Motherhood

8 Baby Products You’ll Actually Use For More Than a Month

Kelsey Miller and her baby Margot

Having a baby is, among other things, one of the most…

…expensive things I’ve ever done. Don’t get me wrong — my daughter Margot (who just turned nine months) is awesome, and parenthood is frankly, a lot more fun than I thought it would be. Really got my money’s worth. But the fact remains that keeping a rapidly growing human alive and clothed and fed and entertained is pricey. I spent a fair amount of my pregnancy Googling “baby products you don’t actually need.” That’s how I avoided a lot of nonsense purchases like wipe warmers (they just dry out the wipes, and then all you have are stiff, thick tissues!). But some products really are worth shelling out for — not just for your baby, but for you. The truth is babies themselves don’t “need,” say, pajamas with zippers, rather than snaps. But when you’re standing in the dark after a 3am diaper change, desperately fumbling with the 200 snaps on their tiny pajamas, praying they don’t fully wake up — you will realize that zippers are worth their weight in gold. Along with zipped PJs, here are some other items that have made my first year of parenthood (pandemic and all) a heck of a lot easier…

Baby Bum Brush
When I first saw this item on a list of “must have” baby items, I rolled my eyes so hard it hurt. I mean, really? A spatula for putting on diaper cream, so you don’t have to touch your own baby’s bottom? Ridiculous. Here, I would like to apologize to the fine people of Bumco, because reader, I was wrong. The bum brush was the best $7 I’d ever spent. Anyone who’s ever spent 20 minutes furiously scrubbing at a dab of diaper cream like Lady Macbeth knows why. Diaper cream is thick, drying and irremovable — which is why it’s so great on your baby’s damp bottom. But it will ravage your cuticles, get stuck under your nails, and live forever on every fabric surface you touch if you don’t scrub (not wash, scrub) your hands after every diaper change. With the bum brush, you apply a small dab to the applicator, swipe and you’re done.

Weleda Diaper Cream
While we’re on the subject, I’ve got to give a shout-out to this stuff. I was a Weleda die-hard long before Margot, thanks to their iconic Skin Food — the only hand cream worth buying, in my opinion. I now feel the exact same way about their Calendula Diaper Cream. I started using it as soon as we got home from the hospital (just a dab, every few changes) and never saw so much as a hint of irritation, let alone diaper rash. It was a few bucks more than old-school brands like Desitin, but a little went a very long way. The tube seemed to last forever — which is probably why I forgot to buy more recently, and wound up using another brand (a very chic, very popular, celebrity-owned brand), which did nothing except leave my kid with a greasy red butt. It was an uncomfortable few days, but once my new tube of Weleda came in, that cream cleared things up in a matter of hours. Don’t mess around with the chic diaper creams. Just get this stuff.

Aquaphor
If you’re a skin-care junkie like I am, you’re probably already familiar with the multi-purpose wonder that is Aquaphor. For babies, it’s even more useful. When Margot’s skin feels a little parched from cold weather, dry heat or too long in the tub — one dab of Aquaphor does the job. When she scratches her face with her tiny baby talons, we clean it up, put on some Aquaphor, and it vanishes. When I freaked out over the mysterious rashes suddenly appearing on her cheeks in the evening, the pediatrician calmly asked if she ever ate berries or other acidic fruits in the afternoon. (Answer: Yup.) She told us to smear a little Aquaphor on her face before feeding her, to prevent the fruit acids from irritating her skin. Worked like a charm. But the real magic of Aquaphor is that it never, ever runs out. Margot is nine months old, and I’m still using the same seven-ounce tube I bought before she was born. And I’m not just using it on her (works great on my cuticles, too.)

The NoseFrida
Okay, fair warning: This thing is disgusting and your kid will hate it. But trust me, when the time comes, you are going to be so grateful for this gross baby torture device. Without getting too graphic, the NoseFrida is a filtered tube-like device that lets you suck excess mucus out of your baby’s nose, with your mouth. (Huh, I guess there actually is no way to describe it without getting graphic.) Yes, the process itself is no fun, but it is infinitely preferable to lying awake all night listening to your frustrated, snuffling little baby struggle to breathe. I prefer to just suck out the snot and then lie awake fantasizing about the party I’ll throw the day Margot finally learns how to blow her own nose.

Little Earth Baby Sleep Sack
In our house, we call this The Magic Sleep Sack — not to be confused with the famous Merlin Magic Sleepsuit. This sleep sack has no gimmicks or unusual features; it’s just really, really good. In fact, though we have dozens of other hand-me-down sleep sacks (including the Merlin), this is the only one we use. My cousin Abby sent it to us as a baby gift, and from the second we put it on Margot, she was enamored. I watched on the monitor as she dozed off gently squeezing the soft fabric in her little hand, and my heart melted as I realized it had become her first lovey. I was even more thrilled because, unlike literally every other item of clothing she owns, this is one she won’t quickly outgrow! Little Earth Baby sacks can be worn from birth onward (until at least age two or longer). They’re made from bamboo fabric, and are thicker than most sacks but not at all heavy. They’re also “all season,” designed to work in rooms between 55 and 81 degrees. And despite their cloud-soft feel, they are incredibly durable, and can withstand apparently limitless washes (as well as the jaws of my teething baby who now gnaws it all night long).

Ubbi Steel Diaper Pail
This was another one of those “must have” items we initially decided to skip. We thought, why bother? Who needed a whole other trash can just for diapers? “You do,” my friend Lesley (who has a four year old of her own) told me. “You really, really, really do.” I wasn’t convinced, but Lesley offered to give me her old Ubbi Diaper Pail, so I said sure. Now I know that what I should have said was, “THANK YOU SO MUCH, WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING?” I’m sure there are some folks for whom a diaper pail is not a biggie. But for anyone who lives in a small space (say, a New York City apartment), then it is, if not a must-have then a REALLY-great-to-have. People say baby poop doesn’t smell, but there’s a difference between one freshly dirtied diaper and a day or two’s worth of them, sitting in a regular trash can without a lid that seals. Just listen to me, and my wise friend Lesley, and consider the diaper pail. Don’t be afraid to get a hand-me-down either. I can’t speak to other brands, but the Ubbi that Lesley gave me is now almost five years old and still in shockingly good condition for something that’s been stuffed with, oh, a thousand dirty diapers. (PS: They also sell special liners for these pails, but our regular trash bags work perfectly.)

Ashtonbee Baby Fruit Feeders
When Margot started teething, our pediatrician said the only thing that really helps are “those little silicone fruit holders with the holes in them.” After a little comparison shopping, I went with these, primarily because of the handle. Margot was only four months old, but she was able to hold and feed herself easily with these. I also liked the teeny tiny holes (which allow only teeny tiny bits of fruit to come through), and the fact that none of the reviews mentioned the silicone tearing. I stuffed my freezer with bags of frozen fruit and whenever she seemed to need soothing, I could just grab a few berries and pop them in the feeder, no chopping necessary. Though her motor skills (and food-chewing skills) are much more advanced now, these things are still a lifesaver for her on days when her gums are bugging her. Aaaaand frankly, they’re a lifesaver for me on some days, too. It’s about 400 times less messy to give her a chunk of banana in the feeder, than to give her an actual banana. Her throwing skills are pretty advanced, too.

This Random Foam Mat
This was another pandemic-panic purchase. I knew we’d be stuck inside for a while, and between learning to sit, learning to crawl and learning to walk, I knew we could expect a certain amount of tipping over and head-bonking. I didn’t want a fancy one — just a plain, inexpensive play mat that was foldable, and padded, and that I wouldn’t hate looking at on my living room floor every day. But that’s not a thing, apparently. After an hour of aggressive Googling, all I found were cheap but hideous play mats, or plain play mats that cost $200. That’s more than what I paid for my desk. Where I work. To make money. To buy things for that little spidermonkey.

Then, lo and behold, this one appeared about five pages deep into my Amazon search. It’s foldable, has an anti-skid surface, and the pattern is actually kind of cute. At $57 bucks, it still costs more than I think a piece of foam should be, but that random piece of foam probably saved us some urgent-care co-pays — and even more stress. And let’s be real: New parenthood is stressful enough. If I find something that might spare me from some of it — even if it is an overpriced chunk of foam — fine. I say it’s worth the investment. Even as I watch Margot chomp on the corner of her play mat, I think to myself, worth it.

Now, please, do tell: What made your life easier as a parent or caregiver? I’m about to have a walking, talking toddler on my hands. Help?

P.S. What to register for your baby, and do your eyes light up when you see your child? Also, Kelsey talks about body image during pregnancy.

Note: If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We recommend only products we genuinely like. Thank you so much.

  1. Joy says...

    So funny how other peoples must haves were useless to us and vice versa. It all comes down to individual parents and babies which is annoying and unhelpful when you’re pregnant and don’t want to waste money on unnecessary junk.

  2. Michelle says...

    Janet Landsbury and her two books plus podcasts. It’s the answer to world peace. Really.

  3. km says...

    A ring sling. invest in a good one and invest the time to break it in and learn how to use it. You don’t need 16 other containers to put your baby in throughout the day.

  4. Alex says...

    Haha, “spidermonkey.” She’s adorable. May I also suggest the Bumkin brand bibs that has sleeves and ties in the back? When our first kiddo graduated from purees to feeding herself, cloth bibs were a mess and stained terribly. And in bibs without sleeves, her shirt sleeves were also a mess. And if bibs had Velcro or snap closures, she loved to pull them off. But Bumkins bibs stayed put, covered everything but her little knees, and were easy to clean in the kitchen sink or with her laundry. We used them exclusively with our other two kiddos. Enjoy your little one!

  5. Maggie says...

    I love this post/comment section! I had my first baby 8 months ago and I definitely had a minimalist approach going in to it… which can be good and bad. The first week, my husband ended up needing to go out multiple times to find items I had held off on buying ahead of time (a nursing pillow, a swing for baby, etc). I didn’t want to end up with a lot of unnecessary stuff so only got what I thought were the essentials. The first couple of weeks can be hard and stressful especially for a first-time parent, so whatever helps get you all through! A couple of smaller items which really helped me:

    -Car mirror to see baby while you’re driving- gave me peace of mind that I could see him
    -sound machine
    -my breast friend nursing pillow
    -simba baby safety scissors- for trimming nails
    -gathre changing mat- leather, wipes clean and easy to fold up
    -sleep sacks
    -teethers- baby got his first teeth at 4.5 months

    Things I got but didn’t really use:
    -Nose-Frida- he’s never really needed
    -Swaddle blankets- I was given quite a few but needed maybe one

    Things I wish I had gotten:
    -Bobby lounger or similar
    -Reversible stroller so baby can face either direction, not just outward

  6. Brittney L says...

    Anything that helps with sleep is a must have to me. These are my two non-negotiables:
    Marpac sound machine – perfect white noise that puts the whole family to sleep
    Wubanub pacifier – it never gets lost or hidden under the couch because it’s huge and baby boy loves stroking the plush toy as he falls asleep (10 months now)

    Oh and it’s a splurge but don’t waste your money with any infant carseat other than the Doona! It has wheels that pop right out and fold right in! You never have to lug a carseat around. I praise it every day!

  7. Kiley says...

    I am all for anything that makes the job easier! Zipper jammies, newborn tops with the snaps on the side so you don’t have to pull it over their heads, swaddle blankets with velcro (if you’ve mastered a regular swaddle, hats off to you!) Also a lightweight stroller that’s easy to fold and unfold is worth its weight in gold, especially in the city. We went with the UppaBaby Vista which my husband refers to as “The Death Star”, and while the under basket storage was key for grocery store runs (pre-pandemic), it was such a pain to haul the stroller frame, car seat, diaper bag, and pumping equipment downstairs every day for work. I wish I had done more research!

  8. Haylee says...

    I have a 5-week old, my first little one. I really appreciate the comments here because there are SO many lists like this on the internet across blogs, and I don’t think I once saw real feedback like this.

    I think what this comment section highlights that I wish I would’ve known before I’d bought anything that was recommended to me is that what you will need/find convenient/worth it will vary, sometimes greatly. I tend towards minimalism but I still bought a few “must-haves,” and it turns out that my baby is NOT them at this point. Even so young he has his preferences and I wish I would’ve only bought what some women here have talked about, the bare necessities, and then bought what resonated with me as I got to know him and his needs.

    I have a beautiful Moses basket my baby has not slept in once and he is a big boy and will outgrow it very soon. He hates the SnuggleMe Organic. He hates swings (thankfully I only borrowed a couple of different swings, so no lost investment there) and will only sit in the BabyBjorn bouncer for a brief moment. After all of my attempts to avoid overspending or overbuying, I still have things that won’t be used and funnily enough, I DID buy a wipe warmer when we got home from the hospital because my little guy would scream and wail during diaper changes. It’s fixed the problem and has become his necessity.

    So that is my advice! Buy the baaare necessities, then borrow here or there as you get to know your baby, then invest in what fits his and your needs as you get to know what those are.

  9. Rose says...

    Dr. Bronner’s Magic Balm (Unscented)!
    It lasts a long time, is organic, food-grade, and plastic-free. It works for diaper ointment (no sticky hands for parent or irritated bottom for baby), dry skin patches, and nipple cream (my daughter hated the taste of lanolin, and this doesn’t gunk-up pump parts). We used it as our diaper cream exclusively for a year without diaper rash, and when baby had a severe reaction to another kiddo’s diaper cream at daycare, it helped her skin heal quickly. I now include a tin of it with every baby shower gift because it is JUST. SO. AWESOME.

  10. D says...

    love the weleda nappy cream and their calendula baby wash.
    also love:
    the ergobaby
    a swaddle for the first few months,
    a co sleeper was great – we rented one
    a bassinette for the living room (we were lent one by family)
    a cheap baby bath for inside our bath. in fact my 1.5 year old has just stopped using when she started climbing from it to the big bath.
    thermometer for all the stress outs about if baby has a temperature.
    we bought a non branded nose sucker and it does work, and they do hate it and it is gross.
    a nappy pack, that has a zip pocket for wipes and another slot for nappies and a mat to change baby, it is one of our best purchases because we can change her anywhere.
    a small packing cube to keep her changes of clothes in. nowadays, we just go out with the packing cube and the nappy pack and we’re all set.
    I bought no nursing clothes but did buy bras. Ive very large chested so started with no wire but had to get wire eventually. hot milk is a good brand for bigger sizes.
    Also for the mums, just buy or borrow clothes in a bigger size if you need them post partum. I didnt for a few months and was quite unhappy basically wearing workout leggings every day. I bought myself a few new items in a bigger size and instantly felt much better.

  11. Denise says...

    IKEA has great foam mats, and they last forever. They’re also cute to look at, I think, and cost 35 dollars ??

  12. Ann-Marie says...

    I did a *lot* of research during my pregnancy for what I’d need and the most nontoxic options for everything. It was pretty overwhelming. Loved Gentle Nursery’s blog and guide.

    My most used items, 9 months on:
    Kindred Bravely Organic Cotton Nursing Bras
    Gap Maternity V-Neck Nursing Sleep Tops
    Earth Mama Diaper Balm (Boudreaux Butt Paste if actually a rash)
    Earth Mama Nipple Balm
    H&M Conscious line – their organic cotton onesies are affordable and I feel better about there not being pesticides, baby skin is so very absorbent!
    Bambo Nature diapers + Cloth diapers
    Water Wipes
    Munchkin Wipe Warmer (for our winter newborn who screamed through every diaper change, it helped a lot)
    Solly Wrap, later Ergobaby 360
    SwaddleUp Organic
    Milkbarn Organic Stroller Blankets (so soft! a little stretchy! Love love love)

    Things I wish I’d gotten:
    Baby Bjorn Bouncer
    A cosleeper for the bedside instead of a bassinet

  13. Stephanie Powell says...

    I’ve read a lot of these lists, and I resonate with this one! I like this mom. :)

  14. Shaine C. says...

    I’m less than a week to my due date with my first and feeling grateful for all of the kind, candid, and encouraging comments for soon-to-be mamas. Thank you!

