Baby In A Box

Raising kids is crazy expensive, no? Diaper budgets alone average $2,448 annually in US households or, as I like to think of it, the price of a first class ticket to somewhere I’d rather be. The exorbitant amount of money involved in raising wee ones means that in addition to breastfeeding round the clock, operating on little to no sleep, and showering them with love and attention, we new moms have to keep a close eye on our finances, stretching every dollar as far as possible.

Enter my newest obsession, The Baby Box Co. The company manufactures traditional Finnish Baby Boxes with a progressive twist, focusing on eco-friendly materials (their products are SGS certified), releasing products with instantly loveable designs, and maintaining the highest safety standards (the brand’s on the up and up with all applicable CPSC and CertiPur-US regulations). The Baby Box tradition is of course a huge draw for new parents, but I’m selfish and therefore more interested in how this little gift no one gave me at my last baby shower (hint, hint) can save me money.

Let’s break down The Baby Box Co.’s bestsellers—The Classic Box and The Everything But the Stork Box so you can see what I mean…

THE CLASSIC BOX

What it costs: $99.99 with free shipping in the USA and flat rate shipping internationally.

What moms get: a safe, sustainably produced bassinet + travel crib in one that comes with a fitted mattress, waterproof cover, 100% cotton sheet, organic wash cloth, organic burp cloth, swaddle blanket, onesie, lovey, pacifier 2-pk, hat, socks, mittens, healthcare kit, and sponsor gift bag

What it’s worth via an itemized breakdown:

Finnish Baby Box with mattress, waterproof cover, sheet- $69.99

Organic wash & burp cloth set- $6.99

Swaddle Blanket – $22.00

Onesie- $2.50

Bib- $1.80

Lovey- $14.95

Pacifier 2-pk- $5.44

Hat- $3.99

Socks- $1.33

Mittens- $4.99

Healthcare kit- $11.99

Sponsor gift bag- discounts and samples valued at $50+

Why it adds up:  Moms spend under $100 for $145 worth of essential infant supplies before calculating in the bonus sponsor gift bag valued at an additional $50+. Almost $200 worth of must-have goodies and freebies for a price tag that’s 50% lower that the items’ combined value makes The Classic Box a no brainer for new moms on a budget.

THE EVERYTHING BUT THE STORK BOX

What it costs: $199.99 with free shipping in the USA and flat rate shipping internationally.

What moms get: a safe, sustainably produced bassinet + travel crib in one that comes with a fitted mattress, waterproof cover, 100% cotton sheet, 3 organic wash cloths, 3 organic burp cloths, 4 swaddle blankets, 2 onesies, lovey, 2 pacifier 2-pks, hat, 2 pairs of socks, mittens, healthcare kit, organic baby bodywash & shampoo, What to Expect: The First Year book, organic wooden teether, 2 bibs, baby wipes, cloth diaper kit, and sponsor gift bag

What it’s worth via an itemized breakdown:

Finnish Baby Box with mattress, waterproof cover, sheet- $69.99

Lovey – $14.95

4 Pacifiers (2 X 2-pk) – $10.88

2 Onesies – $5.00

4 Swaddle blankets – $49.95

Healthcare kit – $11.99

2 pairs of Socks – $2.66

2 Bibs – $3.60

Mittens – $4.99

Hat- $3.99

3 organic wash cloths – $8.99

3 organic burp cloths – $14.99

organic baby shampoo & body wash – $9.95

Wipes – $2.99

Cloth diaper kit – $18.95

organic wooden teether – $9.95

What to Expect: The First Year book – $16.95

Sponsor gift bag- discounts and samples valued at $50+

Why it adds up:  Moms spend under $200 for $260.99 worth of essential infant supplies before calculating in the bonus sponsor gift bag valued at an additional $50+. This makes The Everything But the Stork Box a sound investment for moms looking to stock up on newborn essentials for a fraction of the itemized cost.

The Baby Box Co. isn’t just a great one-off purchase; it is a smart buy for parents looking to acquire the baby products they need on a regular basis while acquiring multiple baby boxes to use in different rooms of the house, to gift to friends, or to donate to local moms in need. They also make great shower gifts. And, when all else fails, you can always use the boxes to ship baby to grandma’s house. Except you would never do that. Because you’re a good mom. And shipping a baby in a box is not okay. Please don’t call Child Protective Services on me.

Show Me Some ID, Kid!

Once (ok, 3 times, in college) I was kindly told that I was too young and angelic looking – or, eh, perhaps it was my homemade “ID”- to enter an establishment that served beverages that had cool names, nifty swizzle sticks, umbrellas, and always seemed to be the setting in act numero uno of the story of some girl in my sorority getting knocked up and having to marry a guy with whom the longest amount of time they had shared together was most likely a spring break trip to Cabo.

But just like a good Disney movie, I took something totally irrelevant away from it and turned it into a lesson: bars are cool because they garnish their drinks!!!!  Now I know there will be a few naysayers who will claim bars are cool because of the alcohol, but I choose not to hear you, future twelve steppers.

Here is one of my favorite garnishes for play date drinks… sprinkles!  I actually used the little dots because they stick better, but feel free to use whatever supplies you have on hand – cocoa powder, crystal sugar, crushed graham crackers, etc.  I always use honey to rim the glass because everything sticks better, but you can use anything sticky you want.

I think we all like it when people make us feel special even in the smallest ways, and I promise you this little treat makes an average cup of lemonade, milk, or sparkling soda feel coolio! I love it when the ones I think are the coolest feel special.

It’s Not You…Actually It Is You!

Dear All Major Fashion Labels:

I have decided to end my long-standing love affair with you and your more than adorable children’s lines of clothing, and I believe the picture above demonstrates the sad but very necessary reason for said termination of our relationship. It is one thing for a grown woman/mother who has put in her time either working her way up the food chain of her career or being the long-standing CEO of her household to treat herself to a little somethin’ spiffy once in awhile… but it is NOT OK for 3 year-olds. In all fairness, I am sure that this picture was either taken as a cute gag by a mother or by a French woman (and we all know French women are exempt from anything in the aforementioned paragraph…because…well they’re French and therefore get to dress their children in Chanel, drink wine whilst carrying a baby, and eat baguettes without gaining a pound).

But for the rest of my fellow Mamas who want to dress their little nuggets well and age/paint/juice spills- appropriate, here are a few little finds…

1-    Shop TARGET on the day when their new children’s designer clothes come out. Check their weekly ads for updates!

2-    The site: ae.com/77kids is an online only children’s denim site started by American Eagle and has no return fees!

3-   GAP KIDS has really stepped up their game these last few seasons and the prices are very reasonable considering how well they hold up!

4-    Consignment… you can’t beat it!! Use your local YELP to help you find the closest store to you!

5-    And last, but my personal favorite… NEXT DIRECT! It makes me look like I care that my kid looks presentable and preppy, without looking like a cross between the toddlers-and-tiaras-bedazzled-discount look and the little-miss-sassy-Chanel-toting-tot!