For mamas just looking for the basics that last a lifetime. Or at least through those baby years!
The baby gear industry is booming. It’s HUGE and trying to figure out what exactly you’ll be needing for your first baby can quickly become a very daunting task. So as a service to all you new mamas, I created a list of my favorite and most used baby gear items. Along with a few things I would consider “bonus items” – great to have but not totally necessary in case you’re watching the budget.
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I’ m sure you already know this, but babies poop. A LOT. Especially during those first few months, so unless you want to be taking the trash out every evening, I suggest a sturdy diaper pail. I used an Ubbi diaper pail and still have it today. They come in a bunch of awesome colors now, you can use your own type of trash bag and they are awesome a keeping in the stink. As an added bonus, you can use them with a wet bag if you’re going the cloth diaper route. Win-win!
No, you don’t need a changing table. It’s a complete waste of space. Go ahead and find an inexpensive pad and place it on top of the baby’s dresser. See? Multi-purpose!
A Rock ‘n’ Play
My first child slept in this every night for months and my second did as well. They are especially great for babies with reflux issues. And now they make an awesome version that rocks itself. The only way that could be better is if it magically changed diapers too!
(Note: This above product is part of an active recall by Fisher-Price as of April 2019.)
Dr. Brown’s bottles
These are what worked the best for me but there are so many new and awesome versions of baby bottles out there. Whether you plan to formula feed from the very beginning, or are exclusively breastfeeding, you’ll still need some bottles either way.
A decent drying rack
I don’t typically feel you need to invest in a bottle sterilizer, although if you go that route, it may be a great time saver for you. You’ll need a bottle brush and I definitely recommend a versatile drying rack such as the Boon lawn countertop rack. It’s super functional and will last basically a lifetime. And you can continue to use it once your baby has graduated to sippy cups and tiny baby spoons. Aww!
These SwaddleMe Velcro wraps are awesome, but can also be a little noisy when unwrapping. So if you’re concerned about startling your sleepy little angel right out of her dream zone, then I absolutely love the muslin blankets from aden + anais. Either way, get a set of these super soft wraps. They’re great for everything from on-the-go car seat covers to a spare burp cloth. My toddler still uses them every nap time and they hold up great.
These are a MUST. Babies may poop a lot but they also spit up quite a bit. My favorite are made of cotton muslin material which come in many different versions. Here’s a great one from Green Sprouts that’s also super affordable.
A baby swing
Always a life-saver, in my opinion. Babies love to be rocked and soothed and comforted but we can’t always have them in our arms. (Okay, definitely most of the time though!) Find a super cozy one like this one below and keep that little bundle snoozing and content!
An awesome car seat and stroller combo
We’re a Graco family and I love this set up. You can buy an extra bases for your second car if necessary and the seat snaps right into the stroller. I also recommend the Graco 4Ever 4-in1 Convertible car seat.
A great diaper bag
The second time around I went ahead and spent the money on what I really wanted, a Jujube Be Right Back backpack diaper bag. They’re good quality, washable and come in a bunch of super cute prints. I decided on a backpack-style bag because I wanted to be able to wear it while also baby wearing. Down the road, it will serve as just an awesome backpack for me to use while traveling but thus far it’s been indispensable.
A baby carrier and/or wrap
I used cloth baby carriers around the house such as the Moby or Baby K’tan when my children were still quite small. But for going out on walks or short hikes I prefer the Ergo 360. It’s comfortable, easy to wash and there are many different positions for baby wearing.
A video monitor
This one may not come in handy right away, as I’ve always found that my newborns are either in my sight or an easy ear’s distance away. However, they’re great for sleeping training down the road (if you decide to do so) and especially the “naughty toddler” stage. Now you can spy on them constantly! 🙂 Here below is a popular version from Summer Infant which is the brand we used and it’s still working four years later. There are also other brands which can connect to your mobile phone.
A sound machine
We currently live under the awesome power of the Dohm white noise sound machine. These are the best sound machines I’ve found and are reasonably affordable. They are sturdy, the sound is great (not electronic), and they last a long time. The customer service is also awesome.
And now for my bonus items!
Here is a more abbreviated list of things that I feel are great, but not totally essential to new mom survival:
- A baby bath tub
- Nose Frida
- A backseat mirror for the car
- Car seat cover
- Baby bouncer or lounger
- Humidifier for the baby’s room
- Hooded baby towels
What are your favorite baby items? What can’t you live without? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!