Making My Baby Wish List... What Are Your Must-haves?

Updated on July 09, 2012
N.G. asks from Arlington, TX
20 answers

I'm 17 1/2 weeks pregnant with my first boy, my third child. My youngest daughter is 5 1/2 so it's been a while since I've done the baby thing, and I have absolutely NOTHING for this child, except for the crib. I have lots of time to decide what products/brands I want, and which products are unnecessary, so I'm working on my 'wish list' to get a good idea of how much money we'll be spending.

Someone asked about strollers earlier, so I already picked out the one I think will be fabulous for us (thanks for the suggestions on that). What else can I not live without?? Which car seats are the best? High chairs? Swings? What products could you not live without, and which ones did you find completely useless?

Thanks for the suggestions!!

ETA: I'm looking for specific brands/models so I can search for them and add them to my wish list. There are so many choices out there it can be overwhelming! And as much money as this stuff costs, I want to know what I'm getting.

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answers from Sacramento on

Hi and congratulations!! I recommend a book called "Baby Bargains." It's a sort of Consumer Reports about baby stuff... what you "need' what you don't and reviews of all kinds of products! It was a great help to me for my first when it's all so overwhelming.

Good luck!!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Most of it is useless junk that takes up space. I too am having my third and I gave away most of my stuff. What I am going to hunt for:

Car seat
bath mat
Floor play mat
Bouncy seat (i'm skipping the swing and exersaucer this time around. They take up so much space, and you only use them for a few months. Waste of time and money, if you ask me!)

I also need a new sling, as mine are all "out of date' and deemed "unsafe" at this point.

I still have my playpen. I love my play pen. I didn't use it as much with my second child, but I know I will be using it with my third. Safe place to put baby while you take a shower! It's also great for using outside.

But that's about it. And I don't care about brands. I'm hunting for free stuff that others don't' want or need! Again, it's only a few months of existence, why waste money?

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Philadelphia on

gosh i wished they had a store that you could purchase everything and then had 30 days to phone them and have THEM pick it up after the baby arrives and you know they don't liek it.
Every baby is so diferent...if i had another exactly like my daughter, I'd invest in a good carry along thingy and never buy the swing or anything else besides a carseat, she J. nursed 24/7 and screamed....
ohhhhhhhh if you could buy a mom to nurse your baby when you're tired that would rock!

eta: i heart britax!! got hit by a drunk driver myself and my ex were hurt...emmy evem though she was on the side of the car that was hit, and the door wasnt there and glass all over everywhere she was fine!!!!!!! worth the money for M.!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Boppy Pillow for nursing or feedings.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Jackson on

I could NOT live without a swaddler... Kiddopotamus make awesome swaddlers. They just sleep so much better in them. For a swing, I had the one that plugged into the wall. Fisher Price sells great swings that you can use with or without a plug. I chose a plastic high chair. In my opinion it is just easier to clean. Just a normal, cheap but sturdy high chair... Graco has a few to chose from. I love love love Johnson's Lavender baby wash. I swear that stuff makes my kids sleepy. It seems to calm them right before bed. Also instead of diaper rash ointment, which seems to burn chapped skin, I use Petroleum Jelly. It provides a barrier from moisture and moisturizes the skin at the same time. Diapers... I could not live without Luvs. They are affordable and we have had no leaks at all!! Make sure you get some baby mittens so the baby won't scratch his face. I will tell you a tip, though. Tiny baby socks stay on their hands better than the little mittens do. We did this with my last child and we were like "Why didnt we think of this before?"
Good luck and congrats!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Agree on the slings/carriers. I did use Target's $20 one but after my son was a few months old, it was too small. I think the Bjorn is wonderful. I did not have luck nor did I like the Hotsling or Moby. Just me though.

Daughter loved the exersaucer and son hated it but loved the bouncing type one - drawing a blank on the name!

I did not have a preference/favorite high chair but I did use the nice Eddie Bauer wooden one with the removable inserts and also a chair top (smaller one) that was all plastic and reclined, and I suggest those over regular tall high chairs.

If you are bottle or breast feeding, obviously that will change your list. IF breastfeeding, leak pads and cream as well as a plug in pump!! Nursing tops and covers as well.

