When you are pregnant with your first child, deciding what to put on your baby registry can be overwhelming. After all, this is your first child. How are you possibly supposed to know what you and your little human need?
Research (and researching some more) can be helpful because you will hear from many parents on what worked for them. But you will also come across many expensive items. You will be left wondering if any of these big ticket baby items are really worth it.
I am here to help you – with a comprehensive list of the best expensive baby products. These are the items that you really should be adding to your baby registry or have on your shopping radar. So let’s get started and take a look.
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What Makes Baby Items “Big Ticket” or Expensive?
At this point you are probably wondering what exactly constitutes a big ticket baby item. The rule of thumb is anything over $100 is in this category.
Basically, things you need to save for or consider an investment would fall under the expensive baby item umbrella. You can put some or all of these big ticket baby items on your baby registry, but keep in mind only your closest friends and family will likely purchase them.
The Big Ticket Baby Items You Absolutely Need For Your Registry
As mentioned above, the big ticket baby items you put on your registry are more likely to be purchased by your closest friends and family members. In saying this, you will want to be mindful of the products you list on your registry and make sure you also include lower priced item so there are a variety or price points to choose from for your shower guests.
Below is my list of what I consider to be the must have big ticket baby items you definitely should add to your registry.
Infant Car Seat
An infant car seat is a given when you are looking at baby items that are considered essentials. They are definitely on the higher end of the price scale, but they are a necessity for safely traveling in a car with your baby.
If people are wondering what to get you for your baby shower and really want it to be something they know you need and will make use of – an infant car seat is the way to go.
There are many different types and brands available, including those which attach to your stroller (these are considered travel systems). Infant car seats are generally used for the first 3-6 months of your baby’s life and should be rear-facing.
A stroller is a must have! Getting a stroller that can adapt and grow with your child is a definite winner.
Strollers help you get from a to z with your little one and give your baby a whole new perspective with which to view the world. And not to be forgotten, they are perfect for naps as well.
You can opt for a stroller that fits a car seat and also grows with your child, as shown above. Or, you could get a frame stroller that fits your infant car seat. Frame strollers are very lightweight, which is convenient when you are out and about.
Crib & Crib Mattress
When your baby is a newborn you will most likely want them right by your side and possibly in a bassinet or co-sleeper. As great as these are, they will be used for a short period of time (about 3-4 months).
On the other hand, a crib and crib mattress will be used up to 3 years old, so these high ticket items are important to put on your baby registry. You will pick a crib that matches the nursery’s theme and colors.
Nursery Furniture – Dresser & Bookshelf
Although these items may not seem like absolute necessities right away, they are definitely great items to have in your baby’s nursery. You will want somewhere to store books and maybe even some toys.
A dresser is perfect for storing adorable clothing items and anything else that needs to be easily accessible when you are in the nursery. I recommend getting a short dresser with 6 drawers. This will give you enough storage, while also providing space for a changing pad on top.
Other Expensive Big Ticket Baby Items That Might Be Worth It
Now that we have gone over the big ticket baby items that are definite must haves, here is another list of items that are expensive and useful, but not absolutely necessary. If you are considering having more children down the line, it’s probably worth investing in some of these products.
Bassinets can be a great investment for the first few months. If you would like your newborn to sleep in your room (which is recommend by the AAP), then a bassinet is a very popular choice.
They are much smaller than a crib, making them easier to put in your bedroom. Many bassinets are also portable, so you can have your little one sleeping near you no matter where you are either at home or on the road.
I personally used bassinets with my twins and even though these are optional when you have a crib, I do recommend getting one. They are way more convenient and take up much less space when you have a newborn sleeping in your room.
Playard (Pack N Play)
I love the Pack n Play playards because they grow with your baby. If you have the space in your bedroom (they are bigger than bassinets) you could get a Pack N Play with a bassinet and changing area instead of a traditional bassinet.
However, if you plan to use a bassinet then you could get just the basic playard, which is really not even considered a big ticket baby item because it’s less than $100.
You can use the basic playard for naps, for sleeping at night in your room, as a playpen once your baby can sit up, and as a portable crib up to 3 years old. Just keep in mind a bassinet is smaller and more cozy for a newborn, so your baby might sleep better there.
All kids love a swing, even from a very early age. A baby swing that plugs into a wall can be very pricey and may not be on everyone’s list of must haves.
I will tell you that there was a time period where a swing was all my 2 month old babies would sleep in. I’m not sure why they needed this, but they grew out of it within a month. For this reason, I found a baby swing to be totally worth it.
Baby swings are great for little ones to take a small nap in, they also allow your baby to be entertained (safely) and you can be hands-free for short periods of time. You can find various types of baby swings and each one will come with its own special features and benefits (which will also influence the price attached).
My personal choice was a glider swing, mostly because it took up less space. Don’t get me wrong, it still is a bulky item to find a spot for, but every inch counts.
