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Worth-it Splurges for Babies and Toddlers

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases, at no extra charge to you. However, all opinions and recommendations are fully honest, transparent and my own.


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My husband and I tend to be more on the “economical” side. Now for my husband, that means don’t buy anything. Nothing. His immediate response to anything I ask for is, “We don’t need that.” Yes, babe, we in fact do need a carseat. 

For me, on the other hand, “economical” means I am always on the hunt for a good bargain, and I don’t like spending more than I need to. I don’t like to “splurge” on a single item. (But I sure don’t mind buying several bargain items…)

So when I say something is worth the splurge, I mean it. I put off buying many of the products listed below for quite a while because I had a hard time justifying the cost when there was a much cheaper option for each itemand I am a firm believer that more expensive does not mean better.

That said, here are a few products I wholeheartedly believe are worth it and I wish I would have bought sooner. Here’s a quick list, and you can read more on them below.

Side note… These are great products to put on your Amazon Baby Registry!

Stokke Tripp Trapp High Chair

Stokke 2019 Tripp Trapp High Chair, Includes Baby Set, Hazy Grey

We did not have this high chair right off the bat, and I wish we would have. We had a regular high chair for baby until she was about 20 months old and then we got this amazing thing. It looks weird and uncomfortable, I know, that’s why we didn’t buy it at first, but trust me, it’s awesome. And not at all uncomfortable!

Why it’s worth the investment:

  • Sits baby at the table with you. There are several benefits to this including children being more engaged in mealtime. Plus, as they get older, they love doing the “adult” things.
  • SO easy to clean. No weird crevices, fabric or grooves to clean. Just an easy wipe down.
  • Grows with baby. The seat and foot plates can be adjusted to fit your baby’s or child’s, and the table’s height perfectly. It can be used from infancy to when they’re 12 according to the website, but who uses a high chair for a 12 year old? Bottom line, it’ll be the only high chair or booster seat you’ll need for your child.
  • Huge space saver. Because it is so sleek, and it pushes up under the table easily, it keeps the kitchen looking tidier. It is especially great for people with small kitchens like me!
  • Lasts forever. It is well made and of high-quality material. A friend of mine found one second-hand; it was 9 years old and she said it was practically brand new!
  • Tons of color options.

Cons: The baby set (harness) must be used with the seat at the very top level, which prevents it from being “adjustable” to your table height, though it will fit most regular table heights. Our table is a bit lower than average, and we were still able to use the baby set with the seat on the second level with a bit of jerry-rigging (but it seems to work fine).

Happy Baby Carrier

Happy Baby Carrier
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Happy Baby Carrier

This might just be my favorite baby product I own. At first I had an Ergo 360, which I think still has its place for very long carries, hiking, etc. But the Happy Baby is much easier, more practical, and fashionable for everyday wearing (to the grocery store, on walks, etc.).

Why it’s worth the investment:

  • Incredibly comfortable fit. The hip strap, wide shoulder straps and chest strap distribute weight really well. Much better than the popular slings, which caused me a lot of back, neck and shoulder pain (even when using them properly).
  • Fits in a diaper bag!!! This is crucial. The Ergo is so bulky that it’s tough to “bring along” just in case, or to stow away when you’re out and about but not using it. I can quickly and easily fold this up and throw it in my diaper bag (you can even find cute storage pouches for them on Etsy). This feature is extra helpful for traveling.
  • Small family-owned business with top-notch customer service. Beth and Brad are the owners of this Baby Carrier business and they are very engaged with their customer base on Facebook and are incredibly helpful whether you have a fit question or customer service issue. They are quick to remedy any problem.
  • Very fashionable. Each spring and fall they do a launch of carriers with new on-trend fabrics and colors. They often engage their Facebook audience for input.
  • Quick and Easy. Once you get the hang of it (which doesn’t take long at all) it takes less than 30 seconds to get it on and baby in.
  • Multiple carrying positions. Happy Baby Carriers can be used for front carries facing both inward and outward (with their Revolution Carrier), as well as back carries and toddler carries (with their Toddler Carrier).
  • Certified Hip Healthy. It is certified by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.

