Baby Care

Must-Have Baby Items For First-Time Moms

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I have a confession to make.

I titled this post “must have baby items for first time moms,” but I lied a little.

I’m a firm believer that babies don’t need much of anything to be healthy and happy. If you’re on a tight budget, you can totally make it work with a carseat, a baby bed, some clothes and diapers. There aren’t many things that are truly “must-have.”

Having said that, there are some products that are fantastic and can make life as a mom a whole lot easier. Most of these products I’ve used personally, but there are a few that I wasn’t fortunate enough to have when my babies were small. I’ve just heard others rave about them enough to know that they’re good.

I’m going to keep using the terms “must-have” and “essential baby products” throughout this post, but just remember to take that with a grain of salt.

Get your baby registry in order first!

If you find items on this list that you think you might want but aren’t ready to commit to purchasing just yet, never fear! Just throw it on your Amazon Baby Registry and you can come back to it whenever.

You’ll get a completion discount on most things on your registry as you get close to your due date. And who knows, a generous relative might buy that ridiculously expensive jogging stroller you’ve been coveting!

Every First Time Mom Should Use MAM Newborn Pacifiers

I have a love hate relationship with pacifiers. It’s nice to have something shove into a baby’s mouth when they get fussy. But when they’re dependent on them for sleep, that’s when it gets frustrating. I spent a lot of nights leaning over the side of the crib holding a pacifier in my newborn’s mouth so she would sleep.

Then I read somewhere that MAM pacifiers were great for newborns because they’re smaller and lighter than most other pacifiers. I was desperate, so I ran off to the store right away to grab a couple. It worked like a charm! She was only a few weeks old at the time, and she was able to keep the MAM in her mouth the whole car ride home. That had never happened before!

Just make sure you get the newborn variety, and not the ones made for older babies.

A good diaper bag is a must have for new moms

You’re gonna need something to haul all of your baby gear around in every day.

I definitely recommend getting a diaper bag that has plenty of space….for obvious reasons. Having a shoulder strap or backpack straps are a definite must as well, especially if you have more than one kid to keep track of while juggling a diaper bag!

If you’re a new mom, you’re going to want to have a lot of SwaddleMe blankets.

If I had to pick one baby item to recommend to new parents, it would be this! Babies love to be swaddled, but trying to figure out how to properly origami wrap a child at 2 in the morning is beyond frustrating. SwaddleMes are awesome because they don’t require any Japanese folding skills. Some brands of swaddles like the Woombie are designed with a zipper which not only makes it simple to wrap baby up, but also make diaper changes a breeze!

The safest way to swaddle

Another must-have baby product: a white noise machine

A white noise machine was a lifesaver for us when it came to baby’s sleep. Both of our girls were (and still are) super light sleepers, so having some white noise going on to block out sounds of the rest of the world helped them to sleep a lot better. White noise is also great for babies because they were used to quite a lot of noise in your womb before they were born, so it can be hard for them to sleep in total silence!

A quality nursing cover is an essential product for new moms

Some women are really great at breastfeeding in public without a cover. They can discreetly whip out a boob like nobody’s business and most people around them don’t even realize that the baby isn’t just sleeping.

I was never good at that, and I was always terrified of accidentally exposing myself. A nursing cover just makes me more comfortable. I just had a blanket to use with my first baby, but then with my second I discovered these nursing covers that go all the way around and provide 360 degree coverage. I didn’t have to worry about wearing two shirts or try to get the baby latched on with one hand while I held the blanket up with the other.

So much easier!

You will definitely need a breastfeeding pillow when you have a new baby

They call these breastfeeding pillows, but they’re useful for so many other things too! Mine came with me practically wherever I went those first few weeks postpartum. They are great for sitting on right after birth when your nether regions are so tender that you can’t sit up in a regular chair. They also make a handy makeshift spot to put the baby down in a pinch, just don’t leave them on the pillow unsupervised!

A Haakaa will save your milk and your sanity

I never got use a Haakaa myself, but I’ve heard so many people talk about how awesome they are that I had to put it on the list! A lot of women have a serious oversupply of milk for a few weeks until their bodies adjust to the baby’s needs. What happens is this: you’ll be nursing the baby on one side, and the other side will start to leak everywhere. It’s a colossal waste of precious milk and makes a giant mess.

A haakaa solves that problem. You just attach it to the breast that you aren’t nursing on, and then it collects all of the milk that leaks out on that side. It saves you the mess, and helps your build up your milk stash with almost no extra work!

Don’t hesitate to invest in a good baby carrier

I love my baby carrier! It makes doing life with a newborn who wants to be held constantly so much easier. There’s also evidence that there are a lot of ways that babies benefit from babywearing. I loved my Lillebaby, but you’ll find that there are a lot of brands that are similar! You should look for a carrier that has multiple carrying positives and adjustments so that you can adjust it to your particular size and shape. Also check to see if your area has a babywearing group that can offer support, advice, and may even have a “library” of carriers for you to try!


A Graco 4EVER Carseat really will last forever

A carseat is a no brainer, but the Graco 4EVER seat is particularly amazing. I love it because it’s the only carseat your kid will ever need. You can put your newborn in it in the rear-facing position, and it adjusts all the way to a backless booster that you can use until your child is big enough to not need a booster at all. It’s a little pricey, but you won’t have to buy new seats as your baby grows.

The only disadvantage is that you can’t take it out easily to carry the baby around in when they’re small, so you might want to consider getting an infant seat that clicks in and out of its base for the first few months.

Be sure to add a forehead thermometer to your baby needs checklist

I remember having to sit for ages with a glass thermometer tucked under my arm or tongue when I was a kid. It was soo slow, and afterwards you had to wait for it to cool off between uses.

There’s no way my toddler would sit to have her temperature taken like that without me having to physically hold her still. There would be much weeping and gnashing of teeth.

That’s why I’m so glad for the forehead thermometer that someone gave to me at a baby shower! It only takes a few seconds to get an accurate reading, and my girls actually like it and think its fun to get their temperature taken with one of these.

No need to fret!

Remember, all of this stuff is useful and great to have, but don’t feel like these are things that you absolutely have to buy if you’re having a baby. It’s far better to stay within your budget that to go into debt buying all the things!

Wondering if you have everything you need for baby? Here are 9 must-have baby items for first time moms.
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