Must-Have Baby Items I Wished I Had With My First Child

If any of you have strolled down the aisles of a Babies-R-Us lately, you know how difficult it is to figure out what the must-have baby items are. While the assortment of gadgets out there is truly impressive, it is also very intimidating. If I had bought every baby item that I loved with my first child, then we would have been in serious financial trouble.

 

With my first child, I was blessed with having wonderful baby showers and hand-me-downs, which was much appreciated since we had just bought our first home and a new car. I am also kind of addicted to swap and sell sites and have found amazing deals on quality used baby items through them. I am not adverse to used items, especially baby items, since they grow out of everything so fast.

Even with all this in mind, when I had my second child I found myself wishing that I had forked over the money for certain must-have baby items with my first child! Now that we are almost out of the baby phase with our second (sigh), it is questionable whether getting these baby items for baby #3 (it’s not in the works, don’t worry mom!) would be worth it or not. So, I thought I would make this list to help anyone wondering what must-have baby items they should spend the extra money on.

must-have baby items, peg perego, ergobaby, medela, my breast friend, halo, baby jogger

Must-Have Baby Item #1 – A CHAIR WITH OTTOMAN

Since we already had a wooden rocking chair that my dad had gotten refinished and passed down to us, we thought we could put it to good use in our nursery. There was only one problem: It is terribly uncomfortable. The wooden back slats were pure torture during those 3 AM breastfeeding sessions that always seemed never-ending, and it wasn’t very forgiving to relaxed positions. I really wished (and still do) that we bit the bullet and bought a cozy, oversized chair with an ottoman such as this one from Pottery Barn, but I felt guilty not using the one passed down. I think I may just have to get over it if we have a third child, for my back’s sake!

Pottery barn kids, must-have baby items,

 

Must-Have Baby Item #2 – AN EXPANDABLE STROLLER

Of course at the time of baby #1 we weren’t thinking of having baby #2, but after we had baby #2 I really wished we had! We had spent the least amount of money possible on a car seat and single stroller Graco travel system ($100, no joke) and honestly it served its purpose really well. But when we had our second child, I quickly realized that my sanity relied on getting out of the house on a regular basis with my preschooler and baby in tow. Since my preschooler is a super slow walker, a double stroller was a must for us.

Thankfully, we were able to find a great deal on Kijiji (Peg Perego Duette SW with Primo Viaggo car seat for $200, regularly $1000+). I highly recommend that you search for used strollers there as there are such fantastic deals! However, life would have been so much easier if we could have just bought a second seat for our single stroller since we had to switch to a different car seat.

I did a lot of research on all types of strollers, and the Baby Jogger City Elite, though isn’t cheap, ticks all the boxes. I now wish that we had forked over the money for it from the beginning. It is a lot harder than I thought to find the perfect stroller – one with big wheels, enough carry space, spacious seating, yet light and compact enough to travel, and I feel this one has it all. You can even buy a separate glider board to attach behind so your older child can step on for a break. (Edit: I have been made aware that the City Elite is in fact, “a beast” to carry around, so I guess there really is no stroller out there that has it all!)

must-have baby items, baby jogger city select stroller

Must-Have Baby Item #3 – AMAZING BABY CARRIER

We were lucky enough to borrow a Snugly baby carrier, which helped out a lot since my children loved to be carried. However, I found it really hard on my back. I’m not too sure if that is because my babies are giants, or my back isn’t strong enough or if the carrier doesn’t provide enough support, but I would be willing to shell out the bucks for a high quality carrier since I know it will be used a lot. And I mean a lot. I have heard great things about the Ergobaby and Boba baby carriers.

ergobaby carrier, must-have baby items

Must-Have Baby Item #4 – BREASTFEEDING PILLOW

I was hesitant on the usefulness of this one because I wasn’t sure if I would want to lug a pillow (and a baby) around my house. But you know what? Breastfeeding is hard, and it kills your back it you don’t have support. I found my nursing sessions particularly gruelling because I have a long torso and found myself constantly hunching over during feedings. My Breast-Friend Nursing Pillow was originally developed by a lactation consultant, and has the added bonus of extra back support and clipping on so that you can actually move around while feeding your baby.

