I remember when I was expecting my first baby I felt overwhelmed contemplating what I would need for her. I loved looking at “must-have” lists and I still do now that I just welcomed my third. With each subsequent baby, I feel I have learned a lot and each time my “must have” list got a little more refined. When I ask moms what they want to know more about, I ALWAYS get asked about my favorite products. So, I have finally compiled my own list of things I love, use daily and literally would feel lost without. These are my “must have” items for life with a newborn and they are all items I personally use and suggest to my family and friends.
Invest in a good stroller. They can be pricey but I use my stroller every single day. When you are deciding on a stroller, I suggest thinking about what you need from it. If you plan to have more children, look at strollers that can convert to a double or even a triple. Is size or weight a concern? Do you travel often? Do you love to run or walk outside? These are all questions that will help you narrow down the type of stroller you are looking for. I have two at the moment. The Baby Jogger City Select and the BabyZen YOYO+
I chose the City Select for its ability to go from a single to a double to a triple (when you purchase the glider board). As a mom of three, I can customize it to how many children I have with me. It has a huge basket underneath for storage/shopping, big wheels (that can handle the deep snow of a Canadian winter), and is virtually indestructible.
My second stroller is the BabyZen YOYO+ . It is the coolest stroller. My husband is extremely impressed by the engineering. If you travel often, don’t have a lot of space or have a smaller vehicle this is absolutely the stroller for you. It folds small enough that I can carry it on my shoulder and it can be stored as overhead luggage on a plane! It is super easy to fold and unfold, steers one handed (it’s so smooth) and has options to transition from newborn bassinet to toddler seat. This is always my first pick for travelling or when I head out with one child.
Babies love movement, it helps soothe them, and a swing offers movement and the option of being hands free. If you have a two-story or a larger house you will want to have a swing or bouncer on each level/area. I use ours when I am making meals and when I shower or get ready.
While I was researching swings, I came across a recent pilot study conducted by the National Perinatal Association and 4moms that showed babies that used the mamaRoo had lower heart and respiratory rates and were calmer after 30 minutes. If that wasn’t enough to sell the Nurse in me, I was sold when I found out about 4moms cares. 4moms Cares helps families and children through product donations, hospital discounts and community support. I love supporting companies that give back so it was an easy choice for me to pick 4moms.
It doesn’t hurt that my little guy absolutely loves his mamaRoo and rockaRoo. He is so darn happy in them. The mamaRoo has five different patterns of movement from basic side to side to up-down and everything in between with the ability to increase the speed. It has a built-in sound machine (our favorite is the rain setting) and you can use Bluetooth to play your own music and to adjust the settings. The recline is adjustable from flat to fully inclined to accommodate all ages and stages of babies. The incline also comes in handy if your baby suffers from reflux (like mine does) and needs to be inclined post feeds. One of my favorite features is that the fabric zips off and can be easily machine washed.
The rockaRoo has a back and forth gliding motion, like that of a traditional swing, but takes up a fraction of the space. It is extremely easy to use with an on/off button and a dial to increase the speed (5 different settings). You can play your own music or white noise through the MP3 plug and it also has a removable seat for easy washing.
If you plan on your baby being in your room you will want to purchase a bassinet. When you are looking at bassinets make sure to consider safety. Is it sturdy, does it have a firm mattress, are there any loose parts that your baby could roll up against? These are important features to consider. Because I had a c-section with my little guy, getting in and out of bed was difficult for me, so I got the Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper.
The Bassinet pulls right next to the bed and has a side that drops down for easy access to baby making night time feeds much easier while I was recovering. The Halo has mesh, breathable sides and a very heavy, weighted base to reduce the risk of tipping. It also has the added features of vibration, a night light, a noise machine and a reminder alarm so if you take baby out to feed and fall asleep it will remind you to return your baby to the bassinet.
I also love the sleek, modern design of the Monte Rockwell Bassinet . The inner basket is removable and easily transportable to create a safe sleep space wherever you are. It has a gentle rocking motion to help soothe baby and it is gorgeous enough to compliment any décor.
A good monitor can give you peace of mind that your little one is okay even when you aren’t with them. Some features you will want to consider when choosing a monitor are battery life, range, audio only or video/audio. I purchased the Motorola video monitor before our little guy arrived. It worked well, but when he was 5 weeks old we had a bit of a health scare with him. Afterwards, I started having anxiety at night if I couldn’t hear him breathing and I was constantly checking on him.
