The editors of a popular baby website have compiled for their large community of moms-to-be a list of the best strollers around. One such model reminded the editorial panel of a transformer, and the group collectively gushed about how you can even charge your cell phone with this bad boy. This stroller, like all the editors picks, including one you can carry on your back (which makes one wonder why you wouldn’t just carry your baby) costs more than $800.

Call me old-fashioned but I think it’s perfectly fine to charge your cell phone at home.

While becoming a parent is the most thrilling and transforming of all life events, it also makes us vulnerable consumers. We know it’s our job to protect this tiny, defenseless human being. We’re

ready to do anything and we’re ready to buy anything. That’s the kind of attitude that makes a profit-seeking industry salivate: customers who are emotional, inexperienced, terrified, and deeply committed to the cause for which they’re shopping.

Here’s a quick guide so you don’t go broke because remember, babies turn into kids who need even more stuff – like for example, college educations.

Cribs: You must buy a crib and if there’s one purchase we promise is for short term use, it’s a bed that – by design – creates a barrier between the bathroom and your future toilet-trained toddler.

The only feature your infant crib must have is a manufacture date of June 2011 or later – that’s when new safety regulations kicked in. After that, spending more money on a crib does not buy you a safer crib. Some very high-priced brands have rushed to return money to customers because they turned out to have dangerous entrapment and suffocation hazards.

Baby Monitors: To protect against the dangers posed at bedtime, you’re likely ready to invest in a baby monitor big time. Video monitors – some costing $350 – make it possible to watch real-time footage of your baby. But if your camera is hacked – and let’s be very clear, your camera can be hacked – there will be unwelcome company in your baby’s room. Adam and Heather Schreck told Fox News they were sleeping in their home when they heard a man yelling “Wake up baby, wake up,” at their ten-month old daughter. When they raced into the room, the camera rotated seemingly by itself from the baby and on to the couple.

Does streaming video of your kid help you sleep better? Newsflash: new parents are not afforded the luxury of sleep. But even so, the answer is no, probably not. Video offers some convenience in that you can look up at the monitor wh
ile eating peanut butter in the kitchen instead of getting up and walking into the kid’s room. But even if that journey is particularly arduous, it’s probably also productive. Who’s the better cop: the one in the security office with his feet up or the one on the beat. Good news! The monitors that work using only audio – which is what would wake you if the baby cries – are available for about $13.

Car Seats
: If you want to protect your child from death, then car seats are totally the way to go. Heather Darby, child passenger and safety coordinator at the Minnesota Department of Public Safety says to consider only two things when buying a car seat and neither of them is price. That’s because regardless of whether a car seat costs $50 or $500, all makes and models are required to follow the same federal safety standards.

So what you need to buy is 1) a car seat that best fits your child’s weigh. You’ll want a car seat that’s 1) suitable for your baby’s weight and height and 2) a car seat that’s easy to install. The only way a car seat can perform it’s life-saving mission is if it’s properly installed. You wouldn’t pull a television from a box and expect it to work, no matter how much you paid. Same thing with a car seat. Yet still, the CDC found over 72 percent of car seats are misused in ways that could be expected to increase a child’s risk from injury in a crash. On some occasions, and it’s amazing we have to go here, the CDC found the seats were not installed at all.

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