If you’re expecting a baby, you’re most likely searching for the very best baby products to buy. Yet the sheer amount of products to sift through (cribs to toys to pacifiers) can be utterly overwhelming, forcing you to settle for whatever is easiest and most available.
But that’s not always the best option.
As as a young mom-to-be, I didn’t know about all of the cool new products out there. I only knew what was the most available to me — completely ignoring important baby sources like IKEA and smaller companies like Guava Family. So while the products I bought were safe and useful, there were so many better products — for our time, our money and our sanity — that I wish I would have known about sooner.
So for you to avoid the same mistakes I did, here are 10 BETTER baby products than the typical buys:
BETTER Exersaucer: The Go Pod 1 of 10Rather than a bright, plasticy, hideous exersaucer, why not opt for something a little easier on the eyes and more practical? You can attach all of your infant's favorite toys onto the Go Pod's toy loops, making it as bright and fun as you'd like. Yet the entire thing collapses for easy storage and portability - which is one of the biggest issues with traditional exersaucers.
BETTER Cribs: IKEA 2 of 10Rather than spending $500 - $1,000 on a baby crib, IKEA sells safe, modern-looking cribs for anywhere from $99 - $120. And even though the classic IKEA cribs are currently not available (they're retesting them to make sure they meet the most recent safety standards), their new cribs, like this IKEA SUNDVIK, are great options.
BETTER Pack-n-Play: The Go Crib 3 of 10The pack-n-play is widely known to be a useful "must-have" baby product, yet when it comes time to "pack" rather than "play," you'll realize it's not quite as portable as you'd hoped. Yet the Guava Family's Go Crib, named Babble's "best travel crib" of the year, is a stable, supportive play crib that's INFLATABLE, fitting neatly in a backpack when broken down. (See the first picture above.) And the sides can even zipper open to create the perfect play area for mobile toddlers, increasing the longevity of this baby buy.
BETTER Swaddlers: Aden + Anais 4 of 10These muslin swaddle blankets are, by far, the best swaddlers you can buy. My 2.5 year old still sleeps with his as his "blankies."
BETTER Bassinet: The Moses Basket 5 of 10Bassinets are a hit or a miss: some babies love sleeping in them, others would rather be in the bed, in a co-sleeper, in a pack-n-play, etc. What I love about this Moses Basket Bassinet is that while it has the rocking base, you can also take off the basket and have the baby sleep anywhere in the house. And then when the bassinet stage is over? You can use the basket to store toys!
BETTER Teether: Chan Pie Gnon by Vulli 6 of 10Everyone loves Sophie the Giraffe, but I'm partial to her cousin Chan Pie Gnon, made with the same natural rubber by the same company, Vulli. But this alternative is especially good for little hands to grasp.
BETTER Pacifier: Hevea 7 of 10Natural rubber is all the rage in the natural toy world (see the aforementioned teethers), which is used in this sustainably made, ergonomically shaped pacifier that's free of BPA, phthalates or PVC.
BETTER Stuffed Animal: Blabla Kids 8 of 10When it comes to lovies, there's nothing sweeter than a hand-knit Blabla doll.
BETTER High Chair ($$$): BabyBjorn 9 of 10If you have the money to spend, the BabyBjorn high chair is the newest, most acclaimed design. It's super easy to clean (no cushions or cracks), ergonomically shaped for safety and comfort, and is fully collapsable (which is a HUGE plus!). The only downside is that it costs $300.
BETTER High Chair ($): IKEA 10 of 10If you want something equally easy to clean and use, but at a much, much lower price, this IKEA Antilop high chair will only cost you a mere $20. There isn't a tray (you just pull it right up to the table) and it isn't collapsable, but it's a way better option than the standard high chairs on the market.
These items are definitely a better buy than these totally extravagant baby gifts!
2. Crib: IKEA;
6. Teether: Amazon;
7. Pacifier: Hevea via Family Style ;
8. Stuffed Animal: Blabla Kids;
10. IKEA High Chair: IKEA