must-have baby items, breast friend nursing pillow

Must-Have Baby Item #5 – MEDELA DOUBLE BREAST PUMP

With both of my children I was lucky enough to be able to pump more than I nursed, and therefore create a freezer stash so that my hubby and parents could feed our babies while I went grocery shopping on my own (gasp!). However, I think those pumping sessions would have been quicker (and quieter!) if I had gotten a Medela double breast pump. It’s hard to really know for sure whether you will use it and it is quite expensive, so I would recommend waiting until baby comes to assess your feeding choices.

medela freestyle

Must-Have Baby Item #6 – CO-SLEEPER BED

Here’s some words of warning: Babies tend to not like sleeping on their own. This fun fact shouldn’t surprise us, considering they have been cooped up inside of us for nine months, but it doesn’t jive well with the current recommendation for baby to sleep on her back in a crib or bassinet. And having baby sleep in a bassinet makes life difficult for the breastfeeding mother.

Too bad there isn’t a co-sleeping option so both mama and baby could benefit while still keeping baby safe…Oh wait, there is? Enter a co-sleeper bed, that you either place on your bed or attach to the side. A co-sleeper gives baby her own safe space to sleep but within arms reach of mom. As a mom that spent six months sleeping on an awful futon mattress with a baby perpetually attached to her nipple, I am telling you that it’s worth it! I love how beautiful this one is from Arm’s Reach.

arms reach co-sleeper

Must-Have Baby Item #7 – SWADDLING SLEEP SACKS

Infant blankets are no longer recommended as they may pose a strangulation risk to babies while sleeping. Therefore, sleep sacks are an amazing alternative. Basically, they are sacks that you can zip on to baby so that their bodies stay nice and warm and there is no way that they can be kicked off. In addition, they have a swaddling option, helping babies sleep through the night by preventing baby from having the moro “startle” reflex. With our first child we used normal swaddling blankets and they were normally off by the morning.

The Halo SleepSack Swaddle comes in adorable patterns and within a reasonable price point. It can be adjusted in 3 ways: Arms in, hands-to-face, or arms out, so it can grow with your baby. In addition, the Halo SleepSacks are recognized as “Hip Healthy” by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute – which is always good in my books.

must-have baby item, halo sleep sack

 

Must-Have Baby Item #8 – ADJUSTABLE VIDEO MONITOR

Though we had a video monitor, we would often accidentally move it while dealing with our flailing baby during diaper changes. Of course when we got downstairs and turned the monitor on, all we would see was the floor or the wall, and would have no way of adjusting it. Having any sort of video monitor is a huge plus and we used ours all the time, but a step-up would have helped us out a lot too.

This one by Timeflys that I found on Amazon has great reviews and has remote-controlled camera rotation, tilt, zoom, 2-way talking, night vision, temperature sensor and changeable lullaby! I’m not going to lie – the thought of having this much technology in my back pocket makes me giddy and I will probably have to upgrade ours when it’s time for baby #3.must-have baby items, baby monitor

Must-Have Baby Item #9 – COAT EXTENDER

This didn’t matter as much while I was pregnant with my first child who was born in May, but my second child was born in February (AKA, dead of winter). Oh, and did I mention that we live in Canada? Having a coat extender would have meant being able to wear my usual coat while pregnant and not having to shell out for a maternity coat that I’ll never use again. In addition, I love how your baby can fit inside in her baby carrier after birth. To me, this is a definite must-have baby item and would have made our winters a baby and toddler so much easier! You can find these coat extenders with Kokoala and Make My Belly Fit (added bonus: it is a Canadian Company!)must-have baby items, kokoala, coat extender

 

Must-Have Baby Item #10 – CRIB DRIBBLER

If only these were legal!must have baby-items, crib-dribbler

So, there you have it. My top 10 (OK, 9) list of must-have baby items that I wished I had when starting off with my first child. These are the products that I believe are completely worthwhile forking over cold, hard cash for… Especially if you are thinking that you and your partner will be having more than one child. In addition, many of these high quality must-have baby items have a great re-sale value if they are taken care of well.

