TCY GUIDE: Baby Gear You Actually Need
We're going to preface this guide with an important disclaimer. There 👏is👏no👏wrong👏way👏to👏mom. Whether you're making your own baby foods and double sanitizing every bottle or have pouches on speed-buy from Amazon and throw everything in the dishwasher, you're doing amazing, sweetie.
Okay, that's done. Now, what Melanie and I do know though-and most moms will probably agree–the amount of crap you accumulate with kids is unreal. And the cottage industry targeting new moms is massive! Reminder: People have been having babies....forever, without any gear. So really, it's the new baby gear that makes your life easier that matters. We spoke to some moms (and want to hear from more!) about the absolute must-haves for a new baby. Consider this our baby gift registry–what we'd buy our friends, what we swear by, and ultimately, the things that make it so YOU can be the best mom you can be.
The Rolls Royce-with-four-wheel-drive of strollers:
EXTREMELY partial to the Uppababy Stroller Series–which comes with a bassinet and has a compatible car seat for the first 5-6 months (purchased separately). Whether you leave the house 3 times a month or daily walks, this thing has been tested (by Carmen) in the streets of New York, but also the smooth floors of the local mall and you / baby can't feel the difference. Don't want massive wheels, go for the Cruz. And if you're looking for something sturdier, the Vista is the way to go. Also, you can use with up to 3 kids, you overachiever, you.
But ultimately, the point is, you need a stroller that will grow with your kid, take on all terrain with heavy duty tires, and fold up for you relatively easily.
While you want to think you won't be that mom waking up to see if they are breathing, you probably will be at some point. Because of the aforementioned mountains of crap you will gain, having one less device is really nice.
Take it from our friend Karen Comas, who loves the Nanit: "This monitor is the holy grail! You can access it from your phone (has an app), from anywhere - even if you're not home! It tracks baby sleep metrics, keeps highlight videos of caretakers (so you can keep an eye on baby + nanny if you're not home, if that's your setup), and could even help track breathing if you want. "
A travel stroller, like the Doona Stroller:
DON'T get it twisted. You can and should take your kids places! Do not fear traveling with kids. Also don't think it'll be a traditional vacation per se, but you can have fun with your kids on the road! Even if it's just a staycation! But you need the right set of wheels.
Karen, the MVP of this list, writes: I have been through 4 strollers. There I said it. FOUR. This stroller takes the cake when it comes to traveling, or if you live in a big city and don't have a car. We traveled several times with it and have zero complaints. Best travel stroller by far. A way to keep your kid in your room in the early days, like the VERY controversial Doc a tot:
Here's the thing. All the books, your mother in law, your paranoid cousin will all tell you never to leave the baby on the bed. Agree to disagree TBH. Especially if you've got this guy. Some people even use it for those very early days where they're in your room anyway and you just plop them in the middle at arms' length. Personally, I have used one of those Fisher Price $50 Rockabye things but it's been discontinued, So Doc A Tot and go.
We cannot stress this fact enough, though. YOU DO NOT NEED A FANCY BASSINET. Do you, but this is a nice to have not a must-have.
Some kind of baby jungle gym like the Lovery Play Gym:
Another one that's Karen (and TCY) approved! She writes "This one is all you need. It adapts to the different stages, has specific colors and designs that are perfect for baby development, and then folds up nicely to put away for the next baby once you're done with it! " Babies love it, and as long as you keep any furry friends off it, they withstand all of the washes after inevitable spitup happens.
Basic clothes that doesn't have "grandma's little ________" all over it.
Fun fact: when your kid is born, people will buy every varietal of clothes with annoying slogans on them. Or entirely unpractical outfits from Jacadi. So it took us a minute to figure out where to get basics and "play clothes" for the day to day that no one's buying you.
Kyte Baby: Listen to our friend Karen on this one "I've been there, getting so excited about all the different cute outfits you can put your baby in. But guess what, that excitement kinda faded for me when I was on outfit change 3 of the day after yet another poop blow out. Cue Kyte Baby footies! These amazing bamboo cotton basics are everything. They have zippers. I've washed them DAILY for months, and they still look perfect. They're stretchy enough to fit for a long time (huge win!). And it's a female-owned business, what more could you ask for? Worth the price tag, in my opinion!
