The excitement of becoming a new parent is one of the best feelings in the whole world. You cannot wait to bring your little one into the world. And of course you want to be fully prepared for your new life.
Figuring out what products you will need for your new baby can be very overwhelming. Every website, blog post, and Youtuber has their own opinion on the matter.
The reality is that every mom is different and every baby is different. And the products you need in the first few weeks are very different from the ones you need by the time your baby is 3 months old.
My goal with this post is to help new mamas by sharing my favorite products and the ones that I regret purchasing. I spent 9 months researching what products I would need and which brands were the best. Hopefully, I can save a few mamas some time with this list!
Again, every mama and every baby are different. What worked for us may not work for you and vice versus.
Ok, with that out of the way, on to the list!
Mama Bear Diapers from Amazon
The world of diapers is a vast one and it can be hard to navigate. You have the big brands like Pampers and Huggies. Then you have the bourgeoisie brands like Honest Company. And then the environmentally friendly diapers that are made out of bamboo. Seriously, picking diapers is hard!
Here is my advice to you when it comes to diapers. Do not buy newborn (“NB”) diapers ahead of time. Most likely, the hospital that you deliver in will give you tons of diapers if you just ask for them. Take all of the diapers that they will give you! This will likely get you through the newborn stage. If not, just buy diapers as you need them. If you buy too many diapers ahead of time, you will end up with homeless diapers. Babies grow so stinkin’ fast it is not worth stocking up on newborn diapers.
When Winnie was in NB diapers we just used the Pampers Swaddlers that the hospital gave us and they were great. Once she outgrew the newborn size, I bought size one Pampers Swaddlers. For whatever reason the size one Pampers Swaddlers were absolute garbage. They just could not hold Winnie’s poo-splosions. I did some more diaper research and came across the Mama Bear brand by Amazon. They were cheaper than the Pampers and had a cinched back that would help to contain the poo-splosions. I decided to give them a try and man-oh-man am I glad I did. These diapers are amazing. The quality is way better than Pampers. They are softer, thicker, more absorbent, hypoallergenic, and fragrance/elemental chlorine free. I have made a comparison chart so you can see for yourself the differences! Seriously, I cannot emphasize enough how amazing these diapers are. Please do yourself a favor and skip the big name brands and go with the Mama Bear by Amazon diapers.
|“Straw man” Table||Pampers Swaddlers (Size 1)||Mama Bear by Amazon (Size 1)|
|Price||$0.20||$0.18 ($0.17 if you subscribe and save)|
|Fragrance/ Elemental Chlorine Free||No||Yes|
|Effectively Contains Poosplosions||No||Yes|
If you have done any research at all on baby products, I am sure you have come across the Dock-A-Tot. It seems like every trendy social media influencer mama has one of these and posts about it constantly. It seems like a really neat product until you see the $175 price tag. Then it just seems like a frivolous baby item that you really don’t need. At least that was my thought process when it came to the Dock-A-Tot. But friends, let me tell you, I was so wrong.
Now, before Winnie was born, I decided to go the bassinet route and have her sleep in our room for the first few months. I did some research and decided to go with the Halo Swivel bassinet (spoiler – this product is on my regrets list). Winnie slept in this for the first two months of her life. But at the 2 month point I started thinking about a big trip we would be taking in a few weeks. The idea of lugging a Pack-N-Play around just sounded miserable to me. So, I decided to invest in a Dock-A-Tot. I bought it with the idea that we wouldn’t use it until our trip and Winnie would keep sleeping in her bassinet.
Then, I took Winnie to her 2 month Well Baby check up and the pediatrician told me that one side of her head was significantly more flat than the other. She said that Winnie was favoring her right side and that I would need to turn her head to the left when she was sleeping. I tried this for a week or so with no progress. No matter how many times I would turn her head, she would turn it right back.
One night, I had a stroke of brilliance. I decided to have Winnie sleep in her Dock-A-Tot instead of the bassinet. I noticed a difference in Winnie’s head right away. She pretty much immediately stopped favoring her right side and her head rounded out. Winnie ended up co-sleeping with us in her Dock-A-Tot for the next two months.
While we were traveling the Dock-A-Tot was amazing. It is light weight and easily transported. We did not have to worry about constantly putting up and taking down a Pack-N-Play every time we relocated. Winnie could literally sleep comfortably anywhere.
