Making a List of Baby Must-Haves

Monday, July 16, 2018

Hi friends!!!

I need your help today--I'm starting to make a list of baby must-haves that I can keep my eye open for!  So if you have any recommendations or advice, then I'd love to hear it?

Below is a list of random questions I've come up with...
-What is are the must-haves in a nursery?  
A monitor...yes, but a diaper genie...probably not.

-Favorite diaper bag?  
(I'm thinking a backpack would be easiest to tote around.)

-Swaddles with the velcro sides??
-Do babies still use pacifiers?
-How many crib sheets will I need?
-Sound machine?
-Do I get blackout curtains or can you train a baby to sleep without those curtain?
-Favorite bath time stuff?

**Are there any other items that you feel were lifesavers to you during the first few months?



  1. To this day, my boys still like to sleep in pitch black! I always had a very dark room for them. A Monitor is a must ( now they have video ones which sounds awesome!) and always have one or even two changes of clothes in the diaper bag...lots of compartments is helpful so a backpack would be good.

  2. -What is are the must-haves in a nursery?
    Depending on the location of the nursery in your house.. monitor isn't actually what I would call a MUST HAVE. We use ours for sound more than anything, but I have some friends who have never used one.

    -Favorite diaper bag?
    With one baby I really just used a tote! Now for two I love the Freshly Picked bag.

    -Swaddles with the velcro sides? With both kids I've sworn by SwaddleMe brand velcro sides... so easy!
    -Do babies still use pacifiers? Beau didn't take one at all, Sophie does a little more but mainly we just use for sleep training help!
    -How many crib sheets will I need? We have three but honestly one is still in the packaging, two is great!
    -Sound machine? Yes! The one we have for Beau is just like from Target and is awesome!
    -Do I get blackout curtains or can you train a baby to sleep without those curtain? I've found that you can get a baby comfortable with sleeping in different environments and it can be really helpful- that being said the curtains in Sophie's room are black out just bc the style I wanted happened to be.
    -Favorite bath time stuff? I love Beauty Counter for Beau's hair but Honest is the cheapest "safe" option I've found

    And I have favorites in every monthly blog post I've done for my babies!!

  3. 3 Crib sheets is good, but don't forget to get spare waterproof crib mattress covers. Helpful tip when baby is bigger, especially potty training- put two sets of bedding on mattress pad-crib sheet-mattress pad-crib sheet; then you just pull the dirty layer off in the middle of the night.

    Must haves for little babies: gotta have a pack-n-play- its good for in your room as an infant crib or setting up downstairs/outside for naps. We used the angelcare bath support for two babies and had no gross mildew problems, it's light its great. I like the burts bees baby line. Don't overspend on a swing- they all do the same thing, I liked my 4Moms Rockaroo but I didn't use it twice as much as one that would have been half the price! Lots of cloth diapers for burp cloths. And get jammies with zippers not snaps! There is nothing worse than a crying baby at a 3am diaper change and you're trying to match up all those stinking snaps! Best toys: are a floor mirror, the fisher price kick and play piano and both my kids loved the Lamaze brand Penny the Peacock and Freddie the Firefly sensory toys. Big time. And they survive the washing machine.

    I have the malencutie diaper bag backpack and like it. It's inexpensive, don't spend too much on a diaper bag bc its something that you may need to change over time. With one/ newborns I loved my skip-hop messenger bag style that held so much, but now I need hands free diaper bag. Also, your diaper bag is going to get destroyed because you take it everywhere. I would feel bad about an expensive bag getting plunked in the sandbox or holding throw up clothes.

  4. our must haves were swaddles (Velcro or miracle blanket), a rock n play, boppy noggin nest (prevents their head from getting flat), and nail scissors instead of clippers-- it's impossible to cut them with the curved scissors and the clippers were terrifying.

  5. I watch my nieces a lot and have found that the video baby monitors are so nice -- it allows you to check in on your kids without opening the door and waking them up. It's also nice to be watching them from the couch and not have to run to their room for every little peep!

