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I’ve had three kids. I think that makes me pretty legit, right? When my first was born, video monitors were just barely becoming a thing (we used only an audio monitor for her–gasp!). When my third was born, I found myself saying that annoying thing that all parents of grown children say; “What! That thing does that?! I didn’t have that when my kids were young!” Of course in my case, I did get to experience that new thing with my third, and only had to feel sorry for myself for missing out on it with the first two kids.
I have mentioned this before about myself, but it bears repeating in this post: I research everything before I make a commitment. I read all the reviews, I compare all the models, I check all the prices, and I poll all of my experienced friends and family. Therefore, if I am recommending it, you can be sure it’s pretty dang amazing.
I made the below list for a friend many years ago, and it has since taken on a life of its own. It has been requested and shared so many times, so I thought it would be helpful to update it and post here for everyone’s benefit.
With that said, here is my 2018 list of the best baby items ever…
Nuna Pipa car seat – You’ll use a rear-facing infant carrier for the first two years. I loved this one because it was very well-rated for safety, it had plenty of cushion, and it has the most amazing canopy ever.
Graco Nautilus – Once your child turns two, you will get a new car seat that faces forward. This seat is great because it will last from two years old and all the way up through childhood (you can eventually take the back off and just use the bottom part of the seat as a booster for when they are older). This seat is affordable and has an excellent safety rating. I was in a horrible head-on collision when my middle child was 18 months old and he walked away without a scratch thanks to this car seat.
Baby Jogger City Mini GT – This stroller is amazing–it folds with one hand, steers with one hand, fully reclines, has an awesome sun shade, and lasts forever (I used mine through three children). Your infant will be too small to ride in it until about 6 months old, so just buy an adapter and you can snap your Nuna Pipa into it! I’d also get this snack tray and this console for the stroller.
Umbrella Stroller – You won’t always want to use the big stroller. Sometimes, it will be necessary to have a lightweight, small stroller (think airports, disney, etc). This is the one I use and it is fabulous and affordable.
Stroller Attachment – Oh my goodness, my kids looooved this thing. It’s just one of those toys that works at getting their attention. I absolutely love it and buy it as a gift for any new moms in my life because it’s that amazing. It can attach to almost anything, but I usually used it on the stroller.
Primo Eurobath – This is a great bath because you can use it up through toddler years. It’s large, so it’s not the kind you would put on a kitchen counter or in a sink. I just left mine in the kids’ bathtub all the time. One side of the tub is for an infant, and the other side is for them to sit in when they get older. I like this better than the small ones because they grow out of those very quickly, but are still too small to sit in a regular tub. You’ll need a bath sponge to lay the baby on inside the tub when he’s tiny so he doesn’t slip (pro tip: squeeze that thing out each night and hang it up to dry).
Bath Toy Organizer – You have probably seen a lot of options of cute mesh bags that suction to the wall, right? I have had a couple of those. They are annoying. They get moldy behind the suction cups, and they fall off the wall all the time. I finally tossed mine and got this basket. We have had ours for over five years now, and it’s still going strong. It’s so simple and thats what makes it the best. The length of it adjusts, so it fits any size bath. It has a ton of slats in it, so water drains out of it easily. It makes the toys easily accessible to the kids, and you can even put their shampoos and soaps in there for easy storage!
Triple Paste Diaper Cream – I swear by this stuff. My poor kids have sensitive skin like their mama, and have gotten diaper rashes to the point of bleeding! I have tried alllllll of the diaper creams, this one beats them all by a mile in my opinion. Also, get one of these handy tools to apply the cream instead of using your fingers (trust me on this one!).
Nail Scissors – My kids were all born with little scratches on their faces because of their long fingernails. It’s soo hard to trim a newborn’s nails, but these scissors are definitely the easiest way to do it! You have so much more control with the scissors than the clippers when they are that tiny. This set comes with clippers too, and I used those when my kids got a little older.
Car Mirror – This is a mirror you attach to your back seat so you can still see the baby when he’s facing backwards in his car seat. This one is great quality and has amazing reviews.
Itzbeen Timer – Whether you nurse or bottle feed, you will want to keep track of the last time you fed your baby. This does that for you. I LIVED by this thing for all three of my kids and it made my life so much easier.
Bottle Brush – This is a small thing, but important since you’ll use it multiple times a day. This is the absolute best bottle brush in the world.
Ergo Baby Carrier – This is a super comfortable baby carrier–I had the Bjorn for my first two children and rarely used it because it kind of hurt! I loooooved this one for my third, what a difference in comfort! I used it all of the time–not only when I was out in public with him, but even around the house when he was fussy and I still needed my hands free to get things done.
Munchie Mug – Bow down to the king of all snack cups (because believe me, I’ve tried them all)!! This is the only snack mug I’ve had that doesn’t spill when they inevitably turn it upside down/drop it/throw it.
