Advice on What I Really Need!

Updated on August 08, 2008
M.K. asks from Syracuse, NY
44 answers

I'm expecting my first baby in December...just looking for some advice/recommendations on what I will definitely need right away in terms of supplies/gear. Also- would love some recommendations on strollers/car seat brands/models that have worked well for people. It's tougher than I thought to pick things out! Thanks so much!

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So What Happened?

Thanks SO SO much everyone! This is all such great advice! I had an outdated copy of "Baby Bargains" that a friend had given me- I had forgotten I even had it. I went out yesterday to get an updated one, and it really is a great help. Thanks to everyone for ALL the wonderful tips and suggestions- I've even shared a bunch with friends of mine who are already mothers, and they thought they were great and are going to use them too! Again- thanks. I now feel very ready to start my registry with some good solid advice on brands and what I DON'T need, and am excited to start now (as opposed to terrified!


Featured Answers



answers from New York on

These are the things I absolutely loved:
--Fisher Price Booster Seat
--Graco Travel System
--Britax Marathon Toddler Car Seat (this one is great b/c it is up to 60 lbs.)
--Graco Pak N Play
--Baby Papsan Swing
--Dr. Brown's Bottles
--Baby Enstien Exersaucer
--Baby Enstein Videos (my daughter still watches them)
--Safety First Baby Monitor
--Angel Monitor
--Safe Feeder for Toddlers
--Aquaphor, A and D Ointment
--Avalon Organic Baby Products

Good Luck!



answers from New York on

I recently posted about that subject on my blog. Here is the link to my list as it's rather long to just copy and paste:


answers from New York on

Mara - one tip that was given to me (although I didn't listen but understand it now) was this: You will get sooooo many clothes that are sized 0-3 months or even 6 months... don't pull all the tags off immediately. Pull tags and wash a lot, but you may get so much that exchanging some items for 6-9 or 12 months could prepare you for a whole years worth of clothes. Many first time moms end up with so many things for the first few months, and then nothing for the back half of the year.

Same thing for receiving blankets - I still have 2 drawers full of some that have been used once, or never. Try to be realistic about what you will actually use.

Good Luck and congratulations!

More Answers



answers from Rochester on

Well, it totally depends on your mothering style. I'm into natural- my basics were a

1) Decent carseat- graco worked for me

2) Glider or rocker

3) a sling- I like the Maya wrap (watch the video, it helps), and a mei tai for after 6 mos. Also nice to have a set of chymes attached to the sling for gentle, soothing rhythm while you move about

4) a lambskin and/or Moses basket to lay him in when he wasn't in the sling-

5) a king size bed for comfy cosleeping,

6)16-18 Growing Greens organic cotton diapers and 3-4 wool shorties and longies (plus a stash of disposables for when I went out)-

7)comfy, natural fiber sleepers- plus lots of hats! Check out Happy Green Bees for really cute organic cotton hats (and clothes, if you want to go all out).

8)A baby monitor is nice too if your house isn't small.

I didn't even need a stroller til about 1 year between sling and carseat carrier, and then I just used those cheap fold up ones.

9)For body care, Weleda makes natural (and I mean natural, not just some natural ingredients with chemicals thrown in for cheap filler) MAGICAL calendula diaper cream.

I really liked the baby stuff at Nova Naturals- I got a catalog in the mail somehow and they have decent prices.

10) For you- you might like 2-3 nursing shirts and some nursing bras! But not a must. And a couple books- "You are your Child's First Teacher", "Heaven on Earth", and "An Encyclopedia of Natural Healing for Children and Infants".

But what you need MOST of all, is to be in touch with your intuition! =)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

I'm not exactly sure what you personally will need, and I know that you've gotten a lot of replies, so I'll tell you a tip that I learned about something you DON'T need to get before the baby's born.

Don't get more than two or three baby bottles right away. Some babies are very particular about the kind of nipple they'll take, and it makes no sense to spend a lot of money on a dozen bottles that your baby won't take. A friend of mine spent about $100 on a certain type of bottle that was supposed to be really baby-friendly only to discover that her daughter wouldn't take them. You can always send out a relative or the hubby to buy more bottles after the little one is born, there are usually a lot of friends/family around at that time who want to help. Take advantage of it! :-)



answers from New York on

ToysRus have a great may help to go into the store and see what they have.



answers from New York on


Congratulations! Alot of what you'll need depends on your life style.

It's been awhile (mine are 11 and 13).

Must haves:
A car seat- If both you and hubby have a car, you'll want one for each car.

A stroller - Many parents prefer to use slings when their child is just an infant, but before you know it, she/he won't fit in it.

A swing.

Lots of old fashioned cotton receiving blankets - I recently went shopping for a baby shower and had a difficult time finding these. I used them not only as blankets, but as towels - a make shift changing pad - burpie pads.

A package of cloth diapers - great burpie/spit up cloths.

A diaper bag - I have a friend who used a back pack, it was easier to carry and had great compartments.

Onsies - In cold months when wearing a two piece outfit, it keeps their bellies and backs covered and warm. In the summer wear as an outfit or pj's.

Chain/links - hard plastic links that form a chain, attach one end to the stoller, high chair, etc - attach toys/teething ring/bottle to the other end. It stops the constant bending over and picking up and you won't loose the toys during an outing.

