9 Must-Have Baby Registry Items (And 5 to Avoid)

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baby carrier - baby registry must haves

Do we really need all this stuff?

The world is filled with products to make parenting easier, so you’ve got to be wondering which baby registry items are must-have and which are best avoided if you’re having a baby, thinking of having a baby, or know someone who’s having a baby.

We asked well-seasoned and newbie moms about the products they absolutely couldn’t live without, along with all the gifts they regret ever asking for. What did they say?

Read on for our list of  “must haves” and “don’t bothers”!

9 baby products to definitely have on your registry:

1. Stroller.

baby registry must haves — amber with baby in stroller

It’s a big investment, but strollers make traveling around with your baby SO much more convenient. They are a pretty big ask for a registry as they can be expensive, but don’t let that deter you from adding a nice stroller to the list. Often, multiple people may want to go in together and give the stroller as a group gift to lower their individual expense.

💰💰💰 Baby Jogger City Select $530 |💰💰 Graco FastAction $300 |💰 Summer Infant 3D Tote $106

“Some blogs say that strollers aren’t worth it, but I totally disagree. I think they have a ton of value, especially if you’re having more than one kid. It’s nice to get one that’s light and easy to get into the car! I love my stroller!” — Kelly

“A stroller is an absolute MUST for any active mamma. I love my jogger as it’s newborn friendly now with the car seat and will continue to be functional through my little guy’s toddler years! PLUS, it’s heavy duty!” — Amber

2. Nursing pillow.

baby registry must-have items include this U-Shaped BoppyThis u-shaped pillow is probably one of the most functional baby products out there! Aside from providing support to your baby in a number of positions, you can buy a slipcover for the pillow that zips off for easy washing. They also come is a wide variety of colors and patterns!

💰💰 Boppy $39.99 |💰💰 Leachco Cuddle-U $39.99 |💰 My Brest Friend $34.95

Boppy = GOLD! I love this for breastfeeding, tummy time, bottle feeding, etc. It’s just the best multi-purpose baby tool!” — Amber

“I bought a My Brest Friend from a flea market for $5, and it has been one of my absolute most valuable purchases. Dollar for dollar, it has outstripped every other baby-related purchase. I have brought this pillow on 13+ hour plane rides, used it to nurse in the front seat of my car while making a pit stop on a road trip, and use it six times a day every day at home. It helps me position my baby in a way I can stand without my arms getting tired or worrying about pillows and blankets slipping from underneath me. I have had an extremely difficult and painful breastfeeding experience, and I would not have been able to continue if I hadn’t had this pillow.” — Virginia

“I found the Leacho pillow to be better than the Boppy pillows for nursing. It is thicker, so the baby will be raised up a bit higher. This is really nice if you’ve had a c-section. I also find this one to be better at support a larger/older baby because of the bigger size.” — Erica

3. Diaper bag.

baby registry must have items to register for include this skip hop diaper bag

Heading out for the day with a baby can feel like packing for an extended weekend trip. That’s why having a bag that keeps you organized, comfortable, and generally hands-free is SO necessary! There are many styles and colors available, you’re bound to find a design that’s perfect for you.

💰💰💰 Bag Nation Diaper Bag $66 |💰💰 Skip Hop Diaper Messenger bag $46 |💰 HaloVa Diaper Bag $36

These bags are a game changer. You’ll stay so organized and they have awesome stroller straps, which are padded so they seriously feel like my Vera Bradley backpack. It’s been the best one I’ve had so far — my youngest is 18 months now and it is still going strong. Really no signs of wear at all. And, believe me, I am not gentle with it. Best diaper bag ever!

I also have a diaper clutch. It’s a little bag just for diapers/wipes which makes them so easy to find in the diaper bag, plus it has its own handle so it’s super easy to carry it alone, or just pull it out for changes and not have to tote the whole bag.”— Stacy

“I love our backpack diaper bag. It’s so easy for me when I am out and about by myself and have to carry the diaper bag, car seat, etc. Plus, there’s so much room for stuff in it!!” — Vanessa

4. Baby carrier.

ergo baby carrier

When you bring your baby home, you’ll likely want to snuggle that little bundle of joy without interruption. However, we all know that life loves interrupting your favorite moments. With a baby carrier, you can go about your day whether it’s around the house or running around town. It’s a win-win for everyone!

