Post # 1
I’m starting my registry online and I’m running into a strange issue. Everything I’ve been recommended or read in Baby Bargains or something seems to come up lower than other models on safety ratings when I look it up on Consumer Reports. For example, the Graco Pack n Play seemed like a no-brainer until it turns out that the Chicco Lullaby actually gets much higer scores on safety, ease of use, portability, and bassinet. Same with the Britax convertible carseat- I thought that was an obvious choice, but it’s rated lower than the Evenflo Triumph.
I’m inclined to step away from the norm and go with the consumer reports recommendations; however, there has to be a reason why I hear such good thing about certain models/brands of things? What do you think? How did you decide??
Post # 3
One difference I know is that Consumer Reports only looks at certain predefined categories for each review, and those categories may or may not be the things YOU care about. For example, a big variable with strollers is whether they can stand on their own when folded, like if you’re waiting to board an airplane and your stroller won’t stand up and you’re juggling a baby plus luggage plus stroller. But CR doesn’t rate strollers based on whether they stand up on their own or not. I think you should probably look into the CR top picks, but then read reviews from real moms on those products too.
Post # 4
If I heard various feedback on something from friends, or read something different in Baby Bargains than I read elsewhere, I went with Consumer Reports’ recommendations; especially for the safety ratings. But I read their reasons too and figured out how much it applied to my situation. Sometimes things get safety ratings based on something that may not apply in your situation (i.e., they assume that you won’t use it correctly). It’s really more about understanding their reasoning than about just seeing what their rankings are.
Baby Bargains addresses why their ratings are different than Consumer Reports somewhere in the book. I don’t remember why they said they give different ratings from time to time, but it may help you figure out what expert you want to listen to.
Post # 5
ditto what @snmcdowell said. i would look at CR and online reviews of products, but also take advice from friends and family on what worked for them into account. also, visit stores and see what YOU like.
Post # 6
Some of the safety ratings for Consumer Reports were too much for me. For instance, one Pack N Play gets a higher safety rating because it has a bassinet with hidden clips so that older siblings cannot unclip them when the baby is in it. Well, if there is no older sibling, that’s a silly criteria! So we looked at what CR had to say, but usability was an equal priority for us. The new Graco convertible seat it highly rated for safety, for example, but weighs A TON because it is made of reinforced steel. There is no way I was going to buy that, no matter how safe it is. I couldn’t use it.
Check out the comments for why certain products received the ratings they did and check to see if that is something you need. If not, you may opt for a cheaper, “less safe,” but more usable product that you like.
Post # 7
Personally, I think we may hear good things by word of mouth about certain brands because they might be on the affordable side. Certain brands (like Graco) are all over the place, and by that virtue alone they’re going to be a little more well-known. Also, I would hazard a guess that most people don’t consult CR before they make a major purchase. If they did, they might be choosing differently.
We went almost exclusively with Consumer Reports, from our crib (Bonavita Peyton) to our playard (Chicco Lullaby) to our car seat (Chicco KeyFit 30). Where we diverted was with the stroller, and we got the Britax B-Ready with the bassinet during their Free Ride event.
I say go with whatever makes you feel comfortable.
Post # 8
Consumer Reports, to me, is very static.
Word of mouth is tried and true.
There is a fine line between what a company deems “safe” and what thousands of parents have used and like enough to tell you about. Personally, I give a lot more weight to what is on the lips of parents than a company.