My Top 10 Must Haves for a New Baby
This Top 10 Must Haves for a New Baby is on behalf of Diapers.com.
As a mom of four kids, I know what baby products are necessary to make your parenting life a breeze and to keep you sane. And you don’t need as much as you think, especially in the first few months of life! By the time I had my fourth baby, I knew exactly what I needed…and didn’t need…to keep my baby healthy and happy in the first few months of life.
Even though I’m just focusing on the first few months, my favorite baby products are those that last more than that. Most of these baby products I list below can last well into the toddler stage, making them well worth the money you’ll spend on them.
This is my list of my top 10 must haves for a new baby:Having a baby? READ: My Top 10 Must Haves for a New Baby that Will Last #musthaves #babyregistry Click To Tweet
1. A car seat that will keep baby safe for the first few years. A car seat is definitely a must have. Most hospitals won’t let you leave with your baby if you do not have a car seat. For my first three kids, I used an infant carrier car seat, but with my fourth baby I chose to use a convertible car seat instead. Why? An infant carrier car seat, while convenient for carrying around newborns out of the car, has a weight limit of usually around 22-30 lbs, yet there are car seat laws now in some states where a child must be in a car seat rear facing until they are 2 years old or outgrow the height and weight requirements of the car seat manufacturer.
For my kids, the infant carrier just didn’t last past 10 months since they outgrew the height and weight requirements. My fourth baby can be rear facing in her convertible car seat until she reaches 40 lbs and then forward facing until she reaches 65 lbs. The convertible car seat, which cost me a little over $100, will last for several years, making it a great investment.
2. Baby diapers that fit right and don’t leak. Face it, you’re going to change a lot of diapers in the next few years. Want to be changing baby’s clothes every time you need to change a diaper? Nope! You’ll want diapers that fit right, are very absorbent, and don’t leak (although let’s face it: user error mostly causes leaks in diapers!).
I highly recommend either Little Snugglers or Snug and Dry Huggies diapers. Huggies have been my favorite diapers since my third baby was born since they fit well and don’t leak, even overnight. READ: Why I Still Prefer Huggies Diapers Over Other Brands
3. Baby wipes that do the job in just a few swipes. Ever wipe a baby’s bottom only to discover that not only did the wipe’s contents leak onto your hand (yuck!), it’s going to take more than one wipe to do the job? Find wipes that are thick enough to keep your hands clean and do the job in just a few swipes.
I recommend buying wipes in bulk and having them on hand in the bedroom, bathroom, and wherever else your baby might be making a mess. Good baby wipes are not only great for cleaning baby bottoms, but they are great for cleaning up messy faces (have a toddler yet? You’ll find out what that’s like soon) and small spills.
4. Muslin swaddling blankets that are more than just for swaddling. I have a serious addiction to muslin swaddling blankets, especially ones that are soft and have cute patterns, but I have very good reasons. Muslin swaddling blankets, which are very lightweight and often larger than regular baby blankets, are not just for swaddling, even though they are excellent for swaddling!
They can be used for a whole range of things, such as photo props for babies (you know you’re going to take a lot of photos!), spit up cloths, nursing covers, light blankets for toddlers, car seat covers (just not while in the car!), picnic blankets, and stroller blankets. Even I use the muslin swaddling blankets as light blankets for myself! They are just another must have that are worth the investment.
5. A sleep sack that will keep baby warm and safe at night. Once a baby is ready to move on from swaddling, usually around 2 months, a sleep sack is the safe way to stay warm at night. Remember: loose blankets are not recommended for babies under a year old. Sleep sacks come in a variety of sizes, materials, and prints, so you’ll have plenty to choose from.
The sleep sack I used for my 8 month old I started using back when she was only 2 months old, and she wore it until she was 10 months old, making it another great investment.
6. A baby carrier that will keep baby safe and sound as you do chores or venture out of the house. Newborn babies thrive when they get cuddle time. Trust me: if anyone has ever told you that babywearing spoils babies or prevents them from reaching milestones, they’re very wrong. In fact, it’s found that babies who are worn for even a few hours a day are more content when they aren’t in their parents arms for the other hours of the day. They also are more alert, learn more about their surroundings, are soothed when ill or overtired, are kept safe from strangers who like to touch newborn babies (keep those germs away!), and are given the chance to socialize more.
There are so many awesome babywearing benefits!
That all being said, you’ll want a high-quality carrier to carry baby. Many moms start out with a wrap, which is great for newborns. I used both a wrap and my favorite baby carrier, the Lillebaby All Seasons Complete baby carrier, which can be used from 7 lbs to 45 lbs and doesn’t require an infant insert. I started using my Lillebaby about 2 weeks after I had my baby, and I’ll be able to use it until she is 3 years or older. Now THAT is a great investment!
