When you have a new baby there are so many baby products that people say you need to buy and so many lists of baby essentials that say they are super helpful. But let’s be honest, you don’t need half of it and some people make really crappy suggestions.
As a mom to two kids under 4 and aunt to many many little ones, I have seen all this time and time again. It is time to stop the madness.
So I’ve come up with my own list of the best and the worst baby products we’ve used. I’ve updated this list over time as I discover new things and I promise to always give you my brutally honest opinion on things.
I’ve bought that stupidly expensive baby item that never gets used before, it sucks. So let’s dive in and I’ll let you know things you actually need and don’t need for your new baby!
(PS- affiliate links ahead!)
Starting a baby registry? Get an (almost) FREE Amazon Baby Box!
- If you aren’t a member of Amazon prime, start your free trial here for an Amazon family account!
- Create your Amazon Baby Registry profile.
- Add whatever you’d like to your registry! You do not have to finish it now, so picking out baby must-haves is a great place to start.
- Order $10 of product off of your registry. I would do something essential like wipes or diapers.
- Once your order actually ships you can now go claim your free Amazon Baby Box. Go to the check status section of your Amazon Baby Registry.
- Click the claim now button and add the Amazon Baby Box/Welcome Box to your cart.
- Apply the $35 promo to waive the cost of the box.
- Place your order! You should get an email about your box in a couple of days.
We’ll start with the best baby products we tried.
The Rock ‘n Play Bassinet
We loved the normal Rock ‘n Play BUT recent research has led them to be recalled. I personally trust these recommendations, so I’ve changed this article to include a Rock ‘n Play that is actually safe for sleep.
This Rock ‘n Play bassinet has all the perks of the angled Rock ‘n Play but is still safe for baby! We loved being able to take our rock ‘n play anywhere we wanted to go that may not have a safe space for our kids to sleep.
By far we have used this the most out of anything we got for our kids. I would suggest getting a neutral color so it’s easy to use with your next little one!
Check out the Rock ‘n Play Bassinet here.
I know this may sound silly, but I had at least two receiving blankets on hand at all times. Not to cover Abby up, they were a little small for that after she grew, but for ALL the spit up.
Abby was what you would call a happy spitter. She would spit up all day every day but was so happy while she was doing it.
The receiving blankets were absorbent and large enough that we didn’t have to switch out after every feeding.
Plus, they cover your whole torso from spit up. What kind of baby knows to stick with only the small area where your rag is to spit up? Not mine.
Find super cute receiving blankets here.
Carrier Toy (one of my FAVORITE baby products)
We actually didn’t get this for my daughter until she was 7 months, but I wish we had a carrier toy from day one. This toy was perfect for Abby to keep herself busy in the car, she wasn’t too enamored with the dangling ones.
We have this toy now still for our newest little one and it is worth it’s weight in gold! We got on trips very often, this has kept him entertained starting around 2 month’s old when he figured out.
I dread him growing out of the infant carrier because it occupies him so much!
The lights, music, mirror combo made both of them happy babies and saved my sanity several million times. Plus it is SO affordable.
Check out the awesome carrier toy here.
Baby Monitor 3G
Instead of spending $100+ on a baby monitor with video we did this. It’s only $3.99 and it has a variety of options to track your baby.
It can be used on so many products we usually have at least three hanging around between computers, iPads, and iPhones that can work as a baby monitor/ parent monitor.
You can’t see the baby in the dark which is definitely a con, but I learned to be ok with it. You can see them during naps though.
If anything this app makes a perfect travel monitor, but we’ve used it full time.
Download for iOS
Download for Android
This handy little guy is a manual breast pump that is basically magic. You can attach it onto the opposite breast you are feeding on to catch any extra milk that leaks!
Instead of all that milk being wasted into a breast pad you get to keep it! This is one of my number one breastfeeding suggestions, you can find my other product recommendations for breastfeeding at this post.
Portable high chair
We bought our portable high chair way too late in the game. It is a godsend when we visit people’s houses.
Before I would let Abby sit on my lap and eat with me and it was a disaster. The day we bought the portable high chair is a day I will never forget, this baby product was truly life-changing.
This particular one we have is super affordable and it is collapsible so it can be stored easily in your car.
Find the portable high chair I love here.
Mom’s On Call
I know you can google this stuff, but this book is written by two pediatric nurses who know their crap. Plus I can attest that their methods really work!
They cover things like what you need in your medicine cabinet before baby, what is baby’s schedule at each age to help them actually sleep through the night.
The Ultimate Pregnancy Prep Pack
I’m a little bias on this product because it’s mine! I created this no-frills pregnancy prep pack so you have a straight forward guide at exactly what you need to do to get ready for baby.
It comes packed with over 90 pages of printables including planning pages, budgeting pages, and more. PLUS some awesome bonuses!
