Baby Items You Couldn't Live Without?

Updated on September 25, 2010
S.J. asks from Cherryville, MO
26 answers

I am registering for the new baby, and I want to hear all those things you registered for that you are so glad you did, and things you think were a waste. What about play gyms for the floor? Waste of money? Pack n plays? Tell me your thoughts!

PS - I will be nursing and will be going back to work =(


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So What Happened?

Great ideas moms! How many swaddle me blankets should I get? Will 2-3 be enough, or did you find they were in the wash constantly?

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answers from Houston on

life savers---travel wipe containers, space saver high chair, removeable head rest pillows, infant swing,sleep wedge, cloth diapers(for many many uses),water delivery service and a hooter hider for breastfeeding, HAND ME DOWNS, a vibrating bouncer, racing stroller for working out and an umbrella stroller for convenience, stepstool with storage for bathtime to sit on, teething bisquits, nasal aspirator, and homeopathic teething tablets

wastes of money IMO- play yard, changing table, teething toys that freeze(they break), diaper genie, rattles,infant feeders,baby can read....blech,shoes for an infant (why?)

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answers from Los Angeles on

There's a bottle called a Podee. It's a bottle with a nipple that's attached to a tube so the babies suck on it like a pacifier. It's an absolute lifesaver for car rides, or stroller rides. You don't have to prop it up with blankets. I love that bottle. They're expensive so I only have 2 but so far I've used them for both of my kids.

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answers from Huntsville on

Pacifiers and a strap to hold it to their shirt!!! lol

Things like swings, bouncers, bouncy seats, and exersaucers really depend on the baby. Some love them, some hate them. I would borrow or buy used on these things.

Changing tables don't last long. Once baby can move, it's easier to do it on the floor or bed so that you don't have to worry about them falling! Plus, you won't want to have to run to the changing table from other rooms, you'll just change the baby wherever you are!

We LOVED Dr. Brown's bottles. Highly recommend those if you are going to be bottle feeding.

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answers from Cleveland on

The swaddle me blankets for sure!! When my son was born the nurses in the hospital would swaddle him in the receiving blankets and they tried teaching my husband and I, but we were horrible at it!! The swaddle me blanket made it soo easy and was a lifesaver because my son LOVED being swaddled really tight for a long time.

I used the pack and play a lot too. He slept in the basinett part for the first 4 weeks and take naps in there when he was an infant, the changing table attached to it was used much more than the changing table in his room since we kept the pack and play in the living room and spent most of our time in there. Once he was older I would put him in the pack and play when I would shower or when I had to get things done and he didn't start trying to climb out until he was almost 2 years old so I definitely got a lot of use out of it!

I wouldn't waste money on a wipe warmer, someone bought me one but I only used it for like a week, didn't really see a reason for it. You don't really need a changing table either, especially if you have one attached to the pack and play.

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answers from Kokomo on

-A boppy pillow
-A video monitor. It saved me some much sleep after we got it. I felt comfortable leaving her in her room without having to get up and constantly sneak in there at all times of the night. We actaully got a surveilance one(like for a business or something) with a little tv and 2 cameras. It was cheaper than a nice baby one, had way better sound and vission quality, and a bigger screen.
-An excersaucer
-A little hand held vacuum. My mom got me a "Cone" by dirt devil. It sits upright in a charger, it is cute, small, has a nightlight, and inconspicious. I constanly used it once she started moving around, putting things in her mouth, and eating. Took a second to grab and suck up a fuzz, a clump of cat hair, or cereal. Great for the highchair.
-A fan for the baby's room. Point it away from the baby at far wall or something. Great soothing sound muffler. It also has been found that babies with fans in their rooms had an extremely, SUBSTANTIALLY, lower chance of sids. Something about the slight movement of air or something.

