked where to put the stink? We were looking for recommendations for a quality, smell-free diaper pail.

We ended up going with the Ubbi in Light Grey.

ubbidiaperpail

The Ubbi is made of powder coated steel with rubber seals. Compared to other diaper pails, it has a sliding lid with a child lock instead of a foot pedal. It also has a nice slim profile that fits our small nursery well. The Ubbi holds an average of 35 diapers and is available in 13 colours! Red is missing from the photo below. 

Ubbi-bin-colours-2014

Although the Ubbi is the highest priced diaper pail on the market, it requires no special bags or liners which reduces it’s overall lifetime cost. Plus, it’s both cloth or disposable diaper friendly.

In Canada, the Ubbi sells for $99 full price. I had a coupon for $40 off an order of $100 or more on shop.ca. I got our Ubbi for $69.99 taxes in with free shipping.

Honestly, buying a diaper pail wasn’t high on my list of to-do items. The reason I purchased it was due to the recommendation from ExpectingtobeExpecting that it can also be used for pet waste. Our chihuahuas are pee pad trained for when we aren’t home and during the bitter Winters. During my nesting frenzy, I was cleaning out their area and noticed the garage bin we put their pee pads in smelled NASTY!!! Essentially, the plastic had totally taken on the pee/poo smell. This can was over 5 years old and more than due to be replaced. We went to Walmart, Marshalls and Bed, Bath and Beyond trying to find a reasonably priced stainless steel garbage bin with no plastic interior. We couldn’t find anything plastic-free that was less than $150.

When I found the coupon, I convinced my husband that we needed to get the Ubbi to try out for the dogs. Anyway, a few days after ordering it, I found a brand new Ikea Knodd stainless steel bin with a lid on a local online classifieds site for $10.

ikeaknoddbin

I picked it up for the dogs and decided to keep the Ubbi for the baby!

Check out our other purchases:

Baby Buys – Part 7: Preparing to cloth diaper

I decided a long time ago that I wanted to try cloth diapering. Once I started researching it, I realized it’s kinda complicated. There’s so many options and I didn’t know where to start.

A few weeks ago, I visited a local baby boutique that specializes in cloth diapering for some advice. This boutique is known for their excellent customer service. They are in business to help women, rather than try to upsell them. The associate ran me through all of the different style options and costs. In the end, it was obvious that prefolds are typically the least expensive option.

Later that night, I was browsing my favourite local online classifieds and found a Bummis Organic Cotton Infant Diaper Kit for sale, never used for $180 – $40 off local retail price. This kit is for infants 8-15 lbs and is the prefold + cover style. The kit includes:

  • 24 Organic Cotton Prefold Inserts (infant)
  • 6 waterproof wraps: 1 Simply Lite, 1 Duo-Brite Wrap, 3 Super Whisper Wraps, 1 Super Snap
  • 3 rolls of Bio-Soft Liners (small)
  • 5 Fleece Liners
  • 1 Fabulous Wet Bag (large)
  • 1 Snappi
  • User Guide

I decided to pick it up to begin my adventure into cloth diapering. The woman also threw in a few extra rolls of the Bio-soft liners. 

bummis

I also connected with another amazing friend who is a big cloth diaper and baby-wearer. One night a few weeks ago, I stopped by her place to view her stash of diapers. She compiled her cloth diaper collection through gifts or buying used, and a combination of trial and error. She explained what she likes/dislikes about each one. She loves prefolds personally, but finds they are more difficult for her husband and other family members to use. She said they like pocket-style better and her preferred brand is Bum Genius. She also explained the pros/cons of snaps versus velcro.

I was excited to hear that buying used is an option. I didn’t realize there was such a market for used cloth diapers. The thing is with proper care, they can truly last for years! My friend tagged me in a classified post of a huge variety lot of diapers, but they were gone immediately. After I realized how much you can save buying good condition used diapers, I decided to start my own hunt.

