Pricey Baby Products—and Their Cheaper Counterparts

Pricey Baby Products and Their Less-Expensive Counterparts

January 9, 2018

Pricey Baby Products and Their Less-Expensive Counterparts

Pricey Baby Products and Their Less-Expensive Counterparts
Here's the low-down on baby gear on the pricier side, as well as their less-expensive peers.Pricey Baby Products and Their Less-Expensive Counterparts

When preparing for baby, it is easy to get overwhelmed with all of the baby product decisions you have to make. There are so many choices in different price ranges—how do you know what’s worth splurging on and when to opt for the more budget-friendly option?

Here’s a comparision of essential baby gear, with the low-down on ones on the pricier side, as well as their less-expensive counterparts.

Cribs

High End: The design and details of the Evolur Aurora Convertible Crib are fit for little royalty. This crib is made from hardwood and has special details like a curved headboard and Queen Anne-style feet. It’s also a convertible bed that goes from crib to toddler bed to daybed and full-sized bed (with separate conversion kit). Parents looking for a statement piece for their nursery that’s also sturdy will find it in this crib.

Less Expensive: While it’s more basic in its design, the Dream on Me Alissa is a good, budget choice. It’s made from solid wood and converts to a toddler bed, daybed and full-size bed with conversion kit. While it’s not the first thing someone will notice when they walk into your nursery, the crib comes in array of colors to fit most decors, and you can show off your cute wall decals or pretty paint job instead.

Bassinets

High End: The Snoo is designed to soothe your baby back to sleep, giving your baby (and you) the best night’s sleep possible. Created by Dr. Harvey Karp (of The Happiest Baby on the Block fame), the Snoo has swaddle clips to keep baby safely on their back and comes with white noise and rocking motions that begin with baby cries or fusses. It also comes with a sizeable price tag, but if you have it in your budget, can you really put a price on good sleep?

Less Expensive: Parents looking to room share with baby want them to have a safe separate sleep space. That’s where the Halo Bassinet Swivel Sleeper comes in. With an adjustable base that fits next to almost any bed and a 360-degree swivel, the Halo allows you to tend to your baby without getting out of bed—which is key during those late-night feedings, especially if you are still healing from delivery or a c-section. No, it’s not cheap, but it is a less-expensive but great bassinet.

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High Chairs

High End: Some parents want a high chair that looks beautiful at the dinner table, while others think it’s just a chair and tray, and it shouldn’t break the bank. The Baby Bjorn definitely fits into the first category. It has a sleek, modern aesthetic, and an ergonomic design that keeps baby in a proper sitting position. It’s easy to clean, the tray is dishwasher safe and the seat folds flat, making it simple to store and travel with.

Less Expensive: This full-size high chair transforms into a chair and table set for toddlers. The seat pad wipes clean with soap and water, and parents report it’s easy to assemble. And since it grows with your child, you’ll get a lot of use for the money.

Convertible Car Seats

High End: All car seats must pass the same safety standards, but some have extra layers of protection and comfort that may make them worth the bigger price tag to some parents. The Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 convertible car seat can be used both rear and forward facing and works with babies starting at 9 lbs. (rear facing) and up to 70 lbs. (when forward facing). The seat has additional safety features like multi-directional crash energy management and advanced side impact protection, as well as premium self-wicking fabric to help keep baby comfy and cool during their ride. It’s on the heavier side at 23 lbs.

Less Expensive: The Safety 1st 65 Sport convertible car can be used rear facing for babies starting at 5 lbs. and forward facing for children up to 65 lbs. Parents like that it has a compact design that makes it a good fit for smaller cars, has a 5-point harness and is LATCH-equipped for easy installation. For a big convertible car seat, it only weighs 14 pounds.

Strollers

You will probably end up doing as much research on your stroller purchase as you did when you bought your last car. There are so many styles, brands, bells and whistles and price points. Your own lifestyle will determine which stroller is right for you—if you’re a runner, you’ll want something sturdy; if you drive and then walk with the stroller, you might consider a travel system. If you don’t plan to use a stroller often, you don’t need to invest as much money as someone who plans to use it daily.

