The Best Baby Items for Newborns to 12 Months+
As a first-time mom, I did an insane amount of research on the best baby items to buy before our little one arrived. There are thousands and thousands of baby items on the market, and it’s so hard to determine which product is going to be the best for your baby and your family. While online reviews and ratings had have an impact on the items that I ultimately decided to purchased, the most valuable source of information by far was the advice of other moms. I soaked up all of the information I could get from the mothers in my family as well as my favorite mom bloggers online, and their tips and tricks have saved me time and time again!
Be sure to bookmark this page and pin it for future reference because I will be updating this page frequently as I find new products and adding new age categories as Summer gets older! Also bookmark this list on Amazon because it’s continuously updated with must-have baby and toddler items. It also lists EVERY single product mentioned in today’s post, so you can create your baby registry or add the items to your shopping cart quickly and easily. P.S. If you have a product recommendation you’d like to share, please email me at email@example.com or send me a DM on Instagram at @ashleybrookenicholas.
The Best Baby Items
We have gone through so many tubes of both of those diaper creams over the past year, but recently I’ve been on the hunt for a more natural diaper cream. Not giving up on my favs, but it never hurts to have a natural alternative! My favorite so far has been the Burt’s Bees Diaper Rash Ointment! It works really well, has a great consistency, and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Plus, it has an EWG score of 1 (means it has really clean and safe ingredients). We will definitely continue using it because we love it so much! If you want to see my experience testing a few other natural diaper creams, you can read my post on the best natural bath products for babies. | Shop our favorite diaper creams here, here, and here.
DISPOSABLE DIAPER BAGS: These are basically disposable plastic bags with a baby powder scent that you can use to hold dirty diapers, messy clothing, and more until you get home or to a place where you can dispose or wash the items. You could honestly use grocery bags, but I find that these bags are just the right size and hide smells really well. Believe me, you’re gonna have a LOT of blowout situations that require something like these bags. There are quite a few bags in each box, and I think we only went through one or maybe two boxes before we didn’t need to use them any more. In my opinion, they’re worth the money! Shop our go-to disposable diaper bags here.
NEWBORN LOUNGER: This little pillow lounger was one of our best purchases – by far. Summer would lounge and sometimes even nap (while I was literally two inches away from her ONLY – never ever alone) in this little newborn lounger up until she learned to roll over at about 4.5 months, but your little one may be able to use this product for a longer period of time based on their size (Summer is very tall for her age) and when they learn how to roll. It was a lifesaver for keeping her secure and comfortable while I was doing household chores, work, or just needed to put her down for a second. Seriously, a must have and so affordable! Shop this affordable newborn lounger here and here (available in a variety of prints).
ROCK ‘N PLAY: Oh my goodness, the Fisher-Price Auto Rock ‘n Play Sleeper was a LIFESAVER when Summer was younger. It’s inclined, has two different automatic rocking settings, and can play 12 different sounds or songs to entertain or soothe your little one. If your baby gets gassy or fussy or reflux-y, this thing is gonna change your life. The incline saves the day. Plus, if your baby isn’t sleeping well, again, the Rock ‘N Play will change your life. We put Summer in here to play, nap, rest, and even sleep when she was younger, and it instantly made our lives so much easier. Whether you have to clean, cook, take a nap yourself, or just need a break from holding a baby, the Rock ‘N Play is going to be your new best friend. Shop the Auto Rock ‘N Play Sleeper here and the exact model we have here.
BURP CLOTHS: I bought several packs of these Gerber organic cloth diapers to use as burp cloths, and they are one of the most useful baby things I bought! I went for the organic version because the reviews said they were much thicker, and I’m so happy I did. I promise you, you can/will use these things for EVERYTHING. Ryan and I literally had one over our shoulder, one in our car, and one in each room of the house when Summer was little. They are the most amazing burp cloths, but you can also use them for any/all messes that your little one creates. They’re incredibly absorbed and wash like a dream. A MUST-HAVE item for any new mom! Buy a few packs- you’ll need way more than you think! Shop our favorite burp cloths here.
MUSLIN BLANKETS: Stephanie bought me these Cloud Island muslin blankets for my baby shower, and they have been one of our most-used and most-loved baby items. These are another MUST-HAVE item for ANY mom. These blankets are adorable, soft, and perfectly lightweight. We used these blankets for everything – swaddling, keeping her warm in her stroller/carseat/lounger, make-shift burp cloth / play mat/ changing station cover, and more. This three-pack is the one Stephanie bought us, and it’s been our absolute favorite; however, they have SO many other cute designs if you’re looking for something in particular. Shop our favorite muslin blankets here.
