Congratulations! Your little one is on their way!
There’s so much excitement in the preparation stage of having a baby. But knowing just what to get for your upcoming bundle of joy can be tricky waters to navigate. The world tells you that you absolutely NEED this thing and that thing and two of these things over there, and then they tell you that you absolutely have to have this brand or it’s useless. But it doesn’t have to be hard! It can totally be fun. So we gathered up some of our favorite options filtered by practicality, aesthetic and cost!
And in honor of the meme that inspired this blog, all of the items linked up have free shipping, and that’s the greatest gift we could ever bequeath to you :)
A must-have to even go home from the hospital. You’ll see all kinds of
Infant car seat: This car seat is only for up to 35lbs typically and has a detachable base so that you can carry it around with your child. You’ll want it to be ultra-safe, light and sturdy.
Save: Chicco Keyfit 30
Splurge: UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat
Carseat that grows with your child: This car seat isn’t as mobile, but takes your child from birth to booster so you can buy one and done! So while you can’t take this unit out of the car to carry your baby around, it’s pretty nice not to have to buy another one down the road.
Save: Safety 1st Grow and Go
Splurge: Maxi Cosi Pria 85 Max
There is so much pressure in finding a stroller! It’s almost like picking out an infant car, and this thing will be with you for quite some time so you’re going to want to take some time to really think it through. Take into account your lifestyle needs first and foremost and it will help narrow down the options from there. Things you’ll want to look for: good wheels, good structural bones, and good, safe clips!
Travel System: This is a stroller unit that has an attachable car seat, and comes in SUPER handy when you’re wanting to transfer a sleeping baby to a stroller. These are typically a little more expensive, but the effectiveness is worth it. And they grow with your kid so it’ll be the only stroller you need for you first child! Plus, many of these travel units also come with a car seat so you can
Save: Chicco Bravo
Splurge: Bugaboo Cameleon 3
Multiple children: This is where you can REALLY start to overthink things! After having one kid, sometimes the last think you want to think about is when the next one is coming. But, if you think about this now you could possibly never have to buy another stroller and that’s worth the brainpower
Save: Evenflo Pivot Xpand Modular Travel System
Splurge: Uppababy Vista
Jogging: Jogging with baby is honestly a great way to get a workout in while also spending time with your kid. While you can get away jogging with some strollers if their wheels are big enough, you’ll really need a jogging specific stroller for this activity! You’ll need to look for three large wheels, good shocks and reclining capabilities for your little one because they will probably fall asleep.
Save: Baby Trend Manta Snap Gear Jogger Stroller, Vega
Splurge: BOB Rambler Jogging Stroller
Compact: After your kid leaves the infant stage, you’ll likely want to look into a small, easily foldable on-the-go type stroller. Many compact strollers are super convenient for travel and many of them can even fit in the overhead compartment and that’s a true luxury.
Save: Pockit Lightweight Stroller
Splurge: Babyzen YOYO+ Stroller
Crib: The crib is the focal point of the nursery, the place where your baby will (eventually, hang in there moms it’s coming!) sleep, and honestly it can feel like a daunting decision now that they come in all shapes, sizes, styles, and functions. Functionality is super important here and safety is always #1, but something that looks good always helps too! (also, the two we added also convert to toddler beds and that’s a win-win)
Save: Storkcraft Beckett 3-in-1 Convertible Crib White Fixed Side Crib
Splurge: Babyletto Lolly 3-in-1 Convertible Crib with Toddler Bed Conversion Kit
Mattress: A baby mattress is supposed to be a little firm, breathable and VERY cleanable. You’ll want your little one to be comfortable but not sinking in the mattress. If they start to turn over a little early, you’ll want a breathable mattress. Nightly accidents are inevitable.
Save: Serta Perfect Embrace Crib & Toddler Mattress
Splurge: Newton Baby Crib Mattress and Toddler Bed
Linens: Firstly, you’ll probably hear this a million times but your baby doesn’t need anything but a fitted crib sheet for the first year! No blankets, pillows or anything else in the crib protects them from accidental suffocation, so a fitted sheet is all you need!
Save: Burts Bees Organic Fitted Sheets
Splurge: Posh Peanut Crib Sheets
Rocking Chair: Rocking chair is a staple in any nursery. You’ll spend many evenings in this chair trying to get your little one down! So you’ll want to make sure it’s comfortable, but now they make them not only comfy but also really, really cute. There’s a pretty big difference in a rocker vs. a swivel chair, and you can read more about that below!
Save: CorLiving Aquios Bentwood Contemporary Rocking Chair
Splurge: Delta Children Emma Upholstered Rocking Chair
Swivel/ Glider Chair: While a rocking chair is back and forward, a swivel chair goes back and forward and around in circles and is more of a wavy motion. Both are effective! But the swivel makes more of a range of motion. Because of this, they typically have a skirt instead of a see-through leg look so it’s kind of down to aesthetic for what you want to choose. They’re also quite a bit more expensive.