Enter the Owlet Camera and Sock. Their slogan is “Rest Assured” and it couldn’t be more accurate. Since getting the camera and sock I have been able to relax. It uses similar technology to hospital monitors alerting you to drops in oxygenation or alterations in heart rate. If I feel unsure I just pick up my phone (Owlet streams through WIFI) and check the image and readings. This always puts my mind at ease allowing me to rest.
Now with any type of technology, it is still only technology, and it is important to always trust your best judgement when it comes to your little one. If you feel they are unwell or something is not right it is important to take them in to be assessed by a health professional.
#5 Zippered Sleepers
If this is your first baby, trust me and stock up on sleepers. I bought a lot of tiny outfits for my first baby and she honestly barely wore them. They are adorable and completely impractical. I remember trying to shimmy my one week old babe into tiny jeans and then as soon as I got her into them she filled her diaper and I had to attempt the whole process again. Buy one or two adorable, tiny outfits for special outings and then stock up on cozy, comfy sleepers for everyday use.
My favorite are the L’oved Baby organic zipper footed overalls. They are so soft, have elastic at the ankle so they stay in place and they look great on. Make sure to get the zipper, nighttime diaper changes are hard enough without trying to do up all those little snaps.
#6 Diaper Pail
Babies make a lot of diapers. Diapers don’t smell great. Invest in a good diaper pail to contain all those tiny, stinky diapers. I use the Ubbi chrome diaper pail which is made of steel so it doesn’t absorb odors like a plastic one can. The Ubbi can also be used with any type of bag so you don’t have to buy costly refills. This is also a great choice if you plan to cloth diaper as you can easily use a cloth bag for laundering.
#7 Bath Seat
Bath time is a favorite part of our nightly routine but babies can be wriggly and slippery when wet which can make bath time stressful. Using a bath seat or a small tub can make it a lot safer and easier. With my first daughter we had a small bathtub that fit on the counter. It was a lot of work to fill and empty every night so I ended up getting the Angelcare Bath Support and I’m so glad that I did. It goes right in your regular bathtub and supports your baby in a semi-inclined position. The seat has little holes that allow the water through so your baby is surrounded by warm water. It is easy to clean and wipe dry and small enough to fit under our sink for storage. It has made bath time fun again.
This seems like an odd item to have on the list, everyone has towels, but do you have a Oneberrie Towel? I purchased my first Oneberrie towel before I had my son. My daughters loved it and it became so well used that I purchased a second one right before he was born. These towels are so soft and over-sized. They button around your neck so you can be hands-free when lifting your baby out of the tub. (Need a visual? Check it out here.) This cool design means no cold baby and no wet shirt for you. It can be used differently depending on the age of your child so that it grows along with them. Right now if you use the code “Oneberrie20” you will get 20% off site-wide here.
#9 Wipe Warmer
This one is controversial, a lot of people feel a wipe warmer is unnecessary, but I love mine. When we were in the hospital our little guy screamed every time I changed his diaper, it broke my heart. Once we got home and I was using warm wipes… no screaming! I have been using the Prince Lionheart Wipe Warmer since we had my first daughter. It keeps the wipes warm without drying them out. I haven’t tried any of the other wipe warmers but the Munchkin Warmer has good reviews as well.
#10 Nasal Aspirator
Babies can’t blow their noses so when they are congested they have a hard time breathing and sleeping. A nasal aspirator is a device to suck snot from your baby’s nose. I know it sounds kind of gross but trust me you will want one of these. My favorite is the hydraSense Baby Nasal Aspirator. If my kiddos are really congested I pair it with the saline mist to help loosen the secretions first. It makes a huge difference and I still to use it on my two year old whenever she gets stuffed up.
#11 Diaper Bag
When you are expecting, you know you will need a diaper bag but you might not be sure what to look for in one. It will end up replacing your purse for the next year or two so try to find something that balances style with function. Things to look for are style, size, comfort, and ease of cleaning. I strongly suggest a backpack diaper bag like the ones by Fawn Design or Freshly Picked . The backpack style evenly distributes the weight of the million things a baby requires and it stays put when you are juggling a baby or a car seat. I also like that both companies offer vegan leather options which easily wipe clean.
