21 Must Have baby products and necessities. Baby products that will make life with a baby easier and save your sanity.
21 Baby Must Haves for 2020
intro – who i am, updates, my kids, age span
We have a new baby coming to our family in a couple of months! A new little nephew to love! I know, I know, I’ve mentioned it before. But we’re just so excited to meet and welcome this little guy! Being the big sister in the family, I’ve been helping my sister gather all the necessities for her new baby, and I wanted to share my top 21 baby must have products with you today. Every new mom needs these (veteran moms, too!), and many of them are real sanity-savers.
You probably already know to get a crib, mattress, car seat, etc. And you’ve probably already started planning the adorable little nursery (or at least I did! So fun to put together a new little room!) So I want to share some things that you haven’t thought of yet that will make your life easier and save your sanity with a newborn in the house. We have three small children, and trust me. You need these.
Top Must Have Baby Products for 2020
pic of baby in a boppy
I LOVE my Boppy. I even brought it to the hospital with me for my last three deliveries! It’s great for breastfeeding because it helps to position the baby and allows you to have a hand free to assist with latching, which is particularly useful during the I-have-no-clue-what-I’m-doing newborn stage of breastfeeding (which I experienced with each of my children… Apparently breastfeeding is not like riding a bike…)
A Boppy is also great even if you don’t breastfeed. It can prop baby up during tummy time. We used it to elevate our (reflux-y) babies while they were on the floor playing with their activity centers (supervised, of course). And it’s also great for providing support to newbie sitters. They also last FOR-EV-ER. We have the same one we used with our now 10 year old, and just used it with our new baby! It’s been through 4 kids, and is still in great condition. Grab one on Amazon.
These were not around with my first 3 kids! They are amazing! I have a deep freezer absolutely full of breastmilk, and it’s literally all from the haakaa. A haakaa is just a manual silicone breast pump. You can suction it onto the opposite breast that you’re not feeding the baby from, and it will catch all of the milk from the letdown, and probably a little more because of the suction, helping you build an effortless milk stash. They’re really easy to wash, and don’t have a million parts like a traditional pump. There are multiple sizes, but I just opted for the biggest one. Grab them on Amazon.
3. Milk Savers
I describe my early breastfeeding days akin to teenage boys’ level of uncontrol of your body. The letdown reflex can happen anytime, any place for any reason. You hear someone else’s baby crying, your baby ate at that exact time yesterday, a light breeze… I was wearing breast pads, but because they were frequently wet during those early days, it led to thrush. Which is when I decided to switch to these handy letdown catchers. They fit discretely in your bra, and they keep you dry and catch the milk so that you can actually store it too! Grab some on Amazon.
I’m going to tell you right now that I have no idea how to swaddle. I asked the nurses to show me with our first two babies. They did some kind of Jedi-master wrapping, and I just couldn’t catch on. Thankfully, I found these amazing velcro swaddles by the time we had our third. No swaddling skills required! Just use the handy velcro to recreate the perfect swaddle.
There are tons of brands. The smaller SwaddleMe swaddlers are great for those first couple weeks as a tiny newborn, and I like the Halo Sleep Sack Swaddles after that, as they’re a little sturdier. Compare SwaddleMe Swaddles and Halo Sleepsack Swaddles on Amazon.
These are basically just very thin, versatile blankets. You can use them to swaddle, of course, but they also double as car seat or stroller blankets, burp rags, a quick changing station, or a cool cover up for outside when babies aren’t supposed to wear sunscreen yet. They’re really useful, and it’s really nice to have one around in any number of pinches. Get one on Amazon.
All moms need to have a thermometer in their home, especially during the first three months of baby’s life when a fever is an emergency. You’ll need to know about a fever promptly so that you can seek medical attention immediately, if need be. There’s all kinds of fancy thermometers out there, but I really recommend getting just a plain old-school digital thermometer. Rectal temperatures are the most accurate (Kind of gross, I know, but also true). These plain digital thermometers are easy to use for that purpose and also inexpensive. Of course, forehead thermometers are more accurate now than they used to be, so those would be your next best option. Get a forehead thermometer on Amazon.
Did I mention newborns don’t sleep?! A great way to help baby sleep more soundly is by putting a sound machine or fan in baby’s room. This is particularly useful when you have older kids (or pets, or you’re just plain trying to pick up the house a bit). We used one with our daughters since by then we already had rambunctious kids running around our house, and it worked beautifully. Grab the one we have on Amazon.
A Hatch sound machine was originally recommended to me, but I didn’t like it for multiple reasons. One being, extra light is not good for trying to get babies to sleep. And two, it was more expensive because of the extra features, but I found pretty much all of the features unnecessary, so the price just wasn’t worth it. Check out the Hatch for yourself here.
We didn’t have anything like this when my older kids were born, but I am so glad to have this nifty little device now. After 6 pregnancy losses, we have been even more nervous than a first time parent about leaving our baby alone to sleep. This little sock attached easily and comfortably to baby’s foot and then sends oxygen and pulse data right to an app on your phone! If there’s a problem, an alarm will sound to alert you immediately. It is kind of expensive, but it has brought so much peace of mind, which is why I recommend it.
You can also get it with a camera for just $50 more, and then you don’t need to purchase a separate monitor. Grab one on Amazon.
This little bed is kind of like a portable bassinet or Moses basket, and it’s really snuggly. I was reluctant to buy it, but our little sweetie loved it so I’m glad we did. We even bought the next size up because she loved it so much. Get one on Amazon.
10. Activity mat
Activity mats or gyms feature bright colors, patterns, and even textures to help stimulate baby’s brain and teach baby about his environment. You can start using these as early as you start tummy time, and they keep! Here’s the one we have on Amazon.