Pee pee covers are cute, but not worth it in my opinion!!

Did not need/use but LOVE the wipes warmer (a friend had one). Did not like any of the diaper champs/diaper genies. Just made the room stink. Instead, every poopy diaper went into a plastic bag (recycled the ones from the store) and peepee diapers went into the regular trash.

Diaper cream for sure as well as Gas drops! Burp cloths, too.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I recieved a knock off baby bjorn style carrier from target (baby trends maybe?). LOVED it and could not have lived without it.
I did not like travel systems (too heavy, awkward) and my kids loved being next to me. It was super easy to strap on by myself, put baby inside and go on our way.
Selfishly I also liked it because it kept well-intentioned strangers away from my babies' faces and hands:)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I love infant carseats, especially if you have a colicky baby because they can sleep in it and the acid doesn't come up as much. I have big babies so I had the regular graco snugride and then the safeseat (carries up to 32 pounds) which went in my stroller. I love that feature! I had both because the bigger carseat weighed about 8 pounds more and carrying that after a c-section was hard with a 10+ pound baby. If you only want one carseat to work for the baby, then I recommend the Diono/Sunshine Kids Radian XL, it goes from 5 pounds to 115 as a booster and the 5 point harness goes to 85 pounds.

Video Monitor: thought I wouldn't need it, but I love being able to look and see what the kiddos are doing in the middle of the night. Summer Bestview has pan/tilt/zoom.

Graco Sweetpeace Soother: can put on seat comes with or snugride seat. This is a swing/soother, etc. Both of my kids slept in this until they were too big for it at 25 pounds. (Acid reflux and colic)

Big receiving blankets: 30X40 the 30X30 ones are too small to swaddle in.

Gowns: the night gowns that open at the bottom, or the ones that convert with snaps to pants and/or a gown are the best because they can go in a carseat, but they are hard to find.

Bouncer: wait until the baby is born for this one because each child likes a different feel, incline, etc. I actually took my baby to the great consignment shop by my house and set him each one until he stopped fussying and left him in it while I shopped next to him. We already had his sister's at home from the year before, but he hated it!

Start buying diapers now, but don't open them. My sister bought me one pack a week for the whole time I was pregnant and it was wonderful! You don't know what size and brand will work the best.

I used a bassinet for my kids after the soother, but then put them in a crib after they outgrew it. I have not been able to get them to sleep in a pack and play because it just isn't comfy enough I guess.

Pacifiers and bottles and breast pumps: wait until you know what the baby wants/needs. Each one wants something different and is unique. The hospital will send you home with enough to get started, and if you get WIC then they will loan you a hospital pump to take home. Even if they don't give you that one, you do get a hand pump one to take home.

A nightgown that opens in the front so that you can feed without having to show everything.

Don't bring new stuff to the hospital, it gets all icky.

I have a Graco high chair that is wonderful, and then I have a second one that is even better, but I can't remember the name. The tray actually swings away from the baby, so you don't have to take off the tray and then find a place to set it down. If you want to know what will work for you, then go and try them out! Can you take the tray off with one hand? Is it easy or hard? Do you get frustrated? Do you HAVE to look and see what you are doing?

Newborns don't need a lot of toys, but infants do, and the kind that have a suction cup on the bottom so they stick to the tray are wonderful, they can't throw them on the floor as easily so you don't have to pick them up as much.

You need a bathtub: any one will work fine, but the fisher price one with the sling is so nice that I have to recommend it! Oh, and the summer infant bath seat that unfolds in the bathtub is terrible. The baby kept falling out of it and I had to take it back.

You need wipes and baby wash, but not a whole lot of other stuff like that. Good nail scissors and the little gloves to keep the baby from scratching himself.

That is all I can think of now, but you have gotten a lot of good ideas so far. Good luck on that list mama! I bought most of my big stuff on craigslist or at a consignment shop. I don't know if they have one where you are but here we have Other Mothers, and they do a 25 cent sale at the end of every month and so I have gotten a lot of really good stuff there for very cheap. They are in other cities too so maybe look them up online.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Chicco is a great brand that is not over the top expensive.