  15. Tara says...

    So for me, this article is perfect because it fits right in with my motto “good for her, not for me.” I loved this advice and it’s spot on for this mom! But for me – I wantEd All The Things! With both my kids I had in the living room: pack and play, swing, bouncy chair, saucer. And we used it all. My babies loved moving to different “entertainment venues” and I could put them down and drink my coffee or poop or maybe watch the news. It was a hideous eyesore of primary colors but it worked for us. I think you get through the baby days however is best for your family. And every way is the right way :)

  16. Ana D says...

    You DON’T NEED a butter knife. You can butter your toast with your fingers. It washes right off! None of the women in my lineage have ever used a tool to spread a substance on another substance. You should see us frost cakes. It really draws a crowd. People overcommercialize food preparation. No one dies of hand-frosted cakes!

    • becky says...

      ?

    • gabi says...

      ana d, i love you

    • isabelle says...

      Can’t tell if this is an attempt at humor or a signal that I should never go to dinner at your house.

    • Lemonade says...

      Hahhaaa thank you for this

    • Anneka says...

      hahahahaha

  17. L says...

    Can someone just confirm I don’t have to buy those weird baby mittens when the time comes? They seem ridiculous to me, but apparently babies scratch their faces easily as newborns?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      we never had them! :)

    • A says...

      You absolutely do not need baby mittens. And if your baby suddenly starts scratching her face a lot (mine never did), just use her socks, because socks are mittens for your feet.

    • Meaghan says...

      They do scratch their tiny faces a lot BUT most newborn clothes come with foldover mittens on the sleeves! Check your clothes before you buy mittens :)

    • Shelley says...

      They don’t stay on any way! We have zipped pajamas with fold over sleeves for if they scratched,

    • Ann-Marie says...

      We spent 75% of our hospital stay putting baby mittens back on his hands. I would strongly suggest getting outfits with foldover mitten bits instead, for the first little while. And he absolutely did scratch his face without them, but every baby is different!

    • Christine says...

      I actually have a scar on my face from when I scratched my face when I was three days old. Needless to say, my daughter wore baby mittens. There’s a brand that makes them with Velcro bands at the wrists and those stayed on so well. And ditto newborn onesies with the fold over mittens! Those are fantastic.

    • D says...

      my mum bought us a few pairs but they didnt stay on and we never used them.

    • You might need them for your Nipples though! My second would scratch my already sensitive sleep deprived nipples. Which made breastfeeding even more uncomfortable. So maybe get the indies with the hand covers for nursing.

    • Socks will often work if you have a scratcher and the onesie your kid is in doesn’t have the fold over mittens. Those become a lot harder to find beyond 0-3 size, which is a TRAVESTY. Yes, babies will start to learn how to use their hands and grip and everything around that same time, but I stand by that it’s a TRAVESTY.

  18. NJ says...

    I have a 6 month old, and I really–REALLY–feel you on how parenthood is a lot more fun than I thought it would be. I had very low expectations, ha. Also, we live in a tiny apartment so we tried to get as few things as possible. Even so, tons of people gave us hand-me-downs, swearing they’d be lifesavers… And we barely used any of it.

  19. I am expecting my third in 6 weeks and totally agree that babies do NOT need to be expensive (that said, my husband and I definitely fall on the “low maintenance” end of things for most of life in general).

    My best advice is to never purchase too much before baby actually arrives because every single baby is different and will have different needs, so what other moms SWEAR BY might be completely useless to you (for example, I haven’t used a pregnancy pillow for any of my pregnancies and barely bought any maternity clothes). With my first two babies I lived in cities so when/if we needed something it was pretty close at hand to purchase, but we really didn’t need to purchase much! Our first baby had SEVERE COLIC which I would never wish upon anyone, and we tried so many different tools from friends but nothing worked so in the end I was happy we didn’t waste our money!

    This time for baby 3 I just have the essentials ready – some new baby clothes, an SUV that (miraculously) fits three carseats across the back, a soft and comfy nursing bra, a good midwife and a plan for homebirth, and those big ass overnight maxi pads ready to go. Ha!

    • Sasha L says...

      Best of luck with your birth! Home is a GREAT choice, especially right now ♥️

    • Ali says...

      Homebirth mama here- forget the maxi pads, and get adult diapers! And wishing you a sweet arrival!

  20. Anna says...

    Kelsey! The satisfaction of finding the $57 foam mat. I can FEEL it with you. :) The joy of finding something that works with a little one – even if it’s just for a month and changes with the next one is just so satisfying.

    Reading the comments from expecting readers who are feeling anxious…I keep thinking of Kate Baer’s poem, “For The Advice Cards At Baby Showers.”

    Baby socks don’t matter, but more importantly –
    neither does advice. This is not a performance
    for your friend or your mother or the woman
    in line who tells you about coats. Experience will
    teach you two things: you are the mother and it’s
    okay to let them go up the slide. Nothing in this
    world can prepare you for this love’s suffering. For
    joy and loneliness.

    For now just remember: birds sing, babies cry,
    and no matter the weather, every morning is new.

    “You are the mother” has become my mantra whenever I’m hit with mothering anxiety. Reading those words for the first time was a huge “AHA” moment for me. I wish I would have had them before my first was born.

    And sending big energy and shout out to Kelsey and all the moms and expecting moms who are doing *the hardest thing* during a GLOBAL PANDEMIC.

    • Julia says...

      I love Kate Baer, I love your comment, and thank you so much for acknowledging the pandemic and new motherhood. It’s been so wonderful and so difficult (my second is just about 4 weeks). “You are the mother” is such a great mantra though!

  21. Bru says...

    For all those for whom lists like these provoke anxiety, I am remembering that when we took a childbirth prep class when I was pregnant with our first, our teacher said that all you really need is a car seat to take the baby home from the hospital/birth center (if you’re birthing at one), some diapers, and a way to carry it.
    I’m a big believer in borrowing things for those early days until you figure out what works for you. It is so hard to know what baby carrier will feel good on you or what stroller will work for your life.
    And one more pearl of wisdom we got from a friend: you only need to be as experienced as a parent as your kid is old. When you have a one day old, you only need to figure out getting through that day. And when your kid is a year, you need to have experience of a year. You figure it out together and you can always get what you need later down the line.
    Congratulations to all the expectant parents here. You’ve got this!!

    • Christina says...

      That’s what we did. Friends of ours lost their baby at birth, 6 months before we were to have our first child. We were so afraid and superstitious that we didn’t buy anything at all. We had my old baby clothes (there weren’t onesies in the seventies….) and that’s all. My MIL got us a carseat after our daughter was born and we bought diapers at the hospital. And we used cloth wipes, so easy to wash and reuse, and water from the tap is nice and warm :-). We still have them, 18 years later, but now we use them for cleaning!

  22. Rusty says...

    A spidermonkey peach cutie!

  23. Lindsay says...

    My favorite thing about this list is that I disagree with every single item on here! That is motherhood in a nutshell. You will get so much advice, and some of it will be really great for you and your baby, and some of it will not work at all for you and your baby, but it worked for the mom who gave it. That mom is still incredible and still winning at motherhood. I totally agree about the nastiness of sticky diaper cream. That’s why my number one item would be The Herb Room Stork Balm. It is not sticky at all and clears a rash instantly! Also…
    – Gowns for Sleeping (ends the snap vs. zipper debate once and for all)
    – SwaddleMe original swaddle (ones with the zipper bottom only)
    – a moses basket that can travel anywhere as a safe place to play rest and change diapers

  24. Maggie says...

    I remember thinking “boogie wipes” were RIDICULOUS and then I had babies/toddlers with colds – they’re magic. They are more gentle than dry tissues which is nice if you’re wiping over and over again all day, they somehow cling to baby boogs and pull them out, and they’re handy for cleaning up when – as you are reaching for a tissue to wipe their nose – they take their arm and spread snot across the lower half of their face.

    • Lily says...

      Baby:
      White noise machine
      Video monitor
      Pacifier clips to attach toys to baby
      Solly wrap
      Nipple shield
      Hair dryer to prevent diaper rashes
      Backpack-tote diaper bag
      Baby Bjorn bouncy seat
      Yes to zippered sleepers and nose Frida!

      Toddler:
      Sunday Afternoons Kid’s Play sunhat
      Step stool
      Smock style feeding bibs
      Cabinet locks
      Sayoyo soft-soled shoes

  25. Annelies says...

    I LOVE the nose Frida! (We call it “the little sucker” in our house). They still don’t like it when they reach the age of 1 but then you can start saying something like “yucky bah!” when you want to use it and then show them the muccus inside. Our 1,5 year old now comes up to me, points at his nose and says “eih bah” if he’s got a cold!

  26. Ana says...

    Zipper, no snaps! This made me laugh so much. I remember telling my husband that whomever thought snaps were a good idea was incredibly cruel or had never seen a baby up close at 4 am. I loved reading this list. I agree with every single item. I would add a bouncer (ours was a $25 desperation purchase from target which ended saving us and that we used all the time – not like our expensive and fancy swing that our baby never ever used) and a wrap/sling to this list and that is it. Also the swaddle design sleep sacks are great too, we are still using them for my 20 months old.

  27. Shannon says...

    100% agree on the baby bum spatula thing! was skeptic and my SIL bought it for me and it’s been so useful and makes it quick to apply.

    This ice cube tray has been great when starting to wean. Fill it up with all the left over puree, let it freeze, and once frozen pop them into a labeled ziplock bag into an old grape container. Use the puree’s to mix into different sauces, as baby’s tastes mature (and for when dad is on lunch/ dinner duty) I love that it has a cover to keep it from spilling/ getting contaminated. Also the pop out tabs are a game changer for any icecube tray–why did it take until 2020 to get quick snap tabs on an ice cube tray? I digress….
    https://www.josephjoseph.com/products/quicksnap-plus-ice-cube-tray?variant=31897390415944

  28. Agnès says...

    Your baby is adorable, look at her suspicious look ! ahaha . I have a 6 year old and we’re totally minimalist. So I would just say one word for the baby phase: ERGOBABY.

  29. Nathalie says...

    First baby – we bought all the things in advance.
    Second baby (born on a different continent so we had none of the things from the first) – we bought a car seat, swaddling blankets and a wrap carrier. The rest we simply bought when it became necessary. We saved so much because there was an embarrassingly large discrepancy between what I thought I would need and what I actually needed.

  30. Tanya says...

    I’m currently awake nursing baby #3…ok…

    For baby:

    American Red Cross snot sucker (openable and cleanable). I had a Nose Freida for #1 and it was such an ordeal with the hose and the wiggly snotty baby I gave up.

    Miracle Blanket Swaddle.
    Coconut oil for everything.

    For toddlers:

    Cardboard boxes of any size, bonus if big enough for them to get into. Clean and free are best.

    Random items to put in and out of said boxes.

    Cheapo IKEA push wagon or similar – to put things in.

    A bucket, water, and rocks “for washing”

    Good books.

    There’s not much fancy that my kids have needed honestly and I’m thankful we never bought into too much consumer mentality.

    • Sasha L says...

      Tanya, mom and preschool teacher here, I heartily endorse your philosophy! Less definitely leads to more happiness in the family.

  31. Zsuzsanna says...

    The first… Why? It is like a normal lotion, not heavy at all.

  32. Katie says...

    I highly recommend Boogie Bottoms Diaper Rash Spray. I don’t know why all diaper cream isn’t sprayable, but this has been a huge help for my youngest that likes to barrel roll during changes. Wish I had known about it with my first!

  33. Rebecca says...

    I felt so overwhelmed by all the lists of baby supplies. I ended up using the “Call Your Grandma” method to determine what I really needed. Every time some list told me I needed a bouncer, white noise machine, nursing pillow, bum brush, what have you, I’d call my grandma and ask her to remind me that no such thing ever existed when she raised her four boys and she survived. Obviously some safety guidelines have changed, but overall her advice helped put things in perspective.

  34. Kim says...

    Door knob covers! They were very helpful in keeping my kids out of trouble.

  35. Alex says...

    But how do you clean the fruit feeders???? And you can just use wipes to wipe the diaper cream off your hands, no? But the diaper pale is for sure 100% a MUST.

    After 2 kids, my list:
    -diapers (cloth or disposable, whichever you prefer)
    -a soft carrier like Moby or Solly baby for when the only place the newborn will sleep is on you and you need your hands free!
    – a few thin muslin blankets to use for EVERYTHING (swaddle, stroller sun cover, burp cloth, travel sheets/blanket…) My 5 year old still uses hers as capes, wigs, doll beds, etc.
    – a thicker blanket or playmat to put the baby on the floor
    – and IF you’re nursing, you need 3 nursing bras and 3 nursing tanks to wear under regular clothes. I bought a few special nursing blouses and hated them all. just wear a nursing tank under your t-shirt or button-down and then you can pull down the v-neck or pull up the whole t-shirt and still have your sensitive wobbly mid-section covered IF you are embarrassed.
    – My expensive item is the keekaroo peanut changing pad cuz when the baby poos and pees all over it you can just wipe it off or easily run it under the bath. So much less laundry to do than the classic fabric covers…

  36. Katie says...

    That’s hilarious! I didn’t use ANY of those products, and my three babes are still alive! Good for her, not for me. (Although I am reeaaallly side eying the butt spatula…)

    One thing I think ages well, is inexpensive, and universally loved—books!! You can never have too many, and they are so great for kiddo-mama snuggle sessions!

    • becky says...

      Yes books!!! Its all we give as gifts for kids I will start doing this for baby showers too. I hate buying toys for kids. Chances are somebody else already thought of it or it will just be added to a pile of toys ignored over time. But books, books never get old, can easily be passed down between family members and don’t take up any where near the space as cheap plastic toys.

  37. Alice says...

    I’m pregnant with my second and had been asking friends with two babies what best new product has come on the marke between kids.

    All hail the Nail Snail.

    It’s this really sweet little nail trimmer that wont cut your baby’s fingers and wowsers i can see it will be life-changing in a NoseFrida kind of way (have been trialling it on my toddler when her nails are all soft after a bath).

  38. TC says...

    Baby Bjorn Bouncy chair. Seemed like a lot of money, but when I compared it to cheaper ones after my son was born, I really thought it was worth the price. I could sit on the sofa and bounce it with a single toe. It was also easy to grab and take with me around the house wherever I needed to sit him down.

    • Savannah says...

      Born Bouncet! I didn’t have it for my first but borrowed a friend’s for my second and third. When she couldn’t find it for my third, I was about to buy but she found it! It’s incredible and worth every penny! (Or find a generous friend!)

    • YESSSSS, TC! I couldn’t agree more. I borrowed one from a friend for our first baby then found one secondhand on Facebook Marketplace with the second kid. Lifesaver. Easily portable. Watched the whole series of “Jane the Virgin” thanks to this, which, let’s be honest, mama deserved.

    • Sarah says...

      Yes!! So useful, so easily portable, doesn’t look like a hunking ugly piece of plastic in my lounge room. We bought ours second hand and I ALSO watched the entire series of Jane the Virgin when my sweet baby was nursing – that show will always remind me of her early months

    • Jessica says...

      A friend generously lent me her baby Bjorn bouncer and it is worth it. They are much sturdier than the cheaper alternatives (which I also had passed on to me), it just seemed safer to me. My baby lived in hers, it would be a top rec for me.

  39. Girl. You don’t need anything except some clean diapers and love. And that’s the truth. We’ve really commercialized motherhood (I’m having my second and am so guilty of this) but you DON’T NEED a baby butt spatula. You’re gonna be just fine. Stop reading the lists, take care of your body and follow your instincts when your little one arrives.

    I lived in a BEDROOM with my husband, newborn, two cats and a dog for three months while our house was being finished. All I had was diapers, my boobs and a few onesies and a cosleeper. You don’t need much to get by!

    You got this.

    • Caitlin says...

      ❤️

    • Alycia says...

      YES. We have been convinced that our instincts aren’t enough and we actually need a special trash can for diapers, never mind a butt brush.

      Join a Buy Nothing group and find a mom or two with a baby a few months older than you. They will give you everything! I have been given so much stuff and am so excited to pass it on when my baby out grows things.

    • Lainey says...

