Get the most bang for your buck when you make your baby registry. Consider not only an item’s immediate usefulness, but if it will fulfill future needs for your child as well.
Check out our editor’s pick for gear that can grow with your baby:
An audio monitor works fine for hearing a fussy baby, but consider a video monitor if you want to keep an eye on your child as they grow into toddlerhood or even preschool age. Look for an easily mounted camera that you can move from the nursery to the playroom as your child ages, giving you peace of mind to let them play independently while you accomplish other tasks.
You could buy a frame that fits your infant carrier, but that is a one-shot deal. Look for a stroller that is compatible with your carrier, but then has a high weight-limit front seat for when your child sits unassisted. If you have an older child or plan on another baby in the future, look for a model with a “sit-n-stand” option where an older child can ride on the back.
This piece of baby gear is really for you, Mom. You don’t have to choose a diaper bag covered in cartoons. Diaper bags come in beautiful patterns and styles that simply look like a large purse. Find one that is functional for carrying all your baby needs, but can transition into your own bag down the road
High chairs can take up a lot of space in a home. Check out a high chair that straps onto a regular kitchen chair, or one that hooks on to the table. Some even have adjustable seats that become booster chairs as your child outgrows the need for harness straps and trays.
If you are purchasing a rocking chair or glider for your nursery, consider an neutral color in an armchair style that would match the rest of your house. It may be a cuddly haven for bedtime for a few years, but then you could move it to the living room as extra seating.
Changing tables need to have convenient storage and proper edges for holding a changing pad in place safely. But they can also double as a dresser and save you from another purchase later on. You can even buy changing pad rails that attach to a regular dresser, and remove them once your child is potty-trained.
Car seat companies are making it easier than ever to keep one car seat for many years. Look into models that convert from rear-facing to forward-facing to a booster seat, and you won’t have to worry about shopping for a new seat for years.
You may find a bassinet or a rock-n-play works well in the first few weeks, but a play yard with bassinet attachment can last well into toddler years. Use as a place to sleep for a newborn and a changing station, then remove the bassinet level and you have a roomier place for sleep or play for larger children.
Baby Carrier: If you opt for baby-wearing, invest in an “SSC”- a soft structured carrier. Wraps and slings are great for newborns, but structured carriers can last through toddler years and beyond, depending on your child’s size. You can buy an infant insert to start using it for your young baby as well.
What baby gear would you add to this list that grows with your child?