Today’s Hint: An Easier Way to Get Baby Gear Recs from Friends

When I was pregnant and figuring out which baby gear to get, I spent hours interviewing my friends and checking out their online baby registries, compiling their product choices and recommendations into a messy Microsoft Word “gear list” document that today probably only I can understand.

Here’s some good news: If baby gear decision making is on your horizon or to-do list, you luckily won’t have to rely on the same haphazard and time consuming information gathering and recording process that I used. Today’s hint is an easier and quicker way to get baby gear recs from your friends: A one-year Web site called weeSpring.

The site is the brainchild of Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Allyson Downey, who was inspired to create weeSpring after “having a meltdown at Babies R Us” when faced with all the choices involved in picking baby gear. She returned home and began emailing her friends for gear advice, realizing in the process that there had to be a better way for amassing such information than an email inbox and Excel.

“Anytime someone’s using an Excel document to manage their life, you know that’s an area that’s ripe for disruption,” says Ms. Downey in this DailyWorth piece.

Enter weeSpring, “a social review site for parents,” where you can browse baby gear reviews from your Facebook friends, getting their take on which items they’ve loved and which they’ve regretted purchasing.

As it’s only a year old, the site is still building up its user base so your friends may not be on it yet (only three of my 650 Facebook friends are currently using it). Still, there’s a good chance more of my (and your) Facebook friends will be using it soon.

The site already has more than 75,000 reviews, including 29 so far from me (you can follow me on weeSpring here), and has been receiving positive reviews itself. For instance, “new parents, bookmark this website,” declared Mashable back in June, and Red Tricycle included weeSpring in its roundup of “the best baby sites for new and expecting parents.”

Even if your Facebook friends aren’t on weeSpring yet, you can still see tons of reviews from, and follow, other parents, as well as browse the site by product, by product popularity and by users’ must-have product “weeLists.” And you can add your own reviews, and invite your friends to join.

So how does weeSpring make money? Currently, the site offers monthly subscription services for brands that allow the brands to frame their content on the site (examples include Crane and Naturepedic). Other revenue strategies are in the works, but Ms. Downey says “brands will never be able to influence reviews.”

Don’t have a Facebook account? While weeSpring strongly encourages using Facebook to sign in so you can see your friends’ recommendations, you can also join with an email account.

To be sure, you may not want to rely on your friends’ advice alone when choosing gear. The book Baby Bargains, which has very detailed product reviews from professional baby gear reviewers, is also a helpful resource to consult.

Check out weeSpring and let me know what you think of the site, and my product reviews, below. What are your favorite picking baby gear tips?

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