Tips for New Moms | Our Favorite Baby Gear
We’ve talked about tips for feeding and soothing your stinky newborn, but how about all the stuff that makes it a little easier? There are universal truths when it comes to baby gear:
- Everyone has an opinion about any baby product you could imagine.
- A product that works miracles for one child will inevitably do nothing for another child.
- You will buy stuff you don’t need. (Back away from the wipe warmer.)
The fact that this blog post exists proves #1. Unfortunately, we can’t help with #2. But we are here to help you avoid #3.
We’ve put together a list of must-have products for new moms that were lifesavers for us. It was a good sign when we all compared lists and there was lots of overlap on the same products. We’re talking about products that have been in the trenches with us and were so crucial to our survival as new parents that we remembered them 20 months to 14 years (!) later.
If only you could buy sleep on Amazon.
Best Baby Products for Feeding and Eating
I have a real affection for this nursing pillow because I spent so much time with it nursing two kids. I don’t know what I would have done without it! The key is the strap that goes around your waist; it never slipped out of place.
You will NEVER have enough of these burp cloths for wiping up spit up, pee, formula, breast milk, you name it. You can also use just plain old cloth diapers for the same purpose.
+2 from Amanda and Trish
This boppy pillow provides nursing support, tummy time help, a cushion to surround a baby who is practicing sitting, and a makeshift napping pillow for mom. And the cover is washable. Bring it to the hospital if you plan on nursing.
Must have for nursing moms going back to work. Sometimes manual pumps just don’t cut it for quick pumping breaks on the clock. The kit also comes with bottles, cooler bag and ice pack.
+3 from Ann, Trish, and Amanda
If you haven’t been told yet: stay away from bibs made of fabric, velcro, metal snaps or any other material that can’t be wiped down and shoved into your diaper bag for later use. These bibs right here are the bomb diggity so keep your monogrammed cloth ones sweet-potato-stain free and save them as a keepsake.
“Back in my day,” my kids rolled in the Bumbo without the seatbelt. Luckily, they had thighs for days and there was no chance of them squirming out of that baby. If I needed a minute, I put them in it and all was right with the world. By the time my youngest came along there was a tray attachment, which was an added bonus. Also, we had a Radio Flyer wagon that I would put the Bumbo in and I would walk them through our neighborhood. This was before they were ready for the typical sit-up-and-go wagon ride. They loved it!
+1 from Trish (for the buckle-less version)
If I had a nickel for every time one of my kids threw their sippy cup on a restaurant floor I’d have nada. That’s because some other smarty mama bought these gems for us before the kids were born. Stuff one of these in your diaper bag, attach one to your stroller and on their car seat and you’ll be empowering your kids to be self-sufficient from the start. “Oh, you dropped your cup? Well go right ahead and reel that baby back in!” Magic.
Best Baby Products for Being on the Go
Ladies. Beautiful moms to be. Do yourselves a favor and buy yourself a diaper bag you absolutely love. You are about to be wiped out from lack of sleep, strung out from surging hormones, and completely unable to take regular showers. Your future self will thank you for thinking of her and getting her something that makes her feel good. I have not had this one but it looks great and is waterproof.
This seat cover was indispensable in the wintertime. The nice part about it is that it doesn’t go under the baby (compromising the carseat straps); it stretches right over the bucket. We referred to this as the “shower cap”. And with the fleece lining you know your little one is comfy and cozy.
My favorite baby gear for when I also had a toddler under toe was the double stroller. This one baby in front, one baby in back version was my favorite. When days were long and I needed to get out of the house, this puppy provided a peaceful way to get outdoors for long walks.
+2 from Kristina and Trish
In order to be soothed and to go to sleep, my babies needed to be walked. A lot. We gave our arms and backs a break by getting them used to carriers early on. We liked the Baby Bjorn Miracle in mesh for two reasons: 1) the mesh meant that neither we nor the baby got overheated, and 2) the Miracle’s super easy release system meant we could somewhat easily put them down in their crib after they (finally) fell asleep in the carrier.
+1 from Ann
We added the Boba to our carrier repertoire with our second child (see note in intro for the same product not necessarily working for your second child). While I love the Baby Bjorn, I liked how baby’s legs aren’t dangling while using the Boba. Plus, I still use this as a backpack carrier for both my kids (20 months and 4 years).
Best Baby Products for Sleeping
If there was one thing we had that saved us—the parents, not the baby—from a complete meltdown was a swaddler. When my oldest was an infant it was the best thing to get him to fall asleep and no burrito folding needed. I just wish we had bought more.
+2 from Holly and Trish
One of my kids loved this as an infant and the other wanted nothing to do with it. I recommend you getting this infant chair if for no other reason than it might help with a baby who has reflux. It helps them stay upright a little while they rest.
+1 from Trish
For realsy, snap pajamas are from the spawn of Satan himself. Hey, here’s a good idea: At 2 a.m., when you are half dead, changing a diaper, and there is a tiny glimmer of the moon coming through the crack of the curtain, let’s see how fast you can snap up these 50 buttons real quick on a screaming baby...Go!
+3 from Kristina, Ann, and Trish
If you find yourself with a mini-Houdini on your hands, these swaddle blankets are just the padlock solution you need! Too many mamas worry about the coziness of their swaddle blankets. Trust me: with just one wiggle your kid will be out of their burrito-esque hold if the blanket is too slippery. These blankets are thin and breathable, yet can be wrapped snugly. Bonus: they can double as a cover up for nursing!
+1 from Trish
These night lights may seem like a minor thing, but they were extremely useful for those first few months when baby was getting up too many times at night to count. Why? They were bright enough that we didn’t have to turn on a light for feedings and changings. Sure, they were “bright enough to see from space” (per my brother), but not turning on a light signaled to baby that it was not time to wake up for the day.
Best Baby Products for Bathtime
My husband and I made an agreement that we would not let the bath get overrun with toys, and this storage bin was perfect for us. It’s attractive (as bath toy bins go) and detaches so you can use it to scoop toys out of the water at the end of bathtime. Plus, it’s not too big, so it allows us to institute the rule that if there are too many toys to fit in the bin, it’s time for some to be taken out of rotation.
I’ve long awaited a chance to express my gratitude and love towards these products. Because it was way more to me than just soap to clean my kids. It was a feeling; a memory. That smell of sweet honey on their tiny little heads was enough to make me forget about the lack of sleep, the dirty kitchen, and the pile of laundry. My friend gave me recipe for homemade wipes and I used the Burt’s Bee’s lotion and wash to make them. I remember when my youngest son was almost out of diapers—a moment that I should have been jumping for joy—I was feeling sad. My first thought was, "He’s not going to smell like sweet honey anymore." I probably should have gotten some therapy on the quick.
I’m not going to lie: This bathtub is kind of big. But we were sold by the fact that 1) we didn’t have to fill up our main tub for every bath, 2) it has two positions so it was good for a baby (reclining) and toddler (sitting)...but not at the same time, and 3) it has a stem that goes between the legs and prevents them from slipping under. We have tile walls in our bathroom, so we were able to attached a loop to this tub and hang it on our wall and out of the way on a suction cup hook.
My oldest child had really terrible eczema as an infant, and I probably bought every single brand of lotion you can think of. Our pediatrician recommended this when I was at my wit’s end and I fell in love. It never bothered her skin and it smells incredible. We still use it along with the body wash.