Maybe you planned a friend's baby shower, but when you’re due one of your own it can become overwhelming! There are the hormones, the responsibility, the financial commitment and all the preparation. Add into that mix the seemingly relentless marketing of baby gear and you can easily find yourself exasperated.
Overwhelmed by the endless choices and reviews? We’ve put together a list of some of the most tried and tested baby products. These are the favorites we've put in our nursery, so if you don't have time to comparison shop, you can take advantage of the hours and hours we've spent.
Get started by creating a baby registry:
Many baby registries come with free gifts or completion discounts, where you can get a discount on buying items off your own registry. New parents do get some freebies!
Sleep: the holy grail of motherhood! Babies need somewhere to sleep and there are whole lot of options. Safety is a key concern, so make sure you check out the guidelines in your country and also impartial advice as you make your decisions about where your baby will sleep.
After spending 3 trimesters growing inside mom, there is a phenomenon known as the fourth trimester where babies need a similar environment to that of the womb, especially for sleeping.
Side Sleeper Bassinet – Babies often want to be close to their mom to sleep, so if you’re in the market for a side sleeper, the Chicco Next 2 Me is one of the most popular. It can be used as a side sleeper bassinet against your own bed, a standalone crib and also a travel crib. Its height adjustable so will fit against almost all beds and the latest version can even be rocked! Ideal if you have a newborn who wants to be rocked, just like they were in the womb.
The Mika Side sleeper is another affordable adjustable height sleeper better for tight budgets.
Bassinet sheet – Unless your baby is ok sleeping on a plastic cover, you will probably need sheets for your bassinet. Double check the dimensions of the sleeper you get with the sheet size.
Carter's by Davinci Colby 4-in-1 Low Profile Convertible Crib – Greenguard gold certified, this crib is made out of solid sustainable New Zealand pinewood and TSCA compliant engineered wood. It's also meant to be lead and phthalate safe with non toxic paint. Designed specifically to be low profile at 35.91″ high, it's easy for shorter parents to lift babies in and out of the crib.
Graco Premium Foam Crib and Toddler Mattress – This standard size crib mattress is reasonably priced, Greenguard gold certified, with a machine washable removable outer cover. It will fit both a standard crib and toddler bed.
Ultra soft Crib sheet – These crib sheets are made out of knit jersey, incredibly soft, and hold up well from washing.
Swaddling refers to wrapping your newborn tightly to mimic the snug environment of the womb. Swaddling blankets range from muslin blankets that you can shape to pre-made velcro swaddles.
Lightweight blankets made with by Aden and Anais help minimize the risk of overheating. These swaddling cloths are made of muslin and are lightweight as well as being silky soft. Their large size makes swaddling easier, and the cloth can double as a carseat canopy or nursing cover.
For nighttime sleep we've found velcro swaddles to be far easier to manage.
If you’re not keen on swaddling, but want to keep your little one cozy and snug, then a Halo Sleep Sack works well. Sleep sacks prevent loose blankets sneaking up and covering a baby’s face and also loosely create that womb-like fourth trimester environment.
A monitor can give you peace of mind while your baby sleeps. The Infant Optics DXR-8 is a portable video monitor you can use at home or when traveling. This plug and play baby monitor lets you visually check on your sleeping baby.
The affordable VTech DM112-2 audio monitor has crystal-clear sound. This long-range audio monitor lets you keep tabs on your baby when you on the other side of the house or working in the yard.
White noise often reminds babies of the sounds that they heard in the womb and can soothe them to sleep. The LectroFanEVO is a popular white noise machine with fan sounds, surf sounds, and a sleep timer.
The Hatch Rest+ Baby Sound Machine lulls your baby to sleep with its array of tranquil sounds and warm nightlight colors. The two-way audio monitor lets you keep tabs on your baby as they sleep, making it a good addition to any baby registry.
A nightlight can be useful for late night diaper changes as well as breastfeeding. CloudB Creatures are not only super cute as toys but also have soothing sounds and light shows to help lull your baby to sleep.
A baby mobile can keep your infant entertained and may even help them fall asleep. Since an infant's eyesight is still developing, the fascinating sights and colors of the mobile provide visual stimulation for your infant. With the Tiny Love Take Along Mobile, you can choose contrasting black and white colors or bright hues to help stimulate your baby's eyesight, while its soothing music lulls them to sleep.
Car seat laws vary around the world, but if you are using a car then you need a car seat in order to keep your baby safe. Rear facing car seats are the best way to keep babies and toddlers safe. Keep your kid rear facing as long as possible.
Infant car seats like the Chicco Keyfit 30 are well suited for the infant stage. This car seat has great crash test ratings and a super lightweight stroller frame the car seat snaps right into, turning it into a travel system. Sleeping baby, no problem!
If you want to skip ahead and buy a car seat that will last past the infant stage, you'll need a convertible car seat.
When choosing a car seat it’s important to make sure that it fits your car and is installed correctly. Typically you can lookup a local certified technician to help you install the seat and check it for safety.