  6. Must haves in a nursery - video monitor - YES, and girl, I would go ahead and get the diaper genie! Otherwise you're going to be taking out the trash all the time! Those diapers stink like you wouldn't believe... even after only a day or so! We also LOOOOVED our rock n play sleeper... it's a game changer! And definitely keep Johnson & Johnson Hand & Face Wipes on hand at all times! We love them because they don't have harsh chemicals but they are antibacterial unlike regular baby wipes.

    To answer some of your questions:

    - We honestly didn't like the swaddles with velcro sides. We ended up just using muslin blankets instead. They are amazing! Nice and stretchy! We could get those tighter than the velcro swaddles. If you don't get them in nice and tight, they will always find a way to get those little arms out and then they cry!

    - Some babies do use pacis and some don't. Both of ours were OBSESSED with theirs and I was so thankful for that. It was an easy way to soothe them in public, too. Especially at church!

    - We had 3 crib sheets for each baby. Diapers will leak, babies will puke, and if you don't want to be doing laundry all the time you'll want a couple of back-ups!

    - We never did the sound machine thing. I have read a lot of things about it that say it can cause sleep problems when the kids get older, like they won't be able to fall asleep when it's quiet.

    - We do have black-out curtains for both kids, although, we didn't need them until they got a little older. When they were babies they'd fall asleep when it was light outside, but the older they got, the more they realized - why am I going to sleep when the sun is still out? Lol. Plus we live right on the EST/CST line, so it stays light here until 9:15 PM during the summer.

  7. I basically looked to bloggers and pinterest for all the registry must haves. I didn't get a diaper genie, but got the ubbi pail because you can use any type of trash bag with it! We did get a sound machine that also came with a light and can play songs on it. We didn't get black out curtains, but may decide to later. I spent a long time on the diaper bag and ultimately decided on the skip hop city bag. I was going to get a backpack, but I'm not a backpack person (maybe I will be) so opted not to get one right away. I did get a tote savvy insert that I can put into any of my tote bags (which I have a lot of). I dont know if you guys have a nest or something like that, but we got the baby arlo which is a monitor similar to other ones, but integrates with our home system. Just works for us and I know that Nest also has one.

  8. I'm exactly 6 days into being a parent and having a baby, so take this for what it's worth because we're in survival mode :) These are the things we use constantly: the SwaddleMe velcro swaddles, Fisher-Price Snugapuppy Cradle n' Swing (he sleeps in it right now), the Ubbi diaper pail (it doesn't hold odors like a plastic diaper genie because it's steel).
    I spent hours and hours researching and just talking to anyone I could who'd had a baby in the last year when I put a registry together.
    Good luck!

  9. Our two absolute favorite things were the Snuza breathing monitor (we slept so much easier knowing that if our baby stopped breathing this monitor would go off). And Quickzip sheets are also amazing! So quick to take on and off! I think you can get them cheapest at Bed bath and beyond with a coupon. Once our baby got big enough to mess with the zipper pull, we just tucked the zipper pull in and she couldn't get it out. We had one base and 2 sheets and that was fine for us. My MIL insisted we needed 6 crib sheets, but we only ever needed 2 :)

  10. This is just what worked for us-- I've learned that everyone is a little different, and that's okay! Don't be worried or scared to make on the fly purchases once baby is with you-- we saved giftcards just for that!

    For us, we cannot live without our DockATot. That being said, before she was born, I swore we wouldn't get one because I thought they were overpriced and not necessary. Two days in, I decided our sleep and sanity were worth that price and I wished I would have been open to getting one before she was born so I could have looked for deals! She sleeps in it every night, and for naps for the most part (I think our nanny is routine about using it during the day, I usually let her sleep where she falls asleep when I'm home, haha!). We used muslin blankets for swaddles for the first few months (look up the "miracle swaddle how to" on YouTube-- I don't want to be dramatic and say it saved our lives, but... ;) ), but now she's using the Halo transitional swaddle/sleep sack to transition out of swaddles because girlfriend likes to direct traffic with those tiny arms while she sleeps.

