Baby must-have products every new mom needs for the first year
If you’re looking for must-have baby items to include in your baby registry, see our top picks that can make a HUGE difference in the first few months with a newborn baby at home.
Our second bundle of joy arrives in just a few more months and yet there are so many things I still need to do to prepare for the big day.
Of course, we’ve stocked up on the basics like diapers and wipes — which is 10x easier with the help of our favorite resource and two-day delivery method, Amazon Prime! (If you’ve yet to discover this amazing baby registry site, start right now!)
But it got me thinking to that first time as a new mom and the dozens of baby products we had in anticipation of baby’s arrival. Some of those products were a God-send and were what I would really call must-have baby items…especially for surviving the early months as a new mom.
Those essential baby products really helped a mom like me survive with a new baby in the house. But I’m not talking about the standard things babies obviously need like a crib, diapers or bottles…I’m referring to some of the more specific things you only notice once you’ve gone through the experience with baby number one.
And I only learned what these baby essentials were after some struggle and trial and error when I either was in a pinch and needed to problem-solve or realized how much easier life was with them in hand! So I’m sharing with you today, a handful of baby items that I recommend every new mom have on hand when baby arrives — and if you don’t be sure to include it on your baby registry checklist!
READ: Not able to have an in-person baby shower? Go the virtual route!
Must-Have Baby Products to Add to Your Registry
Below are 5 baby products that helped make those early days of motherhood a little bit easier:
1. Side-snapping shirts or onesies
Also known as “kimono” style onesies these side-snapping shirts are baby clothes I realized I NEEDED only after I started to dress my newborn baby. Newborns are so fragile and still lack any sort of head and neck control so you really want to minimize the times you have to pull a onesie over their little heads. Trust me. No matter how adorable the outfit is, any experienced mama will tell you how much easier it is to dress baby with one of those side-snapping onesies. I was fortunate enough to have received a few of these as gifts, but for those new moms shopping around, make sure to add this to the top of your registry list. Note: Many hospitals will use these initially, so you can probably grab a few from there too!
2. Bulb Syringe
When you’re at the hospital you’ll be provided with a few essential items to care for baby during your stay. Diapers, wipes, cream, and a BULB SYRINGE. This handy little nose tool is literally a life-saver for babies. Most newborns accumulate mucus in their nasal passages and mouth after being born. After you feed them, burb them and lay them down, sometimes they can still accumulate extra fluids in their passageways and need help. The bulb syringe is a must to clear the path. Make sure you have a couple handy so you can help baby in a jiffy. And if not, get the standard hospital grade one here!
Because your baby is bound to develop a stuffy nose or become congested at some point, it’s imperative for every new mom to have some type of humidifier handy…especially during the dreaded cold season. I’ve definitely put both our cool and warm-mist humidifiers to good use over the last two years. The cool one is safer when you have little kids in the home, but the warm-mists are essential come cold season. I own this one and have used it through different seasons.
4. Sound machine
I never really gave much thought to adding a sound machine to my must-have list, but am so glad it was recommended. I love the simple Graco one (currently sold out) that features natural sounds like that of gentle ocean waves, or the whooshing sounds a newborn hears for months in the womb — and this is a HUGE help in lulling a baby to sleep according to the 5’s of sleep!
The sound machine has made it painless to drain out little noises that can keep your little one up at night. Even to this day, it lulls my toddler to sleep! This one on Amazon is quite comparable to the Graco brand and even has a little night light to help guide you in the dark.
Every new mom should have some type of playard sleeper where they can keep baby in. Whether it’s for napping, sleeping while traveling, sleeping at night or just playing in, these things are AMAZING! Not only do they act as an affordable crib (if you don’t have one yet) they are the perfect, safe place to keep baby when you have to step away for a moment, say to cook a meal, run to the bathroom or just take a quick break. The Pack-n-Play is portable so you can travel with it wherever needed. Make sure to add one of these to your baby registry too!
5 baby products I WISH I had the first time around
1. aden + anais swaddling blankets
I remember hearing about these blankets and seeing them on some registries but decided not to include them in my own baby registry due to the high price. I just thought the standard soft swaddling blankets at BabiesRUs would work just as well so I opted for those. However, I now know why so many other moms went with the aden + anais brand. For starters, these muslin swaddling blankets are super soft and breathable. They are perfect for gentle and sensitive skins. They are also HUGE. That’s a plus when you are looking to use them for things other than swaddling: nursing cover, burping cloth and stroller cover to name a few.
2. Video baby monitor
Even though I did a TON of research before finalizing my must-have baby items, I thought that a standard yet good-quality audio baby monitor would cut it. I didn’t really think those fancy and typically over-priced video monitors were necessary…until experience taught me otherwise. Sure the audio monitors are great for letting you know when baby is up and needs you, but if you’re worried about gas, reflux or simply making sure your child is breathing okay, a video monitor is a MUST. You’ll be able to allay your fears and come to baby’s assistance immediately if anything looks out of the ordinary. Because as scary as it sounds, no audio monitor can clearly tell you whether baby’s blanket has drifted a little to close to their head. Definitely one baby item I regret not getting the first time around on my baby registry essential list…but happy to have the second time!
3. Umbrella stroller
Yes, I’m sure you already have some time of stroller on your baby item list — but did you remember to include a simple umbrella stroller you can use as baby grows? Umbrella strollers are typically inexpensive and can be much easier to handle when you’re traveling. This Summer Infant 3D stroller seems to be a favorite among moms for it’s durability and convenience for traveling. But if you won’t be traveling much and just need a quick simple stroller for say a visit to grandmas, the fair or a weekend away, I find this one to be a nice cheaper alternative.
4. The Boppy
For breastfeeding support, I went with My BrestFriend nursing pillow after hearing positive reviews. While I found it great, I also wish I had added the Boppy pillow to my registry too. Everywhere I went I saw other new moms with this pillow and wondered why they had chosen it. I quickly realized it’s versatility for helping new moms during those early days. Not only was it an easy, portable nursing pillow (that you could position many different ways!), but it also worked well for supporting baby — for propping up after feeding for safety and support, for helping alleviate gas and reflux issues, and even for positioning for a quick monthly photo opp. I WISH I had owned one for my babies!!
Note: The Boppy company also makes a baby lounger product, which acts as a great resting support for babies not yet mobile (to help you free your hands for a second) Of course, this product is not meant to be used without supervision.
5. Diaper Bag
Let me just be clear here: yes I did have a diaper bag as a first-time mom, BUT I didn’t really give much care to the type of bag I added to my baby registry. I just chose a simple one that was affordable. However, I didn’t realize that a high-quality bag was actually quite important because it would take on a lot of wear-and-tear. Those first few months entail many trips to the doctor for check-ups and postpartum visits. You’ll also be inevitably running errands with baby or traveling to visit family. So you’ll need a large enough bag to store extra diapers, wipes, creams, blankets, clothing, bottles etc. You want to make sure you also like the general look of the bag. I’m not saying it has to be bright and beautiful, but it should be something you enjoy carrying around and something that even doubles as a mom bag so you can put it to good use. I initially had this one but really didn’t like it in the end. The bag would never stay closed because it had a button instead of a zipper and it just wasn’t sturdy enough to keep its form. I ended up getting this one a few years later and absolutely loved it!
Make sure you add these must-have baby items to your baby registry, so if you aren’t able to grab them for yourself some thoughtful friend or family will!
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Ana, a mom to three rambunctious little boys, has supported hundreds of thousands of women throughout their pregnancy and motherhood journey since 2012 as a blogger and maternal health advocate at MommysBundle.com.