There are many baby necessity lists – this post isn’t one of them. If you are looking for things that make life easier with a baby, then you are in the right place. There were many things you wish you had for a baby after the fact – and now you can get them instead of wishing! Some of these items are things I wish I got at my baby shower, and they make for great ideas of what to ask for in a baby registry. Lots of unique and fun ideas!
When Jack was a baby, we really could just afford the bare minimum.
I remember seeing different products and thinking, “If only!”
While you can certainly raise a baby with very few products beyond food, diapers, and clothing, I’m the type of person that appreciates products that make life a little easier.
With Oliver, we’ve been able to have a few more “splurges” along the way, and they are products that I’m grateful for one reaso or another.
Some of these things I didn’t even realize existed when Jack was a baby!
So, I thought I’d put together a big list of products I wish I had known about with my first baby – some of them are brilliant. I also surveyed some moms in my breastfeeding support group and have included some of their suggestions as well.
Are they all necessary? Of course not. But they certainly can make parenting a little easier 🙂
Things for Baby
Fisher Price Premium Auto Rock ‘n Play
NOTE: as of 2019, this has been recalled. Please only use this when you are aware of the circumstances of the recall.
Okay, I don’t know why I didn’t know about these when Jack was a baby. I think it may have saved our sanity.
Jack had horrible acid reflux that he didn’t grow out of until he was over a year old.
It made him miserable, which made our life rather tiring for quite some time. I heard long after his birth about the rock and play, and how it was a life changed for reflux babies.
Well, when we discovered that Oliver, too, had bad reflux, we got a rock and play. It truly made such a difference. We just had a basic one, and it worked great, but I’m LOVING the Auto Rock Rock ‘n Play. Even though Oliver is too old to sleep in it, he thinks it’s so fun.
It rocks by itself, vibrates, has 12 different songs and soothing sounds, and even projections on the canopy. Best of all – you can control it from your smart phone! Oliver loved to have his rocked, but since it wasn’t auto rock, I would spend many hours rocking it back and forth as he slept.
I also love that it combines several different items – it’s a vibrator, kind of like a swing, a sleeper, and a white noise machine!
When I talk to other moms, the Fisher Price Rock and Play is, by far, the #1 babygear item I hear people recommend.
Munchkin Step Diaper Pail
We have used a variety of different diaper pails with our children, only to be disappointed. So when we got the Munchkin Step Diaper Pail, I was cautiously optimistic.
I’m happy to say that this pail gets a resounding, “HOORAY!” from our family – this is truly the best diaper pail. It actually keeps the smell in, and the foot pedal is a life saver. I can’t be the only one who doesn’t love touching the pail to throw the diaper away.
Munckin also will plant a tree for every diaper pail they sell, which is super awesome.
Munchkin Miracle Stainless Steel 360 Sippy Cup
This is one of my favorite products that we used with Oliver, and I wish we had with Jack. We’ve tried just about every sippy cup out there, and these are by far my favorite.
I had heard rave reviews about them while I was pregnant, and we bought a pair for when Oliver turned one. It took him a little bit to understand how they worked, but he’s loved them ever since.
This stainless steel version is even better – it’s double walled stainless steel that keeps their drink cold for 15 hours (perfect for long trips!). It won’t sweat or make little hands cold. I also really like the cup lid – even though it really doesn’t leak in my experience, it’s nice to have that added layer of protection.
Side Snap Onesies/Kimonos
When I gave birth to Oliver, the hospital I delivered at put him in little kimono-style onesies. I LOVED these. They helped immensely with skin to skin, diaper changes, and more. I love these more than any other kind of onesie out there.
A mom in my breastfeeding support group suggest the Carter brand, and they look even more amazing!
I’ve tried just about every infant sleep product out there, and the Woombie gets five stars from me. I especially love the Woombie Convertible, because it has the option to unzip holes for the arms. Oliver LOVED having his hands by his face from the time he was born, so a tradition swaddling job just didn’t work.
The Woombie keeps baby nice and snug and feeling like they are still in the womb. You don’t have to worry about
I have yet to get one of these, and I only recently heard about them…but I wish I had! We tend to co-sleep with our kiddos, and this would have been a lovely thing to have when they were younger. It makes co-sleeping safe and functional, and you can take it with you everywhere.
It’s definitely on my list for next time!
BabyBubz Nasal Aspirator
Forget the Nose Frida (and that silly blue bulb) – BabyBubz is where it’s AT. It’s only about $10, and it is the best way to get baby de-congested. I recommend these to everyone I know.
Full disclosure, I actually had these with Jack. However, many moms I asked said they wish they had gotten these instead of just regular, cotton receiving blankets.
These are HUGE, breathable, and soft. They are perfect for swaddling, using as a nursing cover, or for letting baby play on. I think you could easily make your own, but they are also readily available at most stores.
Hatch Baby Rest
This is something we recently got, and I am totally fangirling it. It combines some of my favorite sleep products (white noise, ambient lighting, and an okay-to-wake clock), into one handy device. It’s priced very reasonably in comparison to other products in the same category.
This product is brand new, but it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite nursery items. Trust me, get this from the get-go to help create sleep associations for your babe!
smarttemp wearable thermometer
Infant fevers are never fun to deal with, especially through the night. Jack had a fever a few times, and after he had RSV, I was super paranoid anytime he got a little bit warm.
