The 11 Newborn Baby Must Haves I Wish I had with My First
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These are my 11 all time favorite newborn baby products that I cannot live without! I wish I had them all with my first so now, 4 kids in, I’m sharing them here so you can have everything you need for your little one!
As I sit here now writing this, I am 31 weeks pregnant with my 4th child and just going over all the things I need to have ready for when this baby gets here. That’s when I had the thought, do I need anything else?
The more I thought about it, the more I was Impressed by how I already have everything I need for this guy’s arrival. That’s what having 3 previous kids does for you!
And since there is so much overwhelming information out there on what baby products to get and what items you really need for your new baby, I figured I’d share my short list of my 11 must-have tried and true baby products that I cannot go without.
So after 4 kiddos, here are the 11 must have baby products I wish I had from the very beginning!
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Now on to the post!
The 11 Newborn Baby Must Haves I Wish I had with My First:
1. Owlet Smart Sock Monitor
I literally have no idea how I went through the newborn phase without this with my first!
I am such a stresser, over-thinker, and worrier and this Owlet Smart Sock Monitor is the only reason I got any sleep with my other kids!
Why its a must have:
The Owlet Smart Sock is a baby monitor that tracks your babies oxygen levels and heart rate while they sleep. It has a little monitor that goes on your baby’s foot and it sends a signal to the base station and your phone letting you know that baby is okay while sleeping.
How it works:
- The base station will pulse a low green light when it is actively reading and tracking your babies oxygen and heart rate so you know just by looking at it that, yes, it is tracking and your baby is okay.
- It will play a loud lullaby song and turn yellow if it cant get a read on baby letting you know you need to go readjust the sock. This is usually because it wasn’t placed on right or it has slipped or baby has managed to kick it out of the right place.
- Finally, if at any time baby’s oxygen or heart rate drop below a safe level, the base station beeps a loud alarm and turns red. Letting you know immediately if baby is in destress.
Another cool thing about the smart sock is that it will track your babies sleep patterns and track when baby is awake, sleeping, or even in a deep sleep. Which is nice to know just how much sleep baby and you are getting.
If you only get one thing, let it be this.
Honestly if I could convince you to get one baby product, it would be this one. This is truly the one baby product that I cannot live without.
As a new mom, the idea of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) or anything happening to my child when they’re sleeping was such an overwhelming thought. I remember sticking my finger under the nose of my first son throughout the night just to make sure he was still breathing!
The Owlet monitor is pricey but worth it 100% for the peace of mind and ability to actually sleep at night. Plus if you get it with your first then you’ll have it for all your babies so it will get as much use as possible.
I wish I had it with my first!
Check out The Owlet Smart Sock Here.
2. Boppy Nursing Pillow
If you plan on breastfeeding, you absolutely need this pillow! Put honestly it was still amazing to have when I bottle fed!
How women can breastfeed their child without one of these beats me. Your arms get so tired so fast you end up stacking a million pillows under your arm and baby just right seeking any kind of comfort.
Why it’s a must have:
The Boppy pillow is the perfect size, shape, and firmness for supporting baby and keeping you comfortable while breastfeeding. It wraps around you and gives you the right kind of support right where you need it.
No more aching arms!
I take mine everywhere with me when I have a breastfeeding baby! If you are having a baby, you absolutely need a Boppy nursing pillow! (And don’t forget to bring it with you to the hospital!)
I personally bought the bare Boppy Pillow and then picked a cover I liked and even made one (check out my tutorial here!) You definitely want a cover vs just a printed pillow so that you can take it off and wash it. You will get spit up and breastmilk on it!
Click here to check out the Boppy Nursing Pillow.
3. Fawn Design Diaper Bag
I wanted this bag so bad with my first and finally got it with my second! Not only does it look so much better than a typical diaper bag but it is super functional too!
When I had my first baby I was so excited to become a mom but I also didn’t want my whole identity to suddenly disappear into being “just” a mom.
I wanted to be me and a mom too.
So when it came to a diaper bag, I definitely wanted something that was functional but didn’t scream “I’m a mom!”. The Fawn Design diaper bag was the answer to all my prayers!