    I've made it a point not to make things too particular while she sleeps and now she's a champ at sleeping anywhere. We don't use a noise machine, no black-out curtains, any of that and she's fine. We could not live without the pacifier! We use Avent Soothies, and used the Wubbanub when she was really little because it balanced on her and made it easier to hang on to. Now we keep them on the little clip (I just used wooden beads and elastic and made hers-- super easy and they look nice!) because our favorite game is chunking them and getting it back. But, I have a few friends with similarly aged girls that don't take pacis. I don't know how they survive-- hopefully that means they just don't need them!

    For bath, I like the Johnson and Johnson extra moisturizing wash (I think is what it's called? yellow pump bottle!) because it seems to make her less dry than the straight up baby wash. We're a little hit or miss on lotion, so that helps. We had someone give us Noodle and Boo wash/lotion and it smells soooo good! So, if I'm with it enough to lotion her up after, I use that. :)

    I was so overwhelmed looking at baby stuff before she came, and at a certain point, I just had to come to grips with the fact that it's not going to be all the right stuff right from the the get go-- some stuff you just have to learn as you go and that's ok! Oh, and the white old school cloth diapers make the best burp cloths ;)

    So, so excited for y'all!

  11. I think diaper pails are overrated -- we always just tied up diapers in a "doggie bag" and put them in our outdoor trash. The idea of a pail FULL of dirty diapers gives me the heaves.

    I liked a monitor more for when we were outside or traveling, but it isn't on my list of things that I need when baby first arrives -- if it's gifted, great // if not, we'll purchase later down the road.

    I think backpack diaper bags are the best, but we also got a SkipHop Duo with Ella (almost 13 years ago) and it still looks brand new! We use it for day trips and errands all the time.

    Yes to velcro swaddlers, I'd buy a few different paci types to try, and 2-3 crib sheets is plenty. Trust me -- you'll be washing those things all the time anyway!

    Sound machines are far more important than blackout curtains (to me). We taught our girls to sleep whenever and wherever they were tired enough to warrant a nap. We also weren't quiet at home -- they slept/sleep through vacuums, barking dogs, hair dryers, etc. Our go-to sound machine is the Marpac Dohm via Amazon. It's a little spendier, but Josh & I sleep with one in our room (so does the dog), so they'll never outgrow it.

    Babyganics products score great for safer/more natural baby products and are well priced. I didn't use them for my first two, but I definitely plan to stock up for this baby.

  12. My "must have" item to any new parents is a Rock & Play. They were highly recommended to us and they proved to be lifesavers for us. The girls slept in them by our bed for the first 6 months as well as napped in them. They were easy to haul around wherever we went during the holidays to let the girls nap in a quiet room during all the family festivities. If you go on any overnight trip during those first months, it would be an easy item to throw in the car and go.

    I agree with the above comment, a monitor isn't anything you'll need for a while if you're planning on keeping the baby in your bedroom at night. It's an expense that can wait a few in some gift cards on that.

    The Baby Brezza bottle maker was also our life-saver. I've said many times though, I'm not sure if it would be a "must" for single babies; however, they sure do make feeding times easy when it can be a stressful time to begin with.

    We have a diaper genie that we use strictly for poop diapers. We toss the pee diapers in our regular trash and use the pail for the bad ones. I change the little filter about once a month and we've never had a problem with smell.

    For us, they do sleep better and longer in a dark room so I would highly recommend black out curtains for your nursery. In fact, I wish ours were a bit thicker on the black out material we bought when we had them made.

    We have a sound machine and they do very well on the white noise setting. Maybe we're setting them up for failure later on needing dark and noise to sleep..but it works and you do what's best for you. They can and do sleep without the noise occasionally, but it helps drown out our sometimes noisy neighbors outside their window. It's nothing fancy...I think it was just $25 or $25 from Wal-Mart. Well worth the small investment for our gals.

    Pacifiers yes. Your sanity will thank you later.

    Crib sheets...we have waterproof mattress pads, then a plain white sheet, then the color or patterned sheet. And we have probably 3 or 4 for each crib. Diapers will leak, it's easy to strip the top sheet off and still have one underneath that may be dry to get you through the night. Or when they get older, and overnight puke happens. You'll want ALL the clean sheets on hand. Sometimes you just can't wash sheets quick enough.

    We didn't use swaddles. Because they spent the majority of their first 2+ weeks in an incubator, they weren't used to be swaddled so we just never did once they came home.

