(Closed) Cost effective baby equipment.

posted 5 years ago in Babies
Post # 2
102 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

One of the best ways to save of baby stuff is to buy used.  I bought all of my gear for my first child second hand in like new condition for roughly half of the orginal price.  Craigslist and cosignment stores are great for this. Local FB for sale/trade groups are good resources too. 


I loved my pack n play for my first child so much I wore it out.  Get one with a bassinet feature so you can use it as a cosleeper for baby as well as a travel bed. You can probably do without the changing table and newborn sleeping attachments if you want to save.

I havent bought one yet but I am leaning towards a swing with a detachable seat that does double duty as a bouncer.  Both the swing and bouncer got lots of love when my child was tiny.

With Baby#2 I am skipping the high chair and getting a “space saver” high chair that goes on the chairs. We used the high chair but it took up alot of floor space and wasnt worth it.

We couldnt have lived without the exersaucer and jumparoo. One probably would have done it but she loved them both and in a 3 story house it was easier to have one on each floor we spent awake time on vs dragging one up and down the stairs all day long.

I could have lived without the crib bedding set (most of it is useless the bumper and blanket are no nos for infant sleep due to SIDS), the wipes warmer, swaddle blankets (the nurses will show you how to do it with the recieving blankets), the changing pad was quickly forgotten in favor or the floor or bed, we never once used anything out of the little kit that had all of the combs, brushes, nose thing, ect in it, and the baby bath tub got used ONCE before I started doing it in the kitchen sink with a little sling thing my mom gave me.

Post # 3
4271 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Eveyrone I have talked to has told me this is a really individual thing: some babies will love a rock n play, others will hate it, and so on.

I echo the idea to get as much as you can secondhand/borrowed, whatever. If there is something baby just adores and the used one isn’t great quality, you can then always buy new. But people are surprisingly willing to give you all their baby stuff if it means getting it the hell out of their house. CL or if you’re in Canada, Kijiji is a freaking goldmine for this. Just last week I got a $300 PNP for $60 without a scratch or stain on it. Make a list and start scouring. Do your research on what brands etc you want. I also found doing it over time helped, so it wasn’t so much money all at once.

Post # 5
9820 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Loved it:

Rock n play (she napped in here for a looong time)
Pack n play with changer (used this all the time for changing, napping later on)
Jumperoo (she likes this better than the exersaucer)
Bouncy seat (kept it in the bathroom so I could shower!)

Waste of money:

Halo Bassinest (she hated it)
Mamaroo (she did like this, but I think any swing would have done the job)
Any sort of crib bedding (all they should have is a sheet, plus she still doesn’t sleep in her crib)

Post # 6
6892 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

View original reply
missmagpie:  As pp mentioned space saver high chair that attaches to a chair, eventually you can take the tray off and just use as a booster seat.  Pack n plays fold up to much smaller but however they are not really good for everyday use.  They are actually to hard for kids for all the time use. We used ours just for travel/camping.

You don’t really need a changing station just buy a fold up travel pad and you can use furniture or floor for changing diapers.

Most babies really don’t care about toys so min amount of toys. 


Post # 7
1149 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013 - Ontario, Canada


Pack n play – somewhere safe to put them during the day when they are small and when travelling/visitng family/friends

Baby carrier – we had the Baby Bjorn and we used this ALL the time when going shopping/running errands. Saves you from dragging the stroller in and out of the car when you only have to go into the bank for 10 min or something. Also, every baby I know has loved them. Also great at home as you can get things done whilst carrying your child.

IKEA high chair – cheap, easy to maintain, very secure and easy to pack up and takes up very little space. DS is now 14 months and we still use it every day. Also so easy to get them in and out ofthe seat which is great.

IKEA crib, mattress and bedding – cheap, sturdy, hardwearing and all you need. We got 4 fitted sheets, a mattress protector, mattress and the crib and it’s was less than $300 and still looks like new. Also doesn’t take up an obscene amount of space so we had it in our room until DS was ready to move to his own room.

