Baby Products You Will Use the Longest
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Baby products are high on my shopping list right now as we prepare for our second baby girl. We are lucky in that she is due the same month, actually the same week, as my daughter was born. We already have tons of clothes in the right size as well as other baby products that we saved. There are a few things, of course, that I would like to purchase for the new baby. I have determined a few baby items that we need duplicates of because we are still using them for my daughter and there are also a few things that I would like to purchase as “nice to have” products.
If you have more than one child, I am sure you already know this, but I am starting to realize just how cost effective having another child is going to be for all the baby products we invested in the first time around. And since we plan on having more than two children, I am hoping to re-use many of these items again. Perhaps we will find multiple children to not be so cost effective down the road, but I will cross that bridge when we get to it and I think I will be able to find some cost savings at those stages as well.
As I reviewed the items we already have and what I think we need or would like to have, I came up with a list of baby products that you will use the longest even with one child. These items will be your best investment in my opinion and it could not hurt to spend a little extra on them if you are comparing multiple different products and their prices. There are still a lot of items not on this list that I would recommend for babies, but they won’t necessarily last you the longest or through multiple children. Many of these are larger items anyway and can be a little pricier, but we really did use them a lot longer than I originally thought we would with our first daughter.
Crib and Crib Mattress
This is definitely a personal preference for some as I know that many parents co-sleep or switch to a toddler bed much earlier than others. We were gifted a beautiful crib from Pottery Barn and I have loved it from day one. It does not convert to a bed like many cribs do, but since we were always planning on having kids close together, this was not something we were interested in. Our daughter did not even sleep in it for the first few months, but has every night for over a year now and will continue to do so at least for a few more months. This crib should last us through any and all kids we have so I would say it is well worth the price (even if we did not have to pay for this one).
We did not put too much thought into a crib mattress, but the one we have seems to be pretty well balanced in that it is not too firm or too soft. I recently learned that many crib mattresses now have an infant and a toddler side. Definitely something to look into if you are in the market for one.
Changing Table Pad
We use our changing table every single day. Our daughter’s bedroom is on the same floor that we mostly hang out on so we bring her to her room to change her diaper 99% of the time. I noticed the other day that the pad is getting a little “bent” in the middle and I am not sure what is causing that, but it is still perfectly functional and something that we will be able to use at least for our next child. The one we bought was not too expensive, so we could easily upgrade if we needed to.
If nothing else, I HIGHLY recommend investing in a nice rocker or chair for the nursery. Ours is from BuyBuyBaby and while I cannot find it on their site anymore, it is extremely similar (but was about half the price) as this one from Pottery Barn. It rocks, reclines, and swivels, and looks nice enough that we could use it in our living room some day if we wanted. I used it for the first few months EVERY night for night feedings. I actually preferred getting out of my bed and taking her into the nursery to feed her because it was so comfortable. We still use it every day to read books in and rock before bed. It is probably the most comfortable piece of sitting furniture in our house. We are going to move it into our room for the first few months with the next baby so that I can still benefit from the comforts of the chair without worrying about disturbing a sleeping toddler for night feedings.
Monitor and Noise Machine
These are two more nursery items that we still use every day and probably will for years to come. As a new mom, I was sure there was no way I would need to invest in a video monitor. I was completely wrong. We used the sound only monitor for the first 8 months or so and it was fine because we would just go pick our daughter up and tend to her needs without question for the first 6 months or so. Once she got a little older and I realized that not every noise meant she was awake or needed me, I started to stress because I could not easily see her to see what she was actually doing in her crib. I ended up scoring a decent video monitor used (except ours is not in color), and I have never looked back. It does not have all the bells and whistles like wifi capability, zooming, or ability to move the camera remotely, but it works just fine for us. I would definitely do your research for this item and decide what features you can and cannot live without.
We did not have a noise machine besides a small stuffed animal that would turn off after 45 minutes or so for a long time. Once E started sleeping through the night and being more aware of her surroundings, we bought a Dohm sound machine and I love it. I secretly want one for myself! Both of these items are must haves to bring along when we travel as well.
