My Top Money-Saving Tip: Choose IKEA

By a show of hands, who was the first of their friends to have a baby? Who relied on the advice of her mom/aunts/Consumer Reports to register for gifts? And who was left with a bunch of outdated, sometimes-useless baby products that were way too expensive for the amount of time they were used?

If I've learned one thing in the last two years, it's that IKEA is the #1 place to get safe, good-looking baby products that cost way less than anywhere else. Here's my top 10 list of IKEA baby products:

1. IKEA LÄTTSAM potty, $5

training potty

It's $5. One, Two, Three, Four, Five bucks. And isn't that what poop-filled plastic should cost? Not only that, but it has a high back, generous splash guard and no crevices to catch urine and germs. Easy to clean, easy to use -- it's kind of a no brainer. P.S.: I tested dozens of potty seats for See my favorite picks!


2. Antilop High Chair, $19.99


Oh how I wish someone would have tipped me off to this $19.99 high chair when I was out searching the aises of Babies 'R Us. IKEA's Antilop highchair is ridiculously easy to clean, modern looking and -- did we mention it's 20 bucks?


3. Somnat Crib, $99

IKEA crib

Most IKEA lovers will suggest the $139 Gulliver crib for its simplistic, safe and sturdy modern design (that will typically cost you $500 more anywhere else), but allow me to show you the $99 Somnat: Same simple modern look but in fun colors like green, blue and pink. My neighbor has the Somnat in green and it's gorgeous. And for $99? You'll never find a better baby product deal.


4. Leka Baby Gym, $24.99

It's wooden, it's stimulating and it's not a complete eye sore (which is rare for baby gyms). And it will only set you back $24.99.


5. Krama Washcloths, 10 for $3.99

Do I need to say why?


6. IKEA Ekorre Walker, $19.99

Again, I wish I would have known about this $20 IKEA walker before I dropped $70 on a Melissa + Doug walker that had a wheel fall off within days. And Noah would have loved to stack his blocks or stuffed animals in the little wagon as he trotted around the house. In fact, he might love that now more than ever.


7. PATRULL bathtub mat, $5.99

It's shaped like a cute crocodile and it costs under $10. Brilliant.


8. KLADD baby bibs, 5 for $3.99

Cheap and simple baby bibs -- without cartoon characters or silly "If You Think I'm Cute..." quotes.


9. Expedit Bookcase, $129


The IKEA Expedit is next on our "to-buy" list because of it's incredible versatility: We'll use it to display and store Noah's toys now (think cubbies) and then expand it into a bookshelf that he can use, honestly, his entire life. You can even build on the set, starting with one column of bookshelves and then expanding to an entire bookshelf wall. Love the clean look and attractive price point. You can even turn an Expedit bookshelf into a dresser!


10. SMILA MANE wall lamp, $10

A cute $10 night light that casts a soft light.

Any other IKEA lovers out there? I've honestly never seen a cheaper route that doesn't compromise style or quality. The only downside is you'll have to find an IKEA warehouse in your area, since most of these items aren't available online.