      Love this comment! Came by to say something similar. We had ALL THE BABY THINGS with our first, because we were anxious first-time parents and it felt like what we were supposed to do. When our second came along a few years later, we bought almost nothing, despite the fact that we’d moved and gotten rid of our first born’s baby stuff. Sure, there are items that might come in handy, but truly, babies need so little.

    • Danielle says...

      Thank you for this. I’m 6 months pregnant with my first and the ads for every imaginable baby item are flooding my social media. I was raised by women who always told me “babies don’t need much” but it’s so tempting to fall into the trap.

    • BB says...

      This. Babies do not need to be expensive at all.

    • Miranda says...

      Yeah…. women seem to have raised babies just fine for millenia before the invention of plastic…. so why the commercialisation of childhood? Babies will suffer without love. But I think most of us readers grew up WITHOUT any of the above…

      I understand this blog runs on advertisements and have been a loyal reader for years, but considering how much of this stuff ends up in garbage dumps and oceans, do you think there’s a way to be more ecological with your business model rather than advocating for mass-produced pieces of polyethylene (we used silk blankets when I was growing up. They last for generations and decompose into the soil…) ?

    • silly lily says...

      Yes, yes, and yes.

      I’m a dinosaur here and still have my original Dr. Spock. In it he suggests a layette (which would fill a small basket, and this was before many mothers had washers and dryers AND there was no such thing as disposables), how to fashion a bassinet out of a dresser drawer, and what to do if you live in an area without refrigeration and need to use formula. Sorry for that run-on sentence! But here’s the sentence you NEED to imprint onto your brain and heart: “Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” Also Dr. Spock.

      I’m about to become a grandmother for the sixth time. And I can’t stress enough: Don’t give into the hype. You young women are guilted into thinking that only the newest, best and most expensive things are what your baby requires. I’m no enemy of the truly safe and helpful items available right now (and there are A LOT) but please don’t run out and buy them until you know that they will really be helpful to YOU. Or you will discover that you also need a four car garage to later store them in. And some of this stuff only works for three months, until you move onto what you need for the NEXT three months. Rubbish, mostly.

      Enjoy this time. And relax! You know more than you think you do.

    • LKB says...

      Yes! My 3rd baby is 10 months old and just confirms this–you need diapers and maybe 5 onesies (in summer–sure, more clothes in winter). I’d also vote for a simple bouncer of some sort (keeps the dogs, etc. from stepping on the baby when you need to put her down).

      Looking back, I think it’s really hard not to buy things for your first baby. Not just because of the marketing, but because you want to DO something to get ready. I remember getting so excited for every doctor’s appt, and then thinking “that’s it?”. Researching/buying stuff seemed like the only action I could take. I spent so much unnecessary money. We’ve bought most things second-hand for baby #3, and I feel like I’m just renting b/c we can sell it again when we’re done. The only things you need new are a car seat and crib mattress.

    • jane says...

      Well yeah if you don’t mind suffering, needlessly, without conveniences that shave stress off of parenting – than sure – all you need is love. But if you’re a woman or parent with already enough stress in your life then these tools make parenting more of a pleasure and less of a chore for parents and babies. It’s not about it being commercialized, but about being helpful.

      Women suffer enough “making do”, at work, in relationships, in life. Sheesh. Buy a few things to make your life easier!

    • Hanh says...

      Seriously? She wasn’t saying this is what she needs to “get by.” She literally said these things make life easier. It’s great that all of you ladies can do so much with so little. Yaay. Congratulations. Keep doing what you do.

      But let others share what they do. No need to put them down or dismiss their excitement about finding useful products. It really doesn’t hurt anyone.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      This is such a compelling thread! I, too, have thought a lot about whether baby items are really needed. Because, yes, you don’t NEED anything other for a baby than milk, a place to sleep, etc. But! These items can make life so much easier for new mothers. For example, we didn’t get a stroller until Toby was four months because I figured we could use a sling when he was a newborn. But it was SO much harder and I really regretted not also buying a stroller. With Anton, I was so happy to have both a carrier and a stroller from day one. And a breastfeeding pillow helped my back not hurt. I didn’t technically NEED it because I could have still breastfed with a sore back, but it was so much nicer to not be uncomfortable for all those hours every day. So, my thoughts on baby gear have really changed. These smart inventions that can make things easier for moms who are already going through so, so much change, and I’m so appreciative of anything that helps!

    • Lucy says...

      Thank you for your comment, Miranda! I wholeheartedly agree. Expecting our third in September and yes indeed, a few biodegradable essentials are all we’re gearing up with. When our first was born we were so young and excited, trusted our instincts and spent absolutely no money on baby items. Looking back I feel so proud of us for intuitively getting our family on track to keep love and simplicity our focus.

    • Jessica says...

      My suggestion will be much harder to do during COVID but if you can find online a mom group or have new moms in your life, talk to them about what stuff they have that they want to give away or sell you. I only had to buy a few essentials new (carseat) which I really appreciated. Better for the environment and the wallet. Most baby stuff lasts much longer than baby needs it.

  40. Joanna says...

    We’ve always used coconut oil on our two kiddos’ bums (2.5 years and 4 mths) in place of diaper cream. Not every change, but it keeps rashes away and isn’t a nightmare for your hands. That, and a solid natural stain stick (Nellie’s Wow Stick stain remover is our fave) for all the baby blow outs have been our top picks passed on from other parents.

    Also, I’m probably the only one on earth who doesn’t seem to hate on snaps! I liked them especially in winter as I didn’t have to unzip the whole way and end up with a chilly, sad, very awake baby. I know, two way zips exist, but not always, and I would feel so badly for the little muffins.

    • Caroline says...

      I’ve been using coconut oil on my itchy, growing belly. But probably never would have thought to use it on the baby’s bum! Thank you for the tip!!

    • Amen says...

      Ditto. We moved internationally two months after my baby was born and we’re in limbo for months. We had a stroller, a car seat, a bunch of diapers, wipes, a bunch of onesies, 1-2 baby hoodies, and some burp clothes. Baby slept first in the stroller bassinet and then a travel crib. I was nursing so that lightened the load, you do have to feed them some way.

      I wouldn’t recommend timing a move that way but don’t let yourself get anxious about what they need. My nose Frieda sat in a drawer for two years before I threw it away.

  41. Hali says...

    Not going to lie- this post gave me anxiety. Kelsey you’re amazing and your writing is brilliant- I still think of that video of your husband walking down the stairs with Margot for the first time. (I think that was your family!?) But i’m 14 weeks pregnant and all of this freaks me out. Which I’m sure is the opposite of your intention and entirely my own problem, but…

    A) Of course babies can’t blow their own noses but why hadn’t I thought of that and why is that stressing me out so much?
    B) I’m sh*te with taking care of my own dry skin so howwwwww am I going to make sure this little one isn’t suffering?
    C) I just googled the average diaper count for the first month of a baby’s life and OH MY GOD IT’S 3OO.
    D) The comment section here is making my heart race. So much talk about strollers and bras that read to me like ancient greek or sports cars.

    I’m the first in my close circle of girlfriends and siblings to step into this void. By void, of course I mean the opposite of void. But it’s feeling a lot like a void these days: a strange expansive place where literally everything is scary, I know nothing, and there’s a human’s life and general wellbeing on the line.

    Tell me there’s a “milestone” at some point in this pregnancy where all of the sudden I understand what a modern bassinet is and what kind I need, I’ll discover where I’m going to store 300 diapers in my tiny home, and I become enthused about things like nursing bras and zippered (?) clothes rather than completely overwhelmed by them? I’m very, very excited about this baby but I’ve noticed talk of baby STUFF mutates that excitement into nerves!

    • Jenna C says...

      Most of what you actually need you’ll figure out as you go! Start simple before baby comes. There was a lot of “must’s” that I registered for because friends told me they couldn’t live without them and most of it I didn’t end up needing anyways. It’s really only a few things you have to have in those first few weeks (car seat, diapers, a few onesies, good lounge clothes for you). As you get to know your baby you’ll find out what things could make your life easier and which things (for you) are fluff.

    • Cate says...

      I’m a new aunt, and not a parent, but I’ve been a teacher and now a social worker for almost ten years, and I’ll say this: no one knows anything about babies until they do. My brother had never held an infant before his son was born, and now he’s a champion baby soother and gold medal diaper changer. I also work with women who are experiencing homelessness as a result of domestic violence, and many of them arrive at our organization without anything. They don’t have special diaper pails, the latest $900 strollers, or organic baby food makers. They’re good mothers because they care about their babies’ well being, full stop. I’ll end with this: I can’t always tell the kids whose parents bought them the nicest things from day one, but it’s always clear when a kid has someone who cares about them at home and makes sure they know it.

    • Nora B. says...

      I totally remember feeling this way before I had my first daughter! I would see friends with their kids, and they seemed to just KNOW exactly what they needed, and what to do, and I felt so lost in comparison (especially before she arrived) – HOW DID THEY KNOW??
      My advice: don’t waste energy trying to resist the anxiety, it’s really normal. But just know this: MILLIONS of women have done this before, many with more and many with less. And their babies are thriving. Babies want to live! They will let you know what they need, and when all else fails, for all it’s faults, Google saved me a few (alright, many) times. You’re going to be great! XO

    • Abby says...

      I’m 1.5 weeks out from having my second child and I can assure you, you will be fine! My husband and I still laugh at how ridiculously unprepared we were when we brought our son home, and we are two lawyers in our 30s. And I was a nanny! You’d think we would have had some clue but no. Bless our pediatrician for being so patient and kind with us. Trust me: you might be scared, and you don’t know what you’re doing, but you will figure it out! Trust your gut and block out the noise. Read websites like this with real women helping one another. Try to stay calm and enjoy the journey. Being new and naive is part of the experience and it sure is worth it.

    • Hannah says...

      Hi Hali! I’m 24 weeks along and will let you know that it’s okay:) I don’t know anything either and spent hours reading about crib mattresses. From my experience, it’s normal to worry and especially normal to not know much yet (like swaddles and snot suckers). If you’re looking up what you need baby supplies-wise, I’d recommend starting a registry just to see what suggestions they give you. Like “okay, they suggest a baby thermometer brand blah, I should get some kind of baby thermometer in the next 26 weeks.” I also save helpful lists like this as private on my Amazon cart so I have the rec if I need it in 16 weeks when baby is here. You’ve got this!!

      Also, tip from my mom, don’t open boxes of baby diapers until the baby arrives. You may skip the newborn size and then you can return them!

    • Ellen says...

      In the end all babies need is a safe place to sleep, food in their belly and to be loved. The rest is extra! You’ll be fine.

    • Erin says...

      Hali, it’s OK! I remember the anxiety you’re talking about, and I think these stories are much more fun to read if you already have a child and can say “Oh, yes, I loved that diaper pail” or “Good grief, not the NoseFrida! Just use a washcloth!”

      You will figure out the baby stuff as you go. I didn’t ever feel like I passed a milestone where I loved learning about baby gear — I just muddled through and made some guesses (some educated, some not) about what we needed, and it was fine. Also, babies can’t tell if you got them the “best” this or that. :) Congrats on your pregnancy!

    • Erin says...

      Hali — Been there! And two kids in, the only thing I’ve even heard of (and own) on this list was the nose frida. Feel free to write everything else off until baby comes and you get to know them and what they need :)

    • GIRL do not worry. That’s what Amazon Prime is for. You can have literally a little sleeve of newborn diapers and wipes and a single onesie and have just enough for the first few days (ok, ok, maybe a bassinet or something for them to sleep in). I think these lists are fun for moms to look back on and see how other people solved the puzzle. I tell this to all my expecting friends since I was the first: YOU ARE ENOUGH AND YOU HAVE ENOUGH. Everything you need is already within you. Your instincts are incredible and they’re behind this invisible curtain that you just don’t get to pull back until it’s happening, but just wait, your magical powers are going to come online gloriously and uniquely. And one day you’ll contribute to a list like this with wisdom gleaned from your beautiful unique experience.

    • Hilary says...

      Yeah, I +1 this times about a million. Motherhood is very commercialized and while there are plenty of things that parents enjoy having or that they feel makes parenthood slightly easier, there are so few things babies actually *need* in order to feel safe and loved. Food, shelter, some warmth clothes, and you. You got this.

      Also…the diaper thing really freaked me out from a waste perspective, so we used Nora’s Nursery cloth diapers and fell in love! Planning to use the same set of diapers for our second and always feel really good about how few diapers we put into landfills.

    • HAC says...

      It’s going to be ok!!! I just had my baby a few weeks ago, before which I felt exactly the same with no close girlfriends, siblings, or cousins with children to speak of. The prospect of buying baby things did NOT excite me (still doesn’t!) and every (creepily) sponsored ad I got for some ridiculous sounding baby product made me want to throw my phone out the window.

      But this is my takeaway now that I’m a few weeks in: buy the absolute basics in anticipation of bringing your baby home, and then after a week or two you’ll figure out pretty quick what non-basics but still necessary things you need in real time. It’ll prevent you from over-buying and/or spinning out during pregnancy about not having whatever one thing everyone says you need that you (surprise) realize you and your baby personally may not actually need. Take it from someone who panic purchased 3 different baby moisturizers and 2 brands of diaper cream the week before my due date, but since day one I actually have just been using aquaphor for everything. Or whatever! Your version of that might be different! Just know that the only real thing worth researching is safety features with strollers, cribs, and car seats, which is easy enough to do online. Beyond safety, just plan to buy what sounds right for your family’s lifestyle. The concept of “best” is relative to what works for you.

      Also worth noting: I’ve found that being the first in a group of friends to have a baby means everyone actually just wants to help you that much more! They may not be the ones giving you product recommendations, but they will absolutely be happy to swing by the pharmacy and get you another thing of diapers (plus a bag of cookies you didn’t know you wanted).

    • Also Justine says...

      300 is just a couple of boxes, surprisingly. We tried cloth diapers for home use and it was okay, exclusively breastfed poops are water soluble. Tradeoff is doing the extra laundry. Don’t be shy when people ask if you need anything, as many people are happy just to be able to get the stuff out of their house. A lot of it will just depend on what your baby responds to through trial and error.

    • Katie says...

      Dude! I didn’t buy a crib until she was like three months old. Get a Solly wrap and some good diapers and you can basically just enjoy your newborn until the hormone high wears off around month 3, at which point you can sanely and confidently start buying accessories for it.

    • Hali,

      You will be just fine because you WILL learn on the job. Think about it, it is the only thing you will be doing 24/7 for 3 months. When I had my first I seriously did NOT know how to change a diaper. My husband changed them all in the hospital) So don’t worry about not knowing anything. And as for nursing bras… you have time to figure that out. I just wore loose sports bras, honestly.

      I disagree with the moms that say you don’t really need anything. You do. We aren’t all supermoms. Some of us are faking it and we NEED help.

      Get a nursing cover (with an open neck) for all the pediatrician visits when you have to nurse in the waiting room. Put a million burp cloths all around the house because you will always be looking for one close by . Don’t spend money on baby towels. Regular adult towels are fine and babies love being wrapped in a big towel! And ask other moms to borrow a couple of different swaddle blankets or zip up saddlers. I have 3 babies and they all wanted a different swaddle. (these really are amazing: https://www.copperpearl.com/collections/blankets/type-knit-swaddle-blanket?)

      Also get a couple of boppy lounger pillows or the amazing leach co , which hugs your baby when you need a break. You usually want to have something in a couple of different rooms on the floor so you can put the baby down when you need to. https://leachco.com/products/podster

      An inexpensive or used sleep safe cosleeper for your bed is good too for the first couple of weeks. That way the baby is in a safe place but you can put your arm on them to sooth them while you sleep. And get some pacifiers just in case! I know people avoid them and my kids never wanted them past infancy but you might get desperate one night and need one. Sorry for the long list of advise! Good luck. Your first is AMAZING! Really.

    • Angela says...

      My life motto is that if the pilgrims could figure it out
      how to care for babies, so can I! ;) Not at all to minimize your (very real) anxiety!

    • Marzia says...