Baby tylenol or motrin and a medicine dropper. A lifesaver, if the baby should get sick in the middle of the night or on a holiday.


Things to consider:
A baby monitor - this depends on the layout of your house.

A bassinet - again depending on the layout of your home.

A changing table - if the changing table is upstairs in the nursury and you spend most of your day downstairs in the family room, you won't really need it.

You don't need:
A wipe warmer.

Tons of clothes - babies grow quickly. I had many outfits that they only wore once and were then too small.

A baby bath tub - personally I found it easier to just place a towel in the sink. When the baby was older, I had a seat that you placed in the tub, that worked great.

Stuffed animals.

Have fun shopping!



answers from Buffalo on

My son was born in January. We held off on most items and got only the essentials. Prior to birth I bought the book "What to Expect the First Year" This book was often referred as my mother bible for the first few months. There is a section about items required. I made a checklist with that. Don't buy too much stuff prior for three reasons. 1) you do not know what size your baby will be. 2) People will come out of the wood work to give you things. 3) Shopping will give you a reason to get out of the hospital. We spent most our money on the Stroller and I am still glad we did this as I have had the baby on so many walks. We bought the Uppa Baby. It is great because it comes with both a pram and a stroller seat. Both snap on and off, the frame folds down and the wheels easily come off. Our son slept in the Pram for the first few weeks before transitioning him to the crib. We used the pram up until just this month, so now it's like he has a brand new stroller.

Make sure you have diapers, wipes, olive oil for his bottom, ointment in case of diaper rash, LOTS of onsies and a few sleepers. Take care when purchasing clothes (some are made for dolls only.) Zippers on sleepers are great as are snaps down both legs. Make sure there's enough stretch to get clothes over baby's head.

One more thing. Hang your baby's clothes on the same type of hanger. This way you can organize by size. Babies grow so fast. I found my son was outgrowing items before he even wore them.

Best wishes.



answers from Rochester on

I can tell you what you won't need and what is a waste of time/money. First, wipe warmers, great concept but not realistic in use. Second, the swaddleme swaddler blanket things at $10 a piece are a complete waste of money. Swaddling a baby in a blanket is the easiest thing.

We LOVE of stroller/car seat system. They are Graco and the car seat has a base and it clicks into the base or the stroiller. Its a traveler system and it is so easy. Easy to open the stroller (one handed) and it is so versatile!!!

We also couldn't get through a day without a swing. We have the papasan swing from fisher price and our baby is in it every day.

If you are breast feeding, get a Boppy or pillow, that is a must have.

I have a ton of other little suggestions. Feel free to write me and I can ask you some specfics top give you the best advice.



answers from New York on

Congrats Mara. Here's the essentials (I think)...

Need to haves...
Bassinet - If money is tight, just get a pack n' play that has a bassinet top
Pack n' play
Bouncy/rocking Seat - I suggest getting one that converts into a toddler rocking chair
A crib (obviously)
A car seat (get the convertable kind that will last your kid through toddlerhood)
A stroller - you can get the ones that come with a car seat.
A monitor (only if your house has multiple levels - otherwise it's not necessary)

Nice to haves...
A sling or baby carrier that you can wear for grocery shopping or going out and about. If your friends have any try theirs out before buying one. Everyone's preferences are different. And these things can get expensive. (I have three)

Not Needed...
A changing table - believe it or not, I rarely used mine with baby number 2. I just used the changing table mattress on the floor or on the dining room table.
A boppy - I have one that I never use. I ended up using a pillow most of the time
A fancy monitor with a tv. In fact, it is better not to have a monitor, otherwise you jump up at every whimper and your baby never learns to self sooth.

Okay I hope this helps! Good luck with your baby!



answers from New York on

i just had a baby in april, the most important things to get is obviously some clothes, (not a lot because they do grow fast and before you know it they need bigger sizes ) a place to sleep, feeding supplies and a stroller/car seat, a swing is nice to have and also you will need a small tub and baby wash etc.

i love Chicco but ended up getting Graco Quattro Tour as a present. I really liked it and just kept it, i also love my Boppy pillow for breastfeeding. The other thing we can't live without is a sling, I got the Peanut Shell from babies R us
I am able to get a lot of things done around the house with him in the sling, he loves to sleep close to me

I have a Graco Pack and Play and he was supposed to sleep in the bassinet but he hates sleeping in there, we co-sleep

If you go to Babies R US website and register, there is a list that you can go by as far as what you need for baby

there were some things I wanted but found it completely useless when I got it, such was the wipe warmer,,the most useless product AND a fire hazard! lol also the positioner, we never used that either

have fun shopping



answers from New York on

Now that I am on my third, I can honestly say "Been there, done that"!!
A travel swing is better than a full blown swing since you can fold it, take it with you and it is compact to be in your house daily! We set up a pack-n-play downstairs for diaper changes instead of gonig up and down every couple of hours!!We also bought a ice cube trays and a "Magic BulleT" kitchen tool to use in the kitchen for us PLUS we made the baby's food from fresh fruits and veggies and froze the single servings-better stuff than GERBER! It was a very easy process! A 4-in-1 travel system is always the best option. Plus, buy another base for the grandparents car (or hubby's). Ask for more thatn you think you will need on your registry-you can alwys exchange it at the store for other stuff you WILL find you need :)
Good luck to you !!



answers from New York on

Hi not sure where you live....but on CityMommy North New Jersey there is a great new moms cheat sheat in their directory. check it out and use code "njmommy" to register.

