Having a baby is exciting, and having your first baby means there are tons of new things to learn – and to buy. My wife Kim and I had our first baby last year, and our second one a few months ago, I finally feel like enough of a semi-expert that I can share what we’ve learned about which baby items are most important for new parents to buy.
10 Baby Items You Must Have
Here are ten items we use regularly for our son and which brands we like best.
A Car Seat
This is one of the most obvious items you’ll need as a new parent. However, one thing that we found very helpful when we had our first kid was having a car seat that was made to lock into our stroller. The reason I recommend this type of a system is that when our son would fall asleep in his car seat, we could take our car seat out and set it right into the stroller without having to disturb him. This allowed us to go where we needed to go with minimal disruption to our son’s sleep schedule. We bought the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat and love it!
A Baby Carrier
Carrying a baby around can be very exhausting. I know this from first-hand experience. This is why we decided to get a Baby Kitten, a baby carrier that you wear that makes it easier to carry the child around. Our son is currently 14 months old, and my wife still uses our Baby Kitten on a daily basis. My wife uses the Baby K’tan ORIGINAL Baby Carrier every day, even at 15 months.
One thing that became very apparent when our son became mobile is that it was very hard to get stuff done around the house and watch a crawling or walking baby at the same time. I would find myself chasing him, keeping him away from plugs, keeping him away from knocking things off of tables, etc. The playpen has been very helpful in keeping him contained so that I can do things like dishes, laundry, etc. We have the Graco Pack N Play Playard with Automatic Folding Feet. We used this a lot more when Finn was younger but still use it when we go out of town for him to sleep in.
This is another no-brainer, but one thing I wanted to point out is you do have options when it comes to diapers. You can do cloth diapers, which many people claim saves a lot of money over time. However, we decided to go with regular disposable diapers and have found that as far as brand goes, you get what you pay for. We experienced enough blowouts to where we decided to not buy particular brands or generic brands and have found really good success with Luvs diapers. The Luvs brand was the cheapest diaper that we could find that would still hold up and limit the blowouts.
As I referenced earlier, we purchased a stroller that worked with our car seat. We found this to be very helpful, especially in the first six months after the baby was born. I will say that now that our son is over a year old we do not use that feature much, but even with that being the case, I still think it was a good choice to go with this type of stroller system. We have the Graco LiteRider Click Connect Stroller, however, we did buy the package that had the car seat and the stroller together. See that here.
Now, there is not much to a high chair; it is just a chair for a tiny human being that is higher than most chairs. That being said, the one feature that I do like about our high chair is that the high chair tray that our son eats on is adjustable. That way it keeps him from getting out of the high chair, and we are able to adjust it as he grows so that he fits into the chair more comfortably. Not sure exactly which high chair we got, but here is an inexpensive one with 4 stars on Amazon called the Cosco Simple Fold High Chair. This should be sufficient.
I never thought that I would be so concerned about what baby bottles to use. But when our son first started using bottles, I noticed how the gas was so uncomfortable for him from breathing in too much air from the wrong type of bottle. We went through a number of different types of baby bottles until we came across the Lasinoh brand. We have found these bottles to be the most effective for limiting the amount of air our baby sucks in so that he has less discomfort when drinking milk from a bottle.
One of the most important things to my wife and I when we had our baby was knowing that not only would our baby get a good night’s sleep, but that we would get a good night’s sleep as well. After doing some research, we found that the sleep sack was a way to make sure all of us got a good night’s sleep. It basically gives the baby the feeling of security and is a lot easier to put on than a swaddle.
There’s nothing fancy about a diaper bag, however, it is a necessity. It is important, however, to make sure that the diaper bag you choose has enough pockets to carry all of the baby items you may need like baby wipes, diapers, a sippy cup, change of clothes, toys, etc. We use the Skip Hop Duo Signature Diaper Bag and it carries everything that we need.
The first few months of having a baby can be deceiving. They just lay there and sleep, occasionally waking up to eat food and needing to be changed. However, as soon as they start crawling around they become a curious creature. Our son, for instance, is very interested in anything not glued down. Because of that, we needed a baby gate to protect our electronic equipment and to keep our son out of danger. We use the Summer Infant Secure Surround 6-Panel PlaySafe Playard.
We have found baby gates an effective way to keep our son safe and to give us peace of mind that we can leave him in a room and he would not get into things that could be harmful to him.
Bonus: Life Insurance
While not an item exactly, another important consideration to make when you decide to add to your family is life insurance. I used to think life insurance was a waste of money, but now that I’m a parent, I want to make sure that if something happened to me or my wife, our kids would be taken care of.
When you become a new parent, it’s important to have the items that can make life with a newborn less stressful and safer, both for your baby and for you as parents. These ten items will help you get a good head start on having a more peaceful life with your new baby.