This is the most comprehensive list of baby items that you’ll ever need! If you’re pregnant, thinking about being pregnant, attending someone’s baby shower and looking for a cool gift, or just browsing to get ideas, you’ll want to check out this list and share it with everyone you know! *Update: I wrote this blog seven years ago after baby #4 in 2015. In 2017 I had my last baby, and now here I am in 2022 updating this list. Some of the products I used then aren’t available now, so I’m doing my best to recommend similar items.
During the time that each of our four children have been babies, these have been the products that we have loved the most. I am listing all of these products new, but I have been able to find many if not most of these items at garage sales and thrift stores or received them as gifts. I definitely recommend having a list somewhere where you can keep track of what you want so you can keep your eye out for good deals.
Before you go too far, you might want to start a baby registry (Create an Amazon Baby Registry) or join Amazon Mom which is basically like Amazon Prime, but better (Try Amazon Family for Free), and then you can create a wish list if you’re not quite ready for a baby registry.
- Crib – This is what I have always dreamed of getting, but we never had to buy a crib new. For our first baby, we got a really nice portable crib for a baby shower gift, but it didn’t make the move, so for babies #3 and #4 we got a thrift store crib and a Craig’s List crib for less than $30/ea. I know some people are really paranoid about cribs, but we co-sleep for quite awhile, and then we keep them in the crib in our room so we’re always really close. We also found some really good mattresses at thrift stores for about $10 each, but you can buy a great one new here. The cool thing about crib mattresses is that they’re the same size as toddler bed mattresses, so keep that in mind when you’re purchasing one (make sure it’s waterproof).
- Co-Sleeper – I absolutely loved this for our first born! Ruby slept in one of these until she outgrew it at about 8 months old. It made it so easy to roll over and nurse her whenever she needed me throughout the night. Our second born didn’t really care for it; he just wanted to be held. By the time we got to babies #3 and #4, we just had a mattress on the floor, so we couldn’t have used it even if we wanted to.
- Big Swing – This has come in so handy for every single baby. The first 6 months are so crazy with sleep, and I like having a place where I know my little one can always fall asleep. (I make sure this swing is set up near a bed where I can sleep too!) We have purchased two of these. The first one from someone on Craig’s List and it was perfect. The second one we got new and the motor was so loud that we weren’t able to keep it in our bedroom. I’ve linked to a similar swing with better reviews. Just make sure whatever big swing you get has an AC adapter or you will spend a fortune on batteries (not to mention the frustration of running out of batteries at 2 a.m. when you finally got your little one to sleep).
- Portable Swing – This swing is an absolute must! We have used this swing more than anything else. You can easily move it from room to room and babies love to fall asleep in it.
- Vibrating Bassinet – When I wrote this blog 7 years ago, my absolute favorite item for naptime was my Newborn Rock n’ Play Sleeper. During the first three months as babies are finishing the development of their digestive systems, I found the incline of this bassinet to really help with acid reflux and resulted in way fewer spit ups. The vibrating motion was on a timer, and when I would lay down little Julian freshly fed and burped and a little sleepy, he would drift right off. I liked how portable it was, and how I could move it around easily to whatever room I was in so he could be near me. I also liked how it was higher up than a portable swing so I could easily soothe him with my hand if I was sitting nearby on the couch or gently rock him with my foot. If I was a parent to a new baby again, I would probably get something like this Fisher-Price Soothing View Vibe Bassinet or if money was no option, I would look into the 4moms MamaRoo Sleep Bassinet that moves like mama does with 5 unique motions to help your baby fall asleep. The bottom line is that the first three months with your newborn, especially as a new parent, can be very scary and very stressful. Whatever you need to help your little one (and you) sleep is well worth it! Check out my blog about calming a fussy newborn for some sanity saving tips and tricks.
- Mobile – I did a ton of research to find the best mobiles and this was the one we chose for our first baby, and we are still using it today with our fourth child. I currently have it on the diaper changing table because it provides a nice distraction. We also really liked this mobile.
- Pack ‘n Play – When our firstborn outgrew her co-sleeper, we put her in a Pack n’ Play until she graduated to a toddler bed. It makes a great portable bed anywhere we’ve gone. We found ours at a garage sale for $10, but I love the one I’ve linked to because it has a top insert for newborns that would make a great bassinet.
