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Baby Products You Can’t Live Without

Have you ever gone to a baby store recently? There are so many products available that it’s overwhelming! Many first time parents wonder how many items they really need. Of course, everyone knows that you need diapers, clothes, and, if you aren’t nursing your child, bottles. You’ll also need a crib and a car seat. But beyond that, what do you REALLY need?

I’ve raised quite a few babies: our 6th child is due in August. I’ve learned a lot over my parenting career, mostly from my mistakes. I’ve spent a lot of money I really didn’t have to spend on too many gizmos I thought I needed, and I’ve not spent enough money other items that I actually did need. Right now, I’m creating a must have list as we are beginning to shop for our impending arrival. Read on to see my list!

Health Care Items

Many stores sell health care packages. Everything is nicely contained in a cute container and it looks so appealing. Usually, the price tag is expensive, but it’s worth it. Right? Wrong. You are paying for a bunch of items that you will never use and that cute container. Buy the items separately as you need them, if you need them. Store them in an inexpensive container.

There are two exceptions to this rule: a bulb syringe and nail clippers are an absolute necessity. Look for the syringe that is easy to clean and that has a safety tip. When purchasing the nail clippers, but the kind with the built up handle. They are easier to use.

While you are making purchases, consider buying a cool mist vaporizer. When your little one is congested, a vaporizer is so helpful!


When your little one is sick, you’ll want to be prepared. Keep some items on hand now for future use. Some medicines to have include: Gas Drops, infant Tylenol drops, and salt water nose drops.

Comfort Care

The transition from the comfort of the womb to the “real world” can be a real shock for babies. There are a bunch of comfort care products on the market which help to soothe a crying or fussy baby. These are the items I am purchasing for our new baby.

Baby swings are worth every single penny they cost. Most babies love to sit in the swing; for some of my children, a swing was the only thing that helped with their colicky times. When purchasing a swing, look for one that has both a battery and electric option. If you choose to purchase the swing that just runs on batteries, buy re-chargeable batteries and a battery charger. Otherwise, this product can be expensive. I truly haven’t found that the models with the music and sounds work any better than the “regular” model. Don’t worry about that so much! If you can, check to see that the swing has different positions for the seat. For younger infants, it is helpful to have a seat that can recline. Otherwise, a tiny infant will slump over in the seat. Models that have several speeds are also helpful.

A baby sling is so helpful! I have used one for all of my children and I’ve found that it really helps reduce their crying. It is also great for busy moms because you have both hands free to fold laundry or do the dishes. Slings have been used by generations of mothers to calm their crying infants because it works. Many slings are available nowadays in a variety of trendy fabrics. You can even order a few to match different outfits.

Swaddling is an ancient technique used by parents to calm their crying child. When your child is in the nursery at the hospital, you’ll notice that the nurses swaddle the infants in receiving blankets. I never have been able to master the swaddling technique, but I found that I can “cheat” and get the same great results! You can buy swaddling pouches which help swaddle your baby easily and quickly. Simply slide your infant into the pouch and wrap the pouch wings around them. The wings attach to the sides of the pouch with velcro.

Bedding Items

When my children first came home from the hospital, I put them to sleep in a bassinet which I kept near my bed. I found that my children tended to sleep better in a bassinet than in a large crib. When they outgrew the bassinet, I moved them to a crib. If you decide to get a bassinet, make sure to get a model that can rock! This is so helpful to calm a crying infant.

You can never have too many crib and bassinette sheet sets! You’ll need at least four sets of each to be safe. Another product to check out is crib sheet savers. The idea is that you lay your infant’s head on the sheet saver which is on top of the sheet. If your child spits up, you just need to change the sheet saver and not the entire sheet. You can even get different colors to match your nursery color scheme!

Making Memories

It is incredible how quickly children grow and change. I recommend purchasing a quality digital camera which you will use regularly to help you remember all the special times that will happen during your baby’s first year. Above all else, remember to think about storing your photos in a safe place! It is fine to save your photos on your computer, but it’s best to save another copy elsewhere. You could accidentally delete the photo file, or your computer could crash. You don’t want to risk losing those memories.

Important Accessories

While you are shopping, don’t forget “the small stuff”. Pacifiers are an example of a small, but important accessory. I like to purchase silicon pacifiers because they seem to last longer than the latex ones. I also try to purchase orthodontic pacifiers which are better for baby’s teeth than the “regular” kind of pacifier.

A Boppy pillow is an essential purchase. If you are nursing, you can use the Boppy pillow to help you position the baby for feedings. As the baby grows, you can use the Boppy as a support when your baby is learning to sit. Remember to purchase at least two covers for your Boppy pillow just in case baby spits up on it!

I also found that a diaper Genie was a great item to have. The diaper Genie system minimizes the smell that can be so common in a baby’s room. It’s an effective and simple way to dispose of your babies diapers until you are able to empty the diaper pail. Remember to purchase a refill kit for your system. Your baby will go through a LOT of diapers during his or her first few weeks!

You made it to the bottom of my list! That’s not so bad, is it? Remember, preparing for you’re the arrival of your baby doesn’t have to take a huge bite out of your budget! Start early on in your pregnancy and purchase small amounts of items regularly. Before you know it, your pregnancy will be over, and you’ll be bringing home your beautiful bundle of joy.

Author: Michelle Schaefer

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6 Comments on "Baby Products You Can’t Live Without"

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3 years 7 months ago

The swing saved my life. My first child was very colic and it was the only thing that helped. My second child that came 17 months later never slept! She would only take a nap n her swing! 11 yrs later we r having our 3rd child and u better believe the swing is up and ready 2 go! Swings r worth the cost!

4 years 2 months ago

I think the swing is kind of a waste of money. Takes up a lot of room, and really expensive. And some babies really don’t like it. It depends on the child for the swing.

5 years 5 months ago
I am a mother of a 16 month old w/ one on the way. A diaper genie is a waste of money. It still stinks up your nursery and the refills are very expensive and the bags rip easily. It is no fun taking the dirty diapers to the garbage when the bag rips and dirty diapers fall all over the floor! Not to mention when the the baby is walking and into everything, they will attempt to open the nasty diaper receptacle. I would recommend purchasing a garbage can that has a foot peddle and locks so that it… Read more »

I agree with Florence, we had to get a baby gate at the top of our stairs for our little one, we still have it 3 yrs. later.

Baby monitors are needed too, ours still runs at nap time and bedtime.

6 years 9 months ago

Great list. I would also add safety items as it’s very important to make sure the home is safe and ready for baby’s arrival.

[…] you. After all, we all know that diapers and clothes can get quite expensive, and there are some baby items a parent just can’t live without, but there are plenty of ways to curtail these costs. Really, does your child need the most […]

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