*This post was originally written in 2013, a few months after I had my first baby girl, Anabelle. Now that I've had THREE babies, Lyla in 2015 and Millie in 2018 I've updated this post with new favorites. This post has been pinned on Pinterest tens of thousands of times and even led to a feature in Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine in April 2015, a month before my second baby was born.
This post is 100% unsponsored (although I ONLY work with brands I absolutely love in other sponsored posts, which are ALWAYS clearly disclosed at the bottom). I've given my honest and most heartfelt opinion on everything, and I gave this exact same list and exact same advice to my own sister when she had her first. I feel honored so many of you have trusted me to help you find baby gear you'll love and I hope this helps make everything from the blowouts to the late night feeds to the many “firsts” just a little easier.
I am so excited to finally bring you a post that has been in draft mode for months, edited and re-edited, added to, deleted, and perfected. It's really been a labor of love. This is my ultimate best baby registry list of ALL the things you will need for your baby.
When I got prego the first time in 2012, I made it my business to know about all the hottest products and researched the heck out of every baby gadget out there. I
interviewed interrogated best friends, co-workers, my sister in law, neighbors, even complete strangers in public on their favorite baby everything. I joined online mom forums. I religiously followed (stalked) baby guru experts. I think I read everything on the internet ever published about every stroller, carrier, diaper, binky, and onesie out there. I'm only slightly exaggerating, but not much. Before I even had my kid, my friends were referring their friends to me for baby gear questions. If you want to nerd out on a convo about strollers or car seats, come sit by me!
As you can imagine, when I actually HAD my baby, I discovered even more what I actually like, don't like, LOVE, can't live without, etc. And that's what I'm going to share today with all of you.
My favorite place to create a registry? Amazon baby registry because they have a generous completion program (15% off everything on your registry after your baby is born if you're a member of amazon prime), free returns for 90 days – no questions asked, you can add things from ANY other website (not just amazon) to your amazon registry. It's SO easy for people who shop Amazon anyway to buy things off your registry, AND they have an amazing thank-you note organizer that automatically saves the mailing addresses of anyone who sends you a gift so you can easily send them a thank you note. Need I say more?!
Lastly, because my blog mint arrow is dedicated to deals, I promise that anytime I find a deal on any of these baby favorites and must haves, I'll post them on my blog! So if you're liking what you see below, make sure you sign up for my newsletter to get updates on the best deals I find on baby gear plus fashion, beauty, kid stuff, home decor, etc.
So, without further ado, here are my absolute MUST HAVE favorite baby items.
Bumpin in style:
Mother's Special Blend All Natural Skin Toning Oil: I have stretch marks all over my body from growing fast as a kid, but I didn't get a SINGLE stretch mark on my belly during ANY of my 3 pregnancies and I believe it's because I used this stuff daily. It smells good, helps with itching, and doesn't stain your clothes or bedding.
*Used this with my second AND THIRD pregnancy and STILL not a single stretch mark on my belly! I LOVE THIS STUFF!!!
Speaking of be maternity, their Bella Band is fantastic for that weird in-between stage where you aren't quite ready for maternity pants but you can't button yours either. Of the brands I tried, these were my fave and (bonus!) least expensive.
For my second pregnancy I tried out this belly band and I hate to say it but it worked WAY better! It's just stronger, sturdier, better made, will keep your pants up all day. Third pregnancy – didn't use any type of belly/bella band for very long because the third time around especially, I knew JUST how amazing maternity jeans were and didn't want to wait one day longer than necessary to jump right into maternity jeans.outfit details here
Paige Ultra Skinny Maternity Jeans: Over the course of three pregnancies I've tried everything from the cheapest to most expensive, and THIS is the pair I would wear every single day if I had to choose just one! So comfy and cute and flattering. 1000% worth every penny. One of my ONLY regrets from my first pregnancy was waiting so dang long to just buy maternity clothes.
Let me be crystal clear: THERE IS NO SHAME IN WEARING MATERNITY CLOTHES. They are awesome. AWESOME. Comfy. Cute. Not frumpy like they were, um, a few years back. A million times better than uncomfortably trying to make your regular clothes work. Just do it. You'll wonder why you waited so long.
Amazon ruched dress: Pictured above, so stretchy and SOFT and comfy and pretty and it comes in a zillion colors so you can match it with a bunch of different kimonos or cardigans – one of my favorite FLATTERING ways to dress up a bump!outfit details here
Asos maternity dresses: My favorite source for maternity dresses! You can find something for the most casual settings to the fanciest. The dress I'm wearing above came from them. It's sold out completely now but they're constantly adding new cute ones so check back frequently throughout your pregnancy.
In the hospital and going home:
Swaddle Blankets: The first time, everyone told me to NOT bring my own swaddle blankets into the hospital for my baby. But I went with my gut and threw them in my bag anyway. And I'm SO GLAD I DID. I absolutely loved having my own swaddle blankets. The floral one pictured above is from this etsy shop.
