As first time parents you wander through Babies R Us equipped with a scan gun to register for everything you need. You walk down isle after isle. There is so much baby stuff that your eyes begin to resemble a deer in the headlights. WHAT DO YOU ACTUALLY NEED? How is a new parent to know what things are lifesavers and what things are really useless?
At Marvelous Moms Club we love empowering moms! We asked the moms in our supper awesome, supportive Facebook Group (check it out) what their must have baby items are and what they found to be a waist of money. Then we put together their suggestions for you!
We love shopping at places like Amazon and Target because they tend to offer better prices than big name baby stores like Babies R Us. This post contains some Amazon Affiliate links, which means if you click on the link and buy from Amazon we get a small commission, this doesn’t change the price for you and it helps support our family’s business.
So without further ado, here are 15 must have baby items, 5 optional items, and 5 items you should skip!
15 Must Have Baby Items:
1. Infant Car Seat
They won’t let you leave the hospital without this! There are so many car seats to choose from! It’s definitely convenient to start with an infant seat that can snap in and out of it’s base so that you don’t have to wake your baby when she falls asleep in the car. If this is your first baby you may want to pick a gender neutral color so that you can use it for all your kids (most car seats have a life of 5 years).
I know there are a million cute baby outfits, but do yourself a favor and stock up on the simple ones! When you are wrestling baby into a another new outfit after the 3rd blowout you will thank me! Onesies, zip up sleep and plays, and baby gowns make for the easiest diaper changes! Keep in mind what time of year your baby will be born and what the weather will be like when selecting clothes. You may want to skip the newborn size and just buy 0-3 month outfits since babies 8lbs and up tend to be too big for newborn cloths or outgrown them in the first weeks. Also you may want to wait on buying all the larger sizes of cloths since you don’t know how fast your baby will grow. You can’t really trust that they will wear size 9 months at 9 months, one of my babies was in 9 month clothes at 3 months (so much for pre-planning seasonal clothes).
3. Burp cloths
Has any one told you how much babies can spit up? I mean really spit up, projectile spit up, whole meal spit up! Grab as many burp cloths as possible! The old fashioned cloth diapers (you can find on Amazon) make great burp cloths.
4. Nursing Cover
A cover that wraps all the way around is great if you plan to breastfeed. These covers are so versatile too, you can use them as car seat covers, scarves, shopping cart covers, and blankets. Our moms like Milkmaid Goods and Covered Goods brands best because of their coverage and ease of use.
5. Boppy Pillow
This will save your arm and neck muscles when nursing! We love this one from Amazon.
6. A Forehead Thermometer
You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to get an armpit thermometer reading from a fussy, sick baby! Just go for the forehead thermometer, you can check temperatures in 3 seconds without waking up the baby!
7. Oh Diapers
9. The Nose Frida
So many moms swear by the Nose Frida. It gets stuffy noses cleared up much better than the bulb syringe.
10. Breast Pump
If you are planning to breastfeed and will have to be away from baby for more than an hour or two at a time this is a must! Sometimes your insurance will cover the cost of a breast pump.
11. Baby Carrier
The Ergo is a favorite, though a bit pricey, it really distributes baby’s weight well and is comfortable on your back. Other options that moms like are wrap and ring slings, though not as easy on your back they work well for small infants.
A travel system stroller is nice when you have a newborn because you can click the car seat into the stroller without disturbing your baby. Depending on where you live and your lifestyle you may want a jogging stroller or a lightweight city stroller. Strollers come in really handy when shopping because it will be 6 months before baby can sit up in the shopping cart. If you take the car seat into the store be sure to put it in the basket of the cart not the top seat part (this isn’t safe!) and keep in mind that the car seat will take up most of the space in the cart. It helped to go shopping with my husband for big trips so one of us could push the stroller and one could push the cart. Oh and if you are looking to make your life easier when you have a new baby and not do so much grocery shopping you should totally check out Hello Fresh meal kit delivery, I love it!
13. Diaper Clutch
I loved having a changing pad, diapers, and wipes all in a little clutch because my diaper bag got heavy! It was really convenient to be able to just grab the clutch and it’s important to have a travel changing pad so you can change baby anywhere! This one from Etsy is adorable.
14. Waterproof Mattress Pads
Both waterproof mattress pads and extra sheets for baby’s bed and your bed are really important. Even if you don’t plan on co-sleeping, if you ever nurse or cuddle in your bed be prepared for spit up.
A comfy glider or rocking chair will make nursing and rocking baby to sleep so much more comfortable.
5 Optional Items You May Love:
Say what? Yep, a crib is optional! I know it sounds crazy and you’ve always pictured the nursery set up with the crib but some moms find co-sleeping to be more convenient, others love using a cosleeper that attaches to their bed, while other moms loved having baby in a rock n play. Ultimately do what works for you and your baby.
2. White Noise Machine
Okay a brand new baby will probably sleep through anything, but as baby gets older and sleep is soooo precious this can be really helpful, especially when traveling! You can find the Dohm sound machine on Amazon.
3. Swing or Bouncer
These are great for soothing babies and keeping them happy while you make dinner or take a shower!
4. Pack N Play
If you travel a lot or love to go camping this is a life saver! Although I’ll be honest I think they work better as travel cribs than play pens, most babies don’t want to be penned in to play!
5. Baby Bath Tub
Some people prefer to put a mat in their sink and wash baby that way but I’ve found a plastic baby bath to be helpful because it holds baby up so it’s easier to wash if you are giving a bath by yourself.
5 Items to Skip:
1. Diaper Genie or Pale
They all stink, literally! Just bag the trash and take it out frequently.
2. Bedding Set
You don’t need a bumper, top sheets, or a comforter. Safe sleeping practices say to keep all these things away from baby, so just skip them. Pick out some cute crib sheets if you are using a crib and if you want to you can add a dust ruffle for style.
3. Wipes Warmer
Lots of moms said they didn’t need a wipes warmer or find them effective.
4. Special Baby Detergent
You can wash baby’s clothes in regular laundry detergent!
5. Bottle Warmer
The warm water under the sink is still the best way to warm bottles.
I hope that helps new mama! You are going to do great! Experienced moms what would you add to the list? Share with us your must-haves in the comments!