Below is a compilation of my favorite baby items. I am so glad we purchased these items, because Caroline has gotten a LOT of use out of every single item that I have listed below. There are a lot of huge lists out there, so this is my attempt at a list of MUST HAVES. I’m sure I am probably forgetting something, so check back and I’ll keep this updated!
I have linked to the items that we have. Some of this was handed down to us, given to us from our baby registry, some purchased used, and some purchased new.
Swaddles– These swaddles saved us! Caroline broke out of every other swaddle. So worth the money on this one!
Sleep sacks– we used this once she was unswaddled at 4 months. This sleep sack keeps her warm. She knows it’s bedtime when we place her in it for the night.
Storage bins– we bought clothes used, so we separated outsizes and placed them in these bins by size. When we are ready for the next size, I unpack the bin, wash the clothes and am ready to go! I have these under the crib and our extra bed.
Day dreamer (I placed this in the kitchen so I had a place to set baby) – it is soooo comfortable for
her…she just loves it!
Swing – I would spend the extra money to get the mamaroo – the rockaroo we ended up taking back as it didn’t do much and was very sensitive to where the baby was placed in order for it to swing correctly
Bassinet– We only used this for 6 weeks, but are so glad we had one
Crib– Love our white crib. Get one that converts into a toddler bed so you will get your money’s worth!
Changing table with drawers and lots of storage (we use ours for EVERY diaper change)
Vibrating chair (I placed this in the bathroom so I had a place to set baby)- this is an inexpensive item that changed my world! I could get ready in the mornings and take her with me! I lay the towel in this chair before we start her baths, so afterwards I can simply set her down and bundle her up!
Video monitor (especially useful if you are doing CIO) I was dead set on not getting a monitor at all. I didn’t want to fall into the trap of responding to every noise that the baby made. I figured if she needed me, I’d hear her in our small townhouse! I eventually got a video monitor, however, because when you do sleep training, simply put- you need to see your baby for comfort!
Glider– We use this ALL the time. It is a must for feeding time!
Bath seat/ring – There is a point where your baby is too big for the infant tub, but not sitting well enough to be placed into the bathtub easily. This ring is a life changer! We will continue to use it for a long time as it keeps her safe. She can’t stand up and play around and get hurt. Plus she loves it!
Infant tub– we have a pretty small bathroom, so we got one that folds up nicely.
Sound machine– this has helped Caroline know it’s time to sleep and stay asleep. It helps her not hear us as well!
Board books– Caroline loves looking at these on her own
Soft books– Again Caroline can hold these and loves to play with them. The bright pictures in this particular book really captured her attention
Bedtime books– we read to Caroline every single night. To keep our sanity and to expose her to as much as possible, we like to read something new! Obviously we repeat books, but having a nice selection is great!
Easy grip items– items like this ball are perfect for when they first start learning how to grab!
Stuffed animals– any stuffed animals will do! At around 4/5 months they start to just love giving kisses and snuggles
Wooden puzzles– these puzzles are great for learning
Play mat– Great for floor time (on tummy or back) and keeps them interested
Playard– A must have for independent play time. This is a nice large playard that will grow with your baby. You can step away from them and not worry. This one is perfect for when your baby is starting to sit and crawl. The smaller ones are really not worth the money if you are using it for playtime- they will grow out of them too quickly.
Activity cube– Once they start noticing details and sitting up, this will capture their attention for awhile!
Blankets/mats for floor time- any will do, but they will spit up when they are on their tummy’s sometimes, so it is nice to protect your carpet and give them a nice soft surface to play on.
Bouncer – They LOVE these. Even before Caroline could touch the ground, she was so interested in the activity centers. We placed some blankets under her feet and she would bounce like crazy!
Storage, storage, storage– we have all sorts of these cubes for toys, bibs, socks, etc.
Zoli teething sticks – Caroline isn’t even teething yet, and she has been holding on to these sticks and chewing on them since 3 months old. She loves them. We keep one in the car, one in the diaper bag and a couple in the house. She already knows how to use it for when she starts teething.
CJ’s butt cream– the best cloth diaper safe option. Also works amazing- so even if I wasn’t cloth diapering I would be using this diaper cream!
Cloth diapers– we use bum genius diapers. From the research I’ve done and experience I now have, these are the best diapers for the money. They fit all baby types (thin or chunky). They are great quality and have amazing resale value!
Nighttime cloth diapers– this is THE best diaper that I found for overnight. You need a cover to go with it (see below), but it is worth every penny!
