OK, so my version of expensive baby items might be different from yours. I’d probably never buy a Gucci baby carrier or crystal-studded toilet seat (that’s a real thing), but I have invested some money in a variety of baby products.
If you’re looking for some feedback on relatively expensive baby items that are actually worth the money, this one’s for you.
UPDATE: OK, I’m due with my third and final baby in March 2022. I’m planning to test out the Willow breast pump, the MontiKids toy subscription, Solly Baby wraps, and the Babybjörn Bouncer. Please subscribe to my newsletter to get updates about these things, and if there is ANYTHING else you want the real scoop on before you buy, please reach out to me! All of the income this blog brings in gets reinvested back into my content. I want to write about what you want to read.
There’s no better place to start than the SNOO. It’s the one item I get asked about the most from moms I meet. There’s some sticker shock – it’s nearly $1,500 – and the obvious follow-up question: there’s no way it’s worth it, right?
I’ll do a separate, in-depth review of the SNOO at some point, but our SNOO purchase was out of pure desperation.
We just had our second child, and he wouldn’t sleep in the HALO bassinet like my daughter would. I tried every trick in the book, but the only place he’d sleep was in a swing. As we all know, that’s incredibly unsafe, but I didn’t know what else to do.
After a week of trying to get him to sleep in the HALO bassinet and succumbing to the swing, I told my husband we had to find some kind of flat bassinet with movement. I was waking up constantly, terrified of my son’s safety in the swing as he slept. I took to the internet and came across the SNOO for the first time.
Like everyone else, my first reaction was HOLY pricetag… but I started reading reviews, watching YouTube videos, and even read interviews with the creator of the SNOO, Dr. Harvey Karp, to learn more about why it’s supposedly the best thing since sliced bread.
After a few hours, I was convinced, and we caved and counted down the sleepless nights until the SNOO arrived.
And once it did? The rest is history.
We finally started getting some sleep – it was miraculous. As soon as we put my son in the SNOO swaddle, he’d calm down.
And during the times he’d be fussy, the SNOO would kick in with the white noise and the movement, and it would shush him to sleep right before our eyes. Nothing is better when you’re sleep-deprived AND have a toddler running around the house.
I’m so glad I have the SNOO now to use with our third child, coming March 2022, and I would recommend it to anyone who either wants to ensure they get sleep with a newborn or who is having major sleep issues with their newborn.
You can rent the SNOO, but after a ton of research and back-and-forth, we decided to buy it. It’ll last for at least two of our children, and the resale value on the SNOO is great. We’ll come out ahead in the long run versus renting it. Plus, we liked knowing it was brand new.
2. 4moms Travel Playard
If you plan to travel with any children under the age of 2, you’re going to need a travel playard (also called Pack and Play).
I cannot recommend the 4moms travel playard enough.
It. Is. Incredible.
No complicated setup. No complicated teardown. You can literally set this up in 10 seconds.
I’m almost at a loss for words because this playard beats the rest of the competition by a thousand miles. PLEASE don’t torture yourself with another brand that requires multiple setup steps (looking at you Joovy…). Just get the 4moms playard. You will seriously thank me,
3. Bob Jogging Stroller
If you need a heavy-duty stroller that can handle any terrain, don’t think twice about the Bob.
Our first family home was in the country – dirt roads and all – and I loved taking my daughter on walks around the neighborhood. The problem was our cheap Graco stroller could not handle the dirt roads (or grass, for that matter).
For a while, I wore my daughter in a baby carrier, but a stroller would’ve been ideal.
After several months, I finally splurged on the Bob jogging stroller, and it has been so worth it! It rides like a dream, whether you plan to jog or walk.
It’s perfect for Disney world, jogs in the country, and everything in between. We use this stroller nearly every day and it has held up amazingly well.
4. Baby Bjorn Baby Carrier
I tried several baby carriers and the one I keep coming back to is from Baby Bjorn. It’s sturdy, comfortable, and high-quality. Ours was a hand-me-down from my sister-in-law, so it’s made it through several kids with no damage (pretty incredible!).
