There are loads of baby products on the market, and when we were building our baby registry, we had a hard time knowing which ones were necessary or effective. After almost five months with our baby, these are the baby products we love. They're all baby tested and approved.
Note: We will update this post as we try out new products and have updates. We are not receiving any compensation from any of these companies, and these opinions are completely our own based on our personal experience.
Our first baby came in August, and holy moly, there are a lot of baby products on the market. We had no idea how much stuff tiny humans require. Some products have become lifelines, while others have proven pretty useless. This list isn't comprehensive, but these products are all things I'd buy again and again.
Baby Sleep Products
Baby sleep is a finicky thing, but these are the products that worked for us. With these products, our baby started sleeping 6-7 hour stretches at 2 months old and 9-12 hour stretches by 4 months old.
- The Taking Cara Babies First Five Months Bundle: This is BY FAR my biggest recommendation. This package includes an online newborn sleep course and ebook, as well as a guide on navigating the dreaded 3-4 month sleep regression. With this course, we set a solid foundation from the beginning and never had huge sleep issues with our baby. If you don't want to pay for the whole class, check out Cara's blog. It has tons of free resources on newborn and infant sleep.
- The Ollie Swaddle: This was our favorite newborn swaddle. It's one of the pricier ones out there, but it was a worth it purchase for us. We were able to get it much tighter than other swaddles, and was one of the only ones our baby didn't escape from. When we started transitioning her out of her swaddle around 2 months, we wrapped her up in it with one arm out, and it worked perfectly.
- The Nested Bean Zen Sack: We used this from around 2.5 months to 4.5 months, when our baby was done with her swaddle but not quite rolling around yet. It has a weighted spot on the chest that's meant to mimic a parent's touch and calm baby. It was a great transition sleep sack as our baby learned how to calm herself during the night. Now we've transitioned to a normal sleep sack, but this one was great for a couple of months.
- Hatch Rest Baby Sound Machine: A friend gifted us a Hatch and it quickly became one of my favorite products. It doubles as a nightlight and a sound machine, and you can adjust the color, the sound, and the volume from your phone. The remote feature has been great now that our baby has moved to her nursery because I don't have to go to her room to adjust the machine. Our baby loves the rain noise.
- Little Sleepies Sleepers: These are some of the more expensive sleepers out there, but we LOVE them. They're so buttery soft, super stretchy, and fit our baby longer than any other brand of sleeper. As an added bonus, they're adorable. Super worth the money.
- Best Cat-Friendly Affordable Bassinet: We have a very friendly cat that sleeps in our room, so we were worried that he would try to cuddle up with baby in the middle of the night. We found this bassinet with a zip up cover, and it was the best for my anxiety in the newborn days. It's super affordable, folds up easily, and our baby slept great in it. Best of all, it's totally cat-proof.
Baby Feeding Products
Our baby has acid reflux and was never a fan of nursing, so I've exclusively pumped and bottle fed from the beginning. Therefore, these products are largely skewed towards exclusively pumping mamas and reflux babies. We are not healthcare professionals--these are just the products that have worked well for us. Always check with your pediatrician before changing anything related to your baby's food. We also just started solids, so we'll update these recommendations as we get farther along in our journey.
- Medela Harmony Hand Breast Pump: This hand pump is great when we are on the go. It has better suction than my electronic pumps and is super effective at getting out breast clogs. It's affordable and super compact!
- Affordable Wearable Breast Pump: Since I have been exclusively pumping, I wanted a wearable breast pump for outings and social gatherings. This one isn't super loud, can easily be covered up with a chunky sweater, and is almost just as effective at expressing all of my milk as my more expensive (and less portable) Medela pump. It's a lot more affordable than some of the fancy name brands.
- Philips AVENT Anti-Colic Bottles: We got these and Dr. Brown's and our baby prefers these. I'd recommend the 9 ounce bottles from the start because our baby quickly outgrew the smaller 4 ounce bottles. The size 2 nipples have lasted us the longest, but our baby did start with the size 1 nipples, so it's nice to have both on hand. The size 2 nipples also work with rice starch-thickened formula.
- Enfamil Added Rice Starch Formula: We've been supplementing with formula for a while, both because my supply isn't stellar, and because our baby has trouble tolerating breastmilk at night. This formula reduced our baby's spit-up and reflux a lot, and was such a lifesaver for reflux-related witching hours. It's not something we want to continue forever and gets super pricey, but it has helped us a lot. Again, please check with your pediatrician before changing your baby's food, and if your baby doesn't have spit-up/reflux problems, this probably isn't the formula for you.