Cons: These carriers are a bit more difficult to use with newborns (though not impossible as many have done it). For the first couple months, I recommend the Solly Baby wrap or the Happy Baby Wrap.

LectroFan Sound Machine

LectroFan High Fidelity White Noise Machine with 20 Unique Non-Looping Fan and White Noise Sounds and Sleep Timer, FFP

Now the price tag on this sound machine isn’t as obvious of a splurge as some of the other products listed here… but there are many options with good reviews for around $20. So why spend more?

Why it’s worth the investment:

  • High Quality. This thing is solid, and doesn’t feel like the cheap plastic $20 ones we had before (we had two, and both broke). It will last.
  • Noise blocking. They don’t claim to be noise cancelling, but this sound machine does an excellent job blocking environmental noise instead of just making more noise like some of the cheaper options.
  • Simple. There aren’t a lot of bells and whistles on this one, but it has the essentials. An optional timer, 10 fan and 10 white noise sounds. It does not have the different sounds like rain, or babbling brook or anything that subconsciously convinces you that you have to pee. I know, bummer.
  • Compact, sleek and discreet. This sound machine is pretty small (though it packs a big punch), which makes it easy to travel with. Plus it doesn’t take up much space on your dresser or side table.

Cons: None, really!

Nutri Ninja Personal Blender

Ninja BL480D Nutri Ninja with 1000 Watt Auto-IQ Base for Juices, Shakes & Smoothies Personal Blender 18 and 24 oz. Black/Silver

Now this one may be confusing as a baby/toddler gadget, and while it is great for kiddos, this is an all-around worth-it splurge. It makes smoothies like a boss, makes clean up a breeze, and is the best way I’ve gotten my toddler to eat vegetables (along with this little genius squeeze pouch). It’s also absolutely perfect for making baby food, if you’re going that route.

Why it’s worth the investment:

  • Gets veggies in your toddler’s belly. Despite our very intentional efforts from the start to give my child a wide variety of nutritious foods, in toddlerhood she started boycotting vegetables (apparently it’s part of the Toddler’s Creed). But blend ’em up in a smoothie, and it’s the best thing she’s ever tasted. We feed her spinach, beets, almonds, flax, carrots, probiotics, multivitamins, the works through smoothies.
  • Super smooth smoothies. No icy chunks here! It has a very powerful motor that pulverizes frozen fruit, whole fruit, ice, and even cooked chicken (if you’re making your own baby food) like its no big deal.
  • Personal size. We have a Vitamix, too, and once we got this, we stopped using the Vitamix. It’s so much less bulky. I also felt like the Vitamix didn’t do a great job if my smoothie batch was small (like just enough for me), but that’s the Nutri Ninja’s specialty!
  • Incredibly easy to clean. Also another reason I prefer this over our Vitamix. The clean up on the Vitamix was a little tedious — having to reach down in to the bottom to try to get around the blade, wash the lid and the stick and the whole big container. With this you can drink it right out of the cup you made it in, and the blade just twists off the top making it easy to clean without having to reach into anything.
  • Set it and forget it. No switching settings, pressing on and off, shaking your blender, etc. The two automatic settings (based on whether or not your contents are frozen) allow you to press a single button, walk away, do some dishes and in 60 seconds, your smoothie is done.
  • Great for making baby food. I know I’ve already said it, but I felt like it warranted its own bullet. Don’t bother with the special “Baby Food Blenders”… they’re overpriced and don’t work nearly as well. Just get this and use it for the whole family.

Cons: It’s pretty loud.

HALO Bassinest

HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Bassinet – Essentia Series, white , Blue ikat

It’s been a while since I’ve used this (baby girl is 2 now), but I loved it when she was an infant and I plan on using it again for baby number two. Many Amazon reviewers who have compared it to the Arms-Reach co-sleeper, Rock ‘n’ Plays (now recalled), and Pack-n-Plays prefer this one.

