Scroll. Scroll. Scroll. Select. Add to cart. And repeat. My husband looked over my shoulder and asked, “Do we really need all this stuff?” I rolled my eyes and kept reading reviews. I asked my friends, sisters in law…facebook for their advice on all this baby gear. It was my first baby after all and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. So many different freakin car seats. I need different strollers for different things?! They need warm wipes?! So much stuff!!
So after a few babies…and then a baby after we got rid of all our baby stuff…I compiled a list of things we knew we needed and a few things we didn’t reallllly need but made life a little easier! If you are looking to get a baby gift or need things for your little baby take a look. Just FYI this post does indeed contain affiliate links (where if you purchase using my link I make a tiny commission) and some items were given to me by companies to review. If I am posting about it, I actually love this product and use it- if I don’t like it I don’t post about it. Promise.
- Baby Carrier: I’ve used several baby carriers. And gone on a lot of walks, hikes, etc. This one is my favorite baby carrier because it is sturdy, beautiful design and super comfortable. It also has compartments to store things in and it is a 3D carrier which has a seat attached to the hip so the baby rests on it instead of weighing down on your body. Bonus: my husband just wears the bottom part and lets the baby sit on the hip seat without the carrier. He thinks this is the best carrier. So this is a need for us. Plus it helps us get stuff done around the house sometimes.
- Video Monitor: I never thought we needed this. Seemed a little fancy but it is super helpful so you don’t have to sneak in and see if baby is sleeping. Final verdict: Need.
- Mamaroo baby swing: This was a major WANT! My husband kind of refused to buy this and scoffed at my suggestion. Luckily, I shrugged off my husband’s negativity and bought it anyway with baby shower money. And guess what? He claims it is magical. He doesn’t regret that purchase one bit. Our baby took naps in that for the first 6 months since she wasn’t a great sleeper. Magical I tell you. So for this particular one, I would say a Want, like really really want almost close to a need. However, any baby swing or bouncer is a Need. We had one of each, one on the main floor and one in the basement. They both were used frequently. The bouncer we stopped at around 4-5 months.
- Diaper Bag: Ok, I didn’t want to get into the backpack thing but I was getting annoyed at my diaper bag slipping off my shoulder every time I’d bend to grab a child. It was infuriating. So naturally I started looking for backpacks- but they weren’t really cute. But now there are tons of cute backpacks. I love this one from KikiLu. The color is awesome and it is so so roomy with lots of compartments! If you know me I like to put everything in order so it is easy to get to- I like it a little too much. Diaper Bag- Need. This particular backpack- it is a Need.
- Nursing Cover/Stroller Cover– this cover is amazing. Truly. It works as a nursing cover which covered my front and back. It works as a car seat cover which was awesome for keeping baby asleep and in a more private setting (for the most part). I used this for almost a year until my baby didn’t want to be shielded from her admirers anymore. Need.
- Stroller (snap n go + city select): This is the big debate. Do we really need more than one stroller. It really depends. For my first baby- I was ok with the snap-n-go, which is just the frame of a stroller and you attach your car seat to it. You don’t have to wake up the baby and switch over to a normal stroller seat because the car seat is the seat. Need. But when I had two kids we bought the double stroller. The city select does have an attachment so you can put the car seat on it but it is pretty bulky for just a frame. I only use it when I have more than one kid. When it is just me and the baby I just use the snap-n-go. For everything else we use the city select. We’ve taken it to Peru, Disney, on a cruise, etc. It is perfect and great for napping kids. It is a beast to haul around though so I recommend using this bag. We bought a cheap one and when it came back to us the basket was ripped and had some dents. Double stroller: if you have more than 1 kid, Need.
- Crib: or somewhere to sleep. We don’t put our babies into a crib until they are at least 3 months old. With our last baby though she didn’t sleep in a crib until she was almost 1. We had a pack n play in our room that she would sleep in and then we traveled most of the summer and used the DockATot for those trips. Need.
- Carseat: you can’t leave the hospital without one! We chose this one because our kids are fairly small so they can stay in this car seat longer… our 16 month old is still in this carseat. This is our second KeyFit 30 since our last one expired, but we did have 3 babies use it! Need.
- Swaddlers (blankets): I love swaddling my babies. Love it. I know my babies slept better because of it. And who doesn’t love seeing their babies look like tiny burritos. You could also get those soft aden and anais muslin blankets. I used both. The zip up and velcro ones are fool proof however they do make a noise that may startle a sleeping baby. But it was almost impossible for them to break out of it. The muslin ones don’t make noise but if you don’t swaddle tight enough they can break out! Need.
- Diaper pail: You have to put those stinky diapers somewhere! This one actually uses any trash bag and it really does keep the odor in- I mean when you do open it some escapes, obviously, but you can let it sit for a month and it doesn’t stink up the room. Ehhh I may have learned that from experience. This one is a toss up. My husband never uses it but I do. I think because he hates cleaning it out. Hahaha.
