favorite baby products & essentials

baby favorites header

When I think back to baby no. 1, I remember how clueless I was about what I would need for a newborn baby {and how MUCH I would need}.  Luckily, I had wonderful family and friends who went to register with my husband and me and we figured it out.  I know how overwhelming registering for the first time can be, so I compiled a list of some of my favorite baby products {some that are absolutely necessary, some that just make life easier!} to use in your little one’s first year.  This is by no means an all-inclusive list, it’s simply a place to start!  Enjoy!

for the nursery
{white noise machine} I love my white noise machine, and so have each of my babies!  Not only does it create soothing background noise that seems to help them sleep, but it blocks out the noise from the rest of the house.  I love that mine has an option to plug in, so that it can run all night, or through an entire nap if I want it to.  We own The First Years Sounds for Silence Nursery Sound Machine.  Not only does this machine have a variety of different “white” noises, it also plays lullaby music.  You can crank the volume way up, or keep it on low.  There is also a sleep function that will turn it off after an hour.  First Years also make a “premium” sound machine that allows you to plug in an MP3 player.

{diaper pail} While diaper pails may just be fancy trash cans and are not absolutely necessary, I found it very convenient to have my Diaper Genie Elite in the nursery! Why? 1) I don’t have to run to the trash can each time I change a diaper and 2) since the dirty diaper smell stays trapped inside, I don’t have to take out the trash so often!  I use the Genie for poopy diapers only so I don’t go through the pricey refills quite as quickly.

{baby monitor} Baby monitors have come a LONG way since I had my first daughter eight years ago.  You can now purchase a simple monitor that plays sound only, or you can buy one of the fancy new ones that has a camera and sometimes even a sensor mat to let you know if your baby is moving…you can even see baby on your phone with the right technology!  Prices range anywhere from $30 – $230 {and more!}, so price may play a factor in the monitor you choose.  We have a really old monitor that only lets us hear what is going on in the baby’s room, but it works for us!  The Bump has a great article that gives information on a variety of different monitors and maybe helpful to you in choosing the right monitor for you!

{mobile} I love our Fisher Price Precious Planet 2-in-1 Projection Mobile!  It plays music, spins, and projects images under a cute umbrella.  It even comes with a little remote to start and stop the mobile.  We also have an adorable elephant mobile.  This one is more for looks, but it does play music for a little while if you wind it up.

{glider/rocker}  I have always wanted a big, comfy glider or rocker, but my budget has never allowed it.  I do have a glider that is very comfy and has held up great through three kids.  The point here is that it is nice to have a chair in the nursery that you can sit in to comfort, cuddle, and love your little one.

{nap nanny} This product has been recalled, however it works wonders for a baby who does not want to nap!  If used properly, I believe it can provide parents with some much needed and well deserved breaks!

{changing pad & cover} We have a comfy changing pad and a beautiful, soft cover on our changing table.  Since you’ll be changing a lot of diapers, might as well change them in style!

{humidifier} Humidifiers are useful for baby when he gets a stuffy nose, or even beforehand for mommy when she is pregnant.  I personally use ours for our older kids all the time when they get sick!

for baby
{swing} We love, love, love our Snug a Bunny Cradle and Swing and so have our babies!  Not only does it swing back and forth, but it also swings side to side.  It plays music or white noise, has a cute mobile, and is a comfy place for baby to relax.

{swaddles} My favorite swaddling clothes are those made by Aden + Anais.  Not only are they adorable, but they are soft, light weight, and really, really big ~ perfect for swaddling your little one!

{pacifiers} Every baby is different and so is each pacifier.  If you want to use pacifiers, you might have to do some experimenting to see which “binky” your little one prefers.  My first didn’t care which kind, she loved any and all pacifiers.  No. 2 didn’t want to have anything to do with any pacifier whatsoever.  No. 3 loves Soothies {my favorite as well}.  These cute little pacifiers come in different colors, different sizes, and even can come scented if you like!

{bumbo} The Bumbo is a handy baby item to have around!  It is a fun little seat that your child can use for years {my three-year-old still loves to sit in the Bumbo for fun!}.  You can even purchase a tray to attach to use for snacks or coloring or play.

{bath} There are so many different baby baths out there.  My favorite is the standard newborn to toddler bath.  It works from the time your baby is born {it has a little sling attachment for baby to lay in} to the time he or she is ready to get into the regular tub.  For all three of my kids we used the First Years Sure Comfort Newborn-to-Toddler Tub.

{diaper cream} I always make sure to have diaper cream at my changing table and in my diaper bag just in case baby’s bottom gets a little sore.  We love both Desitin and Burt’s Bees Diaper Ointment.  Whatever the brand you choose, diaper cream is a good product to have around!

{play mat} There are SO many kinds of mats for babies…tummy time mats to mats with overhead mobiles and all kinds of toys…you’ll have to choose one that fits your budget, color scheme, and needs!  Currently with No. 3 we have the Fisher-Price Deluxe Musical Mobile Gym.  I like the mobile feature and all of the fun toys it came with, not to mention the great colors and adorable animals!

