There’s a lot to be overwhelmed about when you’re expecting your first child. You and your partner have embarked on a journey to bring new life into the world, whether by natural conception, IVF, or avenues like surrogacy or adoption. In some ways, it’s never been easier yet more complex to start a family—and that goes for purchasing big-ticket items. There’s a dizzying array of brands and products—some necessary, others superfluous—and the checklist adds up to a pretty penny. In 2021, the baby diaper market in America alone reached roughly $6.3 billion, according to Statista. The stats also show that while the window for purchase is relatively small, parents are looking for “quality purchases.” With burgeoning technology and more robust safety features, luxury baby essentials for first-time parents might cost a premium but they stand the test of time and promise peace of mind.
To help you navigate parenthood with confidence, we’ve tested over 20 highly rated luxury baby essentials for first-time parents with the help of the toughest critics: real newborns and parents. This isn’t an exhaustive list—we excluded clothing and grooming products—but it should guide your shopping list and save you from spiraling down Facebook forums. And if you’re looking to gift a new parent for the holidays or anytime of year, think of this as a registry expansion pack.
Luxury Baby Essentials for First-Time Parents
1. Joolz Aer With Carrycot
Clocking in at a little over 13 pounds, the dimensions of the Joolz Aer stroller were designed to be copacetic with airplanes’ overhead bin capacities (21″ x 17.7″ x 8.5″). And since traveling with a little one means your hands are always full, it boasts a one-hand closure. To do so, pop back the canopy, apply the brake, then squeeze the button on the handle and push the stroller down toward the floor. Its collapsible design falls into itself intuitively. A carry strap lets you hoist the stroller over a shoulder (shown above). To re-open, just squeeze the handle’s button and it’ll spring back to its full-size glory. (Watch a tutorial here.)
More thoughtful features include a mesh panel on the expandable sun hood to provide ventilation and visibility, a five-point buckle harness that slides up and down for easy adjustment, a roomy basket under the seat for stowing toys and a diaper bag, and a slide stash pocket behind the seat. Speaking of which, the sizable patented seat is nicely padded and supports your child’s head and neck with a recline function for children 6 months and up. Just unzip the back compartment and adjust the angle of the incline by tightening or loosening the strap.
For newborns, the Joolz Aer With Carrycot provides a bassinet with a mesh mattress for breathability, a removable bumper bar that pivots open, as well as an expandable UPF 50+ sun hood with a zippable mesh panel to keep things breezy on balmy days. While it maintains its one-hand closure with the bassinet, note it won’t fit in overhead plane compartments, though it collapses in much the same way: Slide the canopy back, then push down on the base of the bassinet (closest to the handle/back of stroller) as you lift and pull the lever up (the front of the bassinet should pivot down), then squeeze the handle’s button and push the stroller toward the ground.
The high handlebar makes the stroller suitable for tall men (no slumping to push), and the four-wheel suspension lets you steer one-handed without fighting over uneven surfaces.
We also love the emphasis on sustainability: The brand uses 100 percent sustainable and traceable fabrics, many of which are made from recycled PET bottles, which are recycled and reimagined into premium fabrics. For every purchase, Joolz plants a tree in Colombia in what they call the “Joolz Birth Forest.” The cardboard packaging is even meant to be reused as a toy: You can assemble the pieces into an airplane. Your newborn might not be impressed, but any tots (or pets, for that matter) are sure to be amused.