We've loved aden + anais swaddle blankets through all 3 of our baby's births, but my VERY favorite swaddles recently are Mebie Baby (pictured above). They are SO crazy stretchy and soft and HUGE! Bigger than any of the other swaddles we've tried which makes such a big difference when your babies are tall. I can't even tell you how much I love them. We also really love Saranoni swaddle blankets and their comfy lush blankets (not for swaddling but just for snuggling) are the very softest in the entire world.
How many: I was told you should have at least 12 swaddle blankets. I'm sort of embarrassed to say we had 20 something, BUT we used all of them! think about it, they spit up all day, have blow outs, etc, and you swaddle them in those constantly. If you want to not do laundry daily, I honestly suggest getting 16-20.
Miracle blanket: My family thought this was so mean, they even called it the straight jacket. but, this thing really is incredible! It makes swaddling so easy (and idiot proof) and helps your baby to get all cozy-swaddled for the perfect sleepy time.
Sidenote: I was also told to not bring my own baby clothes into the hospital. Whatever. I'm SO glad I didn't follow that advice! there was nothing better than dressing up my brand new baby girl in cuddly clothes that I picked out just for her. That's just me though.
Baby's first clothes: We love gap's first favorites collection! Just remember that your little one will need to be in an outfit with legs (not a footless bundler) to ride home in his/her car seat from the hospital. Also, you'll want to wash the clothes in baby detergent before you bring them to the hospital. Also pictured below are l'oved baby organic jammies which we've loved, and Millie's ruffle sleeve onesie was JUST restocked and it is my favorite onesie she owns! I've also really loved Rosie Pope baby on amazon – SUPER cute and really affordable.
Baby shoes: you won't need these for a while, but hands-down my very FAVORITE baby shoes are Freshly Picked Moccasins. I've bought and treasured these for each of my babies and they're not only the cutest but the best shoes for your babies to learn to walk in, and they actually stay on their little feet.
I also took with us the bow hats you see below. I had always seen SO many babies with the cutest little bow hats in the hospital and wondered if just maybe some hospitals stocked those, until I finally asked my friend and L&D nurse Heidi (who's also a Mint Arrow team member!) about them and she told me the nurses MAKE these bows out of a regular hospital baby hat – who knew! I was so happy I had bought my own though for $12 because the hospital I delivered at didn't make one for me so I was so glad I had gotten my own. Also pictured above: braided pacifier clip, natursutten pacifier (these are so pretty but my kids never like them ha), newborn bonnet ($12 for 2!), stretchy bow headband.
Gerber onesies: The hospital will have some, but you'll want some at home too. The basic gerber ones are awesome.
Extra long iPhone cord: If you own an iPhone, you will be SO HAPPY you ordered one of these. You won't be able to get up out of bed very easily but will probably want to be able to use your phone a lot, and who knows how close the nearest outlet will be. I was sooooo glad I had this!
Hair ties: These ones are my fave.
Toiletries: Bring your makeup, your favorite shampoo and conditioner, favorite lotion, deodorant, some dry shampoo (this dry shampoo is my very favorite) and facial cleansing wipes, your toothbrush, etc. You will want to freshen up a little, I promise! It will make you feel so much better, especially if you're in the hospital for more than a day. See my full hospital bag in this post.
Husband/partner's bag: Tell your hubs/partner to pack a change of clothes, and if he plans on staying at the hospital with you, his own pillow, maybe even his own sheets or a blanket he likes, his own snacks and any medication he might need, a laptop if he can do work from the hospital during down-time, and a movie or two (although our hospital had a red box the first time and movies on the TV the last two times).
If you already have a kid at home, things will be a little different this time! This is how we did things with baby #2: since I had a scheduled c-section, we had a planned babysitter for the day of Lyla's delivery. A babysitter brought Anabelle to the hospital to meet Lyla a few hours after she was born, then Neil took Anabelle home and I stayed in the hospital with Lyla. Each day after that we had a sitter in the morning come to the house and stay with Ani while Neill came for 3-4 hours to hang out and bond with Lyla, then he went home around lunch time and after Ani's afternoon nap, early evening(ish) they both came back to the hospital for a short visit and to bring me dinner 🙂 that worked out really well for us! Then the day you are discharged, you for sure want to leave older sibling(s) at home with a sitter while dad helps you gather all your stuff and takes you & baby home. When I had Millie (baby #3) we tried this schedule but the two older girls were so crazy the second day so I told Neil to just leave them at home (ha!) after their second visit, and that they could just see baby sis when we got home from the hospital.
Hospital gown: Make sure they give you one of these. Being funny, but really. People made the biggest deal out of getting great/cute/comfy/stylish button downs and jammies and sweats and runway gowns (kidding) to wear in the hospital. And you know what? I wore the hospital gown the whole time. Easy access for the nurses who need to check you every couple hours, easy access for nursing, baggy enough to comfortably cover everything you need and want covered while you're recovering from just birthing a human.my hospital bag here
With Lyla and Millie I did take a couple sleep shirts or pajama sets (this is my all time fave!) that buttoned to hang out in and I'm glad I did! It was nice for pictures on Mother's Day (below) and when visitors came.
