Maclaren Volo strollerBack when I was pregnant with my first, I was determined to spend as little as possible on baby gear. I bought almost everything used on eBay, and scoffed at people who spent money on expensive strollers and high chairs and all the other essentials.

But now that I've had four kids and seen (and used) a ton of baby gear, I totally get it. Listen up, new and expectant mamas!

Look, I don't think there's anything wrong with buying used stuff. In fact, I say do it (except for car seats, which you need to be careful about). And I get that people have budgets because I totally did and still do.

But here's the thing: the baby gear that's more expensive and made to last actually does. And it will stand the test of time and many babies (if that's in your family plan).

Take my Maclaren umbrella stroller that was way more than I could have ever imagined spending on an umbrella stroller. I have had it through three children, a ridiculous number of plane rides, and so many trips to the zoo, mall, and you name it that I lost count. And it's still in amazing shape!

Then there's this ridiculously pricey Svan high chair that converts from a high chair to a toddler seat to a big kid chair. We just got it last year, and both my husband and I wish we had known about it before we bought the huge, plastic high chair that we ended up selling before buying another, which we then donated. We've gotten so much use out of that chair (and are still using it) that it's more than made up for the cost.

And don't even get me started on clothing. Yes, I used to roll my eyes at people who spent a lot of money on baby clothes that the little ones spit up on and grow out of in a few seconds. But let me tell you that the dresses and other pieces I've bought from places like Hanna Andersson and Tea Collection have been worn by three girls over the course of eight years. EIGHT YEARS. They look brand new.

So if your budget allows and if you can swing it, buy your baby gear and clothes with the big picture in mind. And don't roll your eyes at the mom who's pushing the fancy stroller. She may have bought it second-hand five years ago and is still using it now with her younger kids.

Do you think you get what you pay for when it comes to baby gear and clothing?

 

Image via Maclaren