I don’t know about you, but as the later weeks of my pregnancy approached, I felt EXTREMELY overwhelmed. Do we have everything we needed? How much of each thing do we need? Do we need more than one kind? Where do I put all this stuff? Do we REALLY need “xyz?”
However, I was also reluctant to buy too many things either because I knew that until baby boy arrived, we wouldn’t know what we’d truly need and use often enough to make it worth it.
Now that we are several months into this whole taking care of a baby thing, I have definitely compiled a list of our favorites and must-haves, as well as some of those things we never really used. It is true when they say “every baby is different!” So definitely don’t go overboard on buying things (or lots of one item) until you meet your baby and get to know him or her. But in my opinion, the items on this list can pretty much always be used no matter what kind of personality your baby has! They’re just basic needs and things that have made our lives SO much easier. Here are just a few favorites (linked in their titles), but you can view my whole “Best Baby Items” list on Amazon here!
Yes, in my opinion, it was 100% worth the money!! In those early newborn days, baby is sleeping most of the day but definitely not alone in their crib. They’re still so new so they are both heavy sleepers and can pretty much sleep anywhere, and also love being near mama. We loved being able to take the Dock a Tot into any room with us for little man to nap in, or even outside on our screened-in porch! He was super wiggly if we put him down in his pack n play, so we would stick this in there for him to lay in and he loved being nice and snug. Sylas would ONLY sleep on me for the first several weeks of his life (trust me, I tried EVERYTHING to not do this), so when he was finally ready to sleep elsewhere I used this to sleep next to him until he could get used to being in his bassinet on his own. Just a disclaimer though that technically this is not recommended for safe sleep but it is what we had to do and it worked for us! Baby boy is sleeping just fine on his own in the bassinet now– he even slept through the night for the first time last night! WOOHOO!! Anyway, this thing is awesome. The cover is removable and washable so we will plan on hanging onto this thing for baby#2 as well.
This is another MUST HAVE at the top of the list for me! This sound machine acts as a night light which is perfect for those middle of the night feeds when you definitely don’t want to turn on the lights. You can sync it to an app on your phone and control it from any room. It also turns on and off by simply tapping and touching it a certain way. It allows you to customize settings with the color of light, and choose from a variety of sounds. This device also acts as an audio monitor and a toddler naptime/nighttime clock as well!
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but it’s a trash can especially for diapers. It really does keep the smell out of the room and I love that it doesn’t require any plastic liners. The inside itself can naturally get really smelly, but it never makes the room itself smell and you can easily wash it out between empties.
I literally have a graveyard of pacifiers around our house because I tried EVERY SINGLE ONE on the market trying to get Sylas to take them. A sweet friend of ours sent us these, and they were the only ones to finally get the job done! He still isn’t one to take a paci for a long time, but they at least get him down to sleep! This could certainly be one of those items that your baby could have a preference for (obviously hence my experience). BUT from what I have heard from other mamas this one has been pretty universal!
I know this seems expensive but wow this thing is awesome. It is soft and cushy when you lay baby on it, but it’s also a material that can easily be sprayed down and wiped clean. This thing has been worth its weight in gold so far– considering there have been several incidences of Sylas pooping in the middle of his diaper change. Being able to clean it all off super easily with no stains was so clutch!
6. Baby Brezza
Another “worth its weight in gold” item in our opinion. Obviously, if you are breastfeeding this one wouldn’t be as useful. However, once we switched over from breastfeeding to exclusively formula feeding, this thing changed our life. We call it our “baby Nespresso” because it dispenses perfectly measured and mixed formula with the press of a button. When you have a screaming, hungry baby waiting on you for a bottle, the convenience of pressing a singular button *one-handed* is everything! The only downside is the spout has to be cleaned every 4 cleanings but it is super simple to do.
This thing is designed for washing out baby bottles and fits into even the most narrow ones! The bottom piece also detaches and contains a small brush made specifically for the nipple. Pretty genius if ya ask me!
8. Portable Battery Operated Fan
So funny enough I actually bought this thing for birth and never ended up using it. I thought for sure I would get so hot during labor but instead, I ended up really cold in the hospital. But I got the most use out of this thing by attaching it to the stroller or car seat for baby boy in the hot summer months! The arms bend and attach to just about anything which makes it so versatile.
Your neck and chest are probably all scratched up because your baby’s fingernails have become claws, but you are too afraid of cutting them with a nail clipper. Am I right? If you’ve ever tried to cut an infant’s nails, you’d know that it’s one of THE scariest things in the world that makes your blood pressure skyrocket. This file has been the best discovery to tackle this task without any fear! The files are soft enough that if they touch the baby’s skin, it won’t hurt a bit but it still shapes and trims the nails so well!
We have a second changing station in our living room since we spend a lot of time downstairs too. So we use the changing table on our pack n play. These bamboo changing pads fit right on top and are SO stinking soft. They’re also awesome to throw right in your diaper bag and bring with you on the go! You can throw them right in the wash too.
I think I have about 3 or 4 packs of these. You can literally NEVER have enough burp cloths!!! Trust me. We’re constantly looking for one and doing loads of them in the laundry. These are by far our favorite because not only are they super soft but they are extremely absorbent! You need these. I promise.
12. Love to Dream Swaddle + Zipadee Zip Swaddle
Sylas was never one of those newborns that liked to be swaddled. I tried every single swaddle on the market and did my best to make them TIGHT and he still found a way to break his arms free. So we decided to try the type of swaddle that allowed his little hands to be up by his face. And both of these have been a huge success! The Love to Dream is a little snugger, but I love that you can zip the arms off for when it’s time to transition to a sleep sack. The Zipadee Zip gives a little more room for him to move around in there but it still helps keep him feel snug and secure. The cool thing about these though is that they can move so freely that even when they begin to roll over or sit up, they can still use their arms so you don’t have to worry about them getting stuck!
Among the things we didn’t use were:
- velcro swaddles
- blanket swaddles
- most pacifiers
- baby mittens (just use the rollover kind that are attached to zipper pj’s)
- the best non-toxic, safe items for baby
- must haves for breastfeeding + postpartum
What are some must-have items you think are missing from this list?? 🙂