Nursing Bras: these are my new favorites because they're ultra affordable (3 for $27!), comfy enough to sleep in. but have a removable cup liner so they hide your nips and nursing pads and you feel like you can wear them out and about with real clothes! They're also the very best for the Willow Pump (more on that in a minute). For a nicer bra, this one by Bravado is my current fave – also comfy enough to sleep in which is a huge bonus when you're often falling asleep in your clothes ha!
You'll want something comfy to go home in too. not to burst your bubble, but there's basically no chance in h. You're going to fit into your pre-pregnancy pants. So plan on wearing something very comfortable, stretchy, think drawstring and what you comfortably wore 6-months prego. With Anabelle I wore a velour sweatsuit home and uggs since it was winter in Utah… nice and comfy. With Lyla and Millie, since we're in California now and it was end of spring, I wore a free people dress home from the hospital that I knew I'd feel totally comfortable in. flowy, comfy, easy.
You can't leave the hospital without a car seat so …
Nuna Pipa car seat & base: We've used this one for Lyla and now Millie and LOVE it! The newest version, the Nuna Pipa Lite is one of the lightest on the market (5.7 lbs), and the privacy screen is so great! No need for a car seat canopy. It's also extremely easy to install into a car. We use it with our city select stroller and it clicks right into the stroller base with this adapter kit. I also LOVE it in the UppaBaby Vista with this adapter!
City Go Car Seat: this is my #1 pick for a stroller that's budget friendly AND has amazing amazon reviews!! This is the one I had my mom get for my sister and she loves it, and we bought it too just so we could have a car seat with the seatbelt path for traveling, since the Nuna Pipa Lite doesn't have one! It's actually very cozy for baby to sit and sleep in too!
I have c-sections, so these are my recommendations based off a c-section recovery. By the way, motherhood is amazing and beautiful no matter what way you become a mother, be that a c-section, natural birth, birth with drugs, or adoption. Just had to throw that in there!
Mesh undies: Hoard these. Take as many homes as you can. You will be glad you did. Just trust me on this.
Pads: You are gonna need these. For a while. way longer than you expect (probably) if you are a first-time mom. These are the ones I liked best.
Fridababy momwasher is 100000x better than the squirt bottle that the hospital gives you! I think it’s my most favorite postpartum discovery of this pregnancy and I want to hand one to every woman who has a new baby. It’s THAT GOOD.
Colace: Take this religiously. Do not forget. Do not skip it. Do not cheat. Do not run out. Do not forget to buy it. Do not collect $200 and go directly to jail. No but really. just trust me on this one.
Belly Bandit: I was SO GLAD I bought this. It kind of helps feel like you have something supporting/holding everything in while your c-section scar heals. If you didn't have a c-section, It will still help with pulling everything in and moving your hips back into place while your body still has relaxin in its system – the chemical that helps your hips spread to prepare for baby to come out (ha thanks a lot right!) stays in your system anywhere from at least 6 weeks to a year. Take advantage of when your hips will move easily and wear this thing every day for the first 6 weeks to help your hips go back to normal. When I used this mine went back for sure to their normal size and maybe even a bit smaller! With my second and third postpartum experiences, I tried out a few post-pregnancy girdles to see if I liked anything better. I tried cheaper, more expensive, etc., and I still love belly bandit the best!
House dresses:Let’s be honest, you’re gonna feel a little like you just got hit by a semi-truck, yet you still look 6 months pregnant, and combining that with the sleeplessness it’s kind of hard to feel human after having a baby! I have LOVED the house dress trend that’s been huge this time around (where was this when I had my other two babies?!?!!!) and one of the BEST house dresses I’ve found was from Nesting Olive (pictured above). I love that the sleeves are a little more tailored, the body is at a flattering a-line, and it has convenient snaps for nursing! It’s cute enough to wear on your first couple ventures out of the house but comfy enough to sleep in.
Diapering, laundering, bathtime and first aid:
Amazon family: If you're die-hard into name-brand diapers and wipes, this is the best way to go. You can sign up for a free 30 day trial membership here and it will give you 30 days of free 2-day shipping, a 20% discount on diapers and wipes, and other special promotions throughout the year that I'll always post about on my blog when they pop up, like special discount events where tons of gear and baby products are offered at a huge discount.
HOW MANY?: Okay, the hospital will give you diapers. But you'll (obviously) need some when you go home. And unless you have a really big baby, your babe will most likely be in newborn size diaps for a few weeks.
I stressed and STRESSED about how many diapers to buy in what sizes and here's my advice: take a deep breath and don't worry about it. Buy ONE jumbo package of newborn size diapers and then just wait and see how fast your baby grows. I swear my baby was only in size 2 for a few weeks, but she's been in size 3 for months! kids are all different and it's a little unpredictable what sizes they'll be in at which ages and for how long.