TRAVEL BASSINET: The Fisher-Price Stow ‘N Go Bassinet* was an amazing addition to our lives last winter. It’s a lightweight bassinet with a flat surface for baby to sleep on that is extremely easy to transport. It’s a dream to travel with because now only is it lightweight, but it folds completely flat! We brought ours to our parents home’s for the holidays, so that Summer could nap at her normal times AND play in a safe space if we were eating at the table or doing something where we couldn’t hold her. You can see this travel bassinet set up here. After the holidays were over, we still used this bassinet around the house and whenever we’d visit friends or family. It’s extremely convenient whether you’re traveling or not! Shop our favorite travel bassinet here.
NOSE CLEANER: OK, so here’s the thing. You are going to need to pick your baby’s nose at some point. I know that sounds weird, but it’s the truth. They can’t blow their nose, and it’s just too sad to see their noses blocked when you know it can be easily removed. We have found the OogieBear Nose & Ear Cleaner to be the easiest to use by far. It makes removing pesky boogers a breeze! Shop our favorite nose cleaner here and here.
PACIFIER: Summer has never been into pacifiers. We tried every single brand over and over again, and she just wasn’t into it. With that being said, the one brand she did take to for at least a short amount of time was the Soothie Pacifier. It was recommended to us at two different hospitals, and Summer really did like them at least for a few weeks haha. Shop this popular pacifier here.
CAR SEAT COVER: We live in Florida, so I preferred to use a muslin carseat canopy cover to keep Summer cool; however, we also used and loved a stretchy car seat cover to help protect her from mosquitos and rain. Most of the car seat covers can also double as breastfeeding covers and shopping cart covers, but I honestly never used them for either of those uses. They’re definitely great for shielding your little one from the sun, rain, wind, and bugs while still giving you a window to look at them and for air to flow through. Shop car seat canopy covers here and stretchy covers here.
DROOL BIBS: I’ll be honest. I didn’t know that babies wore bibs for anything other than eating. If you’re in the same boat, here’s the deal. Babies drool – a LOT – especially when they’re teething (which is almost always). They drool so much they will completely soak their clothes. Drool bibs keep your little one’s clothes dry an soak up all of the drool. I haven’t really found a brand that works better than others, so it really just depends what style you’re looking for. Shop a wide variety of cute drool bibs here.
BATH PILLOW: There are lot of different bath options for newborns, but we thought this flower bath pillow was the easiest (and cutest) option for us. We simply put it into our bathroom sink before running the faucet, and Summer was able to stay comfortable and cozy while we washed her off. Shop the cutest infant bath pillow here.
ACTIVITY GYM: Summer loved her Skip Hop Silver Lining Activity Gym when she was first born, and as she got older, we used it as a tummy time mat and a playmat too. I love that this activity gym has a comfy pillow built into the mat, and the design is just too cute. We saved this one for future babies! Shop our favorite activity mat here.
BreastfeedingBREAST PUMP: My insurance covered the Medela, but I honestly just didn’t love it. At the recommendation of multiple lactation consultants and other moms, I bought the Spectra S1 and LOVED it. It’s a hospital-grade pump, and it made pumping way faster and easier. Plus, it’s a lot quieter than the Medela, and I personally loved having the rechargeable battery. I work from home, so it was so convenient to be able to move my pump from my bedroom to my desk to the kitchen or wherever I might be throughout the day; however, the S2 version ($40 less) without the rechargeable battery works just as well if you’re looking to save a few bucks! It really just depends on your day-to-day pumping routine.
One hack I learned from the Legendary Milk Instagram account was to switch out the Spectra valves for these duck bill valves to increase output (see below for exact recommendations! HIGHLY recommend this breast pump to all of the new mamas out there! Buy my favorite breast pump here, here (you might be able to use their coupons!), and here. Shop the version without the rechargeable battery ($40 cheaper) here.
BREAST PUMP REPLACEMENT PARTS: One thing that I didn’t realize early on is that you really need to be replacing your pump parts about every 6-8 weeks depending on how much you’re pumping. I honestly didn’t pump THAT much after the first few months, so I stretched it out a bit longer at the end. While you can buy replacement Spectra parts online, I found it to be easier and cheaper to buy these dupes on Amazon. They fit perfectly and worked just as well. In fact, these duckbill valves work BETTER than the Spectra ones! I’ll also link the authentic Spectra parts.
Here are a few quick tips for making sure your pump parts work effectively and give you the highest possible milk output. I’ve linked my recommendations for replacement parts for the Spectra breast pumps, but there are parts available at the same place for almost all brands of breast pumps.
Valves: As I mentioned above, these duckbill valves are even more effective than the Spectra version (which is fine too), so I would DEFINITELY get these immediately.
