Top 5 Rogue Ideas for New Parents

Assuming this is your first baby and it's not born yet, this list will likely be a bit different, just like you. I am an unconventional motherly-type and bucked the norm even when when my family complained. Guess what? We all survived and the kids are doing just fine. Plus we saved a bunch of money, time and consumer waste while we were at it. Even if your friends aren't doing it and they never will, here's to individuality and doing things your own way. This is only a handful of things I did that were in the Rouge Mommy category and I have no regrets:

1. A Shower *After* the Baby is Born

You're pregnant, cranky, and emotional. And every onesie looks so adorable you want them all. It's like going to the grocery store when you're hungry. If you're lucky to have a friend or relative insist on having a baby shower for you, and the only time they can do it is beforehand, so be it. But if you can wait a few months (and be prepared with the staple gear like an infant car seat and some onesies), I recommend postponing it until afterwards. All those stupid baby shower games are null and void. Everyone gets to hold the baby, and you get to amend the gift registry to things you *actually* need and not just the things adults think are adorable. At my shower, I really loved showing off Baby around 2 months because they are little more filled out (cuter!) and I got a small break for a few hours while the guests took turns holding her. After a few months of feeling like a prisoner, you will finally get to have an adult conversation and maybe even have time to eat. Everyone's happy!

Since everyone has too much stuff nowadays, there is a likelihood that at least one friend or family member will want to dump their old baby gear on you. This can be a good and bad thing, but it's best to smile, nod and accept. Once you get to go through it all, you might find some pretty useful stuff. A 2nd backup breast pump (you can buy new plastic parts), boppies, "sidecar" co-sleeper (best hand me down I got!) and a nice crib. I checked those off my list and only put the leftover items on my registry. 

2. Cloth Diapers

Money saving, environmental and little to no stinky trash, I'm happy with my choice of going cloth. There are many ways to go about this but the most popular version of "cloth" are pocket diapers where you insert your choice of fabric (microfiber, cotton, hemp, bamboo, etc) and it soaks up the pee. I know, you're wondering about the icky part: They have these awesome biodegradable liners that catch #2 so you just chuck it in the toilet and most of the time you don't have to deal with handwashing anything. If there is, it's just a quick prewash, then into the washer and then dryer. There's lots of sites that calculate the costs and yes, there is no refuting that you are saving money unless you get your disposables for free. One thing is for sure: I hate taking out the trash and this saves me the hassle of going outside and all the stink gets flushed in the toilet.

If you're new to cloth diapering with no one to guide you, you may want to buy disposables at first, get some starter kits and see what happens. Again, the internet has lots of resources so I would personally jump on eBay and Amazon to see all the options.  They are more expensive so be warned. Quality pocket diaper cover starts at minimum of $10 and go up. You can buy on eBay from the Chinese sellers (I did this, worked out fine) to get cheaper ones but it takes a few weeks to reach you so plan ahead. Make sure you have some traditional old school cloth diapers as backup to use as inserts if you haven't bought any. 

Some product recos to consider: Unisex colors cloth diaper starter kit, Flushable Diaper Liners (to catch #2)

3. Forget the High Chair, Get a Booster

For my first little one (Mini fLee) who is not so little anymore, I was living in a condo and had to save space so I bought a Fisher Price booster seat with a tray that straps to just about any chair. It worked out perfectly. I kept it and baby #2 came around and I still have a small kitchen so we're using it for General Ya Ya as well. Now they have a toy adapter that you can pop into the tray so I bought that and he loved it. Once he outgrows the toy attachment, you can still use it at home, at Grandma's, in restaurants, holiday family dinners, etc. It's lightweight, sturdy and very compact.

4. Buy Used: Toys and Clothes Lots from Ebay and Larger Items from Craigslist

If you didn't get the mother load of toys to fill baby's first year, why not look on ebay for sets or "lot" of toys in a group for a particular age? If a mom has a 1 year old that's walking and some of the basic 6-9 month old toys aren't cutting it for them, she might put a lot for very cheap, and you don't even have to leave your house! Babies grow out of things so quickly that so many of these are barely used. If there are popular "must have" expensive items they can usually be nabbed for 1/3 or 1/2 the price.

For the larger items, higher end strollers, car seats (check for recalls), activity centers, play yards...anything that is expensive to ship is better found locally. Parents who are not planning on having any more kids could be selling them for a song. Again, some barely used. I personally look for a whole bunch of stuff from one person then offer a packaged price. Cash is the currency so be prepared to go to the ATM. 

5. Organic Baby Formula from Europe

If you are nursing, great. I did, but I also worked and then supplemented because my baby was on the big and hungry scale and I could not supply enough for his rapidly growing body. If you live in Europe or the UK, you are lucky and can find brands like Hipp and Holle at stores.