Given their hefty price tag and limited time they are used, baby swings are a great baby item to buy used.
Video Baby Monitor
If you have a large home or a multi-story home, having a baby monitor will be beneficial. Baby monitors can give you peace of mind when your baby is not close to you at night and during naps.
This being said, you can get a less expensive audio-only monitor or you can opt to get a multiple-use video baby monitor. A video monitor is useful when you just want to check in on your baby to make sure he is okay.
I also found video monitors to be extremely helpful for sleep training and during the toddler years.
Nursery Glider Chair
Is a nursery glider chair necessary? No, but a good quality glider is a great investment, especially if you plan to breastfeed. They also make a great spot for holding and calming your baby down at night.
When you are researching gliders, you should look for durable, comfortable chairs with a rocking motion. This is not only for your benefit, but for that of your baby too. They will love the rocking motion and you will save your arms and back from any discomfort.
Gliders can be used for many years to come because they make an excellent place to sit and enjoy a book together as your baby grows.
Nursery Blackout Shades or Curtains
Nursery blackout shades or curtains are a great investment towards helping your baby sleep well, especially if your baby’s room gets heaps of light. Bright rooms can often cause disturbances in your baby’s sleep routine, so blackout shades can be really useful.
Depending on how many windows the nursery has, the cost of blackout shades or curtains will quickly add up, making this a big ticket baby item. To learn more about picking the best curtains check out our article on the best blackout curtains for the nursery.
I recommend getting a changing table if you have more than one floor in your home. We have two floors, so we had a changing pad on top of a short dresser in the nursery upstairs and then a changing table for downstairs.
I know some people use a Pack N Play as a changing spot, but after your baby is 3-6 months old he will outgrow this, so I found it better to get a changing table. I also liked have a dedicated area to store diapers and other baby items like burp cloths and bibs.
This next item is a really great item to have, but it will not be needed until your little one can sit up and starts to eat solid food, which will be anytime from 4 months upwards.
The great thing about a high chair is you do not necessarily need something super fancy or brand new. As long as they are still structurally sound and meet all the safety requirements, you can get them for under $100 either new or second hand.
But, I included them on this list because there are many high chairs on the market that cost more than $100. So it’s really up to you how much you spend, depending on the qualities you are looking for. For example, a wooden high chair will be more than $100.
The most important thing with a high chair is safety, so always check the straps and make sure the table part is attached correctly.
Convertible Car Seat
Once your baby grows out of his infant car seat, you will need to transition him to a convertible car seat. This will happen around 9-12 months old, so you don’t need it right away.
However, due to the cost it might be helpful to include a convertible car seat on your baby registry. Once your baby goes into a convertible car seat he will be in it for quite a few years.
Personally, I recommend buying a slim convertible car seat to save as much space as possible in your vehicle.
Umbrella or Jogging Stroller
When your baby is older and out of his infant car seat you can transition to using an umbrella stroller, a jogging stroller, or both (depending on your needs).
If you do a lot of things outside and walk or run far distances with your baby, then a jogging stroller is a good investment.
A jumper is something that is not on everyone’s baby registry and that is fine because it is not a necessity. Plus, it will not be used until around 6 months.
However, it is just a whole lot of fun for busy, bouncy babies and gives parents some time to get things done while their baby is thoroughly entertained.
The Best Ways To Afford These Big Ticket Baby Items
The biggest objection you may have when it comes to shopping for big ticket baby items is the price and the fact that you feel you cannot afford them. That is one of the reasons I wrote this list, so you could see what’s definitely necessary and which items you can wait to buy or don’t need at all.
But what are some options for affording all these expensive baby items?
- Add them to your baby registry (hopefully some get purchased)
- Start saving your money now for the items you want
- Sell things you have that you no longer need
- Join your local Buy Nothing Facebook group
- Buy the items used – good places to look are Facebook Marketplace or consignment shops like Once Upon a Child
Happy baby shopping as you find the best big ticket baby items for your baby registry.
As you can see big ticket baby items are not always 100% necessary, but many of them can be really worth the investment. At the end of the day, you will have to decide which of these expensive items you definitely need, which ones you can wait to purchase, and which ones you don’t need.
The good news is many of the items on the list can be used for many years to come, especially if you are going to have more than one child.
Finally, if you need more baby registry and pregnancy help be sure to grab our two FREE resources. A printable baby registry checklist and a pregnancy checklist broken down by trimester. Just fill in the form below.
And if you are looking for additional assistance check out this baby gear guide that will clarify EVERYTHING about your baby registry for you. Figure out where to register, which baby items you personally need, how to use them, and when to use them.
Use the mom-approved baby gear recommendations and sample baby registries to get the highest quality newborn must haves at the best price. It’s really the ultimate guide to making sure you get you what you need for your newborn.