- Puj tub: this is a must have for mamas that have had c-sections. C-sections and bathing babies should not go hand and hand. So this tub fits in the sink and lets you stand, holds baby in place and lets you bathe them. Plus it lays flat! I hated those bulky tubs that took up the whole bathtub. Need.
- Changing mat: You could go either way this one at home but you may want this when you go out and have to lay your sweet little babe on that hard changing mat. I like this one because it is so thin and easy to clean. If someone gifts it to you, why not.
- Socks + onesies + bibs: These are all essentials. Need. The socks can double up as mittens so they don’t scratch their tiny little face. Bibs save those special onesies from getting milk or slobber on them. I like to buy plain onesies beccause they grow out of them so quickly. Like within a few days the preemie/newborn ones didn’t fit. I use 0-3 for about that time and 3-6 until maybe 6-8 months. Like I said, my babies are fairly petite but chunky. You can use these extenders to prolong the life of these though.
- Diapers+ wipes + diaper rash cream: I’ve always use Pampers because I think they are softer. Honest has good diapers, too plus they have cute designs on them. WaterWipes is my all time favorite wipes to use- for everything and they don’t leave you all sticky from the residue. We’ve had good luck using this diaper rash cream. We’ve had to resort to other stronger ones for the really bad rashes and you can get this amazing magical diaper rash cream over the counter at the pharmacy or on Amazon. Seriously, this stuff works for the severe rashes. Need all of these.
- Bumbo: We have used this from month 4 until she was 15 months old. It has straps so you can use it as a feeding chair. We stopped because she was moving too much and would scoot the chair from side to side. It kind of freaked me out. I think we will put it back when she knows not to do that and just sit. It was perfect for helping her sit and to put her in a safe place while Mom took a shower. You can get the tray with a suction toy and it would entertain her until I was done. You need something to put baby in that she will be safe in. Leaving baby on the bed only works for so long and then you may worry that someone might sit on her or she may learn to roll over. I prefer having this to be safe.
- Pacifier/ Bottles: it’s worth a shot. I had two who loved their binkies and two who didn’t. My daughter then started using her fingers…it is freaking adorable but much harder to quit the habit. I recommend from the day they are born but I know that isn’t a popular sentiment. I don’t know about you but sometimes they just want to suck and be soothed and I don’t want to be a human pacifier- it is exhausting! For us, a Need. Bottles could go either way. I nursed and bottle fed. I didn’t need bottles for one child until she was 10ish months old. But then I needed a bottle for one that was just 2 months old. I have used Avent bottles but I really like the twistshake bottles because they have fun colors, anti-colic and they have an interchangeable nipple so after being done-ish with bottles I put in the spout so it was more like a sippy cup. You can use the twistshake code brendakbird20 for 20% off your purchase.
- Owlet: Ok this one is a tough one. This could be a want or a need. I have some friends that have had babies who stop breathing on occasion. In this case, I would say it is a NEED. My kids don’t have history of that (not that SIDS is genetic or any type of breathing issues are!) but since I have never experienced it I can’t say it is a need. However, because I am so terrified of them not breathing I can’t sleep- with each of my kids I am a nervous wreck. I’ll poke them, put my face close to theirs, you name it. So even though it was a want for me, I thought it was incredibly helpful for my psychological well being.
- Nursing pillow: your back will thank you. And this doubles up as a tummy time and play toy. It has a Velcro toy bar that can entertain those that can’t quite roll over yet. For a while I stopped using it because it would be in a different room but after seeing the chiropractor he suggested I get my butt off the couch and just get the dang thing. It was doing a number on my back nursing without support. And instead of putting them on the ground, putting them on a blanket or this beautiful playmat in my friend’s shop is amazing. We collaborated on the design and I am in love.
- DockATot: For us, this was a need. Even my husband promotes it. We were desperate for sleep, after 6 months of being zombies, and we had heard this helps babies feel secure so they sleep longer. Well, it worked and it was worth every penny. Now she is a champ at sleeping.
- Nasal aspirator: Having older kids in school and around other children was just another way to bring home germs. It is unfortunate but part of life I guess. As much as I tried to Lysol our entire house and make the kids wash their hands and use hand sanitizer, our baby just would get sick. A lot. The biggest problem was her nose would be so stuffed she couldn’t breathe therefore she couldn’t eat. While some people swear by other nasal aspirators, we love this one because it comes with two nozzle sizes. One for tiny little newborn nostrils and the other for older infants. Ok, I was super grossed out by this at first but seeing my little babe in pain I sucked it up, literally, and saw that it cleared her passages out. Will babies like this? No. They will cry and scream and turn their heads away. Who wants something shoved up their nose?! Well it doesn’t go all the way up, just in enough to be able to suck stuff out. But seriously, get past that and it’s all good. You won’t eat boogers. Promise. Nasal aspirator- need.
Aaand I’m sure we could add a few wants and luxuries like these adorable baby shoes/moccasins. They are the only shoe my babies wear and they are the cutest things ever. But again, luxury- a big fat want. However I could probably make some good arguments that it is a need but only if you want to hear them 😉
Is there anything else you’d include?