When you’re preparing for baby’s arrival, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the huge amount of equipment and supplies you’re going to need. There’s no denying having a baby is expensive, but you’d be surprised how much money parents spend that they really don’t need to.
It’s easy to spend more money than you have to when you’re bombarded with “must-have” baby accessories. If you’re a first-time parent the sheer number of products out there can be overwhelming and it’s difficult to know what you do and don’t need.
To make it easier and to ensure you don’t waste money on things you simply don’t need, below we’ll look at the top items you should splurge on and where you can save money.
What Items Are Worth Splurging On?
Let’s start with the most important pieces of equipment and accessories you’re going to need. These are products you’re going to use time and time again so quality and durability are essential…
Crib Mattress – The crib is an obvious item you’ll want to splurge on, but don’t forget about the mattress. Did you know for example, that using a second-hand mattress could increase your baby’s risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)? This is because depending upon how the mattress has been stored, they can develop issues with damp and they’ll also potentially have built-up dirt which can be harmful for your little one.
If you’re choosing a new mattress, it’s also important to ensure it is firm and boasts a very high quality. Don’t forget baby is going to be spending a lot of time on the mattress, so it needs to be made from exceptional quality materials to ensure it’s both comfortable and it lasts.
Stroller – The number of different types of strollers on the market can be overwhelming. Each has their own unique features and benefits to suit every kind of lifestyle. Therefore, it’s important to take your time to ensure you’re choosing one that best fits your needs.
Regardless of which type of stroller you choose to buy, the one thing you need to focus on is quality. This is something that you’re going to be using pretty much on a regular basis so obviously it’s going to need to be built to last. A poor-quality stroller will wear out quickly and it’ll also prove difficult to maneuver and put together. So, when it comes to choosing a stroller, it’s definitely worth paying more.
Car Seat – When it comes to choosing a car seat, safety should always be your main concern. While you may be tempted to save money and opt for a used car seat, unless you know the person you’re buying from it’s better to buy brand new. This is because you’ll have no idea how the car seat has been handled, whether it’s been involved in an accident and how clean it’s been kept. All of these factors can impact just how safe the seat is to use.
The best tip to follow when choosing a car seat is to opt for the most expensive one you can actually afford. Ideally, you’ll want to look for one that has an ISOFIX system too. The comfier and safer the car seat is, the more reassurance you’ll have when you’re driving with baby in the back.
Breast Pump – If you’re breastfeeding and you need to express milk, you’re going to need a good breast pump. Now, it sounds like a pretty easy decision to make as surely all breast pumps are pretty much the same? Wrong! Just like any baby product, there’s literally hundreds of different pumps to choose from.
If you’re only planning on expressing enough milk to make up the odd bottle, you could get away with using a manual pump. However, electric models are the better option as not only are they quicker, but they’re also smoother to use. Moms who are going back to work and plan on breastfeeding, will find it best to buy a double electric pump so both breasts can be expressed at the same time.
So, why should you spend more on a breast pump? Well, the cheaper models tend to be poorly-made and can make the pumping experience uncomfortable and even painful. They can also be really difficult to use. So, it’s definitely worth spending as much money as you can on the best quality breast pump you can find.
Baby Carrier – A high-quality baby carrier can make a massive difference during the early stages with your little one. Enabling you to keep baby close by while freeing up your hands to take care of important tasks, a baby carrier is a worthwhile investment that you definitely shouldn’t scrimp on.
As baby will be using the carrier regularly, you’re going to need to make sure it’s comfortable, easy to carry and created from exceptional quality materials. The higher-end models tend to come with a lot of useful extras too so like the other items on the list, try to spend as much as you can afford on a top-quality carrier.
Blackout Blinds – Another essential purchase, blackout blinds can literally save your sanity. When you’re trying to get baby to sleep during the day, if it’s light outside it can be confusing for your little one. Blackout blinds help to keep the room dark, making it easier for baby to relax and fall asleep.
Not all blackout blinds block out the sun as much as they should. So, be sure to spend a good amount of money on high-quality blackout blinds for best results.
What Items Should You Save On?
So, now you know where you should be spending the most money, what about the things you should save on? There’s actually a lot of baby items you don’t need to splurge on, but below we’ll list the main items to cut back on…
Baby Bath – It’s surprising just how many baby baths are available on the market. Some boast some pretty elaborate features too. However, initially, babies don’t need that many baths so spending a fortune on a specialized baby bath is simply a waste of money. It’s also just as effective to use a plastic bowl or to place a foam bath support into your main bath and it’s so much cheaper!
Bouncer – Babies love to bounce! But did you know they have much more fun on a soft, manual bouncer complete with colorful dangling toys? So, forget about spending a fortune on those plug-in bouncers and opt for a manual, cheaper one instead.
High Chair – While a high chair is an essential, it’s one piece of equipment you don’t have to splurge on. Think about it – the chair is largely going to get very messy several times a day. It’s simply a safe place to feed baby while you all sit together. So, all you really need is a model with a removable tray so it’s easy to keep clean, and clean, simple legs which don’t take up too much floor space. Just make sure it’s durable.
Changing Bag – It’s amazing how many moms spend hundreds of dollars on a changing bag. Yes, you’re using it while you’re out with baby, but that doesn’t mean you should splurge on a designer bag. You can still buy stylish changing bags at just a fraction of the cost of a designer one.
So, there you have it – the top items you should splurge on and where you should cut back. Of course, it’s all down to personal preference, but the above can be used as a guide for those looking for a general idea of where they should and shouldn’t be saving money.
What items did you splurge on and did you regret it? Let us know below!