💰💰💰 Ergobaby Mesh Carrier $160 |💰💰 LILLEbaby Six-Position Carrier $140 |💰 Boda Baby Cloth Carrier $40

“Back when my kiddos were babies (my youngest is 11 now! 😢), I literally carried them around in a baby sling ALL DAY LONG. They were literally always attached to me. It was such a long time ago, so I am not positive on the brand, but I think it was similar to these HotSling’s Baby Slings. Personally, I love that these slings are so simple to use and keep the baby so close to you, other carriers seem so complicated to me (but maybe I often think things are complicated? 🤔). When I bought mine, they had different size options and the one I purchased fit perfectly – no adjusted necessary. I also loved that I could easily breastfeed when I was out and about as there was enough material to easily cover myself.” — Collin

“I love the Baby Ergo Mesh carrier with the infant insert. It doesn’t get overly hot because of the mesh fabric. Plus it’s a lifesaver to have free hands around the house while still feeling like you’re snuggling the baby.” — Kelly

“LOVE LOVE LOVE my cloth baby carrier. It’s the perfect combo for a fussy baby and a mamma that needs to get some stuff done. It’s like a magic cloth, puts him right to sleep.” — Amber

5. Swing or Bouncer.

baby registry must have items to register for include this mamaroo swingAfter rocking your baby until you’ve lost all feeling in your arms, a rocking swing will be your savior. They gently rock your baby and can mimic movements like riding in the car, bouncing on your lap, and more! Even better, there are models on the market that can be controlled by your smartphone so you can change the setting without disturbing your baby.

💰💰💰 4moms Mamaroo Swing $220 |💰💰 Graco DuetConnect $95 |💰 Graco Simple Sway $70

baby registry must haves — baby bouncer seat

Similar to a swing, bouncers soothe your baby in a relaxing position, except they are a lot more portable! You can move them from room-to-room or bring them with you while you’re traveling. Many models also come with attachable play centers to keep your baby entertained.

If you don’t happen to get either item from your registry, don’t fret! A couple of Hip2Save team members have been able to find gently used items on the Facebook Marketplace — and at a steal!

💰💰💰 BabyBjorn Bouncer Seat $200 | 💰💰 Fisher-Price Deluxe Bouncer $60 |💰 Bright Starts Bouncer $22

“The Mamaroo Swings are the best. thing. ever! They have fantastic resale value — I actually bought mine on the Facebook Marketplace for $75 and sold it a year later when we were done with it for the same exact amount! Buying them retail costs more, but I honestly would pay for it.” — Stacy

“The BabyBjorn Bouncer Seat is our son’s favorite! I love that he is learning to control his motions since it is baby-powered. We like that we can watch him enjoy himself. The flatter setting allows us to easily bounce him to sleep in his swaddle before we move him to the crib. The fabric is easy to remove and wash, and it folds very flat when not in use.” — Nicholas

“This Bright Starts Bouncer is amazing for the price. It’s perfect for travel, fits easily in any suitcase. We initially bought it for travel, but I love it even more than our bulky swing / rocker seat we have at home.” — Natalie

6. Teether.

Banana Teether on Amazon

So your newborn won’t need this right away, but teethers are good to have on hand for when those tiny little teeth do start popping in. They come in all shapes, sizes, and designs so you’ll have no problem finding one that you and your baby love the most! Some even have soft silicone “bristles” that can act like a toothbrush to promote good hygiene habits early.

💰💰💰 Sophie The Giraffe $25 |💰💰 Baby Banana Toothbrush + Teether $8 |💰 Nuby Silicone Teethe-eez $4

“My baby LOVES this Banana Toothbrush teether! I bought it for him when he was 3 months old (he started teething around 2.5 months) but it was hard for him to hold things since he was just starting to grab. This banana teether was very easy for him to grasp and put in his own mouth.” — Melissa

“Every baby needs a Sophie Giraffe teething toy. I have given to each of my 3 grandchildren. It becomes an instant favorite. The smell and taste and softness of this toy is like non other. I highly recommend for your baby – it is the best I have found on the market. It is a little pricey but worth the money because of how it is so soothing and how your baby will be quickly attached and entertained by it.” Kippee

7. Bibs and burp cloths.

Bumkins baby bibs

Baby bibs and burp cloths are a necessity for any household with a little one. Bibs will help prevent your little one’s adorable outfits from getting sopping wet from formula, breastmilk, or spit up, which will save you an outfit change. Plus, as your baby grows and teething begins, your baby will become a drool machine, so you’ll want an absorbent bib that can soak up everything and dry quickly.

💰💰💰 OXO Roll Up Bib $13 each |💰💰 Bumkins Waterproof Baby Bib $5 each |💰 Daulia Bandana Drool Bibs $2 each

Aden Anais Burpy Bib

And, burp cloths are a must if you’re wanting to protecting your clothes from spit ups after feedings! A burp cloth can help spare your wardrobe – and keep you feeling and smelling fresh. If you’re just wanting to purchase one or the other, consider getting a Burpy Bib that acts as a bib and a burp cloth!

