(Closed) Expensive baby items verse cheaper ones

posted 8 years ago in Babies
Post # 3
2030 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I bought the swing (I think) you are referring to. I chose it instead of cheaper models because it can run on electricity and not just batteries, so I figure we will save a fortune on batteries over the long run. It also had reviews that showed that it does not break easily like cheaper models, and I didn’t want to spend the same amount buying multiple swings only to have them break. Also a lot of the cheaper models are very loud and we wanted a quiet model.

Post # 4
1645 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

For the most part we are doing everything we can to avoid the money traps with over-priced baby gear. Darling Husband and I are really trying to find the balance between necessity and luxury, as well as between quality and budget. We are buying a lot of things second hand at two awesome local stores, and are also accepting loaners and hand me downs.

My advice is to read reviews since there is some really good information out there, but also stay within your budget or comfort range for prices on items. And keep in mind that the majority of baby gear out there is not a necessity. Babies do not NEED swings, bouncey seats, bumbos, wipe warmers, etc. There essential needs are pretty basic, so keep that in mind when contemplating expensive baby gear items.

And a lot of babies don’t like swings. My niece loved hers, but I have two friends whos infants hated them and they never were used.

Post # 5
1882 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I’m for the motto “you get what you pay for”. If you buy crap, you’ll probably have to replace it at some point. But I don’t think there is a huge difference between a $100 swing and a $150 swing. A $30 swing and $150 swing, yes.

There are ways to cut corners and still get awesome stuff. I LOVED the Bratt Decor furniture, but there was no way I wanted to spend $1000 on a crib. I went to the warehouse store in Baltimore and got a crib (originally $800), dresser (originally $1600) and changer (originally $500) all for a total of $600. I purchased a floor model crib and changer,  and the dresser just needed to be repainted and had a little crack on the side and I changed the hardware. Everything looks great!

Post # 6
1145 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2000

If you want to splurge on the nice stuff, maybe you can ask or hint to a grandparent for a specific purchase. They love that!!  My dad bought our fancy swing, on his own. The cradle part of the swing detaches into a bouncer b/c some babies prefer one over the other.  I also got a fancy breastpump as a chip-in gift at one of my showers.

We bought our fancy like-new carseat and crib off Craigslist (well inspected first). High end  stroller, barely used given to us. Again, grandparents (and aunties) like to splurge on baby stuff and often just want a little direction.

Oh, and Babies R Us gives 20% off coupons all the time. Just ask the cashier how to get one.

Post # 7
684 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2009

 For us, we found that our $150 swing got hardly any use but our $20 bouncie was used all the time. I agree with the previous poster who said not all babies are “swing” babies. My first sure wasn’t. I hoping to get more use out of it the second time around.

 The stroller: $240. Eh I could of went either way with this. It was wayyy over priced. We get alot of use out of it but honestly, its big, bulky, heavy and just too much. What I paid for was the good carseat it came with. Other then that it wasn’t worth the price. The top of the stroller as a digital clock and temperature reader. Cool at first but really didn’t need it. I did like all the little compartments it came with to store stuff. But now that I’m having my second and will have 2 kids under the age of 4, I need to buy a whole new stroller that can accomidate two kids. 

 The crib: To me this is the BEST thing to spend a pretty penny on. Not only are you going to use it every night for the first 2 or so years, but cribs are passed down from sibling to sibling and often family to family, within families. They really make the look of the nursery too. A good crib will gets years and years of use. Where as anything else wont.  

Post # 8
801 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

We’ve been fortunate enough to have both a friend and my sister pass down a lot of the pricy items like the swing, bouncers, co-sleeper, exer-saucer, etc so if our baby isn’t too thrilled with one item, we haven’t wasted money.  There are a lot of second-hand type places you can get baby things at, which is what my mom has done for when the grandkids visit.  Look for local consignment shops.

We spent a pretty penny on the furniture though since we bought furniture that is warrantied for 60 years / three generations (Romina).  If nothing else, it will be lovely guest room furniture over time (crib converts to toddler and then full size bed) and we love heirloom type furniture in our home and it was worth it to us.

Other than that, the only other pricy items we bought were the car seat/stroller.  We did not get the travel system stroller/car seat.  We did select the Chicco KeyFit 30 infant seat and the Chicco liteway stroller, which can be used for infants when fully reclined with a snuzzler.  The stroller does not fit the car seat on it but I’m not concerned since the stroller will be good for a toddler too.  It’s a nice mix between the umbrella stroller and full size stroller so we don’t have to have multiples.

Like PPs said, not a whole lot is truly a necessity.

Post # 9
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on baby things; if you can, borrow from a friend before you buy it.  We don’t have a swing at all, just a $30 bouncy seat, and we opted out of buying a pack n’ play/play yard at all.  Buy the things you absolutely need right now, and then try out the rest after the baby is born to see what he/she likes.

