Feeling overwhelmed by all the products on the market for new babies, and wondering which are truly essentials that other moms swear by? Aside from safe cribs and car seats, Circle of Moms members say these 10 baby products are the must-haves they couldn’t have lived without.
1. Baby Sling or Carrier
From Moby wraps to Mei Tais, baby slings and wraps earn high praise from moms for enabling hands-free carrying. As Stasia K. shares of her Ergo Baby Carrier, “My daughter has spent half of her life in it and LOVES IT. From there she can safely see and learn from the world around her while I have two free hands to do the housework, walk the dog, make dinner, etc.”
2. Bouncy Chairs and Swings
“I don't know what I would do without my bouncy chair,” says Mallory C., one of countless moms who say swings, bouncers and rockers were essential for entertainment and sleeping. Melissa S. remembers: “I was SO grateful to have a baby swing, that's the only way I could get her to sleep for the first 6 weeks.”
3. Boppy Pillow
This wildly popular U-shaped pillow is one of the most beloved baby products around. Amanda C. explains its multipurpose allure: “I found it so useful for breastfeeding, for keeping baby elevated after feeding when he was a newborn, (and for) extra support when my little brother held my son. When he got older he would sit in it (in case he fell back) to play, and sometimes nap in it! I love the Boppy.”
4. Swaddling Blankets
“Baby swaddling blankets are wonders,” advises Natashia M. “Especially for fussy babies.” While some moms are partial to certain fabrics, features and brands (as in flannel, Velcro or Miracle Blankets), the general consensus is that swaddling blankets are simply amazing.
5. Nipple Cream and Nursing Pads
6. White Noise
Whether it's a machine that emits ocean waves, heartbeats and "womb sounds," or the radio turned to hushed static, some kind of white noise maker is a must-have for many new moms. Denise T. shares: “My husband just burned a CD from the Internet and we just used a CD player on repeat, works like a charm.”
7. Breast Pump
A high-quality pump is a must-have for many breastfeeding moms, especially those who work outside the home. As Stephanie F. advises: ""I know it may seem expensive - but a GREAT breast pump will save you time, money and frustration!" Hannah H. agrees: “Do invest in Medela or another hospital-grade one."
When colic and gassiness strike, moms like Jessica H. say Mylicon is incredibly helpful: “MYLICON!! Oh my Gosh, I have a gassy baby! This is without a doubt my number one item.” (See also 9 Essentials for a Nursery First-Aid Kit).
9. The Hooter Hider
“I don’t leave the house without my Hooter Hider,” admits Kelly M., and she's far from the only one. Many moms love how this nursing cover allows discreet breastfeeding in public. Karen S. agrees, calling it “an absolute essential for nursing.”
10. Lots of Burp Cloths
Candace C.’s one must-have baby item? “8 billion baby face cloths." The truth is, you're going to need something (make that a lot of somethings) to wipe up the steady stream of drool and spit up that babies so expertly produce. As Alison W. advises, “You can't have too many little cloths!!!”