Help a CBB Reader!

04/02/2009 at 12:30 PM ET

Here at CBB, we get tons of emails daily, including some that have great questions from you, our readers! We’d like to think we always have the answers, but as we all know, two heads are often better than one. So we’re starting a new column, Help a CBB Reader!, that takes the questions you pose and opens them up to CBB readers for answers. Feel free to send any questions you have to cbbtips@gmail.com, with “Help a CBB Reader” in the subject line.

Here’s our inaugural question…

Dear CBB,

I am a daily reader of CBB, and my husband and I just found out we are expecting. You post so many amazing products that look so helpful for parents. I was wondering, what do you consider “Must Haves” for first-time mothers? My husband and I don’t know where to start and we would love to have an idea of some of the hottest and best products before our families start offering their opinions. Readers, what is the one product you found most useful as a first-time mom?

Sincerely, Anna P.

For some ideas, check out CBB Fashion & Gear for ideas on Strollers, Diaper Bags and Nursery products!

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Showing 73 comments

brannon on

Me too chair. (Bill and Ted?) skip the high chair – never ever used. Put me too chair right in diaper bag and used everywhere – never had to worry about restaurants w/o high chairs, dirty high chairs, family dinners, etc. hooked on to our table and worked til he was well over 2. never felt it was unsteady and didn’t ruin the table. i have bought them for every pregnant friend i’ve had.

Carolyn on

For us, it was probably the Baby Bjorn. She didn’t like slings or strollers, so she was in the Bjorn every single day for about 10 months.

Kelly on

I wish I had a REAL sling with my first baby. I had a cheap Snuggli and it just about killed my back by the time my daughter weighed 12 lbs (2-3 months). This time around I did my research and invested in 2 fantastic baby carriers. I couldn’t believe how easy slings are to use and how much more comfortable they are than the recognizable brand carriers (Snuggli, Baby Bjorn, etc) you see at the local big-box store. No comparison!! My hands-down favorites are my Hotsling pouch and my Ergo baby carrier. Ergo can be worn on the front or back, making it very versatile. I also love how the Ergo has a backpack that can attach right onto it, eliminating the need for a diaper bag all together most of the time. VERY useful when traveling alone. The Ergo costs around $100, but it is my most used piece of baby gear and to me worth every penny. Having hands free to wash dishes or cook supper with baby sleeping my back was the most liberating feeling. I love the close feeling of my daughter on my back. I will miss it so much when she’s too heavy to wear (she’s 30 lbs at 18 months and we’re still going)!

A new favorite find is the Snack trap. Brilliant!

Michelle on

We didn’t have a baby swing for our first child, but got one when our second was born. Not a necessity, I suppose, but it certainly was nice to have at times.

jacky on

it’s hard to pick just on, so i will tell you a few things that made me life with baby so wonderful:

-first my ergo baby carrier, yes it isn’t the most stylish, but boy is it comfortable(i have tried other…beware of the bjorn!). i love it and my son does too, he is now 16 months and we still use it frequently. it hold more weight than most carriers.

-second, get a bouncy/vibrating seat,any kind. when my son was small i would put him in it while i took a shower. between the vibrations, noisy from the shower and the steam he would go to sleep instantly.

-third, baby legs.they are adorable and great for doctor’s visits because you just need to roll them down, they give the baby a shot, put a tissue on it and roll the legging back up. It hold the tissue is place so you don’t get blood on anything- I found these to really be helpful when my son was 4 months and older because he would move around a lot and wouldn’t let me hold the tissue on his leg.

i wish you the best of luck! i am sure you will find some amazing products that you love and just can’t live without.

jacky on

i have to reply again after reading Kelly’s post…I so agree with the snack trap comment. that’s my newest obsession, i LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

Mom2boys on

Get the Baby Bjorn! I used slings too, but the Bjorn is just so convenient. I was able to do all sorts of things while the little one would nap away in the carrier.

jamie on

The SWING!! I can not tell you how much this helped me. We had the Graco rainforest swing. It was only around $80.00 worth every penny!!

Christine on

If you could only buy one baby item, it would have to be a carseat. Brand and cost are not important; you just need a seat that 1. fits your baby, 2. fits your car, and 3. is used correctly every single time.

If you have carseat, diapers, crib, and stroller covered, then now we’re on to the extras. My two tops extras would be first a soft carrier; Baby Bjorn, sling, or mei tai, depending on your personal preference. Second would be my microwave bottle sterilizer.

Malady on

I had my first baby last May and the honest truth is that every person is different and you won’t know what works for you until you try it. I had people swear that I had to have a Boppy (never used it) and an Ergo carrier (Baby hates it) and many other things we never ended up using.

Things I actually used:

1) Lalapanzi Moses basket

2) Aden and Anais swaddling blankets (so versatile! We still use them!)