This is also an item that I just assumed we would not need. We had an older one that works okay, but not great, that we ended up putting in the nursery. I have since bought myself one and am looking to get a new one for the nursery this time around. They are so useful in the dry winter months as well as when your baby has a cold – it is wonderful for helping them to breathe easier! There are tons of options out there, so choose one based on reviews and less about cuteness for the nursery 🙂
While I may not have the most expensive or coolest stroller around, it has been extremely good to me over the past almost-two years. I have the Graco stroller that came with an infant car seat and base. The best part about it are the wheels. It is technically a jogging stroller, and while I do not jog, I highly recommend getting a stroller with all-terrain wheels just because it is so much easier to maneuver and you can go “off-roading” with it. Size-wise, it really is not too much bulkier than the strollers with the normal wheels. Another perk was that it came with the infant car seat and base included in the price. I do not love the car seat that it came with, but you will see below that we invested in a convertible seat after a few months anyway.
While you still want your baby to be in an infant car seat that is highly rated for safety, I do not think it is worth investing in a super expensive one. They are definitely convenient for the first few months when you can carry them in and out of the car while they are sleeping, but eventually, I think they are just too annoying and uncomfortable (for mom AND baby). Plus, since they eventually expire, you can’t usually use them for more than two kids. We invested in a convertible car seat when E was about six months old and I noticed a huge difference in her demeanor in the car. We chose the Maxi-Cosi as an average priced but well-rated seat. It is easy to install, very cushiony (read: comfortable), and the fabric breathes a little more than the infant car seat for those hot summer days.
This is another piece of “furniture” that I think has been very useful to use over the past two years. Our daughter slept in the pack ‘n play in our room for the first 4-5 months of her life. First in the little bassinet part and then in the crib itself. We still use it to this day when we travel. She is just now getting to be a little tall for it when she is sleeping, but that is fine since we will start using it daily again very soon!
If you are at all intrigued by the idea of cloth diapering, I say go for it! While it is definitely an investment upfront, the cost savings (especially with multiple kids) can be huge. With diapers, you are basically paying for trash. If you want to learn more about how to get started or the different options, check out my post I wrote about getting started with cloth diapering.
While not necessarily a huge investment, I would definitely not hesitate to purchase lots of burp cloths. I have used these like crazy in the newborn days and even now when my daughter is sick or I need to cover something up in the case of spills. Most of the brands are soft and durable – can never have enough of these!
I seriously love the Aden and Anais swaddles. While they are a little harder to use with a newborn because they are larger, I was still able to make them work along with some smaller swaddle blankets that I had. I used these to swaddle my daughter in some form or another for 7 months. They also work great as lightweight blankets for the stroller or the car or even a quick nursing cover in a pinch. The quality is also wonderful even after so many washings and I will be able to use them all again this time around.
This is another one of those items that are very particular to your lifestyle and space in your house. I think high chairs are definitely necessary and can last you a long time – most kids I know that are my daughter’s age still use theirs. We went a little bit of a different route with this one. We bought a travel high chair which we LOVE and used that for a long time, even at home, while my husband refinished the wooden high chair his grandfather passed down to us. E used that for a long time until recently when we thought she might be more interested in sitting at the actual table with us, so we bought a booster chair. My point is, that whatever you decide to buy, you will probably need some sort of high chair/booster chair for a few years, so definitely do your research. There are lots of models that grow with your child from infant to booster chair.
Baby Products I Would Not Invest Tons of Money In
I think that everyone has their preferences when it comes to what was worth the money they spent on baby items. Especially in those first few weeks, there might be some product that people swear by, even if you only use it for a couple months or so. I think everyone can agree though that toys and clothes are two categories that you should not spend an extravagant amount of money in.
Kids go through so many stages with their toys. It is always better to look at consignment stores or sales or Facebook yardsale groups for toys. Most of them are plastic and can be easily cleaned and disinfected. Some of the softer toys that are made for infants may be better to buy new if you are worried about cleanliness, but after that, I would not hesitate to buy used. You will never know what toys your kid will really like or how long they will play with it for. Plus, they have no idea whether it is new or not!
We have bought almost no new clothes for our daughter. We were given hand-me-downs to use which is awesome and I have bought the majority of the rest of her wardrobe through a large consignment sale that happens in our area twice a year. Clothes can always be washed and many clothes have only been worn once or twice – especially in the infant size. We do have new clothes that are usually gifted to us by family and I love getting new stuff, but if you are in the market to save money, this is definitely one of those categories where you can do so successfully.
These are the items that I am glad we invested (and did not invest) in now that we have a second child on the way. I will definitely be buying a few more items for this second baby that have been recommended to me or that I think would be nice to have, but overall I am so glad that we have the majority of the items we need already.