I know what you are thinking. There is major negative stigma attached to co-sleeping. But, the Dock-A-Tot is a certified safe co-sleeper (you can check out their website for all of the official stuff). And you know what, we loved co-sleeping with Winnie. Those first few months are so important when it comes to creating emotional bonds with your baby and I am a firm believer that co-sleeping plays a huge role in this.
At four months, we moved Winnie to her crib that is not in our room. And she was fine! It was like we all three knew it was time for the transition and Winnie handled it like a champ. It is nice to have our bed back, but I do miss having Winnie right next to us! Winnie still sleeps in the Dock-A-Tot on our bed during nap time since her crib is in the living room an I need to be in that space doing stuff during the day.
Moral of the story, a Dock-A-Tot is an amazing investment. Skip the stupid expensive bassinet and just go for the Dock-A-Tot.
Pacapod Diaper Bag
Diaper bags are some thing that in my opinion can either make or break your mom-life. Diaper bags should help you organize the essentials and help hold your life together. The Pacapod Diaper bag does just that. The front of the bag unzips revealing two different “pods” one for diaper changing essentials and one for bottles/formula/pumped milk. Then the middle compartment has all kinds of pockets for organizing everything else. What I love most about this bag is that I can easily just pull out the diaper changing pod and carry it around with me if I don’t want to lug the whole diaper bag around. It is so handy. I love this diaper bag.
Ikea Skotsam Changing Pad
If you only take on thing to heart that you read in this blog, please let it be this: do not buy a changing table. Save your $100 for diapers or a mani/pedi and buy one of these changing pads from Ikea for $6.99. The reality is that you are not going to want to have to go over to the changing table every time you need to change your baby’s diaper. Just keep your diaper supplies in a caddy or basket and your diaper changing station is totally portable. And you don’t have to worry about your baby rolling off of a changing table.
Muslin swaddles are amazing for so many reasons but the best thing about them is their versatility. They can act as swaddling blankets, nursing covers, play mats, and burp rags. I don’t leave the house without one. I love using them as nursing covers by tying two corners together and throwing it over my head. They are lightweight so your baby doesn’t get super sweaty and then you can wrap your baby up in it when they are done eating. I have a few different brands but I love the Little Unicorn brand muslin swaddles. They are super soft and I love the patterns that they come in. The Aiden and Anais brand are great too and the Cloud Island brand from Target are a good money saving option.
OsoCozy Pre-fold cloth diapers
Fun fact: pre-fold cloth diapers are amazing burp cloths. Seriously, do not buy pretty patterned burp cloths that cost an arm and a leg. You can get 12 of them for $22 on Amazon. And trust me, you will use them all the time. And they will get stained and nasty. They may not be cute but they get the job done and are cost effective!
Blooming bath / Bath Whale
Bathing your newborn for the first time is so much fun, unless your baby screams the whole time. In that case, I am so sorry friend. Anyway, after lots of research on the best baby bath options, we ended up going with the blooming bath. What’s nice about the blooming bath it is soft and it holds your floppy little baby up well. I just can’t imagine that a cold, plastic tub is very pleasant for a little baby. Since we are on the topic of bath time, this little whale scoopy thingy is awesome for rinsing your baby off. It is really easy to control the water when you are rinsing your baby’s head without getting water in their eyes and face.
Hatch Baby White Noise Maker/ Night Light
This one is by no means a necessity, but I love this thing. The Hatch Baby is a white noise maker and night light. The coolest part of this gadget is that it has an app that you can download on your phone that allows you to change the sounds/light colors/volume/brightness from your phone. You can also create presets and set times that you want those presets to turn off and on. I have a night time present that comes on at 7:00pm every night that has pink light and thunderstorm sounds. Then at 7:00am the light turns green and birds start chirping. It is so great when I come out for night time feedings because I can turn the brightness up on the Hatch Baby so that I can see without having to turn on an overhead light. This is a great registry item that is totally unnecessary but it’s great to have.
Pump and Save Bags
Ok mamas, if you are planning to pump your milk at all then you need to purchase these. They come with a little attachment that screws onto the bottom of each pump. The bags fit onto the attachment and catch the milk as it comes out. This may sound silly but skipping the step of pumping into the plastic bottle and then pouring into a bag saves so much time.
I am 4 months postpartum and I still wear my maternity jeans. The fact of the matter is that your body does not magically go back to the way it was before being pregnant. It takes time. And if you are like me, you will need some “recovery” pants to wear until you can fit back into your tight skinny jeans. You will get your money’s worth out of them well beyond your pregnancy.