One of my favorite diaper tricks: I like to buy up a size and put my baby in those at night with a little diaper cream. They're her “nighttime” diapers and then when I realize she's suddenly grown out of her current diapers, I already have the next size up on-hand. So for example, when she was in newborn diapers, she slept in a size 1 diaper at night.
Favorite diapers: I used to SWEAR by Target diapers but you guys – I am so sad – they totally changed them and they're terrible now! At first I thought it was a fluke, but a few blowouts and leaks later I've sworn them off now 🙁 But one brand that's gotten even BETTER is Honest diapers. I used to talk some heat on these diapers saying they were a silly luxury, buying “cute” diapers for your kid to pee and poop in but YOU GUYS. They changed the overall construction of their diaper and they are BY FAR the most absorbent, blowout-proof, leak-proof diaper I've used this time and Neil agrees. Honest diapers are just superior, which is nice when you're spending more!
If you're on a budget I actually think amazon basics diapers are pretty good too!
Wipes: I have tried LOTS and my favorite for inexpensive are Costco hands down! Honest company has some really great plant-based wipes that come in super cute packaging to match your cute diapers that we've loved for being gentle and effective. If you're interested in water wipes, I tried both the water wipes brand and Pamper's version and I like Pampers water wipes the best! However, I didn't love Pampers new pure diapers all that much … I thought they were just okay but not worth the extra $.
Aquaphor baby healing ointment: this has been the most amazing butt cream I've ever used, better than butt paste, better than desitin, better than everything I've tried. I put a layer of this on Millie's butt before bed every single night before I put her down for the night and it's like a protective layer that prevents diaper rash. I LOVE IT.
BabyBum Diaper cream brush: for sure the most ridiculous looking baby gear item I've ever seen but also the most underrated by far!I thought these were just straight up stupid when I first saw them, but okay they're ACTUALLY PRETTY COOL. It allows you to spread the cream or ointment on their bum way more evenly and then you just wipe it off with your wipe after and your fingers aren't covered in baby butt cream while you try to not get it on your baby as you set him/her down before you go wash your hands. You're laughing if you've done this before because you know it's true!
This smart changing pad/scale is a bit of a splurge, but I love that it has helped me to track baby Millie's growth and development in between doctor's appointments. It's both a changing pad and a scale, and it automatically syncs with an app on my phone to log her weight at every changing. A smart changing pad is the kind of thing I totally rolled my eyes at when I first heard about it, but Millie was under weight and needed extra check-ups in her first few days home so this actually provided me with a LOT of peace of mind and I felt like it was totally worth easing my mind. Now that she's moved past being underweight, I love that it gives all kinds of insights into weight, feedings, and diaper changes through the app and it's actually all really fascinating to follow along with!
Munchkin Diaper Pail: Many people recommended this diaper pail over the diaper genie and we love it. It's way less expensive and the arm&hammer baking soda helps take care of the smell! I've heard a lot of people say they just use a regular trash can and that's great too.
Munchkin diaper bag dispenser: this has been a lifesaver more than once! Changing a stinky diaper with nowhere to dispose of it? No problem, this little bag dispenser will keep it from stinking up your car or someone else's house until you can get to a proper trash! I've also used one of these for a blowout on an outfit that you don't want to throw away if you're out and about, but you can't wash it right on the spot.
Gathre micro mat: I LOVE this little mat to throw in all my diaper bags! It makes changing baby on any surface, whether it's one of those sketchy pull-down things in a public restroom or your friend's sofa or an airport waiting area feel a whole lot safer because there's a buffer between baby's cute bum and the surface you're changing them on. We LOVE gathre mats for our big girls too for all their crafting adventures, we take one on every single beach trip, and Neil is a stickler about ALWAYS having one in the trunk of our cars to protect the upholstery from stroller rash haha. Yes I just made that up.
Oxiclean Versatile Stain Remover: An absolute must for getting all those baby spit up stains out. There will be a lot of them. Get ready.
Fels-naptha soap: One of my sweet neighbors came to meet Lyla when she was just a couple days old and brought me a bar of this soap and told me it was the BEST for getting out baby blowout stains. She was right! I'll never go back. Immediately wash any of those blowouts out in cold water and scrub with this bar of soap, then throw in the wash and they'll come out completely unscathed.
Noodle & Boo Ultimate Cleansing Cloths: So nice for when they're a few days old and you can't get their little umbilical cord wet. Also great if you've just bathed them and then they spit up and you don't want the poor thing to smell like spit-up all day. These smell like heaven.
Eurobath: Hands down my favorite baby bath. A ton of other moms recommended this to me and it was a million times easier to use than the tummy tub (the baby bathtub I originally bought). it also converts nicely to a sitting-up tub once they're at that stage.
Puj tub: this one is so nice for when they're teeny tiny, and it folds up so small and travels really easily too! Ideal if you live in a smaller space and don't have a lot of storage. Just know they grow out of these pretty fast so you'll need something else by 6 months at least.