      I have a two year old and I felt the same way during pregnancy! Too much stuff! I don’t want it! Stop telling me I need it! FYI: I bought a piece of art for my daughter during my first trimester. THAT’S IT! Didn’t think about other stuff until my family and friends asked what they could gift to me in my third trimester.
      My friend just had her first baby during the pandemic. I thought she was so wise when she asked me one thing: what are your top three items for surviving the first three months? Excluding a crib, diapers and wipes. Burp cloths/bibs, boppy for feeding and a white noise machine. And you know what else? I kept my mouth shut the rest of the time! Because her experience was going to be different from mine.
      I do think you hit a milestone in your pregnancy when you’ve read so many lists (Guilty!) that are different from each other that you realize that every baby is different. What made me feel better is that all I needed in my house would be what is required for the next three months of my life and my baby’s life. You wouldn’t buy your kid’s first bike when you’re pregnant, right? So don’t worry about future milestones and instead live in the moment!
      You’re going to be great!!

    • Mags says...

      Don’t let the list freak you out — I didn’t use any of these things and my two kids (now 7 and 4) survived the baby phase just fine. No one was ever itching with dry skin, my son bonked his head on our hardwood floor about five hundred times while learning to sit (I remember emailing the pediatrician and she said it wasn’t a big deal) and he is in the 99% of his age group academically, they are both thriving kids. I actually had the nose frida and one of those fruit feeders but never figured out how to get either one to work and so just wiped off noses with a Kleenex and gave my kids whole fruits which they gummed up (baby lead weaning for the win!). Every mom and every baby is different so if you want these things then great, but please PLEASE don’t get stressed about lists like this one.

    • Sarah says...

      Hali, I completely feel you! I felt the same way. I remember one friend’s advice as I panicked about baby proofing and waking up at night and everything else: “the hard parts don’t happen all at the same time and usually don’t last all that long.” Just take it one day at a time, one diaper at a time. My only advice is to save all the manuals for baby gear in one place so when you are ready to tackle a new place to put the baby or want to adjust something, you’ll be able to find the instruction. You’ll be great!! xoxoxo

    • Ana says...

      Hali, you got this. You will figure it out as you go. Keep it simple at first and make sure to take care of yourself too.

    • Mary says...

      The best advice I recieved about motherhood is that it’s a relationship not a problem to be solved. I just welcomed my fourth child and it still rings true. Your baby needs you. Some gear is helpful but you will figure it out as you get to know your baby.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s so beautiful, Mary!

    • Isabelle says...

      Dear Hali,
      Kelsey’s recommendations are all great ones.
      Looking back 18 years ago, I just wish I felt less anxious about what I needed to raise my first born. Trust yourself, ask family and friends for recommendations and make your own opinion about what YOU need. You’ll be the mama, so you’ll be the one to know. As a matter of fact, not much is needed, but pick whatever makes you feel ok.

    • hali says...

      THANK YOU, MOMS! Moms are the best! I love moms AND mom figures!

      I spent all day yesterday prying my fingers away from typing “best strollers for beach towns and tiny homes” and “what is a co-sleeper” while working. My heart raced all day. I called my mom at night and she said in Scandinavia they put babies in drawers to sleep when they come home from the hospital, I could always do that! She also swore on my life that that I would just magically “become stronger” when I first hold my baby because “that’s just what happens, you just figure it out, I can’t really explain it.” Then I return to peek at the comments here this morning and can’t imagine a sweeter page of the internet to return to for encouragement. THANK YOU SO MUCH. I might print these. They mean so much.

      I shall cautiously stay away from lists (and apps, and books, and youtube) for the time being. My instinct says the more blind I go into this, the better off I’ll be. For me at least, because I’m a champion worrier. Thank you, moms!

    • Joanna McIntyre says...

      Honestly, I was less anxious staring down impending labour than I was on our first trip to the baby store (I cried, and we left minutes later). It all felt like the first big test on whether I’d be a good mom or not. It’s not a test though, it’s just a buffet, one big buffet of options and suggestions and advice that you may end up going back for seconds or leave on your plate (or steer clear of all together).

      You’re already a good mom because you care. Be gentle with yourself, you’ll figure out all those other details in time (or forget about them immediately as the next little crisis hits, because babies, am I right?)

  42. Andrea says...

    Hands down the one thing that will last the longest—IF eating dinner as a family is important to you—the Stokke tripp trapp chair. Starting at about 6mos, each of our kids was pulled right up to the table eating with us. They are now 11 & 13 and are still using the darn chairs, they are so adjustable. I never had all the fancy accessories they now offer, just the seatbelt and the plastic thing that keeps them from falling out. Since I wanted them at the table, there was no sense to buy the high chair type tray thing—which in my mind defeats the purpose of the chair!

    • i says...

      YES YES YES

    • Abby says...

      100% agreed. I used mine until I was 15 years old (loved it until we sold it for resale price on ebay!) and I am in my thirties now. My friend got one for her baby recently and they even have a baby bouncer add on now – so even another thing you can minimise regarding space!

    • Ramona says...

      I may or may not have gotten about 30 minutes into a Zoom meeting this week before realizing that I was sitting in my two-year-old’s Tripp Trapp, essentially doing my job from a high chair…

    • EmilyS says...

      I doubled down and just bought our second tripp trapp for my 6 month old because my 26 month old still uses and loves his! This is the number one thing I tell people to splurge on – more so than the fancy strollers! They eat far more than they will ever be in a stroller and it is so easy to clean, looks good, lasts forever, ergonomically correct posture for eating, and has great secondary market resale value!

  43. Melkorka says...

    The Milk and honey company sleep sack – I loved it and my kids used it from 6 months till 2+ years. It is the most used item (lasted two kids).

  44. Ramona says...

    The Nose Frida is pretty much all you have to know about parenting.

    I also recommend the Haaka silicone cup for anyone with breastmilk supply issues.

    • suki says...

      But why is it better than a regular baby aspirator? It seems unnecessarily gross when options exist. What am I missing?

    • Lillian says...

      The bulb suction things just don’t work as well, and your baby hates it anyway. With the nose Frieda, your lungs control the amount of suction and you get so much more mucus out. There’s a reason why the tube is so long. It’s disgusting to think about but it’s the one item I give to all new moms, in addition to a cute outfit

    • Erika says...

      And you don’t actually suck the mucous into your mouth, by the way. :) You put a tissue in the top part and it catches the snot. You just power the suction and can see what’s happening.

      Also, nothing is gross when it’s your baby. You won’t mind at all! <3

    • rachel simmons says...

      the nose frida is LIFE!

    • Wesley says...

      HUNDRED times yes to the Haaka. On baby 2 and it is my most used product.

      Also – I think the difference between the NoseFrida and a normal bulb aspirator is that you can clean out the Frida. I’ve used both and found the bulb easier on infants and the Frida easier as my babies got older, but I’m pretty sure the inside of the bulb is disgusting (not that that it stops me from using it)

    • Hanh says...

      I recommend/gift Nose Frida to every new mother I know!

    • Hanh says...

      And I did suck mucous out with my own mouth directly before I found Nose Frida. Gross? yes. But not nearly enough to stop me from helping my babies breathe.

    • Ramona says...

      Suki, what I like about the Nose Frida is that it has really strong suction. It’s not just wiping their nose, it can totally clear the thick mucus from their passages. That not only helps them (and, thus, you) sleep when they have a cold but also can prevent more troublesome stuff stemming from colds like ear infections and bronchiolitis. It is kind of gross if you think about it, but when your kid can’t breathe you find you don’t care so much about that!

  45. Daisy says...

    There are two products that I didn’t expect to need but which were total game changers – the VAVA LED Night Light and the Nuby UV Steriliser Pod.

    I never thought a night light would be so indispensable, and it really wasn’t in the very first weeks, when my baby’s nappy needed changing all the time and frankly night and day had sort of blended into one, so when he woke up for a feed or a change (or, more likely, both) we’d turn the lights on and hop to it. Our bedside light was basically on all night. As he grew, though, he didn’t need changing all the time and it was easier to keep him drowsy instead of wake him (and my husband!) up to feed him then need to soothe him back to sleep. This night light is brilliant because it’s dim enough not to disturb him but bright enough to see what you’re doing. You turn it on by tapping it so no need to grope around in the dark for a switch, and the brightness is easily adjustable by pressing on it. It’s wireless, so you can carry it from room to room, and recharges with a USB so no need for spare batteries. I take it with me when we go away in case the only alternative is a very bright bedside lamp. Can’t imagine life without it now.

    The Nuby Steriliser Pod is a must have if you use a dummy/pacifier. Perfect for sterilising one on the go with no need for water – no steam, no Milton tablets, no fuss, just pop the dummy in, shut the lid and press the button and about a minute later it’s good to go. I keep it in my nappy bag at all times!

    • Kelly says...

      Yes! Vava for the win! Truly the best.

    • Emaly says...

      I discovered the Vava nightlight with my second baby and it has been a game changer! Seriously the best for the 4am feeding and diaper changes.

  46. Anne says...

    So many great suggestions! I especially appreciate the posts that are considering how COVID-19 might be changing baby prep and what’s accessible. We’re due in fall and we’ve bought more new than we ever intended. Also, we just are frozen and not buying things. Given that stores are either closed or opened with social distancing practices in place and that used items are harder to safely check out, it is not an ideal time to shop. And, also, shopping whether new or used, isn’t really worth risking one’s health! So online shopping it is along with a few surprises about how items actually function in person- looking at you baby carriers!

    • Jean says...

      Hands down the best gift I received that I thought I didn’t need – Ergobaby. LOVED and carried my babies everywhere, my firstborn for hours on walks as I put him to sleep, and sadly retired the sunfaded workhorse after many years of use and kids no longer in need.

    • Allison says...

      We just had our first and let me tell you, shopping for a baby in the age of COVID was a real game-changer. We watched so many babylist videos about how to use different baby carriers and strollers and pack and plays. They were really helpful for this time when you can’t go and examine products in person.

      The only things we wound up having a hard time finding when the baby was here were diapers and wipes! I think the supply has gotten a little better, but it doesn’t hurt to have a box of each size of diaper so that you’re prepared to anticipate shipping delays. We also went ahead and signed up for a monthly subscription of pampers pure wipes from amazon (you’re always going to need them, so it’s impossible to have too many at this point!).

      Last thing I’ll say is that having a friend make a “mealtrain” for you is a the best gift you could ever receive. Doooooo it.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes to a meal train!!!!!!! the BEST.

  47. Emilie says...

    My advice to new moms: take an experienced mom with you (or have her write a list during the pandemic) when you go to register. There were things I had NEVER heard of that ended up being very useful, like zip-up sleep sacks. But just stick to the basics and borrow or get hand-me-downs wherever you can.

    Also, there will always be some “essential” that’s not actually needed in your family. We were gifted one of those booger syringes when my son was born and never used it. While prepping for baby #2 I just found it in the original packaging. Go figure!

    • Co-sign this, especially if said other mother’s most recent kid is a year-ish old. Their advice is going to be excellent, and also, chances are good they’ll have stuff they’re DYING to give away to get some space back – then you can save a few registry slots for frozen meals, which are the real newborn-phase MVP, imo.

  48. Maggie says...

    I hear this all the time but I honestly preferred buttons because I was able to do diaper changes without waking my son up! Having to pull his leg out, and then back into, the leg of a zippered one was always too much jostling for him to stay asleep.

    • Hannah says...

      I’m totally with you Maggie. One leg fine, the other a total nightmare. We did the snap ones.

    • alexis says...

      I loved the sacks – they were like nightgowns but you could snap button the bottom closed if you wanted to, they were so easy.

  49. Heather says...

    Wool diaper covers were life-changing for us! Every night our little guy peed through his diaper despite everything we tried. Before we discovered wool diaper covers, I was even double diapering him every night. Still every night he woke up crying in bedding that was soaked, so I’d have to change all the bedding and then work to get him back to sleep. (And he was already a poor sleeper.) A friend finally mentioned wool diaper covers had saved her with her twin boys, so I gave it a try. No more night-time leaks, which meant more sleep for everyone…and, as all parents of young babies know, that is the life-changing part! I used them with my second son from the beginning and what a world of difference. They’re really great for travel to avoid peed-through clothes on planes, too. (Note: I always bought them homemade on Etsy so no specific brands to recommend.)

    • Amy says...

      I have two girls and a boy, and the boy always soaked through his diapers (maybe it’s a boy thing?).
      We found the nighttime diapers (Pampers/Huggies) did the trick; at first I assumed they were a gimmick and so I didn’t try them until desperate, but in the end I happily paid 1.5x for nighttime diapers that let us all sleep more.

    • Sofia says...

      Second wool diaper covers – amazing. My husband bought one and I thought he was nuts but it works perfectly every time.

    • Heather says...

      When they’re transitioning away from night nursing, my kids drink a ton of water at night, and our lives have improved a lot since we discovered diaper liners. The ones we use are called Sposie Booster Pads. They’re kind of like flow-through maxi pads that you put inside the nighttime diaper to increase its absorbency. The cost per liner is about the same as the cost of a diaper, but there’s less waste than going through two diapers (there’s no plastic or velcro on the booster pad, just padding in a cottony cover) and less disruption because you don’t need to change anything in the middle of the night.

  50. Emily says...

    Merlin Magic sleep suit was our favorite. I would recommend getting two because they take forever to air dry.
    I don’t have a diaper cream brush, but I’ve found wiping my finger on the inside of the diaper before I put it on my son usually gets all the cream off.

    • alexis says...

      That’s what I did too (the wiping finger in diaper trick)! Also loved how cute my baby looked in her merlin – we always joked that she was getting ready to blast off into space. I miss those chubby cheeks <3

  51. Colleen says...

    Ok throwing my two in here:
    1. The Shusher – It’s a little cheap piece of plastic but it was a lifesaver for getting our little on to sleep pretty much anywhere. Throw it in the stroller while you’re on a walk, in the car seat, in the bassinet. It always helped him to sleep.

    2. Yoga ball – We didnt use our glider for the first six months. The only thing that would calm him was bouncing on a yoga ball. The nurse in the hospital said it’s because it most closely approximates the movement they had while in your belly.

  52. Jess says...

    I have a three year old and a six month old!

    For baby: Snoo, baby k’tan carrier, My Breast Friend pillow, North States play-yard.

    For toddler: iPad!! I kid, I kid. Except… really. Our darling first-born had zero screen time until baby brother & a pandemic arrived at the same time.

    Other toddler favorites – a water table, Magnatiles (we buy the Children’s Hub brand, they’re much cheaper and work just as well), lots of art supplies, and an early bedtime.

  53. Irene says...

    I was just doing some rough estimating of how much a “standard” baby registry would add up to … and quickly found myself on Craigslist trying to see how much can be found secondhand! The answer is A LOT in my area (DC)! This is such a helpful article (plus the comments, as always) for families planning/hoping/preparing for baby.

    Plus super cute baby photos, yay!

    • I used Craigslist and OfferUp a lot – it’d be something I’d have a little more reservation using considering everything now, but then again, that’s what the washing machine and disinfectant sprays are for. In bigger metro-areas, there are also bound to be some kiddo consignment stores as well that’ll have some great stuff in really good shape. I am not of the parenting-minimalism philosophy personally, but I am a big believer in getting stuff second-hand whenever possible.

  54. Katha says...

    Hahaha, yes to pajamas with zippers!
    It’s pretty much the only advice I like to give new parents. Something like “I won’t tell you what to do or buy, you’ll figure it out, each baby is different but if there is one advice I want to give: pajamas with zippers!”

  55. Kay says...

    We received a Graco Pack n Play as a baby shower gift and is a lifesaver. I have a 15 month old who gets into everything and a 1 month old. When I have to use the bathroom, sweep the floor or feed/change/tend to my one month old and my 15 month old is giving signs of wreaking havoc, I stick him in the pack and play so I can do my task stress free. I’ve put his favorite toys and books in there so he keeps himself occupied as well. With my one month old daughter, I think I bought like 2 pieces of clothing, everything else was a hand me down, as well as for my 15 month old son. Thank God for friends and family who held on to these things.
    I’m saving all my son’s clothes for those who need. I have 3 bags full (0-6 months) if anyone is interested. (Im in NYC).

    • Caroline says...

      Kay,
      New Neighbors Clothing Partnership is a great organization that partners families with young kids with refugee families that recently settled in NYC. The host family sends along hand-me-down clothes a couple times a year. The host family doesn’t need to live in NYC. Such an elegant solution that helps both families feel more connected! Congrats on your family!

