20 best baby products {to make life easier for new moms}


best products for baby to make life easier for new mom

Everyone who hasn’t had kids yet is astounded by the amount of “gear” required for a new baby. Honestly, you probably don’t really need much more than diapers, food, and a carseat, but there are products out there that will make any new mom’s life so much easier. However, there are SO MANY baby products available it can be hard to figure out which ones are worth it and which ones just clutter up your house. Based on my own experience with five babies and that of my good friends, I’ve compiled the 20 best baby products that will make life easier for new moms. Each of these items will simplify sleep time, bath time, food time, car time or play time, making for a happier baby and a happier mom.

All the links are Amazon affiliate links, meaning if you click through and then purchase something on Amazon you’ll be supporting this blog – thanks! The prices listed are current on Amazon as of this post’s publish date, but Amazon prices tend to move around. If you find any of these items at a better price somewhere else, let me know in the comments and I’ll update the post. If you have a must-have baby item that I didn’t include, leave that in the comments, too. Thanks!

For better sleep:

1. aden + anais Classic Muslin Swaddle Blanket 4 Pack, Jungle Jam $45-$50 for four

 I know, fifty bucks for four blankets seems ridiculous, but there are reasons why this item gets almost exclusively 5 star ratings on amazon. They’re large, nearly four feet square, making them MUCH more useful for swaddling than the tiny receiving blankets most new mom receive as gifts, and we all know that a well-swaddled baby is much more likely to go to sleep and stay asleep. Additionally, these blankets are soft, but also lightweight and incredibly breathable, so a summer baby can still be wrapped up and not get overheated. They also work well to cover carseat or stroller, or as a nursing cover, and fold down small enough to fit in a diaper bag. Slightly smaller version is available for $35/4pk.

2. Miracle Blanket$30

baby-items-must-have-new-mom-1If swaddling with normal blankets seems a little difficult when it’s 3 am and you’re going on half an hour of sleep, you might want to try the miracle blanket or one of it’s many competitors. The design of these blankets (some zip, some velcro, some snap) make it easy to swaddle baby up tight, which results in better, longer sleep for both you and baby. Look for versions made specifically for summer or winter babies. ***Note: a commenter has mentioned there may be safety issues with these types of swaddlers – please check with your doctor about anything you use to swaddle your baby***

3. SleepSack $20
 This wearable blanket doesn’t help swaddle a baby, but it does add extra warmth without the fear of blankets getting wrapped around baby’s head. Perfect for winter babies, the sleep sack is a worry-free alternative to extra blankets.

4. Fisher-Price Newborn Rock n’ Play $50

 This is a great product for helping newborns sleep – it keeps them at a slight incline, which can be helpful for gassy tummies (and is recommended for babies with reflux), comes with a vibrate setting to sooth baby, and rocks with a slight push. It’s small enough that you can move it from room to room with a baby in it, but tall enough that you can set it near your own bed when you’re trying to get some sleep and baby will be close. You may not want to put your baby to bed in this exclusively instead of a crib, but it can be very helpful for getting in a few hours when you both need it.

5. Carters 2 Pack Quilted Crib Pad $10 for a 2-pack

 A waterproof crib pad seems like a complete no brainer, right? It keeps the mattress dry when baby’s wet. Well, it’s worth investing in multiple crib sheets and waterproof pads, so you can make up the crib with a mattress pad, a sheet, another mattress pad, and another sheet. Then when baby spits up or leaks out all over the sheet in the middle of the night you just have to strip off the wet sheet and pad, and the next sheet down will be all ready – no searching around for clean bedding and pulling the mattress out of the crib while trying to juggle baby in your other arm.

For better feeding:

6. My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow about $33
 You’re probably familiar with the Boppy pillow, a U-shaped pillow made to help position baby while you’re nursing. The Breast Friend pillow, despite it’s slightly ridiculous name, is a huge improvement. It straps around you, providing back support and keeping the pillow in the right place at all times – it even allows you to stand or walk from room to room while nursing. A pocket keeps things handy, and the removable cover can be washed.

7. Microwave Bottle Sterilizer ~$25
 If you use bottles (for formula or pumped breastmilk) you’ll soon realize how difficult it can be to get them completely clean and what a hassle it can be to wash bottles out all day long. This microwave sterilizer can sterilize 8 4oz bottles in just two minutes. This particular version is an Avent brand, but Amazon reviewers say it’s compatible with many different types of bottles.

