Welcome. We are hoping to help take the stress out of stretching your budget before and during your child's early years. Finance Match looks at reviews, money saving tips and best buy products for a range of different infant products from bottles to rattles, strollers through to car seats for toddlers.
As a parent, whether you are a new one or you have lots of little ones already, you will know the market is saturated with products for you and your family to buy. Everything you could ever think of (and plenty of things you couldn’t ever think of) are there available for you to buy. The only problem is, the price of these items can vary massively and some of them are extremely expensive. This means, unless you are super rich, that you need to carefully consider which products you should be buying and which devices and gadgets are best left on the shelf.
What I will attempt to do in this article is run you through some of the best and most useful baby products you can buy both online and on the high-street. I will also give you some information about products I don’t think are worth the money or the extra spend. Hopefully this will leave you a bit better educated on baby products than before you read.
In the modern age we live in one of the most important things you will need to invest in as a parent is a child car seat. These are not only essential to travelling around safely with your child, they are the law, not only in the United States but across the world. If you do no use one for your child you can be in big trouble if caught, the fines can be hefty. All that aside, they are a fantastic invention and a much safer way for your little ones to be transported. If you buy the right one they are also much more comfortable for your baby or child.
The first thing you will need to consider when buying a seat for your child is what type to buy. This will depend on your child’s age. If you have a very small baby (under 2) you will need to have a rear-facing option. If your child is over 2 you will need a seat that faces forward and if your child is over 4-5 years old then you will need you buy a booster seat.
Infant car seats are the most purchased seats as these cater for newborn babies up to toddler age. As this is the most vulnerable age group, it is absolutely critical to buy wisely when you are getting a seat for your infant. As there are so many choices I have provided what I deem to be the best and the worst buys in this category.
I feel (as do many parents out there) that the Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat is the best seat for babies on the market today. It ticks all the boxes that you need ticking when you are buying this kind of car seat. Chicco is a fantastic brand and has a great reputation for creating safe and long lasting car seats. It is super comfortable for your newborn. The large majority of parents that use this car seat also say that it is very easy to use and assemble. This is a massive plus for ALL parents out there. Nothing worse than struggling to get your child in and out of the car when you are in a rush.
I do not have any car seats that I recommend that you stay away from completely but what I can say is that I believe this is a baby product that you shouldn’t scrimp on. Generally, when it comes to car seats for children it is best to spend as much as you can to ensure you get the highest safety standard for you and your family. There are some very cheap brands out there but if you haven’t heard of them it’s probably safe to say they are not of a great quality, so best to avoid them and stick to the well-known brands like Britax USA, Chicco and BabyTrend.
Cots / baby sleeping products
Newborn babies and even toddlers will spend a large percentage of their time sleeping. As this is the case, buying a good quality cot is critical as sleep is very important to your baby’s health. Again, as with all baby products there are literally hundreds of options to choose from so I have provided you with a few of my favorites.
There are a number of different features that you will need to consider when you are buying a cot for your little one. I recommend that you search for one that can provide you with adjustable sides and also an adjustable mattress height too. If you get both of these functions with your cot it will not only allow you to adjust as your child grows it will also make it easier for you to place your baby into the cot and also get them out again once they have woken. The adjustable mattress height also means your baby will be safe and unable to climb out of the cot as they grow taller, which they will do very quickly I can assure you, as my little ones have!
As with everything baby related you can literally pay as much or as little as you want for a baby cot. As with any purchase, it is important to set your budget before you start your search, this will help to prevent you from overspending. Once you have your budget you are ready to go. Bear in mind you can spend from around $60 all the way up to $1000 depending on the quality you require. Some of the best value ones I have seen on the market are the East Coast Nursery Angelina cot bed coming in at around $199 and the Izziwotnot Bailey sleigh cot bed at around $400. These are both made from excellent quality materials and should last until your child no longer needs them. The only downside to these is they have no storage options. If you are looking for a cot with storage then I would recommend going for the Mia Package from Mamas and Papas, this is around $500.
I am almost finished but I thought I would just give you a little bit of information about breast pumps. These are one of the trickiest products to buy and if you get the wrong one they can not only cause pain but they will also waste a lot of your hard earned cash.
The first and probably the most important question you will need to answer is do you want a manual pump or an electric one. I would say bite the bullet and go for the more expensive electric option. All of the manual ones that I have come into contact with have not been great and the worst part is they are really slow. Also, with the manual options, when you are pumping/expressing regularly you may find that you get a sore wrist and/or hand from the regular usage. This is the last thing you need as a new mother as you will be tired and exhausted enough I can tell you.
The best electric breast pump that I have come across is the Spectra Baby USA S2 Double/Single Breast Pump. You can either buy the single or the double, if you can stretch then I would say to go for the double as you obviously get twice the milk if half the time. They start at around $104 depending on where you purchase of course.
If you are on a tighter budget then the Evenflo Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump is one of the very best you can buy for under $100. This little gem will only cost around $80, again depending on the retailer.
Last, but not least, I think the most comfortable breast pump at the minute is the Ameda Purely Yours Double Electric Breast Pump. This is a little more expensive than the other two but if you are looking for ultimate comfort then this is the pump for you. Believe me, if you are going to be using this product 8-10 times a day for months at a time it is worth spending a little more cash to get the extra comfort, you will be thankful I’m sure of it.