Booster Seat – This is one of my most-used baby items. It’s great to take to restaurants so you don’t have to put your little one in a disgusting high chair. It also comes in handy in hotel rooms or when visiting family who don’t have a high chair. This thing is bulky though, so it may not be practical for every setting. I always just keep mine in my trunk and pull it out as needed. I also used this seat a lot and looooove it. It’s a great option to have when you want something small and easy to transport around. People always stopped to ask us where we got it too! Only downside is, it won’t necessarily fit to every table. So get both and you should be set for anything!
Travel Bottle Warmer – I am obsesssssssed with this thing. If you breastfeed, your kids can get used to warm milk. So, if you ever want to give them a bottle of pumped milk outside the house, you need something like this to warm it up. I don’t know how I ever lived without this when I had my first child (picture me begging for boiling water all the time).
Bottle Warmer – This is your at-home bottle warmer. I love this set because of how easy it is to pump and store milk–no transferring from one container to another which always results in spilled milk (and me totally upset).
Blankets – You will probably get a bazillion blankets at your shower, and you will likely use none of them….unless they are these! These are the BEST. They are huge, so you can swaddle your baby in them or fold them and double up the layer if it happens to be cool out. The material is very soft and thin, which I love considering we live in Florida. They also have lots of cute patterns to choose from.
Zip Onesies – It was night one of baby #1 that I determined I loathe sleepers with snaps. Who on earth wants to line up and snap 50 million snaps on a newborn in the middle of the night? No thanks! I always, always bought zip-up onesies for my little ones and these are inexpensive and well-made.
Nursing Pillow – I used this pillow for all three of my kids. It’s great whether you breastfeed or bottle-feed. I did buy the “Breastfriend” pillow for my third child after reading rave reviews about it, but I ended up going back to my boppy. I just didn’t like the other one as much! There are lots of cute cover options for the boppy, here are a few of them.
Boppy Lounger – I loved this lounger and used it all of the time. It’s a safe and comfy place to lay your newborn down, and you’ll be surprised by how many designated places you will want for that in your house!
Breast Pump – This is the best pump you’ll find and it comes with a handy tote to lug it around in! You’ll also want this car adapter because lots of pumping occurs in the car!
Travel Crib – This is a great travel crib and is way easier/better/more convenient than my old pack-n-play. Super light and easy to set up.
Baby Swing – This is new since my first two kids were born, but I got it for #3 and we used it all the time! I had a basic swing for my older kids and they hated that thing, haha. This one was a big hit! If you get it, you’ll also want the newborn insert for when the baby is tiny.
Bassinet – You’ll likely keep the baby in your room for the first few months when he’s waking up every 2-3 hours. This is another item that is new since my older kids were born, but I bought it for the third and I was obsessed with it. So much better than anything I’ve used before. The height is adjustable, so it can be literally right next to you while you lay in bed. The collapsible edge is a huge convenience so you don’t have to stand up to pick up the baby (you’ll fully appreciate this at 1am, 3am, 5am, etc. lol!), and I love the mesh sides so I could see him easily. This one also comes with some cool features like vibration and built in lights. I used the lights every time I fed him in the middle of the night–bright enough to help me see what I’m doing, dim enough to not bother my husband.
Diaper Caddy – It’s helpful to have a caddy so you don’t have to always change the baby in his room. I keep mine downstairs so I don’t have to run upstairs for every diaper change. And when my kids were tiny and sleeping in our room at first, it was nice to have this in there too.
Potty Covers – This is a couple years down the road, but when potty training time begins, get these covers! You can’t imagine how disgusting it is to put your 2 or 3 year old on a public toilet. They have to hold on to the seat for balance (barf), and they cling their legs to the front of the toilet (barf again). This thing covers ALL of that. It’s amazing.
Babywise Sleep Training Book – All three of my kids started sleeping through the night between 8 and 12 weeks old. All three of them. That was not because I got lucky and hit the sleeping gene jackpot. It was a result of diligently following the sleep training program outlined in this book. Spoiler alert—this is NOT a “cry it out” method. I can’t stress or emphasize enough how much I believe in this book, and how beneficial it will be to your baby and you! The brain and health benefits of good sleep are well-documented, and let’s not underestimate how important it is for mom and dad to get their sleep too. I could go on and on about this, so perhaps a separate post is warranted in the future. But just trust me….buy this book and then study it!
That’s all of it! I know there are several things that I did not include, such as bottles, cribs, mattresses, diaper bags, monitors, high chairs, etc. That’s because I think those particular things are truly a matter of preference and taste. This is especially true for bottles! Don’t register for a bunch of bottles! My three kids each took a different bottle than the others, and it took several tries before discovering which one “worked”. Bottles aren’t that expensive, and you also don’t need very many, so just register for one and then see what your baby thinks of it before buying more.
I hope this post is helpful for you! Please reach out to me below if you have any questions as you prepare to welcome your little one!