A Mother’s Guide: Baby Essentials

Congratulations!! You found out you are expecting or know someone who is! I am assuming that since you are taking the time to read this post. Unless you just like reading about baby products which is cool too.

After seeing that second line on the pregnancy stick, your mind goes into a thousand places of how to prepare for your new baby. At least mine did! It is such an exciting time and really a journey into a whole new world.

With our first daughter Melina, we were on a tight budget to get everything we needed for her and still be stashing away money for when I was not working anymore. I had a temporary position that was very beneficial to us but I would not be returning after I had her.

At the time, we had it planned that my husband would be solely providing for our family. So we were in no financial place to waste our money. Read more about our story here: The Mom Conflict: Deciding to Stay at Home or Return to Work

Being a pretty young mom I did not have many friends that could refer me to the products that they loved with their children. So I really relied on customer reviews, Pinterest research and just trying things out.

Shopping for baby stuff can be extremely overwhelming! I remember the first time my husband and I went to BuyBuy Baby we must have been in the store for 3+ hours!! There was so much to look and get excited for!! It is very hard to control yourself when shopping for your children, especially being a first-time parent because you aren’t really sure what you will actually need.

I am going to try and make it very easy for you and tell you what worked for us and why we loved what we had for the first three months. I will also share some items that really just didn’t work out for us too.

I try to take the approach that less is more with baby gear.

baby essentials

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Baby Delight Bedside Dreamer Bassinet $199.99

If there is one thing you get out of this whole post please let it be how amazing a bassinet is! Having a bassinet bedside is a lifesaver!! Newborns wake up too many times to count at first! Why make yourself walk across the house to get them when they can be right next you?

Plus there are many studies showing how beneficial it is for a baby to co-sleep in the parents bedroom. Babies are meant to be close to use in their first few months. The smell of us alone is very comforting to them and offers them a sense of security while they are adjusting to being out of the womb.

More details of the bedside bassinet here.

Chicco Key Fit 30 Car Seat $199

The next thing you will need is a car seat! You cannot bring your bundle of joy home without this item. And knowing how to properly use it! Which is a whole different story.

There are so many choices and styles when searching for a car seat. While I was researching, I was on the hunt for a car seat that was rated highly for safety features and yet a reasonable price, as these can get pretty pricey!

We decided to select the Chicco Key Fit 30, after playing around with many different models this one was the right fit for us.

Why we selected Chicco Key Fit 30:

  • Ranks in the top 5 brands for crash testing
  • EPS foam to absorb impact
  • Cushioned Infant Insert (that can be taken out once the baby has grown)
  • NICU nurses recommend due to extra protection for smaller babies
  • Compact seat for smaller cars
  • Locks into a base for easy install and removal
  • Sleek design and gender neutral looking for multiple kids

Many parents lean toward the convertible car seats because they allow the baby to transition throughout the different weight stages. However, it is much safer for children to be in the infant car seats when they are less than 20 lbs. Not to mention it is much more convenient to be able to transfer your baby in the car seat when the baby has fallen asleep in the car. With a convertible car seat, you would not have that option as they are a lot heavier and not able to carry around like an infant car seat.

Another feature that I love about this car seat is that it is not too heavy. As I was testing car seats out that was something that I took into consideration. Especially since I would be the one primarily with my daughter during the day, I wanted a seat that I was comfortable traveling around with. While it isn’t the lightest thing out there, especially with a baby in there, it was better than most options. I just thought of it as my workout! Time to tone those flabby mom arms!

You can find more details about the Chicco Key Fit  30 Car Seat here.

Check out this car seat cover to keep your baby protected from wind and rain. This cover can transform into a nursing cover and high chair cover as well. I like this style because it is lightweight and gender neutral with many uses! I used this all the time for a nursing cover. I felt that this type of cover concealed me the most.

Chicco Viaro Travel System, Techna   $399

We bought our Chicco Key Fit 30 as a bundle with the Chicco Viaro stroller in the Techna shade which is a sleek grey and black design. This travel system as a whole played into why we selected our car seat as well. I loved how lightweight the stroller was and how easy it was to connect the infant seat.

I was easily able to lift it in and out of my car one-handed. In fact, there were multiple times that I was getting the stroller out of the car with my daughter in my hands. That is how easy it is to get it set up! While your child is still in the infant base you can just secure it right on to the travel system with just a click! There is a very secure attachment between the stroller and the infant base so no need to worry about the car seat falling off or becoming loose.

The one issue I seemed to have with the Viaro stroller is that I constantly bumped into racks at the stores. I am not sure why I could never get my proximity of the stroller wheels right, but we hugged a lot of corners! My husband said that this is an error on my part and that you just have to realize the back wheels come out a bit compared to the width of the stroller. So maybe it is just an issue on my part! Other than that I loved the smoothness of the ride it provided for my daughter. She took many naps while out strolling around in this stroller from when she was in the infant seat to after 1 year old. There is a reclining option for the seat as well as a large cover to block the sunlight.

