When I sat down to write this post, I thought to myself, ‘I need to make a concise list of all essential items for a baby’s first five months.’ Then I listed all of the products we use on a day-to-day basis, and oh-my-gosh – it is quite the opposite of concise. Babies require lots and lots of stuff.
I felt very overwhelmed while creating a baby registry, even though I was fortunate enough to be given recommendations from a number of friends. I decided to register on Amazon.com – I’m so glad I did, as it was very convenient to have everything in one place. My list of essential baby items is pretty lengthy. I’ve provided a little description to each item which will hopefully help guide you! If you have further questions, please feel free to email me.
My absolute must-have items are Honest Co. Diapers and Wipes, Medela Contact Nipple Shield, Summer Infant Baby Zoom Wi-Fi Video Monitor, PacaPod Diaper Bag, Fisher-Price Newborn Rock n’ Play Sleeper, MAM Pacifiers, aden + anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets, BABYBJORN Bouncer Balance and Baby Carrier We, Dr. Brown’s Wide Neck Bottles and Bottle Warmer, and Carter’s Onesies. So far, our favorite baby brands have been BABYBJORN, Honest Co. and Dr. Brown’s. We’ve tried a number of different items from each company, and swear by them all!
As part of the 0-6 month baby essentials post, I’m giving away a few of these must-have items (valued at over $400!), including a Dr. Brown’s Bottle Warmer ($45 value), BABYBJORN Bouncer Balance ($160 value), 4 packs of MAM Pacifiers ($25 value), a pack of Carter’s 0-3 mo. Onesies ($25 value) and a PacaPod Diaper Bag ($150 value). One winner will be drawn at random on Friday, November 5 at midnight.* Good luck!
- Rocker: A good rocker is absolutely one of the most important purchases, as you spend lots and lots of time feeding. We bought the Graham Glider from West Elm and love it.
- Rug: Tummy time is very important (although babies may not like it at first). Make sure to have a soft rug – we have the Henley Rug from Pottery Barn. It’s great (and stains, like vomit, wipe out easily).
- Crib: Safety is critical with your crib, but you also want one that looks nice in the nursery. After tons and tons of deliberation, we bought the babyletto Mercer Crib. It’s perfect.
- Mobile: Although Sasha was too worried to hang the mobile over Isla’s crib (it’s literally weightless, but pick your battles!), so we put our mobile from Max & Me Homewares over the nursing chair and Isla loves to stare at it.
- Chest of Drawers: We bought the world’s most popular (pretty certain that’s a fact) dresser from IKEA. In order to spice it up, we added Anthropologie knobs.
- Huggable Hangers and Clips: We have hundreds of the Joy Mangano Huggable Kids Hangers. It makes hanging Isla’s clothes so much easier and more condensed. I am not a big fan of folding!
- HALO SleepSack: We didn’t use the sleep sack at first (mainly just the SwaddleMe), but we are now using it, as Isla is bigger and there’s more room for her legs to kick around. Since she is flipping back-to-front, we have her arms out.
- Summer Infant SwaddleMe Adjustable Infant Wrap: Sasha was a master swaddler, but I was not. And Isla didn’t love being swaddled at first, so it stressed me out. These SwaddleMe wraps are a lifesaver. We used them in the hospital and continued using them until she was about 10 weeks old. I highly recommend them!
- aden + anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets or Carter’s Muslin Swaddles: There are few products I recommend buying more than muslin swaddle blankets. We received about twelve, which I thought was ridiculous at the time, but we use them all. They are light-weight (hence breathable) and the only thing I will allow Isla to sleep with at night (and her lovie – see below).
- BreathableBaby Breathable Mesh Crib Liner: Once your baby becomes active, mesh liners become a necessity. We went into Isla’s room on a number of occasions to find her leg all of the way through the slats – she wasn’t happy about it either. These mesh liners are a lifesaver.
- Security Blanket/”Lovie”: Isla puts the lovie on her face at night to fall asleep. It used to concern me, but now I know she’s strong enough, I’m okay with it. She takes her lovie bear, or as Sasha calls it, her “bestie” everywhere. This one from Baby & Child is incredibly soft. We love it.