Flanges: Secondly, you really need to buy the correct size of flanges. I’m not really sure how you’d measure yourself, but if you go see a lactation consultant or have a friend who’s has some lying around (any brand will do), you could measure yourself and see which size is a good fit. Pumps automatically come with 24mm flanges, which ended up being my size, but there are also 19mm, 21mm, and 27mm sizes available too. Here’s a quick visual guide to help you determine if your flanges are the correct fit. The key is you want a little bit of space on each side of your nipple but not too much space. Shop my favorite breast pump flanges here.
Backflow Protectors: This part helps to prevent breastmilk from getting into the tubes that connect to your breast pump. I bought this brand of replacement backflow protectors, and they worked great.
Tubing: I had multiple lactation consultants confirm to me that you do NOT need to replace your tubing unless you get liquid or mold in the tubes. The backflow protectors should prevent this from happening. They recommended to remove your pump parts after pumping but keep the tubing in and continue allowing the pump to run for 30 seconds to blow air through the tubing and keep it clean. I know this stuff can get expensive, so I wanted to let you know that these parts most likely won’t need to be replaced.
Shop my favorite flanges (available in sizes 19mm, 21mm, 24m, and 27mm) here, duckbill valves here, and backflow protectors here, Shop original Spectra replacement parts here.
BREASTMILK PUMPING BOTTLES: The Spectra breast pump comes with two bottles, but I think it’s a good idea to have extras on hand for several reasons. First of all, you want to make sure they’re always clean and sanitized. Secondly, you can use these bottles for storage or for feeding your baby (with the attached nipple) if you want. And lastly, you might make more milk than two bottles will hold. You can also upgrade to the 9oz pumping bottles too. These bottles fit the Spectra equipment perfectly, but they are a bit cheaper. Shop my favorite breastmilk pump bottles here (4.7 oz) and here (9oz).
HAAKA PUMP: Ok, so here’s the thing. When you’re breastfeeding, there’s this thing that happens called a let down where your milk comes down into your breasts for the baby to drink. When your baby starts feeding on one side, it’s very common for your other side to leak. Here’s what I mean. This leaking is a problem for two reasons. First of all, you and your baby will get wet. Secondly, and most importantly, you are WASTING milk. I am so mad at myself for wasting SO much milk – especially when I was having milk supply problems. The Haaka pump solves this issue in an easy and cost-effective way, and you can bet your bottom dollar I ordered one as soon as I found out about it.
The Haaka pump is a soft silicone pump that suctions to your nipple. It’s easy and painless to apply and use. Basically, you suction it to your boob and let your leaking milk collect in the bottom of the pump while you breastfeed your baby on your other breast. It’s that simple. Here is a great example of what that will look like. I’ve even heard of moms sleeping with them on to collect milk that leaks while they sleep, which is also a very common thing. Once you’re done on one side, you can simply set the pump down and save the milk for later while the baby continues to feed on the second side. The Haaka pump is a MUST-HAVE item for all breastfeeding moms! Shop the Haaka pump here.
MILK STORAGE BAGS: Once you’ve pumped your breast milk, you’ll want to store it in the fridge or freezer. While you can use the bottles that come with your breast pump, you will eventually be pumping more milk than those bottles can hold over the coarse of the day. Plus, it’s way more cost effective to buy breastmilk storage bags than it is to buy extra bottles. These bags are cost-effective and have always worked well for me. I have never had them leak, and they’re to pour into a bottle without spilling any milk.
My advice is to only buy one box before you have your baby because you never know what your breastfeeding journey will look like. Some moms end up exclusively pumping, some moms end up only pumping sometimes, and some moms (like me) end up mainly feeding the baby at the breast and don’t need 5,000 milk storage bags. I think I only used one box over the entire year because I’d often feed Summer straight from the pump bottle or pour the milk straight into a Nurser bottle. I very rarely froze my milk because I didn’t have an oversupply. With that being said, I know mamas who’ve gone through box after box. I’d go ahead and buy one box and see where your journey leads you! Shop my favorite breastmilk storage bags here.
SOOTHING GEL PADS: Another thing that commonly happens early on is nipple sensitivity, chafing, or even cracking (ouch!). Most of the time this problem has to do with your baby’s latch being a little off (definitely go see a lactation consultant to help solve this issue. Makes a huge difference!), but regardless of why it occurs, sore nipples are no fun.
That’s why I always recommend for new moms to pick up one package of Soothies Gel Pads before they even start breastfeeding. They’re cooling gel pads that adhere directly to your boobs, and you can apply them throughout the day in between feedings. It IMMEDIATELY lessens the discomfort, and you simply take off the gel pad and rinse with water before the next feeding. I was blessed to only have this issue once, but I’m telling you, these gel pads saved the day. Worth every penny! Shop my favorite soothing gel pads here.
In a nutshell, I had milk production issues when I first started breastfeeding for a lot of reasons. I have a very lengthy breastfeeding-focused post in the works where I’ll explain more, but in the meantime, I have to mention one of the products that made a HUGE difference in my breastfeeding journey: Legendairy Milk supplements.