I found a used Bum Genius and Flip lot for $250. Although this seemed like a big dip in my pocket book, the lot was worth well over $700 brand new retail price. It included not only diapers and inserts, but the diaper sprayer for the toilet, 4 wet bags, and a 2L container of laundry detergent. I sent the ad to my friend for her approval. She confirmed that it was an excellent deal.

bumgenius

The total lot included:

  • 6 Twilight Velcro Bum Genius 4.0 pocket diaper
  • 6 Grasshopper Velcro Bum Genius 4.0 pocket diaper
  • 6 Albert print Snaps Bum Genius 4.0 pocket diaper
  • 4 Mirror snap Flip diaper covers
  • 2 extra large wet bags
  • 1 small travel wet bag
  • 1 wipes wet bag
  • 1 Bum Genius diaper sprayer
  • 21 small inserts
  • 28 large inserts
  • 9 Flip diaper inserts
  • 2 L of cloth diaper detergent

I contacted the poster and hoped this would work out for me. When you purchase used items, there’s always that fear that 1) the house will be super sketchy, 2) the person will be super sketchy or 3) the product won’t be as advertised. All my fears disappeared when I heard back from the seller a few days later and arranged a time to see the diapers. This woman, her husband and children were all adorable. She explained how to use each item to me and how she handled washign them. She even threw in a few extra covers and liners that she had at no extra cost (not listed above as I pulled those numbers from her ad).

She had also recently replaced the elastic in a few covers and threw in a few extra elastic/velcro replacement kits for me. Bum Genius actually sells replacement elastic and velcro kits. I may consider replacing the elastic in a few other covers just to ensure they are a tight fit for our baby. I watched some tutorials online and it seems like an easy fix. Although the velcro and elastics were going in a few covers, that is regular expected wear. The rest of the lot was in very, very good used condition with no stains. I paid well under half of full retail price per diaper. I have no problem putting in a bit of effort for maintenance if it means that much savings to start. Another plus about Bum Genius is that they adjust to fit almost all sizes. No need to upgrade once baby reaches the toddler stage!

So far, we are $430 invested into cloth diapering with a combo of brand new/used styles. I have MORE THAN enough diapers to last me right through to potty training. I’m debating just using the wet bags and not getting a diaper pail which may save us even more money.

One thing my husband and I have agreed upon is that if our baby is too small to fit cloth right away (which is highly likely), we will use disposables for the first few weeks. I’m also open to using disposables for convenience when travelling. I’d prefer to use a more eco-friendly disposable diaper, but those options are so expensive.

We’ve also agreed that if we end up truly frustrated, we will just resell our cloth diaper stash, but I do really hope this venture works out for us. I’ll be sure to let you know as we go. 🙂

Check out our other purchases:

Baby Buys: Part 6 – nursery bedding

Since we plan to add pops of colour to our nursery with our furniture and wall art, I wanted a more neutral bedding scheme. I contemplated mixing and matching bedding, but I found this Pottery Barn Organic Nursery Bedding in Rowan and fell in love! Except, I was not impressed with the price. I bookmarked the set, but knew it was beyond our budget. 😦

screenshot-www.potterybarnkids.com 2015-07-15 22-38-29

I checked the site again a few days later and magically, the set is on clearance!

  • Quilt $51.74 (regular $208.66)
  • Bumper $40.42 (regular $160.13)
  • Crib Skirt $24.25 (regular $95.43)
  • Crib sheet $38.82 (full price)
  • Decorative sham $11.31 (regular $47.72)
  • TOTAL: *$166.54 versus $550.76

With taxes, duty and shipping (which I got anothe deal on – 1/2 off), I paid a total of: $208.22

*Note: as per usual, all prices listed are in Canadian dollars. 

As for extra sheets, we will most likely mixed and match since there’s so many colours that can go with this set.

potterybarnrowanbedding

potterybarnquilt

Last week, the sheet, bumper and skirt arrived. The quilt and sham are coming in a separate shipment.