Breastfeeding and Pumping Classes
If you intend to breastfed or pump for your little ones, education is the key to success. I breastfed and pumped with both of my little ones and I wish I had these classes with my first!
Even though I breastfed and pumped for over a year with my first little girl I took these classes before I had my son and was blown away by the crazy helpful info.
They are separate classes so you can buy one or another and they are SO affordable. Check them out here for more info.
Birth it up! Birthing Classes
These classes are by a L&D nurse who knows her stuff and has been so helpful to the mama community. She has both natural birth and medicated birth class options!
One of the best parts about both of these classes is the price. They are both under $40, and for the content, you are getting that is a steal. I have seen birth classes with less information charge hundreds of dollars more.
Checkout the Epidural Birthing Class Here!
Best and worst things to pack in your hospital bag
7 easy ways to save money with a newborn
8 tips for taking DIY newborn photos
Now for the worst baby products we bought.
The Paci Thermometer
I’m sorry to the creators but this thing is a joke, at least our was. You have to keep the paci in your baby’s mouth for 2 minutes before it gets an accurate temperature. That’s an eternity for a fussy, sick baby! It’s just not feasible.
Don’t waste your money. Instead, get the temporal thermometer, it is fast and I felt that it gave a more accurate reading.
Pack ‘n Play
The pack ‘n play is probably a great investment for a lot of people. For us, it just didn’t fit. Abby slept in her bassinet of our pack ‘n play for the first few weeks. But the changing table leaned to the side, (it was a serious design flaw) and it just made me nervous to use.
We ended up co-sleeping more than I thought we would with Abby and we just didn’t use it that much. If we traveled more this might’ve been a winner, but it just didn’t hit the mark for us.
I was so adamant that we get baby mittens before Abby was born and have them in our hospital bag. And then we never used them.
Abby didn’t really scratch herself much, so I’m not a good judge on kiddos who really go at it. However, I have heard using socks works too, and honestly, that makes so much sense to me.
Let me know if you have any additions to the list! I always love hearing about baby products, whether they worked or not!
Look I know what you might think, my poor babies bottom will be cold and they will scream! Well you may be right.
But guess what? You can’t take your wipe warmer with you on the road. So when you go to change darling Susy’s bottom in Target she is gonna lose it!
Just pass this one up, you’re baby will get used to slightly cold wipes and you wont have to throw away the bottom 5 or 6 that inevitably dry out.
This one comes with a caveat. If your baby is born in winter, yes you really may need some shoes for that cutie!
Both of my kiddos were born just before summer and we did not bring out one pair of shoes until it got colder outside. And let me tell you, they grow out of those little baby shoes fast!
I know a bottle warmer may be easy. But it really is something that you just don’t need!
Here is your DIY bottle warmer: run some warm water into a large glass, and stick the bottle in it for a few minutes. It works like a charm!
Make sure to check out our post on the best and worst things to pack in your hospital bag as well!
Love this post? Share it with your friends!
Saturday 17th of December 2022
I agree with most of these. But Idk. I used my wipe warmer for middle of the night changes and it was so clutch. Will definitely be doing it again.
Thursday 31st of October 2019
Well said, Rachel. It's really true. New parents are always excited and want to buy everything whatever surrounded peoples are suggesting.
Friday 1st of November 2019
It's so hard because you are just so excited about everything! Thanks for stopping by Sabiha!
Saturday 5th of October 2019
The link was missing for birthing class. Thanks for great info.
Monday 7th of October 2019
Oh no! Thank you Deb, it's here if you'd like to check it out: https://mommylabornurse.teachable.com/p/birth-it-up-natural?affcode=309855_gnkpzu06
Monday 2nd of September 2019
I became a parent while my home was under construction and hence was traveling all the time to either parents home or vacation home and this is when the pack n play became crucial!! If you don’t plan on traveling much, I can see why it’s pointless. However, in NY’s cold winter that wipe warmer is crucial!! My baby would literally jolt if she had a cold wipe to her bum any point of the day! Also the bottle warmer was a MUST when you have 30 seconds to get a bottle of milk to a screaming babies mouth!
Monday 16th of September 2019
Hey Diana! I can TOTALLY see how the pack n play would be absolutely needed in that circumstance. We usually warmed up wipes in our hands for a few seconds whenever our little ones had an issue. :) Thank you so much for commenting! Love hearing what works for others.
Saturday 3rd of August 2019
Socks are bad for baby fingers to much pressure, causes problems. Gloves are made for a reason lol. I used socks sometimes when it was really cold for small amounts of time, like to the store. (:
Sunday 4th of August 2019
Hey Lori! That's a great point that some socks are too tight. I used some that worked fine with my son, but there are certain pairs I definitely wouldn't use! Thanks for commenting :)