You can find more details out about the Chicco Viaro Travel System here.

Hafmall Diaper Bag Backpack $36

I really struggled with making a decision on our diaper bag! I wanted to be cost-effective and select a bag that my husband felt comfortable carrying around so we did not have two separate bags, but I also wanted it to be fairly stylish. And of course, I didn’t want to spend a fortune on it either!

After looking at a ton of styles I decided that we were definitely getting a backpack baby bag. It is the most convenient style baby bag out there and very gender neutral. I was not going to make my husband look like he was carrying a purse if he took our daughter out solo. Even though I don’t think it would have been that big of a deal to him.

We originally purchased a Graco diaper bag that was all black from Target. It had two zippered compartments with an insulated area for bottles on the side, along with a wipe slot. I went to link it here but they actually discontinued the bag!

After about six months of use, it started to rip on the bottom and looked very worn out. Granted we are on the go a lot and it was a cheaper bag, the fabric should have been able to hold up much better than what it did. Not to mention that the bag was not easy to clean and never looked new after we went through the winter season.

So we were on the hunt again!

After loving the backpack style we knew we wanted another bag like that. This time I wanted a bag that had more room and was a bit more stylish than the all black basic diaper backpack with two zipper compartments.

Browsed lots of Amazon diaper bags and fell in love with the Hafmall Diaper Bag.

What we loved:

  • A large main compartment that was easy to see everything
  • Rear access to the main compartment for bottom items
  • Pockets that lined the inside for smaller items
  • Water resistant for winter months
  • Stylish but still gender neutral
  • Insulated front compartment with three slots of bottles
  • Reasonably Priced

More details about my favorite baby bag here.

JJ Cole Changing Clutch $20

Changing your little ones in public restrooms can be pretty gross. I always felt much better having my own changing pad to put down for my daughter to lay on for our changes.

We would also use this changing pad around our house as it takes up much less room than the standard changing pad. We had bought a changing table for our nursery and used it less than ten times. We ended up getting rid of it to free up space in her room because we never used it.

I preferred to change diapers wherever we were instead of constantly going to the changing table in her room. If we were in the family room I would just get the changing clutch and place it on our couch to change our daughter. Saves time, space and money if you opt out of buying a changing table!

Check out this

Ely’s & Co Swaddle Baby Wrap Set of 2 $18.99

Swaddling a baby with a normal receiving blanket can be a tricky thing to perfect. That is why I love the convenience of using a Baby Swaddle Wrap. With Melina being born in November we were always concerned about her being too cold when she was sleeping. We found that by wrapping her in one of these wraps kept her nice and cozy and allowed her to sleep more soundly throughout the night.

For our next little girl coming in June, I have ordered these lightweight Baby Swaddle Wraps to keep her cozy too for the summer months. I am in love with how cute these patterns are!

Grab yourself some cute baby swaddle wraps here. Boy options available too.

Ultrasonic Humidifier & Sound Machine $69.99

Humidifiers during the cold season is a must for little ones! The air in the house is so dry from running the heat nonstop. We found this 2 in 1 humidifier & sound machine which was amazing!!

White noise is something that we learned would soothe our daughter almost instantly so having it in her room was a must for us. Her nursery really didn’t have a lot of shelf room so we were happy to save space and have two necessities in one!

Read more about the Ultrasonic Humidifier & Sound Machine here.

We used our phones for when we needed white noise on the go which drained our battery and our data! This time around we will be getting ourselves a sound machine on the go so we can have the peace of mind that she can sleep sound wherever we are.

Check out this sound machine for when you are on the go here!

If you are just wanting a sound machine, Hatch Rest Sound Machine & Night Line is amazing. We use it for our toddler now and she loves all of the different colors! See more details here!

Phillips Avent Natural Baby Bottle $27

Whether you are breastfeeding or formula feeding, chances are you are going to need some bottles. I was fortunate enough to have a successful time breastfeeding my daughter for the first year, however, I still would pump and bottle feed her when needed.

I was really big on wanting my daughter to build a bond with her father early on so I would let him feed her at least once a day after a few weeks of her being born. It can be hard for fathers to bond with their baby’s when they are constantly with Mama for feedings.

Including dad with feeding is crucial for the entire family, studies show that it is important for their bond & also engages dad to contribute more in the home with the kids.

We tried out multiple brands of bottles but favored Avent Bottles as they have a natural nipple for the bottle that is supposed to mimic the mother’s nipple for easy transfer between the two methods of feeding. At first, you will only need the 4-ounce bottles until they are They also have a glass option if you are trying to avoid using plastic bottles which I am considering for the second one.

A lot of times babies will need to try multiple types of bottles before finding one that works for them if any at all. Remember to be patient when going through the feeding process. With that being said, I do not recommend stocking up on baby bottles, but simply making sure you have a few just in case you need them.

For more information on Avent Natural Bottles here.

