When I was pregnant with my sweet girl, I remember being so stressed about what I needed. Although I was a first time mom, I did have some understanding of the fact that I wouldn’t need every single baby item on the planet. Even still, I was overwhelmed and wanted to be prepared. This led to some pretty humorous registering and re-registering, as well as purchasing and returning. Looking back, I feel it would have been beneficial to ask a few of my closest mom friends what their “must have items” were. For the sake of all of my pregnant friends and acquaintances, I decided to make a list with my own. But before I share my 5 must have baby items, I want to clarify a couple of things!
First of all, this list skips past the obvious items such as a crib and a carseat. Those things are absolute must have baby items, but this list assumes that to be a given. If you need recommendations on those things, I am happy to share with you. I will say that I *personally* recommend always buying a carseat brand new so that you know the exact condition. A carseat that has been in an accident should no longer be used. And while a carseat at a resale spot might look flawless on the outside, there’s no guarantee that it has not been in an accident. As far as a crib, I don’t see any problem with buying a used one, as long as you inspect it and it’s still fully safe, it should be fine!
Second, I only recommend products that I fully and completely believe in- and that I have tested against other products! You can’t say something is the best if it’s the only thing you have tried! You can, however, say that you love it. For the purpose of this list of must have baby items, I wanted to be able to say both!
Finally, I know I have only been a mom for just short of a year, but I have absolutely done my research on these items! I know there may be other moms out there that have been at it for way longer, and I am sure they have great ideas, too! I do believe, however, that we first time mamas can have some great input as well!
Alright, so let’s get right to it!
- DockATot:This is the product that fully and completely saved out sanity. We had a ton of issues with our sweet baby when she was first born, and had no idea what we were doing as new parents. You know the sweet sleepy newborn phase everyone talks about with a new baby? Yea, we never got that. Due to some other issues going on, our girl literally was not sleeping for more than about 15 minutes at a time after we brought her home. We had no idea how to help her or what to do. The one thing we knew for sure was that we needed to find a way to help our baby sleep (and obviously get some sleep ourselves). We tried just about every single swaddle on the planet, two or three swings, a pack ‘n play, and all the baby wearing you could imagine. While I am not normally one for just caving in to the latest trend, everyone swore by the dockAtot , and I was literally desperate for some sense of relief. I finally gave in and ordered it, and from the moment it arrived on our doorstep, our lives were never the same. I will literally never forget laying our baby in it and weeping… for the first time in her three weeks of life, she allowed us to lay her down and didn’t cry. Within five short minutes, she was fast asleep and stayed asleep for three full hours. I felt like a new human. From that point on, we used the dockAtot every night, and used it to transition her to her crib. She remained in the dockAtot until she started. rolling over both ways. I absolutely, one hundred and fifty percent, without doubt recommend the dockAtot!
- Wubbanub: If you are a “no paci” mom, this one might not be for you! But for all of us who are unashamedly rocking the paci with our babies, this is the holy grail of pacifiers (and probably the most important of my must have baby items). Want to know why? Well, here’s our story. We spent the first four months of our girl’s life running back to her in the middle of the night to give her a paci when she lost hers. Homegirl craved a paci, but would often lose it in her sleep, and obviously did not have the coordination she needed to pick it up and put it back in her mouth. We weren’t willing to engage in any unsafe sleep habits, so we weren’t going to use one of those clip/rope things to keep it on her. Plus, even if it was clipped to her, she still didn’t know how to pick things up yet. Around exactly four months, we decided to ditch all the other pacifiers and introduce the wubbanub. It was absolutely a winning decision. Even though she still wasn’t quite coordinated enough to pick things up, the wubbanub made for a great transition as she started using her hands more because it’s just so much easier to hold on to. Plus, she loved looking at cute little animal and it always made her smile super big. Also, unlike sleeping with pacifier clips, the wubbanub is completely safe. She still uses hers now at almost ten months, and may or may not have four different ones that are her “babies.”