3) Chicco Keyfit carseat (even though he outgrew the infant seat quickly, it was great while it lasted. Unlike a convertible, it was easy to get him and in out of the car without waking him up)

4) Nightlights! (good for late night feeding)

5) monitor (we started putting him in his crib in his room at two months and he was fully sleeping through the night at 3 months. The monitor gave us peace of mind)

6)If you decide to nurse, I highly recommend Bravado bras and nursing tops. Super comfy!!!

Niki on

Could someone please tell me what the wonderful snack trap is?

As for our one thing, we absolutely have to have our Moby Wrap. She loves it!

Julie on

My 3 baby must have’s are the 3 B’s – Boppy, Baby Bjorn, and Bumbo seat. Another piece of advice is get the lightest infant car seat and stroller you can find. Good luck with your baby!

Nikki on

The Maclaren Techno Umbrella Stroller. Pricey, but worth every penny. It is light weight and the handles aren’t too low like most umbrella stroller. It is super easy to close and we were able to fit it in the trunk of a Ford Focus we rented on vacation along with our suitcase. If you get the Techno XLR, it comes with the infant car seat adapter. The regular Techno doesn’t, but it is just as wonderful!

patricia on

A camera.

Amanda on

I would recommend investing in a good video monitor. It really saved me because I was such a paranoid mom, so rather than getting out of bed 100 times a night, I could just roll over and see him. And its great as they get older too.

jacky on

Niki here is a link to the snack trap: http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2404578
it is great for a toddler who loves to snack all the time. my son carries it all over the house, he uses it in the car, and i even add some links to the handles then attach it to a shopping cart or his stroller so he can enjoy a snack but if he drops it, it isn’t lost or i don’t have to pick it up. the only compliant, is that if i put cheerios in it some do seem to fall out, but most other things stay in no matter what my son does.

Shantel on

I can’t name just one – swing, bumbo with tray (I used this as a highchair for months-not as much wiggle room) and swaddling blankets.

Rhi on

I definitely agree – the Maclaren Techno XT is brilliant and if you can get the travel system version go for it. The travel systems look fancy but nothing beats the stroller from birth – you can get round shops, into restaurants, on buses etc. The best. The rain sheild fits so quickly and easily. Don’t get swayed by the expensive first prams.

KS on

I think a big basic must have from the very beginning is several packages of plain old school rectangular cloth diapers. I used them for spit up, breast feeding, spills, laying them under the baby’s bottom and head during changing to catch whatever, burping, etc. The list goes on and on. Two years later, we still use them daily and some have just gone to dust rags too.

michelle on

My MOTHER!! She came over and within FIVE minutes she figured out how the baby wanted to be put to sleep, put her to sleep, AND started dinner for us!! Someone get my Mom a cape!!

Ursula on

My ring sling! It was great in the first days when I brought home my son with various medical issues and he loved getting all snug and warm inside (I used to joke that it was his “Womb with a View”), and it kept him close to my heart and body so he was always at ease. And it’s great for breastfeeding moms because your little one literally is right there and you have built in coverage.

Plus it was very user friendly for my husband and he didn’t feel “girly.” Not to mention that as my son grew it was very versatile-I could do a front kangaroo carry, then a hip carry and back carry as he kept getting bigger. I didn’t buy a big fancy brand, I bought from a work at home mom.

It was such a great alternative to the Snuggli/Baby Bjorn thing that hurt my back.

Gingi on

A Snap n’ Go stroller. You just snap the infant carrier in and you’re set. Plus you can get then for $50. They only use them for a short period of time (although my twins use theirs still and they are 7.5 months) but it’s well worth it. It’s also not as heavy. I went out and purchased a fancy travel system with my first and I hated it!

XOXO on

I love this idea! I have so many questions! Thanks CBB

All these ideas are good

For my daughter I liked the baby bjorn and the bouncer, she loved those and so did I🙂

good luck in your new adventure🙂

Spiff on

We loved the Baby Bjorn for our first, but they are not good for infants (bad for their spines.) For our second, I got a Sleepy Wrap and it is wonderful!! If he is ever fussy, I put him in and he falls right to sleep. They are only about $39 and can last through toddlerhood.

Trust me, buy a SLEEPY WRAP!!

april on

My two must-haves for my son were a hairdryer with a cool setting & a heating pad. I used the hairdryer to help him sleep – it fit in the crack between the wall & bassinet – and the heating pad on the lowest setting for his changing pad after baths. Both worked so well!

stan on

SWING!
I dont know how people live with out a baby swing! My son lived in his for about 4 months (from 1 month – 5 months) he would sleep peacefully for hours in it. It allows hours of freedom for the parents PLUS the use of both hands at once!! We used the Fisher Price Natures Touch Papasan Baby Swing – it can swing in two different directions.
My son, now 8.5 months, still likes to sleep in it sometimes.
The first time it ran out of batteries I said out loud, I will pay however much it costs to replace this immediately!! haha

mari on

for the first few months my picks were: moses basket, oodles of onsies, lots of burp cloths (you don’t know if you’ll have a spit-up-er – mine did untill he was one!) and some sort of bouncer seat. when the baby gets to be a few months: a bumbo seat, floor play mat and a video monitor will save on a lot of trips to the nursery.