Bibs/Burp Clothes Carter’s Set for $17

Yes, your tiny newborn will need bibs even though they are not consuming any solid foods yet. This is something that I was very lazy within the beginning and regret now looking through my daughter’s clothes.

I am not sure about formula, but I know breastmilk stains and tints the clothes yellow! Yuck!! SO if you are looking to keep your baby’s clothes in good shape I recommend to bib them up during feedings to prevent the stains.

Check out more color options for your bib and burp cloth set here.

Safety 1st Nail Clippers $5.99

Does anyone like cutting baby nails? It is one of the most nerve-wracking things to do…at least I think so. I would dread when my daughter’s nails were getting long because it made me so nervous to cut them. I was afraid she would move while doing it and I would end up grabbing skin. These clippers are the perfect size for cutting tiny nails with providing a secure grip to ensure you are cutting the nail appropriately. I am so happy I discovered these from my Aunt and Uncle because it made me so much more comfortable trimming my daughter’s nails.

Add these Safety 1st Nail Clippers to your baby bag here.

Angelcare Baby Bath Support $19.99

Bathing a newborn can be intimidating at first. Their little bodies are so tiny and fragile that you feel like you might break hem moving them around so much. For our first daughter, we selected a typical baby bath that had the infant insert that was like a sling. While it did the job, I felt that I was constantly repositioning her because she would slide down and get too far into the water.

While researching new products for my second baby I came across Angelcare Baby Bath Support that has raving reviews on how supportive this bath is. You can place this bath support in a large sink or the bathtub so it will transition to when your baby is ready for the big tub! I will be purchasing one for our little girl and ditching the old one.

Get your Angelcare Baby Bath Support here.

Skip Hop Silver Lining Cloud Activity Mat $80.00

Activity mats are a lifesaver with a small baby. At first, there are not many things newborns can do by themselves so it is nice to have somewhere for them to have sensory play while you can get dinner started or laundry folded.

Our daughter loved her activity mat and would go crazy over the hanging animals. This is also perfect for playtime that transitions into a nap since it is nice and cozy.

More information about the activity mat here.

Nookums Paci-Plushies Elephant Buddies $15

At first, I was hesitant to introduce a pacifier but after nursing Melina several times the first 48 hours I realized that eventually, I needed a break. So we introduced a pacifier and it was a lifesaver!! It is no fun to feel like a human pacifier.

I chose to list this specific pacifier because I love that the plush elephant helps keep the pacifier from falling on the floor. This specific style the pacifier is detachable for easy washing which is great since there will be unfortunate times it will be dropped.

Get your adorable elephant pacifier plush here.

Other pacifiers that we love…

Skin Products

When it comes to putting products on your baby’s skin it is important to know what you are using. I am a big advocate for trying to go as natural as possible, especially with a young baby.

Everything that I use on our skin I make sure it is safe according to EWG, Environmental Working Group. EWG lists out all the ingredients that are used in the product and informs consumers what it does to our health and rates the product’s safety overall. It may seem tedious but it might surprise you how many chemicals are in the products we use daily.

Diaper Cream

Diaper rashes are no fun and can sometimes be tricky to heal. Luckily my daughter had very few diaper rashes but when she did she was in a lot of discomfort. I am not one to put cream on if there is not a rash. I do not like how products say that there needs to be a coating every single diaper change. If you know you are going to have your child in the same diaper for a prolonged time then I can see adding a protective layer. Other than that it is only necessary when a rash occurs.

These two ointments are my favorite ones to use and are considered safe by the EWG. The Aquaphor Ointment has also helped when my daughter gets dry, scaly rashes during the winter on her arms and belly. I love how a little goes a long way here, making the products very affordable.

Burt’s Bee’s Diaper Ointment 2 pack $11

Aquaphor Healing Ointment $19.51

Puracy Baby Shampoo 

On our journey to limit chemicals in our home we found a great product that can be used for all sorts of things around the house. Not only can this be used as a very safe baby body was but also for DIY natural cleaning remedies. You only need a little so this bottle will last a very long time if you are only using it on your baby.

I have used it for her shampoo as well however my mother says it makes her hair smelly yucky. I personally did not mind it but this is something to keep in mind. You do have to be careful not to get it into little one’s eyes as well.


Viva Naturals Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil $11

There are so many baby products on the market but they are not necessarily what is best for your baby. There is no need to introduce their little bodies to all of those chemicals in big name brand lotions. A simple jar of coconut oil will keep your baby’s skin nice and smooth without adding harsh chemicals to their system. Plus you can use coconut oil for a TON of other things like cooking, carrier oils, DIY cleaning, and cosmetic recipes.

This is the only thing I have been putting on my skin this winter and during my second pregnancy. My skin feels so soft and just has such a natural glow to it after using the coconut oil, my husband even uses it for his skin!

I would love to hear what products other Mama’s thought helped them through the first 3 months with their baby’s! Leave suggestions in the comments below.

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