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After three babies, I know a thing or two about useful and non-useful baby items. The following are items any brand-new mom should have in her arsenal.
Car Seat/Travel System
Well, this first one is mandatory; you can’t get away without having a car seat. Before the hospital lets you bring your little one home, they have to make sure you have a proper car seat that fits your baby appropriately, meaning that it’s safe to transport your baby.
We love the Chicco travel system which includes a car seat and stroller that fit together. They have great models that you can choose from.
I have family and friends that also love the Britax Travel System. I chose to get a travel system instead of a separate car seat and stroller because a travel system ensures they fit together and can help you save money too.
As great as it is to save money, I’m going to discourage you from buying a used car seat. You cannot be 100% sure that the car seat has not been in an accident and/or contain defects which could compromise the safety of your baby.
Important tip: Car seats include expiration dates! I didn’t know about this little fact until my second baby. Expiration dates can be found at the bottom of each car seat so you’ll know when it’s time to get a new one.
Another obvious one, but you know you need clothes for your baby. 😉 I would wait until you have your baby shower to buy clothes. Chances are you’ll receive a lot of clothes during the baby shower. Also, refrain from ripping off all the tags because most likely you won’t go through all those infant clothes. Babies grow really fast during those first few months. You can re-gift the new ones you didn’t use or save them for future babies down the road.
I would recommend having a few sets in the first few sizes: newborn, 0-3 moths, 3-6 moths, etc. Also, if you feel your baby may come early, purchase at least one preemie-sized outfit. My daughter was born nearly a month early, and the smallest size of 0-3 months was still too big for her.
To make your baby feel safe and secure, you’ll be swaddling baby a lot. Swaddling blankets can get expensive, so I purchased flannel patterns, and my mother-in-law hemmed the edges (I’m not great with a sewing machine).
Handy tip: Buy your fabric during the holidays, especially on Black Friday. I was able to combine the store’s sales with an additional store coupon and saved 75% off many cute designs.
During the warmer months where a flannel blanket could get too warm for baby, I love using muslin swaddling blankets. I received some great ones during my baby shower. They are very breathable for baby.
When my babies were first born, because of their very delicate skin, Pampers Swaddlers were the only brand that worked. If I tried anything else, their skin would break out.
Once my children were able to wear larger sizes, I went with Target’s Up & Up brand diapers. They work very well and are affordable!
I love Pampers Sensitive wipes. They work well, and I’ve never had anyone break out from them.
Another favorite of mine that I discovered a few months ago and LOVE are WaterWipes. They are 99.9% water. I find that they do a better job cleaning up but are more expensive than Pampers.
Changing pad & mat
Make sure you have a quality changing pad. You’ll find that always running to the nursery and using the changing table will get old fast — especially if you live in a two-story house as I do. I find it very convenient to lay the mat on the sofa and change baby.
Busy moms still need to complete tasks and take care of baby at the same time. You’ll need a quality baby carrier that’s easy on your body. Do your research for one that fits your budget and has the features you’re looking for. I love the Ergobaby 360. It’s ergonomic and ideal for carrying baby.
If you decide to breastfeed, please invest in a quality breast pump, preferably a double electric breast pump.
With the passage of The Affordable Care Act, your health insurance must cover the cost of a breast pump. Check with your insurance about the guidelines for this coverage. They will have instructions on what type of breast pump is allowed and the steps to receive one.
I used the Medela Pump In Style Advanced for my last two pregnancies and loved it! It’s durable and has never failed me.
You’ll also need bottles so Dad or anyone else can help with feeding baby or when you just don’t want to breastfeed. If you’re planning on heading back to work after your maternity leave, durable bottles with quality nipples to use, while you’re also breastfeeding, are a must. I encourage you to do your research to see which one works best for nursing babies.
Unfortunately for me, none of my children ever took to the bottle so I never found a brand I loved.
All my babies slept in a bassinet or bassinet-type item when they first came home. It was so great to have them close by without running upstairs all the time. I loved being able to roll them with me in the kitchen when I had to prep a meal.
To save on space, we went with a high chair that sits on a chair. It took up less room and was easy to transport. This one is my favorite and what we used with our first two children and continue to use it today with our third.
There are so many types of bathtubs to help you bathe your little one. Some come with features to help you with the transition from newborn to toddler. My favorite one is the Fisher-Price Whale Tub. It even comes with a cute little spout for gentle rinsing or play.
Baby nail clippers
Baby’s nails grow amazingly fast and are so delicate that you’ll get nervous trimming them. You can always have them wear mittens to stop themselves from inadvertently scratching themselves, or you could give the nails a little trim.
We’ve gone through a few baby nail clippers, and the one that has lasted has been Safety 1st Steady Grip Infant Clipper. The grip is nice, and I’m able to easily trim those little nails.
You’ll need a quality diaper bag to store all your baby items when you’re out and about. My first diaper bag, I made the mistake of buying one with only two straps where I couldn’t wear it comfortably on my shoulder or cross-body, and it was quite the inconvenience.
I eventually invested in the Eddie Bauer Easy Access Duffle Diaper Bag, and it’s the one we still use today. It has many pockets to store lots of items, and I love being able to put wipes on the side so they don’t take up space inside the bag.
And last but not least, get yourself a NoseFrida! I recently just discovered this product in the last year and love it! Stop messing with those bulb syringes to suck the snot when baby is sick and congested.
The NoseFrida is a nasal aspirator with a tube to be placed against (not inside) baby’s nostril then parents use their own suction to suck the mucus out.
Now I know that sounds gross and you might worry about snot getting into your mouth, but that will never happen. It’s a long tube, and there’s a filter barrier as well.
Your new bundle of joy will come with a lot of needs, and you’re sure to invest even more money for their care, but these are items I feel are a must and will make your life so much easier. You can get back to just loving and caring for your little one.
If you’re an experienced mom, what is a must-have item for your baby? Let me know in the comments.
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