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Consumer Reports and buying guides for parents

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Bargain Buys for Baby's First Year
by Leah Severson

Reviewer: Christina R. from Montclair, VA USA

  If you want creative ideas on cutting the expense of a new baby, take a look at this book! There are lots of clever substitutions (use puffy fabric paint on plain socks instead of buying the expensive non-skid kind!) as well as been-there-done-that advice on what NOT to buy in the first place. This book will pay for itself over and over, and will save you both time and money all through the first year. I highly recommend it for the kind of helpful advice you won't find in parenting books!



Toddler Bargains: Secrets to Saving 20% to 50% on Toddler Furniture, Clothing, Shoes, Travel Gear, Toys, and More
by Alan Fields, Denise Fields

Wish I'd had this the first time around!
Reviewer: A reader from Rochester, NY USA

  I received this as a gift from another mom and can't believe the help it has given me. I have a preschooler and a toddler and wish I'd had it the first time around. Actually, it's benefited both children right now as we needed to purchase a booster seat for our preschooler who was ready to move out of the toddler seat. Had I not read Toddler Bargains I wouldn't have known Graco was coming out with a booster car seat that was cheaper than the Britax Starriser and just as safe and handy. I'm glad I watched and waited! Thanks to the Fields for their down to earth and common sense help!



Guide to Baby Products (Guide to Baby Products, 7th Ed)
by Sandy Jones

Useful Information ... For First Time Parents Especially
Reviewer: A reader from Arroyo Grande, CA United States

   The Guide to Baby Products is a useful book in the traditional "Consumer Reports" style. For each category of baby product, there is a chapter that introduces you to the features of those types of products, issues to look for especially in terms of safety and durability, and then finally, includes a comparison of various products on a feature by feature basis. There are chapters on cribs, car seats, high chairs, for example.
   If you are a new parent to be, and appreciate a logical analysis of products, this is the book for you.
I, on-the-other-hand, think that the book that you really MUST buy is Denise and Alan Field's "Baby Bargains" book. What I loved about their book was that they had strong opinions for and against certain products and were not afraid to express them. They also have lots of advice about where to buy products to get the best price.
  I believe that your book preference will depend on how you like information presented. I found it useful to have both books side by side so that I could assimilate information from both.
Finally, I am so glad that there are book like the Guide to Baby Products and Baby Bargains to help us parents-to-be through the maze of baby product shopping.



Baby Bargains: Secrets to Saving 20% to 50% on Baby Furniture, Equipment, Clothes, Toys, Maternity Wear and Much, Much More!
by Alan Fields, Denise Fields

A great book for ANYONE buying baby products...
Reviewer: jennyriver from IL, USA

   ...NOT just those people looking to save a few bucks! When my hubby and I were getting married, I bought the Fields' Wedding Bargains book and found that the best thing about it was the number of ideas and resources it gave me, when I had no idea where to start looking. I find the same to be true with this book, especially since this is our 1st child. Friends and family members can all give you advice but I find that 1) it is sometimes a bit outdated (and this can even be true of products just a few years old) and 2) is always biased. Now, having a "point-of-view" on a product is great, but I worry that parents who set out looking for the cheapest or most convenient baby product may not have done quite the research these authors have on things such as safety. The greatest thing is they take real-world use AND safety into consideration, and then compare it to lots and lots of brands (some you and your friends have never heard of but should not dismiss). They even review a companies customer service, something most of us don't think about while browsing in a store. I find often times that their rec's tend to match with the reviews on Amazon, but they offer additional advice that can put an overwhelmed new parents mind at ease.

   They also offer great tips and advice on lots of other baby and pregnancy topics, such as where to get great deals on maternity clothes, where the best garage sale deals are and most importantly WHAT NOT TO BORROW OR BUY SECONDHAND!!! Well-meaning friends and family may offer lots of things to you, which sounds great when you're on a budget, but risking a child's safety is never worth saving a few bucks. Instead, they tell you what the REAL value of an item is (if it lasts longer and comes with more, USEFUL features, it's cheaper in the long run than say a cheaply made basic model) and give you ways to save money in other areas that you can safely shop for bargains on. There is almost no topic left untouched in this book. You may think you can just find this all on the web but advertising and an overwhelming amount of unorganized info is enough to leave any parent-to-be confused and misinformed. I highly recommend the latest version of this book for any parent to be (start reading it ASAP!!!) and a visit to their website :)

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