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Becoming a parent is an exciting time, but it also comes with lots of anxiety, stress, and a major learning curve. How to care for a baby, making delivery plans, attending doctor’s visits, building a nursery, and choosing a name can feel like a full-time job (these parenting books are a great resource for new dads). When it comes to preparing for baby, it can feel overwhelming for first-time parents who are trying to navigate a new world of items. Thankfully, everything you need to make your home safe for baby is available on Amazon. We have covered several big-ticket baby must-haves in the past, including:
- Car Seats
- White Noise Machines
- Baby Tubs
- Diaper Bags
- Baby Monitors
- Play Yards
These aren’t the only items parents need to prepare for baby. In 2010, the USDA (via Parenting) reported that families spend an average of $12,000 in a child’s first year of life, which includes the products above, as well as diapers, wipes, formula, child care, and more. There are several high-tech baby gadgets that help ease the transition into parenthood as well as many basics that are important to stock a nursery with before baby arrives. But when it comes down to it, what do parents really need?
We’ve compiled a list of must-have items new parents need from Amazon. It may be a good idea to order some coffee as well.
1. Munchkin Step Diaper Pail
BEST DIAPER PAIL
A diaper pail may seem like a place where new parents can save some money and just use a regular open trash can they already have in the home. No. Diapers are stinky and they will sit either in your bedroom or your baby’s bedroom for a few days before being emptied. Keep the odor contained with a diaper-specific garbage pail, like the Munchkin Step Diaper Pail. It has a hands-free opening mechanism, a self-sealing system and comes with an Arm & Hammer baking soda puck to help eliminate odors.
2. Chicco Duo Deluxe Hybrid Baby Bottle Gift Set
BEST BOTTLE AND PACIFIER SET
Bottles are not a one-size-fits-all baby product. Many babies have a preference when it comes to bottles and parents may have to try a few styles before finding a good match. The Chicco Duo Deluxe Hybrid Baby Bottle Gift Set is a great starting point and could be a perfect fit for your little one. The glass-plastic hybrid is durable, safe, helps reduce colic, comes in a variety of sizes, and includes two pacifiers. SPY received a sample of the gift set and we were impressed by the quality of the bottles and their ability to not stain, discolor or hold the aftertaste of milk and formula.
3. Burt’s Bees Baby Bibs
New parents may think they don’t need to invest in bibs until their little one starts eating solids. They would be wrong. Drool starts way before solids and is a friend to no outfit. Keep babies and their clothes protected from spit-up and drool with the Burt’s Bees Baby Bibs, which are soft and offer ample protection. We also like that their wide, over-the-head opening means no loud Velcro closures that can wake a sleeping baby or stick to clothes in the washing machine.
4. Simple Joys by Carter’s Unisex Babies’ Flannel Receiving Blankets
BEST MULTI-USE BLANKET
Anytime you can use a single product for multiple purposes, it’s a win. That’s why we like the Simple Joys by Carter’s Unisex Babies’ Flannel Receiving Blankets. These soft cotton blankets can create a barrier between baby and a soft floor, keep baby warm during walks in the stroller, swaddle baby when it’s time to sleep and the flannel style of the blanket is great for use as a burp cloth. These blankets are worth taking up precious real estate in your diaper bag.
5. Fansidi Electric Baby Nail File
BEST NAIL FILE
Maybe there are some parents who have mastered the art of using baby nail clippers without drawing a pint of blood. We are not those parents. For everyone else, save the tears (yours and the baby) and buy an electric baby nail file. The Fansidi file comes with pads that are safe for newborns, toddlers, and adults and makes tripping nails a fast and painless task.
6. Simple Joys by Carter’s Unisex Babies’ 8-Piece Towel and Washcloth Set
BEST BATH SET
You likely already have towels, but if you don’t have washcloths, they are another must-have for babies. Babies shouldn’t be submerged in water until their umbilical cord falls off, which means sponge baths for at least the first few weeks of their life. Once they can use a baby tub, washcloths make it easier to get baby clean. They also help give baby a sponge bath after a major spit-up or blow-out session when there isn’t time for a bath. We like this set from Carter’s because it comes with five washcloths, one printed towel, and two hooded towels. Do babies really need hooded towels? No. Do they look super-duper cute in them? Definitely.
