Baby Must-Haves Every New Mom Needs
Y’all…It can be tough to prepare for a new baby. There are tons of things to do and about a thousand different ways to do them. And all of this while you’re miserably pregnant! Not to mention the countless baby must haves and products calling out to you “Pick me! I’m the BEST.” How can they all be the best?! It’s overwhelming.
So, I thought it would be helpful to list some items that I not only researched like crazy, but used and loved. And the best part is that these are items you won’t only be using for a month. This is stuff that you can still use for your little one even past their first birthday. We are STILL using all of these things with our 20-month-old.
*This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure for more details.
1. Nail Scissors
This kind is awesome. They are the tiniest, cutest little things and they work super well. I was terrified the first time I cut my baby’s nails. The first few times, actually. These little guys are super gentle and I feel like I have a lot of control when clipping.
A lot of stores recommend buying a baby first aid kit. I was thankful for the advice not to do this. Most of the items in those things are cheap, to drive down costs. You get what you pay for. The nail clippers were especially junky in the couple kits we got as gifts. You’ll end up having to buy something better anyway, so start with what you know will last. I love these things!
2. Backpack Diaper Bag
I had my eye on some cute shoulder diaper bags when I was pregnant with Sam. I even got a beautiful one in a shower. But my friend who was also pregnant made an excellent point: what about when Dad has baby?
This made me reconsider the feminine options. Then she also mentioned that she was opting for a backpack diaper bag. Brilliant! When you’re juggling baby, the last thing you want is something heavy slipping off your shoulder or dangling down at your hip and getting in the way.
I found this great bag on Amazon and I LOVE it. It’s small enough to feel compact, but holds a ton. It has a bunch of pockets and an insulated side pouch for bottles and water. It’s padded, comfortable, simple and neither too masculine nor feminine.
This bag hasn’t ripped or frayed AT ALL on us. In almost 2 years! And we use is almost every day. It’s still sturdy and holding up great.
To top it off, it’s really inexpensive compared to other bags! You’ll also notice a BUNCH of other great reviews from happy parents on Amazon. Score!
3. Car Mirror
I’ve really been looking forward to reviewing this thing. It’s a MUST. I really don’t know how we’d get by without it. I just love it…can you tell?
Sam was a FUSSY baby. Car rides did anything but calm him. He hated the car. HATED. It was so stressful going anywhere. Ever.
This mirror helped sooo much. I won’t lie, he still despised the car, but as he got older we could really engage him and distract him from his misery using the mirror. Poor babies are supposed to be rear facing until closer to age 2 now. That’s a long time to face a headrest.
Now, when I’m driving I can sing songs and interact with him. We make faces and play silly games through the rear view mirror. He can also make faces at himself. He loves that. And he can see reflections of other cars and buildings, keeping him entertained. When I’m in the passenger seat, I pull down the little make-up mirror so I can check on him without twisting around.
This mirror is BIG and doesn’t distort the reflection at all. It straps onto a head rest and it can turn towards the middle seat if needed. You’ll see great reviews for this one as well.
And in case you need more convincing, I really think this thing is a safety feature. If you alternate having baby in different cars or if you have any fear at all about accidentally forgetting he’s with you, this mirror gives peace of mind. Adjust your rear view so that you can see your back window clearly AND the full baby mirror. It would be really hard to forget that little face when you see it every time you look back while driving.
We were given a great wrap carrier when Sam was born. This wrap was awesome. I used it pretty often when he was teeny tiny. Once he got a bit heavier, it was NOT working. I know lots of killer mamas who can rock these cloth wraps with a toddler in it, but it just didn’t work for me. I needed something sturdier.
Once I splurged on the Ergo, I couldn’t believe I had waited so long. Changed. My. Life. You’ve heard me talk about what a clingy baby Sam was/is. It was no joke. I couldn’t walk out to pee without a meltdown. He wanted to be ON ME allllll the time. Preferably while also nursing.
I’m a research junkie. I read soooo much online before purchasing this bad boy. I don’t spend money lightly. But I could not be more pleased with it! I have this one and LOVE it:
This is one of the few carriers that doesn’t run the risk of hip dysplasia. It’s comfortable for baby and mama. It also has front, back, and hip carry options. We use it while doing some light hiking and Dad wears baby on his back. They both love it. And we can use it up into his older toddler years. How great it that?
