Monday, March 02, 2009

Baby nurseries and lifestyles

In this week’s baby bargainista column, Rebecca Atkinson shares her thoughts about the importance of your lifestyle when making purchasing decisions for the nursery.

In last week’s column, Jenny confessed she sometimes buys items for fantasy rather than pleasure. At the same time, I was having conversations with other moms about what my next purchases might be for baby Atkinson.

I know I have visions of the “perfect” nursery dancing in my head, although to be honest, I’m not really sure what “perfect” is. Now that I’m in my fifth month, I’m starting to get asked questions about whether or not we’ve registered anywhere, what items we are looking for and what do we still need to purchase?

Knowing we have some of the bigger items as hand-me-downs from my older sister, I had to admit I wasn’t really sure, so took one of my lessons learned and put it into practice: I talked to other moms.

The one big piece of advice I got was to really think about what it is that we’ll need vs. what we want – based heavily on our lifestyle. I was also told to remember that no two nurseries will likely be identical, as lifestyles, needs and wants might be different.

Sounds easy, but I didn’t get it until I talked to my cousin-in-law who’s also pregnant. We were talking about nursery furniture and I mentioned that Mark and I wanted one of those double-duty change-table dresser combos. To which my cousin-in-law told me she and her husband went against that in favour of a dresser that matched a crib (which will do double duty as a toddler bed when the time comes). While that makes a lot of economical sense, I was really surprised they didn’t want a change table. So I called her on it.

“Oh I’ve been talking to friends with children and they told me that you don’t use them as much as you think you do. Who wants to go upstairs to change the baby all the time? You just change them wherever they/you are.”

Upon hearing that, I immediately wondered if Mark and I had made a big mistake in what we wanted to purchase. But then we sat down and talked about it. Our situation is very different than that of our cousins. We have two very inquisitive dogs and a kitten, whereas they have an older cat. As we pictured changing Baby Atkinson on the living room carpet, we had nightmares dancing in our heads thinking of what could happen, not to mention that unless I vacuumed 24/7, we’d be likely to get pet hairs in places better left unsaid.

It made us realize that we didn’t just want a change-table dresser combo, we needed one for our lifestyle.

Lessons Learned:
1. Really dissect your lifestyle and determine what kinds of furniture and items fit your needs before you buy anything
2. Your perfect nursery may not look like someone else’s idea of a perfect nursery
3. Talk to other moms (I know I said this before, but I think it bears repeating)

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  1. Anonymous9:52 am

    Very good point about your lifestyle. With two kids, I used my change table CONSTANTLY and can count on one hand the # of times I changed a diaper elsewhere in the house. At the change table were the diapers, washcloths, clean clothes (when needed - which was often for a newborn), etc.

  2. I always use the change table. My daughter is over 2 and barely fits on it, but it's just easier. I don't have to bend over on the floor and all our supplies are there. I had a friend who lived in a two bedroom apartment with her newborn who would change her baby in the living room even though the change table was just a few steps away in the bedroom. For me, it's worth going up the stairs to where it's easier.
    Like to say, it all depends on the person and you'll see that when it comes to everything from what diapers to use to what carrier to use and what (if any) Mommy and baby classes you'll do.

  3. I used the change table most of the time and like Donna, I made sure to keep it well-organized and stocked-up.

  4. I am hoping to be as organied as you three and keep my change table well stocked! For me, I just se it spelling disaster with my kitten, two curious dogs and a newborn..

    It's good to know I'm not alone though in my thinking here.


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