Let me preface this recommendation by saying that I am not someone who takes a million supplements. I take a prenatal multivitamin and omega-3 supplement each day, but that’s it. Flash forward to me having milk supply issues, and I reached out to a lactation consultant for help. Among other recommendations that I’ll share in another post, she highly recommended the Legendairy Milk line. She said she’d seen so many of her clients have great success with the line, and she loved that all of their supplement blends are fenugreek-free (fenugreek has been reported to dry up some women’s milk supplies).
I immediately ordered a sampler pack from their website, and after seeing a major difference in supply within literally 24 hours, I was hooked. I ended up taking Legendary Milk’s Pump Princess and Milkapalooza for around nine months, and I really feel like it made a big difference. I also had a good experience switching out Cash Cow for Milkapalooza for several months, and I also used the Organic Sunflower Lecithin to help increase milk flow and prevent and treat plugged ducts.
In addition to having really high-quality products, their Instagram is seriously one of the best breastfeeding resources on the web. I learned SO many amazing tips and tricks there and discovered some of my favorite products, like the Haaka pump I mentioned earlier. Shop my favorite Legendairy Milk supplements here, and use the code ASHLEY15 at checkout to save 15%.
NURSING BRAS: This Kindred Bravely nursing bra* is my most-worn bra. It’s incredibly comfortable and works like a charm for nursing. I also loved this bra* from the same brand for sleeping because it is so soft and stretchy! I’ve worn one or both of these bras every single days for the past year and a half, and they have held up beautifully despite being washed about a million times. Definitely worth the money! Kindred Bravely just released a bra that works for nursing AND pumping, and I will definitely pick one up the next time I have a baby. I’ve never found a pumping bra that I like, and who wants to switch bras just to pump? Not me! This one seems like it’s the best of both worlds. Shop my favorite nursing bras here and here.
Bottles + FeedingBOTTLES: Every one in my family recommended these bottles, so I immediately bought a set in addition to a few other kinds. While all of the bottles were fine, the Playtex bottles were the clear winner for several reasons. First of all, I felt like all of the other bottles we used released the milk far too quickly – even with the slow flow nipples attached. Since I had low milk supply at the beginning of our breast feeding journey, it was a really big deal that the bottles were releasing the milk to Summer quicker than I could because she started to prefer her bottles. It sounds silly, but it really affected the habits she formed about the cadence of her breathing/swallowing while eating.
As soon as we switched to exclusively using the Playtex Nurser bottles, Summer got the hang of breastfeeding and regained patience while breastfeeding because the coordinating slow flow nipples really passed the milk to her in the same flow as I did. By the way, if you are breastfeeding, I would definitely suggest using slow flow nipples for as long as possible. We used the slowest flow for her bottles until she was around 9 months old with no issues!
Whether or not you’re breastfeeding, these bottles are still a must-have because they are SO much easier to clean. The bases of these bottles use pre-sterilized disposable liners (they come in 4 and 8 oz sizes), so you have one less thing to sterilize each day. Shop our favorite bottles here, the coordinating liners here, and our go-to slow flow nipples here (be sure to select the SLOW FLOW version!).
BOTTLE WARMER: This baby bottle warmer was affordable, compact, and effective. I loved that I could warm a bottle much quicker than if I’d boiled water on the stove. Since I was using the bottles with drop-in liners, I just put the milk in the liner, dipped the liner into the bottle warmer until it was the right temperature, and then inserted the liner into the bottle. Shop our go-to bottle warmer here.
BOTTLE STERILIZER: This microwave steam sterilizer seriously saves the day. It’s roomy, holds several bottles or pump parts, and can just be thrown in the microwave with some water. Plus, you can throw this bad boy in the washing machine every so often to clean the outside if needed. Seriously, it is genius and one of our most-used and most-loved baby products. Shop my favorite bottle sterilizer here.
DRYING RACK: When I was pregnant, I didn’t really understand why a drying rack would be necessary for drying bottle and pump parts, and at the end of the day, it isn’t. You can get away with hand-drying the parts, but I have to say that this white drying rack worked like a charm when I didn’t have time to meticulously dry each part. While some of the parts can air dry, rounded bottles, nipples, and some of the Spectra’s pump parts stay moist if you really don’t get in there with a towel. That’s why I started using this drying rack. I simply placed the parts on top after drying, and it really helped to move the air through to even the most troublesome parts. Definitely something that is nice to have! Shop the drying rack I use here.
HIGH CHAIR: We received this covertible high chair as a gift from my aunt, and we have absolutely loved it! I love that the fabric is extremely easy to wipe clean, and the removable tray makes food clean-up a breeze. Another great thing about this high chair is that it’s convertible and can be transitioned into all sorts of things. Everything from an infant high chair to a toddler booster, to a toddler table and chair. Plus, once your first child is using it as a toddler chair, you can use the top portion to feed a second child that’s a baby! I think this feature will be really useful once we have a second kiddo. Check it out here to see all of the different ways you can use this high chair. Shop our exact high chair here.