Jogging Strollers

High End: Runners love the BOB Revolution because of features like a height-adjustable handlebar, state-of-the-art suspension that helps keep the ride smooth for baby, and a locking and unlocking wheel that can be adjusted depending on your terrain. The BOB keeps baby safe and comfortable while allowing you to get a good workout. Parents like that it has high weight limit (up to 75 lbs.—talk about a workout!), but wish it had a larger storage basket.

Less Expensive: The Baby Trend Expedition is a good, budget-friendly jogger that has features to help keep baby comfortable (an adjustable and reclining seat and all-terrain tires), but lacks the adjustable handlebar that makes it work for any size parent. Depending on your height, though, this may not be a problem. It also has a locking and unlocking wheel that allows you to adjust the stroller to your terrain and jogging speed.

Travel Systems

A travel system is designed to take you from the car to the stroller with ease. Your infant seat clicks directly into the stroller, giving you the added convenience of not needing to take your baby out of the car seat to go from car to stroller or stroller to car. Which is great when you have a sleeping baby!

High End: The Britax B Agile’s infant car seat is a parent’s favorite—it goes beyond federal safety standards and clicks directly into any Britax stroller. The stroller has a height-adjustable handlebar, one-hand recline and a quick fold—a big reason why so many parents like it.

Less Expensive: The Graco Lite Rider is solid travel system for smaller budgets. The SnugRide Click Connect 22 infant seat clicks directly into the stroller, and parents report the stroller is easy to fold. Some parents have said the head support isn’t all that supportive, but they like that the stroller is lightweight and that it has an extra-large storage basket.

Carriers

High End: Lots of babies and parents love carriers. They keeps baby snug and close, while letting parents or caregivers have their hands free. The BabyBjorn Carrier is ergonomically designed to keep baby in the best position to prevent hip dysplasia. It also gives parents four ways to wear baby, including on your back for older kids, and can be used from newborn to three years of age.

Less Expensive: The Evenflo Breathable Carrier offers two positions for wearing your baby (facing in or out), and it has breathable mesh panels to help keep your baby cool. Some parents say its lack of ergonomic design isn’t as comfortable for longer wears, but if you plan to use it for quick outings like picking up older siblings from school or short trips to the grocery store, this economical carrier could be a great choice.

Baby Monitors

High End: The Motorola MBP855Connect is the luxury model of video monitors. It connects wirelessly for at-home viewing and can connect through Wi-Fi for remote monitoring on compatible tablets and smartphones. It has a room temperature monitor, which many video monitors don’t have, as well as the capacity to monitor up to four cameras (sold separately) at once, which is huge if you have multiple children.

Less Expensive: The VTech VM311 is a great video monitor with the same 1000-foot range as more expensive models, but it can only be viewed locally and paired with one camera at a time. But it is significantly cheaper, so if you only plan to have one child or your kids share a room, this is a great, affordable option.

Diapers

High End: You’re going to need diapers—and lots of them! Pampers Swaddlers are a favorite brand of many parents. They have a wetness indicator that turns blue when baby needs a diaper change, which is a huge convenience. And they keep little ones dry for up to 12 hours.

Less Expensive: Parent’s Choice diapers also keep baby dry for up to 12 hours and have a wetness indicator. They also have a much lower price point. At the end of the day, every baby is different. Some do fine with any diaper, while others may leak or get diaper rash with one brand and not another. It is usually best to try different brands until you find one that works great for your baby.

Breast Pumps

If you plan to breastfeed, you’re going to want a breast pump. Pumping can help your milk come in and establish your supply, and if you plan to go back to work, you’ll need to pump for bottlefeeding.

High End: The Medela Sonata Smart Pump is exactly that—smart! Its Smart Solution connects the Sonata to the MyMedela app on your smartphone, so you can track your pumping sessions. A double electric pump, it lets you pump more milk in less time, and it’s quiet for discreet pumping. This pricier pump is great for mom’s who pump multiple times a day.

Less Expensive: The Nuk Breast Pump is a double electric pump that gives you the convenience of a quick pumping session without the “smart” aspect of being able to sync and keep track on your smartphone. Some parents say the suction isn’t as powerful as they’d like, but they do like the memory feature that remembers your preferred settings—and the price.

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