Plus, it’s really easy to put on – you just clip it like a seatbelt. The all-fabric baby carriers were a little tough to master, and it’s especially hard when you have a visiting family member who has no clue how to wrap it properly.
Baby Bjorn for the win!
5. Restoration Hardware Baby Changing Dresser
Most furniture these days is made of particle board – it warps in humidity, scratches easily, and falls apart over the course of a few years. The only benefit of particle board furniture is it’s cheap.
However, if you want to buy furniture that will last your entire lifetime – something you can pass down to your kids – go for solid wood. I’m a big fan of Restoration Hardware, and while I could never afford to furnish my whole home with it, the baby changing dresser we chose was a splurge I was willing to make.
It’s high-quality, and you won’t regret spending your money on it. I once read that the price tag isn’t what’s important – it’s how much use you’ll get out of the item.
To determine if something is worth it, take the price tag and divide it by how many times you’ll use it. For most people, their phone is the least expensive in their home if you consider how often it’s used!
Our kid’s dressers come in a close second, as we use the changing table multiple times a day, plus it serves a continual purpose of storing clothing, diapers, and blankets.
Our dresser cost $1,585, but considering how often we use it, it has cost us about 41 cents per use so far – and this is a dresser that will last decades. It’s a win!
6. Lovevery Play Kits
Lovevery’s play kits for babies and toddlers are subscription-based toy boxes with items specifically designed to give kids what they need at each stage of life (from newborn to age 3).
These Montessori-inspired toy kits are high-quality, battery-free, and made to encourage your baby’s development.
I can’t really do the play kits justice in this article, but I wrote an in-depth review here: Are the Lovevery Play Kits Worth It?
For me, the pros outweigh the cons, and my family has loved these play kits for the last couple of years. Between my two kids, we now own over a dozen of the play kits, and I have nothing but good things to say about them AND Lovevery’s customer service. Top-notch.
7. 4moms High Chair
Once it started to wear and tear (it was a hand-me-down), I scoured the internet for a high chair that would be easy to clean with minimal places for food to get stuck.
I ended up with the 4moms high chair, and while I still have a few complaints (is there a perfect high chair?!), it’s worlds better than the previous one.
The seat has no nooks and crannies, so it’s a lot easier to wipe clean. Yes, we still have to take it outside to hose it down every month or so, but maintaining it is a lot easier. Plus, it has a detachable top, so you can easily wipe the top clean and snap it back on.
8. Babyletto Swivel Glider (Rocking Chair) & Ottoman
If you plan to nurse, rock your baby to sleep, or get a C-section, you need a swivel glider in your life.
We got the Babyletto Electronic Swivel Glider and Ottoman, and thank heavens we did. I ended up having an emergency C-section, and I could not sit up on my own for several weeks. The only way I was able to sleep and care for my newborn is because of this chair.
While it was a lifesaver during my C-section recovery, we’ve continued to use it for several years, from reading books before bed to nursing to just relaxing as the kids play.
There are a lot of swivel glider options out there, but if you’re looking for something a little more sturdy that will last, I recommend this one from Babyletto.
9. Professional Photography
Getting professional photography was one of the best things I did.
I found an incredible photographer in my area and booked a full package, which included maternity, newborn, 6-month, and 1-year photoshoots for around $1,000.
Now, I have all of these milestones to look back on, and I’m so thankful!!
10. Britax Convertible Car Seat
Shopping for car seats is not fun (in my opinion). There are so many options, and they can get very expensive very fast. I personally found it a bit overwhelming.
I ended up taking recommendations from my friends and family and chose the Britax Convertible Car Seat. It has been amazing! It’s comfortable for my baby, very study, and, of course, convertible.
I also appreciate the extra safety measures, including the SafeCell Impact Potential, ClickTight Installation system (which provides an extra layer of side impact protection), and the Click & Safe Snug Harness Indicator.
If you’re on the market for a car seat you can use from newborn up to 65 pounds, this is my top recommendation!
11. Spruce Tree Bookcase
Books have always been a big part of my own life, and I’ve always been excited about reading to my children. I wanted to a fun way to display books to make reading time even more fun, and this Spruce Tree Bookcase fit the bill!
