Finding out you’re expecting a baby can be a thrilling, long-awaited moment. You and your growing family are about to embark on a unique and beautiful journey. Of course this time in your life can also be a bit of an overwhelming experience — your new tiny human will need all of your attention… and plenty of expensive gear, too.
When my husband and I discovered we were expecting our daughter in July, we quickly started researching everything we’d need to keep her healthy and happy. There’s a lot to think about — and it’s so easy to spend money on things you don’t need, or that might not last. But we diligently sifted through many things on the market today to find out what’s worth the splurge (and also where you can save!)
If you’re a first-time parent embarking on your journey, keep in mind that every baby is different and will have a variety of preferences and opinions. (Yep, even at a few days old, they’ll make their voices heard!)
Here, we sifted through all of the baby stuff to offer our top recommendations, in all price ranges. From strollers and car seats to breastfeeding, and more, consider this your ultimate guide:
The Splurges To Save Up For
Wave 2021 Stroller, $1,399.99, Silvercrossus.com
If baby #2 or #3 are in your future, it could be worthwhile to go ahead and get a double stroller from the start. This smart option from Siver Cross allows you to convert it from a single stroller to a double without purchasing anything additional. Win-win!
Joolz Hub+, $699, Joolz.com
Safety is the most essential part of picking a stroller, but if you also care about style, consider Joolz Hub+, a top-rated sophisticated stroller that’s spacious, compact, and oh-so pretty. In addition to the design, we also love the added front and rear LED lights for nighttime strolls and the car seat adapters.
Fit4 Adapt 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat, $379.99, Chiccousa.com
Babies grow up fast, which is why a convertible car seat can be a smart financial purchase. It provides room to grow throughout all of your child’s developmental stages — from infant to toddler — and offers breathable mesh layers for comfort.
Coral XP Infant Car Seat, $399.99, Maxicosi.com
If you already have a toddler, you’ll need a second car seat to lug both kiddos around. Consider this top-rated infant car seat that makes it easy to lock in, remove, and go, for all of your errands and outings.
Deuter Kid Comfort Venture Child Carrier, $235.00, REI.com
A big secret of parenting? It’s all about multi-tasking. And sometimes, you need to lug around your little one for chores around the house. To make it more comfortable for you, consider this lightweight, cozy option. Plus, if you and your partner are vastly different heights, you’ll specifically appreciate the adjustable hip belt and VariQuick back-length feature that allows you to customize.
Beluga Baby Bamboo Carrier, $69.95, Belugababy.com
Baby wrapping is truly an art form, and though it may take some time to get the hang of it, you won’t go back once you get it down. One of the most trusted names on the market is Beluga, which claims to reduce crying by 40 percent. How so? In part, due to their breathable bamboo fabric that’s comforting and allows your baby to snuggle up easily.
The Chair, $215, Meetlalo.com
Once your baby is a wee bit older, they’ll start sitting with you at the table, proudly snacking in their high chair. However, most high chairs aren’t exactly aesthetically pleasing… Until now! This gorgeous high chair is beautifully designed and made from non-toxic materials. It’s also a breeze to clean, with smooth surfaces and machine-washable accessories.
E.C. Knox Diaper Bags, $150, Amazon.com
While mom has her own diaper bag, dad needs one too! Enter: the modern version that’s designed by a father. It allows men to keep their sense of style while offering practical solutions via 14 pockets for bottles and gear, a zip-open changing station, and a removable/washable changing pad. It also has a padded laptop sleeve for on-the-go work calls too. And hey, it’s made for dudes, but plenty of women love it, too. We think it’s the perfect unisex option.
Micuna OVO MAX Luxe High Chair with Leather Belts, $499.99, Amazon.com
If you’re up for a big ‘ole splurge, you can’t go wrong with this gorgeous high chair from OVO. It’s made of solid beechwood and offers a modern, simple design that will fit in with any home. The round tray is easy to wipe clean and allows your baby plenty of room to grow. It’ll be a must-have you use for all of your babies (and possibly their babies, too).
123 Baby Box, $56/month, Amazon.com
While your baby shower will hopefully fulfill all of your necessities, your kid will have new needs every month as they get bigger. That’s why a subscription like 123 Baby Box can be fun — and incredibly helpful. Every month, you’ll receive five to six full-sized products based on your baby’s age and development. (Sometimes, there are goodies for mom, too!)
Caraa Baby Bag, $295, Caraasport.com
No, you don’t have to sacrifice your style to be a mama. And this diaper bag proves it. It’s made of water-resistant and waterproof nylon to prevent any stains or messes, and has interior and exterior pockets for storage. As a bonus, the backpack design takes the pressure off of your shoulders while also allowing you to hook it to a stroller and get on your way.
Elvie Pump, $499, Elvie.com
Should you decide to breastfeed, there may be times when you need to pump while you’re away from your child. (Or to stock up for feedings so your partner can take a turn, too.) However, if you don’t want to be hooked up to the wall or lug around a lot of parts, this wearable electric breast pump could be a solid option. It’s pricey, but its unique design allows you to slip it on your bra and pump while you do other things. Multitasking for the win!
Double Electric Breast Pump, Advanced, $269.99, Usa.philips.com
For a more traditional breast pump, this affordable option from Philips Avent mimics the baby’s unique way of sucking and massaging. This helps to naturally stimulate your nipple for better milk flow and faster letdown when you need it.