***my one favorite all-time item is the Fisher Price Rainforest Waterfall Peek-A-Boo Soother. It goes in the crib and plays music, has lights and moving animals. My son is three and still uses it. He’s been able to push the buttons to turn it on since he was four months. Even now, if he has a bad dream or wakes during the night he’ll push a button to start the music and fall right back to sleep. Not a necessity but definitely worth the cost.

JB on

1. Moby Wrap – my husband calls it “the Papoose” and our daughter loved it as an infant and still rides in it as a toddler. I could carry her around hands-free and not be sore or worry about her being secure.
2. Boppy Rock In Comfort Travel Swing – Great for naps and other times when small babies don’t want to do tummy time and when she was too little for a highchair, we just pulled the swing up near the table because she wanted to be nearby.
3. Snappis – If you plan on cloth diapers you’ll need a few Snappis, so much easier than pins!
4. (multiple) Pack N Plays – One is not enough. We have one. My parents have one. My in-laws have one.

Mrs. R. on

Spend the money to get a really good infant carseat and then again with a convertible carseat. We LOVED our Peg Perego SIP, but the ergonomics of it weren’t our favorite feature, make sure you really think about how you will carry a 15 lb baby sleeping in it before you buy it. For the convertible carseat (which faces backwards until you are ready to have it face forwards, and will literally last you until your child is 3-4 years old) we have been so happy with our Britax Marathon. It was worth every penny. It’s indestructible. We’ve chosen to get a Baby-Go-Go attachement for it that essentially a platform with wheels that attaches and turns the Britax into a ‘stroller’ for airplane travel. it’s wonderful to not have to bring a stroller AND a carseat when we’re traveling for long weekends or family trips.

Julie on

I am on baby number two and I’ve narrowed a few things down – have a basket for dipes and wipes with cream in each room that you will spend a lot of time in (we have one in the living area, our bedroom, and of course – the baby’s room). I am pretty sure I’d be dysfunctional without my ErgoBaby carrier. I am an avid outdoors runner – so a good jogging stroller was key. I have a BOB Revolution and LOVE IT!!! Tons of onesies and burp rags, just like someone else mentioned, are a requirement. I’m also a huge fan of the “Baby Signing Time Series.” They save my life some days. Hope this helps! Congratulations!

Hannah on

In the early days: boppy pillow, Gerber prefold cloth diapers (I have two dozen and I still end up doing laundry every other day!), a bouncer chair, a good sling (I have a Hotsling and a Baby K’tan.)

As baby gets older: Fisher Price healthy booster chair…took this thing everywhere, still do two years later!!!, an Ergo Baby Carrier…my favorite baby carrier, hands down!

Amy on

my daughter is only going to be a month old tomorrow, so i haven’t had to use any of the big items (excersaucers, highchairs, ect) but from my little bit of experience, i absolutely LOVE my sling! the baby crashes right when i put her in it and it makes things like grocery shopping SO much easier! (plus, it helps keep people from trying to touch her like they do when they see a baby in a car seat!)

i also LOVE her bouncy seat! my baby tends to have a lot of gas bubbles that cause her pain. i swaddle her and put her in the bouncer and it soothes her and puts her right to sleep!

my favorite thing hands down tho, would have to be my swaddle blankets! everyone will tell you that they’re not worth the money (mine only cost $10 at babies r us!) but they are. we have tried swaddling her in receiving blankets gerber thermals but it doesn’t work. within five minutes shes wiggled out and is fussing again. these blankets velcro on and keep the baby warm and snug! i didn’t use them for the first two weeks (i didn’t know how to haha) but one night, after waking up every 30 minutes to re-swaddle her, i pulled it out and ended up getting 3 1/2 hours of straight sleep! i would recommend these to EVERYONE!

Jess in MD on

A swing! My baby would sleep in it for hours! It was a life saver at times.

Renee on

I am first time mom and I spend all my pregnancy buying stuffs to my baby I can’t list here because I really got a lot stuffs LOL.For me everything was necessary LOL.Now I know I was wrong LOl.

Things I actually used:

1- Diaper genie(the best thing ever LOL)
2-Rainforest swing
3-Rainforest Waterfall Peek-a-Boo Soother(my 5 month old boy loves that)
4-Rainforest Bouncer
5-Rainforest Healthy Care High Chair
6-Rainforest Melodies & Lights Deluxe Gym
7-Chicco Cortina Travel System
8-Maclaren Triumph Stroller- Coffee/Blue Sky(since we travel a lot that’s great for airports)
9-Baby Einstein Stationary Entertainer
10-Angelcare Deluxe Movement Monitor(Best gift ever,so I was more relax after I got this I could sleep better)
11-Summer Infant Flat Screen Color Video Monitor
12-Graco Pack ‘N Play – Safari Friends(my baby was in my room on for the first 3 months and that pack n’ play was great I use when we travel too)
13-AVENT BPA Free Express Bottle Warmer
14-Avent bottles
15-AVENT BPA Free Microwave Steam Sterilizer
16-Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breastpump – Shoulder Bag

Things I use but its not a must have:

1-Wipe Warmer With Changing Light (was a gift)
2-Itzbeen (Was a gift,I like it)

Jennifer on

I don’t know if there is any ONE thing that was the most useful, but I can recommend a few things.

