Baby & Parenting · Life

Baby Gear You (Actually) Need

It’s so easy to get so caught up in buying new stuff for you soon-to-be little bundle of joy. Just try stepping in Babies “R” Us or T.J. Kiddies and you’ll be instantly overwhelmed. We didn’t get a chance to pick up much (because Lily arrived 3 weeks early and we didn’t want to have too much) so we bought it on an as needed basis. We have come to the conclusion that you only need a few things but the others are nice to have and will make your life easier.

So let’s start with the stuff you need (oh and everything’s linked):

  1. Carseat:
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    I think it’s pretty obvious this one is necessary. There’s no other way you’re going to be allowed to leave the hospital and take your baby home. Of course, if you have a home birth and don’t drive then I can see not needing one immediately but eventually you’ll probably need one. You’ll be able to choose between an infant rear-facing carseat or a convertible car seat. The infant car seat allows you to take it off its base and click it into a stroller or to bring around whereas the convertible one can’t be detached and must stay in your vehicle. I can only speak from a Canadian point of view, but car seats are pretty heavily regulated here so as long as you buy a new one from a reputable store then you’re solid.
  2. Somewhere for baby to sleep
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    I didn’t specify whether it be a crib or bassinet because it doesn’t matter at the beginning. At bare minimum you could just have a box lined with blankets. Bottom line, your baby needs a firm and flat surface to sleep on. Now when I say firm, I don’t mean rock hard, just not a super cushy mattress. We went with a bassinet that could also click into our stroller and Lily was able to sleep in there until she was about 3 months old. She eventually got a bit too big so we transitioned her to the crib she’s sleeping in now. Thankfully, cribs and bassinets come in all price ranges so you can find one that suits your price point.

That’s pretty much all that is necessary. Setting aside diapers and clothes but that’s not really gear so I’ll put that aside.

Now, let me continue with a list of stuff that we really enjoyed and used a lot (listed in no particular order):

  1. Receiving blankets/muslins:
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    These are great because they’re multi-functional! You can use them to swaddle your baby, roll them up for tummy time support, use it as a burp cloth, roll and fold it to become a bib, if it’s big enough use it as a nursing cover, and finally use it as a cover for your stroller or carseat. There may be more so leave them in the comments!
  2. Quick Swaddles
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    These just save you SO much time and are so much easier. Baby can’t break out of them and all you have to do is zip them up. Just pay attention to the TOG (fancy way of saying how thick it is) and buy the appropriate one for the season.
  3. Nursing pillow
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    This is just so much more convenient than trying to place a bunch of pillows under your arms for support. It’s fine if you have someone around helping you lodge pillows into the right place but if you’re alone, a nursing pillow makes things a hell of a lot easier.
  4. White noise machine
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    Such a life saver if you don’t want to have to whisper and tip toe around whenever your baby is sleeping. At the beginning we just used our bluetooth speakers with my phone but we soon moved on to buying an actual machine. We had a few issues with connectivity with the speakers and it also meant one of our phones always had to be at home.
  5. Baby Monitor: I can’t speak much to this because we didn’t get one but if you live in a house then it would probably be good to get one. We live in an apartment so we didn’t need it but whenever we’re at my parents I wish we had one because she naps upstairs while we hang out downstairs.
  6. Baby carrier
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    This made it easier to get groceries and run errands when I was going solo. If Kelvin was there, we’d take out the stroller but sometimes we’d still opt for a carrier because it was more convenient and it didn’t take up as much space in the trunk. We started with a Baby Bjorn infant carrier and moved onto the MiaMily Hipster Plus as Lily grew bigger and heavier. Looking back, I would have loved to have a wrap-style carrier instead of the Baby Bjorn because I feel that it would have been cosier and comfier.

Lastly, I just wanted to talk briefly about breast pumps. I’m taking the whole year for maternity leave so I was planning to just breastfeed and not pump. A few months in I tried pumping because it was getting exhausting but unfortunately it didn’t work with my body and I really didn’t want to spend a few hundred dollars on a Medela so I just toughed it out. I ended up borrowing a friend’s pump and I use it for two occasions: expressing milk in the middle of the night when Lily was just starting to sleep through the night and trying to unclog a milk duct. In hindsight, I probably would have gotten a pump ahead of time but I’m not sure if it would have changed anything.

Anyways, thanks for stopping by! If you have any other product suggestions that you think are very necessary, please share them in the comments below.

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