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It’s no secret that babies are expensive
There is a product for every need, age, and stage of their teeny tiny lives.
The thing is, they grow super fast, so you don’t want to sink a bunch of money into a ton of items that will only last a couple of months.
I have already talked about newborn baby minimalism here, but maybe you are past that point.
Maybe you are looking for a handful of investment pieces that will last your little one for years instead of months, and maybe even beyond that!
If this is you, then I’ve got some great resources for you today.
Sleeping and Seating:
- Dock A Tot
Dock A Tot creates portable beds for baby. There are two models, 0-8 months ($199) and 9-36 months ($300). Read up on it, and decide what will fit your needs best, but I suggest purchasing the 9-36 month sized model. This will start as a roaming crib for your little one, moving them with you from room to room while they sleep. It will turn into a play mat with the optional accessories, and then to a tummy time pillow to help them build back and neck strength. The familiarity of these beds will help your toddler to transition from crib to bed and can continue to be used as a lounge piece all around the house for your ‘sleeps anywhere’ toddler. It’s great (albeit bulky) for road trips, as they provide a familiar and comfortable place for your little one to sleep when staying in an unfamiliar place. The Dock A Tot comes in many different themes and styles, and will easily serve your child from baby to 3+ years.
- Baby Nook Travel Tent
If you love a day trip: the park, the beach, camping, or even just hanging out at Gramma’s house, this tent is super useful! This awesome little Baby Nook tent ($60) is a great place for your infant – toddler to nap while you are out for the day. The tent is 47” long, large enough to accommodate a 3 year-old while your family is adventuring. The tent has panels that provide UV 50 protection and wisely placed mesh panels to allow for good ventilation. When the tent is closed it blocks out a majority of the light, allowing for quality sleep. If you have a child that needs to lay down in a dark place to sleep, you NEED this tiny tent!
- Nuna Leaf Curv
This inventive baby chair takes the place of any rocker, bouncer, or swing. The Curv ($230) sways back and forth with a gentle push for 2 minutes. The chair will grow up with your baby, converting to a swaying child seat, supporting up to 130 pounds. It is light and compact enough to travel from room to room when baby is tiny. When they are older it would make a great addition to any book corner! Who wouldn’t love to sway while reading?!
Feeding, Mealtime, and Arts:
- OXO Tot Sprout Chair ($250)
This high chair is perfect for 6 months – 5 years. The chair adjustments are completely tool-free, so you don’t need to hunt for that screwdriver (or specialized tool that came with the chair) every time your child goes through a growth spurt. This is also a nice feature if you have two young children and need to switch between chair sizes for them several times a day. The tray table is flat on the bottom, so it sits well on the table while you plate food, and is easy to store in the closet when they have graduated to sitting at the table. The tray is also one-handed, which is really convenient if you have wiggly children! It is lightly padded, easy to clean, and quite sturdy.
- Keekaroo High Chair ($185 – $199)
Here is another good option for a long-term high chair. This chair is not quite as convenient as the OXO Sprout, but it does last forever. It will convert to an adult chair that supports 250 pounds! Depending on your child, you may want to invest in the infant bumper seat accessory ($60) that will help to hold them in place (it locks into the back of the chair) and is generally more comfortable than the wooden seat. The tray is large, with a plastic clip-on top that is easy to remove to clean.
- OXO Transitions Sippy Cup Set
Baby and toddler cups can be a real pain. They are often difficult to clean, aren’t actually leak proof, or break easily. The Transition Sippy Cup ($11) is a great solution for these problems. It’s very sturdy, leakproof, and simple to clean (even dishwasher safe). The cup starts as a sippy cup, then it will grow with your child to a sealed cup to teach conventional drinking skills, and finally, the leakproof disk can be removed to have an open cup. It’s a great multitasker that can serve your child well beyond their toddler period. Oh, there is a straw cup model too. It doesn’t come with the open cup top, but if you bought one of each set the lids will work interchangeably.
- Bapron Baby ($20)
I don’t know if this is the same for everyone, but bibs have always been a difficult thing in my house. My kids love to rip them off, turn them into capes, or intentionally smear food all over them in protest. Every time I have put on on my kids in the past, it’s just been to ask for trouble from them. It wasn’t until recently that I learned about the Bapron. This inventive little wearable is a bib that goes over the arms and ties in the back, instead of around the neck. Honestly, I wish I knew about these little gems with my first two kids, it would have saved me a TON of laundry! These aprons fit from 6 months – 3 years, are super easy to clean, and impossible to yank off! In fact, my youngest doesn’t even know she has it on by the time I get her to the table. Oh, did I mention ridiculously easy to clean too?!?
- EZPZ Placemats ($18 – 25)
Here’s another “I wish I had known about this sooner” item. These placemats have built-in plates or bowls. They are made of silicon, so they adhere to the table, can be heated in the oven, and are dishwasher safe. Everything they make is amazing, but I am particularly partial to the bowls. My kids have a habit of picking up bowls and trying to hold them while they eat… drives me nuts! Problem solved with these gems! They are a bit awkward to put in the dishwasher, but the convenience factor is worth it extra effort to fit them I properly. These are great for 6 months – childhood. My last purchase from them included some awesome craft placemats too, so they will serve us for a long time!
- Magic Cabin Wood Walker, Bike and Shopping Cart ($130)
I didn’t actually purchase this for my kids, it was a gift. Truthfully, when I first saw it, I wasn’t very impressed. Now that I have seen my oldest grow up with it, and all three kids at three different stages of childhood play with it, I love this thing as much as they do! This toy comes with a variety of pieces that, when put together in different configurations, makes a standalone (pedal-less) bike, a bike with a basket in the back, a low walker, and a tall shopping cart. Every time we change to a different configuration, it’s like they get a new toy, it’s definitely a win in our home and will continue to serve us until our kids outgrow the dolls and shopping phase (so… maybe never?! 😂😂😂)
Okay, so let’s address the obvious…
Some of these items are admittedly quite expensive but keep in mind, these are ‘buy them once, use them for years’ items. Often they can even take the place of several other various accessories for baby, possibly cutting down on the consumer waste and clutter in your home. Also, if you have the fortune of finding this list early on in growing your family, you will most definitely get more bang for your buck if you use them for 2 or more children down the road.
I have never regretted spending a little extra for a quality product that will last for years. Most items are still going strong after being handed down to a younger sibling (or two), and I’m sure they will retain a good resale value when it comes time to part with them. Buying baby products in this manner has worked out well for our family, I hope it does for yours too!
Happy Shopping, Momma!