7. Munchkin Bluetooth Enabled Lightweight Baby Swing
If your budget permits, a baby swing can be a huge help for new parents. Swings provide a safe space for parents to put baby down and the elevated angle is comfortable for babies with reflux issues. Many swings come with soothing features, including music and rocking motions. At SPY, we tried the Munchkin Bluetooth Enabled Lightweight Baby Swing and liked the soft but supportive cushioning, the digital tough display for music and speed, and the wide base for added safety.
8. Love To Dream Swaddle UP
We aren’t going to say that it’s impossible to swaddle a baby with a blanket, but you know how it can be difficult to get your burrito wrapped tight enough that your food doesn’t fall out? Swaddling a baby is harder than that, especially when you’re trying to do it at 3 a.m. and going on no sleep. That’s why we recommend Velcro or zippered swaddles, like the Love To Dream Swaddle UP, which makes swaddling easy.
9. My Brest Friend Deluxe Nursing Pillow
BEST NURSING PILLOW
Whether your baby is breastfed or bottle-fed, a nursing pillow is a great feeding aide that gives baby and parent proper support. Not only are nursing pillows helpful for eating, but they can also provide added support when the baby is being held and catching a nap on grandma. The My Brest Friend can also help ease the transition to tummy time when used as a prop under parental supervision.
10. Oogiebear Nose and Ear Gadget
BEST NOSE CLEANER
We cannot stress this enough — anything that helps parents clean out their baby’s nose quickly and efficiently is worth its weight in gold. The Oogiebear will quickly become a new parent’s favorite gadget when their little one gets their first boogie. We recommend buying two and keeping one on the changing table and one in the diaper bag — trust us!
11. LÍLLÉbaby Complete All Seasons Ergonomic 6-in-1 Baby Carrier
Whether you opt for a sling-style carrier, a soft wrap, or a more robust option like the LÍLLÉbaby Complete, a carrier is a great product for new parents. It can be used around the house for baby’s who don’t like to be put down and it makes travel easier (leave the bulky stroller at home). Carriers have a ton of added benefits, like giving new parents an ergonomically stable workout that won’t hurt their back (10-pound babies get heavy fast) and keeping prying strangers and their germs away from your newborn. It’s much more difficult for random people on the street to touch your baby when your little one is strapped to you.
12. Simple Joys by Carter’s Unisex Babies’ Neutral Sleep and Play
Buying cute outfits for baby is fun, but in reality, most babies spend their nights and their days in pajamas. Frequent spit-ups and blow-outs can require multiple outfit changes each day, which is why gifting a new parent a pack of onesie pajamas will be more useful than a tiny pair of jeans and a button-down. If you really want to impress the parents, stay away from buttons and look for onesies that either have a top and bottom zip or zip from the bottom like the Simple Joys by Carter’s Unisex Babies’ Neutral Sleep and Play. Bottom zippers mean the top half of baby stays warm and cozy during diaper changes.
13. Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment
BEST MULTI-USE CREAM
When dealing with rashes, dry skin, chapped lips, and small cuts, Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment is a skin saver for both baby and parents. It won’t irritate sensitive skin, there’s no odor that will bother babies or parents, and it’s made without parabens or dye.
14. Skip Hop Baby Changing Pad
BEST CHANGING PAD
A changing pad may seem like an unnecessary expense until new parents realize just how often they are going to be changing their baby. Suddenly, paying for a safe, comfortable spot that is easy to wipe down makes sense. Parents can go two ways with changing pads. There’s the firmer option, like the Skip Hop Baby Changing Pad. It’s not as padded as other changing pads and may be a bit short for toddlers, but it’s easy to wipe down and comes with a mobile that helps distract baby during diaper changes. There are also larger, softer changing pads that may be a bit more comfortable for baby, but these require changing pad covers, which have to be washed (diaper hack — put down puppy pads instead). Both options work and come down to personal preference, just make sure you create a comfortable diaper changing space for yourself and your baby.