It’s adorable decor for a nursery, and my daughter loves “putting the books on the tree.” It’s definitely more expensive than floating shelves, but it’s one of those purchases I will never regret!
12. Ritual Prenatal Vitamins
Ritual’s Prenatal Multivitamins cost $35 for a 60-capsule bottle (basically a 1-month supply). That can be more than double the price compared to popular drugstore alternatives.
Their marketing campaigns touting no artificial colors, no synthetic fillers, delayed-release capsule design… it finally got to me, and I decided to splurge on them. Normally, you can’t really “tell” if vitamins are working, but boy, do I have a story for you!
During my last two pregnancies, I have always been iron deficient. I’ve had to eat chicken liver like crazy to get my iron levels up.
This time around, I got my bloodwork done, and it’s the first time I’ve had plenty of iron. The only difference is that I’m taking Ritual prenatals.
There is something about these vitamins and how your body absorbs them. I’m no vitamin expert, but these are the real deal! My OB checked the bottle to ensure it had what I need in pregnancy, and she was very pleased that these include Choline, which helps prevent neural tube defects.
As a side note, I also really like that these vitamins don’t taste bad or have a weird after-taste. They have a citrus essence, so when you take them, you’re left with a lemon scent in the back of your throat. I’m not mad at that!
13. Petunia Pickle Bottom Diaper Bag
Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bags are somewhat of the gold standard for diaper bags. They’re incredibly high quality, have all the little pockets you need, and the styles are super cute! No frumpy mom bags here.
With my first child, my mother gifted me a Petunia bag, and I’ve loved it ever since! After 3 years of taking a beating, it’s still in pristine condition. I love the fold-out changing pad, and all the little pockets are helpful for storing baby items.
These diaper bags also make the perfect baby shower gift. I don’t know if I would’ve bought this myself – it feels like a major splurge – but I was totally delighted to get it!!
14. Contours Double Stroller
While we’re talking about strollers, I also wanted to mention the double stroller we got. After having a second child, I didn’t realize how crucial a double stroller would be, especially when going on vacation!
The double stroller has been perfect for taking both kids to the zoo, our local State park, and Disney.
We got the Contours brand and it’s been phenomenal. A splurge, but well worth it. I love that you can recline the seats when a little one falls asleep, and the shade is nice to block out the sun.
15. iRobot Roomba s9+
Before you say a robotic vacuum isn’t a baby item, hear me out. When I had my first daughter, my typical cleaning tasks got a serious kick in the pants. Forget a quick clean. It’s constant (still is).
More laundry, spit-up everywhere, bottles galore, you get the picture. Taking the task of vacuuming the house off my table was a game-changer. The Roomba s9+ is probably my favorite possession. It vacuums the house and empties itself when it’s done. Can I get an amen?!
I know it’s expensive, but it’s so worth it.
And if it’s way out of your budget, the one you have to empty yourself (Roomba i3) is still worth it.
5 Expensive Baby Items Not Worth the Money
I would be remiss if I didn’t include some pretty expensive baby items that I didn’t think were worth the money. Keep in mind that my experience with a product may be different from yours. It’s true that all babies are different!
1. Nanit Baby Monitor
The Nanit baby monitor is SUPER cool and high-tech. I really enjoyed the sleep analytics and all the neat bells and whistles – until it stopped working due to WiFi issues.
If your WiFi ever goes out, you’re out of luck. The Nanit monitor relies on WiFi, and even though they make it seem like there’s a backup if the WiFi goes out, they are lying to you! There’s not.
We used to live in an area with only Satellite internet. During a bad storm, our internet went out in the middle of the night. Around 3 am, I heard – across the house – our daughter crying. The monitor was frozen.
I was traumatized! How long had she been crying?! She was only a month or two old at this time.
I had it out with Nanit because they advertise the product like it will still work if you have an internet outage, but that was not our experience.
We ditched the Nanit and have relied on monitors that do not require the internet to function, and we have never looked back.
2. Ubbi Diaper Pial
Our first child was lucky to get a Diaper Genie hand-me-down, but we needed a second one for our next child. We were gifted the Ubbi at our baby shower, and I was really excited to have the “best” diaper pail on the market!