1) a sling — I wish we could have used ours longer, but that thing was fabulous when I was shopping or working around the house!
2) a bouncer with music and lights — the older Jackson got, the less he liked sitting in his bouncer that didn’t have much activity to it. Once I found on that had lights and music and toys that he could look at and reach for, he loved his bouncer!
3) Hyland’s Teething Tablets — we used these a lot between five months and one year old. They were a lifesaver when the baby Tylenol didn’t seem to be enough.
4) SkipHop diaper bag — My SkipHop diaper bag has stroller straps. It was so nice to snap it on the stroller bar (both our infant stroller and our toddler stroller!) and not have to worry about carrying that thing around. Plus it has so many pockets that I never worried about having enough room for everything!
5) consignment sales — When we were preparing for Jackson, we got tons of clothes — in newborn and 0-3 month sizes. Once we got past those ages, we had to buy everything ourselves since we didn’t have anyone to get hand-me-downs from (everyone had girls). I discovered several local consignment sales and buy 90% of Jackson’s books, clothes, and toys from those. If we have a girl next, I will sell Jackson’s clothes at consignment to fund all of the clothes I will have to buy for the next baby!
6) Boppy — The Boppy was used for more than just the breastfeeding; we used it for tummy time, for laying on the bed with me and my husband, and for just about anything else we could think of!

That’s more than one item, but, hey, lots of things came in handy!

Opinion on

I agree with the above poster who said she never used the Boppy even though others swear by it. That means others will agree AND disagree with what I say too. 🙂

Skip the infant seat and buy a Britax Roundabout instead. (and have it professionally installed!) Sure you’ll have to wake baby up sometimes, but if it’s truly nap time, baby will go back to sleep in a sling (or when baby is older, the Ergo). Train them to LOVE being carried in a sling (or Ergo with infant insert) instead of having to lug a stroller everywhere you go. Strollers are good for walks-not errands. And infant carriers look horribly uncomfortable to carry if you are NOT putting them on a stroller. I always wonder how people can resist snuggling their little bundles!

Can you tell I have a strong opinion on this? We LOVE our Ergo and travel all over the world with it and have rarely used a stroller. Our daughter is now 20 months and loves to WALK (not ride in a stroller) with us. She’ll walk over a mile. She’s eager to explore the world around her. I credit this to her being active in her environment from birth: first in the sling, then in the Ergo, and now walking!

Debbe Frost on

What really worked for my son was a sound machine. Also, don’t make everybody be quiet when baby is sleeping, they need to get accustom to everyday sounds.

kf on

My daughter just turned 1 year old, and the best things that got us through those first few months, and the first year, were the basics.

1. If you plan on breastfeeding, a boppy, and a comfortable chair. I love our glider rocker, we still read stories in it every night and it saved my back from pacing around her room.

2. Cheap cloth diapers, they are amazing. Great for spit up, drool, you name it. Keep one within arms reach at all times for the first several months.

3. I have to second the Hyland’s Teething Tablets- they work wonders.

4. A bouncy chair- this was the only thing that allowed me to actually shower when I was home along with my little one those first few weeks.

5. A good car seat- yes, Britax is amazing, but if it’s not in your budget, the Evenflo Triumph Advance is a GREAT convertible car seat, and it’s in the $140-$180 price range.

I nver used a baby bjorn, or a sling, or any sort of carrier, my daughter just never liked them. Not sure if I waited too long to try them, but before you invest too much money in a super fancy one, I’d make sure your little one is going to like it (or save the receipt). I’m thankful I borrowed one from a friend since we used it once.

GL!

emsp90xblog on

A Snap and Go stroller. If I had know about this thing with my first I would NEVER have gotten one of those enormous and heavy stroller/carseat combos. The frame is lightweight, takes up minimal space, has cupholders, a space for your keys, phone, etc and a large basket to stow things. And it’s a great price…plenty cheap enough to leave you $$ for a different stroller once baby outgrows the carry carseat.

I also could not have lived without my bouncy seat and my Medela Pump in Style.

jaQ on

well, i’m a very AP mom, and that’s how my answer will be geared… there were things i didn’t use:
crib/bassinet
high chair
stroller
some of those big items, you honestly don’t NEED; it’s a matter of preference.
you need the carseat, of course.
a swing can be helpful getting baby to sleep, but they don’t use them for very long, so i wouldn’t buy one new. a boppy for breastfeeding is good, but you can arrange pillows too, instead.

congratulations on your pregnancy!

Tracy on

I would say one of the number one things for us has been a Swaddle Blanket!

Stacy on

I’m echoing others, but Baby Bjorn, Boppy, and…my new favorite, the Miracle Blanket.