💰💰💰 Aden & Anais Burpy Bib $11 each |💰💰 Green Sprouts Muslin Burp Cloths 3-pack $7.15 each |💰 Gerber Gauze Diapers 5-pack $2.50 each

Bumkins are the greatest bib in the history of bibs! Through the last 12 years of babies and toddlers in our house (six kids spaced two years apart), these are the only bibs to last the test of time. We can wash them and wash them and wash them and they still look like new.”  Brook

“I am in love with the Aden & Anais bibs/burp cloths! My only wish is that they weren’t so darn expensive!! But these work sooo well! First off I like their size, they are huge! I also like that they are dual purpose, serving as either a bib or burp cloth, the only thing that separates it from one to the other, is a simple snap clasp in the back. These are also really thick for being muslin material.” — MC

8. Swaddle or Sleep Sack.

Halo SleepSack

A swaddle, sleep sack, or baby wrap is essentially a swaddle blanket that your baby can wear to keep them comfortable and safe at night. They are also great for helping keep your baby from scratching themselves. Plus, there is an array of different styles and materials out there!

💰💰💰 Love to Dream Swaddle Up $30 each |💰💰 Halo SleepSack Swaddle $22 each | SwaddleMe Pod $10 each

Our baby could get out of a swaddle (yes, including the velcro kind) from birth. We could not keep him swaddled, and his wiggling would wake him. We ordered the Love to Dream Swaddle Up on the recommendation of a friend and LOVED IT.” K

HALO SleepSack Swaddles were a lifesaver for me as a first time mom. We used them from birth until baby boy started rolling at 4 months, at which point we stopped and transitioned into the plain HALO SleepSacks.” — Emily

9. Baby monitor.

Infant Optics baby monitor

A reliable baby monitor ensures you’re able to safely and securely keep an eye on your baby during nap time, overnight, or any time you need to step away for a moment. There are a lot of baby monitors on the market with different features, including breathing monitoring, wi-fi capabilities, and apps that monitor baby using only your existing devices, like your phone, tablet, or even computer!

💰💰💰 Infant Optics Monitor $166 | 💰💰 Cocoon Cam Plus Monitor $150 |💰 VTech Audio Monitor $37

“I am a first time Mom and I was told I didn’t need a video monitor but they seemed so helpful so I did a TON of research for weeks and found the Infant Optics DXR-8 and thought it was the best fit for my needs. This monitor is absolutely AMAZING!”  Kristen

“The Infant Optics Monitor is an outstanding baby monitor! It has all the features we could want: pan, zoom, night vision, intercom. What I love most about this monitor is that the company stands behind their product and has excellent customer support.” — James

5 Baby products to definitely skip on your registry:

1. Diaper Genie.

baby registry must have items to register for do not include this munchkin diaper pail

In theory, a diaper pail makes sense, but in reality, they’re just a pain. As reported by our group of moms, the overpriced trash cans end up smelling (even diffusing foul diaper odors claims), and they require special trash bags. Worth the spot on your registry? We think not.

“Changing out the bag was the worst, so I gave up quickly.” — Angela

“I just repurposed grocery bags instead.” — Alana

“The diaper genie is useless (it’s an added cost because you have to buy special bags for it). I feel like it just creates fights of who’s going to change the bag of the gross diapers just sitting in there.” — Kelly

“I personally like the diaper genie because I can’t stand the house smelling like 💩 BUT it’s like it just sits in the bag and steams, so every time we open the lid, I swear I gag. So I could totally understand skipping it and reusing produce bags, grocery bags, etc.” — Stacy

“Waste of money. It takes up room in our nursery and it doesn’t really block the smell.” — Amber

2. Wipe warmer.

baby registry must have items to register for do not include this baby wipe warmer case

I get the idea behind the wipe warmer — what parent wouldn’t want their baby to feel their best when they’re getting cleaned up (in addition to not waking a sleepy baby with the shock of a cold wet wipe)? That said, this machine is just more trouble than it’s worth. Skip out on adding this to your list and replace it with something useful.

“It always dried out the wipes.” — Angela

“Who even has time to warm up baby wipes??” — Kelly

3. Baby shoes.

baby registry must have items to register for do not include this newborn and infant baby shoes

When browsing through baby clothes, teeny tiny adorable little shoes seem to steal the show. I mean, we can’t deny the heart eyes that happen when we see them. But don’t let the cuteness win you over. Even with your good intentions to show baby shoes off, you’re much more likely to forget you have them until they’ve already grown out of them.

“They are so cute but no baby needs shoes. They don’t walk and would just kick them off anyway!” — Kelly

4. Changing table.

baby registry must have items to register for do not include this baby changing table

This one might cause a bit of question because it seems absolutely necessary, right? That’s until you experience the day-to-day life with your new baby. Trust us — you’re not going to find it crucial to stop mid-play or mid-snuggle to relocate to your changing table to switch out a dirty diaper. All of the moms we talked to agreed that those moments just happen on the spot.