SIPPY CUP: Oh man, sippy cups are way trickier than I ever thought they’d be. From what I’ve heard from multiple sources, the spoutless or soft straw sippy cups are better for dental development. Don’t quote me because I’m not a professional haha! With that being said, Summer definitely prefers soft straw over all other types (we’ve tried them all) because she can drink from any angle.
Our all-time favorites are the soft straw sippy cup by Munchkin and this Minnie Mouse soft straw cup because Summer is obsessed with all things Minnie Mouse at the moment. The Munchkin cup spills less, but the Minnie Mouse cup (also available in other prints) is easier to clean. If you’re on the fence, I’d go with Munchkin. We honestly love both for different reasons, though! Shop our favorite sippy cups here and here.
BIBS: As a mom, I personally love silicone bibs (these are so cute). They’re extremely easy to clean and make life so easy. With that being said, Summer won’t always wear them. Sometimes she’s cool with it, and other times, she won’t even eat one bite before ripping off her bib. SO, we use Neat Solutions pull-over bibs. Summer doesn’t mind them, they cover a large portion of her outfit, and you can just throw them in the wash when your child is done eating. Easy peasy! Summer loves them, and I do too! Shop our favorite pull-over bibs here and here. Similar pull-over bibs available in more patterns here.
SPOONS: We love these spoons from Munchkin! We’ve used them for the past 7-ish months, and they’ve held up great. Shop my favorite baby spoons here.
PLACEMAT: Plate and babies don’t mix. Most of the time I just put bite-size pieces of food straight on Summer’s high chair tray; however, these silicone placemats are amazing when her meal includes items that need to remain separate. They suction to the table or Summer’s high chair to stay in place, and they’re also amazing to use at restaurants. Shop silicone placements here.
When Summer first transitioned from her bassinet to her crib, we would also use this aquarium baby soother sound machine / night light to help Summer calm down and fall asleep. You can choose between two light and sound setting combinations that play for about 15-20 minutes, and the little fish move around in the aquarium. Summer was MESMERIZED by this thing for months, but she unfortunately outgrew it and started trying to rip it off her crib to play with it. The baby soother has an amazing device that attaches it to the crib, so it never came off… but it eventually became a bit of a distraction. We will still keep it for our next baby though, because it worked really well when she was little! Shop this baby soother here.
Next, we used this little lamb sound machine to help her fall asleep. It plays a few calming nature sounds and lullabies for around 15-20 minutes, and you can also enable a feature that will play a lullaby if your baby cries for more than 15 seconds. It also has a velcro strap to keep it tightly secured to your little one’s crib. We’ve moved this out of Summer’s crib because we bought a more advanced sound machine, but it’s still one of her favorite toys. She’s named it “bah-bah” and carries it around like a little baby. An effective AND cost-effective sound machine! Shop this stuffed animal sound machine here.
While we love our little lamb, I heard so many people talking about the Hatch Baby Night Light and Sound Machine that I had to pick it up. I have to admit, it is REALLY awesome. There are tons of sound, light, and volume options, but the best part is, you can remotely control the machine through an app on your phone. I put on her low light and white noise before she fall asleep, and once she’s soundly sleeping, I’ll hop on my app and turn off the sound.
You can also set a timer if you’d like, and you can set an alarm with sound and/or light. It’s great if she wakes up in the middle of the night because I can hop on my phone and play a lullaby or white noise and set an alarm for 15-20 minutes if she needs some help falling back asleep. I also love that you have tons of flexibility with the volume of the noise and intensity of the light. As I mentioned before, I really don’t want Summer to be super-dependent on a sound machine, so I use a very low volume of the white noise. With that being said, it’s also nice that you can really crank it up if you’re having people over or need to drown out other loud noises in your home. It’s a super cool device, and I have a feeling we will be using this one for YEARS. Shop our favorite sound machine and night light here.
FOOTED PAJAMAS: We could never really get Summer to stay in her swaddles, but she loved footed pajamas. Our favorites were these from Nordstrom and the Cloud Island footed sleepers. Both brands are soft and comfortable and available in multiple patterns. Shop our favorite footie pajamas here and here.
SLEEP SACKS: We love sleep sacks! They keep Summer warm at night without exposing her to the dangers of using a blanket, and they’re really soft and cozy. We love this Ergobaby sleep sack in particular because it has adjustable shoulder straps to help you modify the length slightly (super helpful as your little one grows), two zippers, and holes for her feet to modify the sleep sack into an oversized romper if desired for play or travel. We also love this sleep sack from Burt’s Bees and this one from Halo. Simple, comfy, and very functional. Shop our favorite sleep sacks here and here.