    I've done a backpack style diaper bag and a messenger style bag. Backpack style wins.

    Babies are creatures of habit and thrive on routine. Whatever you find that works for your family, stick with it. You will know what your baby needs and what your baby likes & dislikes. A mother's intuition is very real. You'll just know!

  13. The Rock N Play was an absolute lifesaver for us! E slept in it for quite a while!

  14. Ahh so excited for you guys!

    A sound machine is a must - my daughter will sleep through get togethers, the dog, the doorbell, everything. We like the Dohm on low. And I loved the little one that clips on to the carseat for when a nap on the go is necessary.

    I liked having a rock n play for quick naps or bringing with me for a place to nap at friends' houses but they are the leading cause of plagiocephaly and also put babies at risk for hip dysplasia so make sure to get a flat bassinet or newborn sleep space too. Lots of people love these but most pediatricians and pediatric OT's will tell you that they aren't meant for sleep for more than 40 minutes a day.

    I would say 3-4 crib sheets and 2 covers for your changing pad. We have blackout curtains and my daughter loves them and will ask that they be closed before nap and bed time. But I know people whose babies sleep just fine without them. You can also have blackout liners added to any curtain so if you find one you like that isn't blackout you just need someone who can sew a straight line for you.

    Check the ingredients really carefully for baby wash. You'd be surprised what is in some of them that you really don't want to be putting on your baby's skin. We love California Baby, some of the Honest Co. items, and Beautycounter's wash. Same goes for diaper cream and lotions. Get a couple sets of rubber bath toys, too, because they can get gross inside after a while and its easiest to just toss them.

    My daughter hated the velcro swaddles and several of my friends' babies would only sleep in those. I'd say get something snug like a Woombie and then something like the Halo velcro and just get one of each to try before buying more. You'll want to wash them first and then once you've washed them they won't let you return them. Same for bottles - buy a single one of a couple different brands before opening any big packs because they won't accept returns on an opened lot of bottles. Then, once you know that baby likes them you can open the bigger boxes and return the ones you won't use.

    We loved pacifiers and my daughter used hers until she was 8-9 months old. That's another thing where different babies like different styles and you just have to see what your baby prefers.

    A video monitor is a must and a great investment. My daughter still uses hers and I'll definitely keep it in her room as well switch her to a big girl bed in the fall.

    We have a diaper genie and I put a Fresh Wave pod in the bottom of it so it doesn't get gross. I really like the convenience of it but I don't think its necessary. I would never splurge on a more expensive diaper pail though because you probably won't use it for more than one baby - you'll want to toss and get a fresh one. I didn't do a wipe warmer.

    For diaper bags I liked having an insert to use in a large tote and a backpack depending on where I was going. There are lots of options for both at various price ranges on Amazon. It will get spilled on, food crumbs dug into all its crevices, and probably spit up on too so I don't recommend making a crazy splurge but pick something you'll be happy to carry all day and that your husband won't mind carrying when he has the baby too.

    Some other essentials are a comfy glider because you'll spend a lot more time than you think in it even after midnight feedings are done, a swing that plugs in, a playmat with toys that dangle above and fun textures and toys around the edges for tummy time and a snap n go stroller or just be sure your carseat can snap into whatever stroller you plan to use easily because there is nothing worse than a tiny baby falling asleep in the car right before you pull into the store for an errand and then having to transfer them.

    Hope this is helpful as you prepare!

  15. I enjoy reading everyone's recommendations, and I also went by a lot of what my fiends and family recommended to me before my kids were born. But, even though getting all of the advice/recommendations is great, keep in mind that you shouldn't necessarily go crazy on buying stuff. Just as an example, I bought an expensive rocker, thinking all of these blogger moms couldn't be wrong----my son hated it and my daughter loved it. All of my cousins and kids I babysat for used pacifiers, so I thought of course my kids would use them too. I bought quite a few of a certain style and then when my son wouldn't take one, I bought several other brands/styles to see if that would be the magic one. Neither of my kids ever took a pacifier though. My point being, get the recommendations but remember that your special little one is going to do and like different things. What works for some babies doesn't for others. I wish someone had told me to definitely be prepared, but not go too crazy on purchasing stuff. I was probably too excited to listen even if someone had told me that though ha ha.

