If there’s ever a time when you need to buy tons of stuff all at once, it’s when you’re expecting your first baby. The problem is that it’s hard to know which items you’ll actually find useful once the baby arrives, and which ones will sit around unused.
I just went through this, so I have lots of experience with baby products. And I’m here to pass the knowledge on to you. Here are the items my wife and I found most useful when we became first-time parents.
Car Seat and Stroller
You can buy an infant car seat and stroller separately, but it makes more sense to buy a combo, like this one from Graco. The car seat is safe and comfortable for babies up to 30 pounds, and the base stays in the car, which makes it easy to snap in and out. Then, when you’re ready to take the baby on a walk, the car seat simply clicks into place in the stroller. It’s fast, convenient, safe, and affordable. What more do you want? Buy the combo here.
Diaper Changing Table
You’re going to change so many diapers once your little ray of sunshine comes into the world that a dedicated area for the activity makes a lot of sense. If you already have a waist-high table in the nursery, you can get by with a soft changing pad, like this one. But if you don’t, your back will thank you for investing in a diaper changing table. This one from Delta Children is a perfect choice. It offers a comfortable height to change the baby and has space to store all the diapers, wipes, and creams you’ll need. Be sure to stock up on changing pad liners while you’re at it, because things can get messy.
Needing a crib is a given, so the important question is which crib to buy. For my money, the best crib is one that can grow with your child. This one from DaVinci is an excellent choice. It’s safe and comfy, and when your baby grows out of it, it converts into a toddler bed and then a twin-sized bed. It comes in an array of colors, and it even includes a mattress (which many cribs don’t). Buy the DaVinci crib here.
For the first few months of your baby’s life, you’ll want him or her to sleep in your room. The problem is that many master bedrooms can’t fit a crib. That’s where a bassinet comes in. Not only are they much more portable than cribs, but they also take up less space. This one from Summer Infant offers everything you need in a bassinet. It has built-in calming sounds and a gentle vibration function, plus a basket on the bottom for supplies. Buy the Summer Infant bassinet here.
No one wants to be around a screaming baby, especially parents who just want to make the baby feel better. Rocking is a time-tested way to calm a baby, which means a rocker can be a lifesaver (and a sleep saver) for many new families. The Fisher-Price Auto Rock ‘n Play Sleeper offers everything you need. It has a hands-free rocking feature, numerous songs and sound effects, and supports your baby at a comfortable incline. Buy yours here.
Leaving the house with your baby requires a lot of accessories: diapers, wipes, toys, bottles, snacks, and a change of clothes, to name a few. The best way to carry it all is a diaper bag. However, many diaper bags look decidedly feminine, so if you want dad to feel comfortable lugging it around, too, I recommend a gender-neutral one, like this one from Beebaba. It’s a backpack diaper bag, which leaves both of your hands free to care for the baby, and it comes with plenty of storage space, including an insulated pocket for bottles. Pick one up here.