I also recommend purchasing bigger items off of Craigslist. You can get great stuff at a great price. I am having my 2nd and my son will be 5 next month so I am having to buy everything again too. I just got a swing, pack n play and high chair off of craigslist for 125.00. The stuff looks brand new. The lady selling was a grandma that use to watch her grandchild two days a week. So if you take your time and really look you can find great deals.

Things that I am getting this time around are swing, jumparoo, Chico travel system. (I still have my son's that is 5 yrs old that I use when friends visit) great brand.

My favorite brands are fisher price and chicco.

Also you should sign up for Babies R Us coupons, formula coupons, and if you register at target they will start sending you coupons for baby stuff too.

Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Champaign on

I'm expecting a baby in Sept, and my son is also 5 1/2 so it's been a while for me too, but I have been told those baby slings (by fisher price I think) are wonderful, they fold up and are easily portable. I have that on my list of things to get.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I wished I had gotten a combination car seat . There are ones that go from rear facing to booster seat. Not sure if the other mamas would give this style a thumbs up, but what I lot of money saved! It's worth looking into.

Oh yeah and a video monitor, I never thought I would like it so much. We got the Summer Infant Slimline.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Do you have any baby/kid consignment shops near you? That it such a great way to get really high end and often hardly used big ticket items like strollers, swings, high chairs, etc.
swing, bouncy seat*, boppy pillow, snugli/baby bjorn, Medela battery operated breast pump (around $90)
Did not love:
sling (I know a lot of moms swear by these but it never felt "right" for me) and diaper bag
playpen, bassinet/basket (all three of my kids hated these, they ended up functioning as laundry baskets)
*I think the swing and bouncy seat were Graco, not too expensive and held up well for three babies :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Swaddle blankets


Bouncy seat

Bathing tub for when they are tiny or incline mesh chair for the sink.

Teething toy, Infant Tylenol


High Chair

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

We made little use of the travel system, the baby monitor, hylands teething drops, baby washcloths, his first coat and shoes (probably premature purchases). We bought alphabet floor tiles, but kiddo took to picking those apart. The bassinett was prob unnecessary, as was the stroller bassinnett. The mesh self feeder things were ok, but probably not worthwhile.

We got our money's worth out of a borrowed exersaucer and jumperoo, and portable baby swing. The playpen still doubles for living room toy storage.

Chicco makes a push/ ride train. It was great for our early walker. Its got 4 wheels and a wide stable design. It makes noise but isn't loud, and doesn't require batteries. Plus the steering wheel really turns the wheels. I think it cost under $50 on amazon.

Baby gates were worthwhile too, while they lasted.
Good luck to you and yours.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

For our next baby we are getting the Britax B Ready car seat.
Other than that, the bouncer and burp cloths were my saving grace. Aubrey spit up a lot.

Oh, and get me a sling! Lol.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

The bouncer, and swing. My son would hardly sleep anywhere but those for a couple months. Life savers! The swing especially because it was a travel one, and folded up and packed away so easy, I took it everywhere!

Eta: The baby slings, or carriers are amazing. I just wore him on my chest all strapped in, and he slept while I still had two free hands to do what I needed too. Even vacuuming!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

We had lots of Graco items when the kids were little (car seat, stroller, playpen, and high chair), and I'd swear by them. They were durable, easy to use, low-maintenance, and unfrilly but nice-looking. We handed down the carseats to friends, and as far as I know, they served at least one set of kids after ours. For strollers, I loved the simple Graco stroller with the moveable back that could lie down flat or sit up, a removable tray-table, and a bonnet-shade that could be raised and lowered. It was light, easy to adjust, and could have toys hung from the shade with links to entertain an infant. Oh, and the tray-table gave the infant someplace to put up his/her feet while lying down--more entertainment! I loved the Snugli for carrying Little One, too, and I had another front baby carrier (not Bjorn)... blanking on the brand.

We did use the Graco Pack+Play playpen an enormous amount, though the bassinet/changing table which you could balance on top never worked for us. We never had a separate changing table--just put the pad for a changing table on the floor and changed them there, picked up the pad, and stored it on top of a dresser. At least I never had to worry about a child falling while on the changing table :) We had a VERY basic swing (hand crank, actually!), and I'm not convinced that music playing or mobiles are all that necessary in a swing. The main thing is the rhythmic, consistent motion.