8. Portable Hook-On High Chair ~$20

baby-products-4I hate traditional high chairs. The things are HUGE and they take up so much room in the kitchen. With our youngest we never even used a real highchair. When she was just starting solids I fed her while she was in her carseat or bouncer, and once she could sit up we moved to this hook-on high chair. It hooks right to the edge of your table and allows baby to sit close to everyone else during meal time. It folds up in a convenient carry case and is perfect to take along when you’re visiting someone who might not have a high chair. I kept mine attached to the bar on my kitchen counter and placed my baby in it while I was washing dishes and/or cooking dinner – she could see me the whole time so it kept her happy and contained while I got things done. For only twenty dollars this is definitely worth the investment.

9. Sesame Street Disposable Placemats ~$25 for 50

 I discovered these stick-on disposable placemats with my youngest child, and I think they are absolutely genius! They’re a super thin plastic sheet that sticks right onto the table, and they’re perfect for anytime you’re out at a restaurant and your baby is in a highchair. Babies absolutely cannot be trusted with plates (they’ll pick them up and throw them), and the suction-cup plates that are supposed to stay put just don’t work (they either come unstuck or baby will decide to put her food next to it instead of inside it). This is the perfect solution – slap this large placemat down in front of baby and place her food directly on it. The brightly colored Sesame Street pictures also help keep baby entertained while you’re waiting for your food. I bought the 50 pack and it lasted forever – completely worth every penny.

For better bath times:

10. PRI EuroBath Baby Bathtub $40

baby-products-3 I wish I’d had this baby bathtub when my kids were tiny – bathing a newborn is way harder than you’d think – you have to support them with one hand and wash them with the other – and most baby tubs don’t give you much help. This tub is specially designed to keep a new baby in a nice reclined position, with enough water around her to keep her warm. When baby gets older, the other side of the tub helps her sit upright without falling into the water. Note: this tub is quite large, so if other kids need to use the tub as well, it might be annoying to take in and out. But if you have enough bathrooms to just leave this in the tub, you’ll love having it. (Here’s a less expensive version that also gets great reviews.)

For better car rides and walks:

11. Baby Backseat Mirror ~$10

baby-products-best-2The worst part of rear-facing carseats (which are now recommended until age 2) is that you can’t see the baby while you’re driving. This means you can’t tell if something’s wrong when he or she starts fussing unless you pull over and get out of the driver’s seat. That can get old really fast, so this mirror which attaches to the headrest of the seat baby’s carseat is in comes in handy – a quick glance in the rear view mirror allows you to see baby, and baby to see you.

12. Chicco Liteway Plus Stroller $180
 Most people buy “travel systems” for baby – a carseat plus a stroller the carseat can click into. However, many are disappointed when they realize quite how huge and unwieldy many of the travel system strollers are (some won’t even fit in the trunk of smaller cars), and end up purchasing a car seat stroller frame instead. Of course, then when you want to move up to a normal stroller, you have to purchase another one since the frames don’t work without the carseats. Chicco has made a great product here: it’s a lightweight, smaller stroller that works great for older babies and toddlers and ALSO folds down to accept the Chicco Keyfit Infant Car Seat. I’m not going to lie – buying both items is kind of pricey at $360, but many travel systems run about the same price, and this is a great, non-bulky solution that will take your baby from birth through 4+ years old.

13. Jeep Cherokee Sport Stroller $75


For a cheaper alternative, I absolutely love this Jeep stroller. It folds up almost as small as a traditional umbrella stroller (honestly, I was amazed at how small this thing gets) but it’s soooo much nicer. It reclines for smaller babies, has a full sun shade, tray, and a great storage pocket underneath. It’s super maneuverable and folds easily with one hand. We’ve had our for years now and it’s in great condition. You probably won’t want to use this for a newborn, but it’s perfect once your baby is 6 -12 months old. This is a great buy if your already have an older travel system for use during the newborn stage and don’t want to make another huge investment.

14. Baby K’tan Baby Carrier $50

 Slings and baby carriers such as the Baby Bjorn are very popular because it’s great to be able to carry a baby hands free, whether you’re just at home or out and about. Most babies are happier held close to the body than in strollers. I haven’t actually used a Baby K’tan, but they get great reviews – the fabric is soft and slightly stretchy for easy positioning, it goes over both shoulders (unlike the simpler pouch slings that can strain one shoulder), and there are no fasteners to mess with like the Bjorn. Not having personal experience with the K’tan, I can’t say for sure it’s the “best” carrier/sling out there, so read reviews of different versions and decide which one you think would be the best fit for you.