Primary.com is another good one that grows with them. It's all basic colors and functional styles that you can easily mix and match and basically serve as uniforms for little ones right through elementary school age.
As for onesies, no one has ever died from living in Gerber onesies, which go up to 24 months.
Sleep supporting swaddles and bigger baby sleep sacks.
From tiny baby to like 2 years old, I specifically have tried it all. As newborns until they start to roll, I swore by swaddle aids like the Snuggle Me Swaddle. Karen adds, "swaddling is like one of those things that you're either really good at it, or you're making it up as you roll every single time. This blanket was so helpful because it's got this soft, yet stretchy, material that makes even the least expert swaddler put together a nice and tight baby wrap."
Then as they get more mobile (and you're reaching your wits end with a baby who won't sleep), both the Baby Merlin Sleep Suit and the Zippadee are amazing. The Baby Merlin makes it so they can't mobilize enough to wake themselves up. They also look like little Michelin men and it's hilarious. And the Zippadee is for bigger babies who can start to sleep on their sides and tummies, and the starfish shape allows them to move without startling themselves, scratching themselves or any other weird things babies do at night.
Insurance on the fact that whatever window treatments you have will actually make it pitch black so your baby thinks it's nighttime aka a room darkening shades. EVEN if you have beautiful plantation shutters or whatever gorgeous treatment goes perfectly with their nursery. Put this underneath or on top of and zero light will get in. The best part, it's hideous, but because it's just suction cups, you're not making a long-term commitment. It's just while they're getting over that hump of "I won't sleep for you."
All of the sound machines. At our house, we have a Hatch in the baby's nursery, because you can control it from your phone which is really nice. It's got a timer, it's got a bunch of different options and even a nice little color option. But in our toddler's room and in the hallway (this sounds excessive, it is not), we've got a more run of the mill type. We need multiple because if one wakes up crying, it drowns it out for the other. The more you know, right? What's funny–fast foward a few years and you won't be able to sleep without one of those things either.
Trust us. Frida Baby everything: "The first time someone told us about the Nose Frida, we were like, NO. There's no way we're using some tube to suck out baby boogers. But guess what, it's really good and fast. I I'd go as far as saying that most Frida Baby products are worth it." Listen to Karen people. Put all things Frida on your registry. A functional–but cute–floor covering, like the Yay Baby Mat
The second your baby is born basically they tell you they need to do tummy time. So while I'm certain all rugs, tile, hardwood, whatever you've got is fine, I also feel like you prefer it not covered in poop and throw-up. If you're lucky enough to have a dedicated playspace or nursery, some kind of soft mat for them to safely roll around on will be an after thought until the day they start rolling and you've got nothing to put them on. Consider this a pro tip!
A baby carrier of some kind, like the Ergobaby. Aim for one that's light, and comfy, and be that girl trying it on in the store if you can. Some people never use them, others swear by them and barely touch their strollers. BUT the bottom line is that it truly makes even being around the house way more productive because you can use your hands. AND DADDY CAN HELP! Imagine! Shoutout Amanda P. for sharing this one!
Okay fine this is probably a nice to have. BUT GUYS. When my OTHER friend Karen showed me her Baby Brezza–which is like a Keurig for formula–I was in shock. I'd never have to sleepily portion out formula at 3am?! This bad boy makes it a matter of seconds and you have a delicious warm bottle of stinky formula for your crying baby. And it is the best invention of all time.
....And a quick list of shit you absolutely do not NEED.
Bottle sterilizers. Sure if you don't have a dishwasher, but you don't NEED one.
A wipe warmer. This should go without saying but are you planning on wiping your kids' butts with warm TP later in life? Skip.
Baby food makers. Okay you want to make your baby's food by hand. Personally no thanks but all of the respect. Save your money for organic vegetables or whatever because you can do this in a good blender.
You do not need a baby butt spatula. The amount of gross stuff on your hands as a mom is a long and winding road. Might as well start now.
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