15. Putska Baby Diaper Caddy Organizer
BEST DIAPER CADDY
Like a diaper pad, a diaper caddy may seem like an unnecessary expense until parents realize how much time they’ll be spending at their changing station. Having wipes, creams, diapers, and other small items in an easy-to-reach, organized caddy helps make diaper changes fast and efficient. The Putska Baby Diaper Caddy Organizer has moveable dividers that make it easy for parents to customize their caddy and small exterior pockets for added storage. Heavy-duty handles make it easy to move the Putska between rooms and carry it to your car for road trips.
16. 4moms mamaRoo Sleep Bassinet
Babies typically start in a bassinet before moving into a crib around the four-to-six-month mark. There are standard bassinet designs, like the HALO BassiNest Flex, a bedside sleeper like the Micka Mickey, or something with a few more bells and whistles, like the 4moms mamaRoo Sleep Bassinet. The 4moms is a more affordable take on the Snoo Smart Sleeper Baby Bassinet and offers several high-tech features, including five unique motions and four sounds that can be controlled via an app to help baby sleep. Whether it’s a crib or bassinet, a baby’s first bed should be in the same room as a parent since placement can significantly help reduce the chance of SIDs.
17. FridaBaby Quick-Read Digital Rectal Thermometer
Bad news, new parents. The most accurate way to get a baby’s temperature during their first year of life is through the rectum. The FridaBaby Quick-Read Digital Rectal Thermometer is designed to help make a tough job a little easier thanks to its fast digital readout, 10-temperature memory mode, water-resistant exterior for easy cleaning, and a stopper that ensures the thermometer won’t be inserted too far. Plus, if you’re little one is constipated, taking their temperature rectally could help loosen things up. Just be armed and ready with a diaper.
18. Fisher-Price Rainforest Music Lights Deluxe Gym
A play mat is the best first toy for a newborn. It’s a safe, age-appropriate space for babies to explore shapes and sounds and it works well for tummy time, which is important for developing neck strength. We like the Fisher-Price Rainforest Music Lights Deluxe Gym, which has a mirror for babies to see themselves, a crinkle bottom that little ones love, several hanging toys to practice their hand-eye coordination, and a plastic bird that plays music. The soft mat is also easy to wipe clean and can be machine washed.
19. Shynerk Baby Car Mirror
BEST CAR MIRROR
Babies should be rear-facing in their car seat at least until the age of 2, which means parents are going to need a mirror to see their little one for at least the first two years of their life. A baby car mirror is a must-have. It helps the driver safely keep an eye on their little one and check whether they’re asleep, awake, and in some cases, what is causing their meltdown on the highway. For parents who do a lot of driving a night, it’s worth it to splurge on a more expensive option with lights, such as the Munchkin Brica Night Light Pivot Baby In-Sight Wide-Angle Adjustable Car Mirror.
20. Willway Infant Baby Spiral Plush Toy
BEST TRAVEL TOY
Plush toys with different textures, including items that crinkle or have plastic pieces that can make a noise when shaken, are a great way to entertain baby. Spiral toys like the Willway Infant Baby Spiral Plush Toy are ideal because they can be used at home and on the go. Let baby play while lounging on their playmat or wind the toy around a car seat, bouncer chair, stroller, or crib to give your little one something to look at and engage with as they grow.
21. Guess How Much I Love You Activity Toy for Babies
It may seem silly to read books to a newborn but understanding sounds and the rhythm of words can help babies develop language skills. Starting a sleep routine early also helps babies learn when it’s time to sleep and reading is an easy step to implement at naptime and bedtime. Soft, crinkle books like this version of the children’s classic “Guess How Much I Love You” is a great option because it also doubles as a teething toy and comes with a C-clip for connecting to car seats and strollers for naps on the go.