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12 Best Baby Products of 2014 [Plus Buy-It-Now Prices]

Each year I ask Baby Cheapskate which baby products made their lives easier that year. Thank you for your responses!

Here are the 12 great baby products that are tops with BC readers. I’ve linked to each product at Amazon or elsewhere so that you can find out more about it.

You’ll also find Buy-It-Now prices on the list.“Buy It Now” prices are what I consider “very good” prices on the item. They’re the best sale prices you can expect to find fairly regularly, based on records of previous sales. Don’t confuse these with the “lowest price ever” price. You may be able to  beat this price if you happen onto a unusually great sale.

The List

12 Best Baby Products of 2014 [Plus Buy-It-Now Prices]

The items are listed in order of popularity. This year’s list features some old favorites as well as some new items. The Rock n Play, Nosefrieda, Ergo, and Aden + Anais blankets are multi-year performers, showing up repeatedly on BC’s Best Of lists since 2010.

See previous years’ lists:

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Get Organized! A Baby Cheapskate Guide to Frugal and Fabulous Toy Storage

Get Organized! A Baby Cheapskate Guide to Frugal and Fabulous Toy StorageEnjoy this “reprint” of a popular BC post:

My husband and I figured we’d be parents whose houses would never be overrun by toys and whose child would enjoy a well-edited assortment of aesthetically pleasing, educational, and mostly silent playthings. {insert rueful laughter here} Let’s just blame what really happened on generous, if not so disciplined relatives.

What starts out as an infant’s small collection of rattles and lovey bears so easily snowballs into mounds of plastic play food, Hot Wheels, construction toys, and puzzle pieces. If you’re like us, you ask yourself, what do we do with it all? And how do we do it frugally?

Looking at the toy storage photos submitted last week by Baby Cheapskate readers (view the entire album), we see a two major similarities. The most prevalent is the use of bins, baskets and boxes to corral smaller items rather than a large toy box (though some families do use toy boxes along with bins). The other is the use of furniture that isn’t specifically made for toys, but that can be reused and repurposed for years to come in various rooms of the house.

Bins, boxes and baskets allow you to keep small and medium-sized toys together. Some parents also like them because they allow them to rotate toys available to their child so that they’re not always playing with the same thing. Deep bins are good for keeping toys out of sight when they’re put away, while shallow bins allow young kids to see what they have and easily reach the toys they want.

Bins, boxes and baskets can come from your own closets, from the dollar store, or from the thrift store. They don’t have to cost much at all. Get creative! One reader picked up trash cans from the dollar store to fit inside an IKEA Expedit storage unit (top right). Collapsable leaf bins make great stuffed animal storage and can even double as toddler “tunnels” (right). Plastic milk crates, see-through bins, and even laundry baskets can hold larger toys. Even old suitcases can become toy storage pieces (left) that close and slide right under the couch and out of sight at the end of the day. Even shoe boxes and other product boxes can be put to good use.

For super-bonus organizer points, affix labels with photos or the names of the toys to the bins they belong in!

Multipurpose shelving and storage. To really stretch your storage dollar, create storage solutions that you’ll be able to use long after Mr. Potato Head has been put away. This doesn’t necessarily mean investing $200 in a big IKEA Expedit unit (though they look great); the most frugal toy storage idea submitted by our readers didn’t require buying a thing. The family simply turned a closet into dedicated toy storage that they can shut the door on at the end of the day (right). Others surrendered their media center or built-ins to the worthy cause of toy organization. Another family used vintage wooden peach crates to create their own version of cubicle storage. Super frugal thrift store and Craigslist finds submitted by readers include a $10 handmade wooden cabinet (love the green!) and a vintage trunk (left).