Baby gym – We got one with a piano by their feet (can’t remember the name) and my son LOVED it. It also has detachable toys which he lived later on and he also plays with the biano now so a good investment.

GroBags – are fantastic and we still use these. (helps keep toddlers from escaping thew crib too)



Jumperoo / excersaucer / swing – my son loved these but only for a very shoer period of time so I would say wait and see if you need it and maybe get it second hand.

Wipe warmers / diaper holders / fancy bedding / toys – never got any of this and never needed it.


We basically got the minimum amount of stuff to start as we were moving countries when DS was only 6 weeks and then we have just picked stuff up as and when we have felt we needed it. We still don’t have loads of tods for DS and to be honest he mostly prefers you and random houshold items to fancy toys. Babies are pretty simple really.

Post # 8
286 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

We used the rock n play in our bedroom until she could roll over then moved her to her crib. No bassinet. We now use the rock n play if we ever need to do anything and keep her in sight for a short period of time (like getting ready in the morning in our bedroom)

We keep a pack n play downstairs with the changer/napper attachment which has been really useful.

Skipped the infant snugabunny swings and got an infant to toddler rocker that’s washable, portable and goes up to 45 lbs.

Should have skipped the multiple muslin swaddle blankets and just gotten the miracle blanket which is the only swadddle that worked for her.

Bandana bibs are amazing – they help with drooling when they are teething and dave a lot of burp cloths and outfits. And they look ugly plastic ones.

For crib, just get at least 2 fitted crib sheets and 2 fitted waterproof crib pads. If you layer all 4 on her mattress, it’ll save you from having to change bedding in the middle of the night if your baby’s diaper ever leaks.

I’m with you on being minimalist because DH and I hate clutter and I’m happy to say that our house is still neat, clean and ready for guests depsite having a 6 month old. I think it has a lot to do with not buying a million baby items and having them take over the common areas. Not a fan of anything used unless it’s from a close friend’s kid so I can’t help you there.


Post # 9
130 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

My LO is 7.5 months old and I’m still using much of this stuff.  For the first 2 months, DS did not like the swing.  He would nap downstairs in our living room in the rock n play.  It is great because it it light and foldable.  Whenever we would go somewhere, the rock n play came with.  However, now that DS is older, the only place i can get him to sleep during the day is in the swing.  


We knew from early on that we wanted DS in his own room at 6 weeks old.  That said, my bassinet did not get much use since DS has been mostly in his crib.  DS also would sleep better at night when he was wrapped in the Swaddleme blankets.  They have velcro so once baby is wrapped in, he cannot get out.  


We have not used our pack and play for anything other than the changing station that came as part of it.  If your home has 2 floors, i recommend changing supplies on both floors.  


Our exersaucer for us is a must.  It was the only place that DS would sit and play for extended periods of time.  It comes in our car with us whenever we travel.  Wah la… a place for him to sit and non-detachable toys!  


The other thing that ‘s been nice but does take up room is the activity mat (with the arch with toys).  DS used to lay on it all of the time and now sits and plays with the hanging toys.  


We never used a bouncer or a bottle warmer.  

Post # 11
2021 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

My son is 9 weeks. Necessary: swing, bouncer and Boppy newborn lounger (my new go-to gift for baby showers).

Post # 12
286 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

View original reply
missmagpie:  we have a slightly different model but this is pretty close to it: http://m.target.com/p/fisher-price-infant-to-toddler-rocker-navy-dots/-/A-50076699?sid=1135S&ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google_pla_df&CPNG=PLA_Baby+Shopping_Local&adgroup=SC_Baby&LID=700000001170770pgs&network=g&device=m&location=9007196&lsft=gclid:CMSv1PWWzcsCFYY2gQodPYwIog,gclsrc:aw.ds&gclid=CMSv1PWWzcsCFYY2gQodPYwIog&gclsrc=aw.ds

and yes to no clutter! we just keep it contained in her room with only

a few toys or pieces of equipment out a time. We don’t want our house to look like a daycare! And she actually enjoys

