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I'm Audrey, a copywriter with a heavy obsession with iced coffee, my cute fam, true crime, good wine, and great stories. Let's tell yours!
Can we talk about the insane amount of options for baby supplies, products, and STUFF that is available nowadays? It’s… a lot. I remember when I was creating my baby registry for Wally, I spent hours researching things like cribs, strollers, car seats… even diaper pails. There are endless options for EVERYTHING – and if you don’t enjoy reading hundreds of reviews, it’s a bit mind-boggling.
I’m one of those weird people who does like reading reviews (shocker), and I’m a big bang-for-your-buck girlie. So I feel like I’ve found a good mix of quality yet (mostly) affordable baby supplies that, now, we’re getting ready to use again for round 2.
Full disclosure… Some friends of ours are expecting their first baby and they asked me to pull together a list of my top recommendations, so this started as a list for them that I hope will also come in handy for other newly expecting parents! While most of these items are on the more affordable side, a few are more “splurge” items that will last for multiple years and kids, so keep that in mind when browsing and building your own registry! If it’s a pricier item, I truly do think it’s a worthwhile investment that you’ll get great use of for a long time.
Okay, let’s jump in!
1. Our changing pad ($140): This is maybe random? But as someone who’s babysat/nannied for years, I’ve only ever seen or used fabric changing pads, which can get… messy. These changing pads are easy to wipe down when things, um, spray or leak (which they will). It’s still going strong for 2 years with our toddler and will be handy with our newborn here shortly!
2. This organic crib mattress ($160) & organic waterproof mattress protector ($33; you will want two!): Crib mattresses are one of those items that can be oddly expensive and come with a lot of marketing messaging that isn’t exactly helpful. (“Breathable” mattresses, in my opinion, are just playing on people’s fears… you’re going to be laying your baby on their back to sleep, and by the time they can roll, they’ll be able to move their face away from the mattress to breathe.) I did, however, want one made with more mindful materials since baby would be laying there so much. After reading MANY reviews, we got this one and it has been GREAT! Also, these mattress protectors are so clutch under crib sheets. They keep the mattress dry amid spit up, blowouts, etc.
(If you’re looking for a simple, gold crib, ours is sold out but this one is really similar, $400, and transitions to a toddler bed!)
3. This feeding/nursing pillow ($34): There’s a reason this is on every registry list; it actually is SO handy. It wraps around your midsection to prop baby up for easier nursing or bottle sessions
(your partner can use it, too!) so you’re not relying on a random, floppy pillow or your own strength to hold up baby. I used it daily in those first few months last time.
4. Bassinet ($120): If you’re planning to room share with your newborn for a few months to make nighttime feedings/changings easier, I’m firmly on team “simple and safe bassinet,” without all the bells and whistles. I’ve heard both great and indifferent reviews about products like the Snoo (which, for $1700, will shush and rock your baby back to sleep automatically). For me? That price just isn’t worth it when baby’s only in the bassinet for about 12 weeks (and I have friends who have said the Snoo didn’t even help their baby sleep better?!). I got this bassinet because the reviews were pretty good overall, it has a simple look, it’s travel-friendly, and it fits in our room. The mattress isn’t incredibly thick, which would have to be my only complaint, but again, for a few months, it does the job just fine!
5. Infant car seat ($220): This is another thing that we wanted to make sure was safe and reliable… but not spend $$$ on because they won’t use it forever. I recommend getting an infant car seat that comes with a base so you can carry the baby in their seat into your house or a store with you (rather than not being able to remove the seat at all, like bigger transition car seats). You can also put bases (which are cheaper) in your partner’s and caregiver’s cars so you don’t have to buy multiple car seats early on. This one is lightweight, safe, compact, and affordable!
Other car seat nice-to-haves:
6. Baby wrap carrier ($65): I loved this wrap when Wally was tiny and can’t wait to use it again for baby #2! It makes it super convenient to do things around the house hands free. It’s a bit of a learning curve to figure out at first, but after watching a tutorial 2 or 3 times, it’s not bad at all.
I also really like this sturdier carrier ($180) for when baby is bigger to go hiking and run errands.