My diaper bag must have list:
- I wanted a backpack style bag
- My husband wanted a side bag
- I wanted something that didn’t look like a typical diaper bag
- It still needed to be just as functional as a regular diaper bag, not just a regular bag to be used as a diaper bag.
Why it’s a Must Have:
Fawn Design Diaper Bag Key Features:
- Vegan leather inside and out makes cleanup a breeze!
- 6 interior pockets and 6 exterior pockets means there is enough space to fit and organization everything baby needs.
- Detachable backpack straps means you can hide and tuck in the backpack straps when/if you want to use it as a side bag.
- Interchangeable messenger strap means you can completely take off the side strap if you prefer the backpack style or you can add a little more personality with different side straps!
- Convenient top grab handle makes storage easy and grabbing your bag on the go much easier too!
- So many amazing colors and styles to choose from means this is the most stylish diaper bag you’ll own! It doesn’t even look like a diaper bag.
Check out the Fawn Design Diaper Bag Here.
*Alternative Alert!* I know Fawn Design can be a little expensive so this bag is a very similar alternative for a fraction of the price! Check it out here!
4. The Short Years Baby Book
As a first time mom, I swore I would remember all the special moments and then a few years and another baby later, I realized just how wrong I was!
I couldn’t believe truly how much I had forgotten as the years went on! Or what stories I would mix up between kids, so I knew with my second I needed to keep a good baby book for all those special memories.
However, I had tried other baby books in the past and for different reasons they didn’t exactly work out.
The problem with other baby memory books:
Every other baby memory book either had to be filled in after baby’s first year, so I could get all the pictures and stories printed together. Which meant I would have to keep a journal of all the stories and then transfer them over when I was ready to print my book.
Or I could fill in the baby book as I went but that meant I had to fill it in by hand and physically print of photos to add into the book. And knowing me, that just wasn’t going to happen.
Why The Short Years Books are a must have:
- If you want a baby book that is beautiful and modern not scrapbook-y
- You want a place for stories and images all printed beautifully together
- You want to be able to fill in the special moments as you go and not all at the end of baby’s first year.
- You get to do it all from the app on your phone and chapters are printed and shipped to you as you go!
- Plus all printing and shipping is already included in the cost of the book!
I made a huge mistake not having a baby book with my first and still regret it as I’m still trying to fill one out for him retroactively!
Download the free Short Years Books app and start filling out your baby’s book now just to see if you like it, (you will!) and then you can order later and get those chapters sent to you right then!
Seriously, just behind the Owlet smart sock, this baby book is my #2 most loved baby must have item! Every mom should have one!
I did a complete review of The Short Years Baby Books along with a video, you can read that here!
Check out The Short Years Baby Books here.
5. Portable & Recharging Breast Pump
I wish I had a portable and recharging breast pump with my first two kids! Ugh how I hated being stuck to a wall in one spot!
Not being able to do really anything while pumping was a major reason why I stopped breastfeeding before hitting a year.
For me to keep up my supply and to have a small storage of milk in the freezer, I had to pump regularly. But as a new mom, you don’t have time to waste just sitting on the couch for an hour at a time throughout the day.
Why it’s a must have:
Switching to a portable breast pump meant I could do laundry or dishes while pumping. I could drive while pumping, or be walking around the park while pumping!
It truly opened a whole new world!
However I did make the mistake of getting a battery powered pump instead of a recharging pump. I had to switch out the 6 AA batteries every 2 days which got pretty expensive very quickly.
Meanwhile my sister who had a baby right when I did got the rechargable version that even clipped onto her pants which was a huge gamechanger!
A portable recharging pump is the only way to go! You’ll regret it if you don’t!
6. Hands Free Pumping Bra
So unless you opted for the Willow or Elvie portable breast pumps that fit into your regular bra, you’ll need a hands free pumping bra or your portable pump is useless!
This hands free pumping bra is also a nursing bra in one! I Recommend having a few that you can rotate through so you are always ready to pump or nurse at any time!
Why it’s a must have:
A pumping bra was something I didn’t even think about until I already had my portable pump and realized I still needed something to hold the flanges in place. So make sure you can actually be hands free while pumping and snag a good pumping bra.