Good luck



answers from New York on

Hi Mara!
Congrats to you on your baby and upcoming birth. This is such a great time for your life...
I didn't have a chance to read all of the responses, so this maybe repetitive, but here goes :-)
When we left the hospital, I wasn't prepared for cleaning the umbical cord and didn't have supplies for this! At babies r us, they sell umbical cord alchol swabs in boxes that are quick and easy. Also, not sure if you are having a boy or not and if you he would be circumcised, but I wasn't prepared for the ointment and gauze at home. I also didn't have nail clippers, and don't forget mittens so they can't scratch themselves. A little comb and brush to prevent cradle cap, diaper cream, thermometer, the list goes on and on!
For myself, I had all the obvious items (stroller car seat crib etc.), but hadn't thought about the small truly necessities. My husband and mother in law kept running out for little runs...
Also, one thing...I had used the advent manual pump and many of my friends did. It is $50 and works GREAT!!! It is so much less than the medala and got the job done just as well. I guess it all depends on if you want an electric pump or manual to and what you are most comfortable.. I had a medula and hated it!!! Switched to the advent and loved it.
Happies Baby on the Block is a must, just give your self plenty of time to read it and not wait until the baby is born to begin reading like I did ;)
Best Wishes,
PS I can't wait to start trying for #2 and add a sibling for my 15 month old son. It is the best thing having a baby and there aren't any words to describe the feelings!



answers from New York on

I don't have time to read all the other responses, but here is my two cents worth..

You do not need nearly as much gear as retailers would have you believe! When our son was born, we lived in a small one bedroom apartment in San Francisco without much space to spare. We got by easily and happily with the minimum.

You should have some diapers on hand but don't buy too many as you don't know how big Baby will be and how long they will wear the size you have on hand. Do not buy/register for a lot of newborn size clothes as they grow out of them so quickly--1 week in our case! If you are planning to breastfeed and pump or use formula you'll need bottles and nipples, but you don't need a sterilizer. We sterilized stuff initially and for a week or two using boiling water on the stove and tongs to remove stuff to a dry kitchen towel. We bought a Britax Roundabout car seat that is good rear and forward facing from 5 lbs until ready for a booster seat. We got one stroller that had a recline function for when our son was a newborn, but grew with him until he was done with a stroller. We bathed him in the kitchen sink until he could sit up well enough to go in the big tub and never bothered with a baby bathtub. I love the California Baby sensitive skin baby wash and lotion, available at Target.

I looked at every Baby thing critically and asked myself is it really necessary and how long will it be useful. If it wasn't going to be useful very long (car carrier seat, baby bathtub) we did without. It saved us tons of money and space in our small apartment!



answers from New York on

Hello Mara,
I can totally understand, it was the most difficult thing to decide brands, and what you actually really need to have for the first few weeks/months of your new ones life.
I found that half the stuff I registered for I couldn't even use until later. The things I found were really helpful was the infant carrier w/ base and then an extra base for our second car. I went with the Graco Snug ride, it got really good reviews in Consumer reports and by other moms I know. I also found that rather then registering for the stroller that goes with the infant carrier, that the snap and go works jsut the same is a lot less bulky. By the time your little one can be in a stroller without being in the infant carrier, he/she will be able to sit in an umbrella stroller, which is much more portable and more convienent then the full size stroller. Also my saving grace was the Fisher Price Soothing Motions Glider. We sat it on our table and were able to put our son in it the day he came home from the hospital. Infact for the first week or so after we had him home that is the only thing he would sleep in.
Also I found that registering for bottles was a mistake, I registered for Avent and my son wanted nothing to do with the wide nipple. I had to give all the Avent bottles I had received for my shower to Good Will because I had alredy opened and cleaned them all. We then had to try about three different kinds of nipples/bottles before we found the ones he would take.
If you ask my husband, we didn't need the baby furniture right away either, because he was suppose to be sleeping in the cradle in our room, but like I said we could only get him to sleep in the glider. Now in reality my husband was right about the furniture but as I am sure you know, being pregnant and close to delivery I wanted the baby's room to be all done and ready for the day we brought him home regardless if he was going to use it or not.
I know this is a bit long winded but I hope it helps. If you have any thing specific you are wondering about feel free to send me an email and if I can help I would be happy to.
Good luck with everything!!! I am sure it will all be wonderful!!!



answers from Glens Falls on

Great suggestions from everyone. For me personally - my favorite was the Moses basket. I didn't register for one because I thought they were silly, but received one as a gift. Thank goodness!

We have a 2 story house & I had a c-section. When my husband went back to work he would bring the baby downstairs in the AM and he would sleep in the basket while I slept on the couch. That way I wasn't carrying him up & down the stairs when he fell asleep. When he would start to doze off we would lay him down in the basket BEFORE he was fully asleep and we never had to rock him to sleep, he just learned to fall asleep on his own. (Of course sometimes I loved to rock him to sleep, but I wanted him to be able to fall asleep without that.) Plus if he fell asleep in the living room I didn't have to worry about transitioning him into his bed and waking him up. I just carried the whole basket upstairs.