I love that I was able to bring the baby to my son’s spring concert the other night thanks to my @lillebaby carrier. She fell asleep and was quiet during the entire concert. It was also easy navigating the crowds when it was all over! #babywearing #Lilleletsme #lillelove #lillebaby #babywearwednesday #wearallthebabies #babycarrier
Another great carrier is the Baby Tula. Their new Free-to-Grow carriers can be used from 7lbs up to 30+lbs. I used my Tula Standard from when my last baby was around 7 months until she was over 2 years old before I switched to a toddler carrier.
7. A high quality breast pump and/or high quality baby bottles. Baby has to eat, and no matter how you feed him or her, you’re going to want the right feeding supplies to make it happen. I have both bottle fed and breastfed, and some of my favorite feeding supplies are from Avent. For all four of my babies I used Avent baby bottles since I like that the nipples have a natural feel to them that is similar to a breast, so that even with a breastfed baby there is no nipple confusion. I suggest getting the larger sized bottles. Even though baby won’t eat as much in the first few months, you’ll still be able to use the larger bottles as baby’s stomach capacity expands.
Avent also makes an electric breast pump that can be used with Avent bottles, but other pumps will work as well. You may be able to get a free one through your insurance provider, but keep in mind, it may not be a high quality one, so do your research first. A high quality breast pump is needed for those who want to pump and store breastmilk for future occasions when you’re not with baby, but I also use my pump for increasing my supply.
8. A quality baby monitor with good range. It’s up to you whether you want one with video or not, but find a baby monitor that has good range and won’t be affected by other interference in the house (like TVs, phones, etc). A baby monitor is not only good for keeping tabs on a sleeping baby, but can also be used for monitoring toddlers when they are playing and sleeping in their room.
A monitor that has two-way communication is great because you can communicate with older kids as well without having to shout all over the house. I have had my current monitor for 8 years and it has helped me to keep tabs on all of my kids so that they are safe.
9. A baby bassinet or portable crib that keeps baby nearby and transitions for different stages. One thing I have for my youngest that I didn’t have for my oldest is a portable crib that I am using for a bassinet to keep baby near my bed at night. My oldest three kids used a baby bassinet that was only good until they could sit up, so it only lasted a few months. What I have now is the Graco Travel Lite Crib with Stages, which can be used from newborn until about 1+ years when the baby is able to climb out. Even if I transition the baby to a crib before then, I can still use the portable crib as a play yard, and since it is smaller than a traditional play yard, it will fit almost anywhere.
10. A baby diaper bag that isn’t too big or isn’t too small. Do you want to feel like you’re lugging around a suitcase or feel like you’re missing something? Nope and nope. Find a nice, quality diaper bag that will fit the essentials, like diapers, wipes, a change of clothes, a changing pad, and feeding supplies. Bonus if you can find a stylish bag that can be used after the baby stage too!
Remember, you can find all of these baby products and more at Diapers.com!
A Few Other Things to Have for a New Baby
Like I said, new babies don’t need too much in the first few months of life. There are some things that can wait until later! Other than what’s listed above, you may also want to consider:
- a small wardrobe in size 0-3 months: Of course, baby will need clothes, but not a huge wardrobe. 5-10 Onesies (body suits) or snap-side t-shirts, 5 pairs of footed pajamas, a pair of scratch mittens, and a hat or two will suffice for the first few months. A baby doesn’t need too many fancy or expensive pieces of clothing unless they are for special occasions. If you have a baby shower or receive gifts from friends and family, chances are you’ll have plenty of clothes for baby. If baby is born during the winter months, you will also need a coat or baby bunting.
- a nursing pillow: A nursing pillow is great for both breastfeeding and bottle feeding, but not necessary
- a stroller: Surprised that I didn’t include this in the must-haves? I found that it was much easier to babywear than to bring a stroller everywhere. Fear not: I do have a stroller. I recommend one that can be used until baby is a few years old and can go anywhere, like a jogging stroller.
- a bouncer seat or swing: A baby bouncer or swing is nice, but I don’t consider them a must have since they usually cannot be used past a few months and can take up space. Babies do enjoy them if they need a change in scenery or your arms need a break though.
Tell me: What would you add to the list as a must have? What brands do you prefer? Is there anything you’d leave out? Be sure to share with your expectant friends and family!
This post was written on behalf of Diapers.com. All words and opinions are my own.