- Thule Urban Glide: If you are a serious runner, this is the stroller for you. I was incredibly blessed to be a part of Fit4Mom when I was pregnant, and therefore I was surrounded by tons of other moms who valued staying in shape. Because I was the only one there without a baby, I would often give other mamas a break and push their babies while running. This gave me nearly six months, Monday through Friday, to try just about every jogging stroller. By the time I was ready to buy, I knew for sure that I had narrowed it down to three different ones (based on what I liked from experience): Thule Urban Glide, Mountain Buggy, and Bob Revolution Flex. These all felt good, were easy to push, and traversed any sort of terrain with ease. I decided to go beyond my own experience and read all kinds of reviews to determine the best of the best. I started with Runners World and Active because I knew those sites would give reviews based on what’s best for serious runners, and not on what’s trendy. Both of these placed the Thule Urban Glide at number one due to its unique rear suspension and large trail back tires. Both labeled it “the stroller for serious runners.” Beyond runners’ resources, I checked out several mom sites and baby gear review sites. All three strollers were in the top five in every list I checked out! At that point it just came down to pros and cons! For me, the pros all far outweighed the cons and the Thule Urban Glide was absolutely the winner. Perhaps the winning detail for me was just how easy it is to open and close the stroller with a super simple one hand fold. It was far easier for me than any of the others I had the privilege of trying! If I had to put the others in order, the Bob would come in second, and the Mountain Buggy last. For our lifestyle, (especially as runners), this item is truly vital and absolutely important for our list of must have baby items.
- Ergobaby Carrier: There are so many baby carriers out there, and while I haven’t tried them all, I have tried five different ones. I have tried two different wraps, one sling, and two different carriers. Here’s what I love about the ergobaby compared to all of the others: It takes less than a minute to get your baby in and situated, it requires minimal adjusting, it stays put and doesn’t require tons of fixing, it feels the snuggest and safest compared to all the others I have tried, and allows me to truly be hands free. I originally discovered the ergobaby in 2013 when I would watch a friend’s baby for her. She had the ergo and I pretty knew it was love for me long before having a baby. Even still, I wanted to give other carriers a try, but none of them compare! The ergobaby might not be the trendiest or coolest, but let’s be real, I am looking for functionality when my baby needs to be held close but I need to get things done! I would absolutely recommend the ergobaby over any other carrier! As a side note, I do want to mention that I do NOT recommend the 360 version of the ergo as the best one. The reason for that is the misuse rate. I see so many people allowing their babies to forward face in the 360 for way longer than what is recommended, and I also see people at the mall or target all the time letting their babies sleep while facing forward. Ergobaby officially states that this is not safe, and they do not recommend it. Not only is it unsafe for sleeping, but the hip positioning is not safe or healthy for longer than 20 minutes!
- White Noise Machine: I actually think there are probably a few great white noise machines on the market. We have been through four with our girl, and this is one of the top two I would recommend. What’s so great about a white noise machine is that it allows you to relax a little bit without worrying that anything and everything will wake your baby up. If you are a mama, then you know all too well what it feels like to spend what feels like forever getting your baby to sleep, only to have someone knock on your door and wake them up. Or… the dadgum trash truck… White noise is a lifesaver in our house. I know lots of mamas use their phone for white noise, but we love having a machine. Not only does it mean we don’t have to put our phone in our baby’s room for two hours, but also… in case you didn’t know… some white noise apps will automatically stop if someone sends you a text or calls you. And that’s literally the worst feeling ever. I am pretty confident I have never sprinted so fast as the time I was using my phone for white noise and my husband called me.
I could recommend another five, I am sure, but that would defeat the purpose. Besides the basic necessities, such as diapers, wipes, a carseat, a crib, and nutrition, these are the items I absolutely could not live without!
Have a favorite baby item? Tell us all about it and where we can find it in the comments below!
Oh, PS… I feel like I would be shortchanging you if I didn’t tell about my favorite diaper rash cream in addition to the other must have baby items! It’s safe AND effective… and that is exactly what I am looking for in a cream! You name, we tried it, and this was the only one that truly did the job!