- Crib Sheets – Keep in mind that you will use these as your children transition to toddler beds. I just found mine at thrift stores, garage sales, and our local grocery store, but you can find some good organic ones too. You’ll also want a basic waterproof mattress pad or an organic one.
- Monitors – This basic model has worked wonderfully for us for all four of our children, but if you’re looking for something more high tech, this video monitor works great.
- Changing Table – We didn’t actually get one of these until our fourth baby. We just put a changing pad on top of a dresser or changed them on the bed. (Our fourth baby is the only who hasn’t rolled off from a tall surface while being changed!) We found one like this at a garage sale for $15. You’ll also want some of these changing pad covers.
- Dresser – Once again, this is something we found used, but I think it’s really important to have a nice little place to store all of your baby’s things, and you’ll appreciate having it as they get older.
- Diaper Pail – I’m updating this blog seven years later, and the diaper pail that I used for cloth wipes. isn’t available anymore, but the one I linked to seems really great. Because we have two in diapers, I need a bigger pail that doesn’t get filled up every day, so I just have this garbage can with a removable lid. I don’t think you need any special Diaper Genie to hold diapers. Yes, it stinks when you open the can, so don’t put it in your kitchen or living room and you’ll be fine. (But if you need to do that for some reason, get one of these.)
- Disposable Diapers – Ok, so I tried cloth diapers for awhile, and it was going great until we had two kids, and I just didn’t have the time. (And actually, we did disposables when she was a newborn, at night, and when we traveled…) The notion is that cloth diapers are better for the environment and save you money, but with the extra electricity and water used from washing cloth diapers, it seems like the carbon footprint is pretty comparable (unless you’re washing diapers by hand that is, then you go mama!). Also, cloth diapers need to be changed immediately or they will lead to diaper rashes, that and the extra time of washing them made me decide that the money saved wasn’t as valuable as my time and piece of mind.
- Cloth Diapers – When we used cloth diapers, I loved our Fuzzi Bunz, but I’ve also researched every other brand.
- Thirsties that you pair with prefolds seem like the best.
- Bum Genius diaper covers with cloth inserts are another top pick.
- I really like the look of these Flip hybrids with these organic inserts.
- I did try just using some really plain diaper covers over some basic prefolds (which also make great burp cloths) held together with pins with baby #3 for a bit, and this was really the most cost effective method.
- Wipes – You can certainly buy disposable wipes, but I’ve found that it’s much better for our babies and our budget to use cloth wipes and make my own diaper wipe solution (or you could buy this).
- Diaper Bag – Most diaper bags have little handles, but I love being able to sling mine over my shoulder when I’m carrying a hundred other things. Once again, we found ours at a thrift store, but I’ve linked to the basic idea I’m talking about.
- Rocking Chair – I got a rocking chair like this at a garage sale, and it is AMAZING when I pair it with this foot stool. The way that it rocks with big swooping up and down motions is very soothing for babies, more so than a gliding rocking chair, which doesn’t really rock so much as just goes back and forth, but is still pretty dang comfortable. With my last baby, I found a rocking recliner that was complete luxury and something I wished I had for all of my babies. I especially loved how I could tip my head back and take a quick snooze while nursing.
- Salt Lamp – When you’re up to nurse in the night, it is nice to have a soft glowing light that’s red to help you see what you’re doing. The red light ensures that the pupils don’t dilate and is perfect for keeping both mom and baby in a state of semi sleep.
- Basket – I really love having a table set up near my nursing chair that has everything I may need while breastfeeding. I make sure to keep a full water bottle, my breast pump, burp cloths, Nosefrida, any of my baby calming supplies, fingernail clippers, reading material, lip balm, my cell phone, and anything else I might need while nursing!
- Boppy – I love using a bobby to help me get my newborns correctly positioned for breastfeeding. Make sure you get a cover too so you can take it off and wash it when it gets covered with spit up.
- My Breast Friend – I never did get one of these, but I recently saw one at a friend’s house. She loved it, and I thought it looked really cool.