“I ended up changing my babies wherever it was most convenient just by laying down a diaper changing pad.” — Collin

“I never had a changing table and we’re all good!” — Alana

5. Bottle sanitizer.

baby registry must have items to register for do not include this baby bottle sanitizer

Don’t get us wrong, clean bottles are a must! But whatever method you end up using to get them clean isn’t quite as important as long as it gets the job done. Sure, the sanitizer will take some of the work out of it, but if you have a dishwasher that performs this same function, then going that route is just as good.

“All you really need is just soap and water. Or you could be lazy like me and wash bottles in the dishwasher on sanitize mode.” — Kelly

What have been your favorite baby gifts to get (or give)?

Please let us know in the comments below!

Join The Discussion

Comments 69

  1. Mrs. G

    Second time mom here- I agree to all of the above! Also, when they are little, focus on buying lots of comfy, easy clothes (leggings, onesies, pajamas with zippers…). The cute stuff is tempting but they rarely wear it if at all and it just gets stained. 🤷🏼‍♀️

    • MammaK

      I have to agree keep it simple sleepers is all my 3 kids wore until they could walk at about 9 months.

    • Elizabeth

      I kept my baby in zip up pajamas for like the first 6 months of her life because it was just more easier. It was also winter at that point. During the summer she wore mostly onesies. Now that she is walking I dress in leggings and shirts when we go out.

      With the diaper genie or similar you can use regular trash bags. Just look up diaper genie hack.

      I don’t always use my changing table but I do like it… I keep all of her diapering needs on it and when the dog is around I can put her up there instead of the dog trying to be on top of her on the floor

  2. emily

    I used swaddles with my kids and found it helped but transitioning from them once they could roll was a challenge. We love the zipadee zips and when we put both our kids in those after moving on from the swaddle, they slept so much better. They are pricey but I’ve used the same ones with two kids and they are still going strong. I found a couple at a kid 2 kid consignment store for much cheaper but I’d say for everyone’s ability to sleep it’s worth the money! They typically have a discount code as well so Google it before buying.

  3. 50ShadesofLipstick

    As always YMMV b/c some babies *love* being swaddled or put into a rocker/bouncer/swing and others absolutely hate them. So my advice is to definitely get just one swaddling blanket until you find out what your baby prefers, and to test a bouncer/swing/rocker out with baby in it before buying one!

  4. Gribz

    As a mother of 5, Aden&Anais swaddles are a must have! Also I have found the older traditional swings are a life saver, the new Mamaroo/rockaroo is a nightmare! Babies HATE them(speaking from experience and many other moms).

    • Abby

      I second that. My kids hated the mamaroo but loves the basic fisher price swings.

    • v

      My first loved his swing. Unfortunately, I bought one that only ran on batteries, so I went out and bought rechargable batteries. Sounds fine right, unless you have to wait for hours to let those batteries recharge.

  5. Katie

    Totally agree except the diaper genie! That thing is a must!!!

    • Mrs. G

      I hated that thing! 🤢Using a trash can and bags this time.

      • Betty

        You can keep everything else but I could never imagine a baby without a diaper genie. It was absolutely a life saver.

    • Alicia

      Agreed! We didn’t start using one until #2 came along and it’s now one of my favorite baby products! I swear I’m always in the middle of something when poop happens, so it’s super nice to be able to just toss the mast diaper in the pail and not worry about it. With just one kid in diapers now I probably only empty it once a week.

    • Debi

      Couldn’t imagine not having my diaper genie or changing table! Otherwise I agree!

      • Tess

        I was a nanny for many years with many , many babies along the way and one of my own.
        With this said I have 3 diaper genies.
        If they smell then your not changing it enough and over filling it!
        Also, Who wants to get a grocery bag from under the sink at 2 am and go all the way downstairs to throw it away? Not this mama!!

    • Ashley

      Agree! We have 2!!one upstairs and one down. Total must have!

  6. JB

    Great list except for changing table. This mother of four had a changing pad on a pottery barn like changing table(husband made it from catalog measurement). I loved the storage and found it handy when at home because everything I needed was stored there. It was bigger and more useful for storage than the table pictured. It was so sturdy we now use it as our downstairs TV stand. I agree that you will change diapers everywhere. I got proficient at changing them while they were standing. (Thank you Montessori Day care!), but a home base of operation is great.

  7. Laura

    A must are LOTS of onesies! My son lived in them when he was an infant.
    I have to disagree with avoiding the wipe warmer and changing table. It’s soothing for my son to have a warm wipe while cleaning him. I live in Texas, so I only use it for our colder months. I may be a weird mom for saying this, but since my son was born, I’ve only changed him on the changing table while at home. I don’t change him on a bed or on the floor, etc. The changing table is great because you have everything you need right at your finger tips. You never know when unexpected surprises pop up. 💩

  8. Snazzytea

    I have to laugh because I was ready to disagree with the list, but I agree 100%! I never had a swaddle, but LOVED my sleep sacks! I didn’t have to worry about blankets covering their sweet little faces while they slept!