What do you think? Was there a must-have baby item that you wished you had bought from the beginning? What are your must-have baby items?

The Mama Nurse, xo

A Bit Of Everything

TheMamaNurse

Hi! I am a Registered Nurse on a unit that encompasses labour and delivery, postpartum, medical, surgical and palliative care in a rural hospital in Ontario, Canada. I am a mom of two and am passionate about women's rights, mom and infant care, parenting and nursing. I hope to create an educational, entertaining and highly relatable resource for women around the world. Thanks for stopping by! Xo, The Mama Nurse

29 thoughts on “Must-Have Baby Items I Wished I Had With My First Child

  • February 16, 2016 at 10:37 am
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    These are all really great ideas! I don’t think enough can be said about a quality baby carrier. I feel so bad for the sheer amount of moms out there who buy crappy baby carriers.

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    • February 16, 2016 at 1:51 pm
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      Hahaha. Yes I’m not sure why I didn’t spend the extra $50… Would have saved my back a lot of pain 😉

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  • February 16, 2016 at 10:53 am
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    I’m way past this stage but one thing I wished I had for my first child is definitely the breast pump and the co-sleeper. Maybe I would have been able to nurse him longer than two months. I also love the video monitor. That would have been very helpful for both of my boys. This is a great list. #abitofeverything

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    • February 16, 2016 at 1:50 pm
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      Thanks for the feedback Michelle. Hindsight is 20/20, isn’t it? Hopefully this list will come in handy for new moms starting out!

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  • February 16, 2016 at 12:59 pm
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    Ooh I haven’t seen the crib dribbler before but what a cool idea! The pump – insurance should cover that, even under the affordable healthcare act. I love my Ergo. So glad I got that as a baby carrier, after trying 3 other types. Post on that coming soon. Great list of stuff. I haven’t even heard of the coat extender! And the comfortable chair, yes I used a recliner because the rocking chair glider thing wasn’t up to the task. At least that was a cheap Goodwill purchase and not a huge investment.

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    • February 16, 2016 at 1:49 pm
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      Hahahaha, Julie #10 was a joke! Does kind of seem like a good idea though, huh? Lol. Glad to hear that you mostly agree with the list! And I agree, if you can get things on the cheap, go for it!

      Reply
  • February 17, 2016 at 4:52 am
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    LOL….Crib Dribbler!!!! Good one!!! My absolutely must have would also be the breastfeeding pillow! It was so handy! Another I liked was muslin cloths that I could use for a variety of purposes – cover, cushion, blanket, wipe etc. Thanks for sharing with #abitofeverything

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    • February 28, 2016 at 9:58 pm
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      Oh man I love muslin cloths too! They’re so light weight but large enough to do anything with!

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  • February 17, 2016 at 7:43 am
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    The sleep sacks are definitely a must! I’m convinced that those and white noise are the only things that helped me survive the infancy stage with all three of my kids. And I’ve never seen the coat extender before, but that would have been really helpful. I tried wearing Hubs’ coats, and then just gave up on anything closing around me ever. 🙂

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    • February 28, 2016 at 9:56 pm
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      Oh man, we got a Munchkin sound machine with our second child and it has saved our sanity since our house is so noisy with a preschooler and puppy! I literally broke the zipper off of one of my coats trying to put it on last pregnancy so I feel your pain!

      Reply
  • February 17, 2016 at 1:26 pm
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    I love the last one! A great light hearted way to end your post. Number 1 is a definite must have. Luckily we had rocking, reclining chairs in our lounge. We moved one to the bedroom and kept the other in the lounge. They are the perfect feeding chairs. #abitofeverything

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    • February 28, 2016 at 9:55 pm
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      That is a great idea and something I will have to look into for a chair, since we need to get a new one for our living room any way 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  • February 17, 2016 at 4:34 pm
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    I’m on my third child and I see about 4 items on this list I really want. I gave away all of my baby stuff because I thought we were done. Well I got a little surprise! I really love the co sleeper, breastpump, and carrier.