A changing table is only for looks, the biggest waste of money possible! lol

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Little Rock on

I still use my pack and play when we go on vacation even though she is almost 2 now. We usually get a room with 2 queen beds. My boys use one bed and my husband and I the other. I take the pack and play for my daughter to sleep in. I don't think I will get to do it more that one more year though before I will have to ask for a roll away bed or purchase a kids cot. I put my kids in a bouncy seat by the tub every time I need to take a shower or bath for the first 6 months. I used the exersaucer the same way after 6 months. I used my changing table for the first 8 months with my very tall middle son and for the first 18 months with my daughter. If you plan on using disposable diapers, you will definitely want a diaper pail that seals between diapers. If you are planning to use cloth diapers, you would need a kitchen size trash can with a lid and a reusable diaper pail liner and lots of baking soda and deodorizers. If you are planning to nurse or even if you not, a my breastfriend or a boppy pillow is really nice. I did not have one for my oldest and had trouble keeping pillows in place will trying to nurse. I had one for my second and third and loved my breastfriend pillow.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

I know you didn't ask, but there is one thing that I would have liked for ME. It is a belt you wear after the birth for the next 6-8 weeks. Supposedly, it helps return your belly to it's before pregnancy status. If I have another child, I will definitely get one of those!

As for the baby, mine loved her swing and the play mat (although the mat wasn't used long). My dd loved her vibrating teether so much I bought a second as a back up. I would also suggest a gum cleaner and brush. It helps ease the pain of teething if done regularly.

Congrats and Good luck!

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answers from Austin on

I know as a first time mom you want all new stuff, but if ANYONE offers to let you borrow or have their slightly used stuff consider it..

Example.. Bassinet, Borrowed from a friend only used it for about 6 weeks. Crib, our daughter was only in it for a year.

Baby swing only used if for about 6 months. infant toys, only used for a few months per development..

Do get a lot of blankets, bibs, a good stroller that folds up easily, good crib sheets a few sets, a good car seat, you may even want 2 so you do not have to switch it out to place in each others car. Everybody will want to give you an infant tub, so pick out one that will work in your kitchen sink. Save as much money as you can. your child will outgrow things so quickly, your head is going to spin..

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answers from Dallas on

We loved our pack n play and are still using it with our second child. Both of our kiddos also loved the play gyms/activity mat.

Instead of a high chair, you can get one of those feeding seats that straps onto one of your own chairs. It saves a ton of space, and you can take it with you easily.

We had a boppy pillow, but it didn't really work for us as far as using it to nurse my babies. We used it more for propping them up and tummy time.

We didn't have a changing table. The bed was just as easy. ;)

Have fun!!!

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answers from Kansas City on

if you do a lot of traveling (we go every other monthish to my grandparents 3 hours away) a pack n play is awesome! our daughter slept in hers great on trips until she was over 2 and couldnt fit anymore.

Also, swaddlers. I had no idea they existed until after I had the baby and needed some way to make her sleep. They were amazing.

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answers from La Crosse on

I loved our bouncy seat the most! I don't think I would have ever gotten a shower if we didn't have one. I also loved our play gym for the floor. It was also a life saver. Pack n play was helpful when we traveled over night somewhere. I liked our co-sleeper better when my son was a tiny baby. He slept in that until he was almost 4 months old. He was always right next to me if he woke up in the middle of the night. Good luck!

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answers from St. Louis on

First, I second another posters comments about getting used stuff off Craigslist!!!!



Sling (many kinds out there - I thought I'd love the Moby but didn't. I like the Bjorn type carriers but I found a similar but cheaper one at Target, then moved up to an Ergo which I love and still use occasionally to carry my 22lb son around in!)

Nursing pads (resuable) - if applicable

Burp rags (I used cloth diapers for this)

Pack and Play - only if you go somewhere (a friend or family's house) often enough to make it worth your while - like a few times a month. We actually bought a cosleeper because I breastfed and baby slept in our room for six months. It doubles as a smaller pack and play. They have this new (Fisher Price maybe?) baby bed/seat type thing that inclines slightly and I'd love to have that if we have another because you can fold it up and take it with you! I'm sure it's cheaper than the cosleeper too!