For better playtime

15. Fisher-Price Kick and Play Piano Gym $50
 Babies love kicking, and this piano gym reinforces them with music when they hit the keyboard. Activity mats are a great way to promote both tummy time and independent play, so baby learns he doesn’t need to be held all day long – and it gives him a nice clean place to be on the floor. This activity mat gets rave reviews, and includes toys and a mirror that hang down for baby to play with when he’s on his back. Buy this early (within baby’s first month or so) to get the most use out of it.

16. Manhattan Toy Winkel $12
 Combination rattle, toy, and teether in one, the Winkel’s best attributes are those soft skinny tubes that are super easy for tiny baby fingers to grab onto and hold (larger rattles can be very hard for young babies to pick up and hold onto). It’s great for learning hand eye coordination, and can be refrigerated for use as a soothing teether. It can also be hooked onto strollers, high chairs, etc., using plastic links.

For colds

17. Nosefrida The Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator $13
 Alright, I’ll admit that when I first heard of the Nosefrida I thought it was about the grossest thing ever. You suck into a tube to create suction that pulls snot out of your baby’s nose – pretty disgusting, right? However, these design claims it’s impossible to end up with baby’s snot in your mouth, and all the reviewers on Amazon agree (it gets trapped in a tube and you can blow it back out into a tissue). Our daughter got RSV when she was 7 weeks old and after a 4-day stint in the hospital we brought her home on oxygen and had to repeatedly clear out her stuffy nose with a bulb syringe, which was torture for both of us and not terribly effective. According to the thousands of reviews on Amazon, this works much more effectively, is easy to clean, and best of all isn’t painful for baby like those dumb bulb syringes are. Being able to help a baby with a cold breathe easier is definitely worth the price of this little gadget.

18. Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment $14 for a tub that will last forever
 When babies get colds (or live in dry climates) the skin around their nose often gets terribly chapped, and aquaphor works better than just about anything on chapped skin. It’s also great for babies who drool and end up with chapped chins. A tiny bit goes a long way, and be sure to rub it in well so it doesn’t get on clothes or blankets. It also works well for diaper rash, and can be applied regular at diaper changes for easier cleanup.

For better anytime:

19. Wubbanub Infant Plush Toy Pacifier $13
 Anyone who’s ever had a baby will tell you that pacifiers have an uncanny ability to disappear. I’ve been up at night with a crying baby on my hands and knees searching for one of the five pacifiers I know must be somewhere in the bedroom, with no luck. The wubbanub is a cute plush animal toy attached to a hospital-style pacifier, which makes it much easier to keep track of day and night. Additionally, parents say the attached toy make it much easier for baby to learn to put his pacifier back in by himself (a day when all parents rejoice). I think it’s a great idea!

20. Zipper Sleepers $7 for 2-pack
 It’s tempting to buy adorable coordinating outfits for baby as soon as she’s born, but I recommend sticking to zippered sleepers for the first few months. Sleepers are super comfortable for babies (shirts and overalls are always riding up on newborns) and easy for mom: no worries about keeping socks on their feet or trying to find tops and bottoms that match. And during nighttime changes zippers are so much easier to deal with than snaps! Look for sleepers made from fleece to keep winter babies warm at night. For summer babies, I love the easy of baby gowns.

 

As with all baby products, you and your pediatrician are the best people to decide what’s most appropriate. Please read all labels and warnings and use all products as directed. Good luck!

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linked at: Make it and Love it, I Heart Naptime, Whipperberry, Tidy Mom

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    Glad to read that many of the items you are recommending are currently in our nursery! Now we just need our little guy to get here!

  2. 2

    Megan says

    I love wubbanubs. Best pacifier ever!! My other couldn’t live without item is the Fisher Price Snuggabunny swing. We used it with our first and now our twins. We borrowed a few other fromfriends so we could have multiple swings with twins. I use the twin Brest Friend nursing pillow and adore it!

  3. 3

    LInzi tatton says

    Can I suggest adding the snugglebundl on here. My partner has a back injury and this will make it a lot easier for him to pick baby up out of car seat etc and also I think t would help with grandparents and ladies that may of had C-section. We tried it out at a baby show with a doll weighing an average baby weight and had to get one. We already have the stuff on this page and this has just helped me feel a bit more secure about our choices with products so thank you for this x

    • 5

      Elle says

      You shouldn’t use anything in a car seat that is not designed by the car seat because it will limit it’s effectiveness in an accident. Items such as this can become squashed down in the event of an accident meaning the straps you thought you had tightened securely are no longer quite as tight. This is why the don’t recommend the use of blankets or snow suits in a car seat.

