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Oh Baby! Parents-to-be Overwhelmed by Must-Have Products

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RALEIGH — Planning for a new baby in your home can be more labor intensive than planning a wedding. There are thousands of products on the market that were not available to parents 20 years ago. The question is, what do you really need and what can you do without?

"I think we stood at the front of the store and just looked around for about 10 minutes and tried to figure out what we were going to do," says Maria Phillips, a first-time mother-to-be.

Getting ready to welcome a little one into your home is no small task.

It can be overwhelming coming to a baby store when you are a first-time parent. The key is to do your research and make sure you only buy what you really need.

New parents need advice on all sorts of baby gear from baby monitors and high chairs...

"Most of the companies are going with your plastic type and vinyl covering so it's easy to clean," says an employee at a local baby superstore.

...to cribs.

"They all meet the federal safety standards that we have," says the clerk.

With help from store employees, Phillips chooses a less complicated and less expensive stroller.

"I didn't need to have extended arms and some of the other features that were on here because they were just more money, and it wasn't going to benefit me. I liked the way this one worked out better," she says of the one she decided to buy.

"It takes a couple trips coming in here to figure out what you need, especially being a first-time parent," says store manager Lee Allen.

Martha Michaux has two toddlers and a baby on the way. As a veteran mom, she is a resource to friends who need advice.

"There's just a lot of stuff out there they want you to buy that's very unnecessary and fills up your house very quickly," she says.

Michaux suggests shopping for baby gear with a mother who knows what you really need.

"Don't get caught up in all the hype, go for the necessary things. If anything, take your mother with you. She'll know best what's necessary and what they didn't have then," she says.

Most baby stores have a list of suggestions to get parents-to-be started. It is important to make a list of necessary items early on so that you do not end up impulse buying at the last minute.


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