As a new parent, you may be absolutely overwhelmed by all of the incredible—and not so incredible—baby products on the market today. From bottles to diapers to some pretty unfamiliar gizmos and contraptions, there is certainly a lot to choose from.
New parents often have a hard time figuring out which products are actually necessary or helpful, and which are simply gimmicks. This can be frustrating, considering learning the ropes of parenthood is a difficult-enough task without adding a slew of products into the mix.
While a person could definitely take to the internet and read through endless reviews in order to find out which products are ideal and which are probably not worth buying, we thought it might be nice to give new parents an easier route. Therefore, we created the ultimate must-have list for anyone who wishes to take a natural parenting approach. We hope you will find this list helpful and adjust it to suit your own needs as much as necessary.
— Baby Carrier —
In our opinion, this is one of the most important baby items to own. A baby carrier gives you the freedom to carry out day-to-day activities while still keeping your little one close, something that is truly invaluable for nearly every new mom.
That said, finding the right baby carrier is a very personal venture, making it difficult for us to recommend only one carrier. Therefore, we will choose one of each style of carrier we like best. From there, we encourage you to head to The Changing Table and give our picks a whirl, but also try out a few others that catch your eye. This will give you a good idea of what works best for you and your baby.
Tula —This is a soft structured carrier, meaning it’s fairly straightforward and easy to learn to use. Additionally, Tula is one of the most comfortable soft structured carriers on the market, and all of the fun prints available make shopping for your carrier fun.
Tula works well for little babies as well as older babies, so it will last for quite some time. It does however require a special insert for use with tiny infants, so be aware of that when making your carrier selection.
Moby Wrap — The Moby Wrap is a stretchy wrap, making it the good “starter” wrap for new parents who wish to learn how to use this type of carrier. There is a bit of a learning curve involved, but once you learn how to use it, the Moby Wrap is an excellent solution for carrying newborns and even slightly older infants around. That said, this carrier will not work well with older babies because of its stretchy fabric.
Sakura Bloom Ring Slings — Ring slings are great for throwing on when you are in a hurry. The Sakura Bloom ring slings are comfy to use and easy to put on and adjust, making them great for quick trips into the grocery store or bank. They are also fairly versatile and are nice for newborns, older babies, and even some young toddlers. This is Taryn’s personal favorite carrier for a newborn!
— Cloth Diapers & Wipes —
This is another item that simply doesn’t have a “best” option. This is because the various kinds of diapers fit different babies differently. What works for one child may not work for the next, and vice versa. Likewise, different parents prefer different types of diapers, making finding the perfect diaper a difficult and very personal task.
That said, we have selected a few of our favorite diapers and accessories. Give them a try and see what you think. If these aren’t the best for you, find what is.
Bumgenius Freetime Snap All-In-One — Ideal for the super-busy parent, Bumgenius Freetime is as simple as it gets. Its one-piece design makes for easy use as well as washing. We also love that these diapers come in a variety of fun prints.
Flip Diapering System — The Flip diapering system is pretty cool for those who need a versatile way to diaper their little one. These covers work well with the Flip cloth inserts, prefolds, flats, along with the Flip disposable inserts, making them easy for everyone to use. Flip covers are available in a wide variety of fun colors, so you can have fun with your diaper collection.
Thirsties Duo Wrap Cover with OsoCozy Prefolds — Many parents prefer the simplicity of a cover-and-prefold combo. This combination is easy to wash (even by hand) and dries quickly without the use of an electric dryer. The Thirsties covers are amazing at preventing leaks, and the OsoCozy Prefolds are some of the softest and most absorbent around.
Rumparooz One Size Pocket Diaper — Pocket diapers are a great way to get many of the benefits of an all-in-one diaper without the extended drying time. Rumparooz pocket diapers in particular are made to last, and have never given us any issues in the way of leaks. They offer a whole rainbow of colors too, so they are great fun to look at.
Planetwise Wet Bag — Of course, using cloth diapers will mean using a wet bag. We especially love the Planetwise wet bags because they seem to hold up well over time. They are also completely leak-proof and hold in stinky smells quite nicely.
Thirsties Organic Wipes — When you are using cloth diapers, cloth wipes are just easier. They can be tossed in the wash with the rest of the mess, and you don’t have to worry about disposing of dirty wet wipes in your trash can. Besides, these Thirsties wipes are much softer than any disposable wipe, making them ideal for use on soft baby skin.
— Breastfeeding Accessories —
If you plan on breastfeeding, you will be happy to know that there is very little you’ll need to purchase in the way of supplies. However, there are a few different breastfeeding accessories you are probably going to want to invest in. Here are our favorites:
Medela Pump In Style — This high-quality breast pump has received rave reviews from thousands of moms. This is considered the best pump on the market by a number of women, and definitely deserves every compliment it gets.
As an added bonus, this particular pump includes everything you need to get started, including bottles, storage bags, and even a few disposable breast pads.
Bebe Au Lait Nursing Scarf — Some mamas like to cover up when they nurse. Unfortunately, lugging around a nursing cover and dealing with pulling it out when it’s time to feed baby can be a big pain. Luckily, the Bebe Au Lait Nursing Scarf makes all of this easier by filling the roles of nursing cover and adorable accessory simultaneously.
Bamboobies Breast Pads — Made to be soft, absorbent, and eco-friendly, Bamboobies Breast Pads are the perfect solution to those post-baby leaky breasts. They are comfortable to wear and easier on the environment than the disposable alternatives, so you can feel good about using them.
Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter — Earth Mama Angel Baby never fails to bring us wonderful skincare solutions that really work. Therefore, you can bet that their nipple butter is going to be the perfect solution for soothing your breasts when they need it most.
— Car Seat —
If baby will be riding in the car at all, he or she will need a car seat. The number of car seats on the market is astounding. After doing quite a bit of research of our own, we can highly recommend the Chicco Keyfit 30 as one of the safest and most convenient bucket seat option for infants.
However, if you are looking for a seat that will grow with your child, you may want to look into a convertible seat instead. In this case, we highly recommend the Diono Radian RXT, which offers incredible safety as well as extended rear-facing capabilities.
— Swaddle Blankets —
Swaddle blankets are good for a variety of things. Swaddling baby is the most obvious use for them, but they also come in handy for keeping your little one warm, acting as a nursing cover in a pinch, and even cleaning up spit-up if a burp rag was left behind.
We really love the soft fabric that the Aden+Anais organic cotton swaddle blankets are made from, and have found that they last for quite some time. They are breathable enough for warmer weather, but when doubled up, they also work well in winter. If that isn’t reason enough to convince you to buy some, check out the sweet prints they offer.
— One Awesome Bag —
Of course, if you ever want to leave your house, you are going to need a durable piece of luggage to help you tote all of your gear from place to place. This is where the Ju-Ju-Be “Be Right Back” bag steps in.
Thanks to metal hardware, heavy-duty fabric, and impressive craftsmanship, this bag is durable enough for the rough-and-tough parts of parenthood, but still cute and fun to carry. It offers plenty of pockets for organization, including a cell phone pocket and a front pocket especially for diapers and wipes. Additionally, this bag can be wiped down with ease—an important feature in any baby bag.
— Conclusion —
While there are plenty of other items out there to make the lives of parents easier, the items on this list—plus some tiny newborn clothes—are probably the only things you will need in the first few weeks of baby’s life.
We hope this list has made preparing for baby a more fun and less stressful event. After all, babies are meant to be bundles of joy, not sources of stress!