Having a baby doesn’t have to mean spending an arm and leg on baby products. If you’re looking for alternatives to some of the high-end baby items out there, check out the products on this list. Choosing these budget options over the higher-priced items will save you over $3,000!
1. Portable baby bed
High-end Option: DockATot ($175+)
When it comes to baby sleep solutions, the DockATot is touted as the best of the best. It’s a lightweight, portable baby bed designed to help babies sleep longer stretches at night and ease the transition from bassinet to crib.
There’s no doubt the DockATot is a high-quality product – it’s one of the top rated baby beds of 2020 by multiple websites – but unfortunately, it’s also on the pricey side: the lowest cost model on Amazon rings in at $175.00.
Budget Alternative: TotPods ($39.99)
For the price tag you really can’t go wrong with the TotPod. It’s exactly what a portable baby bed should be: affordable, lightweight, and safe. Here’s why parents love it:
- Affordability: Let’s start with the cost. At just $39.99, the value is amazing.
- Lightweight: Second, this product is way more portable than the DockATot. It weighs just six ounces, as opposed to the DockATot, which weighs over a pound. That might not seem like much of a difference, but if you need a baby bed you can take on trips and move around the house, every ounce counts. I love that the TotPod folds up easily, and also adjusts to fit babies from 0-18 months.
- Safety: You can feel secure knowing that TotPods were designed with safety in mind. Unlike other portable baby beds, the TotPod has a small, rounded pillow designed to go under baby’s legs, as well as a flat surface for your baby’s head. These design features help ensure that your little one won’t roll off the pad. The support cushions aren’t fluffy or overly soft, and the fabric is light and breathable.
2. Smart Bassinet
High-end Option: Snoo ($1,395)
When it comes to bassinet luxury, the Snoo is at the top of the list. Parents rave about this product, saying it has saved their sleep and helped their baby establish sleep patterns.
The Snoo was created by Dr. Harvey Karp, known by many parents as the author of the bestselling Happiest Baby on the Block. Like the book, the bassinet is touted as a way to help find baby’s “off switch” when he or she is crying.
The Snoo’s attractive design and app-compatibility make it a popular choice for many parents – but it comes at a price. The Snoo costs over $1,300, and that doesn’t include any optional accessories.
Budget Alternative: Graco Sense2Snooze ($256)
The Graco Sense2Snooze is an amazing product that costs over $1,000 less than the Snoo. The Graco Cry Detection technology uses a built-in microphone that senses when your baby cries and produces a combination of soothing sounds, vibration, white noise, music, or motion to gently rock baby back to sleep.
Aside from the low cost, the Graco Sense2Snooze has several other things going for it:
- Customizable settings: One great thing about this product is the Parent Mode feature, which allows you to save your baby’s preferences for Cry Detection. So for example, if your little one is a little too stimulated by the music but loves the vibration and white noise, you can save those preferences for future use.
- Thoughtful design: The design is also well thought-out. The bassinet features breathable mesh sides, so you can see your baby easily. There’s also a light-blocking canopy, a built-in night light and dimmable lighting on the buttons (awesome to have when you’re searching for a diaper in the middle of the night!), and convenient built-in storage pockets. The Sense2Snooze is lightweight and portable, with built-in wheels to easily move the bassinet around the house.
- Washable fabric: There’s one other big perk: the mattress is washable! For me this is a huge plus. Babies are leaky, and having to spot clean a mattress by hand when you’re trying to deal with all the other challenges of being a new parent isn’t exactly convenient.
Unlike the Snoo, the Graco Sense2Snooze does not connect to a companion app, but other than that, it’s a comparable product with a much more affordable price tag.
3. Baby Crib
High-end Option: Nestig Cloud Crib ($599)
This crib’s design is hard to beat. The natural mahogany wood and white colors are modern and a good match for most room designs, and you can convert it into a mini crib, full crib, or toddler bed. The crib also comes with rolling feet and three height levels, so it’s a convenient option for a variety of nursery options or for portable use around the house.