11. Bouncer or swing
We actually have a separate swing and bouncer. But the only outstanding and useful feature for the bouncer is the vibration feature. The vibrating feature was one of the few things that allowed me to set our babies down for a couple minutes (Hello, shower!). You can save space and still have the best of both worlds with a swing that has the vibration feature. Of course, if you have the space and money get both! Here is the swing we currently have, and here’s the bouncer we have.
12. Diaper Bag with Lots of Pockets!
It’s amazing how much stuff such a tiny person needs! And when you leave the house, you have to bring all of that stuff with you! A diaper bag with lots of pockets will be able to hold all of your baby’s stuff and will keep you organized. You really don’t want a crying baby while you dig through the depths of your diaper bag to find an elusive pacifier. Pockets to the rescue! We used to have an over-the-shoulder bag, but we opted for a backpack this time, and we’ve all loved it. Hubby will even voluntarily wear it. Grab one on Amazon.
12. Baby Bather
Those tiny baby bath tubs are just adorable, aren’t they?! While I do think the baby tubs are cute, they’re also kind of large for storage purposes, and baby probably won’t use the tub for all that long anyway. I recommend getting a baby bather. A Baby Bather is kind of like a small baby lounge chair for the tub. You can use these directly in your normal bath tub. They’re way easier to store than the clunky baby bath tubs, and it will make bath time a breeze until your baby can sit well enough to sit in the tub at bath time. Grab one on Amazon.
13. Gripe water
A major reason for fussy babies is gas problems. Small babies don’t move around a whole lot yet, and this can lead to some gas build up and pain in their little tummies. We always kept some Gripe Water or gas drops on hands, and when we couldn’t figure out why our babies were crying (He’s fed and dry and warm!!!), the gripe water or gas drops were usually the solution. Of course, like all medications, you can’t give these too often so we also practiced some baby gas exercises.
13. Baby Wrap –
Babies require a lot of snuggle time. Mine didn’t like me to ever put them down, which made getting daily tasks done a little difficult. A baby carrier will allow for baby snuggles while still having hands free to accomplish other tasks. It’s like having four arms, just what every mom really needs! You can pick up the house a bit if you’re feeling ambitious, or you could use it for something as simple as trying to eat dinner. I’ve heard rave reviews over and over for the Baby Bjorn, but I really loved our Moby Wrap. It was soft and easy to use, and it allowed different wrapping techniques for different holding positions. I even wore my Moby Wrap to the grocery store. There are TONS of Moby Wrap tutorials on YouTube to get you started.
14. Structured Baby Carrier – dads love it
14. Baby hats for winter babes
15. Diaper cream
16. Bottle drying rack
17. Diaper Caddy
Diaper Caddy – Diaper caddies are amazing! It’s everything you need for diaper changing, all in one neat little station. Diapers, wipes, ointments, creams. You can keep it with your changing table, but it’s portable so you can bring it into any room that you’re changing diapers in.
18. Silicone Feeder – Baby feeders are great for newbie eaters! They can eat normal, fresh foods without any choking concerns, which is obviously wonderful for both moms and babies. I recommend using the silicone baby feeders. We had a mesh one, and while it worked great, it was a pain to clean. In fact, we ended up throwing it out because after several soaks, rinses, and scrubs, we still couldn’t get all the food out. The Silicone Feeders work just as great as the mesh feeders and they are WAY easier to clean.
Extra Baby Must Haves
These are baby must have products that you need LOTS of. You can never really have too many of any of these, so stock up!
16. Lots of Socks – For some reason, unknown to me, socks DO NOT stay on babies! We have many MANY socks without a match that must have fallen off somewhere without us realizing it. Between the strange sock disappearing act and the fact that babies grow so quickly, it’s a good idea to have lots of socks on hand.
17. Lots of Onesies – Onesies are great for so many things. They’re great for layering since baby can’t have a blanket in his bed at night. They’re great attire for hot weather. And frankly, they’re great for putting under clothes to help catch blow out diapers or if baby spit up all over his outer shirt. Onesies. You need lots.
18. Lots of Receiving Blankets – Receiving blankets are so versatile that you can never really have too many. Of course, if you know how to swaddle (unlike me) you can use them for swaddling. But you can also use them as a diaper changing mat (especially great for icky public bathrooms). You can use them like burp cloths, and to clean up messes. We always have a few of these in the diaper bag for our leaving-the-house adventures.
19. Lots of Burp Cloths – I mentioned before that all three of our babies had reflux, so burp cloths were particularly essential to us. But, like receiving blankets, burp cloths are versatile and useful to everyone. They’re great for burping and spit up, of course, but they’re also useful for wiping noses and little milk faces, and just gentle clean-up in general.
20. Lots of Pajamas – I love baby clothes. They are just so darling. But I found that, particularly in the newborn phase, pajamas are a lot more useful than those adorable outfits. Pajamas are cuddly and comfortable, and with babies sleeping periodically throughout the day, they’re very practical. Because of spit up, diaper explosions, and practicality, I recommend spending a major portion of your clothing budget on pajamas, which are also adorable, in my opinion. Seriously, what’s cuter than a sleeping snuggly baby?
21. Repertoire of Pacifiers – Pacifiers were a major point of frustration, particularly for our first baby. It turns out, not all babies will take all brands of pacifiers! After trying basically every other brand of pacifier (NUKs, MAMs, Soothies,…), our first son finally took GumDrop pacifiers. Our second son and daughter both liked MAMs. I recommend buying one of each brand of pacifier to test which kind your baby likes. Then when you finally figure it out stock up! It’s another one of those items that disappears on you! Plus if baby spits out his pacifier on a dirty floor, it’s nice to have a back up (or two!).
What do you think? Did I get all the Baby Must Haves? What was your favorite, must have baby product?
Remember to add these items to your Baby Registry!2