Babies require a lot of gear! I can’t even guess how many of these checklists I’ve read over the last five years—probably an embarrassing amount. For first-time parents, dipping your toes into the overwhelming amount of gear is tricky. I had no idea where to begin and what we’d really need. There are so many things to choose from and they come in so many varieties. And then it’s fairly inconvenient that newborns and babes are a very particular bunch (as are the parents that come with them!). Some babies take a bottle or pacifier, some don’t. Some love the swing, others scream.
The products you try to guess will be the favorites might end up in the giveaway pile, so there can be some guesswork. But I thought I’d take time to get down the items that have been so helpful to us. This is our comprehensive must have checklist 🙂 And I’ve created a printable registry checklist that’s at the bottom. Happy preparing!
A note on registering: Amazon and Target registries offer 15% off for anything that isn’t purchased, so if you’re figuring out which registry is best for you, keep the completion discounts in mind!
IN THE NURSERY
Crib or co-sleeper—love natural tones (like the Gelato by Babyletto) or this IKEA crib
Baby monitor—we’ve used multiple Motorola video baby monitors and this super basic VTech, the video was so nice to have for our first, but these days we are totally happy with a ‘just noise’ one 🙂
White noise machine—this one (by Dohm) has been great for us.
Great to have:
Bassinet or Moses basket—we have a Restoration Hardware basket for the early days
Mobile—Etsy has many beautiful ones (like this Natural and Neutral by TikTak Design)
TRAVEL/LEAVING THE HOUSE
Car Seat—we started out with the Britax B-Safe infant seat, which lasted us through our first two, and was simple and totally functional for us (and looks even cozier now). Then we went with the Uppababy Mesa for our third and absolutely love it. It feels so cushy, supportive and comes with an infant insert already.
Stroller (with car seat attachment if possible)—we have the Uppababy Vista, which conveniently clicks into our carseat without any attachments. It also is incredibly versatile.. you can add a seat, a ‘piggyback’ board for older kids to stand on. It was an investment piece for us, but we’ve gotten incredible use out of it! I write more about it on this post 🙂
Baby Carrier or Sling—we have a WildBird sling (Sparrow) which is nice for quickly getting baby on. We also have a multi-positional Ergo baby carrier, especially for back carrying.
Diaper Bag or Backpack—I’ve been all over the map with backpacks, diaper bags, downgrading to simply a purse, etc. In the newborn stage, it is seriously helpful to have everything on hand. I’ve been eyeing something new this go-around and love this Petunia Pickle Bottom backpack which has functionality for the big kids too (cold packs in the bottom!).
Great to have:
Pack-n-play—we love our Nuna Sena, which has lasted through three kids but is a little tired right now (we’ve used it nearly daily for five years!). It has a newborn insert so you don’t have to crouch down to put babe in. I’ve got the Nuna Cove Aire in my cart since we’ve loved it so much. The only difference is this one has a newborn insert that hugs baby, which my newborns have loved over lying flat.
Jogging stroller (or double if need be)—this item we didn’t get right away, but when Kate was born, we were given the Thule Urban Glide 2 (the double stroller). We love this thing, and have used it daily for almost three years, and it is still in great condition.
Activity center—there are so many different versions of ways to keep your infant entertained! We’ve had a few, some are way more aesthetically pleasing (depending on your preference) however the Bright Stars’ 2-in-1 Activity Center and Saucer that I’m linking here, I found to be a smart buy because it starts with the lay-down activity center and graduates to the saucer version, which is so helpful later.
Infant seat or newborn lounger—there are so many styles to choose from! We’ve used a couple different seats from Fisher Price this bouncer seat and this infant-to-toddler seat, the Bumbo seat, the similar Ingenuity seat and
Blanket/mat for playing or laying on floor—thick and cushioned activity mat, especially if you have hardwood or tile, are so helpful. This sweet HugeHug Playmat one has raised edges to keep them from rolling off, which happens faster than you think!
Baby-proofing essentials (here is a good list for that)
Great to have:
Swing—we borrowed this Graco Glider swing with our first but never actually purchased one. And while we don’t have the space for one at the moment, it was so nice to have, especially when your arms are tired from holding/rocking. The 4Moms mamaRoo is also extremely well-reviewed!
Diapers and wipes—we’ve liked so many, we’re using the Cloud Island brand for both diapers and wipes from Target right now.
Diaper rash ointment
Diaper changing pad with a couple covers—I always liked the velvety style like this one from Target.
Great to have:
Bottom spray—most of this section is fairly preferential however this bottom spray isn’t something I’ve seen everywhere! Honest Company has a great bottom spray that you use when you come across a super messy change sesh that pretty much replaces using soap and water.
Peepee teepee (for the boys!)—it’s some splashy business changing a newborn baby boy.
Check out my more thorough nursing essentials here!
Nursing pillow, nursing accessories—I’ve loved my Boppy pillows. Above I lay out all the different accessories I’ve found super helpful throughout.
Muslin blankets—for burp cloths and general constant clean up 😉 I’ve used Milkbarn, Aden & Anais and I’ve got these by Oliver & Rain on my list for baby brother.
Bottles and accessories, breast milk storage bags, etc. (here is a good list for that!)
High chair (for solid food)—we also use our Ingenuity seat for this.
Infant spoon (for solid food)
Crib bedding and blankets—We have some great crib sheet sets from Babyletto and I love this set from Cloud Island. We also have some beautiful blankets have been made for us (nothing replaces homemade gifts) and Etsy is another great spot to find something hand-crafted. We’ve also had great luck with our quilts and baby blankets from Anthropologie (love this one) and Crate and Kids, formerly Land of Nod (love this one too).
Waterproof mattress protector
Onesies—This is the main piece of clothing we dress our newborns in, along with a cozy blanket. I love our Pact organic onesies,
Footed pajamas, sleep sacks!—Halo Sleepsacks are amazing. These organic footed pajamas by L’ovedbaby are so soft. And we also have many Gap and Petit Lem jammies that have stood the test of time.
Swaddles—SwaddleMe (if you’re swaddling) are fantastic.
Baby tub or seat—we have this one from Angelcare so we can put baby in the bath with the big siblings.
Infant Motrin (we use dye-free)
Nosa Frida (personal fave, Frida baby)
Windi (trying this for the first time, also by Frida baby)
Grooming set (again, personal fave, Frida baby)
Great to have:
Great to have:
Clip-on toys for stroller or car seat
Crinkly toys—I love the Lamaze crinkly, clip-on toys for times in the car seat. We have a handful that I rotate through (I do a delicate wash and hang dry).
Teething toys—love the wooden options
– – – –
Click here for my newborn sleep survival tips!
Tips and gear for life with 3 children
And here for my nursing adventure with my first babe 🙂
Some of my pregnancy favorites
Favorites for the new mama