Janet on

I love to give this kind of advise especially since I consider my self an expert. When I was pregnant I read every magazine article, visited every baby store in california and did a lot of online research. I dont have a particular product for first time parents, but i do have a couple of things that made my life a little easier.

1) bouncer/swing

2) bassinet

3) baby carrier/sling

4) boppy

5) pacifiers (try different styles, my daughter hated the oval kind)

6) jumper/walker

7) portable formula dispenser

8 ) thermometer

9) graco pack and play

10) triple paste (for diaper rash)

11) bottle brush and rack

Angelique on

I’ll add Diaper Genie to the list.

Brianne on

I have to say cloth diapers are the best burp rags ever! They aren’t as cute as those other ones, but they have saved my clothes many a times. Good luck🙂

Kate on

Always have cloth diapers and keep them everywhere. With my 2nd we bought a second changing table at a consignment shop and kept it downstairs. What a lifesaver. No going up and down the stairs a million times a day. Don’t waste your money on a Diaper Genie. They are so disgusting. We just put diapers in the garbage. If it’s a really nasty diaper just put it in a Ziploc bag. Good luck to you! I am pregnant with my 3rd and I’m trying to weed out all the junk I had from my first two!

Amanda on

WITHOUT QUESTION the most essential product for me when my kids are newborns is my Hotsling!! They come sized for your body so no loops, clips or adjusting. They cradle my newborn into me all snuggled up and happy against mommy and I have two free hands the whole time.

When we’re out in public it helps hide the newborn so strangers don’t grab or try and touch them (which, ridiculously people do!) and it doubles as a breastfeeding cover when they’re little. As the baby grows you simply put them in a different position in the sling.

I’m expecting my 3rd in a few weeks and I fully expect to use my sling even more then before. And I carried my son around in the sling for MONTHS. I used to get compliments on it all the time and grandmas would come up to me and commend me for holding my son saying, “They told us not to hold our babies so much. I wish I hadn’t listened.”

And to answer the final question I normally get, my kids are both very independent kids who love to explore. They come back to me to show me something or get a quick hug but then take off again. And the slept great as infants in their own beds too.

C on

In addition to all the items above which we found helpful as well…a moses basket and a hands-free phone headset! Honestly the headset was the best thing to me. Another thing maybe not thought of is one of those rubber gardening knee pads – for bath time. Good luck!

Kelly on

The grocery cart cover. I don’t know what exactly it is called. A floppy seat maybe. Anyway if covers the whole area the baby will sit and has rings to hook toys to And has a pocket for sippy cup or snack! Awesome!

HotMomma on

vibrating bouncy chair….definitely

Tina on

Other than the basics like infant car seat/stroller & crib, one must have is a baby swing. We LOVED it and more importantly, our son loved it! Next would be a vibrating chair, we got tons of use out of that as well. We used a ton of receiving blankets. I insisted on having a change table and ending up regretting it. I never used it (which I got an ‘I told you so’ back from my husband about). I changed him right in the crib which was much easier, or on the floor. Oh, and a bottle sterilizer was very handy as well. Good luck!

JENNA LOSIE on

I WOULD HAVE TO SAY 1) MOSES BASKET, SO YOU HAVE A PORTABLE SLEEPING AREA FOR WHEN YOU ARE AT PEOPLE’S HOUSES, AND EVEN IN A ROOM OTHER THAT THE NURSERY DURING THE BABY’S SLEEP TIMES
2) A SWING, AS IT IS A MORE ENTERTAINING PLACE TO LAY BABY
3) A BOPPY PILLOW FOR NURSING/ PROPPING BABY UP
4) GRIPE WATER IN CAS BABY HAS AN UPSET TUMMY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT ( LIKE MINE DID) IT SEEMED TO CLAM HIM DOWN IF I DABBED HIS SOOTHER IN IT

Angie on

I am pregnant with baby #3 now.. my must have baby items are:

Arms Reach Co-Sleeper, slings/carrier (My favorites are the Moby Wrap and for bigger babies the Ergo), swing, big blankets to swaddle with (forget those “swaddle blankets”.. a bigger piece of cloth or blanket works better! and cheaper!) and for nursing the My Brest Friend pillow is soooo much better than a Boppy!

Evelyn on

Luna Lullabye nursing pillow – a godsend and SO much better than a boppy!

Ang on

I think these are must haves after two babies…
Hooter Hider
Sling
Fisher Price Space Saver High Chair
Lovie for the baby
Bumbo Seat
Best Wishes~

Evelyn on

FYI – Moses Baskets are pretty much thought of as being a SIDS risk because of the fluffy materials used for the bumbers. Almost all newborn care experts highly recommend *against* the use of a moses basket.

T on

I would have to say I bought EVERYTHING for my first daughter, but you really, realize the necessities when you have a second child. Only the really important stuff was re-bought or re-used for my second child. Here are my top 4 most used items for both girls:
1. vibrating bouncy seat
2. baby bjorn
3. BuggyBag (same one as Jessica Alba has) grocery cart cover.. Germs are the worst!!!
4. onsies and socks (6 months and up only). They can always wear a bigger size and they grow so fast don’t bother with onsies and socks in tiny sizes

Finnaryn on

I have three kids and just like someone else said that each parent is different, each kid is too. This is what I have learned.