On the food frontier, I got a Medela pump hand-me-down from a friend who was weaning just when our son was born, and with a new kit of bottles-etc, we were good to go on that frontier (except that he refused to nurse for the first 3 months, but that's another story...). The Boppy pillow was great. For the transition from high chair to table, we had a hand-me- down small plastic chair/seat which strapped into the seat of a dining room chair. It gave our kids the added 4-6 inches of height they needed to eat comfortably at the table and it enabled them to join the rest of the family. I don't know whether they still exist, however that item was great.

Are you looking into secondhand options? I do think it might be well worth your while, since children outgrow these items in a maximum of two or three years, long before the items are worn out or have safety issues. Just a thought... Happy planning!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

The BEST thing ever was our Bumbo seat. LOVE! Travel system was a must have. First girl liked the exersaucer, second girl preferred the doorway jumper. If I had to do it over again, I'd get an exersaucer that reeeeeeally BOUNCED! Baby Einstein is one I've seen like that. That's all I can think of now....oh--and those new fisher price bedside bassinets that rock and then fold up for travel. That was awesome w my second before she started sleeping w us around 5 months old.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Baby trend infant car seat. The triangle handle makes carrying it super easy. I had carpal tunnel with locking hands and was still able to carry it because of the design. It also has high safety ratings.

Edit...the fisher price rocker slings are great! Very portable and excellent for a baby with reflux. It is the only was we got any sleep the first few weeks.



answers from Dallas on

I love "Baby Bargains" and highly recommend it. Here are my favorite baby items:

Newborn phase:
1.) Boppy pillow (if your breasts sit up high when full of milk)
2.) Breastfriend (if they hang lower)
3.) Kiddopotamus swaddlers
4.) Halo sleepsacks with swaddle wings (buy new, the older ones didn't have sewn on wings)
5.) Pack 'n Play (bassinet addon is useless, but the changing table addon is very handy). We used this as a bassinet until the little one was sleeping well enough to join her big sister in her room, but in hindsight I think I should have just gotten a co-sleeper attachment for the bed. It would have made night feedings much easier, but still given baby her own space.
6.) Gowns make for quick and easy diaper changes at night
7.) Infant car seat with detachable base - base stays in car, infant car seat is portable.
8.) Bath sling that doesn't take up much space so both kiddos can bathe at the same time.
9.) Bouncer (i.e. Fisher Price)
10.) Really great nursing clothes for you. I didn't want to spend the money and wearing the same shirt for weeks got *really* old. Plus, I never felt like I could leave the house because my one nursing shirt was so ugly. I would spend any amount of money to make nursing as comfortable and convenient as possible. It's hard enough, why make it harder to save a few bucks.
11.) Floor gym. This will carry baby all the way through to crawling. Newborn can lay under it and bigger babies sit on it and play with the toys at eye level.

Infant phase:
1.) Bumbo seat
2.) Halo sleep sacks w/o swaddle wings
3.) PekeMoe if kiddo needs help transitioning out of swaddlers
4.) Baby Bjorn "Air" carrier (meshy fabric helps baby stay cool in hot weather)
5.) Moby wrap is good for winter months and is very versatile
6.) Zip front footed sleepers
7.) Convertible car seat (I think Britax is the best brand)
8.) Breathable bumpers (we only use these to keep the pacifiers from falling out of the crib, didn't use any bumpers in newborn phase)
9.) Exersaucer (not the bouncy kind, just the kind that lets them put their feet on the ground a bit and have lots of toys to play with)
10.) Hyland's teething tablets
11.) Tummy Calm Homeopathic
12.) Bathseat so both kids can bathe at the same time. We use the Dreambaby Deluxe and love it.
13.) We like the Fisher Price Healthy Care Highchair even though it's huge. It's easy to clean and very stable and sturdy.
14.) Umbrella stroller. I hate those huge travel system strollers, too big and hard to navigate, especially in a crowd. Our Baby Bjorn is heavily used for this reason.

*edit* fixed typos

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