Play gyms are kind of a waste but some kids like them more than others.

Swing - at least for my daughter. Son hated it. I'd buy one used off craigslist!


Fan or noise machine for baby's room along with room darkening shades

Sleep sacks / gowns and zippered pjs

Stroller that you can put the pumpkin seat in (if you plan on using it a lot when they are smaller) and then an umbrella stroller

Handheld broom / dustpan - great for when they get older and you won't have to haul out the large broom or vacuum every time they make a mess!

BACKPACK type diaper bag (I reused a backpack I've had forever - it has a a pocket on one side that buttons and a mesh pocket on the other along with a zippered front).

Nursing cover (if applicable)

Not Needed:

Wipe Warmer

Bottle Warmer

Changing Table (I have one built into the bed but not sure I would have HAD to have one)

Video Monitor

Vibrating or Bouncy Chair

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answers from Dover on

Changing tables are awesome, they really save your back. I suggest one that looks more like a dresser so you have storage space and can still use once out of diapers.

Don't get a whole lote of gyms for the floor but one that hangs over head and that facilitates tummy time (or one for each) and that is it.

Pack N Plays depends on your intent and if you have bassinet and/or a playpen. If you have a bassinet and playpen, the PNP is a waste. If you don't, the ones that have the little bassinet insert is great (but they outgrow quickly. I didn't like my girl to sleep in it because leaning over to put her in or out when she was asleep was hard for me. I am short so it felt ackward.

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answers from Lansing on

We couldn't have lived without a swaddle blanket. My son would not go to sleep without being swaddled tight for the first 7 months.

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answers from Dallas on

I could not have lived without two things:
1. medela pump n style
2. baby chest carrier

Other things that are great:
Set of infant pacis (JIC)
good set of receiving blankets
cloth diapers (as burp rags and diapers - they ROCK!)
sleep sacks by the dozen or gowns (even for boys, these are THE GREATEST!)

I also think it is important to buy things as you need them or in age groups, if that makes sense. for example, Don't buy your high chair until you actually need it, same with umbrella strollers and bottles (have a couple on hand if you are going to BF just in case, but if you will use formula, definately buy them) but I think you see where I am going.
There is so much out there, get enough to get you through the first few months of life and then sit back and see what is out there. It is so overwhelming at first and each baby is so unique only when they arrive will you truly know what you want/need.
So register for GIFT CARDS:)

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answers from San Francisco on

Baby Bjorn
Pack and Play
Moby Wrap/ergo carrier
Stroller that reclines
bouncy seat that vibrates and makes music
swaddling blankets
cloth diapers

medela pump
boppy for nursing

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I love my pack n play. Couldn't afford to buy a brand new crib for my youngest dd, but bought a really nice gently used pack n play from a friend of mine. My dd still sleeps in it and she's almost 2 1/2. She also loved her bouncy chair and exersaucer. Those were my must haves.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Two things on my must-have list:
1. Video Monitor -- worth every cent!
2. Yellow spongy bear shaped bath mat for the tub -- couldn't have done good bath time without them! I bought a new O. every 3 months or so--they're only about $6 each.
Pack & play was good for us because I used it for changing and napping while downstairs. Also for a "crib" of sorts on trips.
My son also loved his Boppy pillow gym.

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answers from Philadelphia on

Glad I registered and received the Pack and Play, changing table, and a diaper pail. Wish I had spent the extra $ os a video monitor. Also, lullaby cd's. They are still part of my daughter's bedtime routine, she's 20 months old now.

I didn't need the bouncy chair and swing as my daughter never liked them.
Also, when they are very young, they do not need many toys, as the parents are the best toys that a baby can have. I bought way to many infant toys that my daughter never used.

Regarding the changing table: I would also spend the extra $ on the kind that is really a dresser with a removable changing pad on it.