Thin receiving blankets are not quite big enough to swaddle after a few weeks, but are wonderful to catch spit up that dribbles down the back. Not as absorbent as cloth diapers, but they cover more. I bought more of these when my second child came along because they were so useful. These are also what I purchase the most for baby gifts.

My second child loved the swing we were given but my third child did not. He preferred a vibrating bouncy seat. This also helps with gas bubbles.

I think having a sling is wonderful. If not for the first baby, you REALLY need to get one if you have a second. Baby will love to cuddle and you will have your hands free for your older child. We had a Snuggli with our first, and I was never really happy with it. I bought a ring sling for the third and I still use it. Our third child will be three in May!

But if I had to choose one, MUST HAVE item, it is the Boppy. Regardless of how you choose to feed, it is wonderful. Our third couldn’t latch well, so after using the Boppy when attempting to latch, I would use it through the feeding when we switched to pumped milk in a bottle. You can use it to help baby sit and for tummy time. When baby is older, mommy and daddy can use it as a pillow while watching TV, or as back support in an uncomfortable chair. My kids have also found that it makes a really good “horsey” during play time.😀

mamaheartsbaby on

We’re expecting our second in May so I’m getting ready to stock up on our favorites. Hope this list helps!

-Aden & Anais blankets – the BEST swaddling blankets EVER! I’d give up every single other blanket to just have these; perfect for swaddling.

-Ergo baby carrier – like so many have mentioned it is unbelievably comfortable.

-Earth Mama Angel Baby Baby Bottom Balm – It’s the only thing we ever used and our daughter has never had a diaper rash. It smells heavenly.

It’s a short list but you don’t need much those first days. We got a lot the first time around as gifts but barely used any of it. They just want to be with you and loved. As they grow, you’ll figure out what products your parenting style requires. So I guess the other good recommendation is to ask for gift cards so you can pick things yourself later on.

Best of luck!

Amy on

I am a mom of two who are now 8 and 4 and I have read each of these posts and though I had most of these things, the best advice I could give is about diapers!

If you can afford to buy the name brand then please do! I raised two babies with either Huggies or Pampers on their bums and the ONE time I bought generic was the ONE time my daughter got diaper rash!!!

That’s not to say that’s the ONLY reason for diaper rash, but just that if your child already has a sensitive tush (which most do when they’re little) I think the generic diapers don’t wick away the moisture as well as the better brands do.

I suggest having a diaper party! When you have a shower, encourage everyone to bring a package of diapers, I went for almost a whole year without buying diapers with my son!

I was also a big fan of Hyland’s teething tablets and definitely USED the Fisher Price Cradle swing that could swing two directions with my son who had Colic, between that and the sound of the bathwater running, I somehow kept my sanity🙂

Amy on

Oh and I swear they should just sell baby socks in packs of 3 because by the time you get done inside the store and back to the car, ONE sock is inevitably missing! So stock up on lots of similar looking socks so when you lose one you can still make a pair with another! I still do this with my 4 year old! I buy a ton of the exact same looking socks then no matter how many get lost they can still be paired up!

Barbara on

Get a GOOD car seat & a GOOD stroller. I would also suggest a bouncy chair & swing.
Good diapers are a must without perfume because the babys skin is so sensitive and can get rashes very easy. For Rashes I would suggest one called: Boudreaux’s butt paste ointment and another is: Desitin diaper rash cream.
I wish you and your husband congratulations!! I hope I have been a little bit of help. 🙂

Shannon on

Medela Pump In Style breastpump. It is so important to have a good quality breastpump. I learned that lesson after having 2 failed nursing relationships with my oldest children. Also rather than a baby bjorn, I got a Moby Wrap and a mei tai. My daughter, who is now 10 months, loves both of them, and they free me up to do so many things around my house without feeling like I’m leaving her alone too much. They are both so comfortable, they distribute baby’s weight better for you and take a lot of pressure off your back. They’re also much better for baby than the Bjorn, because they support baby’s legs too so they dont dangle straight down, which takes the pressure off the tailbone area. Just my personal opinion, but I think they are much, much better!

Erin on

I have two recs:
1) A swing or a bouncer – it’s the only way you can eat or shower!
2) A lillebaby EuroTote – this was the only way we could get our son to sleep. Plus we were able to actually put him down once he was out, unlike other carriers.

Oh and I would go with Pampers for diapers…everything else leaks.

Piper on

There are TWO things I could never have gotten by without! First is the My Breast Friend nursing pillow. Way better than the boppy since it won’t move out on you while nursing!

Secondly is a sling! My ring sling saved me with both children and it’s priceless to me! And SO much more comfortable for you and baby than the bjorn/snuggli types.