Noodle & Boo Soothing Body Wash and Super Soft Lotion: This set is still one of my favorite baby smells. Every single time anyone picks up one of my babies after I used this wash or lotion on her, they say “oooh she smells so good!” I've switched Lyla and Millie over to Tubby Todd pretty quickly because it's way better for their skin, but for nostalgic reasons I've had all 3 of my girls take their first bath in Noodle & Boo and I have a feeling it's a scent that will make me cry someday when I want to remember what it was like having a brand new baby.
Tubby Todd: the MOST AMAZING baby soap and lotion of all time. If you have a baby with skin issues, this will change your life! With Anabelle we didn't have much of an issue with eczema but Lyla had it pretty bad at first. We started using Tubby Todd and it cleared up OVERNIGHT. Millie has had a little bit of baby acne and cradle cap and it vanishes within 24 hours every time I apply the all over ointment. Washing my babies in Tubby Todd and applying all-over ointment has given them the most beautiful flawless baby skin. This is a MUST in my opinion.
SpaSilk 10 Count Washcloths: These are ultra soft and inexpensive and perfect for baby bath time.
Little giraffe hooded towel: I've gotten one for Lyla and for Millie because theyr'e THE softest towels I've ever felt in my life. It was a splurge (on sale during the nordstrom anniversary sale) but one of my favorite baby items. Definitely more of a fun luxury than a must-have, but a great gift idea if you're giving to someone who's having their second or third or tenth baby 🙂 Just don't put it in the dryer, it will lose its softness!! Hang dry only.
FridaBaby NailFrida: Cutting baby fingernails is the worst part of being a mommy. There's no way of getting around it and you will feel like the worst person to walk this earth when you cut your baby's fingers for the first time. But it's also terrible when they scratch themselves so it's a necessary evil. Sorry. Good luck. These are the best nail clippers I've found for babies though!
zoli buzz b nail trimmer: We LOVE THIS SO MUCH! Saves your sweet little babe from getting their skin clipped with the clippers. Super gentle but it still gets the job done. Worth every penny!!!
Braun baby Thermometer: We started Anabelle out with an anal thermometer and hated it. It was so hard to get an accurate reading, so I finally spent $30 and ordered this one instead. Love it. So comforting to know your baby's true temp by just putting this in their ear when they're sick! This is the best seller for baby thermometers on amazon.
Nosefrida The Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator: Truly one of the most genius inventions ever. you will be so glad you bought this. Trust me.
I nursed and pumped, so these are my recommendations based off my personal experience.
Sleep Bra for Nursing and Maternity: My sister told me about this one! It's the best and most comfy nursing bra for sleeping, hanging out at home, and when your boobs are engorged and the size of watermelons. I wish I were kidding.
Nursing cover: This cover completely changed my life! I went from being nervous and uncomfortable to completely confident and not worried one bit about nursing anytime, anywhere. The best part about this cover is it covers your front and back! It's soft, stretchy, machine washable, and can be used as a car seat canopy in a pinch, too. I've used and loved my covered goods cover and milksnob covers. They're both awesome!
Gerber birdseye flatfold cloth diapers are great for using as burp cloths around the house. A splurge that's well worth it IMO are the aden + anais burpy bibs. They are the nicest and we use them a TON. Love that they double as bibs. Great for on-the-go. With Millie I've loved these organic burp cloths too.
Breast Pumps: I'm pretty passionate about pumping because I did it almost every day for the first year of my first baby's life, I pumped for six months for Lyla, and have pumped every day so far with Millie too.
Spectra Pump: my #1 choice now for an affordable, portable and hospital grade pump! I've tried Medela, Ameda and now the Spectra and by far my fave of a traditional pump is the Spectra. I love that it’s reasonably priced, love that it has a tiny night light, love that it’s not too gigantic or heavy. My only complaint is that it has a single bottle holder spot in the back, which is nice because it keeps it small but weird that there’s just one! It’s hospital grade and it was one of the top recommended new baby items that other moms told me about before I had my newest baby Millie.
Willow Pump: for the mom on-the-go, especially working moms or even if you just see yourself traveling or needing to pump on the go while you run kids to different appointments or anywhere where you don’t want to have to plug into a wall or have huge bottles hanging off your body and tubes coming out everywhere, the Willow Pump will turn your world upside down!! This pump has literally been a complete and total GAME CHANGER for me this time around. I can pump virtually anywhere, very discreetly, without having to worry about plugging in or tubes or hiding gigantic pump bottles.
Comotomo bottles: these ones that feel like a boob! My girls have loved these, they feel the most like a boob and real nipple so they’re supposed to cut down on nipple confusion if you’re worried about that! They also are designed so you don’t need a bottle brush to clean them out which is SO NICE. They have vents as well to help with proper digestion and to avoid colic or gassiness by reducing the amount of air they’re gulping.