Save: DaVinci Olive Upholstered Swivel Glider with Bonus Ottoman
Splurge: Carter’s by Davinci Adrian Swivel Glider with Storage Ottoman in Cream Linen | Water Repellent and Stain Resistant Fabric
Baskets: Baskets are every mom’s new best friend and secret weapon of organization. Nursery organization can be super intimidating because you’re dealing with new stuff you’ve never had to use before, but when in doubt — use a basket. It’s also a really great idea to keep a large basket with sturdy handles in your living room so that you can throw all your little one’s strangler items and take it back to the nursery in one big swoop. Contained messes are approachable messes! SAY IT LOUDER FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE BACK.
Decorative Baskets: Cotton + Rope Basket
Diaper Station Basket: Baby Basket with Handles
Living Room Basket: INDRESSME XXXLarge Cotton Rope Basket
Dresser Storage Basket: mDesign Soft Fabric Dresser Drawer and Closet Storage Organizer Set for Child/Kids Room, Nursery, Playroom, Bedroom
Changing Station: The changing station is very underrated. Making sure you spend time on functionality here can be the difference in tackling a blowout with confidence or a scramble! The other big misconception here is that you have to get a SPECIFIC changing station. You can totally do that! Or, you can use an existing dresser you have and put a changing pad one it and viola! You have a changing station, and you saved a lot of money.
Save: Linen Perch Baby Changing Basket with Quilted Liner
Splurge: South Shore Yodi Changing Table with Drawers
Baby Monitors: You’re going to want to be really thoughtful here. A baby monitor can bring you peace of mind that can be all the difference in not only your babies sleep but yours as well!
Save: Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor with Interchangeable Optical Lens
Splurge: Owlet Smart Baby Monitor Duo (Smart Sock + Camera)
Baby hygiene care is actually something you have to be pretty intentional about. You’ll want bathtime to be as safe as possible, and that includes products you use + HOW you administer the bath.
Shampoo: The caliber of what you need will heavily depend on your baby’s skin sensitivities. So keep this in mind as you choose what kind of shampoo and body wash you want to use!
Save: Johnson’s Tear Free Baby Shampoo
Splurge: Noodle & Boo 2-in-1 Newborn Hair & Baby Body Wash for Baby
Bath Gear: The right bath unit keeps your baby safe while they’re in the tub or sink! While they’re tiny, they won’t be fully submerged, these bathtime helpers keep them nice and safe.
Save: Angelcare Baby Bath Support
Splurge: Blooming Bath Lotus
Grooming: Nail trimming, hair brushing, temperature taking — these are all things that your little one will need!
Save: Royal Bunny Baby Grooming Kit
Splurge: Large Health and Grooming Baby set by Fridababy
GADGETS + GEAR
Baby Carrier: Free hands are a true luxury after having a baby, and being able to carry your baby close by AND have free hands is a God-send. There are two main types of baby carriers — a wrap and a heavy-duty option. The wrap keeps your baby close at hand, but can only hold the baby up to about 35lbs. The heavy-duty carrier is a little bulkier, but can hold your baby for much longer!
Wrap: Moby Evolution Baby Wrap Carrier
Heavy Duty: Ergobaby Carrier, Omni 360 All Carry Positions Baby Carrier
Bouncer: Bouncers/rockers allow you to set your baby down and soothe them at the same time. This is extremely helpful doing tasks like, oh you know, getting ready in the morning, cooking or the million other things you still need to accomplish with your little bundle nearby.
Save: Fisher-Price Infant-to-Toddler Rocker
Splurge: BABYBJÖRN Bouncer Balance Soft, Cotton
Set ‘Em Down: By now you’re getting the vibe that babies like to be held and sometimes we, as moms, have to improvise in order to get things done. These cushy options let you set your baby down on a stable, flat surface and gives them a “hug” like feeling that helps them sleep and feel snug even when you’re not holding them. There are two brands that are front runners here, and both are about the same price so it’s really dependent on what look/benefits you want.
Snuggle Me Organic
Diaper Wastebaskets: One of our favorite scenes from Friends is when Rachel learns what this is. You don’t want stinky diapers just sitting in a normal trashcan, and getting one of these will seriously save the scent of your home. Big time.
Save: Playtex Diaper Genie Complete Diaper Pail
Splurge: Ubbi Steel Odor Locking
Nursing: Mom info you need to know! If you’re nursing, your insurance provider will likely pay for a mechanical pump! So before you pull the trigger and purchase one, see what your provider will do first. These other things are just little helpers along with the process.
Nursing Pillow: Boppy Nursing Pillow
Cover:PPOGOO Nursing Cover
High Chair: Your kiddo might not be able to sit up for a bit, but it’s a good idea to have one on hand for when they’re ready! You’ll want to look for cleanability, safety and style because honestly, it will be pretty prominent in your home.
Save: BABY JOY Convertible High Chair
Splurge: 4moms high Chair
Pacifiers: Do you know there are different sized pacifiers for different ages? Speaking from experience, your little one can comically gag themselves from the wrong sise one. Look for BPA free, soft and able to be linked up with a paci-clip.