Vanessa Green on

1. Boppy. One Boppy for each level of your house. We live in a three level townhouse and I spend most of my time on the top two floors. I have one on each floor so I don’t have to transport it and my daughter when she has to nurse.

2. Sleepy Wrap. It can be purchased at sleepywrap.com I love it! It is just like the African wraps worn to carry children. It puts on pressure on my back. Reminds me of being pregnant but without the pelvic pain.

3. Gerber Nipple Cream. it comes in a stick (looks like a glue stick). I used it after every time I nursed when I first started. Very helpful!

Amy D. on

I’m just echoing other mom’s sentiments here, but:

1. Pampers diapers don’t leak! Ask for diapers at showers over everything else – and in varying sizes so you have backstock as the baby gets bigger.

2. Medela breast pump. Quick, easy, and simple.

3. Aquaphor healing ointment. The OB and lactation nurses gave us a tube of it and it works wonders as a diaper rash cream (no zinc to irritate sensitive skin) and heals cracked nipples. Lansinoh is good, but you have to soften it between your fingers first and doesn’t double as diaper cream!

Good luck…don’t worry about anything because your parenting skills kick right in as soon as you see your baby!

ash on

as a first time mom, i thought i had all the good i needed for the arrival of my first born, a son. as day 17 past his due date approached, i super stacked up on so called ‘nessecities;. here is a list of things i used and found of value n the 1st year of his life.
1. HIS SWING! he loved his swing. we had a fisher price cradle swing given to us from a friend whose child had outgrown it. it was an older model, compareable to the fisherprice rainforest swing now available, as now available w/ a plug nstead of batteries. woulda been GENUIS if that was what i had! 4D batteries suckd but i kept them stockpiled!
2. his bassinet. it was a cheapy travel bassinet but i was afraid of rolling over & squiching him if we co-slpet but i breastfed so having him close was nessecary. he used that all nite & for any naps not taking n his swing for at least 5 months.
3. his bouncy chair. we had the fisherprice rainforest bouncer given to us by a friend & it was the only way i could shower or cook for quite a few months.
4, MY BOPPY PILLOW! other posters didnt use it but i did! n his bassinet when he had reflux i wedged it n there so he could sleep somewhat upright. he used it as an infant support while he was learning to sit up. he hung out n there a lot. plus, duh while i fed him it saved my back and tummy after the c-section.
5. the fisherprice ocean wonders crib toy. he went 2 his crib @ seven months & was sleepn thru the nite @ 8 months, all due to the lights & meolodies of this toy i think.
6. fisher price ocean wonders glowing seahorse toy. as soon as i hand him that toy, he calls it ‘sammi’ he knows it bedtime. he will sleep anywhere as long as he has him Sammi. i bought 1 4 my car 4 when we travel, & 1 4 both grandparents homes. he LOVES Sammi.
7. Graco Playpen. not the fancy 1 w/bassinet. just has a changer and a pen, he sleeps n that whereever we go away from home. (w/ Sammi of course) it stays n my car trunk n case were @ friends homes late. he also has 1 @ both grandparents homes 4 sleeping & diaper changing.
8. a simple cheap umbrella stroller. i found a cute camoflauge 1 @ kmart 4 $18. i have a fancy travel system w/ deluxe stroller but it is so big and bulky i prefer the simple lite stroller. only used the travel system twice. once he was outa the carseat i never used the fancy stroller again.
9. i echo every1 w/ the basic gerber cloth diapers for spit up, breatfeeding, even when his sippy cup leaks. so absorbant, so versatile, & i dont feel guilty if it get stainned like i felt guilty when the cutsie little puny burp cloths got coverd n yellow stained spit up
10. playtex drop-ins bottles. they come pre-strelized, they make a breastmilk store kit tht had an adapter to my pump, & now that my son is on formula he still uses them. they r cheap, easy 2 use, & a lifesaver! he had bad gas as a newborn when i pumpd n2 the avent bottles. once we switchd 2 these bottles, never a gas bubble or spit up fit again. i swear by these bottles, when i was pumping and still tru formula use.
11. PAMPERS!!! swaddlers, cruisers r all i will use. i tried EVERY BRAND out there & EVERY! leaked! poop exploding out the sides, pee leaking up the top. only the deluxe pampers. thats it period end of story. PAMPERS! use them

cpngrats on ur little miracle enjoy them while u can! mine has been learning to climb on2 my coffee table and jump off. he thinks he is evil kinevil

Kirsten on

ONE – Ok!

Skip Hop Pronto Mini Changer – On a starbucks bathroom, several dozen airport floors, and two kids later. I was sad when my kids outgrew it.

jacynth on

1. a good sling is vital!! most babies will cry far less and be much happier when carried, and with a sling you can still do all your usual things and get around hands free.
i really recommend the ergo baby carrier, it can be used to toddler age (3 years old!), and it’s SO comfortable. the moby wrap is good too. or, a ring sling gives you a variety of positions, including mimicking an arm cradle.

2. a nursing pillow! considering you spend hours nursing, this is key to your comfort.

3. lots of flat nappy cloths for spitups, and nappy-free time.