  9. Jamie

    As a mom of 7 I agree with most everything except not needing a changing table. It is absolutely necessary to have a central place to change clothes and diapers. I do however think putting a changing pad on top of a short dresser is a more practical changing table and you can continue to use it long after your child is out of diapers.

    • Shannon

      Exactly what I did too! My kids are no longer babies and all the baby gear is gone but the dresser is still in use!!

    • animity

      Totally agree! Changing table is a MUST have for us too!

  10. Melinda P

    I don’t know, I had 5 kids and we had 2 changing tables – 1 upstairs, and 1 downstairs. I would absolutely relocate my baby to change him/her, because it was just better for me. They saved my back and my knees because having to change a diaper – especially a messy one – on the floor or on the couch was uncomfortable for me and my husband, required too much bending over and/or kneeling. We’re tall, though, with bad backs and knees, LOL, so maybe that’s why. I also changed diapers for 12 years straight, LOL, sometimes with 2 in diapers at a time. Containing a highly active diapered toddler to a changing table was sometimes beneficial. Also, changing tables are good storage areas for diapers, wipes, diaper creams, extra outfits so I didn’t have to go upstairs every time to get a change of clothes. So, just something to think about. FWIW, we never bought any changing tables, we got one as a hand me down from a friend, and the other on the curb (fresh coat of paint and it survived all 5 kids!), so I’d say if you want one, check with friends and Craigslist first!

    • Rachel

      I was thinking the same about the changing table. It saves my back every time. It’s excruciating changing a diaper on the floor or any other lower locations because of my back! Eeks!

      • Me

        We put a changing pad on the floor. I don’t have a bad back, I can’t imagine worrying about getting carpets dirty from forgetting to cover a little boy, and I don’t have to worry about a falling baby. So much of this advice is person dependent. We barely used a bully stroller, but used a cheap umbrella stroller daily.

        And while we skipped the diaper genie for the little one, I have an older child that still wets the bed. Diapers accumulate less frequently, and we got tired of the smell. I think my next task is to teach him how to change out the bag.

        My advice is to price things out and then shop used. Save the registry for things you don’t want to buy used like car seats, changing pads, and crib mattresses.

  11. Tina

    I would switch out the baby carrier and the changing table. I have a changing table upstairs and downstairs that I couldn’t live without. Between hand me downs and gifts we ended up with 3 different baby carriers. My baby hated all of them and we never used them.

  12. Sandy

    agree with most but its incomplete without the Nosefrida booger sucker. Amazing and a must!

    • Rachel

      True that! My baby got RSV and my pediatrician told me to go get one! 🤣 It was a life saver!!!

  13. Jess

    I bought a Brest Friend nursing pillow expecting to use it a lot, and I never used it once! So weird how everyone has different preferences 🙂 My daughter wanted to nurse around the clock, and I couldn’t bother with dragging the pillow everywhere or remembering where I last put it! The good thing is I bought it used for $10 then sold it for $10!

    • Mei

      I agree with this as a NOT. I really thought that this would be something that would be so useful, just wasn’t for me. Everyone is different and not one list will be all encompassing for everyone!

      • April

        Agree too. It was too much to keep the pillow with me along with a baby so it got left behind. We did use it for a few weeks to help him sit up but I’ll skip it next baby for sure.

  14. Jackie

    I agree with this amazing list except the bottle sterilizer. The problem with the dishwasher is that it usually stains the bottles and they don’t last as long. We had the Dr Browns microwave sterilizer and it was so easy and cheap also. I think they are only like $14 and you just put it in the microwave and it sterilizes them in like 3 min. They last longer and look like new longer.

  15. Erin

    Honestly, other than a crib, diapers and baby care products (wipes, baby wash, thermometer, bottles if needed, etc.), clothing (sleepers/onesies), and a car seat, babies don’t really need much! (And if we’re specifically talking about my first child, clothing might be up for debate! He was born in winter and yet the sweatiest baby ever. He slept only in tees for months because he’d sweat through anything heavier!) You’ll figure out the things that you really need (or that make your life better!) in time. My kids hated swings, but they slept well swaddled and liked baby wrap carriers (not so much the Baby Bjorn). Personally I loved my Skip Hop Duo diaper bag (and used it loooooong after my kids were out of diapers–and got compliments on it!) and my Sony baby monitor lasted forever, though neither of those are necessarily required . I didn’t bother with a stroller until my kids were out of their infant car seats, and I wish I had gotten a glider rocker with my first child. It all depends on what your day-to-day life with your baby looks like–and you can’t really predict til you get there, so I think it’s best to wait on almost everything except the true necessities.