Don’t forget a backseat mirror to keep an eye on your little one as you drive.
There’s a huge array of strollers available so you are bound to be able to find one that will suit you, your family and your lifestyle. Strollers can be a pricey investment so it’s really worth doing your research to get the one that’s right for you.
Babies under six months old should lay as flat as possible, and really shouldn’t be in a car seat any longer than necessary. Having a car seat that attaches to your stroller (also known as a travel system) can be super useful for those quick trips to the store.
If you like to take longer walks around the neighborhood then consider a full lie-flat option, such as a stroller with separate bassinet option like the Uppababy Vista.
If you’re an avid traveller and plan to take a lot of flights with your little one then an ultralight travel strollers like the BabyZen YoYo could be a great investment too. It’s a dream to push, yet folds up and stows away in a bag approved for cabin baggage. Mommy hooks are also great for attaching shopping bags or your diaper bag to the stroller.
Little babies love to be held close, it brings them comfort to be close to mom or dad so it's good for baby's emotional wellbeing. Being in a more upright position helps with their digestion, hip and head development and holding baby close is also good for Mom's milk supply. Most newborns want to be held pretty much constantly, so babywearing is a great option.
For newborn babies a soft, wrap carrier like the Moby wrap gives the support and comfort they need and spreads the weight evenly for the caregiver too.
As baby gets a little older and more inquisitive a carrier that has a number of different positioning options is great. The ErgoBaby Omni 360 can be used to carry your baby on your back, hip, on your front facing you and on your front facing outwards all whilst keeping their hips in a healthy, developmentally appropriate position and distributing their weight for you.
The products you need to buy to feed your baby will depend on how you decide to feed them. Breastfeeding can require very little equipment, though you may want to stock up on a few breastfeeding essentials beforehand; and some warm/cold compresses to help with initial engorgement and to increase your pumping yield.
Speaking of which, if you plan to pump then buying a really good pump is an investment that will pay off! The Spectra S1 is a great choice; it is a hospital-grade electric breast pump which means that it has a strong suction to increase the amount of milk pumped and is also a closed system which is much more hygienic as it prevents milk from getting into the pumps mechanism.
If you plan to feed your baby formula don’t go too wild stocking up on one brand as many moms find that they need to switch for a variety of reasons, and the same goes for bottles. Whether you’re using a bottle to feed formula milk or to switch between breastfeeding and bottle-feeding expressed milk, different babies prefer different bottles so buy just a few and see what works best before you stock up.
Keeping bottles cleaned and sterilized is important and the First years spinning drying rack is a great way of allowing bottles to air-dry whilst also looking good on the counter.
A bottle warmer may not be an essential baby item, but it can be nice to have if your baby is picky about the temperature. If you add a bottle warmer to your list of items, just make sure that it fits the baby bottles you want to use. And it is an added plus if it heats baby food. A word of caution if you plan to breastfeed, make sure the warmer you choose is approved for use with breast milk.
It may seem too early to include a highchair or booster seat on your baby registry list. Just keep in mind that babies grow fast and before you know it, they may be ready for spoon-fed meals. The Graco Slim Snacker is a compact high chair that is easy to clean and store. Booster seats are usually reserved for toddlers when they are older; however, some parents may put their baby in a booster seat when they can sit up without falling over. The portable OmniBoost seat makes meal time easier when you are out and about.
Whether you choose to use disposable diapers or reusable cloth diapers, it’s worth thinking through what you will need and where you keep it. A changing pad, cotton pads, wipes, diapers themselves and maybe a diaper pail can be added to your baby registry.
A multi-pocketed diaper bag when out and about is a lovely item, though if you’re on a tight budget a regular backpack can do the job just as well.
For sensitive skin, wipes that are as close to water wipes as possible work well. Since they are 99% water, you don't have to have a science degree to know exactly what you’re putting on your baby’s skin. To soothe and prevent diaper rash, Matys' organic diaper cream protects your baby's skin with all-natural ingredients.
Newborns don’t need to be bathed very regularly and professionals are now advising delaying bathing or limiting baths to a few times a week until baby is a little older. In the meantime, you can wash your baby using a technique known as ‘topping and tailing' to keep them clean and smelling fresh.
You don’t need to use any products at all on delicate newborn skin, but if you do choose to do so look for gentle, specially formulated products that are as natural as possible. Products that contain lavender are also soothing as part of a bedtime routine.
Easily an item you will use everyday, the infant play gym offers a safe space to put your baby. The moveable arch has hanging toys to entertain. Eventually the baby can also play the mini piano.
For the times you need to put your infant down in a safe place, a baby bouncer comes in handy. The vibrations, sounds, and toy bar keep your little one entertained. Plus, the reclined seat lets them easily see the world around them.
Tummy time helps babies develop muscles and motor skills. With bright colors and contrasting designs, babies can explore and play on comfortable tummy time mats that can be used indoors or outside.
There are so many amazing baby products on the market, with more being invented every day that really, we’re spoilt for choice!