Are You Spending Too Much Money on Baby Gear?
Did you waste $57 today? I hope not. Unfortunately, so many new parents pay much more than they have to for baby products, because they don't know the secrets the insiders know.
Remember, just because you shop at so-called discount stores doesn't mean you'll get the lowest prices. The same is true for warehouse stores and online auction sites.
Even coupons that seem like great deals aren't always a bargain. For example, one online retailer recently offered a promotion where you could buy one board game and get one free. But the games cost twice what they cost at a competitor. So it wasn't really a deal at all.
What's a bargain-hunting parent to do? It helps if you can find someone who's done some research for you.
The Shopping Mom to the Rescue!
In an attempt to do a scientific, apples-to-apples comparison, I recently conducted a price test of six popular baby product web sites. I purchased a basket of common baby products from each site.
All of the sites I chose were well-established businesses, with reliable customer service, and a good selection of products. Many offered extra services, like reader reviews, shopping checklists and helpful tips. The sites were:
Shopping.com isn't a retailer. It's a comparison shopping service. But I included it because it's supposed to be able to find you the best deals online. I wanted to see if it lived up to its promise.
Remember the $57 I talked about wasting earlier? That was the difference in total cost between the cheapest site I shopped and the most expensive. A pretty hefty chunk of change, considering my basket had just four items:
1. A Britax Roundabout car seat in Denim (the price can differ depending on the pattern)
2. The First Years On the Go booster seat
3. An Avent newborn starter set
4. A Boppy
I used my address in Maryland to calculate shipping and tax. Obviously, the cost to you will vary, depending on where you live.
And the Winner Is...
Coming in at a lean, mean $255.55: Baby Catalog offered the best deals. And this didn't include the extra discount you get by signing up for their Baby Club of America.
Shopping came in a close second at $257.34, making it a worthwhile stop for anyone in the market for baby gear. Plus,
Shopping is integrated with Epinions, so you can get product reviews right there. I also liked the fact that Shopping.com calculated the total cost, including shipping and tax, in advance.
Baby Universe came in at $263.91. But keep in mind that Baby Universe offers a flat shipping rate of $6.95, no matter how many products you buy. So the more you buy, the better deal this site is.
Babies R Us was the most expensive, at $312.97, followed by Target at $300.74, and BabyCenter at $285.06. Interestingly, both Babies R Us and Target are under the Amazon umbrella, which means you should always comparison shop among the different stores on the Amazon site.
Keep in mind, too, that all of these retailers offer coupons and special deals from time to time. So it always pays to shop around.
Baby Proof Your Home - Frequently Asked Questions
Keeping your baby safe at all times is one of your greatest concerns and responsibilities. There is so much to consider and it is very easy to overlook something that might be fairly obvious to some but escape others. Things like covering electrical outlets, putting up baby gates and turning pot handles to the rear of the stove are discussed in this article and is presented in a question and answer format.
Real Nappies (Cotton Nappies) or Disposables - The Debate
I'm sure you have heard some of the debate surrounding real nappies, whether you should use them, the environmental impact of disposables and so on. Well, this short summary provides, what I believe to be, a balanced view of the pros and cons of real nappies.
A Special Formula for Baby!
Choosing to breastfeed the baby is one of the most important decisions a mother can make. Usually that decision was made even before the baby was conceived. There may be times when lack of support, knowledge and different priorities have led to bottle feeding. My goal is not to tell a new mother all the scary stuff in formula, but to discuss the reasons why a mother may be choosing not to breastfeed. Possibly, with discussing these reasons she may realize the benefits of breastfeeding and seek out the necessary support and education for the sake of her health and most importantly the infant's.
Make Your Baby Shower a Success with the Perfect Table Setting Decorating Idea
The perfect table setting decorating idea will be determined by three main things. First, by where the shower is being held. Second, by the theme you have chosen for your baby shower. Thirdly, by the tastes of the guest of honor and the guests you have invited.
A Babys Sleeping Pattern
Creative Potty Training
When I was potty training my two young boys, I discovered this method of potty training that made it an enjoyable, yet very effective way to potty train toddlers.
Dozens of Baby Shower Themes
Choosing baby shower themes is the first step in planning a baby shower. Or, you may choose not to have a theme at all. However, having a theme for your baby shower should make the party entertaining, fun, and a memorable experience.
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Show Your Baby That You Read
When you take your child to the library, check out a bookfor yourself. Then set a good example by letting your childsee you reading for yourself. Ask your child to get one ofher books and sit with you as you read your book, magazine,or newspaper. Don't worry if you feel uncomfortable withyour own reading ability. It's the reading that counts.Whenyour child sees that reading is important to you, she maydecide that it is important to him or her, too
Baby Car Seat Glossary Guide
To the uninitiated parent, buying a car seat for your child can seem technical at best. There are a dozen terms designers and retail stores use to describe car seats, their various accessories and features. Below you'll find some handy tips for sorting through the riff raff and deciding what features and accessories you really need for your carseat.
Better Health and Happiness for Your Baby
The design of your home has an amazing affect on the health and well being of your baby. If it is in harmony with nature, it will have a positive influence on young children. If not, problems will become apparent in subtle and ways.
Potty Training in One Day - Can You Really Potty Train in a Day? What Does It Mean?
Sounds great ? doesn't it?
Baby Nursery Furniture
You are expecting your first baby and are wondering what type of nursery furniture you will need to make your life easier and your little one comfortable. You will find that there are an array of cribs in all types of designs, styles and colors to fit with any décor you choose for your nursery.
Welcome an Adopted Baby into the Family with an Adoption Baby Shower
The addition of a new child to a family is a wonderous occasion! An adopted baby is just as much a miracle as any other and should be celebrated as such.
The Scoop on Giving Your Baby Juice
Many moms like to think that as soon as their baby turns 6 months of age, they should start giving them juice. But this couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, juice is NOT necessary for an infant. Here's why:
Safely Feeding Babies - 10 Important Tips
Babies usually triple their birth weight the first year. That's why nutritious and safely handled food, served in an age-appropriate way, is so important. Being aware of safe food handling practices and potential feeding dangers are the best ways to protect your family from food illnesses and accidents, while also giving your child a healthy start on development and growth. Here are a few important tips and reminders.
How to Have the Perfect Baby Boy Invitations
Baby boy invitations are the first thing you'll need to share the good news of the new arrival with all your friends. It's time to celebrate and baby showers are the perfect way to express love and thoughtfulness to the mother and baby to be.
Important Features to Consider When Buying a Baby Crib
With all the different features of baby cribs, it can be a little overwhelming to sort it all out. This article reviews some of the most comon baby crib features and reviews the pros and cons of each feature.
Its Not Too Late to Vaccinate Against the Fear of Failure Flu
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Tale of the Missing Nub
The extent of the memory loss that accompanies new parenthood really surprised me the first few times I experienced it. My task is especially difficult when I must not only to retrace my own footsteps, but figure out what my toddler might have seen fit to do with that half-gnawed cookie, the crayons she was supposed to pick up and put away, and the box of peppermints I just bought.