It was nice at first, but once our baby started eating solid foods, we realized there’s really no odor control with this diaper pail. When you open it to drop in a diaper, all the smells from inside waft out. You have to hold your breath!!
The second issue is the quality. The metal underneath the paint is not being prepped properly, so it will start to rust, and the paint will start to peel back after about a year of use.
This is one of those circumstances where the cheaper option – the Playtex Diaper Genie – is actually better than more expensive alternatives. The Playtex version doesn’t stink (it has a layer of odor protection inside), and it doesn’t rust or wear down.
3. 4moms mamaRoo
The 4moms mamaRoo is an infant seat that bounces up and down and sways from side to side. The selling point of this particular baby contraption is that it mimics how parents move when comforting their babies. It also includes noises that mimic womb-like conditions, which is really soothing for babies.
I have mixed feelings about the mamaRoo. Our daughter tolerated it somewhat, but it was never her favorite baby seat. She preferred the low-tech Fisher-Price bouncer, which literally costs a quarter of what the mamaRoo does.
The worst part is the mamaRoo just stopped working one day. For such an expensive baby rocker to quit after only a couple of years of use was pretty disappointing.
I’m not ruling out the mamaRoo completely, because different babies like different things, but I’m not eager to recommend it to new moms.
4. HALO bassinet
The HALO bassinet was a hand-me-down gift from family, and it was a godsend with our first child. Our daughter slept wonderfully in it, but the reason I wouldn’t wholeheartedly recommend it is that it was a complete fail for our second child.
He could not tolerate the lack of movement, which is why we quickly bought a SNOO.
While the HALO is a great bedside bassinet, it’s not going to work for all babies. I haven’t tried it, but 4moms has a new bassinet that comes with movement, and it’s in the same price range as the HALO. It might be worth trying as a cheaper alternative to the SNOO if your baby needs movement to be soothed.
5. Baby Food Pouches From the Store
Last but not least is baby food pouches from the store. Yes, I’ve bought these on occasion, but in general, it’s so easy to make your own baby food, and it’ll save you a ton of money!
I bought this little Infantino squeeze station and have made my own baby food for both of my kids.
All you have to do, in most cases, is steam the food and blend it up! It took me about 30 minutes on a Saturday, and I had baby food for 2-3 weeks (I froze whatever would not be eaten in the next 4-5 days).
If you want to get really creative, you can find interesting food combinations from the expensive baby food makers (I always got ideas from Yumi).
One of our favorite combinations was butternut squash, apple, coconut milk, ginger, and nutmeg. Another was peas, pears, and mint.
Of course, you can keep it simple and stick to single ingredients like apricot, peach, zucchini, or butternut squash. In any case, you can make a lot more baby food for the money!
What are the most expensive things a baby needs?
After I wrote this article with all of my expensive baby item recommendations, I wanted to take a step back and really think about what your baby needs.
That’s going to vary from parent to parent, but I think there’s a small grouping of items that are most common in homes with new babies.
The most expensive things a baby needs include a crib, car seat, stroller, and diapers. If I were going to expand on that list, I’d also include a baby monitor, breast pump, changing table/dresser, high chair, and swivel glider.
It can get overwhelming, but you can buy things in stages, and you can often find high-quality used items online or at your local thrift shop. Don’t forget to check the Facebook marketplace, especially for furniture.
For the crib, I think it’s worthwhile to consider a convertible crib that can adjust as your baby grows. We have this one from buybuyBABY and love it!
And when it comes to diapers, the gift that keeps on giving, we used Luvs. To us, it was a lower-cost alternative to Pampers and worked well for both of my kids. I’ve tried more expensive alternatives like Seventh Generation, but they made my kiddos get rashes. I also tried Pampers and Huggies and loved them both, but Luvs is considerably cheaper.
Finally, you can usually get a breast pump through insurance, though it may not be the exact one you want.
I hope this helps you plan for the more expensive items you may need for your upcoming baby!
There you have it – 15 expensive baby items worth the money, and 5 that left me wanting more.
What expensive baby items have you purchased for your baby that you loved? Share in the comments section below!