Really, the only downside is a price tag. Although the value is decent, since you have a crib that will last through the toddler years, a $600 crib may be way outside your budget.
Budget Alternative: IKEA GULLIVER Crib ($99)
Enter the GULLIVER Crib from IKEA. The white color and slim design make it a great option for small spaces, and the price is pretty much impossible to beat if you want a quality, brand new crib. Here’s what makes it great:
- Compact design: Although it doesn’t have a mini crib conversion option like the Nestig, the crib is compact enough that you probably won’t even need to purchase a separate bassinet. It’s super easy to assemble, and it’s also attractive – perfect for pretty much any room color scheme or design.
- Adjustable mattress and side rail: You can raise and lower the mattress, and the side rail can be removed completely when your little one hits the toddler years for an instant toddler bed conversion. So really, you’re getting a crib and a toddler bed for less than $100 – hard to go wrong!
- Long-lasting quality: You might be wondering how such an affordable crib holds up over time. Several reviewers noted they have used the crib for multiple children and many years. The GULLIVER is made of solid wood, unlike a lot of IKEA products, and is built to last. I have many friends who have this crib and have used it for multiple kids, and they all rave about the durability and ease of use.
I also love that the price tag on this crib frees up money to buy a nice mattress, cute bedding, and nursery décor, which can add up quickly! IKEA has several affordable, quality crib mattresses that go well with the GULLIVER – just be sure to check dimensions before you make a purchase to ensure the right fit.
4. Baby Monitor
Baby monitors have come a long way since the nineties. With high-end options like the Nanit or Owlet, you can not only hear and see your baby, but you can also track his or her heart rate, growth, and sleep habits. For data lovers, smart monitors are pretty much a parent’s dream come true.
But all that data comes with a sizable price tag – in the case of Nanit or Owlet, two common smart monitor brands, costs can exceed $300.
Budget Alternative: Axvue Video Baby Monitor ($76.99)
If your baby monitor budget is $100 or less, there are a few options that can provide peace of mind at a lower price tag. We love the Axvue Video Baby Monitor for a simple, affordable video monitor option.
- Ease of use: The monitor is simple to set up, and comes with a 4-inch screen for easy viewing from a long range.
- Great video: The video quality is great, and the two-way communication allows you to easily shush your baby back to sleep while you’re in another room. I also like that the video screen turns off when your baby is sleeping soundly, but automatically comes back on if it senses sound or movement.
- No WiFi needed: The monitor is not dependent on WiFi, making it a great option for trips to places that don’t have dependable WiFi.
REALLY Budget Alternative: Your Smart Phone!
Of course, you can always revert to the old-school method many parents used before the dawn of smart monitors: your smart phone! My husband and I forgot to bring a monitor to a family vacation a few years back, so we just video called each other, set up my husband’s phone next to the crib with a great shot of our baby, and checked my phone throughout the evenings to make sure baby was okay. It worked great! Another option is to use a baby monitor app.
5. Baby Car Seat
High-end Option: Nuna Pipa Car Seat ($300)
The Nuna Pipa is an attractive, safe, well-designed car seat designed for babies up to 32 pounds. It’s a sturdy seat, but also lightweight at just 8 pounds. Parents who reviewed this car seat online raved about the seat’s soft cushion support, ease of use, and lightweight design.
The car seat also has several accessories you can purchase, such as the rain cover, BOB stroller adapter, and travel bag. But the one downside is the price tag - over $300 for the seat alone!
Budget Alternative: Cosco Scenera Next ($49.99)
Although it is a few pounds heavier, weighing in at 10 pounds, the Cosco Scenera Next is about $200 cheaper. It also has a slightly larger weight range of up to 40 pounds. The seat comes in over ten different colors and cute designs, as opposed to the Nuna Pipa which only offers four color choices.