- Breast Pump – I have exclusively breast fed all of my babies, and this breast pump has helped me at every stage. It got me through the first few days when I couldn’t get my newborn to feed (and used these droppers to feed them), it provided relief when I had plugged ducts and mastitis, it helped me to make a bottle or two so we could have a date night, and it helped me provide milk for my babies when I was working full time for a bit. I had mine given to me by a friend, and just like with every other expensive baby thing, everyone says you should not use someone else’s breast pump, but I think that’s hogwash. If you’re really worried about hygiene, you can buy new parts. This little breast pump is a cheaper alternative, and this hands-free pumping bra is something I wish I would’ve had! When I was working, I used these milk storage bags to freeze my milk, but if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t freeze my milk. The living enzymes won’t survive the freezing process and the plastic will leech into the milk. Live and learn I guess.
- Bottles – I have researched many types of bottles, and these seemed to be the best. We have loved them and have used them (when we needed a bottle) for every child. If I had to do it all over again, however, I would buy these glass bottles. Don’t forget a bottle brush!
- Nipple Cream – This is great for sore or cracked nipples, but you can just rub a little breast milk on them and let them get some air, and it should do the trick too.
- Nursing Bra – I love this bra because it is so easy to unlatch and nurse anywhere and the foam inserts hide my nipples! You might like a nighttime nursing bra to wear to bed too, but I just put a belly band over my breasts, not for the support (I have pretty small breasts), but because my nipples were so sensitive and I didn’t like wearing just a t-shirt anymore.
- Nursing Tank Tops – If you think you’ll ever nurse in front of another human being that doesn’t want to see your sagging stomach skin while you lift up your shirt to nurse, you’ll want one (or two or ten) of these. They are also great for covering up your butt crack when you bend over and can double as a bra too.
- *Check out my blog: 12 Breastfeeding Tips to Read Before You Give Birth for more helpful information about breastfeeding.
- Diaper Rash Cream – I have tried so many different diaper rash cream products, and nothing, and I mean nothing, even comes close to how amazing this is.
- Body Wash – Babies don’t need to be washed that often, but when they do, this is the best product I’ve found for the job. This bar version works just as well.
- Baby Oil – This oil is great for a million reasons. I love using it to make my own diaper wipe solution, to put on my babies’ heads to get rid of cradle cap, to put on their butts before meconium poops to make them easier to clean, and to rub into any dry areas. Extra virgin olive oil works just as well too.
- Lotion – When babies get dry skin, this is great to have. But if I had to pick lotion or oil, I would pick the oil.
- Weleda Starter Kit – This is a great kit to get you started to see if you’ll really like these products. (It also makes a great gift!)
- Bag Balm – This is also great for a million reasons. Plus, I just like using it for lip balm, although nothing really compares to my homemade lip balm.
- Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment – This is the best and most healing lotion ever. It’s great for when you need a super duper moisturizer.
- Nail Clippers – You really only need to file your baby’s nails at first, and in the beginning, they’ll usually just kind of peel off, but eventually, you’ll want to be able to cut those little daggers!
- Comb and Brush – The soft brush is so gentle for your baby’s head and the comb is great for getting rid of cradle cap!
- Nosefrida – Forget using a bulb syringe, this thing is the BEST! You’ll also want to get some saline mist.
- Colic Calm – I found this with my fourth newborn, and it really worked great on those late nights when he was fussy and nothing else seemed to calm him down. *Check out my blog about how to calm a fussy baby here.
- Teething – You won’t need these items right away, but you’ll be happy to have them on hand when the time comes. Check out my blog: How to Relieve Teething Pain.
- Amber Teething Necklace – This will help your baby to deal with the pain of teething. Check out my blog: Do Amber Teething Necklaces Really Work? (Spoiler Alert: They do!)
- Allspice Beads – Make your own allspice necklace to help your babies teeth pop through more quickly. You’ll also need some stretchy string and a thick needle. Check out my blog: How to Make an Allspice Necklace to Help with Teething for more information.
- Teething Gel – This is great for providing some immediate relief.
Clothing and Blankets
- Onsies – If it’s spring or summer, you’ll be needing a lot of these! Here’s some basic ones for girls and some basic ones for boys.
- Footie Pants – I hate putting socks on newborns. This is a great alternative. 🙂
- Sleep Sack – This is just the best for sleepwear. Here’s one for girls too.
- Swaddler – This swaddle blanket is great to put over a onsie for babies who like to be swaddled to sleep.
- Sleeper – My fall and winter babies pretty much live in these. Here’s some for girls and some for boys. Trust me, you want the zippers on these things!