- MAM Pacifiers: These are seriously the best pacifier. See my post about them here. You can try others, but you’ll use these!
- Fisher-Price Newborn Rock n’ Play Sleeper: I do not (repeat: do not) know what I would have done without the Rock ‘N Play in the first few months of Isla’s life. This is the only thing she would sleep in, which was okay with us because it’s so light that we could move her around the house without her noticing.
- Summer Infant Baby Zoom Wi-Fi Video Monitor: We love our monitor. We originally bought another, but ended up returning it and getting the Summer Infant one. Sasha is able to watch Isla from the office due to the wi-fi capability, and I think that’s adorable.
- American Baby Company Waterproof Pad Cover: Trust me, you need a mattress pad cover. Unfortunately, blowouts are inevitable and you’ll want to protect that fancy mattress.
- Simmons’ BeautySleep® Organic Crib Mattress: It seems kind of silly to spend this much on a mattress, but once you have a baby, you’ll understand just how important it is to have them sleep well.
- Crib Sheets: There are a number of places to get crib sheets, but I recommend Land of Nod, Biscuit Home or Serena and Lily. We ordered Isla’s from the latter store – the mocha trellis. We ordered three sets, as well as another print from Land of Nod. In retrospect, two is probably enough, as you do laundry almost every (if not every) day.
- Cloud B Sleep Sheep: Coming from two adults who fall asleep in silence every night, we were skeptical about having Isla become reliant on music. However, she falls asleep enough during the day while we’re out running errands that I’m not worried about it. She loves the nursery rhyme tunes during the day and the nature sounds at night.
- Honest Co. Diapers and Wipes: As a brand ambassador, it’s safe to say I adore these diapers. I’ve blogged about them here and here.
- Simmons Organic Contour Changing Pad: Perhaps organic is a little fancy pants, but who wants their baby getting changed on a pad filled with chemicals? And your baby will spend lots of time on his or her changing pad!
- Changing Pad Cover: We love these soft ones from Baby & Child.
- Diaper Genie and Refills: This is a requirement! Diaper Genies have a special closure so that no diaper odors leak into your room.
- Dr. Smith’s Diaper Ointment: Dr. Smith’s cream has been a lifesaver on a number of occasions – it makes the rash diaper so quickly.
- Diaper Bag: I have two – one is fashionable (Kate Spade) and one is practical (Pacapod). I still use my Tory Burch purse pretty often, but the Pacapod gets used a lot too, as I just throw it in the car in case of emergencies.
- 4moms mamaRoo and/or rockaRoo: Holy cow. How did we go the first three months without a mamaRoo or rockaRoo? These motion infant seats are like baby hypnotizers. Isla loves both so much (the mamaRoo is being borrowed from a friend). If you haven’t watched the video, you need to now.
- BABYBJORN Bouncer Balance: As mentioned above, the bouncer is one of the ‘must have’ items. I cannot tell you how helpful it is to put Isla in the bouncer while I put dishes away, cleaned the house, showered (true story), etc. We added the Skip Hop Stroller Bar Activity Toys to the bouncer, but you can also buy accessories from BABYBJORN.
- Skip Hop Treetop Friends Activity Gym: We first put Isla in the activity gym around 10 weeks, and she absolutely loved it. She would swat the owl all day long if she could. It’s light, so we moved it from room to room to entertain her wherever we were. However, I wish we had found this Land of Nod Wee Workout Baby Gym, because it is so much more attractive looking!
- Sophie the Giraffe Teether: This is the ‘it‘ toy for babies, and I now know why. Isla loves chewing on Sophie’s face. It is a wonderful teether that is also cute (and has accompanying stories!).
- otteroo Floatie: Taking your baby to the pool is a great learning activity for them, and using an otteroo is the best way to have them move freely (and safely) in the water. More to come about this product soon!
- Babies R Us Stages & Ages Tub: This tub is perfect for newborns and 5 month olds. There is a little net to use when they are itty-bitty, then you can remove it and have your baby sit comfortably while being bathed. Isla loves it.