We got the smarttemp wearable thermometer with Oliver, and it has been wonderful. They can wear it at night, and it alerts your smartphone if their temperature spikes above a set number. It really helps give me peace of mind when my kiddos have a fever and are sleeping. I also like it better than other wearable thermometers because it’s reusable!
Fisher Price Sit Me Up
I have never used this product, but several mothers recommended it as a great product for babies who are not yet sitting up. It’s a great way to let baby hang out and play. It’s so cute, too!
I hear mixed reviews on this, but for us, it was a life saver with Oliver. I know many other moms who love it as well. I recommend the Wellements brand.
I think this is such a cool product that can help you to understand what your body is doing in the later stages of pregnancy. Basically, it’s an at-home contraction monitor. It’s very small and you can wear it on your belly. It displays, counts, and tracks contractions and helps you know the difference between different kinds of contractions.
They are available for rent, and I definitely want to use one for my next pregnancy.
I’ve talked about the Owlet many times on here, so I’ll just direct you to our full review of the Owlet Baby Care Monitor. However, it is truly the best product we had with Oliver because of how it helped us. I’m very grateful that we had it during his first year, and I think it would have helped me sleep so much better had I had it with Jack.
Things for Mom
This is truly the diaper bag you didn’t realize you needed. It’s compact, can be fit into a bigger bag, and it’s so compact. With just one zip, it turns into a full on changing pad – and there is SO much storage! I highly recommend every mom getting one of these. We LOVE it! You can get 35% off by clicking here and using the code cc35.
Lansinoh 3-in-1 Therapearls
I’ve raved about these before, and I’ll continue to do so! I didn’t use these with Jack, and I wish I had. I had mastitis and plugged ducts with him several times, and it was miserable. I experienced the same with Oliver
Ergo Baby Carrier
I went through so many baby carriers with Jack. While I loved my Moby, it wasn’t ideal after about 15 pounds.
I finally splurged and got an Ergo Baby Carrier with Oliver, and it was the best decision. Most carriers really hurt my back, but this one hasn’t done that at all.
Nursing Friendly Tops
I don’t think I bought one nursing-friendly outfit when I was breastfeeding Jack…which is so silly! I spent lots of time timing his feeds to make sure I was home if I was wearing a dress I couldn’t easily nurse in, and I probably stretched out half my other outfits.
I “treated” myself this time around, and I’m glad I did. It’s worth it to buy tops that you can comfortably nurse in, and that are specifically designed for that purpose. I’ve found a lot of inexpensive outfits (you can check out my list of places to buy breastfeeding friendly clothing here).
These are brilliant. I remember leaking so much milk with both my boys for the first couple of months, and I always felt sad as I saw that precious liquid gold go to waste. One time, I caught some milk in a bottle cap while I was nursing on one side, and it was over an ounce!
These catch any extra milk that you catch! Each cup will catch about two ounces, so you do need to empty them frequently, but they are great for moms who just want to have a little extra in the fridge.
64 Ounce Water Bottle
I have THE hardest time remembering to drink water, and it’s so important when you are recovering from childbirth – especially if you are hoping to breastfeed. I finally got one of these Simple Modern 64-ounce water bottles, and they are heaven-sent!
There are a lot of breast pumps out there, but the Spectra Pumps are supposedly amazing! I have never used on, but the women in every breastfeeding group I’m in rave up and down about them. They are actually less expensive than most pumps as well, and you can often find a good deal on Amazon.
Nipple Gel Pads
These are wonderful for those first few weeks of nursing. They are very soothing for sore nipples. A nurse at the hospital told me about them when Jack was born, but I felt like we were too poor to splurge on them.
I had horrendous acid reflux during my pregnancy with Jack. Sadly, it didn’t really go away after I gave birth to him (though it wasn’t as terribly unbearable). One of the first signs I had that I was pregnant with Oliver was that my reflux was insanely bad almost overnight.
I purchased a wedge early on in my last pregnancy, and I’m grateful I did. It really helped with my GERD, as well as indigestion in general. I still sleep with it!
Sleep as a pregnant woman never really comes easy – and the bigger your belly gets, the more uncomfortable sleeping gets (especially if you are usually a back sleeper!). I ordered one of these part way through my last pregnancy, and I was kicking myself for not doing it sooner. It can make sleep SO much better.
At Home Doppler
Now, there is some debate on whether or not you should use these at home, but I’m grateful I had one with Oliver. I had trouble feeling him very much at all, and while non-stress tests showed that he was moving, I was very nervous.
Even though I contacted the doctor whenever I got too worried, it did help me feel a little more peace of mind when I could hear his heartbeat. It also helped me realize when he flipped from being breech!
Written in 2017; updated in 2019.
Katie is a Colorado-native, BYU graduated, and most importantly, wife to one and mother to three beautiful boys. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with others – especially about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cooking, and crafts. She is currently training to be a Certified Lactation Educator. She loves spending time with her family and helping others find joy in family life.
HA! I’m with Chelsea…. we LOVE the regular ones and had no idea about the stainless steel. This will be great as we transition our little guy over from bottle to cup of milk. The regular ones don’t keep beverages cold very well.
Chelsea @ Life With My Littles says
There’s a stainless steel 360 cup??? How did I not know that! We love the regular ones, so I’ll have to try out the stainless steel ones! This is an awesome list, Katie! Definitely sharing it!
I am seriously obsessed! It’s the best cup ever. It still had ice in it after 7 hours!