Save or Splurge: The Baby Essentials Edition

save or splurge baby essentials

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Having a baby can be so expensive but to be 100% honest you don’t need most of the items that are on the ‘must-have’ list. Here are my opinions on whether you should save or splurge on the big ticket baby essentials.

Save or Splurge: The Baby Essentials Edition

The Stroller

I am a strong believer that you should get a high end stroller. Not only will a high-end stroller get better resale value when you are done using it but the customer service is usually better as well. You can read my review of the Valco Baby Snap Ultra here.

You can get a high-end stroller on a budget by shopping sales for floor models, your local buy-sell groups or checking sites like Kijiji for a good deal. My favourite place to get other parents (honest and unbiased) opinions on strollers is a Facebook group called Canadian Stroller Swap. This group not only gives advice but gives you a platform to buy/sell high-end strollers and accessories.

Beware of big brands who will offer you a whole ‘travel system’ for a an arm and a leg. First-time parents may be familiar with the brands because they have been around since they we’re kids but there is better out there, I promise.

Unless you rarely use your stroller then I would save a boatload of money and grab one of these Baby Trend Snap N’ Go Universal Car Sear Carrier (also for twins) which is perfect for the first year while your LO is still in their infant car seat. It takes up a very small amount of space and makes taking baby in and out so easy.

save or splurge baby essentials

The Change Table

Skip this purchase completely if you are on a budget or your home is large. Diaper changes happen where ever you smell them. Most diaper bags come with change pads you can open up and change baby on couch or floor. Kushies makes adorable change pads  (20 different designs) that you can put in a change station where ever you spend most of your day. If you are dead set on having a dedicated changing area for your LO I would spend the money on a good quality dresser and buy the changing pad for that like these ones from Munchkin or Serta.

save or splurge baby essentials

The Crib

My parents and sister bought us a whole nursery set before we had the kids and only one of our kids spent 6 months in the crib. Because it was so expensive I still have it in my basement 10 years later gathering dust and we did not use it. Here are 3 great options from Dream On me that give you either a 3-in-1, 5-in-1, or 7-in-1 crib ranging in price from $145 to $255. Not only will these selections grow with your LO but if you decided to say go the bedsharing route like we did you won’t feel so guilty putting the crib to the curb.

save or splurge baby essentials

The Car Seat

save or splurge baby essentials

If you have a car and drive everywhere than this is a no-brainer splurge. Look for things like a high maximum weight capacity (35 lbs is great), great reviews from other parents, and safety features you find important. You should also keep in mind whether it works with your current stroller as you can click your car seats right into the frames for ease of use. A couple of my favourites are the Britax B-Safe 35 Elite, Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35, and the UPPAbaby MESA   

If you don’t drive and your main mode of transport is walking, stroller or public transport I would invest my money in a Evenflo Triumph LX that will take you from birth to booster. I like the Britax Marathon and Evenflo Triumph LX for a convertible option.

save or splurge baby essentials

Do you have any opinions on items that should be either a save or splurge?

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Aneta Alaei
Aneta Alaei

Aneta is a Toronto-based mom of four that loves a good meal, great company, and learning something new. In her free time, you can find her trying to keep yet another plant alive.

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  1. Calvin F.
    October 23, 2017 / 4:33 pm

    Good guide on the basics, thanks.

  2. Leslie C
    October 23, 2017 / 8:48 pm

    My kids are all mostly adults but now I have 2 beautiful granddaughters!

  3. Debbie White Beattie
    October 24, 2017 / 4:58 am

    Thanks for the great advice because I always have a hard time buying gifts for baby showers but this really helps

  4. Lynda Cook
    October 24, 2017 / 10:01 am

    Great post, I never had a change table and for the same reason you said, you change baby where ever you are

  5. Kelly H
    October 24, 2017 / 11:16 am

    This is good advice. I am currently in the market for a car seat, stroller and crib. We are skipping the change table (like you said)!

  6. Laurie P
    October 24, 2017 / 11:30 am

    I’ve always splurged on a stroller, I walk everywhere so it’s as important as a car for me!

  7. kathy downey
    October 24, 2017 / 3:59 pm

    Certainly a great list for a new Mom,things have gotten so much better than when my kids were young !

  8. erin n
    October 24, 2017 / 4:05 pm

    This is very helpful – thank you! 🙂

  9. Judy Cowan
    October 24, 2017 / 9:48 pm

    Great tips, lots of decisions to be made for a new baby. I am trying to pick out a baby gift and trying to pick something practical out.

  10. Elizabeth Matthiesen
    October 25, 2017 / 11:09 pm

    I made my own changing table and it worked super, no need to buy one at all. When out and about my babies were often changed in the car or on the floor somewhere – unfortunately there were no such places as baby changing/feeding rooms back in those days. Some good pointers here too, one of my friends even saved on the baby bath – her babies were washed in the kitchen sink.

  11. nicky
    October 27, 2017 / 1:39 pm

    I concur that stroller and car seat need to be mindfully purchased as high quality items. Important for safety and comfort considerations!

  12. AD
    October 28, 2017 / 6:13 pm

    Great tips! There are so many baby items which I would tell people to pass on, or not spend so much money (yes, cheap out – like the change table).

  13. Donna L.
    October 29, 2017 / 3:29 am

    Great ideas, thanks.

  14. Elizabeth Matthiesen
    October 30, 2017 / 9:34 pm

    The two most important things I believe are a quality stroller and car seat, I like the ones that grow with the child.

  15. kristen visser
    October 31, 2017 / 10:46 am

    your list is perfect! Spending a little more on a car seat and crib is totally important. Especially when the crib has multiple uses. For the changer, i did spend a little more on it but that is because it was a dresser as well with the changer on top which really came in handy for my daughters clothes

  16. Donna L.
    November 1, 2017 / 3:28 am

    Nice list for new parents.

  17. lori galbraith
    December 12, 2017 / 7:27 am

    I think save when you can and buy what is important. Babies grow so fast, I am into buying good used items.