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"Must Have" Baby Items


To buy or not to buy - that is the question!


Figuring out what to buy for your baby can be very overwhelming as there are many products and items available! However, how many of these items are actual "must haves"? To be honest, very few. You have to remember - the baby industry is an industry. We are talking a billion dollar (if not more) market!


After having my son, I personally realized how many baby items simply are not necessary.


I asked hundreds of veteran mothers for their baby item "must haves". These were their responses.


1) A Solid Baby Carrier

Baby carriers are beneficial because they allow mom and dad to multitask while simultaneously being close to their sweet-ones. Carriers are also great because it is not always feasible to bring strollers everywhere, especially due to their size. Carriers are very versatile and come in many different options - you can even create your own!


Some popular baby carriers are:

  1. Boba Wraps - these carriers are great for infants, however, I do not necessarily love them as they tend to "droop" which puts unnecessary pressure on the shoulders/back.

  2. Ergo Baby - these carriers have a higher weight limit (7-45lbs and fits babies from 0-48 Months), which allows you to carry your little one for a longer amount of time! I also love their reinforced structure for security purposes.

  3. Tula Carriers - offer great ventilation so that baby doesn't sweat, and allows baby to be held in many different positions.

2) Breastfeeding Necessities

One would assume that all you need for breastfeeding is a breast, right? Surprise surprise - there are MANY items you can purchase that pertain to breastfeeding!

Popular breastfeeding "must haves" include:

  1. Nursing Pads - it is common for breastfeeding mothers to experience "leaking" throughout the day. Nursing pads can be placed in the bra to protect clothes from becoming wet. There are many options for nursing pads, including disposable and reusable options! Haaka also offers a milk collector for mothers who wish to save their leaks.

  2. Breast Pump - when I went back to work with my first born, a breast pump was essential for me! This allowed me to express my milk throughout the day for use later on. There are two options of conventional pumps: manual and machine pumps. Medela, Dr. Browns, and Lansinoh are all popular brands of machine pumps. Haaka is a very popular manual pump which allows you to express milk naturally using the power of natural suction. It is lightweight and portable for on-the-go needs!

  3. Milk Storage Bags - if you'd like to freeze your milk for later use, milk storage bags are a must! As with breast pumps, there are also many brands of milk storage bags. While choosing storage bags it is essential to keep in mind the ingredients in the bags as you do not want to purchase anything that will leak toxins into your milk. Some common breastmilk storage bags are: Lansinoh, Medela, Dr. Brown's and Eccomum.

  4. Nipple Creams - many mothers use nipple creams while breastfeeding in lieu of chapped/tender nipples. There are many brands of nipple creams - once again, be cognizant of the ingredients in the creams that you are using as you do not want your baby to ingest toxins. Some common creams include: Lansinoh, Earth Mama, Motherlove and Tiny Human Supply Co. You can even create your own Nipple Cream if you'd like! Here are some recipes from TheKitchn and WellnessMama.

  5. Nursing Pillows - many mothers find nursing pillows to be helpful while breastfeeding as they allow you to more comfortably hold/support your baby. Boppy is probably the most popular brand of nursing pillows out there!

  6. Bottles - bottle feeding oftentimes coincides breastfeeding, especially in relation to dad's participation! Not all bottles are created equally, so make sure to purchase bottles/bottle nipples that won't leak toxins into the breastmilk! Some popular options are: HEVEA Glass Bottles, Philips Avent Glass Bottles, and Comotomo.


3) Diapers/Wipes/Creams

Welcome to the great debate - to cloth or not to cloth!


Cloth Diapers:

Many parents love cloth diapering as they feel it limits toxin exposure that would otherwise be present in generic store-bought diapers. Cloth diapering does also save money, in the long run. Be advised that you may need to purchase inserts separately for your cloth diapers.


There are many different types of cloth diaper brands!

  1. Leekalos uses bamboo inserts and is known for their multi-layer protection

  2. Alvababy is another popular brand

  3. OsoCozy gives parents the option to create their own diapers, too!

Reusable Diaper Wipes:

Reusable diaper wipes are nice for both cost-saving and limiting toxin exposure. Many disposable wipes contain harsh chemicals that can irritate the skin - they can also be toxic if ingested. Here are some popular reusable diaper wipes: Kashmir Baby, OsoCozy, and GroVia .


Disposable Diapers:

Many parents love disposable diapers due to their convenience and accessibility. It is important to choose diapers that are as fragrance and chemical free as possible as both can irritate skin!

Eco Boom is a popular brand for hypoallergic disposable diapers, as are The Honest Company.


Disposable Wipes:

If you would rather go with a "cleaner" version of disposable diaper wipes, The Honest Company is arguably the most popular brand!


Diaper Creams:

Many babies experience diaper rash. There is a variety of diaper creams that parents can buy to combat this rash.

