The world of baby gear can be intimidating and overwhelming when you’re preparing to welcome your first little one into the world. Every person will tell you different products you HAVE to have, and then there are the hundreds of different brands and styles to choose from when you finally decide what you want to purchase. It’s especially difficult to navigate if you’re trying to live with a fewer-but-better mentality.
When we got pregnant with Isla, we knew we had to be smart about the items we purchased, because we live in 700 square feet and could only fit so many gadgets into our space before it became too cramped. I decided early on that I would rather invest in high-quality pieces that could grow with our family from the beginning, rather than having to upgrade as we go.
Keep in mind, every family and every baby is different, and so priorities and needs will vary. Be wary of anything that tells you that one product is the end-all-be-all. I have baby gear that I swear saved my sanity when Isla was born, but those same products didn’t work for many of my friends, and they have completely different things that worked wonders for them.
Some ways to save on investment pieces:
- If there are specific baby items that are on your wishlist but are out of your budget, try searching for them on eBay or Facebook Marketplace. I found our $150 baby food maker on Facebook for $35, and our $300 crib mattress for $45. When using Facebook Marketplace, I usually broaden the search to 100 miles (sometimes more). If I find something that will save me a few hundred dollars, the drive to get it is almost always worth it for me.
- Another tip to get quality baby gear at a lower price is to purchase an older model. Many stroller brands sell the previous year’s models at steep discounts. We purchased the 2018 model of our Silver Cross stroller, and it was less than half the price of their current model, and we absolutely love it.
- Buy Buy Baby has an open box section in their stores, and it is magical. We quite serendipitously found our car seat in their open box section, and we paid $160 for a $400 product. Like I said, magical.
So with all of that being said, here are some of my favorite baby items that we’ll be able to use for years to come:
There are many wonderful stroller brands out there, but one of the big reasons why we chose our Silver Cross stroller was because it truly comes with everything, from a cup holder to mosquito nets to car seat adaptors. I love that we won’t have to worry about purchasing anything as our family grows and that this stroller will hold two children with no additional pieces. Take a peek at their outlet section for discounted models.
These bottles have to be one of my very favorite baby items. We have two of them, and that’s it. We’ve used them since Isla was an infant & we now use them with their bottle handle & as sippy cups with their straw attachment. They are seriously leak-proof, and I love that they’ve been able to grow with her without taking up tons of space in our cabinets.
While I loved our Babybjorn mini carrier (I’m a sucker for the pretty dusty rose color it comes in) I have to admit that I wish we had purchased this one from the get-go. Both of my Babybjorn carriers have been so comfortable (I’m talking hours of wearing a 25lb child comfy), and because this one allows you to wear your child on your back, you can use it from birth till three years old!
Living in a small apartment means that we depend on our white noise machine for every nap & bedtime. This one is small enough to travel everywhere but works so well in our home as well. We just plug it into the wall & use it for Isla’s naps, then unplug it and take it with us when we’re on the go.
When I talk about baby products that saved my sanity, this one is at the top of the list. I bought all the prettiest muslin swaddles when I was pregnant, and then on day 4 of her wiggling out of them and waking herself up in the process, we purchased this one and it completely saved us when it came to her sleeping. I love that this one unzips to allow you to use it as a sleep sack when they get old enough to transition.
I lived with my feeding pillow on my lap for the first several months of Isla’s life. It’s at the top of my list of things that I wish I had packed in my hospital bag. But let’s face it, most feeding pillows are pretty unsightly and get tossed out as soon as they aren’t used. I love that this pillow is functional but beautiful enough to be used in Isla’s room as she grows. Bonus – It’s on sale right now!