- Hooded Towel: Two of our good friends got us these personalized robe with ‘Miss Isla’ on it – I’m obsessed. Every baby needs one!
- Honest Co. Bath Wash/Shampoo: As I mentioned in this post, we love the Honest Co. wash/shampoo, as it is totally tear-free.
- Bath Toys and Bath Toy Organizer: These are perfect for bath playtime – which starts around 2.5 to 3 months.
- BABYBJORN High Chair: This high chair is everything. I love how clean and modern it looks, and it’s very sturdy and keeps Isla upright. I put her in the high chair while I’m in the kitchen and put a few toys on the tray, and she stays very entertained.
- Dr. Brown’s Wide Neck Bottles: These are our favorite bottles. Read more about them in my Dr. Brown’s post here.
- Dr. Brown’s Gia Nursing Pillow: I adore this pillow! Read more about it in my Dr. Brown’s post here.
- Dr. Brown’s Bottle Warmer: As I mentioned earlier, this bottle warmer is a life saver. We love it – small enough to store under the counter too.
- Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags: Easy to use bags which will get used a lot if you plan on pumping and freezing your milk.
- Skip Hop Splash Bottle Drying Rack: The perfect drying rack – you can put all of the bottle parts on it, and it’s not unattractive.
- BABYBJORN Soft Bib 2 Pack: You’ll get lots of bibs as gifts, but register for these, because they’re the best.
- aden + anais Muslin Burp Cloths: I had one of these over my shoulder for the first few months! They’re really soft, which is good since your baby’s face will be against it a lot.
- Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breastpump: We love this pump – you can get it free through your insurance (details here).
- Medela Contact Nipple Shield: I genuinely think that if I did not have the nipple shield, I would not be breastfeeding today. Breastfeeding hurts at first, and this reduces the pain tremendously.
- Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads: These are requirements – you will leak a lot if you breastfeed, and need lots and lots of nursing pads for your bras.
- Lamaze Cotton Spandex Nursing Bra and Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra:
- Milk Nursingwear Tops: These shirts are perfect to wear when you have to breastfeed in public. Read my Milk Nursingwear post here.
- Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads: I used these when Isla was one day old, as my boobs ached so badly. They are amazing. Buy lots of them!
- Lansinoh Lanolin: You’ll use a lot of lanolin when you first start breastfeeding. Start before it hurts!
- NuRoo Nursing Scarf: A nursing scarf is very functional, and this one is stylish too. Traveling with Isla (and feeding!) would have been difficult without the NuRoo scarf.
- Graco Pack ‘N Play: The Pack ‘N Play was in our room for the first six weeks and is now at my parent’s house for when we have to go out of town. It’s the portable crib used by all of our friends.
- BABYBJORN Baby Carrier We: The best baby carrier (see post here)! This is a must-have for any new parent.
- Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat and Base: I’ll admit that Isla doesn’t love this car seat, but it’s more the fact she doesn’t like getting into the car. Once she’s settled, she sleeps like a baby in this one! Most of our friends have the Chicco Keyfit 30 and like it.
- Baby Jogger Summit X3 Single Stroller: A great running stroller – this thing is made for the trails. The wheels are big and sturdy, but it folds up into a relatively small size and doesn’t weigh a ton.
- Baby Jogger City Mini Single Stroller: Best stroller! We love the City Mini. You pull a lever in the center and it folds so easily and does not weigh a ton. On days when I’m running multiple errands, I’m putting this in and out of the car and it’s so easy to do.
- Baby Jogger Car Seat Adapter: The car seat adapter is for the Chicco Keyfit to be placed on top of the stroller – I use this on the City Mini, so if Isla falls asleep in the carseat, I just put her on the stroller and don’t have to wake her up.
- Baby Jogger Parent Console Universal (x2): This console is great – cup holder and two storage spaces. You’ll want one for each stroller!
- The Mommy Hook: I put my groceries or purse on this hook. It’s very convenient.
