I have a fourteen and a half year gap between my middle child and my third child. Needless to say, things have changed A LOT in 14 years. With my older two, I wrapped dirty diapers in a Walmart bag and tossed them into the kitchen trash. I carried my babies in an infant carrier everywhere, and I knew nothing of baby wearing. Now there are scented bags for dirty diapers, padding to wrap around an infant carrier handle, and tons of different ways to wear your baby. (My middle child is special needs and didn’t walk till he was three. I WISH I had known about baby wearing then!) I’ve polled some friends about important baby items. Some I agree are important, some I don’t, and there are some I’ve never even heard of before!
I won’t blow your mind with too much on formula and nursing products since those differ greatly depending on how you feed your baby. However, if you do nurse, there are lots of things many nursing moms would consider “must-haves” such as a good breast pump, milk storage bags, nursing pads, and nursing bras, gowns, and other easily accessible clothing. For formula, there is actually a machine made by Baby Brezza called Formula Pro—think Keurig, but for baby bottles. You add powder and water, adjust settings to the proper amount for baby, and push a button. Voila! No shaking or warming needed. This is kind of a big deal in the formula feeding world! I did not use one of these, but my friends that have LOVE it and absolutely rave about it.
As veteran mamas, I wanted to share with you the must-haves that my friends and I suggest:
Backpack Diaper Bag
One friend suggested a washable one. Although mine isn’t washable, I still love it. (I like to have my hands free, so a backpack was a must for me.) The cross body bag I had first would still move around and fall when I bent over or squatted down. No such problems with a backpack!
I suggest one that has an electric plug adaptor for the wall. I like that mine swings both ways if turned. It’s not necessary, but it’s a nice option. Mine also has the removable seat. I like this because it was one less bouncy seat I needed.* I will add that I LOVED that this swing has the 5 point harness straps. Because of the shoulder straps, my little one can still nap in here when the infant insert is taken out—he’s ONE!
There are several must-haves when searching for the perfect stroller: It has to steer easily, it has to recline comfortably enough that baby can sleep, the basket underneath has to be big AND easily accessible, and it has to have a decent tray with a cup holder (or two!) on top. I am actually very unhappy with my current stroller, and these are reasons: It steers easily but I cannot even fit my diaper bag underneath as the basket is too small. It came with a clip on cup holder that will attach to either side but will pretty much only hold a small drink or 16oz. bottled water. No bueno.
If you baby wear, you probably hold your carrier in your top must-haves too! I use mine far more than my stroller.
This is a given, but I wanted to touch on it because I had one that had the side impact protection pads (they moved up and down with growth). At first I loved it; then, I was upset that the “bundle me” insert wouldn’t fit in it because of the side protection pads. (I know, I know, so not important compared to safety!) But this is something to consider—if you like the carseat liners and the JJ Cole Bundle me insert, then you will want to take that into consideration when choosing a seat. Overall I loved this seat because I never had to use one the headrest or neck pillows. It kept his head from falling over, and he seemed comfortable in it.
I gave mine to my sister since I couldn’t use it, but I loved this! It keeps baby so warm during winter months that you don’t even need a blanket. The top zips off or zips up covering baby up to her neck. It was perfect for my nephew (newborn) at the soccer field watching daddy coach!
I LOVE these. They are baby powder scented and are only $2 for a pack of 50. I have never had a diaper stink in the house when I use these. Note: the Munchkin sacks smell great too, but they are larger (wasteful) and fewer for your money.
I never used these years ago, and even my sister said it would be a waste of money and time—I should just put them in the cart/chair. Oh my…I have walked back to the car at some restaurants because there is no way my child is sitting in that nasty high chair!
We lived in a small two bedroom apartment when my first two were born. I did not need a monitor! However, with a two story home now, I knew I wanted one with two receivers (one for den and one for our bedroom). My friend talked me out of a video monitor. However, some moms would never go without. I have this inexpensive one and it’s worked great.
We used this (A LOT!) from month five to 11 with my little one.
Apparently, I’m the only mom that never used mine!
Portable High Chair
I did not use one but my friends loved theirs.
I do not actually have one, can’t decide if I want one.
High Chair/Booster Seat
I have the booster that straps onto a chair. I prefer this to the nice high chair I had with my daughter, as it takes up very little room and slides right under the kitchen table. You’d never know we had one and it serves the same purpose. This was a gift and I’m fairly certain it’s inexpensive.
This is another one that I rarely used, but most moms do.
Perfect for holding wipes and diaper or two to throw in purse when you don’t want to carry in your diaper bag. Great for the toddler age too.
I didn’t get one, and EVERY TIME I bathe him I wish I had.
(One of many ideas) Silicone cupcake liners for freezing baby food (it pops right out!).
Munchkin and Nuby were our most recommended.
It took me to the third child to realize I needed a decent one like this.
(for pacifier babies) I like these so much more than normal pacifiers. They are larger, harder to lose, washable, and easier for babies to find in the dark.
My little man is across the hall from his 14 yr. old brother and next to his 16 yr. old sister. This is a MUST! I don’t keep it up very loud because I don’t want him to depend on it to sleep, but it is helpful when the tv is loud or the others have friends over.
I personally used this two times and got rid of it. It kept falling on his head, and I couldn’t carry him with my arm through it easily. I just found that it got in the way more than it was useful. BUT, a few of my friends swear it’s one of the best inventions; your choice!
A HUGE MUST! At about nine months, my son seemed fine with a light blanket until one night he got tangled up and freaked out. We heard him screaming, and he was terrified…so was I. The next day, I ordered large sleep sacks, and he uses those nightly. I just zip up and know that he will stay warm and comfy all night. There is nothing else in crib so I know he’s safe.* I know many who do blankets in the crib when they get to crawling age. My friend inspects daycares for the government, and she says that it’s one thing they look for in baby beds—no blankets or toys. Just a little PSA!
This is a little bag I keep in the diaper bag at all times. It is mainly things I don’t use daily but want to have on me just in case: diaper rash cream, nail clippers, teething tablets, motrin, gas drops, baby powder, etc.
Some of these items are not the norm, and some we all use daily. I didn’t touch much on the obvious: diapers and wipes, bibs, burp cloths, onesies, blankets, etc. Obviously there are SO MANY that we could never mention them all, but hopefully you see something on here you will want to try!