What Do Babies Need?

A comprehensive list of baby essentials for first time parents

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What Do Babies Need?

If you are a first-time parent, you may be asking yourself “What do Babies Need?”  First-time parents often feel overwhelmed by the amount of advertisement and promotion of products when trying to determine what they will need to prepare for their first child.  Companies may be shoving their products into your face saying “Look at this!  You need this!  Really, you do!  Trust us! But this can lead to overconsumption and leave you with a ton of things that you really don’t need and will never use.

What do Babies Need

To help you determine what things your baby will actually need, we have compiled for you a list of essential baby products.  The things that both you and your baby will need to make adjusting to parenthood a bit easier, and to make sure your baby is well tended.

What do Babies Need: A Place to Sleep

Your baby will need a soft and safe place to sleep.  You may wish to have your baby sleep in the nursery from day one, or you may want to have your baby close to you in your own room.  We’ve included options here that will suit either situation!

A Crib

A crib is one of the number one items to consider when expecting a new baby.  Cribs come in different styles and colors, but it’s important to review the safety information when purchasing a crib.  Be sure that the mattress is covered by a soft, tightly fitted sheet.

Check out these cribs!

Delta Children Emery 4-in-1 Crib

What do Babies Need

This 4-in-1 convertible crib grows with your child.  It transforms from a crib to a toddler bed, then on to a daybed and a full-size bed.  This crib is available in three colors.  It is constructed from solid wood and is completed with non-toxic finish and paint.


Pros
  • 4-in-1 convertible bed
  • Solid wood with non-toxic finish and paint
  • Availalbe in 3 colors
  • Adjustable matress height
Cons
  • Conversion kit sold separately

 

DaVinci Jayden 4-in-1 Convertible Crib

What do Babies Need

Another 4-in-1 convertible option, this crib is available in five colors, and also offers sturdy hardwood construction and non-toxic paint and finish.


Pros
  • 4-in-1 convertible bed
  • Solid wood with non-toxic finish and paint
  • Availalbe in 3 colors
  • Adjustable matress height
Cons
  • Conversion kit sold separately

A Bassinet

A bassinet is a great option to keep your little one close by your side and safe at night.  Bassinettes are smaller than cribs and can fit in your room, sometimes right next to your bed!

Here are some top-rated bassinettes!

Arm’s Reach Concepts Cambria Co-Sleeper Bassinet

What Do Babies Need

This bassinet boasts wooden supports, mesh siding for breathability and easy visibility, adjustable height, and is mounted on wheels to easily move around the room. It doubles as a co-sleeper by allowing you to safely strap the bassinet to the side of your bed, keeping your little one close to you throughout the night.


Pros
  • Mesh siding
  • Storage below
  • Mounted on wheels
  • Adjustable height
Cons
  • Customers complained that provided matress is too thin/flimsy

Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper

What do Babies Need


Fisher Price’s rock-n-play sleeper is the perfect by-your-side bassinet that offers soothing side-to-side rocking motions as well as gentle vibrations and soft music.  An adjustable incline allows you to ensure your baby’s comfort throughout the night.

Pros
  • Soothing vibrations
  • Side to side rocking motion
  • Easily folds for storage
  • Incline adjustment
Cons
  • Difficult assembly

Bedding

You shouldn’t use toys, blankets, or pillows in your baby’s crib, as these can pose serious safety hazards.  However, swaddling or receiving blankets are great to use during the day to keep your little one warm and cozy while you are watching over them.  Swaddling blankets also give your baby that “in the womb” feeling and are great for comforting a restless baby.

What do Babies Need

What do Babies Need: Travel Safety

Car seats and carriers are an absolute must when traveling with your baby!  Be sure to carefully read the instructions on proper installation and use to ensure that your little one is safe when in your vehicle!

Carriers

A carrier, or infant car seat, will be the first type of car seat that you will use for your baby.  This item will be utilized from infancy until about 6-10 months of age depending on your child’s weight and length.  It is important to closely consider the safety ratings of carriers and evaluate installation instructions with care in order to ensure your baby’s safety.

Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

What do Babies Need

This 4-in-1 infant seat by Graco brings you four seats in one.  It covers all of your travel needs from birth to 10 years of age!  It begins as a baby car seat, then transforms to a rear-facing infant seat. When your child reaches the toddler stage, it converts to a front-facing toddler seat and, finally, a child booster seat.  The 5 point harness is easy to adjust and keeps your little one safe.


Pros
  • 4-in-1 convertible car seat
  • 5 point harness
  • Latch system included
  • Plush inserts for newborns
  • 4 position recline for maximum comfort
Cons
  • Expensive
  • No carrier option

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat

What do Babies Need

 

Another top-rated Graco product, this car seat/carrier is compatible with all of Graco’s Click-Connect products. The locking base, 5 point harness, and latch system ensure your child’s safety while they travel with you.  The carrier easily unlocks from the base to allow you to carry your child about, or attach the seat to your stroller.  Energy absorbing foam keeps your child comfortable, and a removable newborn headrest keeps your new baby’s head from lolling to the side.