- Skip Hop Stroller Bar Activity Toys: We use the activity bar for the stroller and the BABYBJORN Bouncer Balance.
- Brica Car Seat Mirror: Having a car seat mirror is really important so you can see if your baby is sleeping or awake – they can also see you and Isla loves that.
- Britax 2 Pack EZ-Cling Sun Shades: These stick well to the car windows and stop a lot of sun glare from entering the car.
- American Red Cross Deluxe Nail Clippers: These nail clippers are perfect for getting Isla’s tiny little nails cut (although I bit them off for the first few months – per a recommendation from our pediatrician).
- Braun Ear Thermometer: We use this for ourselves now too! The ear thermometer is really accurate, and Isla doesn’t mind having her temperature taken in her ear.
- The Snotsucker by FridaBaby: This is unthinkably gross – you suction air into a tube and pull boogers from your baby’s nose. Yuck. But guess what? It really works.
- The Windi by FridaBaby: Also gross (same company, go figure!) – the Windi is put into the baby’s anus to relieve gas. It was a huge lifesaver for our gassy little lady. If your baby is gassy, I highly recommend trying the Windi (our pediatrician swears by it).
- Babyganics Mineral-Based Sunscreen: This is the good stuff – I’ve read a lot of reviews about other sunscreens, and I think this one is the best. Isla is not bothered by it at all.
- Dr. Brown’s Pacifier and Bottle Wipes: These wipes are perfect for cleaning pacifiers that always, always, always seem to end up on the floor.
- Good Night, I Love You: We end every day with this book and a prayer. It’s our absolute favorite. I read the left pages and Sasha reads the right.
- BabyLit Books: We adore these fun classic books made for babies. Read my BabyLit post here.
- Monkey and Me: My aunt just gave us this book, and it’s my new favorite. It’s super simple, but the repetition is good and the animals are so cute. I like acting it out.
- Room on the Broom: Such a cute read! It’s a British book that all American babies should own.
- Pantone: Colors: Any design lover’s dream. Teach your baby colors with Pantone. It’s genius, really.
- Snuggle Puppy: “Ooooh, Snuggle Puppy of mine!” I could sing this all day long. Perfect for a family with a dog (also those without).
- Pear Tree Farm: A childhood favorite – I love reading this book to Isla and the pictures are interesting where she seems fascinated by each page.
- God Gave Us You: I adore this book. I want Isla to know how glad we are that God gave us her!
- Love You Forever: Oh, cue the tears. Seriously. I cannot read this without crying. Maybe one day? It’s so cute though. You need it.
- On Becoming Baby Wise: This is much more boring reading for parents, but we like a lot of the Baby Wise sleeping and feeding theories.
- Mittens: Newborns will scratch their face, and it’s tough at first to clip their nails, so make sure you bring mittens to the hospital. Isla probably wore them for the first two weeks, and now that it’s getting cold, they’re back on!
- Socks: I’m a little prejudice, but I think that all babies need Trumpette socks. Read my article about them here.
- Shoes: Isla has really only worn her sweet Freshly Picked moccasins and more recently, her pediped 0-6 Month Delaney Shoe (which helped her start to crawl!). She’s normally just in socks!
- Onesies: If you’ve been reading S&MT for any length of time, you’ll know I love dressing Isla up, but let’s get real – onesies are most practical, and you need lots of them. I love ours from Carter’s, Baby Gap, Carter’s and J. Crew.
- Hats: Isla wore hats non-stop when she was first born, as they are cold (it’s much warmer in your belly). We have a number of hats from J. Crew that are super cute. Carter’s also has a number of cute hats.
- Footed PJs: My favorite footed PJs are those from Carter’s with the little animals on the butts. Having footed PJs means you don’t have to worry about your baby kicking their socks off in the middle of the night.
A question for my experienced mom followers: What other items would you add to an essentials list? I’d love to hear what products you couldn’t live without during the first five months. Please let me know in the comments below!
Isla’s newborn photo by Taylor Lord | All other photos original to Snapshots & My Thoughts
*Winner has 24 hours from when they receive the email to claim the prize.