He slept in the basket in the pack'n'play in our room and then when we moved him to his crib we kept him in the basket for a few weeks so he was still in a familiar place. I believe because of the basket & how we used it he became a great sleeper.

But they can be expensive and they outgrow them in under 6 months so look for the $30 ones from Target. Mine was a $200 one, but like I said it was a gift. Hopefully the $30 ones are as sturdy.




answers from New York on

Congratulations!!!! Graco snugride carseat and snap and go stroller- best thing ever!!! Also, i bought a ton of cloth diapers(not for diapering) but to use as cheap burp cloths and rags, best investment ever. I used the extra thick ones on my changing table so i didn't have to keep washing my changing pad cover... Oh and bring baby nail files to the hospital, they don't have clippers at the hospital and sometimes the come out with super long nails. Just a few of the many things you'll need. It's fun ride, enjoy!!!

I forgot, the most important thing i ever got was the vibrating bouncy chair(didn't use vibrater part that much). But it was the best thing ever, especially for my reflux baby to keep him upright after eating...



answers from New York on

The things I needed the most were :

Those water-proof pads, ( they were like moleskin laminated with rubber) I used them to change diapers, and to prevent drool on in the crib, etc...... I never had enough of those.

Soft crib sheets, flannel for the winter is really nice

Blamket sleper to go over th stretchies at night

portable baby bath

Onesies and footed stretchies, (the one that open all the way down the legs.)

A terry cloth bib-shawl thing I made to save my shirts from baby spit, and give us some privacy while breast-feeding.

I have no suggestions for equipment because my "babies" are 18 and 13 now, and i"m sure the market has changed..

Best of luck, what an exciting time for you!!



answers from Buffalo on


Congratulations on becoming a mommy (well, soon to be) :-)
I love, love, love this book! Baby Bargain Secrets. It will compare all sorts of products so you can make the best decision on which to buy, and what you can do without. It helps with pricing and gives pros and cons to all the items listed. Check it out on Barnes and Noble
A product I couldn't live without is called the Ultimate Crib Sheet - sold at Babies R US. Although pricy ($17.99 for one) it is a waterproof soft cover sheet that you snap around your crib above the pretty crib sheet. This way when your baby has peed through in the middle of the night you only have to snap off the top sheet and snap a new one on. You are never lifting the crib mattress (awkward to do) and you still see the design of the sheet on the sides.
Bottles: Dr. Brown worked extremely well for us
Stroller, car seat, and pack n play: we used Graco and were very happy with the brand. Worked for our budget.
Diaper Champ for diaper disposal - use your own garbage bags
I know it can be overwhelming when you walk into the baby store - there is so much "stuff" and its marketed in a way that makes you feel like you NEED to buy it. Your baby isn't going to care if she has the best product or not - she just wants to be loved! Enjoy this very exciting time Mara! Blessings to you and your family!
A little about me: 31 year old SAHM with 2 amazing little boys, ages 3.9 years and 16 months!



answers from New York on


We have the Chicco cortina keyfit30 system -it was first in safety on consumer reports - it's fine, just the carseat is a bit heavy. We have an extra carseat base in dh's car.

We have a bouncy seat upstairs and downstairs (both hand-me-downs) and we use them all the time.

Our baby hates the swing, so I suggest you try one out with baby before buying one.

We do use the infant tub with a hammock all the time, our sinks aren't big enough, and the hammock makes it easier.

We wanted a convertible crib, have one, but I have to admit, she's still in our room, at 4 1/2 months, so we haven't used it yet, but I'm still glad we got it, because I'd be too busy now.

Our changing table is great, and she loves being eye to eye, instead of on the floor.

Yes, onsies, diapers (we use 7th generation, they are fine), wipes, pacifiers if you're going to use them, our daughter won't take them, spit up clothes, washclothes (the delicate soft kind), towels, a couple of blankets.

I use the bjorn all the time. I have a sling too, she falls asleep in it, but I find it very awkward - it's a maya wrap.

Bottle stuff (we like Dr. Browns) if you're bottle feeding - I had intended to breastfeed, she wouldn't take it, so now she's on exclusively pumped breastmilk - you never know. I have a medela pump in style, it's been invaluable.

Probably our biggest asset is our ambybaby, a sort of hammock you can find online - our daughter had reflux, and it was a 3 am online desperate purchase to get her to sleep - now, at 4 1/2 months, she sleeps well in it every night.

Good luck! Don't worry about having it all at first - you just need a few basics - diapers, clothes, clothes, feeding stuff - the rest you'll find as you go along, and it would be very helpful for you if you put giftcards on your registry.



answers from New York on


Chris gave you great advice do not remove the tags of everything you receive and don't wash everythign right away you will have so much stuff that you could return and exchange for a bigger size or other stuff such as diapers. I started to buy clothes for my daughter when she was about 1 year old no kidding. I also agree with the comment around receiving blankets. However I have to say that my daughter never spit up so she really didn't dirty a lot so I could use some stuff over and over before washing. I hear some other mothers that need to wash all the time b/c they don't have enough so you will have to wait and see. In terms of gear really all you will need is a stroller, car seat and a pack and play if you are planning to have the baby in your room for the first 3 mo or however long you want to you can wait for crib.