While it might not have some of the high-end design touches and extra padding like the Pipa does, the seat is attractive and the cushioning is firm but supportive. Here are a few other pros to consider:
- Great for travel: Based on parent reviews, portability is one of the biggest pros for this car seat. At this price tag, car seats tend to be bulky and awkward to carry. Reviewers consistently raved about how portable the Cosco Scenera Next is. Many reviewers noted they used this carseat during long airplane or car trips without complaint from their baby. That’s a pretty impressive feature for a car seat of this value!
- Safe: The Cosco Scenera Next is also designed with safety in mind. The headrest features Side Impact Protection, and the five-point harness is easy to adjust for a perfect fit.
- Great for big families: If you have three kids in car seats, the Scenera Next is compact enough that it should fit in one row. So you don’t need to buy a new car to accommodate your new little one – major benefit!
- Ease of cleaning: This car seat is extremely easy to clean. The car seat pad design doesn’t have a lot of hard-to-reach crevices, and you can wash the cover in the washing machine with no damage to the fabric. And not only is it easy to remove, but it’s easy to replace. No more car seat cleaning headaches!
6. High Chair
High-end Option: Tripp Trapp by Stokke ($349)
When I first heard about the Tripp Trapp, I was admittedly a bit puzzled. It seemed like an outrageous price for such a simple product. It’s basically an adjustable wooden high chair that has different levels to allow your child to sit at the table from infancy. But $300? Definitely out of the budget for something as basic as a high chair!
Despite my initial reaction, I have several friends who have the Tripp Trapp, and after seeing it in use in real life, I can say it is a pretty cool product. Kids seem to find it very comfortable at various ages and stages, and the chairs last a long time. You can also purchase accessories such as the infant set, baby set, or tray to make it a versatile seat you can use from infancy into the older toddler years. You can even you’re your child’s name engraved on the back of the seat!
Nevertheless, the price tag still holds me back from making a purchase (although I will admit to stalking Craigslist to find one second hand!).
Budget Alternative: IKEA ANTILOP ($20)
There’s a reason it’s kind of like an IKEA cult classic. While it may not come with name engraving, the value of this high chair is impossible to beat. The ANTILOP has lasted us ten years and five kids, is still going strong. There are many reasons we love this chair, including:
- Lightweight and portable: We’ve taken this chair on road trips and moved it cross country several times, and it couldn’t be easier. You can easily disassemble the chair when your little one outgrows it and store it away for future use.
- Easy to clean: High chairs can get pretty gross. When we first got this high chair, I worried because it is white and kids are messy, but the ease of cleaning makes it easy to keep it clean. I run the tray through the dishwasher regularly and have never had a problem. There aren’t a lot of hard-to-reach cracks and crevices like you find with many high chairs, and if you purchase the removable padded cover (which only costs $8), it’s washable.
- Long-lasting: Although you can’t use this high chair for an infant, it has lasted us well into toddlerhood. Some of our kids liked it so much, they didn’t want to transition to a regular chair!
7. Baby Stroller
High-end Option: Vista V2 ($969.99)
The Vista V2 from UppaBaby is a very cool stroller. It comes with a bassinet, has a UV ray-resistant canopy, adjusts easily, has some pretty amazing accessories, and allows you to transport up to three kids at one time. Plus, it’s beautiful and lasts a long time. UppaBaby really thought through the design features, and parents love the comfortable, durable leather handlebar and suspension system.
There’s just one problem: It costs as much as many American spend on their monthly rent or mortgage payment.
Budget Alternative: Mockingbird ($350+)
Mockingbird strollers look and feel like designer brands without the high-end price tag. Multiple websites listed the Mockingbird as the “best bang for your buck” stroller option in 2020. Here are a few reasons you should consider the Mockingbird (and save almost $700 while you’re at it!):
- Comfort: This stroller is designed for comfort, both for baby and for you. On baby’s side of things, you can easily adjust the seat so your little one can sit up or recline the seat so he or she can take a cozy nap (and many reviewers noted how much their babies love to nap in this stroller). For parents, the stroller features a comfortable handlebar (also with attractive and durable leather grips) that easily adjusts to different heights. And the suspension provides a smooth ride and easy handling for mom or dad – a perk for both of you!