      Cup of Jo – this could be a cool organization to highlight in a post.

      https://www.newneighborsclothingpartnership.com/

    • Kay says...

      Thank you for telling me about this organization! I am signing up right now! I’ll also tell all my mama friends about it as well.

  56. Daron says...

    I have to say I absolutely do not understand how the Nosefrida makes it onto all these lists. I bought one because I saw it on a list on here… both my husband and I used it on my sick infant. Promptly got sicker than we’ve ever been in my entire life. Because, by design, you are literally inhaling your baby’s snot particles. They have a little sponge square between the tube and the sucker thing, which is cute, but in no way provides any protection from you inhaling virus-laden snot droplets deep into your lungs. Absolutely do not purchase this thing. Or if you do, don’t use it on a sick child.

    • Lillian says...

      But with all the sleep deprivation, snuggles, kisses, dealing with poop, puke and snot, there’s no way to avoid getting sick anyway. I found that if you’re not sick with the baby, you must not be actually taking care of a baby (Like a dad avoiding a lot of the actual caretaking)

    • i says...

      Good point Lillian

    • rachel simmons says...

      I’ve never heard of anyone getting sick from using these…i swear by it! I have 2 babies and TONS of mommy/daddy friends. we all swear by them…im curious if anyone else has heard of anyone actually getting sick from them? Any info on their website about this?

  57. Not a product but a recommendation ABOUT products: don’t give your babies and toddlers too many options for everyday things. Little kids get overwhelmed by too many choices, just like adults, and they’ll often develop intense preferences at the WORST possible times. (Say, insisting on only eating from the plate with the monkeys on it that you accidentally put down on a hot burner and melted yesterday, five minutes before you need them to be eating while you’re on a conference call.) Whether it’s pacifiers, strollers, sippy cups, or whatever. Just pick one type of everything and stick with it until you have a good reason to try another kind.

    • Hannah says...

      Hahahaha! I just tossed a toy that my 5 year old hasn’t interacted with in several years. And before that, he probably picked it up maybe 3 times and threw promptly saying he didn’t like it. The morning after I toss it, it’s his favorite toy ever and he is crying for 3 hours straight, looking for it everywhere.

    • Hannah, that sounds so familiar that I burst out laughing. Of COURSE that’s when he wanted it. OF COURSE. Kids are masters of timing. ?

  58. Kara says...

    Similar to #1 and #2 above… the GroVia Magic Stick is my favorite baby product! It is a truly magical diaper balm that smells great and kept my baby’s bum rash free. But the true genius is that it looks like a large glue stick, so you can apply it without getting your hands messy at all.

    • suki says...

      Genius product!

  59. Ada says...

    What my baby taught me: everything COTTON that you can just throw in the washing machine in case it gets dirty (as it inevitably does):
    – cloth diapers – serious money saver, I paid less than 100 for baby’s whole diapering life, PLUS given you have to wash them so often, you only need three or four changes of clothing per size! Also, baby hasn’t had diaper rash ever.
    – cotton cloth wipes,
    – large cotton bibs,
    – cotton blankets,
    – cotton baby carrier and teething pads,
    – cotton rug – I have a Lorena Canals one and love having a fancy rug that I don’t have to worry about getting soiled.
    And wool clothing in winter.
    Also, nasal spray, weleda everything – diaper cream, baby oil, soap, toothpaste – and badger sunscreen (for older babies).

    • EL says...

      Thank you for mentioning cloth diapering. I used cloth diapers with my two children. It is cheaper than disposable (I used the same diapers for both children) and so much better for the environment. It might seem daunting, but it really is easy once you have your system in place. I hope more parents give cloth diapering a try.

  60. Karen says...

    Baby Brezza formula maker – like a Keurig for mixing warm bottles

    Doona car seat/stroller – worth the splurge but makes errands/appts/etc so much easier

    Nighttime diapers – like Pampers Baby Dry or Huggies Overnights

  61. Kate says...

    That is one GORGEOUS BABY, but I have to say I totally disagree with this list (except the nose frida– you definitely need that.) I’m on kid 3 and I have so much less “stuff” this time around. My must haves are: nursing pillow (boppy/widgey) if BFing, white noise machine, and a zip-swaddle for newborn-4 months. Also, highly recommend HotMIlk nursing bras (for Mom!).

  62. Annie says...

    Button-up jammies get a lot of hate, but just a quick note! If you know a baby in the NICU, button-up jammies are very useful to get around all the wires.

    • Alexis says...

      Also helpful if your 10-day old spikes a fever thanks to having a big sister around and you get admitted to the hospital for a few days. I stayed in the hospital with baby while my husband went home to stay with the big kid and I remember being annoyed when he came back to the hospital with fresh clothes for us that none of them worked around the iv tube she had stuck in her.

  63. Annie says...

    My four month old son has spent a majority of his waking hours on a Boppy lounger pillow. When he was tiny and not really playing much yet, he lounged in it while we stared at him. He’s been bottle fed for a while and we prop him up in the pillow while we feed him to give our arms a break. He did his early tummy time on it (the raised rim made it a little easier for him to get the leverage to hold himself up), and we still use it as a docking station when we just need to put him down for a bit. Most importantly, you can throw the whole thing in the washing machine!

    • Kate says...

      I don’t have kids of my own, but after visiting with friends who do have babies, I quickly realized how amazing those Boppy loungers are! Now I give them to all my expecting friends whether they are registered for one or not. I’m know they’re super helpful for parents, but they’re also the best for us faux-aunts to stare at those babies and make silly faces!

  64. tina crisas says...

    When I was expecting my baby girl 3.5 years ago, among other things, I bought 5 different diaper creams. (I couldn’t decide!) (I checked each one’s ingredients on cosdna.com so as to make sure there were no nasty, toxic ingredients) We maybe used one? (And it was the cheapest out of the 5 we liked, called bepanthol) And only 3 – 4 times? because at each and every diaper change when she was awake we ALWAYS washed her under the sink in the bathroom. (I STILL do that every morning when she wakes up before getting dressed). She never, EVER had a rash that way. I know it’s more work but it totally worked for us. I ended up throwing out the diaper creams.

    • Kimberly says...

      Maybe I’m weird but I never really use diaper cream for my babies. I have one bottle that has lasted me through three babies because I only use it, like, three times a year when they get diaper rash.

    • Hannah says...

      This is how we did it, too! But we have baby with a very sensitive skin, and he would still get diaper rash from the diaper itself. Plus, with daycare and grandparents and babysitters, etc, it was much harder to wash the bums regularly.

  65. Michelle says...

    Here is another view on the Snoo, for any to-be parents considering buying one. We bit the bullet and bought a Snoo after months of deliberation. Our baby refused to sleep in it and hated the swaddle that came with it. We tried and tried to make it work and I spent a lot of time on the phone Snoo customer service. This expensive, beautiful crib just sat in our room mocking me. We eventually sent it back and got a refund. Maybe it’s worth a try, but it certainly doesn’t work for every baby.

    • Holly says...

      LOL! Good to know. I was thinking I’d only have a third if it came with a snoo.

  66. Lauren says...

    Some items that were key to our first year as parents (kiddo is now 14 months old) include:
    – Wipeable changing pad (ex. keekaroo) – so. many. open. air. pees. and poops!
    – Diapers with wetness indicator line (ex. pampers pure) – these were key in the early days when breast feeding was incredibly challenging and we were worried about output.
    – Carrier (ex. Ergo 360) – great way get out and about and be hands free!

    And some thoughts on navigating early parenthood:
    – Babies are divas so borrow gear to see if they even like it whenever you can!
    – Say NO to snap PJs!!
    – Make your baby a part of your life instead of the other way around as much as possible. It is obviously a balance, but try to encourage your kiddo to be adaptable to different situations when you can.
    – Take a lot of videos :)

    • Meg says...

      A CARRIER IS ESSENTIAL.

      We have the Ergo 360, a woven wrap, and a K’Tan, and we use them for different reasons at different times. I’m on baby number three and I could NOT have survived without carriers.

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      Agree all around! My ONLY complaint with the diaper indicators (and so many baby things) is that they’re not colorblind-friendly. My husband is colorblind, and the wetness indicator lines were useless to him. It drove me nuts because, as you point out, there’s often a lot of focus on “output” in the early days (and a lot more diaper changing). I wish they’d just make the lines twice as dark!

    • Really appreciate the sentiment ‘make the baby a part of your life.’ Thanks for sharing that :)

  67. Rachel says...

    I cannot emphasize my support for the Baby Bum Brush enough. I was a skeptic (who needs another plastic thing?) but now I buy them for everyone I know. I also am a dermatologist and we tell parents to put on diaper cream “like you’re frosting a cupcake”…this spatula really drives the point home!

  68. Amy says...

    Our go to products (for our two babies) have been:

    The Ergo baby carrier (and baby insert). My husband and I were just saying how the sides of the carrier are starting to wear because of all the usage!

    My travel pack stroller and stroller hooks (we didn’t have the hooks for our first baby but got them for baby number two – it’s been a game changer!!)

    Those silicone rubber bibs, I love love LOVE the fact that I can just wipe it down and use it again later. So much better that having a ton of fabric bibs and never being able to find them when you need them.

    Yes to Frida nose cleaner! They hate them but they’ll feel so much better after!

    • The original organic Ergo carrier is my favorite. I used it on each of mine. Even when they were 2-3 years old.

    • Annie K. says...

      YES TO THIS!

      Also, God forbid anyone ever again buy anything “baby puree-er”. It’s a goddamn blender. If I could advise myself and my partner pre-baby about what we’d need, I would say this:

      *Start with as little stuff as possible (though I understand shopping gives us a sense of control in uncertain times, ahem new baby. Ahem pandemic). Your baby (and your friends’ babies) will tell you what they need, and you will learn along the way. This will keep you from a phenomena I experienced in which I found myself trying to “fit” the baby stuff I had into my baby’s life (ahem changing pad liner, ahem teething lovey); let your existence with your baby tell you what baby stuff you need).

      *Don’t sweat the accumulation of stuff: it will be out of your life faster than you realize. Practice and anticipate letting it go (or putting it away).

    • Caitlin says...

      Oh boy do I have strong feelings informed by experience about how awful the super padded high chairs are. We are still using outs bc we are cheap but man it is the grossest thing in our house by far.

  69. Kate says...

    Not exactly for baby but get Folex carpet cleaner! Our son had acid reflux and I would have to clean the rocking chair and carpet ALL the time. Folex is hands down the best cleaner. Going with the not-for-baby theme… If you can pump, get a strapless pumping bra. It is so much easier to take on/off than a bra with straps.

  70. Sara says...

    I always appreciate your posts, but would really, really love to see them move away from linking and promoting Amazon as a retailer. I understand how convenient it is (a reformed Prime member here), but Amazon is, at it’s roots, a deeply unethical retailer and quite simply does not need any more resources thrown at it. That said– a great product roundup! Perhaps next time, linking directly to the manufacturer would be a good alternative? Xoxo

    • Second this. Also thegoodtrade.com has a handful of posts on sustainable and fair trade baby gear if anyone is interested.

    • TC says...

      Yep – I would love to see this as well.

  71. Joyce says...

    The best money I spent in the first 8 months of my baby’s life is money on a therapist to help with the transition. I recommend the TED talk by Alexandra Sacks about matrescence for all new moms!

    • E says...

      THIS!

    • Ramona says...

      YES. Especially now, with the added stress of the pandemic and everything else.

    • Emaly says...

      Omg yes! A good therapist saved me in that first year. Have you listened to Dr. Sacks’ regular podcast too, Motherhoods Sessions? It’s so good, and the episodes feels so relevant.

    • Joyce says...

      I have listened to a few episodes and found them so enlightening as I navigate new motherhood! Thanks for the reminder so I can dive back into the podcast :)

  72. Lauren says...

    Haakaa! I did not love pumping and this was so easy to use and clean. Baby nail scissors, weighted wipes holder, Philips Hue night light (it has a really dim light that was perfect for night nursing) and a cozy blanket for yourself.

  73. Alden says...

    We’ve loved the Askr and Embla sleep pod. We can have the baby nap in it on the couch, in our bed, wherever! And we’re not worried about him rolling onto his stomach(or us rolling onto him in bed).
    Also, the Simba Baby Safety Scissors for trimming little sharp fingernails.

  74. Jordan says...

    This is such a timely post! We are expecting (unexpected:) twins the end of this year and are preparing our registry for our drive-by shower. Something that has struck me as I’ve dove into the wild land of baby stuff for the first time is how early the mom shaming starts. If you REALLY love your baby, you will buy them this exceptionally overpriced item they will only possibly use 3-5 times. I’ve found that it takes active challenging of these messages to not get stuck in them. I appreciate this article and the comments which highlight reasonably priced items and why they are so useful. Bookmarking!

    • Julie says...

      Congrats on the twins!!

    • Kristin says...

      Lucie’s List’s twin registry was invaluable for us with ours a few years ago! Plus join a local twin mom’s group and hopefully they’ll have a Facebook group where people donate or list used clothes/toys. Pre-COVID times, ours had a huge resale 2x/year and that’s where the majority of our baby centered things came from! Congrats!

  75. Sondra says...

    Weleda calendula cream is also great for chapped chin and cheeks from teething or just the cold. It also is great for your face, too. But, I agree, their diaper rash cream is amazing. My other must have (witty baby number four) is a sling!!! It ensures that the littlest one is kept close and I can get stuff done.

  76. anna says...

    Who said baby poop doesn’t smell? Have they been around a baby?

    • Sequoia says...

      Came to say this!!!

    • Abesha1 says...

      Breastfed baby poop doesn’t smell bad.
      (Once they eat food, that changes)

  77. Donna says...

    I *highly* reccomend trying local listservs/mom friends/church groups for hand-me-down clothing, nursing/bottle supplies, toys, equipment, you name it. I live in DC and space is cramped so many mom friends pass around/lend out large equipment like baby swings, exersaucers and the like. I benefitted in coutless ways from tapping into these communities. It’s so much friendlier on the environment and your wallet to borrow instead of buy so many of these items that are only needed for a few months at a time.

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      Yes, yes, a thousand times, YES! I can’t believe I didn’t mention this, but probably 80% of Margot’s belongings (and about 95% of her clothes) are hand-me-downs or things we got from local groups. Used baby stuff is the BEST, because it’s typically barely used. And given how much gear babies acquire, parents will often give it away for free, just to get it out of the house ASAP. That’s how I got my giant, fancy pregnancy pillow!

    • Kelly says...

      Yes to this! I’m also in DC and have found so many things from our local Buy Nothing Group and parents listserve. I’ve made it my personal goal to not buy anything new (unless it needs to be new/unused) for my 4 yr old and 1 year old without first checking these groups, then Marketplace and Craigslist.
      Example: We are going to the beach soon and need a pool float for the 1 year old. I didn’t want to use Amazon and spend $30+ on something we may use 1-2 times before she outgrows it. I posted a two line “In Search of (ISO)” post on the parents listserve and I was literally turning down offers.

    • AG says...

      Local listservs are the best! – I use it often for baby, toddler stuff and even one-time needs. The generosity is inspiring and the community robust – you not only help the environment and your wallet, but help the previous owners declutter their NY apartments. I even tap my 5 degrees of separation circle of friends, someone’s bound to have outgrown some baby stuff.

      Excellent recommendation Donna!

    • Anna says...

      This is such great advice! As a first-time mom expecting in two months, I’ve felt some pangs of regret over quitting Facebook for this reason. Any tips for how to find a listserv or alternative marketplaces for moms not on social media?

    • Ramona says...

      Definitely! Having passed the “buying all the giant baby things” phase with my babies who are now preschoolers, I am now in the “desperately giving away all the giant baby things to anyone who will accept them” phase. Kind of incredible how quickly you move from the one to the other!

  78. katie says...

    YES to that diaper cream spatula. It didn’t exist with my first, so I gifted it to a friend having her first as soon as I discovered it, knowing the pain of Desitin everywhere. Then ~2 months later, I saw her gifting it away on a website during her final mat leave “I must clean everything” moment. She couldn’t recall who gave it to her & hadn’t used it yet – I bit my tongue. Baby starts at daycare, gets first awful diaper rash, and she mentions to me how she regretted getting rid of that brush ;-). Don’t be her!