Gerber first essentials bottles: when Millie is a little older we’ll probably also start using these bottles that Lyla carried around for EVER! You can get them for about $1 a piece at Target and I never stressed about Lyla leaving one somewhere or having to throw one away if it was gross after not being cleaned out once she switched to formula at 6 months.
Baby Brezza Formula Pro: speaking of formula, I switched Lyla to formula feeding at 6 months (more on that here) and we absolutely LOVED this formula bottle maker!!! It warms, mixes and dispenses the perfect amount of formula FOR YOU. One of those things I thought might be silly and unnecessary that turned out to be something we used SO MUCH that it felt like it was worth every single penny.
Dr. Brown's Breastmilk Storage Bags: These are a little more expensive than the most popular milk storage bags, but they're more sturdy and less likely to tip over and spill! I felt like the extra couple dollars was well worth it and bought these over and over. I also love these bags for the same reason!
OXO Tot Bottle Brush with Nipple Cleaner and Stand: The best bottle brush ever. I read up on my reviews and this one lives up to the hype. I bought it in pink because I'm obnoxious like that. Gender neutral, what's that? ha.<
Philips 2 Pack AVENT Soothie Pacifier: These are the pacifiers most hospitals use, but my girls have never taken these super well. My advice with pacifiers, if you're hoping your baby will take one, is to buy a bunch of different kinds and just see what they like!
POP pacifier: this has been Millie's very favorite binky by far, and I think it's because the silicone is SO SOFT. It feels most like a real nipple! We also love that if these fall on the floor, the nipple POPS back so it doesn't get dirty. This paci was even featured on Shark Tank for being so smart!!
Madeline's box paci clips: We love these pretty pacifier clips for keeping our baby's binkys clean! Cute and functional – yes please.
Wubbanub: I remember seeing people whose kids had these in their mouths and thinking “those things are fugly and my kid will never use one of those.” yeah, I ate my words. They are the bomb when your baby can't keep the bink in their mouth. The little stuffed animal has just enough weight to help hold the binkie in, and it will help them with grabbing onto something to get it back in their mouth on their own, too.
Boppy Bare Naked Pillow: I absolutely lived for my boppy when i nursed! I wanted a new boppy cover for Lyla since my first one was covered in spit-up stains and pretty hammered. I splurged on this soft cover and love it. Washes up really well and is super well made!
We bought a bottle warmer and hated it. If you're going to breast feed and pump, I suggest just running the pumped milk under hot water (refrigerated or frozen). It's easy, quick, and will never be too hot for your baby.
Baby food feeding:
Boon Flair Pedestal Highchair: The best high chair ever of all time, IMO. We are obsessed. No cracks or crevices for nasty leftovers to hide out in. Perfect snug/comfy fit. Removable tray liner that's small enough to actually fit into your dishwasher. Has a pneumonic lift like a barber chair. Best purchase you will ever make.
I haven't tried it myself, but I have friends who love this Micuna high chair and I think it's absolutely beautiful! Prettiest high chair I've ever seen for sure.
Ikea Antilop Highchair: The second best high chair and it's $20. We have this at my mom's house and love it! The boon flair still wins in my book because of the pneumonic lift, the fit (this Ikea high chair has pretty big gaps for food to drop into when kids are learning to feed themselves and also to wiggle out of) but, having said that, it's an excellent choice if you're on a tight budget!
NUK Gerber Graduates Rest Easy Spoons: Our favorite baby spoons. Love the built-in support that makes putting the spoon down without having it touch the counter super easy.
Boon Dishes: Favorite baby food dishes! Love the no-slip bottoms. ** we haven't gotten to baby food yet with Millie but I'll update on our new favorites when we do!
Bumkins Waterproof SuperBib: Best bibs ever!
Snoo: okay this is by far the COOLEST new baby invention since we had Lyla 3 years ago. I actually met Dr. Harvey Karp at a baby event in LA almost 5 years ago and I remember him telling me about how they were developing a smart crib that would rock your baby back to sleep for you, but they were going through crazy testing to make sure it was safe. I was SO excited to see it finally come out and try it with Millie!!
The SNOO bassinet is practically like having a mother’s helper around the clock in your house…FOR REAL! It’s a smart sleeper that actually responds to your baby’s fussing and movement. So if it senses them tossing and turning or crying out, it will respond with increased rocking and white noise to soothe them! It comes with tracking capabilities on your phone, including how long their longest stretch of sleep is by the day. You can also set it to a more gentle mode if you have a preemie baby, and a weaning mode when you’re ready to wean them and move them to the crib.
It comes with swaddles that attach to the bed and keep baby on their back, so it claims to be the safest bassinet on the market. AND let’s talk about how beautiful it is! The minimalist and chic design of the Snoo looks good in every nursery.