- Socks – If the socks are too tight, they’ll leave marks on chubby little ankles, and that can’t be too comfortable!
- Hand Socks – Some babies scratch their faces with their sharp little claws, and these are great, but regular socks work just as well.
- Bibs – The bibs with the velcro in the back can sometimes scratch your little ones’ neck. I never thought I would rave about a bib, but these bibs are absolutely the best! They are great for clean up little spit ups and for drool.
- Swaddling Blankets – Some of my babies have loved being swaddled, and some don’t. Just make sure when you swaddle, you’re giving the legs room to move around so you don’t cause hip dysplasia. I love these swaddling blankets because they’re really big, they’re breathable, and they’re soft.
- Receiving Blanket – These are kind of nice to have around for a spare burp cloth, swaddler, or blanket. Here’s a nice organic version, but gosh that’s expensive!
- Silky Blanket – I like going to the fabric store and picking out the best and silkiest fabric and then making my own silky blankets for my babies, but if I had to buy one, this looks pretty good, and so does this one. I carry my baby around with his silky, nurse him with him wrapped up in it, use it to stroke his face and shield his eyes as he falls asleep in my arms, and lay him down with it for naps or at night so he is always near something that smells like me and is comforting.
- Special Blanket – If you don’t (gasp) like silkies, something like this would be good too.
- Lovie – If you’re not comfortable leaving your baby with a bigger blanket, you can leave them with a little lovie while they nap so they’re not totally alone.
- Burp Cloths – Prefold and birdseye diapers work great as burp cloths too. Just make sure you have enough to put EVERYWHERE you might sit with the baby.
Out and About
- Infant Car Seat – Having a removable car seat is so convenient for when your little one falls asleep while out and about. This is good until they are 6 months old or 22 lbs and 29 in., but well worth the investment in my opinion. You’ll probably also want a mirror like this to keep tabs on your little one and some window shades.
- Car Seat – After they outgrow the infant car seat, you’ll need to upgrade. I recommend something like this because it can be converted to accommodate children from 20-100 lbs.
- Stroller – This stroller is great because it fits with the infant car seat. We still have our Graco stroller from our first baby and we use it all the time.
- Ergo – I have tried many different different carriers and I love, love, LOVE my Ergo! It is so comfortable to wear, it DOES NOT hurt my back, and I love having my baby snuggled up close facing me. It’s best suited for babies 4 months and older, but you can use the infant insert to accommodate your little one. You’ll want to stay away from the front facing carriers (for extended use anyways) because they can lead to hip dysplasia. I know people who really like the Boba carrier too.
- Moby Wrap – It’s a little tricky to figure out how to use one of these, but this video will help! I LOVE using my Moby wrap for my little newborn babies until they are 3 months or so. It’s great to be able to keep them close while you want to have two hands free to do a few things around the house.
Things That Hold Babies or Playthings
- Activity Mat – This can be packed up and moved anywhere easily, and all of our babies have loved it. It’s easy to store away. You can lay a baby on it starting at any age.
- Bouncy Chair – Now, this isn’t really necessary, but it sure is nice to have a fun little place for your baby to bounce and play while you fold laundry or something. This one is fun too.
- Activity Center – As soon as your baby can support himself (about 3 months), he’ll love being entertained in this activity center.
- Bumpo – You won’t really need this until your baby is a little older, but we have loved using this with every single baby except our fourth (I’m not really sure why, too busy moving around I guess). It’s a great way to get babies in a sitting position when they’re not quite ready to sit on their own.
- Door Jumper – Babies aren’t really ready for this until 6 months or so, but it is a great way for them to jump and move around while you get dinner ready.
- Jumperoo – If you don’t have a good door frame to use, or if you have more floor space, this jumperoo is a great way for babies to entertain themselves.
- High Chair – Our babies haven’t really been ready for a high chair until 6-8 months, but hey, you’ll use it sooner than you think! I really like how versatile this one is. And don’t forget silverware and a sippy cup. We try to buy most of our dishware glass, like these little glass plates and bowls, but sometimes some BPA free plastic does the trick too.
- Whoozit – This little toy has been a favorite of all of our children, and we love taking it with us when we travel. We have also loved this larger sized Woozit.
- Floor Mirror – This is so wonderful for when babies start doing tummy time.
