Here we are, guys: Budget Baby Buys for 0-6 months, our very favorite affordable newborn essentials! I’ve been wanting to publish a post (or posts, as it will be) on this topic for more than two years. When we were preparing for Lana’s arrival, my guiltiest pleasure was reading one post after another on the must-haves for every plausible baby need — and then researching the recommended products until the cows came home. More often than not, I’d convince myself that we had to have the latest bourgeois parenting gadget of the moment (Mamaroo and friends of 2015, I’m looking at you), and then I’d get cold feet at checkout when my shopping cart total reached First Car status.
So the intent of this series is to present the enviable but also affordable baby-through-preschooler products that we would absolutely buy again. In today’s post, we’re just talking about the budget baby buys for 0-6 months, but future posts in the series will take us all the way to present day.
Affordable Newborn Essentials
In order to make the cut, all of the budget baby buys here had to meet these criteria:
- The product was truly affordable or of significant value. The majority of the items on this list are under $50, and for those pricier items (stroller, bassinet), they’re priced very well relative to their competitors — with no sacrifice to performance or style.
- The product functioned as advertised for the entire time it was needed.
- And most importantly, the product had to be something that we paid for ourselves (or were gifted by friends or family) and would gladly do so again. These are products we are hanging onto should we ever have more children, and that we have recommended to or purchased for our friends with babies. The cream of the crop.
Please note that, while there are affiliate links throughout this post, this content is not sponsored. Just purely sharing what we love because we love it.
Budget Baby Buys: 0-6 Months
- Nest Cam (Baby Monitor) ($199) – Ok, so we’re kicking things off with a splurge — but one that continues to pay off. The Nest Cam lets you view your kiddo (or whatever you’re monitoring, I suppose) through an app or the Nest website, so we could set our parents up with an iPad to monitor while we were out to dinner, but we could also check in on Lana from our phones. Easy-to-use interface, great night vision, and it can (optionally) send you alerts for sound or movement. If you’ve got other Nest accessories in your home (including other Nest Cameras, like in another kiddo’s bedroom), you can access everything from one app. And when we’re no longer using this as a baby monitor, we can employ it as a security monitor elsewhere in the home, so I love the longevity of use.
- Sophie Teether ($25) – She lives up to the hype, what more can I say? Real, natural rubber and food-grade paints in an adorable shape that is, for some reason, irresistible to babes. We ended up buying a backup because it was such a favorite item.
- Dohm White Noise Machine ($49) – We all shared a single bedroom until Lana was 10 months old, so a white noise machine was key for masking our “getting up” sounds in the morning — and for soothing us all back to sleep after nighttime feeds or diaper changes. I love that this isn’t an electronic noise but an actual, physical “whooshing” that you can adjust in several ways. Lana still sleeps with it every night, and we’re adding one to our guest room, which shares a wall with our main living area.
- Chicco Lullago Bassinet ($99) – This was just as chic and sturdy as every other modern bassinet we researched but at a fraction of the price. This was where Lana did 90% of her napping in the early days, but we also took it along as her primary travel bed until she was almost a year old.
- Puj Compact Infant Bathtub ($35) – When we had Lana, we were living in a 600-square-foot house with no bathtub, so we used this compact little tub for sink baths every night for the first 10 months. It still looks brands new, and we still keep it on hand for when friends with wee ones visit.
- Sakura Bloom Ring Sling ($88 and up) – We had three styles of baby carriers (structured, wrap and sling), and we used this one the most, by far. It’s a bit of a luxury compared to the other items on this list, but it’s incomparably soft (and the linen only gets softer with use), super comfortable and so well-made. I loved that it was easy enough for everyday, but chic enough that I could wear Lana even for upscale events (ok, really just weddings…) and still feel somewhat pulled together. If I were to babywear again, I would use this style exclusively.
- Baby Mod Marley Crib ($199)- We looked high and low for a modern, minimal crib that was chic, sturdy and under $300. This crib delivered across the board. I can’t tell you how many times people have asked us where it’s from. We recently outfitted it with the toddler rail ($69), and Lana still sleeps there nightly.
- Zutano Cozie Booties ($15 and up) – Are they socks? Are they shoes? Does it matter? These come in every color you can imagine and are the perfect way to keep non-walking toes cozy. We’ve gifted these to many a babe.
- Baby Jogger City Premier Stroller ($299) – (Note: We actually bought the now-discontinued Baby Jogger City Versa Stroller. The City Premier is the updated version and, as far as I can tell, touts all of the same qualities, plus an even safer, more balanced design.) We bought this stroller knowing that we would only ever intend to use it for one child. That is to say: it does not offer the option to add a second seat. (The similar City Select, however, does.) That said, this is the best multi-tasking stroller we could find, and we tried them all. Nimble enough to navigate store aisles, compact enough to easily get in and out of the car, robust enough to handle the dirt walking trails behind our first house, and more chic than a jogging stroller. (I have one of those, too, but I wouldn’t consider it a budget buy, and I only have it because I did run quite a bit when Lana was little.) The cargo compartment on the Premier is large, the canopy is oversized, the flaps are magnetic! (why anyone would put loud Velcro on a baby stroller is beyond me), the seat can face either direction, and it reclines deeply and with the lift of a lever for on-the-go napping. We bought the carseat adapters that allowed it to be used with our Britax carseat when Lana was very young. (The previous Versa model also offered upgraded sport utility wheels for use on more varied terrains, but I haven’t found those available for the Premier.) We continue to use this stroller today.
- Woolzies Dryer Balls ($16) – A must for cloth diapering, but we also began using these in place of dryer sheets in every load of laundry, both ours and Lana’s. They’re also great for bulking up small loads in the dryer.
- FridaBaby NoseFrida ($16) – There is no more efficient way to (literally) suck out an infant’s stuffy nose, period.
- Gerber Baby Organic Cotton Prefold Cloth Diapers (as Burp Cloths) ($9) – We cloth diapered, but that’s another post unto itself. We kept these cloth diapers on hand solely as burp cloths. Lana was a “happy spitter” (how’s that for a term?), so we really put these to the test. They’re softer and more absorbent than any of the actual burp cloths we purchased, especially after multiple washings.
- Planet Wise Wet/Dry Bag ($22) – We did use this for toting around soiled cloth diapers on the go, but we’ve also used this bag to contain everything from spitty burpcloths/bibs and blown-out onesies to wet swimsuits. The dry pocket is handy for keeping a change of clothes on hand. We still pack this in the diaper bag every day.
- Bloom Baby Wipes ($2.75 as an add-on item!) – Thick, absorbent and oversized. Where we were using two or three other wipes, these get the job done in one. They’re formulated for sensitive skin and made without all the crap. If you buy them in bulk, each large box comes with a refillable zip-top “clutch” for portioning out smaller quantities of wipes for on-the-go.
Obviously this list could have been much longer (babies, it seems, bring with them a lot of…stuff), but I wanted to keep it to my very favorite affordable newborn essentials. If you have any highly recommended budget baby buys for this age, I’d love to hear about them in the comments below. And be sure to stay tuned for the next post in this series: Budget Baby Buys for 6-12 months.
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