  4. 6

    AlExandra says

    Thank you so much for this! I am pregnant with my first child and have been freaking out over everything I should or shouldnt get. This was incredibly helpful to read!

    • 7

      autumn says

      You’re welcome – good luck! And don’t freak out too much, you’ll do great! It’s so overwhelming to bring your first baby home, but you get it figured out pretty fast 😉

  5. 8

    Zarah says

    I think you should add to your list these swaddling blankets made by bubbles, they are made from bamboo so they are anti microbial and they have a stretch to them that the muslin swaddling blankets do not. I thought I should share because I fell in love with them yet I rarely see them advertised.

  6. 9

    Becky says

    The car seat safety instructor told us NOT to get a mirror for baby in the car. Why? Because then you are focused on baby instead of the road. He said he has seen SO many accidents from people who do that.

    The SwaddleMe has been our lifesaver 🙂 she always houdini’ed out of the blankets, and even this sometimes.

  7. 11

    Danica says

    The Fisher Price Rock and Play, had some models recalled due to mold building in the plastic, also there have been numerous reviews stating after a few months of use babies had very flat heads and had to wear helmets, we had one loved it, read the reviews, and returned it….

    • 12

      autumn says

      Thanks for the heads up, Danica! Any of these type of items can contribute to a flat head in the back if baby spends too many hours per day in it – our little boy actually had a helmet and our pediatrician told us that since we’ve stopped having babies sleep on their tummies we forget to give them tummy time when they’re awake – as a result lots of babies are getting flat spots on their heads now. This product would definitely be something to use in moderation to make sure it’s not a problem – and I hope Fisher Price has taken care of the mold issue!

    • 13

      Jamie says

      The mold issue has more to do with parents not cleaning up after baby, when they wet through or spit’s up all over it. It then turns to mold, like most things would, when not cleaned properly.
      Flat head occurs when baby is left laying on their back for long periods of time, in anything, not just this product.
      We used this with our first and plan to use with our next one coming next month. It was a lifesaver for us. We had no issues with mold or baby developing a flathead.

      Thank you for the great recommendations. We have most of the stuff you mentioned and they worked wonders with our first. Hoping they work this time around too. 🙂

  8. 14

    Jenn says

    I absolutely agree with all of the recommendations. If only I had this list before my daughter was born, I would have saved a lot of money!!

  9. 16

    Tania hansen says

    As a labor and delivery nurse, I recommend not using swaddling blankets that have Velcro, snaps, or other securing devices. We are aware of many infant deaths as result of these devices not allowing movement while unsupervised such as during sleep. Swaddling is a great way to comfort your baby, but don’t restrict them so much that they can’t help themselves out!

    • 18

      mary says

      my son was a preemie and we were given something similar to these swaddlers to wrap him up and strap him into. It had Velcro to keep it closed. I find it hard to believe if it were unsafe that the hospital nurses would be giving us one to use at home.

  10. 19

    Mamado says

    Agree with almost everything in this post except the car mirrors and fleece clothes for baby when sleeping. they taught us in our baby classes that those mirrors are a safety hazard and can become missiles in a car accident. Fleece blankets can make a baby become overheated at night and increase the risk for SIDS. Just food for thought 🙂

  11. 22

    alyssa says

    Instead of buying the seaseme street place mats you can get them for free at chick-fil-a. They have the disposable ones there and I just grab a lot when I go there.

  12. 23

    Angela says

    I never comment on these, but I have to say that this is an EXCELLENT list overall! It’s crazy how I lucked out, being a clueless first-time mom, and just happened to choose most of these exact items for my son. Of course, I’d spent months going over reviews to make the best decisions!

    I LOVE seeing the aden+anais blankets on here & they ARE definitely worth the price, then some! I still have one in my 2½ year old’s diaper bag b/c they literally can be used for anything!

    I’m also SO GLAD that I didn’t return my primo euro bathtub, as I originally planned to do after seeing the size in person. I found it at buy buy Baby for $25 (+tax & after a sale price & coupon were involved). Thinking I’d never use it is funny now that my son is 2½ & still using it! It saves time, water & he loves being able to lean back (on the infant side still) to rinse his hair without getting water/shampoo all in his face! My son is 31 pounds & 35″ tall now, just to give an idea of how long this item can be used.

    The Wubbanubs were also the greatest thing for a newborn & infant stages! So cute, easy to keep up with, easier to keep in his mouth, something for him to hold onto, etc. I had many other things, but these specific items were so great that I had to mention them specifically!