Wowzers! Trying to put a crib skirt on is a pain in the butt! Our crib had barely enough space between the mattress platform and the crib sides to wedge the skirt down into. I ended up using a kitchen flipper to push it down. I pulled and tucked and pulled until it fit and was aligned on each side. Now, our precious kitty thinks it’s a prime hiding spot. He loves laying underneath the crib and swatting at us as we walk by.

Hopefully, I can share some photos of the nursery soon! We just ordered a rocking chair. Once we have it, we will hang some wall art and call it finished! ❤

Check out our other purchases:

Baby Buys – Part 4: nursery furniture and storage

A few weeks ago, we made the 4.5 hour drive to our closest Ikea to pick up some items for the baby room. Here’s what we got:

SLEEPING

Ikea Sundvik Crib in White
I originally thought I would go with an antique-style crib. After reviewing our budget, we decided to save and go with this Ikea model instead for $149.  Honestly, I have no regrets. It’s sturdy (we did the shake test) with simple, clean lines. Bonus: It also converts to a toddler bed.

Ikea Vyssa Vinka Mattress
I was torn on going with an Ikea Mattress after reading about a recent recall in January. BUT, they seem to have great reviews from anyone who has one. For the price of $69.99, we figured if we got home and didn’t like it, we could resell it for almost full price. That isn’t the case though. We decided to keep it.

This model is foam-based and I found it more comfortable compared to their more expensive spring-based modelYes, I actually put it on the floor and laid on it. It has one firmer side and one softer side to grow with baby’s needs.

image

STORAGE

Ikea Raskog Utility Cart
I owe credit to the Hopeful Worrywart for this one! I plan to use it to store diapers, wipes, baby lotions, etc. Once the room is arranged, I want to place it beside the dresser since our change pad takes up most of the dresser top. We got this for $69.99.

raskog-utility-cart-turquoise__0144044_PE304208_S4

Ikea Kallax Shelving Unit
I wanted my husband to do built-ins for our closet, but he gets overwhelmed with big carpentry projects. Once again, I took inspiration from the Hopeful Worrywart. This shelving unit was the best $59.99 we’ve spent. We love how it looks and how much it holds. We purchased the Ikea Drona storage boxes for $6.99 X 6 to place in the shelving unit and on the closet shelves.

image

LIGHTING

Ikea Alang Ceiling Lamp in White
I always forget to take “before” photos. This room was one of the last ones to have an original 1979 light fixture in it. We replaced it with this modern style. I always love how the simplest of changes make such a big difference!

alang-ceiling-lamp-white__0120130_PE276557_S4

REFLECTIONS

In the end, our entire Ikea purchase (crib + mattress + utility cart + shelving unit + storage boxes + light fixture + misc. accessories – hamper, picture frames, etc.) came to less than what the cost of the antique crib I initially was interested in would have cost us.

Still to come:

  • Our DIY dresser project
  • Bedding
  • A chair? – if we have room
  • Curtains? – not sure if we will hang them since we have a black-out blind
  • Finishing touches & decorative details

Once the dresser is done, I will share more photos and show you where we are at!

OTHER BUYS

Check out our other purchases:

Baby Buys: Part 3

Whew. Crossing this one off the list was a HUGE relief.

The car seat.

Essential, yet when it came down to making a decision, I felt so stuck!

Since we purchased the 2015 UppaBaby Vista, our car seat compatibility options were:

  • Graco Classic Connect Snugride
  • Chicco Keyfit and KeyFit 30
  • Maxi-Cosi Mico and Mico NXT
  • Peg Perego Primo Viaggio and Primo Viaggio SIP

I know in the US there are many more options including the Uppababy Mesa, but we are more limited in Canada.

The quality of Graco models varies greatly. We like the weight of them, but found they didn’t offer much padding for support. The Maxi-Cosi is super light-weight, but we felt the handle was awkward to adjust and the canopy sucked. We also didn’t like how wobbley it felt on the stroller with the available adapters.  The Peg Perego is the Cadillac of car seats, but it was beyond our budget.