    • Leslie

      I totally agree with Erin that even most of the things on the “must have” list are unnecessary. I adopted a sibling group of three so I went from zero kids to two in diapers and a wild 5 year old overnight. I had no gear at all when I got the children. Looking back, I had a cheap-o diaper bag from a thrift store, a crib (gifted to me by a friend), a folding stroller and good car seats for all three. I did buy a baby carrier, but ended up using an inexpensive ring sling more than the expensive Ergo. Save your money on most of this stuff and start a savings account for your baby instead.

  16. Krys

    My number one baby item to have is Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Hammock. Best product ever and has been a life saver. Sold on binxybaby or Amazon.

  17. Workaholic

    I’m okay with the majority of this list except the changing table. My back used to kill me after having to bend over the bed multiple times a day. Relocating a baby isn’t that hard. Thanks for the list and links!

  18. Jenn

    Agree with most, but we are happy to have a changing table. The slightly raised sides (and straps when needed lol) keep our son contained, plus it’s nice to be able to stand comfortably rather than leaning over. We have a free-standing one that holds a lot of stuff. We never used our baby carrier so that’s a personal preference item. For a rocker, we got an under-$30 bouncy chair that plays music. It was great for him to sit by me while I showered, cleaned, etc., and once he could hold a bottle he sat in it to eat. We have a Diaper Genie and only used the bags for a short time – we have one refill that we use to keep a flap-tie kitchen trash bag in place (YouTube has several videos on how to do it). After three years it only contains the smell for a few days, but it definitely makes a difference! Fortunately we’re only using diapers overnight now so it’s not as bad as it could be lol.

  19. Ashley

    We loved our changing table and actually still use it as a designated place to change our toddler.

    I HATED the boppy. I wasn’t a big girl but wasn’t very small either (about 185) and I felt like it never fit me right. A pillow works just fine and honestly I would much rather hold my child than prop him up.

    My most loved item was definitely my ring sling. Super easy to throw on or off, comfortable and useful!

    Also want to throw in an honorable mention for the Merlin magic suit. It made a huge difference in sleep for my son (and me) and gave me peace of mind that he couldn’t roll over in it.

    Every baby is every momma is different so what works for some others will hate.

  20. Mommyof71987

    As a momma of many a changing table was a must for us. We have dogs and with a baby laying them on the ground or couch was not feasible with the dogs poking around. Plus I like the added bonus of knowing where diapers, wipes, diaper cream where at all times. The only time I didn’t have a specific changer was when we had a dresser. We just laid a foam pad on top and turned it into a changing table. Everything else I agree with. 😀 Great post ladies!!!!!

  21. Valerie H

    I agree! We tried a diaper genie with our first and it sucked. It smelled and it cost so much to buy the special bags. It was so much cheaper and easier to buy those little bags (the exact same ones they sell to clean up dog poop) and put soiled diapers in those and tie them up. No mess and no smell! With swings and baby carriers I think it’s baby preference. My first hated both but my second loved them. Personally I hated baby wraps. I am very busty and they were never comfortable to wear. I just carried my babies in my arms. I had 2 boppies, one in the house and one in the car for on the go! Again being busty I needed one hand holding myself and one arm for the baby so the boppy helped support everyone, it was a life saver!

  22. Maddie

    Definitely a mom here who agrees about the changing table as a big NO – I have a basket in the living room, which is where we spend the majority of our time playing, that has diapers, wipes, diaper cream and a changing pad in it. I grab that and change our daughter wherever we are! We’re expecting our second and I won’t have time to leave the room to change the new baby in her room when my toddler is in the living room unsupervised – so the changing table was the biggest waste of $$ for us!

  23. Laura

    I agree w all the must haves but not the list of skips. I couldn’t live without my Diaper Genie! I’ve used the same one for 10 yrs (3 kids) and it’s such a lifesaver along with my changing table! Saves my back, knees and all surfaces when changing so many diapers!

  24. Jen

    We bought an L. L. Bean backpack to use as a diaper bag, and it was the best decision ever. My oldest is 4 now, and youngest is 2. It goes everywhere with us. The one we got has tons of pockets and compartments, to keep it organized. And the best part is, I can throw it on my back and forget about it – nothing sliding off my shoulder or taking up room in the cart or stroller. It’s awesome.

  25. LS

    I agree with most of the list except for the changing table and wipes warmer. I didn’t use mine every time I changed my kids, but I used it more often than not. It was centrally located in my house and had everything I needed, when I needed it. I also loved and used my wipes warmer faithfully. My kids were not a fan of the swing, but it’s something I don’t regret buying, bc my two nieces use it now, when they’re at my house and they like it, so it was a worthwhile purchase bc you just have to find out what your child will love and what they won’t love. I think this is a great list. But of course to each it’s own.