 Also, you can really buy nursery furniture for much cheaper than what you’ve seen.  Our crib converts into a toddler bed and full-sized bed, and it comes with an attached changing table and hamper (which converts into a night stand).  That plus the matching dresser (all from Target) cost less than $500, brand new.

Post # 10
2271 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I am fond of saying that if I had it to do all over again the only baby stuff I would buy would be:

A large wicker basket

A high chair

A stroller

amd a car seat.


I am almost hysterical with laughter every time I see my niece with her baby – she drags along enough stuff to stock a small store!

Post # 11
2866 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I’d say see if your baby would even use/like a lot of things before spending a ton on them. Check out consignment stores to save on things that were probably used for a short period of time.

Furniture it makes sense to splurge on because you can use it for other children or resell. A swing you may end up using less that you expect so it may not be the best thing to invest a ton of money in, like Mrs. Spring said – see if you can borrow one first because your baby may not even like it.

Start with the basics and add as needed rather than having to store stuff that may not ever get used.

Post # 13
5153 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

I’ve been trying to get the certain expensive items that I want in the typical ways and creative ways…


2) People going in together on gifts

3) Amazon & Toys R Us giftcards purchased using credit card/debit card points 

and as far as baby furniture we are using Target…beautiful, convertible, safe pieces that look like Pottery Barn but way nicer prices

Post # 14
365 posts
Helper bee

Who needs a swing?  Let the baby roll around on the floor with a blanket and some toys.  They don’t need swings 🙂  And you can pick them up and cuddle them and swing them around yourself.

And when it’s bed time just throw them in their bed and they go to sleep.  Don’t get them into the habit of rocking to sleep otherwise you’ll be up all night wandering around the house rocking a baby. I didn’t let my Dirty Delete get into habits like that, she’s always just slept well because she had to.

Seriously, I had so much CRAP!  All you need is 4 things:

  • A cot (I see no need for moses baskets, bassinets, etc etc).  Get a full american sized baby cot and just short sheet her down the bottom when she’s a baby so she can’t slip down.  My daughters converted into a bed, but she never used it as a bed as she had a single bed in her room anyway.  You don’t even need a new store-bought one – just get a new mattress.
  • A car seat – awesome.  Get a good quality one that reclines and can go upright as well when she’s bigger so it lasts longer until your kid goes into a booster seat.
  • A high chair – you’re going to need one so they stay still!  Get one that goes up against or under the table, then you can eat as a family.  You can get these for less than USD$100, easily.
  • A pram – unless you’re a marathon runner I don’t understand the need to buy USD$800 Mountain Buggies.  I got a nice 4 wheel pram for USD$150 brand new and it’s been awesome.  To be honest, after a year I just got one of those collapsable bugges (http://www.jollydollies.co.uk/shopimages/products/thumbnails/M2247.jpg) for $50 and it was so much easier than lugging a pram in and out of back the car. I used that instead of the pram until she was offended (at 2.5 years) that I would push her around instead of letting her walk 😉

I don’t think people realise how fast babies grow.  I know people who have forked out hundreds for bassinets for a baby that started to move 2 months later and kept waking itself up.  Or buying about 4 car seats in the term of its life.
I’ve also got friends who paid over USD$1000 for their 3-wheeled flash push chairs/prams and they would get them home and then couldn’t get them in the car without removing all wheels.  or they were too heavy. Or they would constantly crash into people with them.
This is of course from my own experience raising a daughter and not having a lot of money and not wanting to clutter my house with useless stuff.

Post # 15
107 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

We spent a lot of money on a brand name crib. It’s solid wood, and we got it from a boutique baby store with an amazing warranty on their merchandise. We chose a convertible crib, so it goes from a crib (2 levels) to a toddler bed to a full-size bed. It’ll last until she goes to college!

But anything where the safety of your child is a top priority, I would definitely recommend spending more money, rather than looking for a bargain. Besides the crib, this includes the car seat(s) and stroller.

And… that’s it. You’ll be buying tons of toys and clothes, and you’ll receive even more than you buy. We didn’t plan on buying any giant ‘toys’, like bouncers or swings or playards or exersaucers or high chairs, but we were lucky enough to receive THREE SETS OF EVERYTHING WTF. (I found out quickly that “NO!” doesn’t work with family.) And guess what? She hates anything and everything that encloses her. She hates bouncers and swings and playards and exersaucers and high chairs roflmao.

For feeding, we’ve been using a booster seat since she was 5 months old, and it’s worked out well b’cuz she feels like she’s sitting at the table just like everyone else.

I agree with the pps, you won’t need much for the first several months. But once their personality starts kicking in, you’ll also be able to tell what kind of toys and gadgets they’d prefer. Overspending is just too too easy with babies.

Post # 16
365 posts
Helper bee

@yoori: It’s so true isn’t it.  DD hated being tied into things.  She preferred to just play on the floor with a few soft toys and a blanket.  She really loved being taken outside and having the blanket on the grass!  And then she could look at all the colours around her.

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