This one is a great price and has awesome reviews! I highly recommend!
Check out this hands free pumping bra here.
7. Carseat Nursing Cover
It’s a two in one! It’s a carseat cover and a nursing cover!
I thought this was genius when I saw it. It puts two products in one and eliminates clutter! I love that I don’t have to carry around a nursing cover in my diaper bag and it’s just there when I need it.
Why it’s a must have:
Even if you don’t use a nursing cover or don’t breastfeed, I love this style of carseat cover the best. I just feel like it blocks out all the light but stays close to the carseat so it doesn’t blow all over the place or get stuck in the car doors.
I’ve also found that since there isn’t a slit or curtain for people to peek in to see your baby, they usually wont try. I was so surprised by how many strangers would swipe my cover out of the way to see my new baby in passing!
Since there isn’t a quick way to peek at baby, I just keep the carseat’s shade up to block the small hole in the top and wa-lah! No more nosey strangers!
I’ve also found that I like this style of nursing cover best.
Since it is a circle, it covers all around (again, hard with the “curtain” covers) and can even be placed under my armpits to still cover while giving me full use of my hands which is awesome when I’m pumping in public.
Something to think about is getting a dark color. It blocks out the light better for baby but can also make nursing a little more hot when nursing outside in the sunlight. Just something to keep in mind!
Check out the carseat nursing cover here.
8. Good Nursing Bras
If you plan on breastfeeding then you need a few good nursing bras. A regular bra won’t allow you to quickly and comfortably breastfeed at any time to make sure you find a good nursing bra that fits your needs.
This one is purely my opinion, but as a smaller chested woman who loves bralettes and hates real bras, these bras are my absolute favorite to wear while nursing (besides the pumping bra listed in #6.).
These are the Amilia Women’s Basic Solid Cami Spaghetti Double Layer Crop Tank Tops from Amazon and yeah, they technically aren’t even bras but they are so soft and work as the perfect bralette for me!
I love wearing bralettes and these ones have the perfect amount of stretch to stretch comfortably under your breast to breastfeed. They are so stretchy and comfy that you don’t even notice that you have anything on.
You can simply stretch it down to feed and pull it right back in place after. So if you also don’t like wearing a normal bra try these! I bet they’ll replace your regular bra along with all your nursing bras!
Either way, snagging a good nursing bra that you like is a must have for a new mama!
Check out these bralettes here.
9. These Target Pj Pants
I only discovered these Stars Above lounger pants after my 3rd baby and I was instantly obsessed! I’m literally wearing them right now typing this while 32 weeks prego with my 4th kid!
After you have a baby all you want is a little comfort. You’ll be half naked half the time between feedings and healing so having comfy and functional clothes to wear is a top priority.
These pants hit all the marks!
Why they’re a must have:
- They are super soft and cozy, seriously the best thing to ever touch your skin!
- They’re stretchy and hang perfectly so you never feel restricted.
- But they’re also breathable too! So no dying of heat from breastfeeding or your postpartum hormones going crazy!
Somehow these pants know how to keep you nice and cozy when you need it but can also cool you down in seconds with just a quick walk to the other room. Exactly what you need postpartum!
Even better, they have a matching long sleeve top made from the same material so you can stay cozy from top to bottom!
Seriously, you’ll live in these pants. After I had my baby, I went back and bought two more in different colors so I could wear nothing but these pants for months postpartum!
Check out the Stars Above Lounger Pants here.
10. Baby Swing/Bouncer combo
Okay, in full transparency I actually got this with my first but I cannot imaging having babies without it! Which is why it is here on my must haves list.
My babies live in this swing for at least the first weeks maybe even months of life. They are either asleep in their bassinet, doing tummy time, being fed, or in this swing/bouncer combo.
Why it’s a must have:
- The swing is great for soothing for baby
- It has built in vibration option to soothe baby
- It can be detached from the swing base and used as a bouncer so you can take baby anywhere you are.
What I truly love about a bouncer swing combo is the fact that it can be a swing when you want it to be, but you can detach the bouncer part to take baby with you anywhere you need to go.