Now let me tell you something I wish someone would have told me do not buy a travel system car seat stroller combo the reason at least for the graco the stroller is super heavy 33-37 lbs try getting that in/out of your trunk without working up a sweat. I actually have one and I have been trying to get rid of the stroller and haven't been able to, it is way too heavy. The better way to go is the car seat and the Snap 'n Go which is super light and you can store a lot of stuff underneath it as it has a huge basket too. Not sure when your baby is due but if your are due during the winter do not get coats you won't need them just buy a bundle me that way you never have to get the baby out of the carseat carrier and it is much easier I swear by this. My girl was due in January and I never used a coat on her until the following winter.

Also you will probably get a lot on newborn diapers don't open the packs until after your baby is born my girl was almost 9 lbs and I couldn't use them so I wasted some $$ there. If you are going to buy diapers buy #1's as newborns get outgrown pretty quickly and hopefully you will get a lot of these as well. If you have many friends that are moms they will give you very practical gifts when the baby is born. Hope this helps and congratulations on your baby. So excited for you.




answers from New York on

Things I needed right away and didn't have on hand - a good quality breastpump and a sling. If you're using a sling or front carrier, if you have a husband/partner and there is a significant height difference between you, I'd suggest each getting your own carrier so that you dont have to constantly readjust.

Things I had that I didn't use - baby monitor! If you don't have a huge house and are on one level, not needed. When I had my first baby, we were in an 1,100 s.f. ranch house. If the baby cried, I heard her. Diaper bag - I'm not a fan of carrying around something with duckies and bunnies, and the fancy, upscale ones are very pricey. I had a regular black leather tote that I got from JC Penney's for $40. Everyone complimented my "diaper bag" and couldn't quite grasp that it was just a regular tote bag, not a diaper bag styled to look like one.

Good luck!



answers from Albany on


My must haves were:
1. lap pads (to use under baby during changes and in crib if baby is a spitter - saves you from too much laundry).
2. boppy
3. gowns - the kind that do not have feet, for easy changing, plus they can wear them longer as they grow.
4. onsies, and lots of them. I do not agree with what the pp said about not using them right away. I felt they protected the umbilical cord from snagging on blankets, etc.
5. swaddling blankets - the kind that have the velcro closure to ensure nice tight, wiggle free swaddle.
6. lansinoh - not only for you but for baby if she has irritation on face or diaper area.

My peg perego travel system worked well for me. Heavy and not collapsible with one hand, but nicely built. Graco products are very user friendly.



answers from New York on

Hehe...first off, OXYCLEAN. I kept a bucket of OxyClean solution in my laundry room (one scoop OxyClean to about 3 gallons of was a small wastebin.) and just threw in the onesies as they got soiled. That took care of ANY stains my baby could throw at me - we even used it on her 26-year-old Christening gown!

The other thing I would recommend is LOTS of burp cloths. Cloth diapers work REALLY well, and are $11 for 3 at Target, usually. For general grab-em-quick burp cloths, I used terry cloth towels that I got at Costco - about $10 for 24. (They're with the car care stuff.)

A water-proof liner for the crib is also a GREAT idea. Wet happens, especially when the baby is asleep, and knowing that all that wet is soaked up into the liner, instead of into the mattress, is a HUGE relief. (Babies R' Us has some REALLY absorbant liners, with a plastic sheet in the middle, that we've LOVED. They also have changing pads made of the same stuff - perfect for those little "oopsies" when you're changing the baby! It's MUCH better than having it run all over the floor!)

Besides that, I would recommend you find onesies and blankets - I've found that layering is best with a baby!

(I'm expecting my 2nd in December, so this is a great opportunity to jog my memory. Thanks!)



answers from Rochester on

Why don't you go to Target/Babies R Us with a friend who already has a baby and listen to her suggestions?
It's really personal preference and lifestyle choices AND how much you want to spend.
Babies, honestly, don't need much! We just want to spoil our babies with the cutest things we can get our hands on! :)
Just had a garage sale, and noticed how much stuff I didn't really use...ugh!



answers from New York on

Congratulations! Babies experience their new world through their 5 senses, and you will soon find they put everything in their mouth. Why not make their first teether a multi-sensory experience? Discovery Toys carries several great teethers. You can click on and enter "teether" in the search bar.



answers from New York on


In no particular order (just what is popping into my head)I can't live without these items:

1. Boppy pillow
2. Cloth diapers-- we used them for burpy cloths
3. bouncy seat
4. pack and play
5. Fisherprice Rainforest Crib Toy (both of my daughters love theirs and fall asleep to them from being brought home until now)
6. Johnson & Johnson's Bedtime lotion
7. Ergo carrier -- I tried slings & other carriers and the Ergo is absolutely the best carrier ever. Its easy to use, versatile and you can use it for any size/age baby/toddler. LOVE IT!!!!
8. Infant sleepers (button up/zip up one piece outfits)-- my daughters lived in these for the first 3 mos of their lives-- they come in packages of 3 and they are relatively cheap. Babies grow so quick, I can't see spending tons of money on outfits that are just going to get pooped, peed, and spit up on.
9. high chair that has various positions
10 travel system: Babytrend has a travel system that is a small jogging stroller. We love it! The stroller has kept me sane!
11. monitor-- there's video monitors that seem pretty cool
12. diapers: all sizes. Pampers has been my favorite so far and then I switch to LUVS after my daughters are up and running around
13. rocker/glider with an ottoman --putting your feet up is nice!

