6 Baby Items You Should Actually Splurge On
And 5 where it’s fine to go cheapo
You’ve got a bundle of joy on the way, and everyone keeps telling you to rest up. Instead, you’re up all night funneling your mom-to-be anxieties into compulsively trolling the web for miracle baby gear. Look, we’ve been down this road. It’s bumpy. So yes, you might need a $500 stroller with air-filled tires to help you along…or not. Read on for our advice on when to shell out and when to save those precious pennies for college--or (gasp) something for yourself.
If you live in a city and run errands on foot, a big basket and a smooth push are musts. If you live in the ’burbs and won’t be shopping during your walks, make sure your little one keeps snoozing with air- or foam-filled tires that ride like a dream.
Baby Jogger ($199)
Scrimp: High Chair
This thing is going to get pureed food mashed into every crevice. Just make sure the tray is easy to remove and wash and you’re not going to trip over huge legs sticking out all over your kitchen.
Splurge: Car Seat
This is an important one. In addition to the top-of-line safety features, your infant car seat should have cushy padding, a comfortable handle that won’t dig into the crook of your arm, the ability to snap onto your stroller base and--this is important--a big sun shade.
Buy one or two special onesies for photo ops, and take hand-me-downs or go cheap on the rest. With blowouts and spit-ups, you could go through several a day, and your baby will grow so fast.
Splurge: Baby Toiletries
Good diaper cream can save you from diaper rash hell, and a bottle of gentle organic baby wash lasts for a loooong time.
You’ll be using that bassinet, co-sleeper or play yard for a super short amount of time in the grand scheme of things. (Assuming your kid even decides to sleep in there at all.) There are lots of great options for under $100.
Splurge: Blackout Shades
Anything to promote sleep. Anything.
The Shade Store ($146)
Scrimp: Bottle Sanitizer
You’re not going to do that. We promise. (But if you must, pick a cheapie that goes in the microwave.)
Splurge: Baby Carrier
First you’ll want the wrap kind, then you’ll want the more structured kind. The point is: Assuming you like having use of your hands, you’ll probably wear this thing every single day.
For hundreds of dollars, you can get a plug-in bouncer that practically simulates a roller-coaster ride. For a little less, you can get a soft, quiet one that the baby bounces himself (pretty cool, actually). And for even less, you can get the tacky one in the garish colors with the dangling plastic animals. That’s the one your kid really wants.
Get the Mac Daddy glider. The extra-comfortable one that also swivels and reclines. And if you’re breastfeeding, put it somewhere where you can watch The Tonight Show on Hulu for hours on end. (You can sell it later when you need the space for Legos.)
Monte Design ($1,195)