Diaper cover– this cover fits over the nighttime diaper and can be reused several nights in a row. I have two of these and I wash diapers every 4 days.
Cloth wipes– these wipes are thin enough to get into the cracks for a good cleaning, yet keep you clean along the way!
Wipe solution dispenser– we simply use water, but this dispenser makes it so easy!
Pail liner– These pail liners fit over a tall kitchen sized trash can- which is all you need for your diaper pail…nothing fancy
Wet bag for diaper bag – These work great when you are out and about and need to change those cloth diapers. Just stick them in here to wash later. They hold the smell in great.
Diaper pail– if you aren’t cloth diapering this pail is amazing. If you are cloth diapering it is a little too small… I ended up selling mine and using a trash can like this one with the lid open. Works like a charm.
Diaper bag– this diaper bag is small yet holds everything we need- even our cloth diapers! It hooks onto any stroller which was what sold me immediately. I hook it on and we are off!
Changing table liners– with these wonderful liners, you don’t have to change the cover on the changing table pad every time there is an accident!
On the go items:
Stroller– The stroller we chose is called the chicco liteway plus. The infant car seat attaches to it, but it is a light option that folds so easily and compact. It hardly takes up any room in the car and I can literally carry it in one hand and Caroline in the other. At about 2 mo, we let Caroline sit upright in the stroller because she loved looking around. It is such a great option. I am so glad we didn’t buy a travel system because this works so much better!
Infant car seat– so glad we had the infant car seat and that it fit into the stroller. When we went out to dinner we could simply bring Caroline inside in her car seat. Perfect before they reach the high chair stage!
Convertible car seat – When Caroline was about 2.5 months old she started hating the car. She wanted to be sitting up more so she could see better. We invested in this convertible car seat, and she loves it. It will grow with her until she’s 60lbs!
Carrier – I love the beco Gemini. I tried the ergo first…but the beco gemini allows for a front carry that is forward facing, and once baby is about 3 months old…this is what they want!
Glass bowls– It is a big no no to microwave food in plastic, so we invested in these awesome glass bowls. I got two packs and we just love them. Plan on using them after the baby food phase is over as well. They will be great for on the go since they have lids.
Munchkin spoons (the others are way too deep)- these are simply the best spoons. We tried others, and always came back to buying more and more of these!
Magic Bullet– the magic bullet is a great price and we will use this to make other things (not just baby food). It is compact and so easy to use.
Freezer storage cubes– These cubes are so great. They are 1oz portions. I freeze in the cubes, then place them in a large gallon sized freezer bag for long term storage. The cubes come out so easily. I simply run hot water on the back of the cubes for about 30 seconds. Then you press on the cube gently and it pops out. There is no twisting like with ice cube trays. Super easy!
Straw sippy cups– Caroline started drinking out of this when she was 4 months old. The straw is a great width and easy for her to use. The handles give her full control.
High chair – this high chair is amazing. It is small, easy to clean, converts to a craft table for toddler age, and it has a shelf for storage. No other high chair out there has this shelf, and it is a MUST. I store bibs and cloths on this shelf and I don’t know what I would be doing without it. I think I would probably have a pile on the floor somewhere LOL
Kiinde breast pump system– this system allows you to pump directly into freezer bags, the freezer bags then hook up directly to a bottle system. Need I say more? 🙂 By the way, the nipples for the bottles are amazing. Caroline loved the nipples…we fed her 1 bottle a day and she never had nipple confusion. We also use the nipples to give her medicine and vitamins in the morning. This is a great trick!
Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple cream– this nipple cream saved my nipples in the beginning stages of breastfeeding!
Breast pump– you should be able to get this for free through your insurance company
Hands free breast pumping bra– needs to explanation. This will save your sanity in the first few weeks when you are trying to build up supply and somehow manage holding your baby…or even your phone for that matter!
Boppy– simply put we use these all the time for feeding (bottle/nursing), helping her sit, tummy time, etc. We have 3 we like them so much!
Flour sack towels – these are a great inexpensive option to use for burp cloths
Items I chose not to purchase/use:
Mobile (the crib should be a place for sleeping, not playing)
Bottle drying rack
Grooming kit- we use our own nail clippers, and they give you the rest in the hospital
Note: this post contains affiliate links. The links take you to amazon, where if you purchase, I would receive a small percentage of the money. There is NO additional cost to you- it is the same price you’d find if you searched amazon on your own.