The price is definitely up there and I don’t think for a minute it’s a necessity to getting your baby to sleep. My first two girls slept through the night JUST fine without the Snoo, so I would never want any new mom to feel like their baby isn't going to sleep if they can't afford the Snoo. But it is for sure REALLY nice to have, and when people ask me (all the time) whether it’s worth the splurge I always say, “YES! It totally is.” Because if you’re the type of person who’s considering splurging on it, and it’s reasonably within your budget, I think it’s an AMAZING help to mom and dad who could use more sleep at night. However, if you’re just like “no way I can’t spend that much!” then the same company actually makes those same magic swaddle sacs that you can buy for $23, and add some white noise from an app on an iPad or a big box fan (from any hardware store) or a white noise maker and you’ll have something similar to the snoo, minus the rocking that responds to your baby’s cries.
Sleep books: speaking of sleep, I'm pretty passionate about this topic too and I should probably just write a separate post all about this! In the meantime, if you're a new mom or a mom who's had “bad sleepers” in the past and you want to try something new with a new baby, I highly HIGHLY recommend reading Baby Wise. I've followed these principles with all 3 of my girls and had amazing sleepers. Hint: it's ALL about the daytime schedule. And no, I haven't had to make any of them “cry it out.” Just read the book! 🙂
I also really like Happiest Baby on the Block, written by Dr. Karp who invented the Snoo!
Cribs: Here are a few of my faves!
Pottery Barn kendall crib $349 right now, super affordable, white, and classic.
Jenny Lind Crib: Charming and timeless.
Ikea also carries very affordable cribs that are super popular and perfect if you are planning a clean, modern design for your nursery.
I also really love these babyletto cribs from target! Most of them are very affordable, modern, and so cute!
Milliard crib mattress: a top rated crib mattress on amazon that we got for Millie's nursery. It's affordable and had amazing reviews!
Dockatot: this is for sure one of my top 3 favorite new things we've gotten for Millie!! You guys. This thing is incredible! We use it for everything from lounging to sleeping to tummy time and I honestly don’t know how we’d live without it. It’s the perfect place for her to snuggle up after she eats and I loved it during recovery from my c-section because I could set Millie right next to me. We’ve brought it from room to room in the house and even to the beach! It also creates the perfect “safe zone” for her when her big sisters are playing or wanting to snuggle on the bed. Millie is just as cozy as can be in her comfy little bed, and I love that it’s lightweight enough that I can move it around the house.
If you end up buying the dockatot and loving it as much as we have, I also highly recommend buying the dockatot transport bag. We had to shove the dockatot in a suitcase for a couple of trips and I was so worried about ruining it. The travel bag is so nice because it fits perfectly and you have room to put a few other smaller things inside the bag too!
Changing table: We actually bought a used changing table that had been refinished from a local craigslist-like site (KSL) for Anabelle, but you can use any dresser that you have or find one at a thrift store and paint it, put a changing pad and cover on top, and voila. You have a changing table.
I was going for a more modern look for Lyla's nursery so I bought a West Elm dresser that I knew we could transition into a big girl room eventually or use in almost any room in our house later if we needed to switch things up! See it in her big girl bedroom now. We got this pretty one for Millie's room and I plan to keep using it for years just like we did with Lyla.
Pottery Barn kids comfort swivel glider:This glider is one of my favorite purchases because I spent so many hours nursing our baby in it, and it's so comfy I could fall asleep in it. I actually still use this three babies later, in our bedroom, for early morning, late night and every hour in between feedings!
I dreamed about getting a nurseryworks rocker with all 3 of my girls and finally got one for Millie's nursery! It's actually made ergonomically to be SO comfy and I love the hours I've spent nursing her in it.
Bedding: My favorite place for baby bedding now is the same place I find my favorite grownup bedding too – Anthropologie. Their stuff is beautiful, soft, well-made, and not cheesy or tacky and I feel like not a lot of people know they sell baby bedding! also, Target has some cute crib sheets that are super budget-friendly.
Hello Baby monitor: this one of the highest rated AND one of the most affordable baby monitors! I tried it out just so I could know if it was good enough to recommend and my answer is YES 1000%. It has amazing range, clear picture and sound, and I can keep an eye on Millie when I'm outside or on the other side of the house while she's napping.
We love our Vivint system cameras too as baby monitors and I LOVE that when I'm out and about I can still check on my baby from an app on my phone, anywhere.
White noise: you can use a box fan or a white noise maker (we love this portable one!) but most baby sleep experts agree that white noise is essential to getting babies good naps and to sleep through the night!
out and about:
City Select Stroller: We have this stroller and LOVE IT. Single that converts into a double, babies can face 16 different ways, travel system, best stroller on the planet. It glides like a dream and grows with your family from a single to a double and back to a single if your older kiddo grows out of sitting in a stroller, and you can even add a kick board for an older child to stand on. GENIUS! I have recommended this stroller more than ANY other stroller and it really is probably my favorite of all time, and it's one of my favorites to find AMAZING deals on for my readers so make sure you're following the blog for ALL the stroller deals I find!