Things that I can live without & didn't use or need:
1. baby bath tub-- awkward, clunky, hard to store. Infants can just be wiped down with a wet cloth rather than given a full bath
2. Baby Bjorn carrier-- used it for such a short time before they were too big for it
3. wipes warmer
4. bottle warmer



answers from New York on

I see that you have a ton of responses so I'll keep it short.
Things I love:
-Bouncer (I have the Fisher Price Rainforest one)
-Baby Bjorn
-Boppy (great for feeding and tummy time)
-Graco Pack N Play with changing table
-Playtex drop-ins bottles, although I agree with another poster that said not to buy a lot of bottles until you find one that your baby likes. I found that these bottles are great if you're breastfeeding, though. You can freeze your milk in bags and then put them right into the bottle when you defrost them. The nipple is great for breastfed babies too.

Things I never use:
-sterilizer (Medela makes bags that you can use to sterilize things every once in a while in the microwave)
-bottle warmer (especially if you use the Drop-Ins)
-some of the diapers I got as gifts. Pampers are the only brand that fits my daughter
-most of the bedding set that we registered for

The BEST advice that I got was to get a Snap N Go stroller (about $50) if you get a Graco stroller/car seat. It's so much smaller and easier to get in and out of the car. It's much better for shopping because it has a bigger basket and is easier to get into smaller spaces. When I used my Graco stroller I bumped into everything but the Snap N Go is much better. You will need the Graco stroller as your baby gets bigger though.



answers from New York on

I loved my Graco carriage.. but I think you should go to Baby's R Us.. and walk around with the carraige.. make sure it's right for you. I loved it because it was easy in all kinds of areas ie. bumpy, muddy, grassy... it worked with ease. try a few out.. see what you like best. Also car seats.. babies seem to like the strap rather than a big piece in front of them. i had both kinds.. and the kids only liked the strap type - they could see more easily. good luck



answers from New York on

Congrats on your baby. Some of the things that I really needed & used:

1) Graco Video Monitor - saved me checking on him & waking him.
2) bouncy seat - he hated the swing
3) Excersaucer (4++ months old) LIFE SAVER - cannot stress enough!!
4) Mylicon
5) Baby Tylenol
6) Pack n' play - great for the newborn stage, naptime & vacations! For a familiar place to sleep.
7) White noise machine - for when he was in his own room so house noises don't wake him too early in the morning!
8) I have a Graco stroller & love it!
9) Dr. Browns bottles

**Advise from the hospital - take home those blue nose suction things - they are MUCH better than store bought for cleaning the nose & the hospital pacifiers are the BEST so grab as many of those as you can as well!!!***

Don't stress, I was overwhelmed by all the choices too.



answers from New York on

other than lots of love, diapers and support, you NEED a carseat, some place to change the baby and store baby's stuff and a place where the baby can sleep.
Lots of gadgets and stuff are unnecessary. Wait and get what you think is necessary at the time. I see so many parents with so much stuff they don't use. Everyone has their personal favorites and I've heard other mothers who have hated that item. Good Luck!
A. (certified postpartum doula)



answers from New York on



You have gotten tons of good advise so far. Here's my two cents:

1) MyBreastFriend nursing pillow - supports the back wonderfully and I found that it allowed me to walk around a bit balancing my duaghter on it/in one arm if I needed to get a quick drink or something.
2) A good breast pump - I liked Medela and they have lots of options and interchangable parts. I also went to work at 3 months so I needed this to achieve my goal of 1-yr BM only.
3) A baby carseat/carrier - We got a three-in-one and discovered it sat too upright for an infant. My GF was just finishing up using hers and rescued us clueless parents! It was a God send. Of course, always ask about crashes and check the expiration date on the back of a used carseat.
4) The carrier stroller - I NEVER thought we would use this but it was GREAT!! The carrier plopped right into it and it was so light-weight and basic with just a small sling for a "basket" in the bottom. I used it to grocery shopping for my dughter's christening!! I was a sight, but it was fast, and convenient.
5) A place to sleep for home - We had a basinet that was also borrowed that we used until Hubby finished building her crib.
6) A place to sleep away from home - We all LOVE our Pack-n-play!!! This could also be used for number 5 for a while and general long term use.

The things that I have found helpful, but not necessary:
1) Diaper Genie - a regular trash can with a foot petal would work fine.
2) A changing table - My mom prefers the floor and when she was really tiny, it was easier to change her quickly where we were so I kept a few supplies in the living room where we spent most of our time.
3) A staple gun - Yes, silly I know, but I attached reciepts to the clothes tags so if she did not wear something I could return it.
4) A bunch of the same plastic hangers - The clothes hangers were all different and didn't fit into the closet right.
5) A BabeeTenda feeding Table - Loved this over any other highchair we looked at. This is family owned company and with 4 legs on the ground, I felt good that the dog would not send her flying.
6) Mylacon - especially the non-staining formula!
7) A fold-up bath tub - It fit on our counter in the bathroom. We could have used the sink, but it allowed us to transition her to the tub later.
8) Baby BJourn Infant Carrier - Helped to have my hands free. I think I may have liked a sling better though. I am looking for a back pack now.

