Babies need a lot; they require lots of snuggles, help, and love. Those immaterial things are the most important, but owning some material objects is necessary, too. Here are some baby carriers, cloth diapering products, “on the go” items, skin and health products, and sleep and bedding products we’ve used while raising our babies and recommend. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, or someone helping provide a new parent with some necessary items, I hope you find this page useful!
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Along with diapers, a car seat, and a safe place to sleep, I think a baby carrier is an essential item for parents of newborns. They provide a safe and secure place for baby to be near you, promotes breastfeeding, and frees up parents to do stuff. Not only are they great for newborns (especially during the “fourth trimester”), but they can be used for toddlers as well. Here are our favorites.
I’ve loved using the Ergobaby Original with Lucy. We’ve used it since the first week she was born with the newborn insert and continue to use it, albeit less often. What I like about the Ergobaby brand is how comfortable it is. I have carried her for hours in the front-pack as a newborn and hiked with her on my back as a near-toddler and have found it to be as ergonomical as the name boasts. The hood is also a great asset, being able to keep baby shielded from the sun or for privacy during nursing. The Original style works for children up to 45 pounds.
The Mobywrap, essentially a huge piece of stretchy fabric, was my favorite for carrying a newborn. It is less easier to put on than other clip-on carriers, but once you practice a few times, it’s easy. The Mobywrap is especially nice in cooler weather; it keeps you and baby snug and warm. It also is so easy to travel with. It works from newborns up to a 35 pound child.
Kevin’s favorite carrier is the BECO. We were fortunate enough to borrow it from a friend when Levi was born and were sad when the time came to return it. We found it to be the easiest to put on and has really cute prints!
We have enjoyed cloth diapering so much. Read more about our experience and see more recommendations here.
The bumGenius brand has proved to be long-lasting, durable, and adorable. We’ve used ours for over three years. These are the original pocket style; we also use and enjoy the All-in-One style.
These are not the exact flannel wipes we’ve used, but they are the highest ranked on Amazon and extremely affordable. If you’re doing cloth diapers, flannel wipes are a natural choice.
I’ve loved the Kanga Care wet bags. We’ve gone through two over the past two and a half years, but have found them to be easy to use and perfect to store our used cloth diapers.
on the go
This is our second diaper bag, and I totally recommend it. A backpack style is super convenient and easy to carry. This style in particular is as spacious as it is attractive. I can store stuff for two kids in it, and look cute doing it.
There’s a reason so many parents choose the Chicco KeyFit car seat. It’s simple to install, safe, and makes quick coffee pick-me-ups easy. The car seat detatches easily, making quick coffee runs with a sleeping baby super convenient. It also can click into a frame stroller which some parents especially appreciate!
This is a great alternative to the Bumbo; it keeps your little one safe and contained during play or feedings, but still allows for baby to build his or her trunk strength. The tray unsnaps and slides under the seat. We use ours almost daily as a “high chair” and it’s easy to take take along on trips.
We were recommended Pediped shoes by Levi’s physical therapist. Great for new walkers, these shoes are made from high quality material. They simply are the best shoes. We also get tons of compliments on them because they are just so cute. You can also check out the Pediped Outlet.
skin and health
This bubble bath smells amazing. We tried this one with Lucy and found it to be superb. Without harsh chemicals, it’s super great for baby, and the environment.
We used this shampoo with Levi as a baby and still as a toddler. It comes in fragrance free or a sweet honey-like scent. Made with natural ingredients and none of the yucky stuff, it’s an amazing product.
We’ve used this lotion after baths and for baby massages. It absorbs so nicely and keeps baby’s skin soft. It comes in a fragrance free option, or chamomile verbena. It’s made with stuff you can trust.
Nothing has helped diaper rash as much as this bad boy. Poor Lucy seemed to have diaper rash a lot, and this is what helped to clear it up. Note: if you use cloth diapers, be sure to use a disposable liner on before applying this.
sleep and bedding
Sleep and snuggles are important for baby and parents! These items are proven winners in our household.
I adore the aden + anais blankets. Oh my goodness. I have about a dozen large muslin blankets and I use them all the time. When my babies were first born, I used them as swaddlers at night. I’ve used them as a breastfeeding cover. I’ve used them as blankets for babies to crawl on, and to sit on at impromptu trips to the park. I still use them for my kids as a “sheet” in the summer, or as a soft, comfortable barrier on the couch for a quick nap. I love these as a gift for new moms, and they come in so many adorable patterns.
This little number has found its way into many parents’ hearts. It is a collapsable little napper that helps babies feel snug and safe. I used this with both my babies for brief naps and keeping them contained while I worked on a project.
Many people recommend a pack ‘n play for traveling purposes. We happened to use ours for room-sharing with our babies. Levi slept in it three months, and Lucy still does as a one-year-old. Though we end up with the kids in bed with us, we started them in the pack ‘n play so Kevin and I can get some snuggles in. I like the simple design of the Graco Pack ‘n Play, particularly because you can elevate the mattress for the babies as newborns. When the Lucy would cry, I could roll over and touch her or grab her and bring her into bed with us without having to get out of bed.
Because our babies co-sleep with us, the hard mattress of the pack ‘n play was hard to get adjusted to. This wickedly comfortable mattress provides more of an “adult mattress” softness. We have an older version of the same brand, and this tri-fold style sounds like it makes it convenient for traveling! Note: please follow the directions; it is not suitable for newborns who cannot lift their heads.
Last year, we were looking to replace the mattress in Levi’s crib-turned-toddler-bed. This mattress is super affordable, hypoallergenic, and comes with a waterproof cover. And, most importantly, it is SUPER COMFORTABLE. As parents who snuggle with our toddler before bed, we notice the difference between this and our previous mattress. We’ve even fallen asleep on it a few times ourselves.
Check out our baby play page to see our favorite baby toys.