7. Bath seat ($20): This might be random too, but we tried other bath seats that just didn’t feel safe or convenient. This one is super simple and allows baby to recline comfortably and safely in the tub for bath time!
8. Diaper pail ($71) & throw-away inserts ($20): I know some people who don’t use a diaper pail and I always wonder about the smell…?! When we’ve traveled to Airbnbs and just used the kitchen or bathroom trash can, the whole place stinks like a barn by the time we’ve left… even when wrapping dirty diapers in another bag. A diaper pail is necessary in my book.
Other diapering favorites:
9. Sound machine ($20): These things are the BEST for helping babies connect their sleep cycles early on and drowning out background household noises. We live in 1200 square feet, so having something to help baby sleep through exterior sounds is so important. But most sleep consultants will also recommend babies have white or brown noise playing to help develop healthy sleep patterns. Honestly, I’m so used to the noise now from hearing it through the monitor that I prefer sleeping with it, too! This is the sound machine we currently have (love that it’s small/portable), and we got a second for our room after baby gets here!
10. Baby monitor ($100): This was something that was SO hard for me to pick because there are a million price points and options available. Ultimately, I chose one that was lower price-wise and it works great for us! I like that it tells us the baby’s room temp and you can turn off the screen while keeping the sound on at night.
We also just got this dual baby monitor ($200) to use for two babies and that you can also see from your phone!
This stroller ($450): This year, we bought a Mockingbird single-to-double stroller because we wanted one that could transition from one to two kids once baby #2 arrives. The main downside is that it’s not *great* for tall/long babies (Wally is already pretty big for his seat), but we will still be using it when we need a double stroller. It’s often compared to the UppaBaby Vista, which is more than double the price. I’m sure it’s not quite as nice of quality, but for the price, it’s definitely worth it to me!
We also have this single jogging stroller ($340) which I LOVE for long walks and jogs (can be used for newborns in car seat with an adapter), and this cheaper lightweight stroller ($100) that we use for travel and flying (cannot be used for newborns as far as I know).
Baby lounger ($195): I wouldn’t have thought of a lounger as a necessity, but honestly it is SO HANDY having a safe, portable space to set down baby in any room while you cook, clean, shower, etc. We got the Dock-a-Tot and love it, but I’ve also heard great things about the Snuggle Me Organic lounger ($109).
NoseFrida ($12): Okay, this thing is so freaking genius?! If your baby is congested, you use a little saline spray (or drops) and then suck the snot right out of their nose. So gross. And so useful.
Pacifiers ($16 for 2): We lovedddd these nukkies with Wally & plan to use them again (well, new ones) for the next baby! Wallace wouldn’t take any other brand, and I like that these ones are actually super cute.
Swaddle ($33): Pro tip: Don’t try to swaddle with a blanket swaddle. Your baby will escape. I loved these velcro/zipper ones last time.
Zipper onesies ($35): These are SO SOFT. And such great quality. Worth the slightly pricier cost, IMO. I would register for 1-2 per size so you have good quality PJs that will last! (And whatever you do, do nottttt buy button/snap jammies. They’re the most inconvenient things EVER, no matter how cute.)
Haakaa ($28): If you’re planning on breastfeeding, I cannot recommend the Haakaa enough. It’s technically a pump that suctions to one breast to remove milk while nursing from the other, and also is a MIRACLE WORKER if you get a clogged duct or mastitis (Google “Haakaa warm salt water” for the magic solution). I didn’t think I needed this because I had an insurance-covered electric pump, but I honestly used the Haakaa MORE than my other pump. It’s so convenient. (As for electric pumps, I have the Lansinoh and got the Elvie hands-free/cord-free pump for the next baby… I recommend finding what your insurance covers if any! I’ve also heard great things about the Spectra.)
Ooookay, that is way more than 10 baby products at this point, but honestly, there are really *so* many helpful, useful things that I have found worthwhile! And I hope this helps you narrow down your search when you are just feeling like there are way too many options out there.
What other products are you curious about trying with your newborn (or that you swear by)?!
(This post contains affiliate links.)