- Skip Hop Baby Bottle Bag: This baby bottle bag was great for going on short outings with breast milk. It holds two 9 oz bottles and comes with an ice pack and a little pouch to put it in.
- Baby Bottle Cleaning Tools and Drying Rack: This set is great for cleaning bottles and breast pumps and the drying rack is perfect for keeping your bottles separate from the rest of your dishes. Trust me, if your baby is exclusively bottle fed, you'll be cleaning bottles until your hands fall off. This stuff makes it easier.
- Affordable and super absorbent muslin burp cloths: These are super affordable, soft, absorbent, and work perfectly for catching spit-up. A favorite that we always have in the baby bag with us!
Baby Diaper Products
I'll just say it. Poop products. We're talking about poop products here.
- Hello Bello Diapers: These diapers are non-toxic, super soft, fit like a glove, and helped us reduce blow-outs by A LOT. You can buy them at Walmart or via their website. If you buy them on their website, you can bundle them, which gets you 4 packs of wipes and 7 packs of diapers (which you can get in multiple sizes if you're in between sizes). You also get 15% off their other products, including vitamins, baby lotions, baby soaps, etc. We love all of their products so much!
- Skip Hop Portable Diaper Changing Pad: We keep this in our diaper bag at all times. It's perfect for putting on top of public bathroom changing stations, and even works great for parking lot diaper changes in the car (we've had our fair share of those). It comes with a wipe dispenser and a zipper pocket to put it in too!
- Skip Hop Nursery Changing Pad: We love this changing pad because it easily wipes off and is much cheaper than some of the other rubbery alternatives. Our baby also loves the little mobile that attaches to it.
- Munchkin Waterproof Changing Pad Liners: These liners are meant to be used over a diaper changing pad, but we keep them all over our house as little portable changing stations. We have baskets with diapers, wipes, and these liners in all of our living areas. That way we can just pull them out, put them on the floor, and change our baby without having to take her to her room for every diaper change.
- Baby Poop Bag Dispenser: This is basically the baby version of a dog poop bag dispenser and sounds ridiculous, but we keep it clipped to our diaper bag, and it's come in clutch for poopy diapers where there's no trash cans, or for dirty clothes after a public blow out (always keep extra clothes in your diaper bag. Trust me).
- Ubbi Diaper Pail: The Ubbi has mixed reviews, but we've loved it. It keeps the smell contained and doesn't require any special trash bags, which is super nice. It does stink when you take the trash bag out, but that's a small price to pay.
- Frida Windi Gas Relievers: Is your baby stocked up or gassy? Try these. They're disgusting but super effective. You're just going to have to trust me on this one. P.S.- don't always expect immediate results...sometimes they take a few minutes to do their magic.
Baby Toys and Play
- OgoBolli Rattle & Teether: This was one of the first toys our baby really liked to hold onto and play with. It's soft, so little hands can easily grab it, and the little rings on the inside make a satisfying sound when moved that keep our baby's attention. Perfect for around 3-4 month olds.
- Lovevery Play Gym: This play gym is all over social media and a little pricier than your average play gym, so I wondered if it was actually worth it. It is. When our baby was a newborn she loved taking little catnaps under it, and now that she's older, she loves playing with the toys and looking at the visual cards that come with it. It also comes with a book that has age appropriate activities.
- Skip Hop Baby Walker: Our baby isn't old enough to use this as a walker yet, but she LOVES the activity center on the front of it. She sits or stands in front of it (with assistance) and grabs at the different levers and buttons for a long time before tiring. It also converts from a walker to a grocery shopping cart to a doll stroller. We love that it can grow with baby.
- Skip Hop Fold Away Jumper: We were torn between this jumper and this Skip Hop Activity Center, but we decided to go with the jumper because it is foldable and we don't have a ton of space. She is 4 months old and LOVES it. She's not quite to the bouncing stage, but the toys on the edges keep her occupied for a long time.
- Fisher Price Sit-Me-Up Floor Seat: This is another 4-month favorite. It's perfect for babies that have good head control and can sit up with assistance. It comes in lots of different colors and patterns, and has a variety of toys for baby to play with, as well as a removable tray. Our baby will sit in it happily for quite a while.
- Sophie Giraffe Teething Toy: Our baby loves gnawing on this, and it's small enough for little hands.