Pros
  • Infant car seat/carrier
  • 5 point harness
  • Latch system and locking base included
  • Removable headrest for newborns
  • Compatible with any Graco Click-Connect product
Cons
  • Not convertible

Car Seats

Once your baby outgrows his or her carrier, a standard car seat will be the next step in your child’s traveling safety.  You will need to consider that even after your little one transitions to a car seat, they will still need to be rear-facing depending on his or her weight.  The “grow with me” type car seats are becoming increasingly popular, as they are able to transform with your child’s growth milestones.

Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat

What do Babies Need

This infant seat offers rear and front facing options, as well as extendible leg room for growth, allowing your child to stay in the safer rear-facing position longer.  Six position recline and ten position headrest provides maximum comfort, and the easy-adjust 5 point harness keeps your little one safe.  This car seat includes a safety latch system.

Pros
  • Front and rear facing seat
  • 5 point harness
  • Latch system included
  • Six position recline in the rear-facing position
Cons
  • Does not convert to a booster seat


Evenflo Tribute Sport Convertible Car Seat

What do Babies Need

This simple car seat is easier on your budget.  It is suitable for both rear and forward positions, has rear-facing adjustable recline, and has energy absorbing foam and a plush head pillow for comfort.  The easy-adjust 5 point harness and included latch system keep your child safe during travel.

Pros
  • Front and rear facing seat
  • 5 point harness
  • Latch system included
  • Adjustable recline in the rear-facing position
  • Energy absorbing foam
Cons
  • Does not convert to a booster seat


What do Babies Need: Clothing

Clothing your baby can be quite simple!  Most babies require a simple onesie, sleeper, and accessories such as socks, mittens, and a soft cap.  If your baby will be exposed to very cold temperatures, be sure to look for good, thick booties and jackets.  In the meantime, we will show you the basics!

Onesies

Onesies are a lightweight body suit that allows your baby to stay cool during the day.  These are simple to use, and allow easy access to the bottom to allow diaper changes without fully uncovering your baby.

What do Babies Need

Sleepers

Sleepers are bodysuits or pajamas that completely cover your little one’s arms and legs to keep warm at night.  Some even cover the feet.  Sleepers are ideal for night time use, as your baby will need to be kept warm but it is not recommended to use blankets in the crib or bassinet to prevent serious safety and health risks.

What do Babies Need

Accessories

Accessories such as socks, booties, mittens, or hats can protect your little one from exposure to the sun, wind chaffing, or prevent them from accidentally scratching themselves.

What do Babies Need

What do Babies Need: Food

Baby’s got to eat!  A growing baby will eat several times throughout the day. You’ll need a good formula brand if you are going to be supplementing, and you’ll later want to consider the different types of baby food available.  Your baby won’t be bottle fed forever! We have listed below a few top-brand bottle sets to fit any need!

Baby Formula

For supplementing moms, baby formula is a staple in your baby’s diet up to one year of age.  There are many formula options that cover a variety of needs and health concerns. Some formulas are soy based, for babies who may be allergic to dairy.  Others are specifically formulated for those prone to colic and gas. There are also several organic formula brands on the market!

What do Babies Need

Baby Food

Baby food is the next step in your little one’s diet.  Once they are ready to begin the transition to table food, you’ll start with this pureed food that contains simple ingredients that won’t hurt baby’s tummy.  Baby food comes in blends of fruit, vegetables, and meat. No extra seasonings are added in order to go easy on your baby’s stomach – it’s not familiar with these things yet!  For those who choose organic, there are several brands that offer all-organic blends.

What do Babies Need

Baby Bottles

Whether you’re formula feeding or pumping and storing your breastmilk for later, you’ll need bottles.  We’ve chosen some of the top-rated bottles to show you today!

Philips AVENT Anti-Colic Bottle Essentials Newborn Starter Set

What do Babies Need

This bottle set by Philips includes four bottles of varying sizes and a transition cup which assists in the process of transitioning your child from a bottle to a sippy cup.  The Avent bottles feature an anti-colic Airflex valve and collapsable ribbed nipples to prevent your child from swallowing air bubbles which cause intestinal upset and colic.  Also included in this set is a bottle sterilizer, a bottle scrubbing brush, and orthodontic pacifiers which are designed to conform to the natural shape of your baby’s mouth so as not to damage the gums or teeth formation.

Pros
  • Anti-colic Airflow valve
  • 4 bottles and 1 transition cup included
  • Sterilizer and bottle brush included
  • Orthodontic pacifiers included
  • Easy to clean
  • Varying nipple flow rates
Cons
  • Some buyers stated that milk leaked around vent system


Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage & Feeding Set

What do Babies Need

This set is perfect for moms who are exclusively breastfeeding.  It is compatible with any Lanisoh breast pump and includes two bottles, four nipples and nipple covers, a storage cup and 30 breast milk storage bags.

