The ULTIMATE list of MUST HAVE baby items (for new moms)

by Ally | Smart Simple Mom
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new mom must haves

Preparing for a new baby can be really stressful. 

There are SO many products out there, it is impossible to know when to save, when to splurge, what is necessary, and what is a waste of money!

 It's also really tough to put together a quality baby registry when you have no idea what you want or need. 

Which is why I created this list, to help you save time and money when stocking up on your baby items! Forget the hours of research, avoid learning by trial and error, because I've done it all for you!


Sit back, relax and enjoy the new mom life 🙂

If there is only one thing you buy on this entire list, it should be this one. 

I've tried swaddle blankets, velcro swaddles, but this one blows the others out of the water.

Swaddling is so important in the early stages for making your little one feel safe and secure. 

A good swaddle could be the difference between a fussy baby and actual sleep. Trust me, it's worth it.

Pack 'N Play

Graco Pack 'N Play

Pack 'N Plays are so versatile. You can use them throughout many different stages as a portable crib, a playpen, or even a bassinet. 

I couldn't bring myself to buy a separate bassinet that would only be used for a couple months. 

Multi-use items are the way to go, and this one is amazing! It's also super easy to pack up and bring with you anywhere!

A swing comes in handy when you need a break from holding the baby. 

Sometimes (most of the time) laying them somewhere flat or stationary doesn't do the trick for a squirmy baby. 

This swing has saved my arms (and sanity) on several occasions. You can adjust the speed of the swing, and it even has soothing music options.

Babies grow extremely fast. You blink and they go from newborn clothes to 3 months, & before you know it they're in 6 months clothing. 

The trend continues for the first year & as cute as all the baby clothes are, my go-to was a plain white onesie. 

I got the cute outfits for taking pictures and going out etc. but babies have blow- outs and spit up situations on the regular. 

You end up changing their outfit upwards of 3 times a day! Why waste your money on that many outfits when they grow out of them SO FAST?! 

Also, the white onesies are much easier to bleach & get stains out of, because there will be stains. Lots of stains.

Speaking of growing up fast, these are a must! 

Without these stickers as a reminder to document their growth each month, I would have missed the gradual changes they go through. 

I set a reminder in my phone to take a picture in the same location each month, and at 1 year I put them all together. 

I was SO glad I did this because it is such a special keepsake!

Vitamin D Drops

Baby D Drops

At a pretty early stage, your pediatrician will recommend giving your baby Vitamin D drops as a supplement. 

These are the ones that worked best for us. Super easy to use, you only need a few drops and it never upset their stomach.

Neither of my kids really took to pacifiers. 

We tried all different shapes and sizes but they were just never really interested. 

You would think this is a good thing, which I guess it is in the long run...but when you have a fussy baby that wants to suck even after being fed, a paci can be a lifesaver. 

Even though my kids didn't get attached to pacifiers, they still both loved their Wubba Nub. 

It was the only one they would occasionally use. 

They have a cute stuffed animal attached, which helps weigh it down and prevent it from constantly falling out.

We tried a few different styles of tubs and found this one to be our favorite. 

It just so happens to be the most affordable too! Score! 

This one is sturdy enough to keep them supported, soft enough for them to be comfortable, insanely easy to clean and even has a little hook to hang it up when you're done!

A car mirror is a great way to keep your baby entertained during car rides. 

There's nothing worse than a crying baby while driving, but this mirror is usually enough to keep them happy and distracted. 

Also, I loved being able to see their face through my rear view mirror to make sure they were okay.

Nasal Aspirator

The Nose Frida

Okay, so my kids never really got sick as newborns. 

Even as babies, I think maybe once? 

I never found this necessary for babies, unless you have one that is constantly sick. 

This did, however, come in very handy for us a little later down the road when they got a stuffy nose or were congested. 

The bulb syringes they give you at the hospital are basically worthless (not to mention impossible to clean). 

The concept of the Nose Frida is pretty terrifying, but rest assured you will NOT get any mucus in your mouth, I promise! 

It really does work better than anything else.

I love this diaper bag for so many reasons! 

I wanted a cute bag that was unisex so my husband wouldn't be embarrassed carrying it. 

I wanted one large enough to hold all of our stuff, not just the babies, and I wanted it to be durable and easy to wash. 

This one checks all the boxes! Plus, you can even get it monogrammed!

A sound machine is a no-brainer if you want your baby to be able to sleep through noise. 

I did not want to have to tip-toe around my house while the baby is sleeping. 

It is also very soothing for babies because it mimics the sounds they heard in utero. 

I love the Hatch for everyday use. 

It doubles as a nightlight & can be controlled through an app on my phone. 

We also use a more basic and affordable one that we bring whenever we travel. Both work great!

This stroller is so amazing! It is heavy duty and extremely durable, but it handles like a dream. 

I can literally push this thing with one pinky finger. 

I also love the adjustable handlebar, because as a taller person it is rare that I find one high enough. 

With lower handlebars, I literally am hunched over while pushing., which is a nightmare.

Having a click-in car seat is an absolute necessity. 

Babies sleep a ton, & the thought of having to wake them up every time you go in and out of the car or stroller is terrifying. 

It also makes it easier when using multiple cars, because you can just buy an additional base rather than a separate car seat for every car. 

It also has an adapter for the B.O.B. stroller where you can just click it in.

Nursing/Car Seat Cover

Milk Snob Car Seat Canopy

Another multi-purpose item! Yes! 