- Ease of use: The Mockingbird folds up easily, and the seat is easy to adjust to rear- or parent-facing. It weighs the same amount as the Vista V2 (about 26 pounds), and is compatible with most infant car seats.
- Design: The Mockingbird looks like it has a $1,000 price tag. It’s sleek, compact, minimalist, and functional. You can also choose from several different design features, like black or brown leather and different colored canopies.
If you want a multi-child option, check out the Mockingbird Single-to-Double Stroller, which is less than $100 more than the single stroller option (but still $600 less than the V2!).
8. Baby Wraps
High-end Option: Solly wrap ($65.00)
A high-quality baby wrap is a lifesaver during the newborn stage, and the Solly wrap is certainly top-notch when it comes to quality. The wrap is made from luxurious modal cotton fabric, making it a great wrap for year-round use. Solly wraps come in a variety of colors and patterns, and the wrap easily folds to fit into a diaper bag. But the price tag is on the high side for a cotton wrap.
Budget Alternative: Acrabros Baby Wrap Carrier ($19.99)
The Acrabros baby wrap is a newer wrap with excellent reviews – so good, the price tag seems to good to be true. At less than $20, you could purchase three of these wraps for the price of one Solly wrap. Here’s why you should consider giving this wrap a try:
- Lightweight: Like the Solly wrap, the Acrabros wrap is made of lightweight, breathable fabric – a polyester/rayon blend. The fabric is breathable in the warmer months, but also provides warmth in cold weather.
- Slight stretch: I actually prefer my wraps to be a bit on the stretchy side, and the Acrabros seems like a perfect option. Reviewers noted that although the wrap is on the stretchy side, it also feels secure, which is obviously an important quality!
- Comfort: Reviewers also noted how comfortable this wrap is, both in terms of the wearer and the softness of the material. I’ve had a few other wraps that got a bit rough and scratchy over time, which makes wearing your little one much less comfortable.
Like any full-length wrap, the technique of wrapping the Acrabros might take some getting used to, but once you’ve mastered the skills, the Acrabros is sure to be a helpful tool at an unbeatable price.
9. Portable Changing Pad
High-end Option: Caraa Portable Diaper Changing Pad ($99.99)
Want a changing pad that doesn’t look like a changing pad? The Caraa is one option. I never thought I would say this about a changing pad, but the Caraa is actually stylish. The pad folds up into a compact clutch, with two sturdy clips to keep it closed. It also comes with a large built-in pocket and two small pockets for convenient storage.
Made of vegan materials, the Caraa is the eco-conscious parent’s dream come true. There’s just one downside: it’s almost $100.
Budget Alternative: Mushie Portable Diaper Changing Pad ($29.99)
The good news is, changing pads have come a long way in the last decade. You no longer have to spend half your grocery budget to purchase a stylish and functional changing pad. The Muschie portable changing pad is one example of an affordable, stylish option. Here are a few of its best features:
- Cute design: The Mushie’s stylish design makes it look like a high-end product. Like the Caraa, it folds into an attractive clutch. It’s made of 100 percent cotton, with a quilted finish that gives it a fashionable flair.
- Convenient features: The Mushie has two side pockets for you to store diapers and wipes, as well as a durable (and attractive) snap closure. (Personally, I prefer the clean design of the snap closure to the buckle closure on the Caraa.) It also has a carrying handle on the corner for easy transport.
- Perfect size and comfort: Although it’s compact when folded up, the Mushie is 27 inches long when unfolded, and 14 inches wide, so you have plenty of room to change a wiggly baby. The material is also soft and provides a bit of cushioning for your little one.
I love the story behind the Mushie changing pad. Mushie products are made in the U.S.A by a couple who has a mission to bring affordable, quality baby products to new parents. In addition to changing pads, the company also sells swaddle blankets, bedding, toys, and feeding supplies. Take some time to browse their website for more affordable, eco-friendly baby items!