Mamma's Little Helpers: Favorite Baby and Nursing Brands
This is a compilation of brands that we have decided upon, mostly after a few months of trial. Price and quality are usually the factors, and in the case that I have opinions on the "losing" brands, I've offered them.
- Diapers: Pampers. Pampers are far and away my first choice for diapers. They're a bit pricey, but it's easy enough to find coupons, and Walmart usually beats other stores by $3 or $4. The Walmart brand diapers are OK in a pinch... I found myself changing diapers a lot more often with those, because the material doesn't pull the mess away from Monkey's skin, so the $4 price difference almost isn't even worth it. I don't like Huggies very much, either, because the tabs don't seem to stay on very well, and Monkey was allergic to Luvs.
- Wipes: Parent's Choice (Walmart brand). I didn't even really try any others, I just get the light blue Parent's Choice ones because they're cheap and I haven't had a complaint with them.
- Formula: Comforts for Baby (Smith's/Kroger). After 4 months, we started supplementing with formula, and after 6.5 months he was totally weaned to the bottle (sad face). I swear, I tried almost every brand of powdered formula in the area! Enfamil, Walmart, Babies R Us, KMart (TERRIBLE—Monkey wouldn't even eat it!), Western Family... Until in May I FINALLY found Comforts for Baby! It doesn't smell horrid, it doesn't stain too bad, and it doesn't make Monkey spit up several times a day! Husband really doesn't like that it's from Smith's, but, well, what can you do...
- Food: Various. Honestly, by the end of Monkey's baby-food-eating I was making most of his food, because it was so freaking easy. Before I started making his food, I was mostly buying whatever was cheapest at the grocery store or Walmart, paying about 45 cents per jar. Sometimes I would buy the Gerber (about 52 cents a jar), because they have reclosable lids, so I could put homemade baby food in there. The only thing I won't buy again are the plain meat purees. Nasty things. Patrick (the cat) likes chicken, though!
- Nursing pads: Playtex. I tried Lansinoh and a couple other baby-brands, but Playtex stayed in place, pulled the wet away from my skin, and folded easily for nursing.
- Puffs: Up and Up (Target). These puffs were fantastic... The price was comparable to other store brands, but these have one great thing going for them—no natural or artificial coloring! I'm not really one to care about chemicals and whatnot; the reason why the coloring is important to me is that it doesn't stain Monkey, clothes, carseat, blankets, etc... And he loves them!
- Changing Table: Walmart 4-drawer dresser. This is a cheapo ($40) dresser I bought at Walmart, and plopped a changing pad on top. It's brilliant! All of the changing tables on the market are low, and you have to lean over to change your baby... Terrible on your back! This is perfect height for both Husband and I, and it's cake to convert to something for a toddler room.
- Breastpump: Medela Advanced Pump-In-Style.Fantastic double-pump, relatively quiet and great for home and work. I actually had a problem with the diaphragm after about 3 months, and Medela mailed me a brand new one for free! I don't think I even paid for shipping either way! Also, I needed new tubing (which is the one part they don't sell in stores) and they mailed me four more tubes for free. Great customer service, great product!
- Stroller/carseat: Baby Trend. I did a decent amount of research when I was pregnant, and decided on Baby Trend's jogger travel system. We love love love the carseat/infant carrier and the base that goes in the car! We buckle the base in, and then just snap the carseat in and out whenever we go somewhere. If we had another car, we could purchase a second base for about $30-$40. The jogging stroller... We have a love/hate relationship. It took several months to figure out how to get the stroller in the trunk without taking the wheels and the parent tray off, so that was a pain, but now we've got it. Unfortunately, the parent tray got left in someone else's garage, and lost when they moved. I haven't taken the initiative and ordered a new one yet, but we should be able to do that with the model number. I read in some reviews that the front wheel wobbled a lot (we got the not-fixed-wheel kind) but since other people said it was a problem with making sure the wheel was tight enough, we figured we could just be smart and avoid the problem. Well... the front wheel wobbles like nuts, and we can't get it tight enough or something. At the same time that I call Baby Trend about the parent tray, I'm going to ask about the front tire, and we'll see what happens. The wheels are the bicycle type (a necessity for Husband) and while we have had some flat tires, Husband took them to the bike shop and got thorn-resistant inner tubes, and we've been good. Monkey seems to like the stroller, and the bottom basket is big enough for the diaper bag, a couple purses, or a small grocery trip run (we live 4 blocks from a grocery store, so this is feasible).