  16. So many good questions! Here's what worked for me: Black out curtains YES, Sound machine NO. That way we never had to worry about traveling with a sound machine or kids only being able to sleep if they had their sound machine. We loved Dr Brown bottles and pacis. Loved the muslin swaddle blankets. No velcro for us. Just the light weight swaddle blankets. Don't pay big bucks for the A&A ones - find some good middle of the road priced ones. I loved a cross body diaper bag for infants and then graduated to a backpack when my kids were toddlers. Splurge on a comfy chair for the nursery. We bought a small rocking/recliner that we've loved with both kids. It's neutral and we will move it to another room when we're done with it in the kid's rooms. You will use it multiple times a day for years so invest in a good one. Don't buy a changing table. Find a dresser that is the right height to add a changing pad on top of. I'd say 2 crib sheets would work great. I would avoid diaper genies, wipe warmers, changing tables and buying tons of clothes too far in advance. It's SO hard to know how quickly a baby will grow and what size they'll be wearing in what season. So many opinions!! Hope they help :)

  17. So many great comments! Esp each baby/parent is different in preferences. What works for one may not for another so try not to get overwhelmed. Enjoy & have fun, esp considering all y’all have been/are going through! What a baby needs most is love & milk & yall will provide plenty & make wonderful parents! Now, I’m KIND OF a minimalist when it comes to baby “gear” I didn’t want much or to spend much money with my first (son) but now that I’m having a daughter, I’m kinda going crazy ha! But most of it is all for me! She’d be fine in her brother’s clothes, but that’s the fun of it for me! Here’s what worked for us:
    -What is are the must-haves in a nursery?
    A monitor...yes, but a diaper genie...probably not.
    Video monitor yes! Adding another camera for new baby bc I still watch in on toddler at naps & even play. Diaper genie: didn’t get one. Never had a problem with stinky diapers. We change our trash regularly & don’t have tiny can. Maybe my house stinks ha but idk. I have candles/diffusers ��
    Other must haves: crib, diapers (duh duh ha)
    -Favorite diaper bag?
    (I'm thinking a backpack would be easiest to tote around.) I’m getting freshly picked this go around! But if you don’t know gender, LOTS of other back pack options available. I just wanted soft pink this time. My sil LOVES her jujube backpack/messenger. I had timi & Leslie with my first & too big/heavy/clunky/awkward & didn’t hold up well even though I took care of it. It was pretty though ha.

    -Swaddles with the velcro sides?? Didn’t use them. Tried a&a muslins. Didn’t work for us. Trying zen, Woombies & whatever else we hear works miracles next go around. Really hoping to encourage/master the swaddle ha
    -Do babies still use pacifiers? Some do some don’t. My son didn’t though I tried all kinds. I was his paci, I suppose. I’ll try with my girl though
    -How many crib sheets will I need? 2-4 should be good. I’m not a great laundry-er so more if you’re not ha
    -Sound machine? Yep! Didn’t have one all the time (used app on phone sometimes) but getting new for baby girl so they don’t wake each other up.
    -Do I get blackout curtains or can you train a baby to sleep without those curtain? Whatever floats your boat! I love blackout for me, personally but my son did fine without/sleeping anywhere. But now, as a 2 y/o doesn’t want to go to sleep at “bedtime” bc it’s still light outside, which to him = playtime.
    -Favorite bath time stuff? Still searching. Use natural! So many dangerous chemicals in j&j & others. Honest, cali baby, etc. whatever toys won’t ruin in tub (remotes/moms cell phone��) I love hooded towels & I didn’t have tub with my son (only flower that he outgrew FAST!) I’m getting fp tub for baby girl.

    YES on quality chair. I love my rocker/glider/swivel recliner. Idk about bottles. Never used them. Carriers! Whatever y’all like: slings, ergo/lillebaby/tula, etc!

    Also, I am an OT & not in love with rock n play. I mean, it’s ok but not for long periods of time. Make sure baby has clean floor/blanket/quilt & let baby have tummy time! Contrast books at newborn. Simple baby gyms are fine. They don’t need a ton of toys. They’ll get a ton from family & friends.