My husband uses the Beckmann of Norway backpack as his “diaper bag” whenever he takes the kids out solo. It has lots of large pockets and is roomy enough that we also use it for any family day trips. The straps are well padded and it is the only backpack endorsed by the Canadian Chiropractic Association.
#12 Baby Carrier
Carriers are so handy especially during the newborn phase. They help soothe gas and colic, promote breastfeeding and sleep and they make it easy to get things done while still being close to your baby. There are a lot of different types of carriers but my favorite right now is the Beluga Baby Wrap Carrier . It is made of bamboo fabric making it super soft while still having a good amount of stretch. I love how breathable the fabric is making it perfect for summer. It is easy to use, fits all different body types, and rolls up small enough to tuck in your diaper bag.
I love my Beluga Baby Wrap Carrier so much that I wanted you to have the chance to have one too. I reached out to Beluga Baby and they generously donated a Wrap to give away! Follow the instructions in the link to enter:
Bottles should make it on your list whether you plan to formula feed or breastfeed. There are a lot of different bottles to choose from but my favorite are the Comotomo brand. I tried these for the first time a few weeks ago and they were a game changer. My little guy has always taken the occasional bottle of expressed milk with some coaxing. He used to spit the bottle out a few times before continuing to drink and would swallow a lot more air with the bottle, making him extra gassy.
The Comotomo bottles are designed to have a more natural feel with a soft, rounded silicone top and nipple. It seems to be effective because he doesn’t resist it the same way he did with the other bottles. The dual anti-colic vents reduce swallowed air and I have noticed a huge decrease in his gassiness when he uses these bottles.
#14 Breast Pump
If you plan to breastfeed you will want to get a good pump. They help to increase and maintain your supply. If you pump a lot I would suggest getting a dual electric pump to save time. I have the Medela Freestyle Double Electric Pump. I bought this pump when I had my second daughter and have used it ever since. It has 2 phase expression technology which helps stimulate a let down, is small enough that I can bring it with me in my diaper bag, and has a rechargeable battery that lasts a long time.
Because it is a double I save time by pumping both sides at once. This pump is also designed for hands free pumping with the special bra. The only down side with this pump is that it is a bit loud but the convenient size makes up for that in my opinion.
#15 Baby Brezza Formula Pro Advanced
If you plan to formula feed I would recommend splurging on the Baby Brezza Formula Pro Advanced Babies need to eat frequently and can drink up to 12 bottles a day. That’s a lot of measuring and mixing and heating. The Baby Brezza Formula Pro can be programmed for the correct amount of formula to water ratio so that all you have to do is put a bottle under and press a button. Which means you can feed your hungry baby faster and easier.
If you would like to save more time and money use the promo code “Savetime” for 20% off any of the Baby Brezza line here.
Whether you are bottle feeding or pumping you will need a way to sterilize your bottles or pump parts. There are a few different options. You can boil them on the stove, use the microwave sterilizer bags/containers or you can use a counter sterilizer. I currently use the Medela Quick Clean Micro Steam Bags. The bags can hold 2 bottles or 2 pump shields at a time and are good for 20 uses. Because the parts come out wet you need to air dry them on a rack, I use the Boon Grass Drying Rack.
I don’t currently have a counter sterilizer, but I have had my eye on the Baby Brezza Steri-Steam Sterilizer for a while. It can hold up to 6 bottles and parts at a time and it dries the bottles so there is no waiting to use them! The bottles remain sterile in the sterilizer until opened. If you would like to save drying time and money use the promo code “Savetime” for 20% off any of the Baby Brezza line here.
#17 Rocking Chair
You will spend a lot of time feeding, cuddling, reading and rocking your baby during its first years and beyond. A staple in every nursery is a rocking chair. I wanted something functional and stylish. My favorite is the Jackie Rocker by Monte Design. It isn’t too large, which makes it perfect for a nursery and it is stylish enough you will want it in your living room long after baby is grown. I suggest you go and try out rockers to find out what feels comfortable to you.
I could go on and on about products I love. But I hope you find this list helpful as you plan and prepare for your little one. I love to chat about anything baby so if you have any questions or comments I would love to hear them! Make sure to check out my Instagram for some amazing “must-have” giveaways and extra discount codes!
Take Care Mamas!