- Munchkin Mozart Magic Cube: This toy was perfect from day 1. Someone gifted it to us, and it was perfect for calming our baby during diaper and clothes changes when she was really young and fussy. It was also one of the first things she could press and make work on her own. Now that she's older, she still enjoys the lights and music.
- Stacking boxes: Our baby isn't old enough to stack these on her own, but she loves to grab at them and knock the tower down if you stack it up for her.
- Rubber blocks: These are super cute and squishy, and they can go in the bath or be played with normally. They have different shapes that fit together and have sides with numbers, letters, and other fun designs.
Baby Bath and Care Products
- Boon Soak Bathtub: Our baby has liked this bathtub since she was a newborn, and continues to use it now that she's a little older. It's affordable, no frills, and grows with baby well. It also has a drain for easy emptying.
- Bamboo Wash Cloths: These wash cloths are SO SOFT and super affordable. We love them.
- Little Martin's Baby Nail Trimmer: This nail trimmer is so easy to use and our baby doesn't mind it at all. So much less nerve-racking than clipping baby's nails with clippers.
- FridaBaby Hairbrush: This hairbrush is super soft and easy on baby's head.
- Nose Saline: This saline and a bulb sucker (take one home from the hospital!) removes any snot in a snap. No fancy tools needed.
- Hello Bello Shampoo and Body Wash: Love this shampoo and body wash and it smells great.
- Hello Bello Baby Lotion: This baby lotion smells nice and baby loves it. We especially like the nighttime lotion before bed.
- FridaBaby Thermometer: We've loved this baby thermometer. It also has settings for adults and room temperature. There's also an ear thermometer attachment for when baby is a little older.
Books to Prepare for Baby
- Bringing Up Bébé: This book is about an American mom's experience bringing up kids in France. My husband and I loved the European approach to child rearing and learned a lot from the book. It's also a fun and easy read.
- Achtung Baby: This book is similar to Bringing Up Bébé, but it's about an American mother bringing up kids in Germany. Similar European parenting vibes, but with a slightly different spin. It emphasizes bringing up self-reliant kids, and both my husband and I really enjoyed reading it.
- How to Not Hate Your Husband After Kids: This one is for you, mom. It's a fast and funny read with a lot of helpful tips about conflict resolution once a kid is in the picture. I really enjoyed it.
- Real Food for Pregnancy: This one is for pregnancy. It has tons of great tips on what to eat while you're pregnant and is super helpful. It challenges a lot of traditional American advice, but is super evidence and research-based. It served as a guide for how I ate for most of my pregnancy.
- Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool: This one has tons of data-driven information on all things baby, which helps you make educated decisions about a variety of baby-related topics. And the author is an economist!
- Baby Bargains Book: This book has baby product suggestions and reviews that are affordable and practical. Someone gifted this book to us and we based almost our entire registry on it. If you take one thing away from this list, it should be this book. It's updated frequently so the product recommendations are always up to date.
Miscellaneous Baby Products
- Baby Bjorn Mini Carrier: We tried the ErgoBaby Omni 360 Carrier, this Baby Bjorn Mini Carrier, and the Solly Baby Wrap. The ErgoBaby was too bulky, the Solly Wrap never felt structured enough for me, and the Baby Bjorn Mini is perfect. Goldilocks approved. It's soft, comfortable to wear, and our baby has loved it since day one.
- aden + anais Dream Blanket: This blanket is thick and comfortable. It's great for the stroller or to put on the floor for tummy time. We love it.
- Stroller Organizer: We didn't like the stroller organizer that was meant for our stroller. This generic one fits onto any stroller and we love it!
- House of Noa Playmat: We just got this playmat for our baby's play area, and it's so cute. It goes perfectly with our decor and fits together like a puzzle, so you can customize it to fit your space.
- Wet/Dry Bag: We keep this in the diaper bag for mishaps. It's great for wet breast pumps, soiled clothes, swimsuits, etc.
- Tommee Tippee Pacifiers: These are the only pacifiers our baby will take and she loves them. We should have an Amazon auto-order set up for them because we're buying more constantly. I think the cat stockpiles them somewhere.
- Burt's Bee's Baby Booties: Baby socks don't stay on. They're the worst. These stay on and our baby likes them. Just get a couple pairs of these and forget socks exist.
- Green Sprouts Sun Hat: This sun hat is adjustable, so it has fit our baby for a long time. It's super comfortable, really cute, and keeps the sun out of baby's eyes.