UppaBaby Vista: we have this one too, after many many years of people asking me to compare it to the City Select and I have to say I do REALLY love it. It's very similar in my opinion to the City Select, and a lot harder to find on sale, whereas I'm pretty confident I can find my reader a killer deal on a City Select if she's reading my blog during her entire pregnancy. The heftier price tag on the UppaBaby is a little hard for me to justify in recommending it, but I do love that the undercarriage basket is GINORMOUS!! And I love using the Nuna Pipa lite in this stroller with this adapter. It just glides in like butter, where a lot of other strollers seem to
BOB Revolution Jogging Stroller: The very most popular jogging stroller on the market. If you are a jogger, this is a must-have. We own this and lovelovelove it too. Neil has taken our girls out on so many beach trail runs in the BOB and now in our Double BOB. They're so durable and great for families that are active or parents who want to be able to run with their babies.
Baby Jogger City Mini Single Stroller: In my opinion, the very best budget-friendly single stroller out there. lightweight, patented one-hand quick fold, huge canopy, huge undercarriage basket, sometimes called the cadillac of umbrella strollers (even though it's not truly an umbrella. it's cooler). If you can spring for the city mini GT version (in a single or double, whatever you need) DO IT because the wheels and weight and overall experience of the GT is amazing.
Baby Jogger City Tour: An even less expensive option, this stroller is amazing for travel!! We have taken this on so many trips and it folds the smallest of any stroller we own, it's incredibly lightweight, and unfolds with just one hand. If you're going to do a lot of traveling I highly recommend this one!
Diono Buggy Buddy Stroller Organizer: The very best stroller organizer on the planet. $5.86 currently (usually always under $8). Works with EVERY stroller out there.
I haven't tried it myself, but this $32 stroller organizer is supposed to be amazing, according to the thousands of people who have reviewed it enough to make it the #1 amazon choice. I'll try it and report back!
Solly baby wrap: I didn't have this with Anabelle and it's for sure the #1 item I wish I could've gone back and given myself as a new mom. Now that I've had it for my second and third babies, I can't imagine doing the newborn stage without the Solly baby wrap! It's an absolute MUST HAVE for infants and mamas who need to be hands free. I love it for airplane travel, trips to the beach, walking around the mall, doing housework (on the rare occasion that I get around to that!), walks around our neighborhood, and just about everything else. Really.
Since this original post was written I've tried out many, many diaper bags and have found that my very favorite one, especially for TWO kids now, is my Fawn Design bag. Huge enough to fit everything I need, anywhere I go, with three kids. It's nice enough to go with me to a nice dinner or to a casual park date and cleans up like a dream. Neil's preferred diaper bag also of all the bags we've owned, which is saying a lot right?! Ha. I love that it wipes clean so easily too since it's faux leather. And the new ones come with a laptop sleeve!!
Other baby gear:
Car seat mirror: you don't necessarily need this brand but you'll love being able to look at the mirror and see if your babe's okay on the road.
BABYBJORN Travel Crib Light: I cannot say enough good things about this amazing travel crib. SUPER light weight, super easy to install (you literally pop the legs out and that's it. Takes me 10 seconds).
4moms BREEZE: Literally a breeze to set up! I mean it seriously just pops into place in 2 seconds flat. A little heavy though, which is why I also list the BabyBjorn travel crib above. But if you want the functionality of a playyard too, the 4moms BREEZE is for sure what you want!! It also comes in a premium version with a removable bassinet/changing station, which is SO nice for traveling with a newborn!
4Moms Mamaroo: Oh how we cherished our mamaroo! It was the only way I got an hour or two of sleep when Anabelle was just a few weeks old. She napped and slept so well in it. It rocks like a mom, has multiple modes, it's a swing and bouncer in one. It even has a car-ride mode. I seriously have an emotional attachment to that thing, and ALL 3 of my babies have loved it so much!
Skiphop play mat: Your baby will play under this and love it more than you realize when you buy it at first. I thought it was a gimmicky waste of money, but we used it for months and months. Helped Anabelle learn to roll over, and was one of the first things she loved and interacted with. I think Skiphop makes the cutest ones now. We bought this one for Millie and she loves it!
Baby Shusher white noise maker. Yes you can download an app on your phone and stick that next to your baby in her car seat if she starts crying while you're at the mall/Target/church etc, BUT then you don't have your phone. Which presents a problem if your phone text alert goes off and you have to remove said white noise. Or if you need to call someone, or look something up, or kill time on Instagram. Let's be honest. Ha. This little thing is SO GENIUS for a lightweight, easy to throw in your diaper bag, little perfect white noise maker on the go that I've already used a BUNCH of times with Millie and she's only 6 weeks old!
Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes: Probably Anabelle's favorite toy as a baby. Slightly annoying, totally worth it. Instant entertainer in a car ride or when I'm desperate for her to stay happy for 5 more minutes while I check out at Target.
Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether: Every baby's favorite teething toy. This thing has magical powers, I swear.
Are you still with me? I know this was a LONG LIST, but I hope it helps some people out there who are planning for a baby and are confused by all the options! like I said at the beginning, I'll continue to update this post as we find things we love (and change our minds about things we don't love as much, anymore).