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    • February 28, 2016 at 9:54 pm
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      Congratulations!! I’m sure your friends and family will give you back a bunch of baby stuff 😀

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  • February 18, 2016 at 10:07 am
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    Crib Dribbler looks hilarious! I had a breast feeding pillow and while I used it, it’s not a must have — any sturdy cushion would do. The coat extender does not look pretty to me! I luckily had a roomy parka already and didn’t need to buy a new coat. I had several baby carriers (all hand-me downs except for a sling which I think was the best value for versatility and lasting till age 2), and swaddled a baby with a regular blanket. The breast pump is fantastic if you’re engorged or working, but I always felt like it looked rather silly while using it! I had several strollers (we lived in Brooklyn so you end up going through at least 3 per child), but I thought the Phil & Ted to be the best flexible, especially when you have more than one. And a dear friend lent me her co-sleeper and I would definitely recommend it if you can afford one. The biggest waste of money (though I actually didn’t buy it myself) was the wipe warmer, and the diaper genie.) So many baby stuff!

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    • February 28, 2016 at 9:50 pm
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      Some things work wonders for some people while others do not! Definitely depends on your life situation. I really thought these 9 things would be super helpful 🙂

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  • February 21, 2016 at 9:19 am
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    Hi Mama Nurse,
    I’ve had four babies now. The only things I found that I absolutely HAD to have were diapers, bottles for a few feedings when I couldn’t breastfeed, blankets, a playpen and crib, and a good car seat.

    That said, our best investment came when we had child three. It was an overstuffed Lazyboy similar to the one you had your picture taken in. It allowed for safer middle of the night feedings and better cuddling with all the kids.

    There’s a lot of pressure on mamas from the very beginning to have all the right stuff and do all the right things. Babies R Us built a lot of discontentment in me when I visited. ~smile~

    All this said, if you spend any time at my blog, you’ll find that I really believe Teddy Roosevelt’s quote, “Do what you can with what you’ve got where you are!”

    You did pick out very nice items that I would have loved to have. Good job!
    Blessings,
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

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    • February 28, 2016 at 9:33 pm
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      I know, you really don’t need all that much when having a baby, and we definitely were modest in comparison to a lot of other parents… But these were things I really wished I had! I hear you about the chair with ottoman and I am definitely getting one through hell or high water for our next baby! Thanks for stopping by and I will definitely be over to check out your page 😀

      Reply
  • February 22, 2016 at 6:13 pm
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    Love that you threw #10 in there, haha! 🙂 I loved my Ergo, and all of our swaddles! Highly recommend! I did live without a chair with ottoman and a video monitor. I love the idea of the coat extender! I had a big belly during winter twice and looked quite ridiculous with my coat wide open!
    Erin @ Stay At Home Yogi recently posted…Classic Board Books Every Baby Should OwnMy Profile

    Reply
    • February 28, 2016 at 9:25 pm
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      I know, the coat extender really piques my interest too! I think I may have to splurge if we have another winter baby!

      Reply
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  • March 18, 2016 at 10:26 pm
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    LMAO Crib Dribbler.
    But in all honesty – I am bookmarking this page. Thanks for the helpful post Tori! Hope all is well with the fam, you all look LOVELY.

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  • July 8, 2016 at 1:04 am
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    your post is really useful, specially for mom.liked your idea about BREASTFEEDING PILLOW. thanks for sharing.

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  • January 28, 2017 at 6:56 am
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    Wonderful post it is. I am glad to see your post. Really parents are always worried for their babies and want to buy best things to give them best comfort. All these baby items are too good and definitely more useful for babies. Thanks for sharing some wonderful baby products with us…..

    Reply

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