I especially love this version because it’s more breathable than others. It can get HOT up in there for baby. If I adjust it a certain way, I can carry him and breastfeed at the same time. All while vacuuming. Supermom, right?
He feels SO much more secure in this carrier than a wrap. I can even bend over and pick things up or load the dishwasher with him in the front position. Love. It.
Ok ok, I’ll move on. But mamas, if you plan on using a carrier beyond the first few months, go ahead and invest in this thing. It is SO worth it.
I know it’s tempting to buy really cute fancy sheets for your baby’s crib. If your nesting instincts insist, by all means, get one. But just get ONE. There’s really no reason to have tons of expensive sheets. Know why? Babies are MESSY. Like super messy.
Our boy struggled with Reflux issues and would spit up on his sheets every single night. That’s a lot of sheet changes. Then you factor in pee leaks, blow outs, and straight vomit…uhh we’re talking stains, girl. Lots and lots of stains. It’ll break your heart for all of your fancy sheets to be ruined and have to dish out more cash to replace them.
We got one set that were pretty cute. Nothing super fancy, but they matched his color scheme and had some design to them. Then we got a pair that were plain, really soft, and weren’t very pricey.
In no time, all the sheets were stained and had been washed a billion times. The fancy set got really thin and shrunk. It was a PAIN to put them on his mattress after a while.
This kind have held up nicely. They remained super stretchy and easy to put on, plus they just got softer with washing. I ended up buying a few more pair in brown. Yup. Plain ole poopy brown. The stains don’t show and we always have back-ups. Perfect.
I recommend getting at least 4 pair. They are still among the least expensive sheets I could find (that have good reviews and quality) and we’ll be able to use them again when new baby starts making little messes of his or her own.
6. Waterproof pads
Speaking of stains…
You’re gonna want waterproof pads to go under your baby’s sheets. Save your mattress. Those messes I mentioned don’t conveniently stay on the sheets.
We have used these since Sam was born. We like them and they’re pretty cheap! I wish we’d stocked up way sooner. They go through a lot of washing too.
Here’s a tip: Use these on your bassinet too! I don’t know what part of mommy brain made me think we only needed these for the crib. Sam slept in the bassinet of his Pack ‘n Play until he was around 4 months. The mattress was super gross and stained.
Then on a horrific camping incident he threw up alllll over the mattress. It was so bad that I resorted to one of those Pinterest hacks that tells you to soak it in the bathtub with soap. Did NOT work for us. We laid it in the sun for 3 days and it still didn’t dry. It molded. We ended up having to trash it and order a new one from Graco. Not cool.
7. Pack ‘n Play
That leads me to the Pack ‘n Play. I spent a lonnng time researching these suckers. I knew we’d use it as a bassinet and for trips and playing later, so I wanted a great one.
We have this one. It is fantastic. We live in a two story house with our room and the nursery on separate floors. Not ideal for 10 diaper changes a day. This pack ‘n play has a sturdy changing table attached with great storage for wipes, diapers, bags, medicine, distracting toys, etc. A lot of comparable play yards with changing pads had wimpy reviews saying that the changing pad just didn’t hold up. We used this one long after he started sleeping in his room, just for changing upstairs.It’s big enough to use as a full on bed if you need, but folds up nicely into a bag for travel. I also love that it’s really neutral. We’ll use it for new baby too. And probably future siblings as well.
It also comes with a “cuddle cove.” I didn’t think we’d use this much, but it was great. When he was tiny, we could lay him in it while we ate dinner or did some cooking or cleaning. We even let him nap in it when his reflux was really acting up, because it has an incline. It’s just a really great, totally worth it investment. I hope it’s awesome for you.
These are Must Haves…REALLY…
Ok, you’re going to think I’m exaggerating on these products. Guys, I REALLY love all of them. That’s why I’m recommending them! There’s tons of stuff we use not worth mentioning, but this stuff is GOLD.
If I hadn’t kept evveryything in anticipation of a second baby, I’d totally buy any and all of these items again. They make my life easier and they hold up really well over time. Did I mention we still use ALL of these? I hope this stuff is equally wonderful for you and your little one.
Now check out my posts on how to prepare for baby while you’re still pregnant and what you probably won’t get at your baby shower! These practical tips will help you to be as ready as possible for your life with a newborn.