I’m certainly no expert, but I’ve been around the baby block twice now and I’d like to think I’ve learned a thing or two. The baby product market is quite possibly the most saturated of them all – there is a gadget for everything, promising more convenience and style with each new thingamajig. The truth: Babies, especially newborns, need very little. They need boobs and / or bottle, a blanket, and a pair of arms.
Still, I panicked when this week when my phone pinged to remind me I have “70 days left” of this pregnancy. I looked around at an empty nursery at that has exactly nothing ready and realized I’d better get to shopping. I asked you all, my trusted confidantes and fellow moms of stylish babies everywhere. I read blogs. I googled, I researched, I Amazon Prime’d. Here’s my list of faves, must-haves, and cute-if-you-can-swing-it items.
Pro-Tip: Onesies and pajamas with the fold-over cuffs are far and away the best invention. One thing I discovered within days of having my first were that babies nails are sharp and little babes love to keep their hands near their face. So, scratching is inevitable. Those mittens you can buy fall off and get lost in the laundry. Do yourself a major favor: Skip anything without built-in cuffs for the first few weeks. These onesies are a great, inexpensive basic for those early days. Target’s Cloud Island Zip-Up sleepers also have cuffs, and are affordable and stylish.
- The Solly Baby Wrap Carrier: This is one of my favorite baby brands and products. For babes that don’t like to be put down – which are most – this is a must-have. I always say mothers should get extra arms for every baby they have… but until we figure out how to make that happen, this super soft wrap is amazing. Another soft wrap I love is the Wildbird sling,which is useful for when your little on outgrows the Solly.
- The Baby Shusher is responsible for every hour of sleep we got with our second-born. She was fussy and inconsolable, and this portable tool put her right out.
- There’s lots of fuss being made about all the different baby loungers on the market, but my favorite is the SnuggleMe Organic. It comes in really simple, beautiful colors and cradles baby like a hug. (Plus, it fits inside our portable bassinet for supervised sleeping!)
- I’ve yet to use this lightweight, compact tub… but it was a blogger favorite and so many of you suggested it for newborn baths. (I love that it can easily be hidden away!)
Save: Besides sleeping, pooping and throwing up on everything is a newborn’s favorite past-time. Newborn poop – TMI, bear with me – is especially, um, messy. Because of this, I snagged numerous packages of Gerber’s long-sleeve onesies. They are great on their own and for layering, and you won’t feel guilty when you inevitably have to toss a too-stained-to-rescue onesie in the trash. These run small, size up.
Splurge: I’ve learned the importance of an easy-to-carry carseat, and so this go ’round, we opted for the Nuna Pipa Lite. It weighs just about 4 lbs, which is less than half its less pricey competitors. If you’re on-the-go frequently, you’ll be carrying that car seat around. Do your biceps a favor and reach for the Nuna.
Save: Controversial opinion here. The 4Moms Mamaroo is considered the “holy grail” of baby rockers / swings, but I think it’s a waste of money. (*Collective gasp from baby gear experts everywhere.*) I like the Mamaroo because of its sleek design and admittedly cool features, but neither of my kids took to it – we borrowed it from a friend, thankfully – and I have lots of mom friends that say it is hit or miss. For a baby rocker with a $220 price tag, it needs to be a hit. Keep in mind, your baby will only use a swing for a few months, so here’s where you can save.
I would go for these neutral-toned options that are far less expensive, like this Ingenuity Rocker, which swings, vibrates and soothes just as well – if not better – than the Mamaroo.
Faves Pt 2:
- This is what all the “cool moms” are carrying at the playground. The Fawn Design diaper bag is something I’ve been drooling over for a long time – I love it in the blush pink, but it comes in other beautiful colors as well. It’s roomy, stylish, and can be carried a variety of ways depending on what limbs you have free – haha. I added it to my registry with the additional stroller hooks, so I have somewhere to put it when I’m out and about.
- I love supporting small brands, especially when they make super cute, gender-neutral designs. I was so excited to see one of my favorites make their way into Nordstrom – so naturally I snagged the “Love Bug” onesie for Little Miss. Click here to see their other options.
- If you’re looking for an Instagram-worthy outfit to snap a picture of your newest addition, I love this Copper Pearl set that comes in a variety of color ways. (I especially love that it comes with a cute little name tag… What a fun way to introduce baby!)
- We are totally obsessed with Tubby Todd’s line of baby products – the All Over Ointment is the greatest thing to ever happen to my kids’ sensitive skin. I use it all over (hence the name), from booty for rashes to spots of eczema. Another favorite, for those times when milk dries and baby is in between baths, I love Mustela’s Freshening Spray. The spray is also perfect for styling baby’s hair… the smell is DIVINE.
- We love Hello Bello diapers and wipes because they’re affordable, adorable (look at the prints!) and they aren’t made with yucky chemicals you’ll find in most brands.
- When I saw another blogger mention Barefoot Dreams blankets, I thought, “For a blanket? Why so much?” Now that I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing the brand, I completely understand the obsession and the accompanying price point. This is a great item to put on your registry. Let Aunt Nancy treat you and baby to the coziest snuggles! (This one is on sale.) Their robe is a perfect way to treat yourself, and recover from labor. It’s the softest thing I’ve ever touched.
If you made it through all of that, congrats! I hope this was a useful guide in helping your decide where to invest when preparing for baby. Try not to get overwhelmed, enjoy the process, and let me know what you think!