Friday, May 17, 2013

Baby Gear

Almost everyone that I meet or talk to says that baby gears are expensive. And I'm inclined to agree with that. But then again, that might not be true in some manner. This is because, how expensive or cheap those items are depends on what you're buying. So if you're buying an expensive brand, it's only logical that you expect the price tag to go with it. And vice versa. So this was our plan in buying baby items (you might agree or disagree with our methods and that's entirely fine with us) and what we did to minimize cost.

Among the first items that we bought for the baby was a stroller. And why you might ask? Well, we know that we'll be bringing the baby for a trip by the end of August, thus a stroller is one of our priorities in ensuring that we'll have our hands free from carrying the baby and also making sure that the baby will be able to get his or her beauty sleep wherever we are. Thus a stroller (complete with a washable stroller pad for stains etc.) was one of the things we knew that we need to have. So our requirements for a stroller is that it must be light enough that it can be checked in when travelling but also sturdy enough to hold the weight of the baby.

We bought the Esprit Sun Plus 11 in black at Parkson, tHe Spring during Christmas Sale last year. We decided on this one because it's an umbrella stroller (it can be folded easily and packed at the back of the car or checked in at the airport) and the weight is roughly about 7 kg, so it's not too heavy to be carried around. For this one we saved RM180 (from the 20% discount that was being offered we saved RM100 and also RM80 from using Parkson Vouchers).

The second item that we bought was the Graco Pack n Play. We didn't get Esprit this time (we found the Esprit playpen to be slightly flimsy) because we wanted a playpen that could be used by the baby to sleep in the first few months (or if possible the first year) before upgrading the baby to a toddler bed. And another reason for having a playpen is because it's small enough to be included in our room (for us to keep an eye on the baby) and it's versatile enough to be packed and carried to wherever we want it to. We bought this at Poppies, tHe Spring during the recent Chinese New Year sale and saved RM100.

Knowing how reckless and dangerous drivers in Kuching can be (I've experienced and seen too many accidents on the road) made us decide that the baby would be safer in a car seat rather than on our laps. We decided on an Aldo convertible car seat that is able to accommodate newborns as well as toddlers thus we chose this one as it can recline (for newborns) and can be used up until the child is 4 years old. Got this on a sale from an online shop called Little Whiz and decided to visit the shop when we were in KL and save on shipping costs, so total savings for car seat RM105 (RM60 discount for the car seat itself and RM45 for shipping costs).

One thing that we did wrong in buying baby stuffs is assuming that baby cribs are manufactured with the same dimensions (I assure you, there are plenty of sizes to choose from) and also assuming that any mattress is able to fit your crib or playpen. It was quite difficult for me to find a mattress for our playpen (I had to survey 4 or 5 stores to finally be able to find one that fits) and by the time I found and bought one (from Anakku), apparently the one I bought was too thick for an infant *duh*. So I had to go out and buy another. Bought this Bumble bee latex mattress at Mummycare, One Jaya. No savings for this one (it was the last piece and considering that it would be more expensive if I bought it online; most online shops charge at least RM70 for shipping costs, I decided on buying it there and then). However, the best part about this mattress is that it has a 5 year warranty so I am definitely glad that I made the purchase.

Initially, I wasn't too concerned with the baby's pillow or mattress. I thought that the baby, being a baby, would be sleeping anywhere and everywhere he or she wants to. However, my opinion changed when I went to visit my friend Farhah who told me that her baby likes the latex pillow better than the normal cutesy baby pillow (that I also had planned to buy for my baby). That's when I decided on getting a latex pillow and mattress for the baby. Might as well go with something that the baby would like (hopefully) rather than having to buy another set of pillow and mattresses. This BabyLove latex pillow was the only latex infant pillow available at the store and I bought this at Sweet Babies (nearby KPJ, Stutong; it's an excellent store that sells baby products by the way) and saved about RM6 (the owner did say they were on sale) for the pillow.

The weird thing about me in buying baby gear is that I was really obsessive about the baby's diaper bag. I felt that the diaper bag would be a very important accessory to the baby (because it goes wherever the baby goes) and it's really important for me to make sure that I got the right bag (or else I'll just be looking for another one then another one then another one until I'm satisfied) and besides, if you really know me, you'd know that I'm the kind of person who likes bags and backpacks and luggage (I definitely have a bag fetish). For me, there are two conditions that must be met in getting a diaper bag: (1) it must not be too feminine for hubs to carry and (2) it must come with a changing mat (so that we could change the baby's diaper with comfort wherever we are). I finally found this Fisher Price diaper bag from which fits both my requirements and it also has a baby wipes window at the side of the bag (definitely an added bonus). I don't know the price of this bag at other stores so I assume no savings were made here.

I also bought a Fisher Price diaper caddy online from this Facebook store called BabyCute Collections. I bought it for its practicality (we live in a two-storey house and during confinement, a confinement lady will be helping out to tend to me and the baby; the baby will most probably be bathed downstairs rather than in our own bathroom), having a diaper caddy will help me bring only what the baby needs for its bath time and also for vanity reasons (this bag is super cute and cheerful). No savings earned for this one either as I don't know how much it'd cost if bought offline.

I bought both the Philips Avent Natural range breast pump and bottles at an online store called Little Kids during one of its sale promotions (the store seems to be having a promotion every month so don't worry if you've missed one). I initially wasn't sure on what to get but finally settled on Avent based on the feedback and reviews that were available online (that's not entirely true, I actually loved their Natural range advert and was convinced by the video review by moms in the UK). I have decided to settle on a manual pump as a way to assess how committed I am to breastfeeding once the baby is here and if I think that I'd be better off with an electric pump, then I'll make the upgrade when the time comes. Since there was a sale I'd saved RM120 on this one.

Bought the Philips Avent Natural range Newborn Starter Set during the same sale and also saved about RM120 on this one. However, I was informed by the doctor to exclusively breastfeed for the first two months or so (and not rely on the bottle if possible) so this is among the things that I'd wished I had asked the doctor first before buying. Since I have made the purchase, I guess I have to keep the bottles and use it when the time comes.

This is among one of the last gear that I bought, there was a special promotion for this Philips Avent 3-in-1 sterilizer at Metrojaya a few weeks ago and decided to go ahead and get the sterilizer (even though I'm not sure when I'll start using the bottles) and saved about RM70 for this one.

So, total savings on baby gear *drumroll please* RM701. And this is not inclusive of baby clothes (we haven't bought much because we're not sure how big the baby would be when he or she comes out), diapers, toiletries etc. We're hoping to start the baby on cloths diaper (optimistically hoping to save costs and help the environment in the long run) by the second month but we'll see how that goes (hopefully I'll be able to manage my time well enough so that I can accomplish cloth-diapering the baby).

If you're wondering about other gears like the baby bath tub, bath mat and waterproof mat for the mattress, disposable diapers, toiletries and all those baby stuff, we decided to get them from Teck Kong (arguably the cheapest departmental store in Kuching). The same brand being sold in Parkson is also available at Teck Kong at a cheaper price, so why not go to a store closer to home. For those who do not know where is Teck Kong, there are two stores in Kuching; one in Tabuan Jaya and another in Batu Kawa.

So far so good eh?

I only have a few more baby gears to go (one is the Philips Avent bottle warmer) which I haven't bought yet as my breastfeeding skills is something I'd like to establish first and maybe the milk storage cups (if I have milk to store that is).

So do you think I'm too ambitious? I have a feeling that you may be right so I'll promise to try my best and take it one day at a time. Baby steps to motherhood, right?

Leave me your comments, Mommies =).

xoxo Mrs Fashionista