For those of us parents in the United States, there is only one US company that makes organic baby forumula that *isn't* a big pharmaceutical company. Sorry, Earth's Best is big pharma. You can get Baby's Only on Amazon if that's what you choose to do. I tried it, and General Ya Ya was fine with it but he was tooting and smelly and it didn't seem right. We switched to Hipp from Germany (about $20/box) and things felt more normal. This is especially important if you have a colicky baby because there are options outside of the US. Similac is evil big pharma and so disgusting and sticky compared to the smooth, silky, fine European formulas. The ingredients are gross too. Lots of research on that if you google. Not everyone can afford these options but being informed is half the battle. What you save on resale baby items, you can hopefully put in to your better quality formula budget.

Here's to parents and babies who don't have to break the bank or clutter the earth with trash in order to make growing up happy and healthy! Auctions for Free Stuff - An Introduction

A lot of the same general functions exist like the reputation system, auction bidding, paypal acceptance. What's different is that you bid with credits instead of money. And there are reputation and community features that aid in getting "experience points" or make your reputation look more legit. Examples:

  • Fanning a user: usually people do this when they see an auction they like, or someone they know
  • Commenting: Each auction has a commenting thread that is visible to the public. These are for asking questions to seller, telling them you are watching or fanned them, etc. It's a nice touch that makes it more friendlier than ebay.
  • Verification: By connecting your social networking sites, bank info and phone number, you look more like a legit person rather than a scammer.
  • Earning badges: You earn badges for selling, verifying, giving feedback, winning auctions, etc. See the complete list here:

I've only just joined and I wanted to experiment to see how it works over time, and build a group of Muffins/PRs on there to make it easier to post item details and track reputations.  This being, in part, the overall model of fLeesmarket to post goods available, but not house the auctions and payment process (there are already too many to choose from!).  So how does work?

1. Sign up:

3. Browse to bid or "get it now" / put an item up for auction as a "seller"

4. Wait, bid, refer friends and find out ways you can earn credits

Credits are used to bid on auctions. Here are ways to earn credits from a new account:

  • Watch the video tutorial
  • Connect your account with Facebook and Twitter, your phone # or bank account
  • Invite friends (referrals) and Send them gift credits
  • Complete special offers or make a purchase
  • Promote Listia on websites, blogs and forums
  • List auctions & become an active user

Below is an example of how I earned my first credits. Listed under "Credit Activity"

When you sell an item, you receive the winning bidder's credits. You can also use the Special Offers section and sign up for services like Netflix, as well as purcha$e credits as seen here: It is ~10c a credit.  

Why would you buy credits? Well, I've seen some expensive items go up for auction (example: a diamond wedding ring) and if you really want something, buying credits may be the only way to get enough credits to bid. Here is the current credit purchase offering at the time of this post.


    Does the listing offer international shipping? Maybe. You'll need to check each listing as it depends on the seller and that auction.  Here are some examples:


    Who should I buy from? Each user has a profile. Check each before you bid by clicking on their username.  Look for:

    • 100% Seller Rating
    • # of Auctions (this is a relatively new site so some may be low)
    • Account Verification badges (twitter, facebook, bank account, phone number)
    • # of Fans (somewhat of popularity contest but active users get more fans)
    • # of Badges (based on activity)

    To see what a top rated user looks like, see screenshots below or click on this profile:


    Who should I NOT buy from?

    • A new user that asks you to pay for shipping
    • A new user that has a deal that's too good to be true
    • Users who auction electronic versions (pdfs, mp3s, images, etc). These are done to get points and are not tangible items)
    • Users who give vague comments about their auctions or don't answer bidder's questions

    What the heck does GIN, NWT, etc mean? Good question.  GIN means "Get it Now" sort of like ebay's "Buy it Now".  There's an acronym glossary on ebay that's fairly universal with auction sites here:

      Free or to Low Cost (shipping)?

      Why do sellers ship for free? To earn points, make a listing more enticing or just because they have a few extra $ to spare.  As a seller, if you decide not to charge for shipping, there are caps on costs for standard items, pasted below, also listed here:

      • DVDs, CDs, VHS, Cassettes, Vinyl: max $3
      • Books: max $4
      • Video Games, Software, Computer Games: max $4
      • Jewelry: max $6

      fLeesmarket plans to use this for our giveaways, so please do sign up, even if you aren't ready to bid or sell.  Where do I sign up? Click on the banner below and thanks for reading our Listia introduction!


            P.S. If you read this intro and would like more tutorials on Listia, please <3 or leave a comment. We've got more info but need to know if these are helpful and worth everyone's time. Franks!