  79. Third time mama with a three month old baby girl :) some favorites:
    – Brest Friend nursing pillow. I don’t nurse without it and for my second two I brought it to the hospital/birth center. Make sure to get an extra cover.
    – White noise machine
    – Swaddle Me velcro swaddlers
    – Saline nose drops to use with the Nose Frida. Also with this baby she gets big boogers and if I just put some saline drops in her nose she’s sneeze out the huge booger. It’s disgustingly satisfying.
    – A Kindle! So you have something to do other than scroll on your phone while you hold a nursing or sleeping baby.
    – Baby Bjorn bouncer seat. This one is pricey but I love the simple design and that it can fold flat. My baby loves to kick her legs and bounce for 20+ minutes which is an amazing break for me.

    Love your recs, Kelsey, and Margot is so sweet!

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      Thank you! And may I ask, does your kid tolerate the saline drops better than the Nose Frida? And are the drops the same as that saline spray I see in the baby aisle at the drugstore? I never understood how saline worked for mucus, but if it does the job as well as the Frida, then I may get some to have on hand. The Frida is fantastic, but I’m slightly terrified at the idea of using it on Toddler Margot.

    • Kelsey says...

      Hi! We have a little bottle of “Little Remedies” saline drops in a dropper bottle, looks like an eye drop bottle. I’ve found it really helps to loosen things up and either will get her to sneeze it out or helps it all come out better with the nose frida. This was a third kid discovery for me so I’m happy to pass on the tip! When they learn to blow their noses it’s GLORIOUS.

    • Kelsey says...

      oh and she doesn’t love the saline drops but she doesn’t fuss when we do them. good luck with those boogers!

    • Meg says...

      The Kindle recommendation is so good. Our local library does ebooks that you can put on the Kindle, and I have fond memories of reading in the middle of the night with my baby. And yes, it must be an E-Reader. You’ll need the backlight and the one-handed operation.

      Good breastfeeding reading: The Boys in the Boat, The Immortalists, The Goldfinch, How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids.

  80. Alba says...

    I second the Nose frieda purchase. A few others that I found useful with baby no.2 are:
    – Mustela micellar water for making poop wiping easy (genius hack brought to me by my pediatrician neighbor)
    – Hakaa pump for using on the breast that is not nursing, while nursing (saved so much more milk this time around because of it). A steal at $12!
    – Bricca mirror with lights and music for long car rides

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      I always wondered what the heck baby micellar water was for! I bet that’s a huge help when you’re changing a diaper away from home. Thanks for the rec!

    • Natalie says...

      Haakaa pump is ?????????????? Wish I had it with my first baby! But I recommend getting the stopper because it tips over easily!

  81. Jennifer says...

    Our go-to for our 2 kiddos were baby carriers. We used our moby wrap daily for months, then the ergo. We can still carry our 4 year old in the ergo now if need be!
    Both kids loved to be carried- they would calm down, sleep, and are just happy when worn! Another good thing is a silicon plate/bowl that sticks to the table. Our 9 month old can’t pick it up or tip it over!

  82. Sarah Matchim says...

    Learn how to do saline nasal rinses. These came recommended by our ENT after my daughter started having frequent ear infections. He recommends them to to all of his patients and their parents! This prevents and or lesses the frequency and duration of colds, ear aches, nasal congestion, etc. Can’t recommend it enough, though there is a bit of a learning curve for everyone.
    Do run it by your doctor before starting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hcjPTWDleM

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      I grew up doing these, and now they are a lifesaver for seasonal allergies! I will definitely talk to our doc about if/when they’re okay for Margot.

  83. Nina says...

    All these products must be available somewhere other than Amazon, right? Jeff Bezos’s wealth is so obscene, and conditions for Amazon workers are so bad, that it doesn’t seem right to keep promoting his business. One week you post about supporting black-owned businesses, encouraging readers to think about the impact of where they spend their money, and shortly afterwards sharing affiliate links to Amazon…

    • kristina says...

      Thank you for this. Linking directly to the company that makes the product would still be helpful. I guess those links might not always generate revenue for the blog, but surely there has to be some more ethical way to keep a revenue stream *and* promote more just labor.

    • Raquel says...

      Agree!

    • Ira says...

      Yes to this! The double standard here is insane!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much for this! you may have noticed that we have been changing our amazon linking policy overall – using indie bound or mahogany books for book links and linking to other fashion destinations for clothing. here, I thought it would easier for people to have quick links for these different products on a common site, but you’re right that we should have linked elsewhere. I’m going to change them now. thank you so much for this feedback, as always. xo

    • Hi Nina,

      I am expecting and built a registry with a lot of these items off of baby list. I was able to avoid listing Amazon for about 90% of the products. It takes a little extra searching (and maybe a few dollars more spent) but can be done :)

  84. Youngdirectionless says...

    Lol, so many of these are things I skipped or got rid of (mesh feeders, shudder what a mess)! Just goes to show how particular each person’s experience is. Also, life pro tip if you have more than one and are keeping things for the next give yourself permission to get rid of anything you just don’t like. It’s ok to not keep everything, and culling frequently will keep you sane. Also, my mil gifted us a wipe warmer and damn it that things wasn’t the best for both my kids (who were winter babies) and my toddler still complains if we don’t use it.

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      Touché! And that’s a great tip.

  85. Sophia F. says...

    I was also the parent that bought minimal baby stuff, but for us a wipes warmer was the difference between a baby who was FULLY AWAKE after a night diaper change and one who would actually go back to sleep, so I would heartily recommend them. Biggest rec: we bought a Keekaroo Peanut changing pad, which is basically a contoured pool float material, instead of the standard pad with cover. It ended up being a godsend – our daughter had major, major reflux and digestive… issues (at six she’s fine! They can grow out of even the most awful things!), but basically every time you laid her down for a change she would barf or projectile poop. The Keekaroo could just be wiped down with baby wipe, or bleach wipe if needed, whereas we would have had to launder one load of changing pad covers a day if we’d had a traditional pad. Worth its weight in gold.

    • Ming says...

      This is too funny because we got a Keekaroo from one of my friends who LOVED it as much as you do, and we used it maybe 3 times (toddler is now 2)! Goes to show every baby and every mom is different :)

  86. Becky says...

    I’m a nanny, not a parent, so my experience doesnt count the same but I have learned a thing or two over 6 plus years.
    1, I never carry a full on diaper bag. I carry a small tote with a plastic bag, 2 diapers, and a pack of water wipes, small changing mat. No toys. No snacks. I’m rarely gone for more than 2 hours at a time. I also dont bring a full on purse. Just a small wallet, my phone, hand sanitizer, hand cream that’s it. Fyi This is all precovid.
    2, water wipes are the best. Baby bums are so sensitive to the surfactants and residue left behind by wipes. I have seen more kids with chronic bum irritation than I thought possible. I would suggest very soft wash cloths and a spray bottle of water for easy cleanups and a package of water wipes for the super messy cleanups.
    3. Wipe warmers are a waste for sure. It sets a high standard for that kid that then freaks out when you dont have a warmer on the road.
    4. This is alittle bit more down the road but when it comes to potty training, please please please dont go nuts with special little toilets that are left all over the house. Maybe a special seat to go on a regular toilet. You can bring it when you travel. Kids really need to understand that they cant just drop their pants mid meal to use the potty and that toys and food should not be accessible during potty time. It’s a separate room for a separate purpose.
    5. You dont need a fancy contraption to clean breast feeding bottles amd equipment . Ive seen some fancy microwave containers. Boiling water works well and a designated spot to dry them.
    6. It is so incredibly easy to make baby food. Make in a big batch. Dont buy a special processor. A kitchen aid blending wand is awesome. The silicone freezing molds section portions out. Pop out a pod as you need them. I’ve done is for spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, peas, apples, peaches etc.
    Like I said I’m just a nanny, not a mama yet ?

    • Eileen McIlwee says...

      Hi Becky-I just want to chime in and say your experience is as valid as anyone else. You provide a different perspective and a very helpful one at that. You are more than “just a nanny” you are responsible for the care of the children entrusted to you, its important work, sister!

    • Konstantina Hrysanthakopoulou says...

      Huge second to Water Wipes. The best wipes.

    • OO says...

      Screenshotting this! Saving every bit of practical advice I see before baby comes due in November. You sound like an excellent nanny.

    • Masha says...

      I so agree about carrying as little as possible on a stroller walks, I am on my second kid, and never needed more than what you listed

    • rachel simmons says...

      I was a nanny for 12 yrs before having my own, but I didn’t nanny babies, only preschool/school aged children, but I can’t imagine nannying a baby!! U are a PRO- mom without kids!

  87. Hilary says...

    So much fun to read through other comments here! We have a toddler and a few of our faves:

    – Hatch sound machine- I thought it was ridiculous to have a sound machine that I could control through my phone with all kinds of lights, sounds, okay to wake clock, etc. but nope, it’s amazing. I can lay in bed and raise the sound if there’s a thunderstorm coming, pop on the light if we have a sick baby and need to check on her, and so on. We’re 2 years in and still use it daily. I look forward to the okay to wake feature, too!

    – Second the Ubbi diaper pail. We love it for her nursery so we don’t have to take the diaper trash out daily.

    – Honest company diaper cream- We’ve tried a few of the more natural diaper cream brands, but Honest co is the only one that actually glides on nicely.

    – Foldable outdoor picnic blanket- This thing folds up to the size of an envelope and has a waterproof backing. It’s perfect for picnics in the park, changing diapers when out, putting on a wet set, whatever. We’ve used it a ton.

    • Katie says...

      Omg, I second the hatch, it’s amazing. The OK to wake made transitioning to a toddler bed seem less!

    • SC says...

      We got the Hatch two or so years ago (kiddo is almost 4) and let me tell you: LIFESAVER for older toddlers! We have all sorts of settings programmed so that our son knows when he can get out of bed and turn on his light, when he can leave his room, when it’s time to sleep. I’m sure a big part of our success is our rule-loving child, but man. The extra few minutes of sleep daily and a kid who isn’t constantly hollering “Is is wakeup time yet??” is PRICELESS.

    • Eva says...

      I second Honest Co. for their diaper cream—no spatula required. I use it mainly when my lil one gets some redness or irritation. For daily post-poo cleaning, I love Earth Mama Organics diaper balm. Smells so good and I remember in the early days it would INSTANTLY soothe her!

  88. Amber Leigh says...

    A much more earth/baby friendly alternative to Aquaphor which we love is Earth Mama Organics Nose and Cheek Balm (also their diaper balm is legit!). Also a huge fan of Babo Botanicals Sensitive Baby Healing Ointment – we used it on our boy when he was having a little bit of eczema because I wasn’t comfortable using a steroid cream and it worked like a dream.

    We’ve tried three diaper pails because we are neurotic and have to say the least stinky of the bunch has gotta be the Munchkin. I personally think the Diaper Genie was sub par in terms of stink minimizing.

    • tina crisas says...

      I think babo botanicals are the best products! Free of nasty ingredients and work incredibly well, we especially love the moisturizing conditioner for my toddler girl (along with nearly everything else) I always re purchase.

    • Ann-Marie Polozova says...

      I use Earth Mama everything and love them! Diaper balm, nipple balm, face and cheek balm…

  89. Jackie says...

    My daughter grew out of everything in five seconds, so I also recommend trying to buy as much as you can used. Save your $$$ and hire a postpartum doula, night doula, food delivery, etc. Also, babies really vary in what works for them. I ended up loving the Breast Friend nursing pillow and a yoga ball (those big ones you bounce the baby on to get them to chill out). I did so much carseat and stroller research- she hated both and we sized up from the infant seat at 4 months and barely used the stroller. I also bought the Guava Lotus pack and play, which is very cool, but hasn’t been used that much to justify the price over a regular pack and play.

  90. G says...

    Thank you for sharing this! I’m expecting my first in November and the amount of stuff you’re supposed to buy is truly staggering and overwhelming.

    Also so glad to see the nose Frida on here. I first heard about them during my pediatrics residency in what we call ‘respiratory season,’ when all the colds and flus are going around and land some infants in the hospital. I gave the senior physician (who was also a Mom) some major side eye when she brought it up- it just sounds so gross. But honestly? It works, and really does a great job of helping babies breathe more comfortably through colds. Now I recommend it to every family I care for in the peds ER and ward where I work :)

  91. Devorah says...

    My 2nd baby just turned 1 yesterday (how did that happen?!), these are my essentials:
    – Wipe-clean changing mat on the dresser instead of a changing table. Skip the cloth cover that will just need to be washed all the time. And a wipe-clean mat that folds up in the diaper bag for on-the-go changes.
    – Huggies wipes are easy to pull out of the package one-handed, without accidentally pulling out a whole string of wipes. Super important!
    – Cat & Jack sleepers from Target are cheap, cute, and feature zippers that start at the toe, so you can change a diaper without taking the whole thing off. Plus they have cute unisex patterns (and even the “boy” patterns are subtle and not ridiculously gendered with footballs and trucks like some other brands.)
    – Silicone bibs with a pocket are a must! They wash clean in the sink or dishwasher, and the pocket prevents the food from getting all over baby’s lap, especially when they are old enough to start feeding themselves. Pick a bib with a secure “button” style closure so they can’t just yank it off.
    – Sound machine!! We got a simple inexpensive one 3 years ago and it’s still going strong
    – freezable lunch/snack bags. Keep them in the freezer and use to transport milk/premixed bottles, or snacks as the baby gets older. I find it easier not to resort to unhealthy packaged food with a freezable bag that can keep fruit, cheese, etc. safely chilled when we go to the park.
    – Halo Sleep Sack, the newborn version with “wings”. Don’t struggle with swaddling the old-fashioned way with blankets like the hospital nurses, you’ll just wake up to see the baby surrounded with loose blankets and feel anxious and guilty. Just stick with this one–you zip the baby in and then swaddle their arms with the velcro wings, it’s secure and safe. When they are too old to swaddle, you can just wrap the wings across the chest for a snug secure feeling.
    – Less is more when it comes to toys, IMO, but the best ones for babies are O-Ball balls and rattles, links sets (also useful for attaching toys to the stroller), Infantino textured ball set, and basic stacking cups. Bring a couple of these along in your diaper bag wherever you go.

    • Justine says...

      We are mom twins! I have loved almost all of these items. My kids are 2 and 4, we still LOVE our sound machine and buy it for every new parent we know. I also sing the praises of the cat and jack zip from the bottom sleepers to all new moms. :)

      My #1 item after a sound machine is a ring sling! I didn’t try it til my second and I so regret that. It made newborn life literally 100x easier, made naps a breeze, and eased so much guilt when I needed to do something that required 2 hands. Definitely worth the learning curve!

      For breastfeeding moms, I would also add the Haakaa silicone pump (I was able to capture so much let down milk in the early days when you just…leak….SO….much!) and reusable breast pads.

    • Natalie says...

      My youngest is 2 and I agree with all your recs!!!

      Plus – Instead of a diaper trash can we just use a small Ikea trash can with a flip lid, lined with an old grocery store plastic bag and tie it up and take it out every morning. Saves so much money and doesn’t stink up the bathroom.

      Also – we had tiny heiny toilet seats fitted in our powder room downstairs and kids bathroom. No more cleaning out poop filled potties (gag) and with both kids and their friends and cousins we will use them for years.

  92. I love all of these ideas! It would be fun to see a post on parents who have adopted and how they manage purchasing stuff ahead of time/or not. My wife and I are currently in the adoption process and we’re too nervous to buy anything because so many things can go wrong! I’d love to hear how others have managed that :)

    • Stacy says...

      We were in the same boat as you, and we didn’t buy anything beforehand. We had an amazon list of things ready to go with things we had researched ahead of time. Once things were finalized with our adoption, we did a late night Target run (And found a very helpful sales person) and then started purchasing things from our amazon list.

    • Jackie says...