In the end, we chose the Chicco Keyfit 30 in Techna which is on sale at Babies R Us for $219.97 (regular price $289.99).

I ordered it online this morning and paid only $2.93 in shipping due to a 10 off shipping promo. $2.93 is worth me not having to drive down to the store and deal with sales people. 🙂

chiccokeyfit30

We chose the Chicco Keyfit for the following reasons:

  • It fits babies from 4-30 lbs or 30” long
  • It was highly rated as #2 on Lucie’s List and received an A in the Baby Bargain’s book
  • It was highly recommended by two IVF friends of mine
  • Although it’s not the lightest car seat out there, it’s packed with many ease-of-use and safety features
  • It was on sale!
  • The Uppababy adapter was easy to find

I ordered the Uppababy stroller adapter from The Safety Superstore.  I had never heard of this store before, but they have a storefront location in Oakville, Ontario. The car seat adapter was only $52.95 (with free shipping) when it’s comparably $75 at other baby stores. (And yes, I triple checked to make sure it was the 2015 model).

carseatadapter

Now, we are set: baby has wheels and baby can ride in vehicles.

Stay tuned for nursery updates! We are assembling the crib tomorrow!

OTHER BUYS

Check out our other purchases:

Baby Buys: Part 2

This post covers the bigger, much needed items we’ve recently purchased for baby including a bassinet, stroller, bath tub, baby monitor and diaper bag.

1. Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper – Premier Series in Classic Damask

When I first heard of this bassinet, I thought it was another ridiculously priced baby item that you wouldn’t get much use out of. After visiting my sister and seeing it in action with my nephew, I was sold.

Our bedroom is not very wide. We need a bassinet over a play yard if we are to keep baby in our room for the first few months.  Our bed is also fairly high off the ground. The Halo bassinet adjusts to accommodate the height of your bed; and swivels for easy access in and out of bed. This allows for little to no bending if you end up being a c-section Momma. I also like how it’s see through for visible sight lines to baby. I initially thought the stand would be floppy, but it’s actually quite substantial and heavy.

The Premier series also comes with the following electronic features (batteries required): a night light, 3 soothing sounds, 3 lullabies, a nursing timer, 3 levels of vibration – all with 30 minute auto shut off.

They say the bassinet is good for up to 5 months old or a maximum weight of 30 lbs. My sister just switched my nephew to his crib and he’s 4 months old – nowhere close to the weight limit though.

At most stores in Canada, this bassinet model will run you $299.99 plus $18.99 for a fitted sheet. The model without the electronic features is $239.99. We got ours in excellent used condition for $200 including the crib sheet. If we factor in the taxes (10% in our province), we saved over $150 by purchasing it used. SCORE!

halo-bassinest-21

2. 2015 Uppababy Vista in Georgie (Marine Blue/Carbon)

Our stroller is by far our biggest splurge. We narrowed down the options by reading online reviews, then actually going into the stores and pushing the strollers around.

We had an excellent Sales Associate who thoroughly went through all the features with us multiple times. Yes, that means I went into the store and looked at the strollers MANY times before we took the plurge and swiped our card. We made sure we knew how to use everything and understood why the features were worth it before making our final decision.

Both my husband and I agreed the Uppababy Vista just felt “the best” to us. I know lots of people rav about the City Select, but in comparison, it felt clunkier. We liked the 2nd seat option of the Uppababy, but since we don’t know what our future plans are for growing our family, a second seat wasn’t a 100% required feature. We LOVED the colour choices of the Uppababy and all of the accessories it comes with for no added cost: the bassinet, bassinet bug shield, bassinet storage bag, toddler seat rain shield, toddler seat bug shield, and the bumper bar.

The best part about the Vista was how easy it is to change seat positions and fold the stroller up. Not only that, it’s one of the few strollers on the market capable of standing up on it’s own when folded. The true weight of this model is 27.5 lbs, but neither one of us have had difficulty manoeuvring it. It has one of the best SPF sunshades and includes an extra large basket that holds up to 30 lbs (or in my case – 2 chihuahuas and a diaper bag). A large basket was a MUST HAVE for us and surprisingly, so many strollers have tiny baskets.

