These are my top 15 must haves for baby. There are a few obvious things you’ll need, so I didn’t add them to this list. Most are for newborn baby, because as a new parent you don’t know what to get or even think about getting or what you’ll need or use. These are not in any particular order, so let’s get started.
Gretchen was born just before winter and when she was newborn she’d sleep with her arms straight up over her head, and our house is really hard to keep warm. So, I was so nervous putting her to bed every night and was always worrying if she was staying warm or not. I finally bought a swaddler, they are amazing. They kept her warm and helped her sleep better at night. They can be pricey, the one I bought was $20. It’s totally worth it though. You can buy these anywhere, you can also sometimes find them at Ross and TJ Maxx for cheaper than other stores.
14. Breast Pump
I had a hard time getting my milk to come in and this helped a lot. I used the commercial Ameda pump at the hospital, and liked it so much that I bought the Ameda Purely Yours Ultra. They are expensive, so if you’re thinking about getting one, check to see if your insurance will pay for it. Having a pump also helps you know how much milk you are making. I found out that I didn’t make enough milk, so I had to supplement with formula. On a side note, if you’re not breast feeding you’re going to need formula and a lot of it. At first, I used the Similac brand and the Enfamil brands, here’s what they look like…
Then when I realized that I’d need a lot more formula, I decided to go to the off brand Comforts because it was about $5 cheaper than the other brands and I also got coupons to use every once in a while. I was worried that my baby would have a hard time switching over, but she didn’t seem to mind. The yellow is what I used because I’d just taken her off the Enfamil brand and this formula compares to it. The blue compares to the Similac brand.
On another side note, if you are using formula or doing breastmilk with a bottle, you’ll need bottles. I think first time parents have a hard time deciding which bottles would be best or what the baby will like. There are soooo many to choose from. My sister gave me several of the Avent bottles and I got a free one when I bought some maternity clothes. So, I just used those. I know other moms used the ones that they got with their pumps and some even used the $1 store ones and their babies didn’t have a problem. They also have different sizes to choose from. I used the 4 oz. bottles when Gretchen was a newborn and as she got older used the 9 oz. ones. They also have pink and blue if you don’t like the clear.
Sorry I went a little off topic, but it’s so much easier to get an idea of what other people have done that way it makes choices slightly easier.
13. Stroller and an Umbrella Stroller
I know that a stroller is an obvious “to get” item, but I really love the stroller we got. It’s the InStep Safari Swivel Jogger. Now you may think we bought this so we can go “jogging”. Nope, we bought it for several reasons; we liked the look of the jogger strollers, it has real tires so it goes across rocks and other things easily, and because our Chicco car seat fit in it. We were pretty picky when it came to buying the carseat, we wanted to makes sure it was a good brand that had done a lot of safety testing. At that time I don’t think Chicco had a jogging stroller that would go with the carseat we’d picked out. I didn’t know this until last fall, but the umbrella shade can go all the way forward. So, when we’re walking into the sun, Gretchen won’t have the sun in her eyes. Genius!!! Although, maybe all strollers do that. I’d also recommend getting a small umbrella stroller, it’s great for going to stores that don’t have carts and doing other things that you wouldn’t need your big stroller for.
12. Newborn Mittens
These are amazing, this helps keep you baby from scratching their faces and keeping their hands warm (if its cold). I bought some before I had my baby and they didn’t work. I think they were gerber brand on the above left. I don’t think they’d even stay on a baby that had the fatest wrists, seriously!!! I was so disappointed in them. So, I made my own!!
11. Onesies with Mittens
These are awesome too!!! These help with the scratching the face and keeping them warm (especially if you don’t have a swaddle).
I was nervous to buy a boppy because they are expensive 40 bucks!!! I really loved it though. It is soooo helpful when you’re nursing and even if you don’t nurse. It holds the baby for you, babies get heavy if you hold them for a long time. They also have more than one use. I used it to prop my baby up like the picture above, that way they aren’t laying flat on the ground. I also used it to prop her up on her tummy because she hated tummy time so bad. Once she started rolling over she took so long to fall asleep, so I’d use the boppy for naptime and bedtime and lay her on it so she couldn’t roll everywhere and it helped her fall asleep better. I still use it sometimes when she’s sick to prop her up because she’s still rolls all over her bed, so it makes it a little scary to prop up one side of the bed.
9. Teething Tablets
I love these teething tablets, so does Gretchen! She always gets excited when I get them out. If she’s being fussy, I pop a couple in her mouth (make sure you hold them under the tongue and dissolve, try not getting bit) and she calms right down. I found this teeth chart on facebook and thought it would be helpful. So far for us, it’s been pretty accurate.
8. Rocking Chair
I would highly recommend a rocking chair, it’s great to have when your baby is fussy during the night and helps comfort them to be rocked. I have the top left one found here. I bought the leather cushion vs. the cloth in case baby puked all over the chair so it would easily wipe off. I would have liked to get a nicer, bigger, more comfortable chair, but the nursery was too small. This one has worked great for me.
7. Teething Toys
Teething toys are awesome when baby is teething (you may want a bib on them because they’ll be drooling like crazy).
6. Baby Carrier
I highly recommend a baby carrier, doesn’t matter what kind. It’s nice to have them close and have them not fussing, but you’ll be able to have 2 hands if you need to be doing things (and your baby thinks you are holding it, I guess you basically are without the arms). I also used mine to go grocery shopping. I went shopping a lot without the carrier, and when you don’t have it, you’ve got to put the carseat in the cart and then you have to look around it to make sure you are crashing into anyone or anything. Luckily I didn’t hit anyone, but I did run into several tables :/.
5. Music Mobile
This was a life saver!!! We got one from Tyson’s sister and loved it, we still use it!! I loved the one she gave us because it had a base on it so you could use it anywhere. Baby loved watching it and listening to the music. The great thing about this mobile was that the base also comes off and the mobile too. So, now we just use it for the music.
4. Swing, Jumper, or Bouncer
I wouldn’t buy one of everything, maybe 1 or 2 because these are also expensive. We bought a bouncer that played music before baby came and I used it to lay her in. She liked it a lot for naps, and I could bring it anywhere with me. When she was a newborn, she liked it better than her crib. So, she slept in it a lot. We were lucky enough to have my sister give us her old jumper, Gretchen loved it!!! We used it for several months too, probably 6-8 months.
3. Gas Drops or Gripe Water
Gretchen didn’t love the gas drops, they didn’t really seem to help, but I’ve heard that it works for other people. Gretchen did LOVE the gripe water though. The above picture is what I used, you can buy anywhere. The gripe water has ginger and other things in it to help settle baby’s tummy.
2. Ear Thermometer
We’ve got an ear thermometer and a pacifier thermometer and have had much more luck with the ear thermometer, just because Gretchen doesn’t like the pacifier shape, so she just spits it out. The nice thing about the ear thermometer is that it only takes a few seconds to take baby’s temperature.
This may seem like a weird one, but if you’ve got a baby with skinny feet and skinny ankles and legs, you’ll need these!!! I couldn’t keep any other socks on Gretchen, and now the Old Navy and Gap ones are all I use!