      I am adopting and agree about not buying much in advance. I have a few amazon and target lists with various items so hopefully I can just click “complete purchase” and be ready quickly. Also researching items seems to be a good thing to do with my anxiety while we wait. But it can also be sad when you choose the perfect stroller and then realize it’s sold out because you are still waiting… Adoption is way tougher than I thought. My thoughts and hope are with you!

    • My husband and I adopted last year. We had a bassinet, pack n play, baby bathtub, etc sitting in our future nursery for years in advance because friends would pass stuff on for “someday.” Ditto for toys and clothes. When we did finally adopt our 18 month old, we ended up giving some things away and donating some things but it was wonderful to have a little store in advance! Adoption can happen so quickly (ours was less than a week from finding out to bringing our guy home), it brings huge peace of mind to have some things already purchased.

      One other thought, we “cocooned” for the first six weeks with our son (no one in the home besides my husband and I, no one else held him or met his needs, etc. to help him attach to us as his parents) — those long parental leave cocoon days left a lot of time for online shopping to get whatever we were quickly realizing we needed.

    • Ally says...

      We adopted last year and were in the same boat, I was terrified to buy anything because of the “what if’s.” Eventually we did buy the essentials, here is the list I still have in my phone for the items we took with us. Our son was born in a different state so we had a two-week stay in a hotel waiting for ICPC clearance to come though. Sending you and all the other hopeful adoptive parents lots of hugs, it’s so challenging to manage emotions during the wait.

      Car seat
      Seat protector for under car seat
      Mirror for above car seat
      Onesies
      Sleeper onesies
      Travel bassinet
      Diapers
      Wipes
      Travel changing pad
      Bottles
      Pacifiers
      Thermometer
      Swaddles
      Burp rags
      Tummy time matt
      Diaper bag/backpack
      White noise machine
      Baby books for us to read

    • Christine says...

      We didn’t adopt, but our first daughter passed away late in the pregnancy. With my second pregnancy, I refused to have any baby-related purchases in the house (the thought of having to return things again was too much to handle). We purchased a carseat, bassinet, diapers, wipes, and some onesies online when I was hospitalized for preterm labor. Once she was born, a friend did a Target run for us for diaper cream, bottle cleaning brush, swaddles and some other basics. You really don’t need much the first few weeks. :) Good luck!!

    • Hope says...

      We had 48 hours notice before bringing our baby home! Thankfully we had the basics stashed away already as friends had given us the pack n play, baby clothes, and even diapers their child had grown out of. We did a late night Target run for a few more items and the hospital sent us home with a bunch of formula. Friends threw us baby showers afterwards, mostly books as gifts as we’d bought what we needed by then. Amazon was our friend.

    • Thank you for all the wonderful tips! I never even thought to have a list of items to buy when the waiting is over. I’m very grateful for all your tips and thoughts :)

  93. Michelle says...

    Love this post! And as the parent of a newly-minted one year old, I agree with all of these. I’d also add our Keekaroo Peanut changer– THE BEST, so easy to wipe clean and wash with soap and water if you get poop on it. (Which you will. You will! Just accept it!)

    Two more tips:

    1) Buy EVERYTHING on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace! So many baby goods are very lightly used, or have a short lifespan. We bought almost everything secondhand, in perfect condition: our stroller, baby carrier, change mat, Baby Bjorn bouncer….

    2) Do not buy baby toys! What a pointless category. Anything in your house that’s not a choking hazard can be a baby toy. My kid loves silicone spatulas, plastic sunglasses, tupperware, velvet scrunchies, an old Rubik’s Cube… honestly, they just want novelty. Now that she’s one she has a set of brightly-coloured plastic cups for stacking, a box of giant lego blocks, and a handful of stuffed animals we received as gifts. But she still loves the spatula.

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      Yes! Tupperware, silicone bowl covers, and cardboard paper-towel rolls are some of Margot’s favorite “toys.” I’ve often thought of asking my friends to save their paper-towel rolls for me.

    • Alexandra says...

      In the category of “things in the kitchen that make great toys” the top spot in our house goes to: THE SALAD SPINNER. Do you know what Duplos or Hot Wheels look like in a salad spinner? Because I do… along with just about every other thing you can possibly think of.

    • Ashley says...

      Hahaha my kids (almost 4 and 1) just discovered the salad spinner yesterday when I was cleaning lettuce and went crazy for it. Will def bring it back out to spin some toys.

  94. Meli says...

    highly recommend Little Nomad’s baby mats. They are beautiful, elegant, child friendly without screaming kids zone! https://www.little-nomad.com/

  95. Savannah says...

    The wipe warmer made me smile! I felt the exact same way but my husband had one strong opinion about baby items and that was it, so a warmer was purchased. My second baby is ten months and the warmer just died (I offered to replace it but he’s okay at this point).

    I felt it was so hard being a first time parent in terms of knowing what you need! When we went in for our first follow up with my second I put a diaper and two wipes literally in my jacket pocket and threw the baby in a sling. We ran into our normal pediatrician in the waiting room who was in for a check up with her first baby and she had her purse, a full travel stroller get up, and a diaper bag. No matter how much experience you have with kids nothing is enough to prepare you for the unknown of becoming a parent! Seeing her was like looking at me four years ago.

  96. Christina says...

    Before I had my first baby and was also “aggressive googling” (made me laugh!) to complete my baby registry, my cousin who has had 5 babies, told me all I really needed for a baby was Q-tips and spit. That is gross and unhelpful and she was kidding(?), but it also convinced me that I was very much overdoing it and helped me scale way back.

    The Nosefrida is everything! I still use it on my 2 year old. And, yes diaper pail! We have a Diaper Genie, which I also didn’t plan to buy thinking it was unnecessary. It was gifted to us and I am grateful every day. Almost six years later from our first baby and the same one is still in use. I was also hellbent on no pacifiers, but after three sleepless days, we learned it was the only thing that soothed our newborn long enough to sleep. If your baby is the same, buy the ones that glow in the dark. You’ll be so grateful in the middle of the night when you can’t find the stupid thing.

    We don’t have a dishwasher, so a countertop sanitizer was key for bottles, pacifiers, and toys. We had the Cuisinart Electric Baby Bottle Sterlizer, and we kept it around to sterilize whatever needed an extra cleaning long after the bottle phase. We didn’t get a bottle warmer for baby #1, but it was a nice convenience for baby #2 and much quicker than submerging in hot water or stove-top warming.

    For baby #1, we also had a full size baby tub with all the bells and whistles and it was such a pain to fill and clean and store. For baby #2, we got an Angelcare Baby Bath Support and it was soooo much easier. I put her in it and gave her a bath in the regular tub with our handheld shower attachment to clean and rinse her. When she got past the newborn stage but couldn’t reliably sit on her own, I could also prop her in it in the regular tub and give her and her toddler sister baths at the same time (or prop her in it while I took a shower myself!).

  97. Sarah says...

    This is funny to me, because with my almost 1-year-old a wipe warmer is a must have (we use cloth wipes, so we wet a bunch then stick them in the warmer for easy access), we don’t use any diaper creams, and our baby prefers to eat food with his hands or from a spoon. Just goes to show that every parent and baby is different.

    • alexis says...

      Every parent and baby is different – 100 times this. I remember desperately searching for a magical sleep solution with my first and trying so many different options that were guaranteed to work, that had parents raving about them. The merlin suit worked with her. Then second baby came so I thought sure, it’s figured out, just pop her in the merlin. Nope, no thanks, not going to happen. Second baby wasn’t a fan, and I realized that it wasn’t me that was failing every time some much-loved product or recommendation didn’t work for us; it’s just that every baby’s different, and what’s on your must-have list may not be what’s on mine, and that’s ok.

    • kath says...

      agreed. my mom, a mother of four, swears by diaper warmers haha

    • Eva says...

      My high-tech wipe warmer is breathing heavily once or twice on the Water Wipes :)

  98. Megan says...

    As a mom of two kids with highly sensitive skin, one who got a diaper rash so bad it blistered, I have to add that Calmoseptine is the best diaper cream out there. It cures any hint of redness in one day.

  99. Annie says...

    When my husband went to Japan I asked him to bring back a baby electric toothbrush and electric nose mucus sucker. Both life changing as the electric mucus sucker is powerful and good at getting boogers too. The electric toothbrush has soft, tiny brush head with rainbow colored lights that’s fun and does the job well.

  100. Emily says...

    Might I recommend Lanolips multi balm in lieu of Aquaphor? I used Aquaphor for yeaaaaaaars with my little ones (they’re 7 and 9 now) and there’s a lot of bad press about petroleum-based products. Not only that, I found out that Aquaphor doesn’t even really moisturize, it just forms a barrier.

    Enter Lanolips – which uses lanolin (which many mamas myself included used during nursing!) and actually moisturizes!!! We’ve switched our Aquaphor to this: https://lanolips.com/products/101-ointment-multipurpose-superbalm

    One good tip I received from my pediatrician was to reapply aquaphor overnight while the baby is sleeping! That way he/she won’t rub it off. That really made a difference when my kiddos had a raw nose when they were sick. I still do it!!

    • Calla says...

      I don’t have kids but love lanolin for cuticles, lips, etc. If you get the generic brand at target its way way cheaper than lanolips, and literally the exact same thing. It’s usually labeled as nipple cream, but its still just 100% lanolin

  101. The first thing that came to mind was our Dohm white noise machine. A lot of parents told us this was a must-have item and I 100% agree. Our son is 2 and still uses it every nap and nighttime. Now he tells me to turn it off if I start singing my bedtime song and it’s not on! So he’ll probably have it forever! Ha!

    We are minimalists so really thought hard about what we truly needed for the baby. We also were lucky to be on the receiving end of a whole lot of hand-me-downs, and we continue to get lots of great stuff from friends! I look forward to giving all the clothes and baby stuff away after our 2nd baby grows out of them!

    • Caitlin says...

      Yes yes yes to white noise machine, especially if you live in an apartment or smaller space.

    • Jeannie says...

      Yep! We still use the white noise machine for our 4 year old and now we have one (in our bedroom) too! Also, we travel with it :)

  102. Liz S says...

    ok. so, i don’t have kids but i need that baby bum brush to apply my heel balm to my feet! thanks for the tip!

  103. Cyd says...

    SNOO. Hands down the most sanity saving device I ever had with my newborn. My husband and I laughed at the expensive bassinet (who really needs a $1000 bassinet he will outgrow in 6 months?). Fast forward 3 weeks of life and we are both hallucinating zombies desperate for any reprieve.

    Just… calculate how much a night nurse and marriage counseling will set you back and you realize the SNOO is quite reasonable.

    • K says...

      Cannot agree more. I know it is such a luxury, but wow was it effective and, as you said, absolutely sanity saving.

    • Amy says...

      I would forgo all over baby products including diapers in favor of the Snoo. We genuinely would not have survived without it!

    • Sarah says...

      Yes! And there’s a big market for used SNOOs in most areas – we bought ours for $500 and have lent it out a bunch of times. I’m hoarding it in our garage in case we have another babe.

    • Tara says...

      I came here to suggest the Snoo and add that you can now rent them! We did pre-COVID, so I’m not sure what additional de-germing precautions are necessary (though I’m guessing the company is taking them). But our beloved baby would.not.sleep at all at night. Like at all. And she would only sleep on you during the day if she was on you, which terrified me as I was so exhausted and petrified I was going to fall asleep on top of her. And I have longstanding depression and anxiety that are generally well-managed but I tend to go off the rails with little sleep. I ended up ordering the Snoo at 3 am our first week home and was laughing (okay, really laughing maniacally and hysterically sobbing because postpartum hormones) thinking about how many middle-of-the-night orders of desperation come in. It was truly life-changing and I cannot recommend it enough for babies with sleep issues. And the beauty of the rental option is that you can return it after a month if it doesn’t work for your baby.

  104. Ramona says...

    All good picks! I recently retired after 27 years in the child care field (mostly with infants) and these would help the day(s) go a little smoother. p.s. …sing, sing, sing to your little ones! ??

    • Sasha L says...

      Preschool teacher (and mom) here, I heartily agree with singing!!!

      And routines. Consistency.
      Some kind of carrier or wrap, like a sleepy wrap or ergo. A back pack when baby is big enough.
      Sounds machines.

  105. Lisa says...

    Good recommendations and it’s nice to have a succinct list! Just have to disagree about the wipe warmer. Our wipes never dried out and my daughter, who would scream and cry when a cold wipe touched her, was totally chill with the warm wipes. I found diaper changes to be super stressful with a tiny newborn but the wipe warmer really helped in our case! It’s hard to know in advance though, every baby is so different. I’d suggest borrowing stuff like a wipe warmer if possible, since it may be used a lot (like in my case) or not at all.

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      That’s a great idea! We inherited/borrowed tons of stuff, but it never occurred to me the wipe warmer was an option. It wasn’t an issue for us, but I see lots of parents here swear by it! I stand corrected!

    • Lisa says...

      same poster here just replying to Kelsey’s comment – we got our wipe warmer new (totally didn’t occur to me to try to borrow one initially!). When my daughter was a bit older and not so picky about about the warm wipes, we loaned ours to a friend with a newborn. It’s been two years and the wipe warmer is still being passed around! I totally agree that 90% of baby items (except for creams, nose frieda, perhaps as exceptions) can be borrowed or found used. We got a very slightly used “new-ish” uppababy stroller model with the infant carseat together on craigslist for $200 total. I’m SO glad I didn’t buy a new expensive stroller, especially living in a city and walking everywhere with it, they get a bit trashed (we replaced 3 wheels in one year!). Anyway, again, great list, thanks!

  106. Hilary says...

    The BundleMe! Every time I see parents with babies covered in a million blankets, I just wanna ship a BundleMe to their door. It’s the easiest, safest, chicest (not that it really matters, but it’s a nice touch) way to keep your kid warm during cold winter walks. It’s like a fuzzy little pita pocket for your baby that just stays in your car seat for whenever you go outside. I’m not a huge advocate of buying a lot for babies, but this is the one you must have, forever, the end, amen. Because walks outside, no matter the weather, are good for both of you!

    https://www.target.com/p/jj-cole-bundle-me-original-heather-gray/-/A-75562709?ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google_pla_df&fndsrc=tgtao&CPNG=PLA_Baby%2BShopping&adgroup=SC_Baby_High%2BMargin&LID=700000001170770pgs&network=g&device=c&location=9028731&ds_rl=1242884&ds_rl=1246978&ds_rl=1248099&gclid=CjwKCAjw9vn4BRBaEiwAh0muDBcDorUx6uRHKLqT9CUze_l-_erGz5LR5ZeLYYpZJ2l7zS1kc4vJ-hoCMtQQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

    • Christina says...

      Yes! I had a winter baby and scored the JJ Cole Bundle Me at Marshall’s. It was so much easier than a snow suit to keep her warm and safer too since the car seat straps could still be firmly against her, and I wasn’t constantly having to dress and undress her. Highly recommend!

  107. Annie says...

    To go along with the NoseFrida, the FridaBaby Windi was a godsend with my second, who was really gassy/colicky. Kind of gross at first (make sure you have lots of wipes for easy clean-up!) but it is such a wonderful feeling to be able to provide an uncomfortable baby some relief.

  108. Megan Lec says...

    I also love the nose frida, zipper pajamas, and aquaphor for anything and everything. We love the Butt Paste brand for our diaper rash needs and I’m not familiar with that swaddle but any swaddle that can unzip from top or bottom will save you so much time and headache. We actually swear by our wipe warmer, it was an urgent prime purchase with our first son that made middle of the night changings less painful for all parties involved. My other holy grail purchases that I always gift moms to be are water wipes, dr brown bottles and pacifiers, medela hand pump and hakaa, and Gatorade and cliff bars for mom.

    • Morgane says...

      Our kids are just about the same age!

      My most used item that I didnt expect was the Pack and Play. That thing got set up in our living room and hasn’t moved except for rare overnight trips to visit family. But we use that thing for everything. It is our safe zone for our curious, crawling baby and I love it!

    • Sarah says...

      ZIPPER JAMMIES! Every time I see someone register for button PJs I think, “On your third night of waking up every two hours? Yeah… we learned that lesson the *hard* way.” Our favorite are from Primary.