At first, I felt a bit silly about buying a stroller that comes with another bassinet. I do hope to use the Uppababy bassinet in our family room for nap time when it’s not being used on the stroller.

The catch with the Uppababy is that some colours are more expensive than others. The pricing generally ranges from $924-964. We purchased this stroller at a local speciality baby store for $964 – a full-priced splurge, but well worth it in our minds.

uppababygeorge

3. Boon Naked Collapsible Baby Bath Tub – in Purple

This was one of our first baby purchases. We got it when I was only 7 weeks pregnant.

Our godson has one and his parent’s love it. I like how it collapses for easy storage. I plan to hang it on the wall or the back of the bathroom door when it’s not in use. It’s also eco-friendly – BpA-free, Phthalate-free and PVC-free.

I’ve heard some mixed reviews about the simplicity of using this with a newborn. Some suggestions include using a foam insert at the bottom until baby is a bit bigger. We will see how it works out for us.

I have seen this bath tub go for $69-79 regular price. I found ours at Marshall’s for $35. It was a discontinued colour, but who cares! For that price, I’ll take it.

boon_naked_two_position_collapsible_baby_bathtub_purple_and_white

4. Philips Avent – SCD570/10 Dect Baby Monitor

This purchase was a bit more impulsive. I had done a bit of research into monitors, but really didn’t know which way I would go. I found this model on sale on and decided to take the plunge.

This is an audio-only monitor. In the age of technology, it may seem odd that I chose to NOT go with a video monitor. I’ve read lots of mixed reviews on the quality of the video monitors. Being a huge tech geek I knew if I went video, I’d want high quality, but I did not want to spend the money on this luxury.

We live in a 4-level split home. There’s only a handful of steps between the main floor and our bedrooms. I don’t ever think I will be that far from our child. Our basement level (4 levels down) is closer than most people’s 2nd story.

I chose this monitor because it’s the top rated audio monitor on the market. It’s features include:

  • DECT technology that guarantees zero interferance with other transmitting electronics
  • High quality, crystal clear sound
  • A temperature sensor to monitor the climate in baby’s room
  • A night light and lullabies
  • Talk-back ability
  • A range of up to 330 metres

Full-priced, this monitor sells for $199 at most specialist baby stores; although, I did find it on amazon.ca for $161.  I got mineon sale for 30% off from West Coast Kids which totalled $146.99 with taxes and shipping included.

philipsavent-DECTmonitor-medium

6. Timi & Leslie 7-piece Diaper Bag Set in Ocean Blue 

I tend to be a Matt & Nat kinda gal. I wanted a diaper bag that is versatile and looks more like a purse. When I found this diaper bag, I was IN LOVE! ❤

This particular style can be worn cross-body or over the shoulder with adjustable, detachable straps. It comes with a changing pad, a zippered waterproof sac for soiled clothes, a clutch that can be used as a wallet or a small purse, an insulated bottle tote, and matching stroller straps.

My husband bought it for me as a gift for my upcoming birthday.  We purchased this item without seeing it in real life. I had never even heard of the brand before. Once it arrived, I was even more impressed! The quality and size is exactly what I wanted.

I found the bag online at Chapters listed at a regular price of $180. We got it sale on for $40 off plus an extra 20% off putting the final cost at $140.80 after taxes ($128 before taxes). A mighty-fine birthday present if I do say so myself!

diaperbag

To me, an investment in high quality items that have great reviews is totally worth it if you can fit it into your budget. I’m confident that many of our big ticket items – especially the bassinet and the stroller – will retain decent resale value.

Don’t forget to refer back to Baby Buys: Part 1, the items we purchased before we conceived: a high chair, play yard, swing, bouncy chair, and changing pad.

And stay tuned for Baby Buys: Part 3… the nursery!