Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Who knew that picking out baby products is a lot like buying a car!

Last week a coworker of mine introduced me to this book called ‘Baby Bargains’. She raved about how this book helped her make a lot of decisions when picking out items for her son, so I thought it might be worth reading! Basically this book reviews and rates numerous baby products based off of what parents have experienced with the company or the product itself. They do not favor one company over the other nor do they work for any of the companies. Each product/company gets rated on a Good, Better, Best scale with an overall A-F rating.

I just finished chapter 1 which just discusses CRIBS. Yes, this whole blurb is all about cribs! Within this chapter, close to 200 different brands and types of cribs are evaluated. Most brands are listed with a little description on whether the company has been around for a long time, how their customer service skills are, and what people are saying about the brand itself or any recalls the company has had, and if you are just paying for a brand name such as Eddie Bauer.  Different types of cribs are also compared such as a regular crib vs convertible cribs. (A Convertible crib is a crib that can transform into a toddler bed, day bed, and eventually a full size bed). They discuss the different types of woods that are used for making cribs and which wood is the most recommended to get. They state that “hard wood” like maple is the sturdiest and best option for cribs, and “soft wood” such as pine, is not the best quality but it is the most common wood used in cribs that are bought from Target or Babies R Us.  What’s the difference?  Hard wood” has a better chance of standing up to toddlers who like to gnaw on the wood or are a little rough with banging toys on the crib, and “soft wood” will typically dent and scratch easily. WHO KNEW! …well maybe CJ because he works with wood all day! Another thing to consider is where the best place to purchase a crib is going to be. Of course if you go to a specialty store like American or Steinhaufels, etc the price is definitely going to be higher and potentially better quality wood than those purchased from Target or Babies R Us.

This is where the book really comes in handy and puts everything into perspective. As a parent your number one concern is safety and if a product will be safe for your child.  As I am processing all of this information about cribs I am trying to keep in mind that I want my child safe but I also do not have all the money in the world to purchase a fancy crib, so how can I still get a nice crib that will last for a long time but is still safe and reasonably priced? Knowing that I definitely want a convertible crib due to its many functions, and wood to me is not a major concern, I can now think about my other options. The book is very good about stating: 1, if you have a lot of money, then these are the cribs we recommend; 2. If you do not need the highest quality but would still like to have nice durable and safe crib, then this is what we recommend; 3. If you are on a budget then here are your options; and 4, stay away from these products regardless!  So for me, my thought process on cribs would be equivalent to a 2. I do not need the highest quality, but still would like something nice.  

Seriously, who knew that there was so much thinking that would go into picking out products! It’s more time consuming than shopping for a new car, and I’ve only just begun to research baby items!!! When shopping for a car you may consider safety ratings, color of exterior/ interior, features, or even which level of car you get!  I always thought you just went to the store and picked out the pattern that you liked! Maybe that’s naïve of me, but that’s what I always thought. Turns out there is a lot of thought processing that goes into picking out baby products!

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