For 33 years of my life, I didn’t know anything about babies. Truth be told (don’t judge me) I had never changed a diaper until I was in the hospital after giving birth. I had been a camp counselor and worked with a lot of older kids, but I hadn’t ever watched a baby longer than a quick viewing of a friend’s newborn. When I got pregnant last year, I’ll admit I was a little afraid. What do you do with a one-day-old baby? What kind of gear do you need, and how do you use any of it?
I started Google-ing and found a ton of helpful information, but from a bunch of different sources — so I decided to compile my ultimate baby gear list* here for all of you moms-to-be, or women looking for the perfect shower gift for your pregnant friend!
There are a million different strollers out there, but after reviewing a lot of ratings, I got these two and LOVE them. The first is the Bumbleride (1). I love that they are designed in San Diego and function beautifully. I am really impressed by their Indie stroller. It’s fantastic for all terrain and handles like a dream — you can even run full pace with it! Plus, look at that unique color (insert heart eye emoji here).
I also got the Mountain Buggy Nano (2) for a trip I took to Europe when our baby was three months old — I wanted something very small and light that would fit in an overhead compartment of a plane. This one does the trick. Weighing in at less than 13lbs, it handles excellent on those crazy cobblestones in Italy and even nicely reclines for putting a newborn to sleep. Or, you can get the cocoon if you want a bassinet to attach to it!
How do you keep an infant’s head from flopping around? These elephant ears and blanket (above) are adorable for a stroller! And for a little companion in the stroller, I love Jodie Podie’s “mini lovies” that you can even get monogrammed!
For colder weather, anything and everything from 7A.M. Enfant is absolutely amazing — from their design to their beautiful aesthetic. Their covers are compatible with any stroller or car seat and you can also wear some of them over your baby carrier. My favorites are the Le Sac Igloo (3), the Pookie Poncho (5) and these adorable mittens and hat (4) for baby!
I didn’t know that babies need to be swaddled (lol), and when I found out how hard it was to keep their arms from flailing out of one, I discovered sleep sacks and swaddles with Velcro! My two favorites are the Woombie (6), one of them even has air vents for those hot summer months, and the Ollie Swaddle (6) that has mega Velcro for all your strapping down needs!
For anyone that also finds it hard to sleep without worrying about the baby’s breathing, the Snuza (7), a portable baby movement monitor, gets my gold stars. It’s tiny and clips to their diaper and monitors breathing all night with an alert if there is a concern — great for peace of mind!
And where does baby sleep? The Dock a Tot (8)! You can put it in your bed for the early weeks and also use it as a napping station all around the house. It travels well with this beautiful travel case.
I wanted to keep our baby in my room for a few months before moving him to his crib, but I didn’t like the look of any of the bassinets on the market until I found the beautifully designed Monte Ninna Nanna Bassinet (9) — highly recommend! And oh, it rocks back and forth when the baby moves, too!
Cozy Blankets and Animals
The softest blanket award goes to Little Giraffe. They literally feel like pure silk and if you want your own — good news is — they make a robe out of the same fabric! My favorites are the Mini Blankets and Receiving Blankets. Pebble has the cutest little animals that are handmade and fair trade!
I did a lot of pumping and feeding with bottles when I went back to work, so my favorite bottles (after trying 6 brands, lol) Natursutten glass bottles — these are the most beautiful for sure, made in Italy with French glass and Italian rubber nipples. For a plastic bottle, I also like Dr. Browns. Also majorly necessary are good bibs that don’t have a gap around baby’s neck AND absorb well — the perfect ones are by MatiMati. They also make adorable pacifier clips.
Washing bottles can be super annoying, so I found the first ever washer, sterilizer and dryer machine in one by Baby Brezza (above) — it’s fast and quiet — what a dream for your dried out hands!
Cute Clothes and Accessories
Baby boy clothes can be hard to find. Personally, I’m into simple design and aesthetic, so I loved these clothes by Rosie Pope (10) that have fresh designs and really cool patterns, are very nicely made and soft. Robeez (10) is also a great brand for newborn shoes and socks that promote healthy foot development while still being fashionable and fun for baby to wear.
If you love soft onesies, then I recommend Silkberry Baby (11) for unique designs and really nice fabrics. Want a swaddle that’s made of flannel and so cozy to match? I love this one by Trend Lab (11).
Cutest wrap for baby? The Solly Baby (13) — made from the softest cotton and they come in gorgeous colors!
As far as shoes, Sweet and Swag (12) makes the cutest moccasins that are much more affordable than other brands. Hobes (12) from Australia also makes these awesome metallic shoes and others with soft fur inside.
For you, Mama
I think it’s important to ask your significant other or a friend to watch your baby for some personal pamper time. And making sure you have some nice things during this early baby stage is important, too!
Your skin might feel a little crazy after birth, so I recommend Dr. Gross’ Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel packets (14) that work on uneven tone and texture, fine lines and wrinkles, and enlarged pores with five acids — I’ve seriously never used a product that works this well — they are well worth the price for quality, safe ingredients. The Brilliant Facial Oil by Bezi (14) is a powerful, restorative formula for glowing, hydrated skin and it actually rubs in!
I was also looking for a foundation to wear for date night and was recommended ByTerry (14) foundation by one of our Darling makeup artists and although it is more high end, it lasts forever and is super high quality and safe for your skin.
For pampering in and out of the shower, my favorite discovery has been 100% Pure (15) — everything is natural and safe and unbelievably effective. Also for you and baby, I’d recommend Coco Kind products (16) — lovely smelling, clean and natural.
Many women also claim that their hair falls out after pregnancy, and for this I’d recommend Mason Pearson hairbrushes. These brushes have changed my life, no joke. I have the most sensitive scalp and their detangler brush and sensitive scalp brushes (18) are absolutely amazing. They are more of an investment but quality is always key and it will last forever!
Also, the key to less frustration and more organization is a good diaper bag. I found this one by One Duo (17) and am obsessed with it! It’s unique, not everyone has it, and the compartments inside are perfection for all your needs.
If you’re nursing, you need a good cover. My favorite is by Covered Goods (19). Also, who says you can’t have style, beautiful AND functional bras when you’re pregnant or nursing? For soft and luxurious maternity clothes, that also transition well into nursing, Boob (20) products win the prize. They have dresses, bras, leggings and more! The nursing-friendly bras by Mayana Genevière (21) are also stunning and make you feel normal and beautiful, even right after having a baby!
Around the House
Lorena (23) makes amazing rugs that you can throw in the washing machine — perfect for the little ones when they are teething and you need to clean everything every five minutes.
I wanted a high chair seating system that would look nice aesthetically and also last a long time, so I found the Stokke Steps (24) high chair. It’s suitable from newborn age with different attachments and adjusts as your child grows. Instead of buying a chair for each stage, this one does it all!
Last but not least, we all want to have plenty of entertainment for baby without our house looking like a pre-school, so it’s great to find products like Finn and Emma that are functional AND beautiful — my favorite is their play gym (25).
Featured Image via Amanda Jordan