Pregnant with baby number one, and you have no idea what to buy besides a crib? I’ve compiled a list of essentials that can help steer you in the right direction. There are so many products out there. It can be hard to choose what is best for you. Peruse the following items to get a better idea of what you might need.
P.S. I did not even attempt to address the best car seat/stroller combo because we all have different needs, and those are a huge commitment. Shoot me an email if you want more input on strollers [email protected].
11 Baby Must Haves
- Wubbanub Pacifier: These are the BEST pacifiers. They have the same nipple as the ones you get in the hospital, but they have a little stuffed animal on the end. This allows the pacifier to rest against your child’s chest for a little extra support to keep that paci in! It also makes it easier to grab as they become more dexterous, and it offers more surface area to chew on when they start teething. We have a million of these.
- Shusher & Noise Maker: We use a Shusher and ocean wave combo. We use the Shusher in the room to help put them to sleep, and we keep the ocean waves in the hallway to mitigate any stray sounds that might wake us all up. My favorite app for nature and other relaxing sounds is “White Noise Lite,” which you can download for free on your iPad and iPhone. We haven’t found a noise machine that we like as much as this app, but if you have any suggestions, please comment below. I would love to have my iPad back 😂.
- Pack ‘n Play: I absolutely loved these (yep “these” because we had multiple!). They were essential to so many developmental stages of my children. They have an insert that turns it into a bassinet while your baby is still in your room. When she starts crawling, you can stick her in the lowered setting with a couple of toys and get some laundry done. It also travels really well as a crib. Now that our girls are older, we use it as a receptacle for all of their toys. I’m not sure if any other item has adapted so well to our growing needs.
- Swaddle Wraps: These were really wonderful when baby V was first born. It kept her snug without having any loose material around. The velcro system kept her comfy and safe.
- Dock-A-Tot: This is another wonderful addition for newborns. I kept V in it until she became too long for it. Not only does it create a comforting environment, it also allows for safer co-sleeping. It was always reassuring to know that if she was having a really rough night, we could just plop her in bed with us without worrying.
- Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suits: (Although this is technically for 3 months and up, you want to be ready for sleep transitions in advance. Trust me!) Once V grew out of the Dock-A-Tot, I transitioned her to the sleep suit. For my kids, these work best in winter. Once it started getting hot, V had trouble falling asleep in the suit. So sadly I had to ditch it, but it was amazing while it lasted. It helped tremendously with the startle reflex.
- My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow: I wasn’t able to breastfeed without this pillow, so definitely put this on your registry. I would even recommend considering the twin pillow. This is the one I used, and although it was large with my singleton, it allowed me to balance an entire plate of food on it while breastfeeding her. I had to eat almost every time I fed, but what I gained in space I lost in mobility. I loved that I could eat easily while feeding, but the large pillow made it difficult to chase after my toddlers. So pick what is best for you!
- Nipple Shield: I had a really difficult time getting V to latch once we came home from the hospital. These little shields were literally the difference between being able to breastfeed and not being able to breastfeed. For under $10, buy these before you deliver. I’ll definitely buy them again next time just for the peace of mind that I have them if I need them.
- Breast Pump: Luckily this is probably FREE through your OBGYN. My doc’s office ordered everything for me, using my insurance, and it was delivered to my door a few days later. Even if you don’t plan on pumping, I recommend ordering one if it’s free. In addition to allowing you to pump and put milk into bottles, breast pumps help drain the breast, if you’re getting clogged ducts etc. I’ve heard Mastitis is not fun. Order this in advance, so you’re ready for anything!
- Bottles: There are so many different types of bottles, and I don’t have any die hard preferences. I have Dr. Brown bottles because that’s what people bought me, but I found these to definitely be the most fun! But either way, just have at least one bottle on hand, even if you keep a sample sent to you in the mail. You never know how breastfeeding will go, and you may need to pump or use formula. You don’t want to be running out in the middle of the night to find a store that’s open.
- Swing or Glider: You definitely want somewhere to place your baby during the day that helps keep her asleep! Some are more expensive than others. This one is a lot less than all of the others, but it also uses batteries (to maintain portability). I personally need things that plug into the wall because I can’t handle searching for batteries. But there is also freedom in not being tied to an outlet, so do what works for you.
I hope this was helpful! Please comment below and let me know your own must have items!