It’s the perfect portable chair for baby when you are doing tasks around the house and need to keep an eye on your little. It also keeps them up off the floor away from pets or even siblings who might not notice them and trip over them.
My babies all loved a swing so a swing in general is a must have for me, but it’s so worth it to have the swing bouncer combo! There’s just so much more you can do with both.
Check out this baby swing/bouncer combo here.
11. Built in Hand Covers
Listen when I tell you built in hand covers > separate hand covers.
I cannot stand the separate hand covers. Yes, they are helpful when you want your baby to wear a specific outfit that doesn’t already have them built in but hey are a pain and look really tacky.
Why they’re a must have:
In my experience the separate hand covers slip off and can cause irritation to your little one’s wrists from moving and rubbing all day. I don’t want my babies to scratch themselves but I also don’t want them to have ouchie wrists either.
Just get onesies or tops that have the hand covers built in. Then you don’t have to worry about them slipping off (because they do!) or causing irritation.
I can’t tell you how many times my first son’s hand cover would slip off during a nap and I’d find a nice new scratch right down his face! I always felt so bad. You don’t have to worry about them coming off when they’re a part of the shirt!
Plus they just look better with the separate ones anyway. No more ping-pong paddles for hands!
These onesies from Loved Baby are my absolute favorite because they are so soft and look so cute too! All but my first son came home in one of these onesies, learned my lesson quick.
Also Gerber has a big pack of white body suits with hand covers that were a life saver for us! You can get those here.
Check out these Loved Baby Onesies with hand covers here!
Bonus!: The Doona Carseat Stroller
The Doona Carseat Stroller is a bonus on this list because I do not actually own this one yet, but since I first laid eyes on it after having my first son, I have lusted over it!
I cannot tell you how many times in the past 5 years since having my first have I wished I had this carseat stroller! At least hundreds of times.
Why it’s a must have:
What is so great about the Doona you ask? Well, it is a carseat that transforms into a stroller all while baby is snuggly strapped in!
Think of going into a store without disturbing your sleeping baby or heading into an event that doesn’t allow strollers but allows carseats, or those frequent times when you don’t want to haul a huge stroller in somewhere but not having to carry the massive carseat would be really helpful!
I have so many friends who have the Doona, and I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t adore theirs.
What held me back
The only reason I haven’t bit the bullet already is how much it cost and the fact that I have a bunch of littles now.
So in the beginning, honestly, it was just too expensive.
The Doona ranges from about $55o to about $650+ and that just wasn’t in our price range when I had my first baby or even my second baby.
Also by the time I had my second I already owned a stroller so it made investing in another one especially this one even harder. I remember thinking if I was going to get another stroller, the smarter decision would be to get a double stroller since I had two kids now. Which is exactly what I ended up doing.
As my family grew it made justifying an expensive stroller that only fit one kid harder and harder! But I would still constantly find myself in situations where I would say, “man, that Doona stroller would be really nice right now!”.
Get it with your first!
It’s so much easier to justify a more expensive baby product when all your other babies will get use out of it!
So here I am again about the have my 4th and final child again debating if I should just get it! I know I would love it but I’m just kicking myself now for not getting it sooner.
I’ve been searching on Facebook and other platforms just keeping an eye on second hand Doonas (you know, justifying $300 for one kid is easier than $550 right?) going back and forth like I did with my other babies.
In the end I really wish I would have just gotten it with my first or at least my second! Especially since second hand ones are selling really high! So you can get most of your money back when you’re done with it too!
My advice for you, if you can afford it, snag the Doona with your first kid! I wish I had, and I haven’t met anyone who regrets their Doona purchase yet!
My Must Have Baby Products Final Thoughts:
These are the 11 must have baby products that I could not live without along with one I wish I had with all my babies!
Whenever I talk to other moms, these are the products I recommend and cannot stop talking about. So if you’re a new mama or soon to be one these are the products you need!
And more my veteran moms, are there any products I missed that you absolutely can’t live without? Let me know!
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After becoming a stay-at-home mom, I felt like I had lost myself. I had no control over my life, no interests or hobbies and my husband was out progressing in life while I was at home stagnant.
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