Thursday, April 17, 2008

Baby Gizmo Buying Guide

I am an avid reader. Okay, so not as much as I used to be, now that I have two kids, but the time I spend away from books, I usually make up researching on the internet. That's why I was really excited to receive a copy of The Baby Gizmo Buying Guide. The book was written by two sisters who enjoy motherhood wholeheartedly. Their book, and website, grew out of their passion for their children (5 between the two of them), and to find the best, safest, and most useful products for those precious kiddos. That being said, they also appreciate the need for a budget and are quick to tell you how much things should cost, and what items are more important to spend the bucks on.

Now the book is a little thicker than I would probably prefer. It is sorta written for those who are currently pregnant with their first child, i.e. they have a lot of time on their hands, and are especially concerned about doing it right the first time, if you know what I mean. As a mom of two, I knew pretty much 4/5th of the information in this book already, though their humor makes it a very enjoyable read, none the less.

However, there were two very helpful sections in this book, that even I find myself astounded by the amount of research and effort that was put into these product categories. And we're talking about my favorite, "I'm so paranoid about these" categories! Yep, you guessed it, Carseats and Strollers. Everyone will admit that those are the biggest, hairiest purchases you make for a little person. You might not spend as much money on them as you do on your crib (though after reading this book, you may reconsider that!) but there are many more things to consider as far as safety and practicality than with the simple "Do I want a convertible crib or no?". And let me tell you that after reading it, though I am still happy with my current stroller choice, I am saving my pennies to buy BOTH my kids new carseats! (Yeah, so convicting... *nods*)

Other nice and helpful things this book includes is the "Oh my gosh, I've been looking for this everywhere" chart on page 118 giving approximate weight and heights of kids through age 8, and the exhaustive glossary of baby gear terms at the back. Their "Secret Money Saving Rules" and "10 Things We Wish We Knew When We Were First Time Moms" sections are good reminders even to us old pros, as are their lists of questions to ask yourself about any product you are considering buying.

However, they also have a list of "The Perfectly Packed Diaper Bag Items". You can completely throw that out, or throw your back out, if you choose to follow it, your choice! I, being a professional diaper bag packer, have previously posted on the 10 Diaper Bag Essentials. This list is designed to make sure you have everything you need, nothing you don't, and what to do with the other items you may, but probably won't need.

But forgiving Baby Gizmo Gals' propensity to pack everything in sight to take with them wherever they go... the book is, as a whole, well thought out and practical. It would be a great gift for your sister who just found out she is pregnant for the first time. Or even if this is your second or third time around, and you compulsively need to know everything about baby gear, you would also find it very beneficial. This book is not really for people like me, who generally don't enjoy shopping, buy as little as possible, and are pretty laid back about the whole thing. But, if you identify with me, remember what I said about the carseats! Sometimes we need a good reminder how important safety really is!

I have a few copies of The Baby Gizmo Buying Guide to give away for free, so if you'd like one, post a comment telling what your favorite baby item is, and be sure to leave your e-mail address so that I can contact you if you've won! I will be randomly selecting winners from all those who comment before May 1, 2008. One entry per person, please, but feel free to invite your friends to participate

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Rose said...

I personally like to research on electronic gizmos and gadgets. My favorite item that I purchased was a video camera. I'm looking to buy a second one for my baby and was wondering if there are any updates or new features to video monitors. Plus, it's been 3 years since my first baby, so it would be nice to see whether or not my items are out of date, or if it even still pass saftey standards.

Laura said...

My favorite baby gadget would have to be the blankets that have snaps. I use them for everything. You can attach them to the shopping cart handles and make your own cart cover. I have snapped the blanket onto my daughters carseat to make a sun /wind shade. Of course, they work well as a blanket, too.

I would love a copy of the book to see what gadgets are a must have.

Amy said...

I currently pregnant with my first but at the moment my favorite baby item is a superduper pack n play. The one on my registry includes a rocking bassinet and a changing table. I think it'll come in really handy for taking weekend trips to visit family and for those nights where I want our little one close by.

I haven't heard of the book before now but it sounds very useful for first time moms like me. Thanks for the review!

Rebecca said...

OOH, I'm torn about my favorite items.
For the baby or for me (for him)? I got a Land's End backpack that is a diaper bag at a consignment sale. It is light blue washable inside, so you can find things (vs. a dark color like the outside of the bag). Perfect pockets-some of them are mesh so you can see what's in there, some are insulated for bottles, some close with velcro, some with zippers with excellent pulls that you can close one-handed. In the back, there is a changing pad, used diaper holder, etc. LOVE IT! (And I have "fancier" diaper bags, but still choose to use this one).
Item #2-Hooter Hider/Bebe au Lait-for nursing. I know you just put a post about how to make your own, but I'm not a fluent sewer, so I bought one. LOVE IT! I'm not really modest, but it is awkward to nurse and talk to people, wondering if your baby or the wind or gravity will pull the blanket off of you and there you are in all your glory!
Item #3-The Snap N Go stroller thingie (I'm sure that's the technical name)! I pop my baby car seat/carrier in it, and fasten the "seat belt" to keep it there. It has great drink holders and a little hidden compartment for mom/dad/ It folds very easily. It weighs nothing. It cost about $50. I learned about it from another baby products book. Great recommendation. I don't waste money on a mondo stroller that weighs a ton for his baby days, and I get a better stroller for when he gets older.

Rebecca Ballowe

Beth @ The Natural Mommy said...

favorite baby item...


Does that count? It's not a 'gadget,' really.

Rachel said...

I love the variety of favorite baby items! Slings certainly count as baby gadgets! I'm also facinated by this blanket with snaps idea! I don't think I've seen one before, I'll have to check it out!

rewlem2620 said...

After 2 miscarriages, we are trying again. I don't know a lot about baby gear, but I read alot of reviews and concumer reports for when the time comes. My favorite are the baby slings. A few of my friends have different ones and the babies look so comfy and cute in them.