I see this question posted all over Facebook groups weekly “what are your baby must-have items?” And the answers are typically the “insta-famous” items so you see the same answers over and over again. So while I can agree that some of the over-mentioned items are great, there are a lot of items not often mentioned that I would consider must haves.
It’s true though, babies don’t need much! But there are products that make this newborn phase a little easier.
Here are the not-often-mentioned items I would consider “must-haves” for baby!
This is NOT a full registry or a complete list of items I use. I wanted to just share the items we are LOVING!
- Cloth Diapers– Used as burp rags! Such a random thing to LOVE but this pack of cloth diapers is by far our most used item! I don’t even touch the muslin ones that are usually all the rage. They’re SO absorbent.
- Kinde Twist Pouches– The whole concept of the Kinde system is genius to me. Instead of having milk bags that just hold milk, the bag can be a bottle! With the screw-on top, you can attach that straight to your breast pump (with the adapter) and you can also attach the nipple and use it as a bottle. People knock the bags being “expensive” but you get so much use out of them, and there are always coupons available. It will save you a lot of bottle washing too!
- Kindred Bravely Pumping/Nursing Bra– I didn’t know this bra existed so I was changing out of a nursing bra and into a pumping bra each time I pumped. It was a pain to basically get naked before and after I pumped each time. I found this bra that has two clips, one for nursing, and the second for pumping, so you can do both with the same bra. No getting naked necessary.
- Washable Breast Pads– I was originally gifted the single use breast pads and am so glad I returned them for reusable ones. Not only are reusable pads a more “green” option but I go through 2-3 sets per day (per boob) so it is much cheaper to wash and re-wear them. I bought this pack on Amazon and don’t do any special laundry care- normal wash & dry.
- Wipe Dispenser– I thought this was a splurge item but it’s been SO nice to have. They advertise the wipe packages as “one-handed pull” but its so not true! The dispenser is weighted and is truly a one-handed pull. We keep it next to the changing pad which we have on top of the dresser…. which brings me to my next item.
- Hatch Grow Changing Pad– when I first saw this I laughed and thought this was a total splurge item. But now that I have it (thanks to my great aunt), I can’t imagine life without it. It weighs your baby, down to 1/4 of an ounce so you can see how much milk they’re consuming, which is impossible to tell in breastfed babies without a scale. The app that connects to it keeps track of weight, feedings, diapers, and sleep if you want to enter it too! Throughout pregnancy there was a lot of concerns that Kennedy was too small so having something to ensure she was gaining steady weight, was a HUGE relief. It is definitely pricey but for the peace of mind it’s given us and continues to give us, it is so worth it! I would say this is the most underrated big-ticket baby item right now!
Medicine Cabinet Items:
- Electric Nail Filer– Tiny nails are pretty scary to cut with a typical clipper so this was highly recommended by my mom friends. And I love it! It is super quiet and files the nails down super quickly. The best part is it does NOT cut skin. So if you miss and hit their skin, nothing happens. It’s magic. A must have in my opinion.
- Little Remedies Gas Drops– This is another must have item! Kennedy has trouble with her tummy getting gassy and will scream until her face is red. These drops literally stop her pain within 1 minute. I’m so glad someone suggested them to us. Again magic. I have multiple bottles on hand because we can’t afford to run out.
- Windi– As I mentioned, she has a lot of trouble passing gas. If things get really bad, which they have on multiple occasions, we will use the windi on her. I was so skeptical. I mean I’ve never put anything up anyone’s butt before! So this scared the crap out of me to do. But she was in so much pain we decided to give it a try, and it really does work. It relieves the trapped air causing them pain, but be aware, poop will also come out too so have a diaper underneath. Another thing, you’ll need a jar of coconut oil to lube the tube first so grab an extra jar. You’ll need it for the rectal thermometer too so you might as well put a jar in the caddy.
- Travel Sound Machine– We were gifted the 2-pack of these travel sound machines. And to be honest, I wanted to return them because you have to charge them daily, we already had the Hatch sound machine and if anything, one would be fine, not two. But boy was I wrong. We basically carry this around as much as our cell phones and put them wherever Kennedy is. The car, crib, next to the snuggle me, etc. And having two allows you to have a back-up when the charge goes out on the other.
- Ergo Pouch– we were lucky to get a bunch of hand-me-down swaddles so we could test which ones worked best. For Kennedy, the tighter “hug” like ones definitely work best. We rotate between the Ergo Pouch and the Woombie (below). The Ergo Pouch has different thicknesses of fabric to select from depending on your climate, and they have a snap closure on the arms so as she gets bigger and begins to roll, we can open the snaps and let her arms out. For that I like the Ergo Pouch just slightly more than the Woombie. Another thing I like is the high quality bamboo fabric. They both offer a two-way zipper for easy night-time diaper changes.
- Woombie– this is very similar to the ergo pouch in shape but it has more of a stretchy athletic fabric. It does not have arm holes so I’ll have to purchase the next size up when she learns to roll. But she loves it and sleeps just as soundly in this one as the Ergo Pouch.
- Tommee Tippee Pacifiers– After trying just about every pacifier out there, we saw an Instagram story in which someone had the Tommee Tippee pacifier for their newborn and raved how they were able to hold onto it compared to all the others. We decided to give them a try and yes, she can hold onto it for long periods of time! Her mouth goes around it similar to how she nurses so I think it’s more natural of a latch for her. They’re not cute, we also call them hub-caps, but they sure do work!