    Good luck!

  18. One of my neighbors (a mother of 4 boys!) gave me this advice when I was expecting my first and overwhelmed by all the options - Women have been having/raising babies for thousands of years. They've had babies in covered wagons, rice fields, cotton fields, etc, etc and managed to do okay without wipe warmers and diaper genies. There is SO much stuff your baby has to have that gets very expensive (diapers, formula, wipes, clothes) so don't waste too much money or thought on the fad-ish things that every blogger says you need. With that being said...the Nose Frida has been a lifesaver! LOL! I do like the muslin blankets because they can be used for so many things like a blanket, carseat cover, swaddle, burp cloth and they just get softer as you wash them. TJ Maxx, Marshall's, and Burlington are great places to find all of the name brand items at great prices.

  19. I'm so, so glad you did this post! I'm definitely saving it to go back & look at all of the suggestions because having so many different opinions is so helpful. I obviously don't have my baby yet, but my best friend's little girl is about to be a year old and her suggestions to me have been a Dock-A-Tot (they co-sleep though, and we don't plan to-so take that as you will), a good diaper bag backpack (she likes one that's from Amazon called the Royal Journey, I was gifted the Freshly Picked-so we'll see how that goes). She also recommended the Nose Frieda and having a really good, comfy chair for your nursery! Other recommendations that pertain to your questions that I'm just passing on are: no blackout curtains or sound machine, especially if you want your baby to be able to sleep in different environments, no diaper genie (many people just said to make sure you bag them individually in wal-mart type bags and toss them daily), and I've been told to stockpile crib sheets because when you transfer them to a toddler bed they can still use the crib sheets then!

    Like I said, this is just information that was given to me that I'm passing on to you-who knows if it will work on my baby or yours-haha! I'm so excited to see what you come up with as your must-haves when you & Dustin get your sweet little one!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern and Style

  20. I have two under two and here are a few things that work for us: Lectrofan sound machine (newborn s love high pitch white noise - this is a must!!), halo swaddle/sleepsacks, any video monitor for piece of mind, regular backpack works great as diaper bag (not worth a big investment), look for gently used baby clothes, especially newborn secondhand at co alignment sales or goodwill.

  21. I have three kids. Keep in mind that every kid is different. Even the advice on here (monitor is a MUST; monitor not necessary) varies for that reason. We used a diaper genie for the first kid for like two weeks and then we were done. We just use a regular smallish trash can and it's fine. I don't throw poopy diapers in that trash though. We've used a noise machine for all three. We've forgotten to take one when we travel and they sleep just fine. It's so helpful when the dog barks or we have people over to drown out the noise. I also recommend getting a comfy chair for night time feedings or rocking baby back to sleep. My youngest is 2 and I am still using the chair we got 9 years ago when my oldest was born. This is what I would recommend you spend on! You will use it all the time for a few years. I loved the Rock'n Play. It was so nice to have something I could take easily from one room to another and we also traveled with it. I used it for the last two kids. They slept in it at night (when we weren't co-sleeping) and did a little napping during the day. Their heads and hips are fine (knock on wood) but I didn't just leave them in it all the time. One of my daughters had bad reflux and SCREAMED up a storm any time she had to lay flat on her back so this absolutely helped her (and me.) All three also used paci's. It was so helpful but at the same time you always have to keep track of it. There's a couple of different kinds. Just buy one of each of the two kinds and then you can always get more when you see if they have a preference. Newborn clothes (especially for girls) are aplenty at second hand shops. Kids don't wear them for long before they outgrow them so they are in very good condition. It's a great way to save money. We used a bottle warmer for #3 and I loved it. Two crib sheets. I also recommend the carseat/stroller combo so you can take the seat out of the car and plop it in to the stroller. Don't go crazy stressing on if you have the right thing or not. Target is not far away!

  22. Two crib sheets are fine. Just get a pack of pacifiers in case you decide to use them! You will buy more if you need them! Lol! In my opinion, black out curtains and sound machines are essentials. Everything else is personal preference. :)


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