Things I thought I would use but didn't:
1) A portable baby bottle/food jar warmer that plugged into my car's cirgarette lighter
2) A collapsable portable sleeping area by Eddie Bauer. It was from target and I took it back.

Good luck and remember to attach those receipts to the tags!!



answers from New York on

Hi Mara,
Congratulations and good luck to you! What an exciting time. I'm a first time Mom to a 10 month old and also didn't want to get bogged down by stuff....for a lot of reasons, but mainly b/c I live in a very small walk-up. I LOVE the Baby Bargains book...very useful and accurage info. Here are the things that were/are lifesavers for me:
1. Mybreastfriend nursing pillow. Use a towel over it when they're little (unbelievable how much spit-up and #2 gets on it!) so that you're not constantly washing the cover....the foam inside is rather flimsy, but it's much more supportive for the back than the Boppy.
2. bouncy seat. Good for babies who are congested, just won't sleep in their cribs and for parents who need a safe contained place to put the baby so that hands are free for a minute. Always keep it on the floor b/c the vibration can make it move off of a table etc.
3. snug ride car seat with stroller base.
4. Ergo carrier
5. Diaper champ diaper pail (inexpensive, can use whatever plastic bags you have inside, keeps the smell to a minimum without having to buy deoderizers)
6. Flannel lap pads (big ones for the crib and little ones to go on changing table to prevent you from having to change the entire set-up after a major diaper.
7. Bundle me for the stroller

things that I bought that weren't useful for me: baby monitors (what was I thinking in a small apt.???), bumpers for the crib, diaper bag (I still use the free one from the hospital).

All the best to you!



answers from Philadelphia on

The best advice I got was to buy the book "Baby Bargains." It is not how to find the cheapest products. It is a book that is updated every year or so and it lists the top parent tried and tested products in every category - based on your lifestyle etc. It does list price, but it's more about overall quality and convenience. I used/trusted it for everything when I was in your position and I have yet to be disappointed.

When it comes to car seats though, there really are only two to buy. Right away, you need the Graco SnugRide. It is the best infant car seat and the only one tested at high speeds
(75mph). You will need a new car seat when the baby is a certain weight and length (I think 20 lbs - can't rememebr exactly.) At that point, Britax is the best/only brand to get. They offer 2 models - the Roundaboout or the Marathon. Get the Roundabout - the Marathon is unnecessarily bigger and doesn't fit in most cars well.



answers from New York on

Congrats. My son turns 1 tomorrow. Here's what I learned in the last year.

Graco Snug Ride! Everyone loves it.

I did get the travel system, and I haven't been thrilled with the stroller, so maybe the snap-and-go is a better option until the kid outgrows the infant seat.

We did not have a bouncy seat and didn't miss it. What we did get is the graco snap-and-swing. That's not what they call it, but I can't remember the name. It's a swing frame into which the infant car seat snaps. We LOVED it. It was such a space saver since it gave us an incredibly light-weight swing and a place to keep the car seat. It also meant that we could put the baby in the seat/swing while we got ready to leave the house, and if he fell asleep - no problem!

The boppy pillow or equivalent is a G-dsend if you're planning on nursing. I didn't have it for the first few weeks and nursing was killing my back, even using other household pillows. The boppy truly saved me.

G-d bless glider chairs. Make sure you have a comfortable chair in which to nurse.

I wouldn't recommend stocking up on too many swaddling blankets. Some babies need them. Mine hated them.

If you get a sling/carrier and have any back troubles, spend the extra money to get one with extra back support. I got the basic model of the Baby Bjorn and hardly used it because of the backaches.

It was very nice having a bassinet in our bedroom for the first three months. I've heard bad things about the safety of co-sleepers. HOWEVER, I will say that all three of us started sleeping better once the baby moved into his own room and my husband and I stopped jumping up the minute the baby would squeek. (The baby slept better because he learned to fall back asleep on his own.) There are benefits to moving the kid out of your room sooner rather than later.

Hope that was helpful. Good luck with everything.



answers from New York on

oh what a fun question!!!! ok, heres some specific and non specific stuff i think is sooooo needed.
bundle me(cannot live without this for winter babies)
sara bear co diaper caddy(esp for 2 story or going from room
to room, sold online and in target)
bouncy seat
swing(but dont go crazy because some babies hate them)
snugglenest cosleeper(wonderful product)
monitor(i have one where you place units in 3 different rooms
and you pick which room you need to hear, love it for
long term)
eurobath bathtub(honestly dont go with any others as they are
so small, just a waste. my 3 1/2 yr old still fits in
leacho safer bather bat pillow(def get this, with the
eurobath, from birth, this is much safer and snuggly)
miracle blanket swaddling blanket(the best)
aiden and anias swaddling blankets(love)
baby carrier(please dont even waste your time looking in stores, go to i love mei tais and soft structured carriers but everyone has different preferences. the cost initially is more, but you can get a used excellent condition one, and then resell it later. beco butterflys are on sale everywhere right now, lmk if you need any info)

for when they are older, get a shopping cart cover, ebay has tons.
as for strollers, just pick something not to heavy with a good hood. test it out. honestly, i neber had any problems with my graco snugride carseat and the graco metrolite stroller, very light full feature stroller. just make sure to try the recline. some have a cinch type which i hated. others you just lift and it locks. if you after 6 months think about getting an umbrella stroller too for super busy events, like going to the boardwalk or the city. sometimes your big strooler wont work. i highly recommend the maclaren volo, those inexpensive ones are horrible, so invest a little more for long term.
heres a site to ask about products, good luck, its so fun!!!



answers from Albany on

Go to consumer report website. They have a nice and short list.



answers from Albany on

I too had the Graco Quattro Tour. I loved it. We still use the stroller today and he is almost 2. I couldn't have lived without a swing or Boppy pillow. I also had a Graco pack n' play with the bassinet. He slept in it until he was about 4 1/2 months old (he could have still slept in it but we were ready to move him to his own room). I have had numerous diaper bags and found the best one is a back pack style that goes over only 1 shoulder (Babies R Us).