Why it’s worth the investment:

  • Keeps baby right next to you. Instead of keeping baby low to the ground like other bassinets or Pack n Plays, baby sleeps right at your level. This makes it possible to just glance over in the middle of the night to check on your precious one and not have to bend over to pick up baby. It makes mom’s life a lot easier.
  • Safe co-sleeping. There is much discussion over the safety and validity of research regarding co-sleeping, which I will not get in to here. Regardless, this device allows you to sleep right next to baby while still keeping them separate and completely safe with breathable mesh sides and a flat sleeping surface.
  • Smooth swivel feature. The swivel allows the bassinet to go backwards, forwards, or side to side. It allows you to pull baby right up close to the bed and then move the bassinet out of the way when you need to get out of bed in the middle of the night to pee. This is extra helpful while mama is still recovering from childbirth – no awkward scooting, rolling or shimmying necessary. It also glides very smoothly so as not to wake the baby.
  • Great for C-section mommies. Because it moves around easily, puts baby up high so you don’t have to bend over to pick baby up or sit up to check on baby, it’s ideal for those recovering from c-sections.
  • Won’t tip. This bassinet is not going anywhere. The base is very heavy. This is especially helpful if you have other curious kiddos or pets around that may want to pull on the bassinet to see baby.
  • Adjustable height. You can adjust the height to the height of your bed, and even have it sit on your mattress.

Cons: Some new babies have a hard time sleeping flat on their backs and so they may not love the Bassinet; however, with the Rock ‘n’ Plays having been recalled, there aren’t many other positioning options.

Pockit Stroller

Pockit Lightweight Stroller

This umbrella stroller was one of those items I delayed purchasing for a long time because I was afraid of the price tag and wondered if I would actually use it, since I didn’t plan on getting rid of our regular stroller. Nervously and a bit reluctantly, I pushed “Complete Order,” and I’m so glad I did. I still use our bigger stroller for neighborhood walks and any outings that require more “off-road” strolling, but for errands, traveling, and other outings I use our Pocket stroller.

I wrote a full post reviewing this stroller. Check it out here.

Why it’s worth the investment:

  • World’s most compact stroller (literally). There is no stroller currently in production that gets smaller than this sucker. You legitimately could put it in a large tote when folded completely.
  • Traveling must-have. It is the only stroller you can carry on to the plane… not leave it at the end of the jet bridge, but you can actually bring it with you and put it in the overhead bin because it’s so small. This makes life SO much easier when traveling with littles. It’s also great for road trips because it doesn’t take up precious trunk space.
  • Doesn’t break your back. Our original everyday stroller got to be so heavy once I put the toddler seat on it, and taking it in and out of the trunk started to make my back hurt. This stroller is like a feather, so no back pain here!
  • Still sturdy. Now I wouldn’t say this is great for rough terrain or jogging by any means, but for your everyday normal use, it is of excellent quality.
  • Easy to collapse (once you get the hang of it). At first, it’s a little confusing, but once you get the hang of it, it’s one quick simple motion to get it mostly collapsed (which is what I would do most of the time). There are a couple extra simple steps if you want to fold it into its itty bitty size. I only do these steps when traveling.

Cons: A little more difficult for taller people to push. My husband is 6’5″, and it’s a bit uncomfortable for him to push (he kicks the wheels a lot). I am 5’7″ and it’s just comfortable enough for me if I don’t try to take huge strides.

Learning Tower

Little Partners The Original Learning Tower, Natural

It’s important to me that my children be as involved in our normal daily life as possible. I, like you, want them to learn healthy habits and grow into responsible, helpful children and adults. And while most of that depends on how my husband and I parent, I think this device can play a huge part in raising healthy, food-smart, helpful kids. 

