Monday, March 11, 2013

A List of Baby Must Haves

I have to start out this post by first stating a warning. What warning? Oh you know... just the fact that it is probably the longest post I've ever written. There will be three parts to this series, one being baby must-haves, the other toddler-must-haves, and lastly diaper bag must-haves. After all of them post, I will have a link on each post referring back to the other posts for reference. These lists are products that we own, many of which we have used for years. Now, every family is different, every needs are different. So what we may find to be useful, you may not. Research each product carefully and make sure and try to consider whether it will fit your lifestyle.

Obviously there are things like diapers, wipes, snot booger catcher, clothes, socks, and so forth that are all "essentials" and "must-haves," however I specifically chose to not include those items as they are a no-brainer, and I wanted to instead focus on specific products that we have personally enjoyed.

Although it is titled as a must have list... technically, it's something that has just made our lives easier. The only thing you really need when you have that precious baby is those baby kisses. And lots of them :)

*Direct link pictured products below each description 

1. Receiving blankets. We purchased about 16 for each baby. We used these for everything. Lay baby down on couch. A breastfeeding cover at times when I don't want to go upstairs to get mine. Burb cloths. Thing blankets. As a protector when changing a diaper. We always have a couple in the diaper bag. A few upstairs. A few downstairs. Always accessible, and I always feel like we never have enough.

Purchase a few good ones too to wrap them in :

Aden + anais 4 Pack Muslin Swaddle Wrap, Jungle Jam

 2. Swaddlers & Sleep Sacks. My babies were never big into swaddling as they liked to have their arms out. The thing I love about these swaddlers is that it allows me to velcro right below their arms and lets them be free.
Summer Infant SwaddleMe

We also use sleep sacks instead of blankets to sleep in. We LOVE our halo sleep sacks.
HALO SleepSack 100% Cotton Swaddle, Cream, Small

3. Thermometer. Have one of these things handy dandy. The sad thing is that my babies have never really had a fever. I think the highest E had was 100. She's never been sick aside from a little runny nose and cough. However, that doesn't change the fact that I like to know what my baby's temperature is and I'd like to know fast. Especially when they are in the newborn phase and cannot have a temperature over 100 during the first 3 months of life. Don't spend too much money, but also don't spend too little {trust me, we have spent too little}. The too little ones? Take too long. And when you have a screaming baby? Too long is... well.. too long.
Professional Clinical Large LCD Non-contact Infrared Thermometer - Forehead (Fahrenheit Readings)

4. My first years Bathtub. I loved this so much with E that I got the same one {minus the pink} for G.
The First Year's Infant To Toddler Tub with Sling, Blue

 5. Car seat cover in the cold weather. Be careful of what kind you get. Why? Because I learned {after purchasing our cover} that you cannot have the kind that goes underneath the straps for risk of ejection. There is also risk for these things to catch on fire. That being said, they are great for what they are, however we ended up pitching ours. So I didn't exactly sell you on this item, huh? Ha. But you can get the one to go over for when you go on walks:
JJ Cole Car Seat Cover, Khaki

 6. Baby food maker. If you plan on making your own baby food, this is a must. With Elliana, I went the whole old-school way and used this dinky food processor. I wised up with this one. Is it sad I already can't wait to make his baby food?
Baby Chef Ultimate Baby Food Maker
Also, if you do plan on making your own baby food, invest in a good baby food book with great ideas in it, as well as storage trays!

7. Keep the strangers away cover. That's what I like to call these things. When you take your baby out and about at the store? The last thing you need is little old ladies creeping their little heads inside the car seat and spreading their germs over your baby's face. That's where the cover comes in. However, I have to admit, a large receiving blanket will do as well. Just know those tend to fall off during windy days.
JJ Cole Car Seat Canopy, Ash Woodland

8. Car Seat Toys.  WARNING: These are not recommended while driving. However, I keep these in the car so that when we take the baby out of the car, I can easily attach and it keeps baby boy easily entertained. Win, win.
Manhattan Toy Whoozit Activity Spiral

9. Boppy. For nursing. For baby to practice head control. For comfort in general.
Boppy Bare Naked Pillow

10. Portable swing. Have a swing regardless, however, if you can get a portable one as well? Score. These are awesome for a few reasons: size {doesn't take up a ridiculous amount of space and blends in with your furniture}, low level {less distance for the baby to fall out of... it it were to fall out of it for whatever reason}, and lastly portable {why else would it be called portable swing... it's awesome!}
Comfort & Harmony Portable Swing - Elepalo

11. Chicco carseat. I never had any other kind of car seat for my babies, so I can't say I can compare it to others, however, I did attend a class where I was able to test out tons of car seats, and this one won by a landslide {hints why I purchased it}. Easy installation, rated the best in safety, and pretty lightweight.
Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat and Base, Adventure

12. Snuza. Oh my love for snuza. I have written multiple posts on this device, so I won't go into great detail with this one, however, if I could recommend one baby product for you to splurge on... it would be this one. Hands down. It's a SIDS monitor detector and it basically detects the baby's breathing. If for whatever reason the breathing stops, after a few seconds it vibrates to sort of stimulate the baby. If then the baby does not start breathing, the alarm goes off! Yes, you get false alarms when they are older and fall off... but hey, it's totally worth that sprint up the stairs.
Snuza Halo Baby Movement Monitor

13. VTECH Video monitor-dual. We have the two camera system so that we could watch both kiddos. We have only had this for about 3+ months now, but my review on it is just as excellent as the day we got it. Best part about it? Price. Compared to other products out there, it is probably the lowest in price. Which for me? Was important. But, more importantly, was it's functionality. It had everything I was looking for. Two-way speaker. Adjustable camera. Screen-to-screen views. White noise. And night light vision. And more.
VTech Communications Safe & Sounds Full Color Video and Audio Monitor