      I’m also gonna toss in a recommendation for 1-2 extra large, quality muslin swaddles (we have Milkbarn and Margaux & May). Yeah, they can be pricey, but it’s a swaddle, blanket, burp cloth, nursing cover, car seat cover… we had three really nice ones with our first, we used them through our second, and I’m getting ready to hand them down to my sister for her first. They’re still holding up very nicely!

  109. MD says...

    Margot is the cutest, and Kelsey is one of my favourite writers. A winning combo.

  110. Rachael Schiffman says...

    This is a great list. I personally hated the nose Frida and stopped using it and always advise against buying a diaper pail (the smell!) but we live in Los Angeles where our outside garbage is much more accessible than in New York so that may make a difference. If you have easy access to your outside (not a huge building), you don’t need the pail. I’ve survived (and am still surviving) two in diapers without one!

  111. Sandra says...

    I love Kelsey’s writing !! Also Joanna is credited as the author of the article, I don’t know if it’s a bug or not ?

    For a baby mat I also raked my brain for ages and I eventually just bought…a second yoga mat (mine was quite thick). I just spread them along and it works fine !

    I agree with the yoga ball (you can use it during pregnancy, works wonders for the back) and I would add a baby carrier (or wrap/scarf/… whatever works for you) that you can use with newborns, it saved us many many nights with a colicky baby.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh yes, the byline was a mistake, changing now! thank you!

  112. julie says...

    Coconut oil for diaper changes! Poo wipes off VERY easily, baby’s skin stays lovely, and never any diaper rash. Plus, who doesn’t want their baby to smell like coconuts??

  113. V says...

    I believe the byline is incorrectly attributed to Joanna. ❤️

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      fixing now, thank you so much!!

  114. Meg says...

    The booger vacuum is great.

    I got ours when my 4yo still was not blowing his nose. (That took a while and it was funny because it was such an outlier to the rest of what he did/understood)

  115. Sofia says...

    That play mat is a good find! Wow, wish I had seen that.

    My biggest recommendation is to buy used. I have saved so much money this way as a new parent. Especially for ugly pieces of plastic like the Fisher-Price Jumparoo, that I refused to buy new for $100. Craigslist for the win. I’ve also found a lot of great things on Poshmark — sleep sacks, jolly jumper, a diaper backpack, you name it. I’ve gotten so many things half off or more, often barely used at all. And yes, I’m still doing this during COVID — as long as you can wash it off.

    Here are a few of our must-haves:

    Agree the nose frida is amazing. There is another brand I thought worked even better and uses a tissue not proprietary pieces of foam, called the baby comfy. Highly recommend.

    Another item I really love (that yes, I bought used) is the bity bean carrier. It’s not big and bulky like the baby bjorn or ergo, but that’s the point. It’s small, easy to put on, and worked really well to get my daughter down three flights of stairs in the winter while she had her snow suit on, and works great now to wade into the ocean.

    A wipeable changing mat. We have the keekaroo peanut but there are now cheaper versions from skip hop and bumbo. This thing has saved so much laundry and frustration. You just wipe it clean.

    Puracy baby stain removal. Gets all the stains out, every time. I’m a devotee and buy this for all my friends who have babies.

    UpChoose – UpChoose is a great company who is solving a three pronged problem – how to get your baby dressed (in soft cotton clothes) without wasting tons of money (and time) buying clothes for your baby that you don’t want to keep once they serve their short life. UpChoose will send you a new set of age-appropriate clothes every 3 months for $49/month. It’s cheaper and far easier for me than guessing how many onesies to buy only to buy too much of one type and not enough of another. Plus, recycling is better for the planet.

    • Lillian Chang says...

      I completely agree about buying secondhand or accepting hand-me-downs! Best decision ever – kids clothing and toys are often so lightly used, they’re usually in near perfect condition! I’d recommend finding a secondhand store nearby or joining a FB group of buy/swap/trade for kids’ items. You really save so much money, it’s better for the environment – it’s a win-win all around!

    • J Ray says...

      I heartily agree to buying used or putting word out to your friends that you’d welcome hand-me-downs. Not only are you saving money and experimenting with lots of different clothes, toys, carriers, etc until you find what works…you will be so much more chill if things break, get dirty, get lost, etc. My kids are 3 and 5 and I still ask for hand-me-downs and shop secondhand because of the peace of mind I enjoy when they are so hard on toys and clothes.

  116. Ellie says...

    11 weeks pregnant with my second, and I’m already so excited to purchase/get back from friends the baby items we used for baby #1: Velcro swaddlers (I could never figure out how to swaddle with just a blanket like our amazing nurses), pacifiers, and Desitin for diaper rash. I think that’s all we truly needed for the first six months. I was disappointed in all of the baby toys/rattles/activity mats that went ignored and the baby wipe warmer that went unused. Oh well!

    For a toddler you need even less! Patience, a rotating collection of toys, and a good park or walking path close by.

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      Thank you! Do you know if they sell patience at Buy Buy Baby?

    • Kay says...

      And snacks! God damn, my 15 month old always wants to eat a snack, but gives me the hardest time during meal times.

  117. Elizabeth says...

    Agreeeeee on zipper jams, nose Frida, and the skin creams (if your kid need it! We got lucky and barely used). But …we got an Ubbi on many recommendations…and 18 months in (really it started almost a year ago) it permanently stinks! Do they all stink? Is it our user error? Our extra gross baby?

    • Jana says...

      We had one too and it smelled terrible after a year with one kid! I got rid of it and replaced it with a cheap trashcan that still smells fine 3 years and another kid later.

    • Shelby says...

      I find that you have to air it out overnight every so often. Plus, we throw a carbon odor absorbing thing in the bottom to assist. Ours still smells slightly funky when you open the can/stick your head in, but the room doesn’t ever smell at all – so I’d call that good enough!

    • Stacey says...

      They all stink, but the metal doesn’t stink as soon (you get much longer usage without the constant stink) AND it is fully sanitize-able (the metal doesn’t hold anything like plastic does). They are all gross, because poop is gross- even baby poop.

    • Mk says...

      Yeah, same– our Ubbi just smells so awful, so I would definitely recommend AGAINST getting a hand-me-down. I’ve never had another diaper pail, so I only know Ubbi, but I’m assuming other diaper pails might let the smell escape more? And it’s true, you don’t really smell it when the pail is closed. But once you open it up–holy crap. Stench. Even with those charcoal bags inside, diaper pail freshener spray, putting it outside periodically.

  118. CaraM says...

    I would just like to add that for adults, the Weleda Diaper Cream was recommended to me to help get rid of stubborn dermatitis (in this case the perioral and perioccular variety). I can confirm that it worked for me – and dermatitis is notorious for being hard to treat.

    • Ashley says...

      We love Zoe Organics diaper balm. Similar to Kelsey, whenever we run out and buy other popular ones from the grocery store, our kids get a diaper rash. Another plus is it doesn’t Get stuck on your fingers not is it hard to scrub off. It’s just awesome.

  119. Emma says...

    Thank you Kelsey! Adding all of these to my registry.

    Now to find a stroller….. If anyone has recs for a stroller they love that is relatively lightweight (20ish lbs?), has a seat that can face front and back, clicks in with infant car seats and/or a bassinet attachment, and isn’t $1000, I am all ears.
    (I live in a 5th floor walkup and while we plan to leave the stroller under the stairs on the first floor, I still have to handle getting it up off the street in one arm with a baby in a carseat/bassinet in the other. Help!!)

    • Elizabeth says...

      Check out mountain buggy nano. We didn’t use w the infant carseat, but you allegedly can (with straps not clicks). It folds up tiny and fits in airplane (remember those) overhead compartments. This is key because then you don’t have to gate check so you aren’t the last to leave the gate upon arrival.

    • Sofia says...

      We have the babyzen yoyo which is very light, folds up small (even with the bassinet attachment) and can pair with a car seat. It’s not the cheapest but we really love it.

      If you want one that faces front and back check out the Cybex Eezy S twist. Looks like it could fit the bill for you!

      And I’d also recommend a bity bean carrier. I love this thing. Helps you get your kid upstairs safely and lets you have two hands free. The carrier is tiny and you can stuff it in a jacket pocket.

    • lemonade says...

      Baby Jogger City Mini! They have different versions, but ours was under $200. I say all the time it was our best purchase. It navigates so well in tight and uneven city spaces, and it folds super easily. You can do it with one hand while holding the baby or the car seat in the other. Once, in the security line at the airport, a teenager behind me actually let out a “whoa!” as I folded it. I have to bring it up a set of stairs from the street, and while it’s not my favorite activity, its always been doable. Good luck!

    • Ashley says...

      We LOVE our uppababy baby cruz. We are on our second child and still love it. It’s 21 lbs, so a bit on the heavy side, but not heavy for a full size stroller. We take it up and down one flight of stairs and it’s not a problem. (We don’t fold it to go in and out but rather bounce it down the steps on the rear wheel…sounds weird but works well). Seat is forward or backwards, can be used from birth with a snug seat (or car seat or bassinet (which is extra)), and has a huge basket. Fits a second child with the ride board. Expensive but worth it IMO.

    • Rachael Schiffman says...

      Valco Baby Snap. I have the double and purchased it largely because it was the most lightweight double that I could find. I am sure the single is even lighter. You don’t need a bassinet, it lies flat and you can put newborn right in it – I did with my second.

    • Michelle says...

      IMO, you should pick a pricy model you like (try some out if there are any baby shops open near you, or ask friends to try theirs) and then look on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. We bought our Uppababy Vista that way (I love it but it’s a little heavier than you want)— they’re over $1200 CAD new, but we got one in excellent condition for $550.

    • Gibby says...

      Check out mockingbird….direct to consumer stroller company. I haven’t used fancier strollers so can’t compare but you cannot beat the price and what you get of Mockingbird. I have used it with a Chicco car seat and it did great, now the little one is in the stroller seat and we love it. You can switch back and forth. 11 months in and we are incredibly happy. We live in the city too, so rocky sidewalks and toting into the car to get to nicer trails and adventures and it’s great. Consider it!

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      Thank you! I see you’ve got some stroller recs, but wanted to chime in and say we got the Babyzen Yoyo — which is not $1k, but is not cheap either. It is incredibly light and compact though, and we knew we wouldn’t have to buy another stroller down the line. One thing I wish I’d thought of was buying the 6-months-and-up model, and asking around local parent groups for the newborn accessories — or other accessories, like the rain cover. I’m sure I could have gotten them used. Might be worth considering.

    • Rachel says...

      We’ve had or used most of those mentioned here with our Boston kiddos – the mountain buggy nano, babyzen yoyo, cybex eezy S Twist, all the uppababys (g-lite, cruz, vista). My strongest recommendation is for the mountain buggy nano or the babyzen yoyo though I’d probably go with the latter. They’re both very lightweight, fold up to carry-on size, work with a carseat, and can recline (so important for naps on the go). Baby faces you when using a carseat and faces out otherwise. Though we have the swivel feature on the cybex, we never use it because baby always wants to look out. I found the Uppababy cruz and vista to be insanely heavy and bulky and expensive – big waste of money when lightweight strollers can provide all the same functionality at a more convenient weight.

    • Emma says...

      thank you everyone!!! these suggestions are so so helpful <3 <3 <3

    • Lauren says...

      We picked the Colugo – a newish direct to consumer company. Our travel system (stroller + Clek car seat) cost $789 but they offer a payment plan and a 100 day trial period for you to road test it. It was actually recommended to me by a new-mama friend of mine who was also an NYC nanny for many years and had tried out EVERY stroller on the market basically! We haven’t received it yet so can’t give a personal review but I am really excited about it!

  120. Ryan says...

    “That’s more than what I paid for my desk. Where I work. To make money. To buy things for that little spidermonkey.” OMG! Laughed out loud at my desk. Thank you for this on a foggy Monday.

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      Haha, thank you for not judging me for calling my baby a spidermonkey!

  121. Jan W says...

    What a lovely informative article. My best friend’s daughter is expecting baby #1 and I am going to send her some of these products. Nothing like experience to pick out the best items going forward, and not wasting a lot of money on junk. Thank you.

  122. Caroline says...

    Thank you for this! And Help! I’m expecting in <2 weeks and at a total loss for nursing bras/tops/nightgowns/pants (? are there nursing pants?) . The Elie McPherson ones Joanna recommends are no longer available. Any recommendations? And how many of each should I start out with?

    • Elizabeth says...

      Target! And get a “wrap dress” style bra that you can pull aside for sleeping/never leaving the house.

    • Kristen says...

      Hi Caroline! I ended up living in nursing camis rather than bras. Then I could lift up whatever top I was wearing over them while I was feeding. Then your top kind of acts as a cover and the cami is keeping your tummy covered so it’s not like you’re sitting there without a shirt on. https://www.amazon.com/Camiseta-lactancia-sujetador-integrado-ajustable/dp/B07L3KDDNM/ref=sr_1_10?crid=1KQITTOAFSWOZ&dchild=1&keywords=nursing+cami&qid=1595867136&sprefix=nursing+cami%2Caps%2C343&sr=8-10

    • Michaela says...

      I’m wearing motherhood maternity nursing bras for the day and the kindred bravely sleeping bra at night. I’ve enjoyed wearing draw string pants (linen or chambray) with some vneck shirts. These feel like PJs but brighten the day a bit. Congrats on your baby! Me and baby Fiona are thinking of you!

    • Lillian Chang says...

      Agree – I loved the Boob tops! As for dresses, I loved Seraphine (they have maternity and nursing), and I brand I discovered recently that I LOVE for pregnancy & nursing is Mien Studios (https://mienstudios.com/) Their pieces are so comfy, I still wear them & my kid is almost 2!

    • Amber Leigh says...

      I love the Storq nursing tanks and initially purchased two, then I ordered two more and they are still working great for me 14 months later! They are cute, comfy and super easy to unclip one handed.

    • Mac says...

      I have a 2 month old and have found myself wearing a button down top nearly every day. The easiest boob access! Also, during the early uncomfortable days of establishing breastfeeding I couldn’t stand wearing even a nursing bra (and l got a clogged duct when I did..SO painful). Instead, I wore a shape wear top, like Spanx, under my clothes. It gave some support to my chest, was stretchy enough to pull down to feed, and also supported my weird feeling core. Congratulations on your little one!

    • Eva says...

      My tip: you don’t HAVE to buy something specifically made/marketed as “nursing” friendly. (Okay except maybe the bra: I got 2 “normal” ones, 3 of cotton bras from Motherhood Maternity, and this Kindred Bravely one https://www.kindredbravely.com/products/scoopback-maternity-nursing-sleep-bra?variant=243638992920).

      “Nursing” clothes: regular wrap dresses and button-down dresses/shirts worked great for me! Also every shirt is a nursing shirt: just lift :) Took some time to get comfortable doing this out of the house, but once I was there, it was very freeing. What’s nice is the baby mostly covers you anyway. Once I got more comfortable with nursing generally, I never felt the need to bother with a privacy cover. (Though I recognize I also live in a liberal city where no one had the audacity to comment on my nursing in public. I know that’s not the case everywhere.) And loose cardigans/scarves/swaddles work in a pinch!

  123. Hands down one of the best purchases I made (even though we received billions of sweet burp cloths) was the Gerber cloth diaper set — like 10 for under $10. They’re more absorbent than anything in the world, and even now, far from the nursing/spit up/baby food stage, they do the impossible job of cleaning up my toddler in one swipe AND the table behind him.

  124. Lindsey says...

    A yoga ball! The perfect tool for bouncing babies to sleep, and you may already have one in your home. Works like a charm, every time :)

    • Amber Leigh says...

      We like to try and calculate how many bounces we’ve bounced since our son was born. Probably 5 million by now ?

  125. Katie says...

    Saving this for when I have a baby. Also, just gotta day that I Love Kelsey’s writing. She truly has gift even when it comes to taking about mucus!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha agreed!

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      This made my day! I’m gonna put this comment on my resume.

  126. liz says...

    I’m not expecting and don’t have any kiddos, but just wanted to say Margo is the. CUTEST! : )

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      she is so, so sweet. <3

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      She’s a peach alright. :)

    • liz says...

      ugh sorry for misspelling her name!! was a typo, I swear !