This nursing cover doubles as a car seat canopy. 

It is incredibly soft, stretchy, easily machine washable and so handy! 

It's wonderful to shield your little one from the sun, crowds of people and also works great as a nursing cover!

This hook is awesome on your stroller for carrying your purse, shopping bags, groceries, you name it!

I think it's pretty obvious that you will need a crib. 

However, if you can get a quality convertible crib it will save you from having to buy a toddler bed down the road! 

Graco is a great brand, and this crib is pretty amazing.

Soft and comfortable crib sheets are harder to find than you think! 

These ones are the perfect shade of light blue or navy blue, have a ton of other colors to choose from, and are INCREDIBLY soft! 

Oh, and they are dirt cheap. WINNING!

There are so many different kinds of diapers to choose from, and everyone has a different preference! 

I truly feel that it varies from kid to kid. 

You really need to just test out different kinds and find out which ones work best for your child. 

That is why the diaper dabbler is so AMAZING! 

You get a variety pack of all different brands that range from eco-friendly to store brand, etc. 

You get an affordable pack of different brands to help you test out which one works best for you. Absolutely GENIUS!

Zip-up sleepers are key. Nobody wants to be buttoning a million buttons in the middle of the night, only to realize that you missed one and have to start all over. 

Zippers are the way to go. Trust me. Carters is my favorite brand for these, affordable and high quality.

My favorite is the Wayfair Delta. It is extremely high quality, perfect height and very durable. 

The more affordable version we also enjoyed was using an Ikea dresser and turning it into a changing table. 

It was also the perfect height and has very large drawers. Both are quality options.

This changing pad is the best of the best. It is a firm foam-like material that is soft and comfortable without needing a changing pad cover. 

This makes it extremely easy to clean with a simple wipe down, rather than having to constantly be washing a fabric changing pad cover. 

Definitely worth it.

A diaper caddy is great to have on your changing table to hold all of the diaper changing essentials.

 It can also be used on the go, easy to grab and have everything you need in one place. Great for bringing in the car or even on trips. 

It's also really cute and looks great on your changing table.

Baby nails grow extremely fast! In the beginning, they're so thin you can just peel them off. 

Soon after you will need to trim them though. These ones are safe and easy to use.

Crib bumpers are not safe if you're using the old school kind. DO NOT use a regular crib bumper. 

It is linked to SIDS and does not allow proper air flow. I do, however, recommend a mesh crib bumper. These are safe. 

It only took one time where I heard my daughter screaming bloody murder as I rushed in and saw her poor little leg stuck in between the panels of her crib. 

That second I purchased this mesh crib bumper on Amazon & never looked back.

Bottles are obviously an important item, and these are by far my favorite. 

They have a vent system that reduces gas and helps with digestion.

 A gassy baby is a fussy baby, so avoiding this as much as possible is key!

Initially, I didn't think this would be necessary. 

That changed quickly after a few middle-of-the-night trips to the kitchen half asleep struggling to heat up a bottle to the right temperature without using a microwave. 

I quickly realized the bottle warmer was completely necessary.

Bottle Drying Rack

Boon Grass Drying Rack

As a new mom, you will be cleaning bottles left and right. 

Sometimes I feel like I am cleaning bottles all day long. With this, comes the need for a drying rack of course! 

This one is super cute and works like a charm!

Speaking of cleaning bottles all day, this bottle brush makes it much easier to do so! 

It is made specifically for these bottles and makes cleaning bottles a breeze.

Wipes. Another no-brainer. We have tried a ton of different kinds and ended up using the Kirkland Brand.

There are a few brands that are terrible, and a ton that are great!

These are great, they don't break apart (*cough* Huggies *cough*) and are very affordable.

Once your baby starts cutting teeth, this stuff will be your best friend. 

This works wonders on helping them with the pain. 

It's also nice to have after vaccines in case they develop a fever or have any pain at the injection site. 

There's nothing more heartbreaking than a baby in pain, so be sure to stock up on this stuff!! (And obviously follow the advice of your pediatrician for dosage.)

Early on, their digestive tracts are not fully developed. 

They are not as efficient at processing and digesting and in turn, will have gas. 

Depending on their moms diet and the amount of air they take in during feedings, that can range from a little gas up to severe painful gas. 

These drops are amazing, and start working within minutes! I always have some on hand just in case!

A thermometer is an absolute essential, but let's be real. 

No sick baby is letting you put a thermometer under their tongue, in their armpit or worse. 

Save yourself the battle and use a forehead thermometer. 

They work great and can even be used while they're sleeping for those nights when you need to keep a close eye on them without waking them up.

This one is simply heaven sent. Diaper rashes can take a turn for the worse extremely quickly. 

Any sign of redness, I apply some Destin and it's basically gone by the next diaper change. 

If a rash actually does break out, lather this stuff on like you're icing a cake. Seriously. It will be healed in no time! (You must use the maximum strength. Regular strength doesn't work nearly as well.)

Diaper Paste Applicator

BabyBum Diaper Cream Brush

Speaking of lathering on cream like you're icing a cake...do you really want to be doing that with your fingers?! 

I didn't think so. 

This little guy is super affordable, easy to clean, and even suctions to the table so it stays put! This one's a keeper.

These blankets are all the rage and for good reason! 

They are so soft, light, and airy. 

They are extremely versatile, super big, they wash really well and kids love th