Chris and I were the first ones out of our families (extended family included!) to have a kid. Now there are four kiddos and two more on the way! We had to navigate the new world of parenting on our own, and we’ve had our fair share of hits and misses. I’ve put together a handy guide of our top must haves for newborns that will, hopefully, come in handy for you!
Top left, clockwise: Baby Brezza | burp cloths (similar) | Kirkland diapers | Munchkin drying rack | Mommy Hook | IKEA clip on lamp | Summer Infant Bathtub | IKEA nightlight | Little Unicorn quilt | Stroller hooks | Honest Shampoo + Body Wash | Homedics Sleep Machine | Eddie Bauer Changing Kit | Gerber baby bottles | Tommie Tippee bibs | Room Essential storage basket | HALO Sleepsack
*This post contains some affiliate links for which if you make a purchase through them, I will receive a small commission.
Baby Brezza – I didn’t really breastfeed with either of my babies, so this machine was wonderful! It’s like a Keurig for baby formula! You don’t have to wait for the water to heat up, so it’s great for middle of the night feedings, or when your baby is screaming his/her lungs out because she’s hungry. This is the most expensive item on my list, but I think it’s well worth it.
Bib – My youngest sister bought me these bibs for my youngest kid, and I wish I had them for my firstborn. They are terrycloth, which means they absorb really well, double-sided, and they have a bump around the neckline which help prevent any spills going down their little necks.
Bottles – I’ve tried “fancier” bottles (Honest Company silicone, which isn’t too bad, and heavy glass bottles), but these super cheap bottles that come in a 3-pack and can probably be found on the bottom shelf at Target are what both my kids used and liked.
Burp cloths – Best advice I can give you: STEAL THESE FROM THE HOSPITAL! I took these from when Oliver was born and they are the best burp cloths. I can’t find any similar and it kills me. I’ve found similar products, but if you can find these thicker cloths (also used for diapering) somewhere like a consignment store, snatch ’em up!
Drying rack – I used to have that grass looking Boon thing for drying bottles. It looked cool, but it took up too much horizontal space. I’ve recently been using this Munchkin one and I really like how it’s two tied, it swivels, and it has these stick up poles that you can hang the nipples from. A+.
Okay, I know I said the Baby Brezza was the most expensive, but I spent the most on a stroller and a car seat (actually the car seat was gifted to me, thanks Pat and Mary!)!
Car seat – I had my Uppababy Cruz stroller from Oliver, and when I was pregnant, I knew I didn’t want a new stroller, so I had to find a car seat that was adaptable to my Uppababy. I like this car seat, it’s easy to install, my only gripe would be that I would maybe not get it in all black. It makes it hard to find the straps and buckle in low light. You’ll just need to buy an adapter that you click onto the stroller (here).
Stroller – When Oliver was born, I had a Chicco stroller. Chicco is totally fine! You don’t need an expensive stroller! But if you’re like me, and get mommy-envy, then I would suggest an Uppababy Cruz. It’s the less expensive Uppababy stroller, and it’s super lightweight. It’s also very easy to collapse and throw in the trunk!
Cover – I saw this on my Instagram feed while I was pregnant with Piper. They’ve also been featured on Shark Tank! It’s a breathable, stretchy fabric that covers the car seat so your little one can sleep longer, and that so strangers don’t keep peering in and spread their germs all over you baby. It can also be used as a breastfeeding cover and a shopping cart cover.
Hooks – You’re going to want hooks for your stroller so you can load it up with crap (e.g., your diaper bag) while you’re out shopping! I really like these hooks, and I’ve also got two Mommy Hooks on there for shopping bags. Tip: Use two Mommy Hooks to hold a Target basket while you wander Target aimlessly. You won’t need a cart!).
Mirror – Babies like to look at themselves. Period. Keeps them entertained in the car.
Seat – I bought a Bumbo for Oliver, but he never fit in it! With Piper, I got this Fisher Price seat as a hand-me-down from my sister-in-law and I love it! It’s small and lightweight, and I can put her on top of the dining room table or kitchen island.
Jumperoo – All of our stuff has been in storage for months. I didn’t think we’d be living at my parents’ for this long. It’s a pain in the butt to try to find anything in storage so I went to a consignment store and found this exersaucer jumping thingy. She loves it and it keeps her entertained for quite some time. Plus, I think it’s made her stronger. She’s not as wobbly when you hold her up to make her stand up straight anymore.
Changing Mat – You could use this at home, but this one I’ve chosen is more for on the go. My diaper bag came with a changing mat, but it’s so small. I found this much larger one and it’s cool because there is a pocket where you could shove your wipes and a couple diapers and then just toss it in your purse.
Diapers – I heart Costco. I’ve bought other diapers. I even had a subscription for the Honest Company ones. But I found that Costco is more economical and you get a ton! I don’t have any issues with leaks or irritations with my kids.
Gas pains – Ahh, welcome to parenting. A world where you are immersed in poop. Or sometimes you’re not. And that becomes a problem. Piper has had some bad stomach pains where she’s filled with gas, so we use these funny little disposable whistles called The Windi Gas and Colic Reliever for Babies. You lube them up (I use coconut oil), lift your baby’s legs up and stick it up their bum. You hold it their until you hear the whistle. Yep, it helps them toot. Have a diaper ready because it also helps them poops as well!!
Sleepsacks – For newborns up until they can flip over onto their tummies, I recommend these SwaddleMe sleepsacks. I wouldn’t bother with any sort of swaddle that doesn’t have velco! Then once they can flip and flop, I use the HALO sleepsack, I just secure the wings underneath their arms.
Sound machine – Both Oliver and Piper sleep with this same sound machine. We have it set to “Summer Night” and it’s perfect for creating good background noise. We also put a fan in their room for air circulation and white noise.
Clip on light – I don’t like lamps on changing tables because they take up space. So I use clip on lights that can clip on the lip on the dresser. Right now I’m using a nice copper one from IKEA. It’s also good because you don’t have to turn on a big room light and wake the baby all the way up.
Nightlight – Another IKEA find. This casts a soft glow and can change colors (or keep it on one color). It’s not too bright, but shines enough so you can peek in on your baby.
Quilt – I got my quilt from Chris’ cousin’s cousin (lol). She owns a children’s boutique in Laguna Beach called Little Bohemian. I LOVE her store. I want to live in it. Anyway, she sent me this quilt when Piper was born and I love it. It’s heavier than a swaddle so it’s good for those cold mornings when I put her in her rocker. It’s also super soft and has a cute print.
Swaddles – Speaking of cute prints, my swaddles are also from the same company that makes the quilt, Little Unicorn. They have the best prints. It seems like everyone has those Aden + Anais swaddles, so it was nice to have something a little different 😉
Tub – I had a Puj tub, but she quickly grew out of it. So I picked this one up and it’s working well. I like it because it fits over the sink, and we can use it in the bathtub once she can sit up on her own.
Shampoo/Body Wash – I’ve been using the Honest Company shampoo + body wash since Oliver was born. They have different scents now, but they are all nice and my kids’ skin feels so soft after their baths! I also slather them up with a mixture of Honest Company lotion and a few pumps of their baby oil.
If you have any “must haves” you think other parents should know about, please tell us about it in the comments! And please share this post with your friends, let’s get the word out and make life easier!