Why it’s worth the investment:

  • Adjustable heights will grow with your child. If you can’t tell yet, I tend to go for products that can be used for multiple stages of infancy or childhood. I hate having to consistently buy new things (and storing the old ones) because my kid outgrew it. This is why I didn’t go for one of the cheaper versions of a learning tower as they all only have one height. Little People’s Learning Tower adjusts to 4 different heights.
  • Unique and evolving opportunities for learning and playing. The possibilities with this learning tower continue to evolve as kids grow. At a very young age it gets them up at your level and allows them to watch mostly. But as they get older they can help food prep (learning to cut bananas, wash potatoes, snap peas, stir the brownie mix, etc.), learn to wash dishes, and even do crafts at the counter.
  • Fosters good food habits and helpfulness. Many mamas I’ve talked to credit their child’s willingness to help in the kitchen or desire to eat a variety of nutritious foods partly to this device. It has allowed their children to learn and become involved in a fun and enjoyable way that seems more like playing than being taught at. 
  • Sturdy and durable. This tower is solid. There’s no tipping or breaking this thing (unless you’ve got larger children swinging on it like monkeys, which is definitely a possibility for some). While it’s made of high-quality materials, the most common complaint is that the paint chips off the painted versions. I have the natural wood one, so it is not a problem with ours.
  • Space for for multiple kids. Some reviewers have mentioned that, because of its size and sturdiness, this learning tower can fit their two small children at the same time. This would most definitely not be the case for some of the other cheaper options which tend to be much narrower. 
  • Keeps kids occupied in the kitchen. This is an excellent tool to keep children engaged and occupied while you’re cooking or cleaning in the kitchen, which always seems to be the time they want you to “come play legos.” 

Cons: It is BIG. So make sure you understand the size and how it’ll fit in your kitchen before buying. This is one of the reasons we bought the Stokke Tripp Trapp High Chair, to get rid of our regular bulky high chair and free up kitchen space for this. There’s also the Little Partners Explore n Store Learning Tower, which is better for small spaces.

Sprout Adjustable Table & Chair Set

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Adjustable Montessori Weaning Chair & Table Set

Whether you use this adjustable table and chairs set for snack time, meal time, crafts or just a surface for playing cars or tea party, this table is another one of our family’s most-loved products. I recommend getting the option with two chairs and all three leg heights (assuming your child is small enough for the shortest size and/or you plan on having more children).

Why it’s worth the investment:

  • Grows with baby from age 6 months to 8 years. This is the only children’s table and chairs set I’ve found that is adjustable and grows with the child making it well worth the investment. When I was looking to purchase, my girl was barely a year old and most of the sets were too tall for her. But I didn’t want to buy a smaller set that I had to replace within a year because she’d outgrown it. This set was the answer! We started using ours when baby was about 16 months (at the lowest height), and switched to the middle height around 22 months (though we probably could have switched sooner)
  • Easy to clean. The surface is a smoothly finished Baltic Birch which allows for quick and easy wipe downs. The edges of the table aren’t fully sealed, though, and can be a bit more difficult to clean (this is my biggest complaint for the set).
  • Lightweight. It is sturdy, but light enough for a toddler to push around. My 22 month old can carry the chair, and enjoys feeling like a big girl doing so. Also really easy to move out of the way when necessary.
  • Encourages independence. We have used this to start introducing our daughter to the concept of eating (unrestrained) at a table mainly through snack times. Though a more rare occurrence, we occasionally do meals here, when whatever is being served won’t be a huge issue if she decides to get up and run to our upholstered dining room chairs…. 
  • Great customer service. At first I wasn’t completely satisfied with the product because our table wobbled. For the money I spent, I was disappointed. When customer service found out, they reached out to me and replaced my table top immediately free of charge. Our table works perfectly now with no wobbling. 

Cons: Edges are not sealed so food and substances such as play dough can sometimes get stuck there and is hard to clean. Also, sometimes shipping takes a while since it’s from a small business.

Hope you’ve found some fun new products that will add value to you and your family’s life! As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to drop a comment or send me an email.


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