For many first time moms (and even second or third time moms!) knowing what products you’ll need and can rely on for baby can be quite overwhelming. We have so many choices available today, which gives us power as a consumer. But as much as choice is a blessing – its also a curse. How are you supposed to know what’s good and what’s not?! Have you read how different all reviews are?! And if you’re a first time mom, its hard knowing out of the million products what you’ll actually use and what will end up taking up space in a closet.
So, I consulted my Momtourage. A group of 37 smart, resourceful, and savvy women who are first time moms like myself with children around 1 year old and under. True warriors in yoga pants. 🙂 We shared and discussed all of our absolute must-have items – the things that made our life as new moms that much easier.
We are not product experts, we have not tried every product out there, this is not a comprehensive list, and we realize every mom and baby is different – these just worked for us and I hope you find some use in it! 🙂
The first thing I want to talk about is the baby registry itself. Instead of going to a few select stores and registering for only their items, a few of us used Babylist and absolutely LOVED it. On Babylist you can register for any item, from any store, as long as it can be found online. All items, all on ONE website. Its free, organized, and is set up like a normal registry. It shows the price of certain items at different stores so buyers can get the best price, and you can put a message under each item explaining what you’ll be using it for. I had items from Buy Buy Baby, Babies R Us, Target, Amazon, IKEA, Etsy (decorate that nursery exactly how you want it!), and other independent websites. Babylist now even has its own smart phone app so items can be added anywhere, anytime. Oh and did I mention its FREE? (I am not a paid endorser of Babylist – but Natalie, if you’re reading this – I’m open to talking about it!).
Their new mobile app
Now that you’ve got the website to use, below I’ve complied our list into easy to use categories. And yes, I even linked some of the items for you with a description or how we used it if necessary. Pretty awesome, right?
- The overwhelming favorite here was the Rock n Play. Used as a bassinet by many for the first few months – LOVED by all. The Summer Infant Napper was another favorite!
- A wrap or carrier of some sort. Many of us have either the K’Tan or the Ergo. Great with newborns for skin to skin, closeness, and getting stuff done around the house when all they want is to be with you. They offer different positions for carrying as baby grows. A must. Personally, we also use the Bjorn a lot now that Tayler is bigger. Feels more structured and sturdy.
- Many of us found use in a pack n play. Us c-section moms especially loved the ones that had the changing table on top. The one I used is linked below and worked well for having downstairs (naps & changing table), and rarely needed for travel. One of our moms that travels all the time and has tried several different ones HIGHLY recommends the Bjorn pack n play. Super light, no bars, and very soft and comfy! A little pricey, but if you’re on the go all the time – worth it. Also linked below.
- An overwhelming amount of our moms use the Chicco Keyfit 30 travel system. All of them love it and would highly recommend it. All Britax car seats are also recommended – a little pricier, but worth it in safety and construction.
- If you’re a runner or an outdoor enthusiast and you know you’ll be logging lots of miles once mom and baby are ready, the BOB joggers (especially with the infant attachment) are the heavy favorite.
- The Britax B Agile stroller was another favorite.
- If your budget is a little tighter on the car seat/stroller/jogger situation, I would recommend the Baby Trend travel system I got. We loved both the car seat and the jogger!
- A play mat for those first developing months. A soft pad to lay on with vibrant colors, textures, and toys to reach for. A soft place to practice tummy time, coordination, and eye and brain development. There are so many of these that would do the job just fine, but many of us have the Baby Einstein, and can vouch for its quality. Some of us also loved the Kick and Play Piano. Grows with baby from laying down to sitting up and so much fun!
- An exersaucer. Once baby is able to hold up their head easily, its a great place for baby to play and learn and strengthen core and neck muscles while giving you the assurance of knowing where they are. Among other things! Like the play mat, there are several great options out there but our group can vouch for the Baby Einstein (are we keeping them in business?).
- The heavy favorite here is the Medela Pump in Style double electric breast pump. This is an area to splurge if you plan to breast feed for awhile. Especially if you plan on working and pumping. All LOVE this pump.
- Bottles can really vary depending on the needs of your baby, but a favorite is Dr. Browns. Those bottles also hook onto the Medela Pump in Style listed above. A double bonus! Several of us used Avent bottles and love those as well.
- Gerber cloth diapers! Not used as cloth diapers, but as burp cloths/every day clean up cloths. I bought two ten packs and use them all, all the time. They absorb well and wash up nicely. A must for all those messes!
- Tommee Tippee Bibs. Their neckline is unmatched – absorbs everything! Great for excess drool and messy eaters!
- My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow. We decided it wasn’t necessarily a “MUST”, but many nursing women get a pillow and this was our favorite. Unlike the Boppy, it goes around your entire waist to help ensure correct posture while nursing, which keeps you relaxed and breast feeding a success.
- Fresh Food Feeders. We’ve found these to be more helpful when those pesky teeth begin to pop through, but you can put fruits, veggies, or ice chips in them for baby to gnaw on. Our babies LOVE THEM!!!
- A high chair. We had two favorites. Moms loved the OXO high chair – modern, comfortable, versatile, and grows with baby till 5 years of age. A little pricey, but worth it. If you’re like me and don’t have any extra room in your kitchen for another chair, I went with the Space Saver. It can recline in three positions for infants, and turns into a booster to grow with baby as well. Stick it on top of an existing chair and you’re set! (Plus, can’t beat that price!).
- Lansinoh Products. If you’re planning on breast feeding, a must. We used the lanolin, breast pads, and gel pad soothers. Loved them all! Keep your milk makers happy while adjusting to nursing!
- Burt’s Baby Bee entire line! Shampoo, lotion, diaper cream, etc!