Motif Luna w/ Battery Double Electric Breast Pump, $202.58, Amazon.com
One of the highest-rated electric breast pumps comes from Motif, where they claim ‘5 out of 6 moms get more milk in less time.’ In other words: since breastfeeding and pumping is a time-consuming process, the faster you can do it, the more rest (and time for other essentials) you can enjoy. This features various modes, like ‘Expression’ or ‘Massage’ based on what you need at that moment. It’s also only two pounds, so it’s not too much of a burden to carry.
One Step™ Baby Bottle Sterilizer And Dryer Advanced, $139.99, Babybrezza.com
In addition to breastfeeding or pumping, you’ll also need to clean and sanitize bottles, pump parts and accessories. To make it faster (and less of a headache), this sterilizer and dryer kills 99.9 percent of germs with natural steam. Anything cleaned in this device will remain sterile for 24 hours, so no rushing is required.
4moms mamaRoo Sleep Bassinet, $374.99, Amazon.com
When your baby is in the womb, they’re moved in all directions, as you move around. Once they’re out in the world by your side, this lack of familiar movement can be an upsetting change. This sleep bassinet doesn’t just rock in one direction — it mimics mom’s natural movements.
SNOO Smart Sleeper, Rental program for $149 per month, Happiestbaby.com
This sleeper was designed by renowned pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp. If you purchase it, the cost is around $1,200… but you can also rent the sleeper for the recommended six months for $150 per month. Why is it so revolutionary? It is tuned-in to your baby’s reactions, so when they start to stir in the middle of the night, it expertly moves to soothe them, giving them (and you!) more rest. In fact, it does this in under a minute, allowing many babies to be sleep trained quickly.
Nanit Pro Camera, $299.99, Amazon.com
When you and your partner are having dinner or catching up on a Netflix show, you need to have a way to watch your baby without being in the same room. Enter this wall-mounted baby cam that can connect to your iPhone, Android, Kindle Fire or Echo Show. It features two-way audio and safe encryption to keep data safe.
Boho Chic Luxe Developmental Gymini, $99.99, Babylist.com
Tummy time is an important part of a baby’s development since it teaches them to support their heads and necks. To help encourage them and give them a little support, a mini gym like this one will give them something to look at and interact with 20 activities. As a bonus, it will grow with them as they start to sit up and crawl, too.
Blanket 212 Evolution Cover for Car Seat & Stroller, $205, Amazon.com
For families who live in colder climates, long walks require additional layers. Luckily, this stroller and car seat cozy serve as a winter jacket for your baby. It’s ideal for hikes, city streets, and anywhere else you decide to venture to during the winter. It may be on the pricier side, but it will grow with your baby, all the way up to four years old.
The Deals We Adore
PureBaby Wipe Warmer with Digital Display, $39.99, Amazon.com
Is a wipe warmer a necessity? Your baby will be fine without one. But if you’re giving birth during the coldest time of year, it may make you feel better to give their tushy a little more warmth. This digital display warmer will fit in with your nursery decor, too!
Nursing Cardigan, $40.80, Nestingdays.com
Designed by a postpartum doula, this lightweight cardigan cover-up not only holds your baby comfortably but offers your privacy, too. You can also wear it while pregnant to get used to the fit, making it a savvy purchase to prep for parenthood.
Organic Swaddle Blankets, $29.99, Newtonbaby.com
When your child doesn’t stop wailing for no apparent reason, it’s normal to feel frustrated. However, there could be a solution that helps a little bit: a smart swaddle like this one from Newton is coveted by parents. You can use it as a breastfeeding cover or tummy time mat, too.
Natural Short Sleeve BoomBoom Blowout Bodysuit, $42, Boomboombabyco.com
There’s no nice way to put it: babies have blowouts. And it’s not a fun thing to clean up for parents. But it’s part of the process, and something new parents should be prepared to handle. This bodysuit is waterproof, breathable, antimicrobial and meant to hold in the mess. They also run big for growing babies, so you’ll get many months out of them.
Starter Bib 2 Pack: Floral & Lace, $8.95, Bumkins.com
Once your baby starts munching, you’ll need a way to keep them somewhat clean from their dribbles. This bib set features a smart design that attaches over their shoulder, so it’s equal parts comfortable and practical. Also, the lightweight and waterproof fabric makes it simple to clean in the washer.
Happy Lil Thang Wonder Bib, $15, Bellatunno.com
Parents need a little laugh sometimes, and everything from Bella Tunno will make you smile. With clever puns and sayings, these silicone baby bibs are Instagram-worthy and useful! It’s made of food-grade silicone so you can rinse and wipe clean or travel in style with them. The hardest part is picking your favorite.
BEABA by Shnuggle Baby Bath Tub, $49.95, Amazon.com
Some babies love their bath time, while others aren’t a fan. Regardless, your little one will need to be washed, and your normal tub is too big for them. Enter this baby tub that can be used in your bath, shower, kitchen sink or floor. It works for baby’s bathing needs up until 12 months and has a foam backrest for added comfort. It’s also super-lightweight, so even with water, it’s not too heavy to carry with you when you travel, or from room-to-room.
WavHello Portable Sound Machine Baby-Sleep Soother, $39.99, Amazon.com
To help your baby catch more Zzzs, pediatricians often recommend a sound machine to drown out excess noise. And why not make it a fun one, like this cute owl from Wavhello? It also works as a Bluetooth speaker, so if your baby is calmed by peaceful piano or other music, you can stream that, too.
MAM Easy Start Anti-Colic Bottle, $12.32, Amazon.com
Many babies will go through a colic period, and while it may drive you mad when you’re in the thick of it, remember, it does and will pass. To help, consider investing in these bottles designed to reduce colic, gas, and reflux in babies.
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