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answers from Minneapolis on

You got a ton of great suggestions. I just wanted to add, when I registered for my things I did not take much time looking into features. I just picked the ones that "looked cute" or good. If I could do it all over again, I would most definitely take the time to look at features. Examples would be, say, pack and plays the added feature of a changing table attachment. Nice for about a month if that, then a nuisance. Strollers someone mentioned something as simple as reclining. You would be amazed at how many dont actually recline all the way. Its more of a slant and when they are little, slants do not work! So without taking up more space and time, I just wanted to add pay attention to detail on some of the big things! Good luck and congratulations!

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answers from Detroit on

Bassinet, pack-n-play, baby wipe warmer, bottle warmer, tub seat, and plastic roll up bib.

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answers from San Francisco on

Madela pump
breastmilk storage bags (Lansinol -cheap and durable)
Nursing cover or boob tent as we called it. It also works well for pumping, just in case someone walks in on you.
Diaper Bag (go for something durable...cute doesn't last)
Moby Wrap (so much better than the baby bjorn and way cheaper)
Activity jumperoo
Travel system (carseat that fits into the stroller) This was awsome while he fit in it but I ended up selling it when he was 10 months old. It's a huge expense (300 +) for less than a year. I would try to buy it used on craigslist or if you have a baby exchange in your area.
High chair - you will use this for a long time.
That is really it...there si so much you could buy but you usually end up saying -That was a waste of money and I didn't really need it.

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answers from Boston on

the one thing I could not live without is an ergo :) My son is 3.5 yrs old and I still use it.


answers from Chicago on

I wouldn't even buy this stuff. I would get onto and sign up for a couple of freecycle groups in your area. When you don't pay for stuff it doesn't matter if your baby uses it or not. Of course, I'm very practical, so it doesn't matter to me if everything isn't matching or the latest style.

Here's everything I got: two exersaucers (I have a split level ranch so good to have one upstairs and downstairs); bouncy seat, swing, bath, crib, changing table, two pack n plays (one with changing table/bassinet for my bedroom, one play pen for travel); clothes, baby bath chair, toy box, two diaper bags, changing pads, receiving blankets, bottle warmer, car seat, babybjorn, two strollers - and I'm sure there's more I'm forgetting.

I don't have a baby yet - I'm on an adoption waiting list - but by getting all this stuff free, like I said, if the baby doesn't use/like something, so what, I save it for the next one. Also, by getting all of this stuff free, when I created my baby registry, I included all of the organic, bpa-free stuff I wanted - bottles, teethers, organic toys, sheets, etc.



answers from Sacramento on

Pack and Play -- essential to keeping baby safe when you need to go to the bathroom, answer the phone, etc. Ideal for travel. Got tons of use out of ours. Had it set up in the family room.

Bouncer -- Tons of use with first child, second child didn't like it. I would get one used off Craigslist.

Swing -- Second child used hers for about two weeks and then hated it. Wish we'd bought off Craigslist.

Exersaucer -- LOVED it with our second child. Didn't use it with our first because it was supposed to delay walking. Realized that was a GOOD thing and decided to use it with our second child (bummer, also ended up with an early walker!). She loved, loved, loved hers.

Play gyms -- Like everything else, depends on the child. They're not too expensive, so I'd register for one.

For us, the waste of money was a Boppy. Others swear by them but we never used it. Too cumbersome for our use.

Also, bottle warmers. If you bottle feed, get your child used to cool bottles and life is much easier. Far less work late at night. We found the bottle warmer only worked sporadically, which is how we started feeding cold bottles to begin with. Our oldest would get so fed up with the wait, esp. if we had to run warm water to correct what the warmer didn't do, that he just started taking cool bottles. Light bulb went off for us then.



answers from Dallas on

The pack-n-play is a must...convertible, can be used up until they're about 2 (depending on size).

My favorite thing for a newborn was the Fisher Price Aquarium swing. It would swing either front/back or side/side...has lights, and also melodys. It was a LIFESAVER when my son had reflux and couldn't sleep laying down.


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