14. Angel Care monitor. Okay our third monitor that we own {ha, don't laugh} is solely for SIDS monitoring as well. Yes, we use two devices to monitor SIDS. This monitor goes underneath the mattress and detects their movement. What I also like about this monitor is that it acts as a sound monitor as well. That and it can tell temperature. Lots of great features.
Angelcare Baby Movement and Sound Monitor, Blue

15. Sony sound monitor. Lastly, our fourth monitor. This is just are sound monitor, and we actually keep it in our room {since all the other monitors are in the kids rooms} because Elliana does take naps in our room and often times I sneak out of there once she is asleep. That being said, I still want to be able to hear her. We have had this monitor for 2+ years and it still works perfectly. The price is right as well!
Sony 900 MHz BabyCall Nursery Monitor with Receivers

16. Humidifier. We haven't had to whip this out for little man yet, however, it is definitely one of those must-own things as a parent. Otherwise, you will find yourself running out to the store late at night to purchase one. We used it a number times with E when she was clogged up as a baby. It works great. In fact, I breath better myself because of it.
Kids Line Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier, Monkey

17.Vibrating chair. We had this with E and now we are using it with G. This char is great as they can grow in it. Used in three different ways. It vibrates, and has fun bright toys. It does not rock on its own though. But the way the baby moves in the chair, it makes it rock back and forth on its own.
Fisher-Price Deluxe Infant to Toddler Rocker, Alpha Fun

18.Bouncer. Love these things for entertainment. Can't wait for G to be old enough to use.
Fisher-Price Ocean Wonders Jumperoo

19.Boba Wrap. Baby wearing will save your life. You will be able to get so much more done. I promise. That and being out in public will be that much easier. We currently own the boba wrap.
Boba Wrap - Grey

20. Sound machine. Exactly what it means. Tons of different sounds and helps the babies go to sleep.
HoMedics SS-2000F Sound Spa Relaxation Machine with 6 Nature Sounds, Silver

21. Sterilizer. This is must for breastfeeding mamas that are pumping. We have the munchkin one and are pleased with it. We also had the avent one with E and liked that one as well. I think it is what it is.
Munchkin Steam Guard Microwave Sterilizer

22. Bottles. Invest in some good ones. My babies have both loved the avent bottles. Some people I hear have to test out different brands. Don't invest all your money in one brand until you are confident your baby will take the bottle.
Philips AVENT 9 Ounce BPA Free Classic Polypropylene Bottles, 5-Pack

23.Milk storage bags. Again, breastfeeding mamas that are pumping. I have read mixed reviews on these bags, however, I have used them with both E and G and have only had a handful of bags that leaked on me {with E}. That's pretty good for the amount that I had pumped. I also prefer bags over the bottle storage because of space.
Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags, 100 Count

24. Breast pump. Trend here... pumping mamas. Invest in a good quality pump. I have used the avent one with both babies and have never had any problems. Lots of people swear by Medela. Do your research and buy one. But before you buy one, check with your insurance company to see if they cover some of the cost. Ours didn't, however, I have heard many that do!
Philips AVENT BPA Free Twin Electric Breast Pump

25. Pack n play. This thing is plain awesome. We used it as our bassinet at bedside. Has the diaper changing station right there as well as compartments to keep all your goodies {diapers, wipes, sanitizer, etc}. It breaks down easily, making it easy to take on travel or to grandma and grandpa's house. It is also a great thing for them to play in as they get older and keeps them... how do you say this.... contained.
Graco Silhouette Pack 'N Play Playard with Bassinet and Changer, Rittenhouse

26. Activity mat. Babies need to play. They love bright colors, musical sounds, and mirrors. These are just plain great for that.
Skip Hop Treetop Friends Activity Gym

27. City mini. Ah! I love this stroller. Even though we have since invested in an amazing double stroller, we decided to still keep our single for times that we take E on a walk by ourselves or when G grows up and E just wants to hold our hands and walk. It really is the best single stroller out there {and we tested out A LOT!}. It's so easy to fold and unfold {one handed} and super light! I can say so many amazing things about it. Truly. Baby Jogger 2012 City Mini Single Stroller, Sand/Stone

Phew. Part one over. Feel free to share some of your favorite products with us!


  1. This is an awesome list. We're expecting and just added the Snuza to our registry Thanks!!!!

  2. Thank you for sharing. I am 4 days away from my due date and was wondering before purchasing some of the items that you recommended :)

  3. I just added so many of these items to my amazon registry... thanks for taking the time to post... it's always sooooo helpful to get great reviews from good mom's who are alsocost-conscientious!

  4. This is AMAZING! I'm not ashamed to say that I totally printed this post out and have updated my registry!

  5. Great list! I used a lot of the same things with my son! What double stroller did you end up buying?

  6. This is such a great list; especially for people who aren't moms and need to think of something to get their mom friends for a baby shower :)

  7. Thank you so much for this post and your blog- I am new and reading through oldies but I am pregnant with my first and blogging about it- this blog of your inspires me :)

  8. This list seems excessive in the monitor department. Pediatricians don't recommend those SIDS monitors. 2 car seat covers? How about you use a blanket in lieu of the hide me cover. Oy vey!

  9. This list seems excessive in the monitor department. Pediatricians don't recommend those SIDS monitors. 2 car seat covers? How about you use a blanket in lieu of the hide me cover. Oy vey!

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