When you’re shopping for a new baby, there are lots of choices out there, but not all baby products are created equal. Some are meant to stand the test of time, while others are more of a quick fix to be used in the short run. By shopping smart and investing a little more up front, you can expect more from your purchases. That might mean buying a sturdier brand that won’t need to be replaced, or it could mean buying something that grows with your baby, which will save you extra purchases down the road. Not only can this philosophy save you money in the long run, it means a whole lot less stuff going into the landfill!
Cribs: Although bassinets, cradles and co-sleepers may be convenient for the early months, most children end up in a crib eventually. So if you only want to buy one bed, that’s the one! A crib offers great longevity – especially if it has a toddler bed conversion kit or is a multi-stage solution like the Stokke Sleepi, which is a bassinet, crib and toddler bed all in one!
Changing Tables: Changing tables are built to provide a safe, convenient and comfortable space for diaper changes. However, except for the creative minded that convert them into shelves, most people toss or pass on a changing table after the diaper stage. On the other hand, a dresser/changer combination unit — essentially a 3- or 4-drawer dresser with a changing tray and contoured changing pad — may be a bigger investment up front, but the tray can be removed so you can continue using the dresser for years to come.
Gliders/Rocking Chairs: A chair in the nursery is ideal for nursing and bottle-feeding. And with the right investment, it can also live on as a favorite chair for story-time and even transition into another room long after the nursery stage. If you’re making this long-term investment, make sure the chair is a good fit for both you and your space, has a nice, high back for extra support, offers soothing motion for rocking your little one to sleep, and is made from extra-durable materials. Check out our Verona and Tuscany chairs for two great options.
Car Seats: Many parents are surprised to learn that there are three stages of car seats: infant, toddler, and booster seats. However, you can save a purchase by getting a convertible seat that covers more than one stage. For the ultimate in convertibility, check out the Maxi Cosi Pria 70 Air, which covers all three stages!
Strollers: Not only can you get a stroller that evolves from a bassinet to an everyday stroller, many single strollers like the Vista now offer multiple-child solutions, as well. Which means that if you’re planning ahead and investing wisely, your stroller may offer a wider variety of multi-use options so you don’t have to double up on gear.
High Chairs: A high chair can be one of the most-used items a parent will buy – after all, three meals a day plus snacks adds up to a lot of mileage! A family can get even more use from a high chair like the Tripp Trapp that’s tested to a higher weight capacity and converts into a toddler, youth, and adult chair. Look for this multi-stage function for extra longevity.
Monitors: A baby monitor is a must-have for any parent who wants to be able to go about their day while their baby naps, even if it’s just a simple audio monitor. But choosing a video monitor like the BabyTouch gives you better longevity by letting you keep an eye on your toddler from another room — which is especially handy if he or she has learned to be stealthy. The MobiCam Digital DXR can even be used as nanny cams for extra utility.
Diaper Pails: Some brands only work for diapers, but if you want to spend a little extra you can get a stainless steel pail like the VIPP that seals in the smell and will do double duty as a regular garbage can when you’re done using it in the nursery.