A few considerations before you commit to a particular organizational system:

  • Get out a tape measure and a notepad and survey the toys your child currently has. Are they mostly small (LEGO, Hot Wheels, plastic figures, etc.), large (Pound a Pegs, Ride Ons, Giant Stuffed Bears), or some of each? Are they mostly rectangular (board games, puzzles) or irregularly sized? Craft a storage system that will keep all they toys tidy, regardless of size. Make sure the shelving you choose is tall and wide enough for the toys you want to put on it. If you look at the submitted photos, you’ll see that many of the units have a variety of storage solutions–an area for puzzles, an area for trucks, an area that allows access to small toys, an area for stuffed animals, etc.
  • Consider your lifestyle. If your child plays in your main living area, it makes sense to create storage there rather than hauling toys to and from a playroom or bedroom. And if so, how important is it for you to minimize the presence of toys in your main living area? If you want them completely out of site, you’ll want to opt for deep bins or cabinets rather than open shelving.
  • Picture your child as a teenager. Can you imagine use for your storage unit or shelving then? If your storage unit is going to stick around, invest in a piece that suits your decor or that can fit in a pantry or basement. If you know it’s temporary, it’s fine to choose inexpensive “kiddie” stuff.
  • Make sure your toy storage solution leaves some breathing room for future toy “expansion,” because, yep, most likely your child will have even more toys than she does now!

Readers, what are your best “frugal toy storage” tips?

cover photo contributed by BC reader Shannon

This post may contain affiliate links. See BC's disclosure policy for more info.

50% Off These LeapFrog Toys at Amazon

[expired] Amazon has a bunch of popular and highly rated LeapFrog toys priced at 50% off right now. Many are at their lowest price ever there:
Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 12.02.00 PM

  • LeapFrog Scribble and Write: 50% off at $11
  • LeapFrog Shapes And Sharing Picnic Basket: 50% off at $11
  • LeapFrog Sing and Play Farm: 50% off at $10
  • LeapFrog Chat and Count Smart Phone, Green: 50% off at $7.50
  • LeapFrog My Own Leaptop (Frustration Free Packaging): 50% off at $12.50
  • LeapFrog My Pal Scout: 50% off at $12.50
  • More

See them all here.

See more Cyber Monday deals.

This post may contain affiliate links. See BC's disclosure policy for more info.

41% to 60% Off Hasbro Toys & Games [My Little Pony, FurReal Friends, More]

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 8.56.39 AM[expired] Amazon’s Deal of the Day today is up to 50% off Hasbro toys and games. The toys range from 41% off to 60% off.

65 toys and games are included– Easy Bake Oven, My Little Pony, Nerf, FurReal Friends, and more.

See more Cyber Monday deals.

This post may contain affiliate links. See BC's disclosure policy for more info.

50% to 72% Off Digital Cameras for Kids Today

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 8.44.34 AM[expired] Digital cameras and camcorders for kids are 50% to 72% off at Amazon today. Chosoe from Frozen, TMNT, Spider Man, Hello Kitty and more. It’s Amazon’s Deal of the Day.

The cameras are mostly $13.99 and the camcorders at $28.99.

These cameras are made by Sakar/Vivitar. Most of them are brand new, so they don’t have many ratings yet.

See more Cyber Monday deals.

This post may contain affiliate links. See BC's disclosure policy for more info.

40% Off Regular-Priced Styles and Free Shipping at Lands End Today

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 8.28.18 AMHere’s an uncommonly good deal from Lands End online

Get 40% off regular-priced styles with coupon code CYBER and PIN 1234 today.

Shipping is free today, too.

See more Cyber Monday deals.

This post may contain affiliate links. See BC's disclosure policy for more info.

40% Off at Gap and Old Navy Today [Plus Big Sale]

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 8.18.51 AM[expired] Take a whopping 40% off your order at Gap.com and OldNavy.com today only with coupon code CYBER.

MANY items are already on sale, too. This Toddler girls’ coat, for example, is over half off at $18 after the coupon code at Old Navy.

Excludes First Favorites and 3rd party merchandinse at Gap and Everyday Steals at Old Navy. See sites for full details.

Free shipping when you spend $50 or more.

See more Cyber Monday deals.

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50% Off and Free Shipping at Ruum.com Today Only

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 8.14.03 AM[expired] Coupon code THANKYOU gets you 50% off kids’ clothes and shoes at Ruum.com today only.

Shipping is free on all orders, too.

See more Cyber Monday deals.

 

This post may contain affiliate links. See BC's disclosure policy for more info.

50% off and Free Shipping at Gymboree [Cyber Monday Deal]

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 8.01.40 AM[expired] The whole site’s 50% off for Cyber Monday at Gymboree.com. No coupon code necessary.

Shipping is free on all orders, too.

See more Cyber Monday deals.

This post may contain affiliate links. See BC's disclosure policy for more info.