  26. Heidi Commerford

    My kids are 22 and 25 now, but I am another one that LOVED the changing table and used it all of the time.

  27. Sue

    ok, I’m not sure who wrote this but… there are a few things I disagree and agree with. First off I am highly qualified to say this. I have 5 kids (and 15 neices and nephews). Both boys and girls both breast fed and not. wipe warmer you do NOT need, stroller is a MUST. swaddlers are not necessary. All of my kids hated them and they are expensive. those chest carriers are great, but you don’t have to have one. Give your arms a work out. bottle sanitizers? nope not needed. The breast feeding pillow I have one they are stupid. I forced myself to use it because I spent money on it. just use a couch pillow, or bed pillow. The bumbo seat is awesome! BUY A DIAPER PAIL. just get the kind that does not take special bags. My dog likes dirty diapers he will get into the trashcan to get one. It is so nice not having my house stink with dirty diapers. Also a changing table is nice. I have used a desk and dresser as one. I’m not sure who would not like one. maybe it’s a waste if you are at work all day. I am a stay at home mom so the stuff I used got used a lot. These are my opinions my kids are doing great.

  28. Sue

    My daughter rarely used her Boppy, baby carrier, or swaddlers for my grandson. She received two diaper bags for shower gifts and quickly swapped them out for a diaper backpack instead, for free hands. One thing that was used a lot was a bottle warmer, especially when using the stash of milk that had been put in the freezer.

  29. Lissa

    I feel like I’m the only one who never used or liked bibs. I just never saw the point. LOL I used them once during an especially drool filled time with my kids front teeth and then they collected dust.

    I also use my changing tables every day still. I hate crouching over to change diapers and I like knowing I have everything in one spot. Easier for my husband too.

  30. Katrina

    As a mom of 3, born 1 year apart each, you guys hit the nail on the head here! I’d add to not worry about getting a specifically designed diaper bag, just use a backpack.

  31. Alese

    Interesting read! My #1 must haves are definitely a baby carrier (love love love lillebaby carriers) and baby swing. I also really loved our diaper genie! Didn’t have one with my first but received one with my 2nd and it was so great to have. Same with a changing table. Didn’t have one with my first, did with my 2nd and it was so convenient and nice to have that set spot for changing my little squirmy guy

  32. Ashley

    The boppy was the most useless thing we got.
    Boppy lounger on the other hand was a gift from the gods!

  33. Lina

    I disagree about the diaper genie….I have a 12, 6 and 9 month old. I will say the one I had with my oldest was not the best, but I think it held more which meant I didn’t change it as often. The one I have now is great, I smell it when I open it but that’s it. It just has to be changed like every 5 days. So much better than making sure I have grocery bags close by. Everyone has their own opinion but I love having a changing area………I actually just used a regular dresser and turned it into a changing table area so that all the stuff is together. That way I still have a dresser when the baby has outgrown it.

  34. Tina

    I agree with the comments about the Nose Frida — LOVE it! Our little one hated those snot bulbs, but tolerated the Nose Frida and eventually he thought it was a funny game to try to stick it up mom’s nose as well! Hahaha. 🙂

  35. Karen

    Disagree about baby carriers being a must-have item. I got caught up in the hype and bought one when I was pregnant, but only ended up using it 3 or 4 times. Definitely NOT a must-have item for me.

  36. Lindsey

    This was very interesting to read…especially the comments. As a mom of 6 kids ages 12 to baby, I have to say that my preferences are different than this list but that’s ok (I’ve never used most of the items on either list). Ultimately I chuckled my way through the comments because all I keep thinking is “first world problems.” So while funny, it’s also very sad that we live in a country where moms freely feel that most wants are needs, when in reality ALL babies need very little.
    I’m thankful to live in a country where all of these extras are available and also thankful to realize that not one of them is a need.

  37. Bee

    I think one important lesson I learned as a mom has been that each child has their own “must have” and “skip” items. I look at these lists and consumer reviews with that in mind. That being said, having a wrap carrier, changing table (we attached a changing pad to the 4 cube Ikea Kallax), disposable changing table liners, a nursing foot stool, the Nose Frieda, a white noise machine, and one piece outfits with a single zipper made our lives a lot more comfortable. We easily lived without a bouncer or monitor.

  38. MP

    I may be an odd one but I didn’t use bibs or burp cloths with my 9 children. My youngest is almost 1 & they were all breastfed. My milk supply was on the low end so they never over ate so they never spat up. I breastfeed very frequently…about every 2 hours day & night though.

