Baby Bargains, Baby 411 & Toddler 411 Review and a Giveaway!

When a friend of mine found out she was pregnant a few months back, she asked me for book recommendations. The very first thing I thought of for a newly expectant mama was Baby Bargains by Denise and Alan Fields. That thing was like a bible for me throughout my pregnancy in the midst of preparing for registering, nursery prep and any question involving what my baby might need.

I began to think about other great books that I could tell her about and thought about Baby 411, also by Denise Fields who this time partnered with Dr. Ari Brown. “Hmmmmmmm. This sounds like it would be a fun review and giveaway for Mama Say What?!” I thought. I was positive that other mamas would find them as helpful as I did. I asked Fields and Brown if they’d be willing to send me a copy of Toddler 411 so I could review all three books and they quickly agreed! (I wish when I was pregnant, I had known about their Expecting 411!)

All three books are written in a very similar style – they’re funny and they’re real. Fields and Brown have a really great way of telling it like it is. Sugar coating will get you nowhere! I think I have similar parenting styles as these two mamas so I could definitely relate and agree with a lot of the advice they gave. Even if your parenting style is different from the “mainstream” (and I don’t think any mama fits into a cookie-cutter style 100% of the time), Fields and Brown yield thoughtful advice with a twist of humor that is never disrespectful or unkind to those who don’t share their opinion.

Baby Bargains is a unique book in that it compares and gives short reviews for EVERYTHING baby-product related that is out on the market. Pee-pee Tee-pee? Pass. It’s a waste of money. A crotch-dangler baby carrier? That gets an F in their book. Better to invest in an ergonomic soft-sided carrier that will better support mama and baby. How much is a Maxi Cosi car seat going to set you back? They’ll let you know. How many onesies of each size will a new mama need? No worries, they’ll tell you.

Baby Bargains has over a dozen chapters for every baby category you could imagine registering for. Feeding, Safety, Maternity Clothes, Strollers, Bedding, Baby Carriers, etc. For each category, they break down the top three or eight or 15 items and rate them on a letter grade scale, A+ to F. They’ll tell you what they think of each item paying special attention to safety and comfort.

As the title indicates, there are many parts of the book that are dedicated to helping you save some money while shopping for baby. They list helpful websites and money saving tips as well as tell you what you should get second hand and what baby items are simply not necessary. They have some great charts that compare the top baby brands in different categories which makes comparing several different brands very easy. After they rate items in each category they choose three and tell you what’s “The Best”, “Better” and “Good.”

Baby 411 and Toddler 411 are written in a similar question and answer style. Baby 411 I got just before my first-born arrived and I referred to it every 18 minutes in the first year (or so it felt).

Toddler 411 was the book that was sent to me to include in this review and it came at the perfect time. Our older son was diagnosed with autism when he was 15 months old, so his toddler years weren’t typical and Toddler 411 wouldn’t have been as helpful to me. However, when I received the book, our younger son was nearing one-and-a-half years old and was starting to become his own little person. I had so many questions; most of which ended with “Is this normal???”  

Broken up into chapters like Discipline, Milestones, Toilet Training, Challenges and Sleep, Toddler 411’s 19 chapters have already given me some peace of mind. I’ve pretty much read it cover to cover, but have also used the index to refer to specific topics as they come up.

So a quick review:

Baby Bargains

  • Will review in detail everything you ever thought about buying or registering for
  • Gives tips and pointers on how to save money when preparing for baby
  • Compares top-brand items in easy to read charts
  • Gives good, better, best ratings for the top 3 brands in each category

Baby 411 and Toddler 411

  • Question and answer format
  • Comprehensive answer and advice in any category you could possibly think of when it comes to babies and toddlers
  • Includes helpful tips, red flags, charts, graphs and “reality checks”
  • Baby 411 covers topics like labor, breastfeeding, solid foods, sleep, vaccines, diseases and weaning
  • Toddler 411 covers topics like the terrible two’s, picky eaters, toilet training tips, baby proofing and preschool

Denise Fields and Dr. Ari Brown have been so generous to give away one of their books to TWO lucky Mama Say What?! readers! The winner(s) will have their choice of a new copy of Expecting 411, Baby Bargains, Baby 411 or Toddler 411. Enter below and good luck!

Entrants must complete the first three entries to win. Entrants must be 18 years of age or older. Must reside in the USA. Contest begins on Wednesday, October 29th and ends on Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 at 11:59 PST. Winner must respond within 48 hours of being chosen. Please check your inbox or spam folder for an email from giveaways@mamasaywhat.com or maryellen@mamasaywhat.com

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9 Responses to Baby Bargains, Baby 411 & Toddler 411 Review and a Giveaway!

  1. I borrowed a friend’s copy of Baby Bargains when I was pregnant the first time. All the decisions make preparation for a little one daunting! Baby Bargains was a life saver. Could really use some guidance now as we are in the midst of toddler craziness!

  2. Toddler 411 is my top choice!

  3. I’d pick Baby Bargains!

  4. I already have Baby Bargains, so I’ll pick Baby 411!

  5. Toddler 411!

  6. Toddler 411!!

  7. Baby bargains is a great book! Found it by accident and it is such a help for a new expectant mom/dad. I’m sure the Baby 411 would really help us also.

  8. Baby 411 would probably be my number 1 choice!

  9. Toddler 411 would be great to have!

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