Hope this helps.




answers from New York on

Hi Mara, congrats on your pregnancy and your upcoming baby.

It is so confusing to know what to get. if you have a friend who has had a baby in the last few years see if they will help you register.

my advice: do not get the stroller system. it is very heavy and hard to get in and out of the car. I bought one for my first child and it was difficult to use. and everyone I know who gets one says the same thing after using it for a while. as for strollers, I reccomend getting the baby infant carrier that you like and the snap and go stroller. it is so compcat and light and easy to use.... because you child is always in the infant carrier in the beginning anyway. then you will need another stroller for after that. preffable one that lies pretty flat if you ever want to get a good nap in out in public.

my favorite car seat is the Gracco snug ride. it is a couple pounds lighter that some of the others ( which makes a big difference when you are carrying it around with a baby in it)

other items that you need right away: a swing, a bouncy seat and a boppy pillow. all usefull items that I was using the first week hme with my babies.

the baby night gowns are awesome, especially when they are really little, you can change diapers easily with out having to deal with all those snaps or buttons. another very useful item are the crib pads that you can put on top of your sheet in the crib. if the baby's diaper leaks you are only changing the pad and not the entire crib sheet. a big time saver in the middle of the night.

If you are planning to nurse, invest in a good breast pump. I use the medella pump and style.

best of luck to you and your family.

W. K



answers from New York on

Things that were VERY helpful:

Boppy for nursing and propping baby up
GREAT feeding/nursing chair for you to sit in
High quality stroller
Car Seat
Swaddle blanket (our favorite is the miracle blanket)
Dr. Karp, happiest baby on the block DVD
and some love and patience...

Many other things will be needed later, this is what I used right off the bat.

Congrats...our baby was born last December. It is an amazing time to have a baby.



answers from New York on

Free Advice? Nothing. Your baby needs you. I reccommend keeping all gift receipts in order to return what doesn't work for you. I now have a $500 credit to the the common baby store. As time passes, you will discover items that would be useful-- should you need something down the road, you will have a credit to get it. Congratulations and Enjoy your family!



answers from St. Louis on

One thing that I should have used but didn't was a sling. It helps you carry the baby hands free. They are close to you and can sleep while you do other things. My son wouldn't sleep during the day unless I was holding him so I rarely got any sleep. It was very tough. If I had only used the sling. I guess you can search for where to purchase on-line. I got mine at a store in St. Louis, but I think they make them elsewhere. Also a bouncy seat was essential. Especially when I needed to take a shower. I would put him in the bathroom with me while I showered. If you're breastfeeding you need a pump. I recommend Medela. I had a manual pump, but they make electric. Burp rags and nursing blankets are also imperitive and used often. Wash clothes for baby's butt because the soaps in wipes can be irritating for the first couple of months. That's all I can think of for now. (I also like a couple of baby einstein videos, but those come a little later and people have mixed feelings about them. All in moderation.) Congratualations and good luck!!! Enjoy motherhood. It's tough at first, but it gets easier, although never easy.:) Oh yes, I just read in the responses...Definitely get The Happiest Baby on the Block. A total life saver!!!!!! I didn't get it till he was a couple of months, but it still helped.



answers from New York on


I really agree with the posters below who recommend the DVD - Happiest Baby on the Block and the book - Baby Bargains. I loved them both.

Things I couldn't have lived without in my first few weeks:
*Gowns (Carter's and The Gap have nice ones) (4)
*A Boppy
*T-shirts that wrap and snap on the side
*Footie PJs for during the day (newborn feet are often so cold)
*Washcloths and towels and a gentle cleanser
*Bouncy seat (introduce the baby to this in the first week)
*Halo wearable blanket (the best thing ever)

Take as much diapers/formula/nasal aspirators/pacifiers from the hospital that you (or your husband) can get your hands on. Remember, you are paying for this stuff! When the cart comes in fully stocked, empty it into a bag and the nurses will happily refill it. This is normal! Newborns stay in "N" diapers for a very short time so you can bring home enough to get you through!

Buy Buy baby takes EVERYTHING back!

TIP - When you make the baby's crib, do it in layers. One waterproof pad or cover then a sheet. Then a waterproof pad and another sheet. If there is a mess in the middle of the night, you just whip off the first layer and can go back to slep (hopefully).

I chose a Graco car seat and the easy (and cheap) snap in stroller - loved it. I also got a Peg Perego stroller and don't like it (had to have it fixed twice). But it was $300 so I still use it. Get a stroller with a BIG basket underneath.

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