It is easy to fall prey to the fantastic marketing on baby products and truthfully, there are a lot of great products out there. There are so many costs you have no control over with the addition of a baby, so it’s nice to be diligent when spending on baby products. From my experience, here are 5 baby products worth their money and 3 that are not.
5 Baby Products to Buy
A portable place for your baby to sleep is a necessity to me. Even if you don’t actually travel, I suggest investing in a travel crib of some sort. For something reasonably priced and multi-functional, I like the Graco Pack ‘n Play. It is easy to set up and take down, lightweight and can be used as a bassinet, crib and playard. When my daughter was first born, we had used the Pack ‘n Play in our living room for her naps since we were nervous parents needing our baby in the same room as us at all times. We also bring it with us to friends’ and family’s houses and, of course, when we travel. While things like the Dock-a-Tot or other docking stations are nice and even more lightweight, these are not approved for safe sleep, while travel cribs are.
Baby Bjorn Bouncer
I did not understand the hype of this bouncer at first. I looked at this thinking why would a bouncer be so expensive when there’s no toys or music or vibrations or any of those bells and whistles some of the other bouncers come with. I registered for one with music and hanging toys that vibrated. My daughter hung out in it for a few minutes before getting bored and wanting to come out.
Thankfully, I had a generous friend who gave me her Baby Bjorn Bouncer when she was done with it. LIFE SAVER! My daughter loved it because she could bounce herself by kicking her legs. It was like endless entertainment for her! Even better is that the Baby Bjorn Bouncer has 3 different height settings, so it works from newborn until your baby can sit unassisted. Additionally, it is extremely lightweight and collapses completely flat which makes it great for travel or moving from room to room at home.
Activity mats offer both play time and development opportunities for babies. There are so many activity mats out there, but I suggest investing in one that is multi-purpose, like this Fisher-Price Deluxe Kick n’ Play Mat. This mat can be used for back play while baby stares at and reaches for the hanging toys, kicking the piano for lights and songs, tummy time, detaching the hanging toys to take on the go and detaching the piano for when your baby can sit. This is a great investment because it lasts a long time and can be used so many different ways. It grows with your baby and keeps baby busy while also helping with development.
Car Seat/Stroller Combo
There are plenty of great car seats out there. There are also plenty of great strollers out there. However, a car seat and stroller combination is a great investment. It is extremely time consuming getting an infant in and out of a car seat: making sure they are positioned correctly, tightening and loosening the seat belt/harness, the awkward angles, etc.
That’s why I love having a car seat where the carrier comes out and just clicks right into the stroller. This makes public outings with an infant so much easier. There are several options out there and some even work between brands. You can choose between high end, like UppaBaby, all terrain, like this Baby Trend, multi-kid, like Graco Uno2Duo, and so much more. The other thing that’s great about these car seat/stroller combinations is that once your baby outgrows the car seat, he or she can still use the stroller without it!
Baby Brezza Formula Pro Advanced
If you are formula feeding (this is not a place for a debate on how you feed your baby, so please refrain from commenting on that), I highly recommend the Baby Brezza Formula Pro Advanced. This is a formula dispenser that makes and warms bottles in seconds with the press of a button. If you have ever had a hungry baby in your arms that’s crying for food, you know that the couple of minutes it takes to warm a bottle can feel like a lifetime. The Baby Brezza Formula Pro Advanced completely eliminates that problem.
Additionally, it is significantly less messy and time consuming than making the formula in the bottle yourself. You pre-fill the machine with the formula and water, set the number of ounces you need then hit start. That’s all! At $199, the price is a bit steep, but it is worth every penny in my opinion.
3 Baby Products to Skip
Don’t get me wrong. We used our bassinet for the first 2 months of my daughter’s life, so it’s not as though it is a complete waste of money; however, we could have just used our Pack ‘n Play for both day and night sleep, as well as for traveling. If you’re limited on funds, I would recommend skipping the bassinet and purchasing a travel crib that offers a bassinet height option.
These bottle sterilizer machines take up a bunch of room and there are so many ways to sterilize a bottle that having a separate machine dedicated to sterilizing is not necessary. You can sterilize the bottles and parts in your dishwasher, with boiling water or in microwavable sterilizing bags. Personally, I love the microwavable bags because it takes just 1.5 minutes, each bag can be used 20 times and you can get a pack of 5 for just $5.99.
I fell for the trap of buying the Beaba Babycook machine. While it does save on time and dishes, you have all the necessary tools at home to make your own baby food already. The Beaba Babycook does steam the food and puree it in the same container, which is great; however, I don’t think having one less dish is worth the $150+ price tag.