Best baby products (and the worst!) 2019

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 get’s 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!)

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  4. Order $10 of product off of your registry. I would do something essential like wipes or diapers.
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We’ll start with the best baby products we tried.

Rock n play bassinet

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.

Best baby product receiving blankets

Receiving Blankets

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.

Best and worst baby products, what not to waste your money on baby carrier toy

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.

Best and worst baby products, what not to waste your money on, baby monitor app

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

manual hakaa breast pump awesome breast pumping accessory for moms

The Haakaa

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.

Check out the Haakaa here!

Best and worst baby products, what not to waste your money on portable high chair

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.

moms on call best baby product

Mom’s On Call

This book was a lifesaver with both of my babies. It is a great step by step guide for having a new baby and a way to get them to sleep through the night.

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.

See the Mom’s on Call book here

best baby product the ultimate breastfeeding class

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.

natural birthing class, best baby product

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 Natural Birthing Class here!

Checkout the Epidural Birthing Class Here!

A Frugal Mom’s Guide to Prepping for Baby (Free eBook!)

Ok I may be a little bias here. But this is my FREE eBook and I definitely think it’s something you need before baby comes.

I go over the most important aspects of getting ready for baby along with some great tidbits on what you need for baby along with a printable checklist with all the new baby must-haves.

Other things included are getting your finances in order for baby (even if you don’t have a lot of money), getting your home ready, some great classes that helped me a ton, and more!

Sign up to get your free eBook below. 

Related posts: 

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.

Best and worst baby products, what not to waste your money on worst product paci thermometer

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.

Best and worst baby products, what not to waste your money on pack n play

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.

best and worst baby products baby mittens

Baby Mittens

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!

best and worst baby products wipe warmer

Wipe Warmer

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.

best and worst baby products newborn shoes

Newborn Shoes

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!

best and worst baby products bottle warmer

Bottle Warmer

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! 

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Must have baby products and the ones you can pass up. You won't believe what popular baby products are not worth the money.

43 thoughts on “Best baby products (and the worst!) 2019”

      1. Absolutely Deb! I love hearing what did and didn’t work for others though. It is all about your lifestyle! I’m glad you found what worked or you. I’m sad the Haakaa didn’t work for you though, that thing is awesome.

      2. I don’t own a bottle warmer, but after all the water I’m wasting waiting for it to be warm enough to warm up the milk, I want one. I have a haakaa and I never use it because my LO won’t latch. And I love the pack and play. We keep it in our living room as a place for baby to sleep during the day.

        1. Renee thank you so much for sharing your experience! We did naps in the crib, but depending on your house layout I can absolutely see how that would be helpful!

  1. I was a stickler about buying baby mittens, but I never used them. I have been wanting to try the pacifier thermometer out for awhile, so thanks for steering me away from these. 7 minutes seems like a lifetime to get an accurate reading!

    1. thiscraftyhome

      I literally looked all over babies r us days before delivering intent that I needed baby mittens- then never opened them! There could be better pacifier thermometers out there, but my experience was just awful. It’s a great concept but practically doesn’t seem to work.

      1. Hey Nina! When we bought it for my daughter it was 7, not 2 unfortunately. I would still have a big issue getting a fussy sick baby to keep a paci in for 2 minutes straight as well! I really hope it works for you though!

    1. thiscraftyhome

      I definitely think the pack n play was all about our lifestyle! We ended up cosleeping during travel and it just became redundant to even have it. Glad I wasn’t the only one who didn’t like the paci thermometer!

    2. We live in northern Wisconsin and we used the mittens cause our daughter was born in the winter…I feel they kept her warmer at night since they have low circulation…also kept her from being a thumb sucker! The rest I completely agree with!

      1. Yes I can totally see how these are needed in those colder climates Paige! My daughter was born in the Summer and so was my son so we didn’t have a need! Thanks for commenting 🙂

    1. thiscraftyhome

      Oh I love the idea of stopping thumb sucking with them! I’m going to keep that in my back pocket if my next one has that issue.

  2. Completely agree about the paci thermometer it was brutal to try and get a reading, I learned how to get a very quick and accurate bum temp with a braun thermometer which has different age settings. I love it! And it only takes 8 seconds!!
    We never used our pack n play either.. thought I would use it way more!

    1. Right Sheri?! I was so excited about that darn Paci thermometer. I was so picky about my pack ‘n play as well, and nope used it a handful of times.

  3. Totally agree about the Pack n Play. We probably will use it once it’s warm outside if even.

    I disagree about the mittens. We didn’t buy mittens because I didn’t think about it. We were gifted some and I put them in the hospital bag. I’m so glad I did. Our baby loves his fists. It made hard for breastfeeding and he will suck on his hands (not his thumb, his hands) if he doesn’t have mittens on. I agree about the socks but socks are hard to come by too lol. I’d say get a few mittens just in case but don’t go spend a ton of money.

    1. That’s a great way to use them Maria! My son was a hand sucker as well but I swear if we put mittens on his hands he still would have put the whole thing in there! Thanks for commenting 🙂

  4. The baby mittens saved my life. Our little man constantly clawed at his face or my boobs while nursing. I tried the socks but they didn’t stay on as well. I can see how not everyone needs them but we were sure thankful to have them!!

    1. Oh that sounds awful Meg! I’m so glad they worked for you, you’re totally right some times baby socks just wont cut it. Thanks for reading!

  5. I see there is a pick of the hands free breast pump but no best or worst comment on it? Just curious if you used one and how it matched up to an electric one?

    1. Uh oh sorry about that Theresa! That was probably an ad, I don’t touch on hands free breast pumps in this post. You can check out my breastfeeding post and pumping post for info on that. I personally prefer the Hakaa for a manual pump and the Medela for an electric breast pump. But they are definitely used for different situations. Medela if you are going to be a full-time pumper, and Hakaa is good for anyone breastfeeding. Hopefully that helps!

  6. Hi Rachel,
    I like your style and would like to read your e-book, but everytime I put my email in and click ‘grab it now’ I fail to receive any confirmation in my inbox. Please let me know if I can access it in another way.
    Thanks in advance,
    Lauren

  7. I didn’t see the haakaa listed even though it’s in the picture. I highly recommend getting one. I got more milk from one of those than I did from my $200 Medela electric pump. Breastfeeding classes are also a must. Receiving blankets on the other hand, I had a mountain of them from my baby shower but never had a use for them.

    1. AH! Lisa thank you for mentioning that error. The Haakaa is one of my favorite things, I must have deleted that section by accident. The only way I figured out a good use for my receiving blankets was from getting a ton of them as well! As a blanket they kinda suck. 🙂

  8. Oh no! Bottle warmers are the best. I stick the bottle in there when I get the chance and when it’s bedtime the milk is ready to go and I don’t have to prepare milk holding a fussy baby

  9. My baby was born in November and was chilly at night, LOVED my wipe warmer and so did he! Kept him from fully waking up while changing him after I fed him . Also I’ve never had a wipe dry out in it. And I cannot live without my bottle warmer ! Turn the dial , while hungry baby is screaming , ready in 2 min , best thing ever !

    1. I’m so glad those worked for you Lindsay! I love hearing what other mamas have used successfully. Thanks for chiming in 🙂

  10. 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. (:

    1. 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 🙂

  11. 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!

    1. 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.

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