- Manhattan Toy Winkle – All of my babies have loved this because it is easy to grab onto, hold, and chew.
- Jacques the Peacock – This is a great take-a-long toy with lots to keep a little one busy.
- Ziggles – This is another cute take-a-long toy that is very cute.
- Sophie the Giraffe Teether – I love how easy this is for little ones to grab and it’s such a fun teething toy.
- Baby’s First Blocks and Rings – These are totally classic toys that you’ve just got to have!
- Bath Letters – These are probably one of the most used toys we have, and they really help with teaching letters!
- Wrist Rattles – I don’t know if these are more fun for the babies or the entertainment of the parents! 🙂
- Peekaboo – We love cloth books like this because they can’t be destroyed! This book is very cute.
- Discovery Farm – This is a great book that our children have loved reading, playing with, and chewing on.
- Ten Little Lady Bugs – There is just something so amazing about this tactile book, and it teaches counting!
- Dr. Suess’s ABCs – Have as many ABC books as you can around the house! This is one of our favorites! *Check out my blogs about teaching the ABCs here and see some of my homemade ABC resources here.
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar – This book is such a great classic. All of our kids have loved sticking their little fingers through the holes.
- Pajama Time – This is our all time favorite bedtime book!
- *Check out my blog to see more of my favorite books for babies here. Also, check out my blog about engaging babies with reading here.
Best Books to Read Before You Have a Baby
- Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth – This is a great book to help prepare you for childbirth.
- Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding – I never read this, but I love Ina May and it looks great!
- The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep by Harvey Karp – This book has some great strategies for getting fussy babies to sleep, or check out the video. Really, this could be a life saver!
- Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon – This is my food Bible! It has changed my life and helped me prepare healthy food for my family.
- The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care – This book was recently published and it’s on my wish list.
- Your Pregnancy Week by Week – I loved reading this while pregnant.
- Your Baby’s First Year Week by Week – I loved reading this too!
- Diary Of A Baby: What Your Child Sees, Feels, And Experiences – I just found this, and it looks incredible!
- NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children – If you’re looking for a more scholarly read, this book is absolutely amazing and has some great insight about children that will blow your mind.
- Bellefit Corset – This corset helped me to heal my diastasis recti after baby number three, and I’m currently using it now to heal after baby number four.
- After Ease – After baby number three, I was completely floored by the after pains. I got some of this after baby number four, that a heating pad, and bouncing on an exercise ball really helped.
- Postnatal Rescue – This is a very gradual workout that will ease you back into shape.
- Comfortable (non maternity) Pants – You won’t fit into your regular pants for awhile and you’ll totally wear your maternity clothes for awhile, but it’s nice to have something comfortable that’s not maternity pants after awhile.
Things You Don’t Need
- Everything on This List – You most certainly don’t need all of this stuff before the baby is born, and not all of these items are necessary. You have to pick and choose the things that are most important based on your lifestyle, your budget, your space, and your individual needs.
- Everything New – I think the benefit of having a list such as this is that it enables you to keep an eye out for bargains and deals. Just knowing what you need can also help you to be better at saying no to impulse buys.
- Baby Food Maker – Just use a blender, pre-chew the food, or cut it up into small enough bites.
- Baby Bath – Just take the baby into the bath with you. It’s much easier, your baby will be more comforted with you nearby, and you can nurse if he or she gets fussy. You also don’t need special baby towels or wash cloths, but hey, get them if you must!
- Outlet Covers – Outlets are only dangerous if a baby is sticking a metal knife into them. If you see them doing this, I think it would be better to tell them no or use some form of distraction. I also don’t think you need cabinet safety locks, toilet seat lock, or baby gates, but now that I’ve mentioned these items, you’re probably just going to get them anyways.
- Bottle Rack – Unless you’re formula feeding, then you probably do.
- Wipe Warmer – You might still like one, but this is something we never got and never missed.
Make a Registry
If you haven’t done so already, now might be a good time to make a baby registry. If you make one through this link, I will get a $5 referral fee, so thanks! Shop Amazon – Create an Amazon Baby Registry
If you’re a mom, grandparent, or caretaker, you try Amazon Mom for free for one month. So check out the following link below to help yourself and give me a small referral fee! Try Amazon Mom for Free
*If you’re looking for the best items to support your pregnancy, check out my blog: Best Pregnancy Items