As a mom, there have been a few things that I couldn’t have lived without and a few money saving tips I have come across.
So, the first item I couldn’t have lived without is the Fisher Price Rock n Play Sleeper. The boys napped and slept in these for the first few months. It was so convenient for them to nap/sleep wherever I was. For the first few months, I slept downstairs in the living room with them because I was having to pump and feed them every three hours. It was convenient for them to be in the living room so I could be close to the kitchen. It is a “rocker,” and at the beginning the rocking would put them to sleep, but after a while, the rocking did not phase them and they would still cry. I found that if I glided the rocker along the carpet, it would relax them and put them right to sleep. It was an absolute lifesaver. It was also nice because when I was sleeping on the couch, they were at arms length and at a perfect height. It was also great for traveling to people’s houses because it was so easy to fold up.
The rocker’s cover is machine washable, which is great. We also put it in the dryer and never had any issues with shrinking. Many moms also said this was a lifesaver if babies have any reflux issues because it props them up, so they aren’t lying flat on their back.
The next item is related to bottles. I tell you, that was a huge hassle. All I wanted was a simple bottle, cap, and nipple; like the bottles in the hospital. (Side note: when you are in the hospital, remember to stock up and save them. I used these for a while and I still use just the bottles as toys for the boys). I didn’t have the time to wash a million pieces. I wanted something not terribly expensive (since I needed twice as many), and I just wanted something simple: something that wouldn’t leak, a not too slow and a not too fast nipple, and just a bottle that looked like a bottle!
After already trying a handful of brands, I went to Babies R Us and bought six different systems to try. I finally went with the Medela brand bottles. They do leak a little if you don’t screw the cap on just right, and you can’t screw the lid on really tight, otherwise the pressure gets messed up and they can’t drink out of the bottle. However, you get a feel for exactly how tight to put the cap on. They were easy to clean, the nipples just looked like the hospital nipples, they were inexpensive, and they weren’t too fast or too slow. They also have both a slow and fast nipple available.
Tip: our pediatrician said when you tip the bottle upside down, one drop a second is what you are looking for. Another plus was that if you use the Medela pump, you can pump directly into those bottles and then feed using the same bottles.
Oh, my gosh, I am so glad I found these bottles. It was getting so frustrating. If you are looking for something simple, I would definitely try them.
The next items are Playtex Sippy Cups. Another twin mom actually introduced me to these. Similar to the bottle issue, it was difficult to find a good sippy cup. I bought a few brands and tried to drink out of them myself and I couldn’t even get anything out, I was just sucking air. These are straw sippy cups, and what is the greatest thing is you push on the bottle with a little force and it pushes water out of the straw, so babies know water comes out of the straw when they are first learning. I had given them other sippy cups with a straw, but since they didn’t know what a straw was, they didn’t know how to use it. Within a few seconds, both boys were sucking out of straws. They have a small cup with two handles and then a larger cup that does not have any handles.
The main thing I would recommend is to buy the Dr. Brown little straw brush cleaners to clean out the small straws. The other thing to be aware of is that when you put a cold beverage in it, the pressure inside builds up and the liquid will start to come out of the straw. I don’t get worried when I put water in the cups, but when I use milk for their meals and snacks, I keep the lid a little loose until I’m ready to give them their cup and then tighten it.
Maybe these two things I have mentioned are a pain to some people, but I still love the cup and would recommend it.
One of the boys’ favorite toys is the Fisher Price Ferris Wheel. This toy happened to be on clearance for $25.00, but I had to get it because it seemed like such a neat toy. I spend hours in the toy store picking toys out because I don’t want to buy something that isn’t going to keep them entertained. I am always skeptical about toys in the clearance area. This toy has lots of lights and music and does some neat things. It helps with hand/eye coordination, fine motor skills, and cause and effect awareness. The little ball-like pieces are called Weebles. There are also other Fisher Price toys that use these Weebles and they can really be used in any and all play activities.
The new money saver things that I discovered are Babies R Us diapers. I typically used Costco diapers or Huggies (when on sale at Costco) until I found the Babies R Us brand. They were on sale, plus I had a coupon for an additional $6 off a box and there was no limit on how many you could buy. So, I went ahead and bought about 15 boxes–their current size and the next two sizes up. With all the coupons, on size 4s, it saves me about five cents a diaper. On the larger sizes, it saves up to almost ten cents or more a diaper. So, it can save me around $200 a year. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot of money to some people, but I need to cut costs and save money wherever I can. That’s like 200 pounds of sweet potatoes or 313 pounds of bananas. It all adds up. I would only recommend buying the Babies R Us if it is going to save you money. If it’s going to equal the cost of a Costco diaper, I would use Costco.
Babies R Us has a normal diaper and a premium diaper, and I have just been using the normal diaper. Right away, you can feel the difference. They are a little thinner than Costco’s, but I’ve never had them leak, and the boys will sometimes wear them up to five hours during the day. I also think the Babies R Us diapers run a tad smaller than Costco or other brands, but it’s not an issue. I haven’t used them during the night, since the boys have always had leaky diaper issues, which, thankfully, we have found the solution. Additional tip: use maxi pads in their diapers. We used the Stay Free brand, but also found that Target brand works too. So, go with whatever is cheaper. I had tried Kotex, but it leaked so much! Also, we used to put another one size larger diaper over as well, and since then, we’ve never had a single leaky diaper! Depending on how much babies are drinking, you can determine whether you need the additional diaper. The cost of using a maxi pad is cheaper than the over night diapers. If you do end up having to use the second diaper on the outside, we use that diaper a few nights if there isn’t any urine on it or until the Velcro wears down and then I just use that diaper as a day diaper to use it rather than wasting it.
Overall, I would definitely recommend Babies R Us diapers if it will save your family money. I was skeptical about trying them, but I am now glad I did.
I’m sure most of you are familiar with these next things, but in case you aren’t, here you go. This money saver tip is using Groupon and Living Social. I know Amazon has one, but I haven’t tried it yet. Basically, you are buying products, services, ticket admissions, restaurant certificates, and other various things at a savings that is usually 50 percent. Sometimes more, sometimes less. We used to buy the Entertainment Book, but since these companies came out, we haven’t bought any books. You don’t pay any fees and there aren’t any additional charges. You just buy what you want. You can buy offers in your area or anywhere. There are downloadable apps or you can go to their websites. New offers are posted daily. Living Social also has a little extra perk that Groupon doesn’t. If you get three other people to buy the offer you bought using a referral link, yours is free! So, when there is a really good offer that we like, I have my husband, mom, and step-dad buy the offer and pay them back, and then we get one for free! It also gives us a chance to try new restaurants at a discount. Every place that we have tried has been great. We’ve bought hotel stays, products, golfing, museum passes, etc. Here are screen shots of some that we have bought.
I have a ton of other products that I absolutely love, but these are just a few.
What are your money saving tips or products you couldn’t live without? I want to know! And I’m sure everyone else does, too! 🙂 Baby related or not, share them with us.
Molly was not paid or compensated in any way for this review.