LOVIES: Before Summer was born, I bought her this adorable Barefoot Dreams CozyChic Barefoot Buddy (also comes in blue/dog and cream/bear versions) because I am obsessed with all things Barefoot Dreams, and I thought she’d like the cozy fabric and cuddly little animal (we have the bunny). While she didn’t use it as a lovie when she was a newborn, it was the perfect little blanket to use for SUPERVISED naps, strollers rides, or chilly fall/winter mornings in her carseat. The fabric is ultra-soft, and it’s the perfect size to cover a newborn’s little legs. Now that she’s older, she sleeps with it every night along with her Slumberkins fox.
I think Slumberkins is such a great company. They have the cutest and softest little lovies, and each character has an amazing coordinating story with extremely valuable emotional lessons. I know that Summer will love these books as she gets older, but for now, her Silken Rose Fox AKA Foxy is one of her BFFs. Shop Summer’s favorite lovies here and here.
Unlike our teether necklaces that I’ve seen, this version has knots in between each and every bead to prevent breakage, and the entire necklace is dishwasher-safe. When Summer was younger, I’d wear this necklace all the time when holding her to let her chew, and she still loves. I also loaded it up with toys, pacifiers, and more for our long flights to and from Alaska. It was a lifesaver! Shop our favorite teether necklace here and here.
SILICONE FEEDERS: We LOVE these silicone feeders from Boon. We had used a mesh version previously and hated them, so I was thrilled to see this suggestion from Lynzy. They’re easy to use, easy to clean, and really hold up over time. When Summer is teething, I’ll just fill one these feeders up with cold or slightly frozen (but still soft-ish) fruit, and she can chew and calm her aching gums. You can also fill these with prunes if your little one is constipated haha, and they LOVE the taste! Shop our favorite silicone feeders here and here (2-pack).
SOPHIE LA GIRAFE: Before I had a baby, I thought that Sophie La Girafe was a cheap piece of rubber. As Summer started teething, we bought all sorts of teething toys, but she honestly didn’t like any of them. We happened to stumble upon the Sophie La Giraffe TV show on Hulu, and Summer instantly fell in love. She was/is beyond obsessed with all things Sophie, so I finally ordered a Sophie La Girafe teether toy. Over the past year, Sophie has been our most-used toy BY FAR, and Summer still loves her even as a now 13-month-old little girl.
The design is adorable, and the material is soft and easy to chew. But most importantly, Sophie’s shape is ideal for chewing. If you’re looking to add to your baby registry or pick up a new toy for your teething baby, definitely add Sophie La Girafe to your cart! Sidenote: Summer is so enamored with all things Sophie that she had a Sophie La Girafe birthday party (pics to come), is going to be Sophie for Halloween (costume here), AND we now own all of Sophie’s friends. Shop Summer’s favorite teether toy here.
This chair is extremely comfortable, the perfect size for our nursery, and the charging feature really comes in handy. My favorite feature of all is the electric recline system. It’s very smooth, so you don’t wake up your baby if you’re feeding them. It lets you get a little bit more comfortable while nursing, or you can use it if you need to take a little nap in your little one’s room. Shop our favorite nursery chair here with FREE shipping!
CRIB LINENS: We bought this Monique Lhuillier for Pottery Barn Kids crib bedding set for Summer, and we have loved it! It’s extremely beautiful, soft, and hold up well over time. This lace bed skirt really transforms her crib, and these sheets are so soft and durable. We’ve washed them countless times, and they still look and feel brand new! There are so many styles available in their baby bedding, I would definitely recommend checking it out. I know it’s not the cheapest line, but it really is nice quality and very durable in my experience. DEFINITELY wait for a sale, though! Shop our favorite crib linens here.
We also bought these affordable crib sheets from Cloud Island at Target while we were traveling, and they hold up pretty well but aren’t quite as soft. We’ve used them in her Pack ‘N Play (they’re slightly too big, but they work!), and they’re also our backup sheets when we’re washing her Pottery Barn sheets. Definitely worth checking out! Shop these sheets here.
VELVET BABY HANGERS: I am OBSESSED with Summer’s velvet baby hangers. They are extremely durable, and clothes don’t slip off of them. Plus, they are absolutely beautiful. I chose the ivory velvet with gold hooks, but they have the same hangers in multiple colors and multiple hook colors (silver, gold, or rose gold). I love them so much that I just got a matching set for my closet! Shop our favorite baby hangers here (also available in kids and adult sizes).
