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The Best Big-Ticket Items Worth Adding to Your Baby Registry—and Why
Updated on
September 11, 2023

The Best Big-Ticket Items Worth Adding to Your Baby Registry—and Why

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The Best Big-Ticket Items Worth Adding to Your Baby Registry—and Why

More isn’t always more when it comes to baby gear. It’s definitely possible to build your baby registry on a budget or find typically pricier items, like a car seat or a stroller, for less. But for certain items, more is more, and it’s helpful to have some knowledge around which bigger-ticket picks may be worthwhile for your family when you’re building your registry. (Need more guidance? The Babylist baby registry checklist can help you see what you need, and you can check items off in real time.)

A Safe, Light Car Seat

While it’s definitely possible to find a safe car seat on a budget, you’ll often gain things like extra safety features, higher-end fabrics and easier portability if you’re willing to spend a bit more. We think that’s often worthwhile, and the Nuna Pipa Rx is well worth the splurge.

The Pipa RX is ultra safe, easy to install, can be used with either its base or a seat belt, and uses beautiful (and comfortable) high-end fabrics. It weighs under eight pounds—significantly less than lots of other seats on the market—which means carrying your little one around in it will be a whole lot easier. There’s a stability leg to absorb collision forces and an anti-rebound panel to help you get a tight install and prevent extra motion. And it’s compatible with tons of popular stroller brands so you’ll be able to build a travel system if that’s something you’re looking to do.

A Wipe-Clean Changing Pad

You may not think a changing pad is worth $130…but that’s because you haven’t tried the Keekaroo Peanut yet.

While regular changing pads more than get the job done, they also require extras like covers and liners. (And don’t forget all of those extra trips to the washing machine too.) The Keekaroo doesn’t require a thing. It wipes completely clean, saving you time and effort—and you can’t put a price on that.

A Smart Tech Monitor

Spending more money doesn’t always mean you’ll get more when it comes to baby gear. But when you’re talking baby monitors it often does, and we think the features you’ll get with the Nanit make it 100% worth its big-ticket status.

The Nanit has everything you’d ever need (and more) in a baby monitor: crystal clear video, more sleep tracking metrics than we can count, and even breathing motion monitoring. It’s user-friendly, not to mention sleek and modern so it will seamlessly blend into your nursery. If you’re the type of person who thrives on more information to ease the anxiety of being a new parent, then the peace of mind this monitor offers is more than worth the cost.

A Sturdy Stroller That Can Handle It All

There’s no denying that this stroller is a big-ticket item. There’s also no denying that it’s worth every.single.penny.

The Vista is incredibly sturdy, durable and can easily handle all different types of terrain while guaranteeing a smooth ride for your baby. It has tons of smart design features like a telescoping handlebar, a huge under-seat basket, a large, vented canopy, full recline and a seat that can face either forwards or backwards. It grows with your family from one to two to even three kiddos with the addition of a second seat and a ride-along board. From the city to the ‘burbs, it’s a stroller that works for all types of families.

A Multi-Position Baby Carrier to Use from Day One

A baby carrier needs to be comfortable for your baby, of course—but it also needs to be comfortable for you or you’re not going to want to use it. Tula carriers don’t come cheap, but they’re known for their comfort and will take you from the newborn days through toddlerhood.

The Explore has three carry positions (front-inward, front-outward and back) and is designed to be hip- and spine-healthy for your baby. There are lots of adjustments that can be made both on the pouch portion of the carrier and on the straps and waist, allowing you to get the right fit on you and your baby. We’re also huge fans of the fun and unique prints and patterns available.

A Hands-Free Pump

“I love pumping!” said no parent, ever. Wearable pumps are a relatively new category of baby gear that we couldn’t be happier about. We’re all for anything that makes pumping easier and more convenient, and the Willow checks those boxes and more.

Instead of dealing with cords, outlets and tons of parts, the Willow is an all-in-one mobile pump that fits right into your bra, allowing you to pump while doing just about anything. It has seven suction levels and only two parts to clean, and there’s an app to track pumping sessions and milk volume. The rechargeable battery lasts for about five pumping sessions.

A Travel Crib You’ll Actually Want to Travel With

A simple playard will do the trick if you’re in need of a safe sleep space for your baby while you’re traveling. But the trade-off for cost is often weight and ease of use; many less expensive travel cribs are really heavy and quite bulky and have a steep learning curve when it comes to setup and breakdown.

The BabyBjorn Travel crib weighs 13 pounds, about 10 or so pounds less than most other travel cribs on the market. It’s really easy to set up and take down (we promise) and features a firm-yet-comfy mattress and all-mesh sides for maximum breathability. It all folds up into a light carrying case so it’s ready to go wherever—and whenever—you are.

A Highchair That Grows with Your Baby

High chairs run the range from as low as $30 to over $500. If you’re planning on adding a more expensive one to your registry, the Tripp Trapp is one of our all-time favorites.

This iconic Scandinavian seat has been around since the early 1970s and is still going strong. It’s well-made from European beech wood and built to last, can be used with a tray or pulled right up to the table, and works from the first days of eating solids until…well, until just about as long as you want to keep it around. (It holds up to 272 pounds!) It’s one of our go-to higher-end seats that we’re positive parents will love.

A Breathable Crib Mattress

A common worry among new parents is their baby’s breathing. (We can’t count the number of times we checked in on our little one during those first few months.) A completely breathable mattress can help relieve some of the anxieties that come along with transitioning your little one to their crib, and although upgrading to a mattress like this is costly, many parents think it’s worthwhile.

The Newton is truly innovative. Made from a woven core that’s 90% air and 10% food-grade polymer, it’s fully breathable, washable and even recyclable. This model works for infants on one side and toddlers on the other (infants require a firmer sleep surface than toddlers do) so you’ll get plenty of use out of it over the years, which helps to defray costs a bit.

A Nursery Staple

We can’t stress enough how great it is to add a glider to your nursery if you have the space for one. Perfect for feeding, rocking, reading and so much more, a glider is something you can use from day one well into the bigger kid years.

This wingback-style glider has every comfort feature you could dream of. There’s a smooth swivel motion, a front-to-back glide, a comfy recline and even a built-in USB port neatly hidden under the armrest for convenient phone charging. The simple, modern style works in any nursery space and parents rave about how comfortable this chair is.

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