Post # 13
2598 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Ohhhh boy, this is a very personal thing, it turns out. You’ll find that your lifestyle dictates what will be useful to you. Examples: my Manhattanite friends all have expensive strollers because you walk everywhere in Manhattan, in all kinds of weather; my stroller, in SoCal, is a simple $40 umbrella one because I don’t walk everywhere and I hate having to store some big behemoth in my house. I had one designated changing station in my 2-story home; my friend had a portable changing box on every floor, and the reason is becasue my house is entirely hardwood floors and hers is carpeted. For me, with bad knees and after a c-Section, kneeling down with baby on a hardwood floor to change him was worse than just carrying him upstairs. You won’t really understand these things for yourself until you have the baby–who will also make demands based on their individual personality. 

I’ll give you my best advice, but I doubt you’ll take it (chuckle): Don’t buy anything until the baby arrives. Exceptions: carseat, crib, diapers, swaddle, “food” (bottles + formula if you ff; a breastpump if you bf), baby thermometer and aspirin (you rarely would need baby aspirin/Tylenol, but when you do need, it’s one of those things that you’ll like to have NOW), and some sleepers. Otherwise, purchase as you go. Unless you live in the boonies, anything you need is a drive away, AND Amazon (for one) has free Prime 2-day shipping, and some stuff you can get day-of delivered. 

Second-best advice: be very careful about “single use” items. There are some that most parents find useful–I wouldn’t give up the Bumpo, even though he only used it for like, 3 months–but just be strategic about the need. 

Third piece of advice: don’t assume that your baby “needs” things. Here’s a list of baby “needs” and possible alternatives–that’s not to say that parents and individual babies never actually needed the “needs” (many find them useful); but that to call them universal “needs” is a stretch: 

Breastfeeding pillows –> a regular pillow (I preferred a body pillow, personally)

Teething rings –> a washcloth, cut up into pieces, and tied into big knots (big enough the baby couldn’t swallow them), wet and then stored in the freezer

Spit-up blankets –> honestly, dirty laundry works too

Fancy swaddlers –> a swaddler is ultimately a big piece of fabric. I mean, you can *have* velcro and ties and muslin fabric and all that, but I guarantee that women in other countries make do with …big pieces of fabric. And some babies don’t even like to be swaddled

Wipes warmer –> hold the wipe in your hands for 10 seconds

Fancy “baby” soap products –> “fragrance-free” is fine, but also newborns can be bathed with just water (also PS–coconut oil will work fine for things like cradle cap, and it’s not going to cause problems if it gets in the baby’s mouth; also can be used for diaper rash)

Toys –> a plastic water bottle filled halfway with water; a ball of tin foil; an empty wipes wrapper; and a little (clean) hand-broom. Seriously. 

Bottle warmer –> see if your baby will take it cold first. Ours never minded. 

Noise machine –> iPhone apps; also your baby may sleep fine without it

Glider/rocker –> a chair or nothing–just put it in the crib

Infant bath inserts –> a sink. Or a laundry basket in the regular tub. 

“Dump baby” apparatuses (swings, exosaucers, bouncies, vibrating chair) –> I do actually think these are necessay, although maybe not all of them. I would start with the vibrating chair for a newborn. But you could get by with just the crib and a couple of balls of tin foil thrown in there. For real 😀


If I had to tell you what I found were godsends beyond absolute essentials (like the carseat, etc.), I’d probably say: a soft-light low-wat lamp that won’t burn your retinas out when you’re changing diapers at 3am; hand sanitizer because washing your hands at 3am is a real drag; and Netflix or some other streaming service that will allow you watch reruns of “Grey’s Anatomy” and such, seeing as 42 min syncs up well with the average newborn feeding session!



  • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by  BothCoasts.

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