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5 Baby Gear Essentials You Won’t Need To Upgrade
Updated on
September 11, 2023

5 Baby Gear Essentials You Won’t Need To Upgrade

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5 Baby Gear Essentials You Won’t Need To Upgrade.
5 Baby Gear Essentials You Won’t Need To Upgrade

When you boil it down, choosing the right baby gear begins with things you’ll use on a daily basis (especially the workhorse gear that needs to get you through several years). Think: A car seat for safely transporting your baby, a high chair for keeping them secure during meal times, and a stroller for…well, strolling. But one thing the baby books don’t teach you is that these day-to-day activities can feel like totally different experiences with a newborn versus a six-month-old, which is why it’s wise to look for gear you won’t need to upgrade after every growth spurt.

If you’re building a registry that’s both solid and forward-thinking, here are five versatile essentials from Graco—known best for gear that’s affordable and functional—that will grow with your baby from infancy and beyond.

A Travel System that Grows with Your Baby Through Toddlerhood

The Graco Modes Nest Travel System is designed to be super useful for both tiny infants and wiggly toddlers. The 3-in-1 system comes with Graco’s SnugRide 35 Lite Elite Infant Car Seat that attaches directly onto the stroller for seamless newborn outings. Or skip the car seat and switch to pramette mode for cozy lie-flat walks around your neighborhood. As your baby grows, it can also be used as a toddler stroller.

In all three modes, you can have your baby sit rear or forward-facing and you can use the stroller’s special Slide2Me feature, which allows you to adjust your baby’s seat to three different heights, bringing them in closer for maximum bonding (babies love being able to see your face on walks—bring on the smiles!).

There are also plenty of thoughtful extra touches designed to make those daily rides easier, like an expandable storage basket for handy diaper bag stowing and a canopy with a peekaboo window so you can keep an eye on your baby while they stay safe from bright sun or dreary rain.

An All-in-One Car Seat You Can Use for 10 Years

If you haven’t yet heard of the beauty of the 4-in-1 car seat, allow us to introduce you. Also referred to as an “all-in-one car seat,” this versatile purchase will convert from a rear-facing car seat for infants all the way to a backless booster seat for big kids—meaning you won’t need to shell out for a new seat every few years. Versions like the 4Ever DLX all-in-one car seat are designed to last until your kid weighs 120 pounds, which could get you a whole 10 years of use.

And since you’ll be using this car seat for so long, there are some baked-in bonus features that make it easier to use on a day-to-day basis (because complicated gear x 365 days a year = a surefire path toward swearing in front of your kids while packing them up for daycare). Things like:

  • A machine-washable cover that can be removed in 60 seconds without uninstalling the seat.
  • An easy belt lock-off that makes safe seatbelt installation a breeze.
  • Thoughtful harness storage that lets you stow straps to the side so you can get your baby in and out without fighting the buckles.

A Baby Carrier That Wears Three Ways

Baby carriers are arguably one of the most beloved baby gear staples thanks to their inherent ability to keep your little one close while helping you maintain use of your hands. This one is designed to take you through baby’s first year (or beyond depending on how fast your baby grows, since this one works up to 30 pounds).

The built-in newborn seat can support infants starting at 8 pounds, then you can wear the same carrier with your baby facing in or out. And to make it easy to get your little one in and out (while still keeping them nice and secure) Graco uses special buckles that feature magnets to guide you to the right spot and then latch to connect. The Cradle Me Lite 3-in-1 Baby Carrier also has a sun hood, so baby is protected no matter which season you’re carrying in.

In addition to doing the whole “carrying a baby around” thing, this baby carrier is also designed with adjustable lumbar support to keep you comfortable as your baby grows (how considerate!), and a breathable mesh panel around your baby’s bottom to keep them comfortable as they enjoy a life of leisure.

A Pack ‘n Play That’s Also a Floor Seat

Graco’s new Pack ‘n Play Sit ‘n Grow Playard packs a ton of functionality into the already-super-useful classic Pack ‘n Play. First, this one comes with a portable infant bassinet, meaning you can use this piece of gear immediately as a newborn sleeper. But now the portable bassinet also converts to an infant floor seat that can be removed to travel with you from room to room—which means no having to buy a separate floor seat when baby starts to sit up. And with six different ways to use it, this Pack ‘n Play provides your baby with a safe and comfortable space to rest and play as they grow through early toddlerhood.

A High Chair that Grows Through Six Stages

The EveryStep Slim 6-in-1 Highchair grows with your baby from baby’s first bottles all the way through your kiddo’s kitchen helper stage, plus features a modern wood grain finish that will still be stylish years from now. When your baby is bottle feeding, the chair can be used as an infant highchair or for tableside hangouts.

Then as your little one grows, you can transition the chair to be a full-size highchair, an infant booster, a toddler booster, then finally a kids’ step stool (in step stool mode, it can actually support two kiddos at once, with one on a step stool and the other in booster mode.)

A wipeable seat and a dishwasher-safe tray insert help keep this sturdy piece of gear in tip-top shape no matter how many mashed peas your baby throws at it.

No one prepares parents for how quick growth spurts can happen (and how expensive they can get), so finding gear that grows with your baby and that you won’t mind using all those years can be a major win. Head to Graco to find more multi-functional everyday gear heroes.

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