By Jennifer LoPrete, co-author of Itsabelly’s Guide to Going Green with Baby
First, Happy Earth Day and we’re celebrating by sharing valuable tips from our Green Baby Guide! As part of Itsabelly’s series on Going Green on the Cheap, today we would like to focus on figuring out what baby gear you really need. New clients often tell us how they feel overwhelmed by the amount of baby gear on the market. Walking down the aisles of Babies R Us is enough to make your head spin. And of course, everything from a bottle warmer to a binky holder and the thousands of baby “essentials” in-between are all labeled as a “must have.” But are they really? How can a new parent know what they really need to buy and what they can forgo? Even experienced parents can get stuck into a trap of thinking they need to buy a bunch of new baby products. Itsabelly Baby Planners developed a checklist to help parents simplify and focus on products essential to their lifestyle choices. A brief version of the list can be found on page 200 of our book, Itsabelly’s Guide to Going Green with Baby. The checklist is part of our chapter on Reducing, Reusing and Recycling Baby Gear.
Itsabelly’s Guide to Evaluate Baby Gear Needs
- Do you have space for the item?
- Do you have an existing item that would work as well as a new item or that can be repurposed to serve a new purpose? For example, can a spare dresser be revamped to serve as a baby dresser? If you have an empty closet, could closet organizers and baskets work instead of a dresser?
- Does the item have more than one purpose? Can your dresser be used as a changing table as well? Or can you attach a changing table onto an existing dresser? Sturdy storage baskets can have a life beyond storing diaper cream and diapers.
- Will you be abe to resell or hand down the item? If you are planning on more kids, will the item withstand multiple uses? Is the product well made, so you can hand it down to a friend or sell it later at a consignment shop?
- Can you wait until baby is born to test the product? We particularly recommend waiting on entertainment purchases, such as a swing or exersaucer. Take baby over to a friend’s house and see if baby likes these items before buying. Some babies dislike the movement of a swing or confinement of an exersaucer, while for others the swing is the key to peaceful naptime.
If you would like an Itsabelly Baby Planner to help you simplify your baby gear purchases down to the essentials to save you money and time, please contact one of our Baby Planners across the country or contact our main office. We have a more in-depth checklist and detailed survey to assess our client’s needs and advise the best products to match our client’s lifestyle.