PACK ‘N PLAY: A Pack ‘N Play is an absolute necessity. It can be used as a makeshift crib, bassinet, and diaper change station (at least this model can), and of course, as a place for your little one to play safely. I usually put a few of Summer’s favorite toys in her Pack ‘N Play and let her play (and keep her safe in one place) while I’m cleaning or taking a bath, and we also use it as a travel crib when we visit our families. I also highly recommended picking up a fitted sheet too to keep the mattress clean and provide a softer surface. Shop our go-to Pack ‘N Play here and here and the coordinating fitted sheets here.
BathingBATH TUB: Once Summer outgrew bathing in her flower bath pillow in our bathroom sink, we moved her into a bigger bathtub. Unfortunately, our exact model was discontinued, but it was similar to this one. We loved having the temperature controls built right into the bathtub, so we always knew if the water was the appropriate temperature. Shop a similar bath tub here.
HOODED BATH TOWELS: My dad and stepmother gave Summer one of the Pottery Barn Kids hooded towels in a cute polar bear design (tons of other animals available here), and it is STILL in perfect condition a year later. It is so thick, so soft, and such great quality. I know they aren’t cheap, so I’d recommend waiting for a sale and then picking up one or two. They are SO good and will last for years!
A more affordable option that we also love is the Cloud Island line at Target. Stephanie gave us this adorable unicorn hooded towel, and it’s always been one of Summer’s favorites! This line is adorable and good quality, but they are thinner and slightly smaller than the Pottery Barn Kids version – which makes them AWESOME for smaller babies and newborns. Shop our favorite hooded bath towels here, here, and here.
BODY WASH: Right now, I am obsessed with the Young Living Seedlings Baby Wash & Shampoo for Summer because it smells absolutely divine, and it’s all natural. While it’s safe for newborns, I don’t think I would have used it on Summer when she was just born because the scent is quite strong (in a good way, but still). I feel more comfortable using unscented or lightly scented on just-born babies, and we had a great experience using the Beautycounter Baby Gentle All-Over Wash (unscented and all-natural) and the CeraVe Baby Wash & Shampoo (unscented but not all-natural). These two baby washes are extremely similar in performance, but the Beautycounter version is made with all safe and clean ingredients. At the end of the day, it just depends what works for you and your baby! If you’re looking for natural baby bath products, check out my favorites here. Shop the body washes we’ve loved here, here, and here.
BABY LOTION: Right now, we alternate between a few baby lotions. We love the Young Living Seedlings Baby Lotion as an everyday baby lotion because as I mentioned before, the entire line smells AMAZING and is made with all-natural and safe ingredients. When Summer needs to use a heavier lotion, we use the Tubby Todd Dream Cream, which is all natural and again, smells incredible. When we really need to break out the big guns for a dry patch, cold weather, or just want to do a heavy-duty moisturizing treatment, the Tubby Todd Natural All Over Ointment is our jam. All three of these moisturizers are fantastic, work well on sensitive baby skin, and are made with safe and all-natural ingredients. See more of my favorite natural bath products for babies in this post. Shop our favorite natural baby lotions here, here, and here.
BABY OIL: Babies have really sensitive and dry skin, so it needs constant and gentle moisturizers. I love using baby oils on Summer to hydrate her skin and make sure we keep the eczema she had when she was younger at bay. When Summer was younger and had eczema, we’d layer a baby oil underneath her lotion almost every single night. Now that she’s older and her eczema is under control, we use baby oil a few times a week instead of lotion. Sometimes I’ll also add a few drops with her bath water to provide an extra moisture boost.
We love the Beautycounter Baby Soothing Oil because 100% natural and safe, very effective, is completely unscented, and has incredibly functional and leak-proof packaging. I LOVE that this oil’s packaging includes a pump. It’s make application and storage so easy. We used the Beautycounter Baby Daily Protective Balm in a similar way, but because of the thicker texture, we mainly use it for spot treatments on dry patches or diaper rashes. If you live in a colder climate or your baby has eczema, the thicker texture is great because it really sticks to the skin. I am also LOVING the Young Living Seedlings Baby Oil because as I keep mentioning – I am addicted to the smell! This one is great to use on the skin, but I also love using it in her (and my own) baths to provide a boost of scent and moisture. Learn abouthte best best natural baby bath products here. Shop our favorite baby oils here, here, and here.
INFANT CART SEAT: My husband’s parents gave us the Graco Snugride infant car seat at our baby shower, and it has been a lifesaver over the past year – especially when Summer was very little. While normal car seat need to stay in your car, this infant car seat snaps into a base that permanently stays in your car. That way, you can remove the car seat with your baby strapped in securely and attach it to the coordinating stroller (see more below) or to carry them around. This feature was honestly so convenient when Summer was younger and would sleep for most of the day. It allowed me to easily transport her around while I was running errands or visiting family without interrupting her naps.
While the seat can be purchased individually, ours was part of a set with a coordinating stroller. The Graco FastAction Fold Click Connect Travel System Stroller set is AWESOME because you can quickly connect your car seat to the stroller, and once your little one outgrows their infant car seat, the stroller can still be used on its own! Shop our infant car seat here and here OR in a cart seat + stroller set here and here.