{teething toys} A very popular baby toy currently is Sophie le Giraffe {and for a good reason}!  She is cute, makes fun squeaking noises, and babies seem to love her!

{thermometer} We love our Exergen Temporal Scanner Infared Thermometer.  It’s about as simple as pressing a button and rubbing the thermometer across baby’s forehead!

Let’s face it…babies do A LOT of eating during the first year.  Here are some products I LOVE and you might too!

 for feeding time

{boppy} The Boppy is one of my favorite baby products ever!  It is perfect for the nursing mom to help hold baby, but can also be used for baby alone.

{brest friend} An alternative to the Boppy, the Brest Friend can strap on, giving a nursing mom the ability to get baby to a more appropriate height than with other nursing pillows.

{lanolin} With all of my kids I found Lanolin {gives relief to tender or dry nipples as a result of breastfeeding} absolutely necessary and very helpful!  By the time I had No. 3, I knew I needed to start using it before the baby was born, and continued to use it for the first six to eight weeks after baby was born.  After that, I really did not need it much, but Lanolin helped make the first couple breastfeeding months much more comfortable than they would have been otherwise!  I prefer Medela Tender Care Lanolin.

{pump} I love having my own breast pump because it makes it possible for baby to continue to get my milk even if I go out for the evening and when I return to work.  I personally have the Avent Double Electric Breast Pump {for home and work} and the Avent Manual Breast Pump {for when I am on the go}, but have heard nothing but wonderful things about the Medela pumps.  Whichever pump you choose, I hope you find it as useful as I have!

{bottles} Just as with pacifiers, each bottle is different and each baby will have a different preference!  With babies No. 1 and No. 3 I used Avent Natural bottles {I could pump right into them using my breast pump}, but No. 2 was a little, no,  A LOT more difficult.  I think I tried five or six different bottles until someone recommended the Nuk {she said it was the bottle that her picky baby preferred}.  I would recommend holding off on registering for a whole supply of bottles before your baby is born just in case you get a picky little one like my No. 2!

{nursing cover} I use the Balboa Baby Nursing Cover so I have privacy when I need to feed my little one in public.  It is easy to put on and has a reinforced neckline so that I can see my baby while I nurse.

{bibs} When all baby does is drink milk, I love the Aden + Anais snap bibs.  They are big, soft, and absolutely adorable!  Once the little one gets bigger, I look for large bibs that will cover as much of the front of baby as possible and are easy to wipe down after each meal.

{high chair} This third time around I ditched my old plastic high chair that had lots of grooves and spaces for food to get stuck {yuck!} and went with the Eddie Bauer high chair.  I love that it is wood {it looks a lot nicer out in my kitchen!} and still has a washable tray and seat cover.

{disposable placemats} Fantastic little invention for eating out!  Not only do these disposable placemats simply stick to any table top {and remove easily to throw away}, they provide some entertainment while at a restaurant {my babies liked to look at the colorful pictures and point out things they recognized}.

for when you're on the go
{stroller} My absolute favorite stroller hands down in the B.O.B.  Any one of them.  Single or double, doesn’t matter.  I LOVE this stroller!  It glides effortlessly, folds up easily, comes with adapters for different infant seats, and most importantly is tall enough for me to push without stooping over!

{carrier/wrap} There are SO many different carriers/wraps/slings out there that you’ll  probably want to do some research before picking out the one that is right for you.  I have personally used two different ones and love them both.  We have had the Baby Björn through all three kids so I know that it is durable and lasts for a long time!  It is easy to put on and take off and all three of my kids loved being carried around in it.  The only drawback I have found is that my shoulders get sore if I wear it for a long period of time {although they do have a Comfort Carrier now that they didn’t have around when we purchased ours 8 years ago…this might solve the shoulder problem!}.  For No. 3 I also purchased a Moby Wrap and I LOVE it.  It is very comfortable to wear and the little one loves being in it as well.  The only drawback I have found to this wrap is that it is so long it can be difficult to put on without dragging it on the ground when you’re out and about.

{diaper bag} I have had a few different diaper bags, but my favorite was my Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bag with baby No. 1.  I like having enough room to carry around everything I might need while on the go and this diaper bag provided lots of great space without being too huge.  I also love all the cute prints and styles!

{pacifier wipes} Not a necessity, but pacifier wipes are handy to have when you’re out and about and that beloved binky falls to the ground!  I use the pacifier wipes by Munchkin.

{travel bags} The Arm and Hammer Diaper Bags and Dispenser are super useful for when you’re out and about.  I have used them for dirty diapers when I don’t have access to a trash can {or even when I do and I don’t want to stink up someone’s house!} and also for clothes when they get soiled.

{wipe case} I have a small wipe case that I can refill so that I don’t have to continuously purchase the expensive wipe travel packs.  My travel case came in a set with other Huggies wipes.

{car mirror} I like my BRICA Baby In-Sight Soft-Touch Auto Mirror so that I can see my little one in his rear-facing car seat.

{pack n’ play} I highly recommend a pack n’ play if you want to travel with your baby {we have one made by Graco}.  I even have a pack n’ play at my parents’ house so there is somewhere for my little ones to nap when we’re over there.

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