  1. Maty's is Petroleum-Free and Hydrogenated-Oil Free and is known for it's main ingredients: Organic Olive Oil, Jojoba Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, Organic Aloe Extract, and Zinc Oxide.

  2. Earth Mama is 100% USDA Certified Organic, made with ethically sourced organic beeswax, and doesn't use any petroleum, parabens or artificial fragrances.

  3. Motherlove uses a plant-based formula and is USDA Certified Organic (which means it's non-GMO, too!) and Certified Cruelty Free by Leaping Bunny. It is also free of petroleum and petroleum by-products, lanolin, parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fillers.


Car Seats/Strollers

One of the most obvious "must haves" for any new arrival is a car seat! There are many options for car seats, as there are many options for strollers and car seat-stroller bundles. Many companies also offer car seats that grow with your child. These options are sometimes more expensive up front, but cost-saving long-term when factoring in front facing seats, booster seats, etc.


Some of the most popular car seats, per their safety ratings, include:

Some popular car seat-stroller bundles include:

Find your state's car seat safety laws here.


Sleeping

Some parents choose to co-sleep with their infants. Other parents utilize cribs, lounger pillows, bassinets, etc. Here are some sleeping options to look into:

  1. Mamibaby is a very versatile lounger for infants. It allows parents to choose where they want their infants to sleep while in the comfort of a portable lounger crib bassinet.

  2. Brandream is a popular "nest bed" for infants that offers the same versatile benefits as the Mamibaby above.

  3. ANGELBLISS is an adjustable baby bassinet and bedside sleeper.


Pack 'n Plays

I personally found pack 'n plays to be very helpful with my son. I always felt that he was safe and secure while he was in ours, and we used it for well over a year! There are many popular brands of pack 'n plays, including 4-in-1s. Others include:

Blankets/Cloths

Under this category falls swaddling blankets, burping cloths, sleeping blankets, etc.

Swaddling - many parents like to swaddle their children as they feel it offers comfort to their infants in that they feel "snug" as they did while in utero. There are swaddling blankets that you can buy, as well as swaddling blanket wraps. Receiving blankets can also be used for swaddling purposes.


Burping Cloths - burp cloths come in handy while breastfeeding or bottle feeding. Infants oftentimes spit up after burping, and it's nice to have something that catches their spit (other than your clothes). Some popular burp cloths include: Mukin, Comfy Cubs, and Keababies.


Other blankets - there are many blanket options for your little one, including: Burt's Bees, WONDER MIRACLE, and Bedsure.


Teething/Gas/Grooming/First Aid Supplies:

When thinking about your baby registry, teething/gas/grooming supplies may not come immediately to mind, however, I think it's important to proactive plan for the inevitable.


Teething supplies - to soothe babies while they are teething, many different toys/techniques are used. Some parents prefer to use teething toys while others prefer to use homeopathy or other over the counter remedies. Whatever you choose, make sure to check the ingredients in the plastics/medications for harmful chemicals.


Gas Remedies - little ones will inevitably experience gas. Some parents wish to ease these gas pains if they appear to be making their baby uncomfortable. Gas Relief Drops are commonly used by many parents, as is gripe water. There are also other ways to relieve gas that do not necessarily involve the use of medications/substances.


Grooming/First Aid Kits - oftentimes these kits are sold together! The First Years Store offers a perfect example of an all-inclusive kit, as does Safety First. There are many other options, as well, for parents who would like to buy items/kits individually.


See also: FridaBaby


Safety

It is important to proactively prepare your home for your baby in relation to safety mechanisms. Some of these items include:

Kits are also available


Activity/Stimulation Toys

There are many toy/stimulation products available for children. I personally feel the best bang-for-your-buck involves all-in-one options.


For example, if you're looking for a seat to sit your baby in, find one that comes with toys that they can play with! Much like this one or this one.


If you're looking for a tummy-time playmat, choose one with interactive options! Like this one or this one.


Friendly reminder: it's never too soon to start your baby's book collection.


A Few Outfits

Your baby will grow VERY quickly - it's important to have enough clothes for all ages, as opposed to requesting solely newborn sizes. It is recommended that you find 2 - 3 outfits that you like for each stage! (I.E Newborn, 0 - 6, 6 - 12, etc.)


More Importantly, Items You Don't Need

Many mothers reported similarly on unnecessary baby registry items. I think it's important to provide this list as well.


Per these mothers, the following items are not "necessary":

  1. Wet wipe warmers

  2. Diaper genies

  3. Stationary changing tables

  4. Sound machines

  5. Elaborate outfits

  6. Baby bath tubs

  7. Fancy lotions, shampoos, conditioners, etc.

  8. Baby bath towels

  9. Expensive nursery furniture

I hope this list is beneficial to you in your parenting endeavors! Thanks for stopping in.

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