Pros
  • Includes breast milk storage cup and bags
  • Includes four nipples and covers
  • Perfect for breast feeding moms
Cons
  • Only compatible with Lanisoh brand breast pumps


What do Babies Need: Diapers

For as much as your baby will consume, they will also return to you in the form of stinky diapers!  Diapering essentials include a variety of options.  Diapers can be either disposable or reusable cloth. Don’t forget the wipes to help you clean up the mess!

Disposable Diapers

Disposable diapers are only used once and thrown away.  Look for reliable brand disposable diapers without harsh chemical ingredients that irritate baby’s skin for this list.

What do Babies Need

Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapers are a little more difficult to get the hang of but can save you a substantial amount of money.  A good, cotton brand of cloth diaper can also help you prevent diaper rashes or allergic reactions that sometimes occur with disposable diapers.

What do Babies Need

Baby Wipes

You’ll need these to clean up those messy baby bottoms!  Consider purchasing wipes that do not contain alcohol. Be sure to choose wipes that are specifically for babies.  Wipes that are intended for general use, or for adults, may contain ingredients that can irritate your baby’s skin.

What do Babies Need

What do Babies Need: Hygiene Products

Just like you, a baby will get dirty, especially as they grow and begin to explore their environments.  Soaps and other hygiene products are available in formulas that are specialized for a new baby’s sensitive skin.  These products will help you to care for your baby’s cleaning, health, and grooming needs.  Most hygiene essentials come in bundles or packs.  This is a great way to save money and ensure that you have all the necessary tools without any of the extra stuff!

Hygiene Kit

Look for those that include hypoallergenic products that are formulated specifically for babies.  Some hygiene or bath kits also include baby powder and wipes.  In any case, make sure you have the essentials: baby soap, baby lotion, diaper cream, and baby oil!

What do Babies Need

Health Kit

You’ll need the basics for your baby – a suction bulb (because your baby can’t blow his or her nose), a thermometer (VERY important!), nail trimmers, and a soft bristled brush.  Many stores have kits that include all of these essential tools so that there is no need to buy each individual item separately, saving you money!

What do Babies Need

Detergent

Even detergents can be irritating to your baby’s skin.  The fact is that their skin is much more sensitive than ours, and it will take them a while to adjust to the ingredients found in normal soaps.  Many detergent brands offer formulas for baby’s clothes and bedding.

What do Babies Need?

Things to Remember

When asking yourself “what do babies need?” keep in mind that although you may see an avalanche of advertisements for baby products over the time while you are preparing for a new baby, not all of these products are essential to your baby’s wellbeing.  Think critically – does my baby need this item to be happy, healthy, and sustained every day?  If not, it’s likely that you don’t need it.

At a Glance

Use this table to go over your list of baby essentials at a glance, and choose the products that best fit your needs!

Product NameImagePriceFeaturesRating
Delta Children Emery 4-in-1 Crib$$$$4-in-1 convertible bed,
3 position mattress height,
Available in 3 colors,
Solid wood with non-toxic finish and paint.

DaVinci Jayden 4-in-1 Convertible Crib$$$$$4-in-1 convertible bed,
Adjustable mattress height,
Available in 5 colors,
Solid wood with non-toxic finish and paint.
Arm's Reach Concepts Cambria Co-Sleeper Bassinet$$$$Wooden supports,
Storage area below,
Mesh siding,
Mounted on wheels,
Adjustable height,
Co-sleeping option.
Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play Sleeper$$Calming vibrations and music,
Side-to-side rocking motion,
Folds away for storage,
Adjustable incline.
Philips AVENT Anti-Colic Bottle Essentials Newborn Starter Set$$Anti-colic Airflex valve,
Ribbed nipple to prevent collapse during feeding,
Varying nipple flow rate for baby's growth,
Easy to clean,
Sterilizer and bottle brush included,
Orthodontic pacifiers included,
4 bottles and 1 transition cup included.
Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage & Feeding Set$Compatible with all Lanisoh breast pumps,
Includes 30 storage bags, one storage cups, two bottles, four nipples, and four nipple covers.
Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat$$$$$4-in-1 convertible seat, up to 10 years of use,
Latch system and adjustable 5 point harness for safety,
6 position recline,
Plush newborn inserts for added support.
Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat$$$Rear-facing car seat/carrier,
Compatible with all Graco Click-Connect products,
Latch system, locking base, and adjustable 5 point harness for safety,
Removable newborn head support,
Energy absorbing foam for comfort.
Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat$$$Rear-facing infant seat and forward-facing toddler seat combo,
Extension panel for added leg room,
6 position recline and 10 position head rest,
Latch system and adjustable 5 point harness for safety.
Evenflo Tribute Sport Convertible Car Seat$$Rear-facing infant seat and forward-facing toddler seat combo,
Adjustable rear-facing recline,
Latch system and adjustable 5 point harness for safety,
Plush head pillow and energy absorbing foam for comfort.

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