- Blooming Bath for those first few months. It turns any sink into a soft and cozy bath for baby. Hang it up when done!
- A cozy swaddle towel for those first few months.
- Homedics Noisemaker. Great price. Great sounds. Great night light.
- Diaper Genie. Great price. Works well. Gets the job done!
- A great chair or glider. We all have different ones, and for good reason. Its a personal choice. Splurge a little here. You will spend a lot of time in it and you’ll be glad you chose well!
- Baby Monitor. The moms that have one without video said they wish they did, so if you’re able – get one with video. It’ll keep you from getting up and peeking in all the time! There are two main monitors people loved, and while they do a lot of the same stuff, the difference is in how you envision using it and what aspects are important to you. If you’ll have a lot of other people using the monitor, go with the Motorola MBP 36. The moms LOVE IT. I’m a stay at home mom, so we went with the Withings Smart Baby Monitor. It turns your smartphone into the monitor and you can get live feed into your baby’s room from anywhere. Literally. Anywhere. Think about how you’ll use it, and see what’ll work for you!
- The HEAVY favorite here is the NoseFrida aspirator. When I registered I was freaked out by the mechanics of it, but the moms assured me no boogies can get in your mouth! When they are stuffy or sick you want something that gets the job done!
- A humidifier – most work just fine!
- Nasal Saline drops or these swabs linked below
- Safety Gates. Most baby proofing items for outlets and cabinets are pretty cheap, but if your house will require a few gates for safety, I’d put them on the registry. The good ones can be quite pricey and add up quickly if you’ll need a few!
- Johnson Safety Swabs. They are thick in the middle to prevent going in the ear too far.
- Diapers. Between us all I think we’ve tried them all. Seriously. The general favorites are: Papers Swaddlers and Target brand Up and Up diapers. After trying almost every kind of diaper, the Up and Ups are the only ones that could contain my daughters dirty explosions and overnight wetness. They are my favorite, and friendlier on the bank account!
- Some of our moms also really like Honest Company diapers and products as well as Baby Bear Shop. Worth checking out if you want to go a more natural/organic route with your products!
- During the winter I swear by Babyganics Kissy Face Lip and Face Balm. Only a few bucks, but it works great during the colder months for dry lips and faces!
- JJ Cole Bundle Me. During the winter this is a MUST! It’s not safe to layer up baby in the carseat, so this allows you to keep baby warm safely. It fits great, washes up great, and is oh so snuggly!
- Go Pod. A lifesaver! Super light, packs up quickly, and is great for travel! I even use it in my house when I need to “contain” her in different areas of the house!
- Ciao! Baby Highchair. If you travel a lot or know grandma and grandpa’s house won’t have a high chair this is your answer. Like the Go Pod it folds up like a normal chair and takes up very little space. Vinyl top for easy clean up and normal straps for safety. Awesome!
- Aden and Anais Swaddle blankets. Lightweight, big, comfortable, and hold a good swaddle. A little pricier than some swaddle blankets, but the extra few bucks is worth it.
- Halo Sleep Sacks. Especially the newborn swaddler one to start. That thing will hold a swaddle for even the toughest of escape artists! If I had to register over again, I would get at least one sack per size with what the weather will be like in mind per size. They come in the thicker fleece, and the light and breezy cotton. Carters also makes One Size sleep sacks that are a hit as well!
- For the colder months, these two items below come highly recommended!
- Carters body suits. Get a bunch of the plain long sleeve/short sleeve/sleeveless body suits for every day play and as undershirts for different outfits. They save your cute clothes from diaper disasters, add an extra layer of warmth when its cold, and keeps their belly covered when wearing t-shirts (among other things!). Great quality, great fit, great price.
- Onesie extenders! Keep your baby in some of your favorite bodysuits longer with a onesie extender. These fit on Carters, Old Navy, Gap, etc.
- You’ve seen Sophie the giraffe everywhere, and its for good reason. Its the perfect developmental/teething toy. Kids LOVE Sophie, and is worth the $20 (hard swallow, I know, its a lot for a little toy!).
- Baby Einstein DVD’s. Let me be clear when saying I am not encouraging you to just sit your child in front of the TV all the time. BUT, these DVD’s are visual crack for most babies, and can bring them down from a tantrum or give you 27 minutes of uninterrupted time to get stuff done if needed. I would start with Baby Mozart and Baby Beethoven, then move up as baby gets bigger. These DVD’s are also very visually stimulating with different colors, movements, and sounds – all great for development!
- Edushape 6×6 foam playmat. Ok so this one isn’t a “must”, but I love it for several reasons! Not only is it cute, but its a soft, large area that cushions the blow for the million spills and falls your baby will take as they learn to sit, crawl, and pull up (especially if you have all hardwoods or tile). As they age, the mats can be taken apart and put into big blocks for fun. And as they get even older, its just another tool to help learn letters and numbers.
- Winkel by Manhattan toys. Some of our moms swear by Manhattan toys! This one is easy to practice grabbing and more importantly – gnaw on!
- A few of the pull-down toys for car seats, strollers, etc.
- Honest Company and iBaby Feed apps for smart phones (not something to register for, but something to consider!)
- Baby Briefcase. Keep all those important documents in one place! Fits right into a normal file cabinet as well.
- Pacifier Clips. Oh, do these help!!
- Atlas Band for recovery after baby
WE HAVEN’T USED, BUT INTERESTED IN FOR NEXT TIME AROUND!
- Milk Trays. Eliminates frozen breast milk waste as you can store it in one ounce sticks to put in any bottle.
- Molar Muncher for teething.
Anddddd done! As I mentioned before, every mom and baby are different and everyone has different price points to work within. Hopefully this list helped you get started, gave you some ideas, or at the very least gave you some things to consider.