Young Living Thieves cleaner
When you become a mom for the first time, there is a switch in brain that turns on and your brain completely changes. One of those changes is that you begin to imagine your baby putting everything into their mouth. Suddenly you care about every cleaning product you use and imagine what it would do if your baby came into contact with it. Young Living’s Theives cleaner is 100% safe to use around baby’s. You can use it on almost all surfaces in your home and it smells amazing. This mama sleeps better at night knowing that I am not covering my home in toxic chemicals.
Products I Regret Purchasing
I feel like this is one of those products that every mom has and you just assume that you are going to need. Well, I think I used it a whopping 3 or 4 times. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like it makes nursing harder. Each time I tried it, Winnie and I both just ended up feeling uncomfortable. Although, if you had a C-section, I could see why the Boppy would be helpful for breastfeeding. But other than that, I wish I would have saved the $40 I dropped on that thing.
Here is a tip that will save your life if you are a nursing mom – do not buy a nursing cover. I got one that is like a big infinity scarf that you pull down around you. They are not comfortable to wear, they make your baby hot and sweaty, and they are a pain in the butt if you are sitting in a chair. Listen, all you need to do is tie two corners of your muslin swaddle together, pull it over your head, and you have a nursing cover. Muslin swaddles are such a great investment.
Halo Swivel Bassinet
I touched on this one already when I was talking about the Dock-A-Tot, but I will go into more detail here. This is the bassinet of bassinets. It swivels back and forth over your bed, has a pull down side, and vibrates and plays music. However, when we went to Winnie’s 2 month appointment and the pediatrician told me the right side of her head was too flat, I was done with the bassinet. I knew her head was flat from sleeping on that hard mattress. I switched her over to co-sleeping in the Dock-A-Tot and immediately saw an improvement. I totally wish I had gone for the Dock-A-Tot from the beginning.
Car seat without compatible stroller
For whatever reason, I convinced myself that buying a car seat/stroller combo was totally frivolous and unnecessary. I was wrong. I was so incredibly wrong, dear friends. Buy the combo. Trust me, lugging a newborn baby in and out of a car seat and putting them in a stroller is just awful. Get the combo set and just click the car seat into the stroller.
All I have to say about this one is just buy sleepers with the built in scratch mittens. These things don’t stay on baby’s hands. Huge waste of money right here.
Insane amount of Newborn diapers
Babies grow so darn fast. One day you wake up and they are suddenly too big for the size NB diapers and need size 1 diapers. I am telling you, this is how it happens. And when it happened to me, I had a ton of leftover NB diapers. I mean I had multiple unopened boxes. So, here is my advice to you: buy diapers as you need them. It might seem like a pain to have to go and buy diapers every other week, but trust me, it is so much better than having leftovers.
Wild Bird Ring Sling
Guys, I cannot tell you how excited I was to use this product when Winnie was born. So many of the mom influencers that I follow on social media post super cute photos with their littles in these sling-style baby carriers. So, of course I had to have one too for the low price of $50. What was I thinking? Anyway, I tried and tried with Winnie but the ring sling just was not working for us. I ended up buying a $25 Infantino carrier that I love. I wish I had done that from the beginning!
Disposable Nursing Pads
Save the environment and buy washable nursing pads. End of story.
When I found out that I was pregnant, I was so excited to buy maternity clothes. I mean, what woman doesn’t love a good excuse to buy new clothes? But here is the thing about maternity tops, once you aren’t pregnant they fit you weird (unlike maternity pants that you can get tons of postpartum use out of). I wish that I would have invested in some non-maternity tops that fit over the bump but that I could wear postpartum. Something like this boyfriend tee from Old Navy would have been perfect. I bought a few of them last week and wished I would have had them when I was pregnant. They are also nursing friendly!
Babyganics Bath Set
Listen, I am all for plant-based, toxin free baby products. But, I do not like the way that the Babyganics bath stuff smells. It also is a weird foam that I am not into. A friend gave me a Johnson and Johnson lavender baby bath set that smells amazing! But I know that it is filled with awful stuff that I am going to pretend to know nothing about until I finish using it. Once we make it through that set, I am going to invest in baby bath products from Young Livings Seedlings brand. I have heard such good things about that line.
I hope these lists save you time and money. Comment below to keep the sharing going!