  39. MP

    The best diaper bag is Ju Ju Be (I have the BFF but they’re all great). These diaper bags are superior because they’re coated with Teflon and I can just throw it in the washing machine & it keeps coming back like new unlike other diaper bags I’ve had in the past like the canvas type Skip Hop, cloth type Vera Bradley, or Coach bag that I’ve had.

  40. Sarah

    I’d exchange that stroller for a couple extra baby carriers. lol I had three babies and all three would not tolerate sitting in a stroller (and HATED the car/car seat) until toddlerhood (and then an umbrella or jogger was more convenient). That giant travel system I bought with my first was such a waste.

  41. Animity

    So funny how this is all so personalized. Changing table is MUST have for us. That way it all stays contained in one spot and easy to disinfect etc… You can get by without a bobby or nursing pillow though, hahaha.

  42. kgak38

    Every one and every baby is different. I had a Boppy and never used it with my eldest. The only time I used it with my youngest two was when they were still a little unsteady sitting up and I wanted something behind them in case they fell over backwards.

    All of my kids hated being swaddled so any type of swaddle was a waste of money. Same with teethers. My kids never really liked them and preferred to chew on their fingers or fists.

    We had a diaper genie (the arm and hammer version) from day 1 and used it all the time. We had more than one since we live in a multi-story house and two are still in use years later for pull-ups. We never had an issue with odors and bought the bags when they were on sale at Target or BJs. The two that we still have have paid for themselves many times over.

    I couldn’t live without a changing table. My back couldn’t handle changing diapers on the floor or couch and I stopped changing kids on my bed after my oldest peed on my comforter a couple of times. Each of the kids had a changing table in their room and we had one downstairs to make it more convenient.

  43. Pat Goff

    My grandmother gave me my dad’s playpen. Yup his actual playpen. I loved using it. I just moved it from room to room and cleaned while my daughter watched me and sometimes watched TV while I was cleaning or just took a nap. She was never alone in the room in it but it made it so helpful that I could clean knowing she wasn’t getting into things while I was cleaning.

  44. Erika

    We received sheets for our bassinet and they were a life saver (as you can imagine with all of the blow outs). It is really difficult to find sheets for all of the different size mattresses, but ours from a brand called NODNAL Co seem like they can fit many size mattresses. You can google NODNAL Co bassinet sheets and they should come up. They are super soft and in cute gray, gender neutral prints. Hope this helps!

  45. V

    What a great list! Wish I had seen a list like this when I was expecting. I bought a stroller with little wheels that was a nightmare and the stroller was way too heavy for me to lift in and out of a trunk. I feel like the bigger wheels tend to navigate better. Also, I preferred a sling compared to a baby carrier. I had one that could hold the baby in a variety of positions. (facing me, facing out, on my hip or back) Some baby carriers make me nervous, how they hold the babies hips. I got a wipe warmer and barely used it. You have to remember to put water in it and it was never where I was when I changed my little ones. I am one that never used my changing table. I would throw a towel down and call it good.

  46. Kristin

    I used just about everything on the avoid side and still do to this day with my 18 month old.
    I don’t think you can tell people what to get and what to avoid, it’s all about mama and baby preferences.

    • Katie

      I agree with you mama! I find this list a little bit ridiculous.

    • C

      Yeah, it is always a bit funny to me when moms claim a certain item is a “must have” when I never used said item with either of my kids. While some of the baby items on the market may make your life easier, you can certainly live without all but the very basics if you had to. A baby really does not need very much.
      I never had a need/want for several items on the 1st list. My kids nursed like champs w/o a nursing pillow, never wore sleep sacks or any types, never had a bouncer, and I preferred an LL Bean backpack to a traditional diaper bag. We had a monitor, but I never really needed it. On the other hand, I used a changing pad on top of the nursery dresser for just about every diaper change.
      My best advice to new moms is to not listen to any advice. You just need to trust your instincts and listen to your baby. You will figure out what works best for both of you.

  47. Katie

    I really disagree about some of this. In my experience, those burpy bibs are terrible. Your baby can’t move their arms well in them – and they just stink overall if you’re trying to get them to feed themselves. And, I found the nursing pillow awkward and super hard to deal with — who has time to go and get that dumb thing every time your baby wants to eat? If you plan to nurse on demand, I don’t recommend them.

    Also, I still use a changing table and diaper pail with my 2 1/2 year old. If you buy a good diaper pail (one made from stainless steel) they don’t smell. And you can buy ones that use regular kitchen bags – I use the ones with Febreeze for extra odor protection. And my son always wore shoes when we went out of the house, even as a newborn.

    I think it is good for moms to reason through these things themselves, talk to their friends about personal preferences and what their life and home look like, and then make some choices. There is no one-size-fits-all list for babies.

  48. Js

    I thought baby monitor is too expensive, so I use my old smartphones. There are various and surveillance camera app. In order to attach into crib, I just bought small gorilla tripod.

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