    I’ll also add the zippered sleepers are a must-have, as well as sleep sacks! Sleep Sacks with long sleeves are also a great alternative at times. Child of Mine by Carter’s makes them in size 0-9 months. They’re not as easy to find everywhere, but I bought mine at Target. 1-2 of these are enough to last through the ages they can use these (I wish they made them in bigger sizes though). These can be used alone, unlike the sleeveless sleep sacks, which is good for warmer weather or if your baby gets hot easily.

    I have 2 things I’d add to this list! I couldn’t have lived without my Fisher Price Cradle Swing! I didn’t have a Rock n Play (I think this was the name), so this could be interchangeable I suppose. I hear great things about those too! My son loved to sleep in his swing, even when I turned it off after he had been sleeping for a while. He only liked it using the “side-to-side” motion, but this is where he started sleeping full 10-12 hour nights straight at 2½ months old. I know that’s not recommended, but he didn’t like any of the “bed” options I had for him! This isn’t the smallest swing, but it does have one thing that’s imperative, which many other swings don’t have — the option of plugging it in with the AC adapter or running off of batteries. I would even take the swing apart (partially) & take it with us anytime we went to visit his dad & his grandparents!

    The next is the most important to me & it’s actually 2 things — Graco Pack ‘n Play with Reversible Napper/Changer. This was my only changing table & where my son chose to sleep for the first 18 months of his life, when he wasn’t in his swing & after I decided to try to get him out of the habit of the motion putting him to sleep. When he was smaller, he slept in the Napper for naps & nights. Once I realized that my son wasn’t planning on sleeping in his crib anytime soon, I bought the Graco Dream on Me 3″ Foam Play yard Mattress (from Amazon for approx. $40). This made his Pack ‘n Play just as supportive to his growing bones as his crib mattress would have been. It also was similar enough to his crib & crib mattress, that the transition was a breeze at 18 months old. EVERYTHING was centered around this Pack ‘n Play! Also, it held up so well that I was able to sell it for $120 after using it nearly 24/7 for 18 months (it didn’t cost much more than that brand new)!

  13. 24

    MeIissa Satterfield RN says

    As a Neonatal Intensive Care nurse of ten years, I recently participated in a research study to improve infant sleep safety. And I feel compelled to alert you to a couple concerns I have about two of the products mentioned on this list.

    The inclined nap seat does not meet infant safe sleep recommendations. Placing an infant on an incline to sleep can compromise the infant’s airway and increase the risk of SIDS. Because of this, an infant should not be placed in any kind of seat, swing, positioning pillow (like a Boppy) or other incline to sleep without a pediatrician’s recommendation.

    Also the Wubba Nub is amazing for when baby is awake, but should never be used at nap or bed time because of the stuffed animal on the end of it, which also does not meet infant safe sleep recommendations. Again, it’s great developmental care for an awake and supervised infant, but I would appreciate it if you could add a disclaimer that it should never be used for sleep.

    You have compiled an amazing list, thanks for helping new moms everywhere!

  14. 25

    Rebecca says

    Johnson and Johnson products are full of harmful ingredients best to get Dr. brothers pure organic baby soap. Available on eBay for just over $4 a bar. Also organic baby soap with pure lavender essential oil. And coconut oil is a great baby lotion, light scent and has numerous health benefits.

  15. 26

    says

    Such an exhaustive list of baby products. Wubbanub is my kid’s favorite and she can’t seem to get over with it. Kindly update images of some items as I am not able to see them 🙂

  16. 27

    allie says

    For anyone who lives in a small space, or who only has one shower/tub in their home, a baby bathtub just is not practical because they take up SO much space. What I used with both my kids was the Bath Ease – it’s a mesh hammock type thing that sits in the sink or tub and you can lie baby on it so both your hands are free to wash them, and you don’t have to worry about them slipping. Once they outgrow it they’re usually big enough to sit upright in the sink.

    Also, those SwaddleMe sacks are GENIUS, our babies are little houdinis and could get out of any swaddle we tried. Once they outgrew the swaddles, we switched to the sleesacks. Aden & Anais (the same company that makes those great muslin swaddle blankets) make a fantastic sleep sack. It’s pricy, but well made and beautiful patterns.

  17. 30

    says

    While I’m pregs with number three, I still like to read these lists and I must say, I will definitely be making a trip to the store for some of these smart items. My first didn’t do pacifiers but my second has and I’m looking all the time for them! The Wubba Nub is first on my list and I just got the Rock n Play. Great list!!

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