Baby Gifts: Is “Convertible” Baby Gear Worth the Added Cost?

Posted on 01 September 2012

Many types of baby gear are designed to grow with your baby. The most common are convertible cribs, which convert from a crib to a toddler bed, a day bed, and finally, a full-size bed (with a few added components.) You'll also find convertible double strollers (the popular Sit-and-Stand converts to a little jump seat for your toddler who may want the freedom to get out and explore), convertible high chairs, and convertible car seats that go from infant to toddler to booster seat. Most of these products cost more, because you're supposed to get years of use out of them.

Are these products worth it?

Moms and dads we polled said “Yes!” Several parents noted that their toddler is now using their convertible crib as a day bed or toddler bed and say the quality is good enough that they plan to make the transition to full-size bed, too.

Changing tables that convert to dressers are also a good investment, since the changing table is then a piece of furniture your child will use throughout their early years.

Personally, we got extensive use out of our daughter's pack-and-play as a bassinet, then a portable crib for travel and now we're using it in the playroom to store stuffed animals and blankets. At this rate, it might last until both kids are teenagers!

I also splurged on all-wood, convertible high chairs that went from regular baby high chairs with an easy-to-clean tray, to restaurant-style high chairs that pull right up to the table, to booster seats designed for kids up to age five. These would still be working well, except we recently bought a counter-height kitchen table.

Questions to Consider Before Putting Convertible Baby Gear on Your Baby Gift Registry

If you're not sure if convertible baby gear is the way to go for your baby gift registry, answer these questions: - Are you planning another child soon, so that you'll want to pass baby gear on rather than “convert” it? - Do you plan to move? If you do, will your convertible baby gifts fit well in your new space? (For instance, since a convertible crib becomes a full-size bed, it may not fit in a home with small bedrooms.) - Do you take good care of furniture and other items? Are you willing to pay more for a higher quality item? If not, you may not want to invest in convertible baby gear or even put it on your registry as baby gifts.

Convertible Gear as Baby Gifts

Most new parents hope they'll get most of necessities for their new addition as baby gifts. Because of the higher price tag of convertible gear, friends and family may not be as willing to purchase these items. Spread the word, in a subtle way to close friends, that you wouldn't mind if people chipped in to buy some of the more expensive baby gifts on your registry. Or request gift cards so that you can shop around for the best prices and buy these big-ticket baby gifts yourself.

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