CAR SEAT: Summer has almost outgrown her infant car seat, so it was time for us to pick up a new one that would last us for the next few years. After asking a million moms for their opinion, the Graco Extend2Fit convertible car seat was the clear winner, and then we found this adorable pink bow print, so it was a total no-brainer! This car seat works from infancy all the way up to 65 pounds, so it will absolutely be worth the investment! We’ll be keeping Summer rear-facing for as long as possible (at least the next year or so), but it’s nice to know that when she’s old enough, this car seat also works as a front-facing seat. Shop our go-to car seat here.
STROLLER: As I mentioned earlier, our infant car seat and stroller came together in the Graco FastAction Fold Click Connect Travel System Stroller set. We’ve absolutely loved this set because it allowed us to quickly transport Summer from the car to the stroller, and the car seat snaps into place quickly and easily. I also love that the stroller itself is sturdy but not too heavy and can be folded up or open quickly and easily. Now that Summer is older, we leave her car seat in the car, and we are still able to use the same stroller! If you’re not a fan of this particular design, there are tons of other stroller base options here. Shop our go-to stroller here.
STROLLER FAN: If you live anywhere even remotely hot, you’re definitely going to want to get a stroller fan. I’d recommend getting one that clips to your stroller easily, and if possible, one with replaceable batteries as opposed to rechargeable batteries. The rechargeable batteries are a good idea in theory; however, in my experience, the batteries don’t last long at all, and there’s no way to recharge or replace them if you’re out and about or don’t have time to sit at home and wait for the battery to charge. We have this Mickey Mouse stroller fan, and I love that we can replace the batteries easily. Also, I’d really recommend finding a fan with foam blades- just in case your little one to decides to stick their fingers through the fan grates. Shop our go-to stroller fan here and other models here.
UMBRELLA STROLLER: Sometimes you just don’t need or can’t bring a large stroller, and that’s why it’s a good idea to also have an umbrella stroller, which is basically a lightweight stroller that folds up like an umbrella. We bought this adorable Minnie Mouse umbrella stroller for trips to Disney Springs and the airport, and it was the only stroller we brought to Alaska and Hawaii. There are TONS of great umbrella strollers here, so you’ll definitely be able to find a design that fits your lifestyle. Shop our favorite umbrella stroller here + a wide-variety here.
STROLLER HOOK: My stepmother bought me this stroller hook, and I swear, it saves the day EVERY SINGLE DAY. I keep it hooked to the handle of our stroller, and I mainly use it to hold my diaper bag and shopping bags. It makes shopping with a baby a piece of cake, and it really saves your back when you don’t have to lug around your diaper bag. Seriously, worth every penny and needs to be in every mama’s arsenal! Shop my favorite stroller hook here.
I don’t only use Dreft for the scent -although if they sold it as a perfume or candle, I would TOTALLY buy it. It’s gentle on your baby’s delicate skin, and Summer has never had any irritations when I’ve used this laundry detergent. We didn’t want our clothes to rub on her and irritate her skin, so we started washing all of our laundry with Dreft and got hooked. My husband’s exact words were “why did we ever use anything else?”
In addition to being gentle on your skin and smelling amazing, I find that this laundry detergent works really well at combatting stains and dirt. All in the all, it’s a solid detergent for your entire family – not just babies. I buy Dreft on Amazon with Subscribe & Save, so I get 15% off each order. Plus, you can get an extra $2.00 off your first first order. You can read more about our experience with Dreft here. Buy my favorite laundry detergent for babies here.
STAIN REMOVER: Babies are messy, and they don’t just get their things messy. They make everything messy. That’s why it’s absolutely essential to have a great stain remover in your laundry room. No joke, the Dreft stain remover is LEGIT. I only bought a bottle because I thought it would be safe for Summer, but now I’ll be repurchasing until the end of time because it’s literally the best stain remover I’ve ever used. Shop my favorite stain remover here + a travel size version here.
OUTLET PLUGS: Your house needs to be baby-proofed sooner than you may think. It seemed like Summer went from laying to rolling to sitting to crawling to standing to walking in no time at all, and as soon as could move in any way, she moved straight towards our electrical outlets. If you’re looking for a quick and easy solution to this problem, pick up a pack of outlet plugs and put them in every outlet your baby could possibly find. Shop the outlet plugs we used here.
All photos by S & G Photography.
Today’s post includes affiliate links, which means I make a commission when a purchase is made after clicking through the link. I value your trust and only recommend products that I truly love. Items marked with an asterisk* were provided by PR for consideration; however, I absolutely would purchase these products myself. All other items were bought by myself or my family. We have thoroughly tested these items for months to an entire year before recommending them to you.