4. hylands teething tablets were definitely a lifesaver for us

5. not equipment per se, but learning to nurse in bed saved my sleep and sanity – we put all our mattresses on the floor, and cosleep together; i just pull baby to me when he wakes, then i fall back asleep instantly (sometimes i don’t even really wake) – and yes, it’s safe. google for safe co-sleeping pointers.

6. books for good information and understanding how babies work. this saves you when you’re bombarded with conflicting advice, or wondering what the best thing is to do (ie constantly, as a new mum).
of course there’s lots of bad advice out there, but find something based on good research, and follow your heart/instinct.
i love these: helping your baby to sleep (gethin); the no cry sleep solution (pantley); heart to heart parenting (grille); unconditional parenting (kohn); children are people too (porter), etc….

7. petrochemical-free pawpaw ointment – for every booboo and nappy rash. works amazingly.

(breastmilk is perfect for dripping into baby’s eyes and nose for gunk or clogged noses: like saline, sterile, but antibacterial, contains antobodies, and is warm)

8. an air filter in the bedroom acts as a white noise machine; all of use sleep better with it.

9. a humidifier in winter – cold dry air makes baby snuffly and clogged and so unhappy.

10. swaddling wraps, and warm receiving blankets for winter – we were never far from one, with a baby.

MiB on

I can’t choose, so I will give two necessities:
1. A mei tai style carrier; it can be used from infancy if they are placed in them in a foetal position, takes no room in the diaper bag, can be used for babies and toddlers alike and in several different positions. Just choose one with broad, and possibly padded straps.
2. Flatfold dloth diapers; they can be used for swaddling, spitups, drying off, as snuggle blankets, sunshades, bibs, bandages, mitellas, rag dolls/bunnies/bears, teething rags (tie in a piece of ice or a piece of frozen fruit) and occasionally even as diapers! I am sure I have forgotten at least a dozen other uses I can’t remember right now; ah, they are excellent for playing peek a boo and throuwing up in the air for a baby to look at and for a toddler to chase after and catch. I didn’t like the prefolds though, but many do.

Best of luck!

Elisabeth on

1 take a breastfeeding pillow with you to the hospital its great even if you don’t breastfeed. C section moms especially because it keeps the pressure off their incsion. Its not something that should be used in a crib or bassinet that is dangerous and a Sids risk. All the tags tell you not to as well.

2. lots of slipcovers to keep the bf pillow clean. I prefer the boppy.

3. stay away from Evenflo strollers they are cheaply made and the handle will put undo pressure on your upper arms. I love my chicco currently its the number one rated and car seats as well.

4. don’t buy just one brand of diapers you never know if baby might be alergic to the just one brand you bought then your stuck with diapers (if opened) that you can’t use. I like Huggies, my kids couldn’t wear pampers.

5. Lots of Gerber cloth diapers they are great burp cloths among other things.

6. Breast cream. Any brand

7. Chicco playard. the only one in its class that has a washable mattress and its actually comfortable. It’s about $180. Worth it. It includes a play gym as well so you can put your baby on the floor using the playard’s mattress and you have a floor gym.

8. Chicco Polly highchair. Nice because it has the slimest fold in it’s class and its easy to clean.

9. Swings. If you buy one keep the recipt. Not all babies love swings. I would stay away from the FP my little lamb swing as its made of hot fur like material.

10. JJ cole bundle me. I have them in lite orginal and urban. Great for slightly cold days (lite) really cold days (original and urban).

11. Stay away from Fleurville. Total hype. The plastic like part of the bag chips off and the feet can get rusty and the outside pockets are useless, making matters worse is the diaper changing pad is inside rolled up taking up a ton of room. I love my JJ cole mode bag in cocoa tree it matches my stroller. When I reach into it I can find everything. It has such great compartments and is made very well its held up better than the fleurville that cost me about $100 more.

12. An umbrella stroller because I didn’t want my expensive stroller ruined at the airport (it happens alot) its easier to to replace than my expensive stroller.

13. A crib wedge as someone unsafely suggested, they put a boppy in their child’s crib, this is as I’ve said before an unsafe hazardous practice its fine if your sitting there watching them. Anyway a crib wedge is great for babies who have colds or gerd. Their only about $15 and you put them under their bed sheet.

14. An under carseat mat. If you don’t use a chicco infant car seat this is a must (chicco’s componments are inside so they won’t damage your leather or cloth seats) other car seats don’t have that feature.

15. womb sounds stuffed toy several companies make this mine is from Cloud b. I love their products! Mine plays more than just womb sounds.

16 I love my turtle (also comes in ladybug) it’s a nightlight that projects actual star constellations on the ceiling, pretty fun and won’t soon be grown out of. Both 15 and 16 are from Cloud b.

Tammy on

I could not have survived without my Baby K’tan Carrier. my baby was always fussy and wanted to be held, and the Baby K’tan made it so simple and comfy. I had a Bjorn with my first (before i had my K’tan), and it was so bad on my back. I’m so happy i found the k’tan.

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