Save: Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier
Splurge: BIBS BPA-Free Natural Rubber Baby Pacifier
Detergent: Knowing that your baby’s clothes make direct contact with your baby’s skin, picking a laundry detergent is really important! Plus, it smells really, really good. Baby detergent is the best.
Save: Dreft Stage 1: Newborn Hypoallergenic Liquid Baby Laundry Detergent
Splurge: Noodle & Boo Ultra Safe Laundry Essentials Hypoallergenic Plant-Based Laundry Detergent For Baby
Bottles: Picking a good baby bottle can help with the number of bubbles that your baby takes in which helps to eliminate unwanted gas bubbles. Pro tip — go ahead and get the bigger bottle! They’ll be drinking 6oz in no times and you don’t want a bunch of too-small bottles.
Save: Evenflo Feeding Classic Clear Plastic Standard Neck Bottles for Baby, Infant and Newborn
Splurge: Comotomo Baby Bottle
Diaper Bags: There are SO many diaper bag options. Like SO many. At the end of the day, you even can just use a tote bag with an insert. Good things to keep in mind: backpacks keep your hands free, your husband might end up carrying it more than you so you might want to bring him in on the convo, and you might want to start cheap to know what you want before spending big bucks to discover you might not even need one.
Save: Diaper Bag Backpack, RUVALINO Multifunction Travel Back
Splurge: Fawn Design Premium Vegan Leather Diaper Bag and Backpack
Tummy Time Mat + Play Gym: It’s so important to start tummy time as soon as possible because it helps your babies learn to use their arm muscles and chest muscles to help them flip over which can reduce the risk of SIDs. Getting one with an attached play gym helps entertain them when they’re flipped over.
Save: Sassy Stages Developmental Play Gym
Splurge: The Play Gym by Lovevery
CLOTHES + ACCESSORIES
Basic Onesies: When in doubt, a basic white onesie is never the wrong choice. People LOVE buying baby clothes, so the probability of people buying adorable cute little outfits is really high. But you may not get many basic onesies, and these are so good to have on hand.
Socks: Babies get COLD. And a lot of heat leaves through feet and hands. Keeping your little one’s appendages covered up and warm helps to keep them nice and cozy.
Bows: If you’ve got a little girl, bows can get REALLY expensive really fast. And you’re going to want different colors for different outfits! There are SO many options for baby bows on Amazon that are super affordable and really inexpensive for the quantity you’re receiving.
Bibs: You might think that bibs are exclusively for eating, but once those little babies start drooling you realize that bibs are a total necessity.
Doona: This is probably one of the greatest baby inventions in a long time. It’s a car seat with wheels that POP DOWN. This will last for about 8 months to a year and give you some buffer room to learn what kind of stroller you want.
Subscriptions: You can set up diaper and wipe subscriptions through Amazon which cuts down store visits and with a newborn that is invaluable.
Gripe Water: Something you’ll learn with a newborn REAL quick is that it’s going to take a while to learn WHY they’re crying. One reason for frequent tears is a lil bit of hidden gas bubbles, and this all-natural solution is literally magic. It works in seconds and can calm down colicky babies.
Burp Rags: You will go through these like crazy, so getting good, thick ones that can go in the wash is a lifesaver.
Formula Dispenser: This is amazing for bringing extra food on the go with you. You’re not going to tote around the entire bin of food, so getting a dispenser (it’s so cheap!) is a no-brainer.
Sleepy Time Playlist: This can be a soothing piano, Kacey Musgraves, Norah Jones, Jazz — whatever works best! It’s just really nice to have a playlist on hand with music that you know won’t have a major symbol strike mid-tune :)
Pacifier Clips: These are not to be forgotten — baby spits out that pacifier so fast and you reeeallly don’t want it to land on the ground and send you into a whole sanitization tizzy, so loop it up with a clip.
NICE THINGS TO HAVE
These things aren’t “needs,” but they sure are nice and handy to have early on.
Take-Home Outfit: This is a particularly special outfit to take them home from the hospital! It’s kind of an old-school tradition, but it’s really fun to look back at how tiny and cute the outfit is. And you want them to look good for their debut into the world!
Baby Book: Filling out a baby book is a great way to distract your time while waiting for baby to arrive! These books are fun to look back on and can be a sweet pass down to them.
Milestone Cards: Your little one is going to turn a month before you know it! Keep an eye out for cute ones and snag ’em when you find them so you’re prepped and ready to document each month as they come.
Big Nursery Animals: A nursery feels complete with an over-sized animal. We can’t tell you why, but it just feels *right*
Sophie: For whatever reason, every baby loves Sophie. It’s cute, it squeaks and it’s great for teething.
Wubanubs: These are the cutest little paci’s and they’re actually pretty practical too. They sit on babies belly and keep the paci within reach to latch to again which is actually really, really helpful while they’re learning to use their hands to get paci’s.
Photo: Gray Malin