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When you’re pregnant, it’s tough to figure out what your baby’s needs will be. I remember going through aisles and pages and checklists trying to decide which product was best. And whether or not “more expensive” means “higher quality”.
Two children later, I’m no expert and I don’t claim to be. But I do have some experience with what does and doesn’t work, and I’m happy to pass on that experience if it’s helpful for other mamas out there. Also I will probably get some disagreement on some of these points, which is totally fine.
Finally, “splurging” means different price points to different people. I’m giving our recommendations, which might be mid-range to some, and too high for others. I guess if there’s anything you gain, hopefully it will be help discerning where you should spend more money if you can.
Car Seat – Hopefully it will never have to prove its worth. But just in case…it is one thing that many recommend getting new. We love our Britax B-Safe, which we used with both boys, and now our Britax Boulevard (see review here). Honestly, I wouldn’t even consider those major splurges, but they are probably at a middle level as far as pricing goes.
Crib – Again, for me this is something I wanted to get new, for my own peace of mind. We really like Da Vinci cribs – this is the one we ended up with.
Rocker – This is something I will tell anyone: a good rocker is like gold. We got our wingback recliner from Pottery Barn Kids, and for the first month or so, I slept in ours. And it was wonderfully comfortable. It almost made up for having to get up every few hours. (Almost!)
Stroller – They definitely earn their keep. A good one folds easily and can handle the abuse. BUT to be fair, I think with these you can definitely find good quality secondhand ones. We did buy a new one for our first (again, Britax), but our second was a double stroller given to us by a family not using theirs anymore, and it works so well for us. (Here’s a similar one.)
Carrier – So valuable, especially if you have other littles running around. To protect your back, try out a few – and then try them again when your baby arrives! We have the Ergobaby, which turned out to be the best for us with both kids, for me and for them. I do wish I’d been able to try the Ergobaby 360 – it has the most options for positioning.
Diaper Bag – Yeah, I said it. Take it from someone who bought six diaper bags in her first year of motherhood. Find yourself a good quality one and use the mess out of that thing.
Diapers and Wipes – This is different for everyone, based on preference and what works. Honestly, we typically go with Pampers because we like them the most. But I have found a lot of the less expensive brands do a great job of protecting, too, if you would prefer to save on these.
Bedding and Changing Pad Covers – With the amount of times they get stained and dirty, please trust me when I say to go cheap and get many options. There are lots of cute, inexpensive prints and styles.
Changing Tables – We ended up getting an inexpensive version from Costco that does the trick. And it doesn’t last for long enough to, for me, make it worth a huge investment.
Diaper Pails – I might get some flack for this, but we have always used a regular trash can. Trash bags are less expensive and less complicated than diaper pail refills, from what I’ve seen. Go for a step trash can with a lid that closes (not a revolving one).
Swings – I know, I know, people swear by the fancy infant seats. Make sure you check their weight restrictions, though. Some of them don’t last very long. I do advocate for swings in general, because you just can’t always hold your baby! But try secondhand or less expensive options on this one. This one looks comfy and simple, and we have had a great experience with Graco.
What are your thoughts on these or other baby products? Do you have any recommendations?