19 BABY MUST HAVES FOR FIRST TIME MOMS THAT WILL MAKE LIFE EASIER

Having a new baby is both scary and exciting. These baby must haves for first time moms will make your life easier.

19 baby must haves for first time moms

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When I found out I was pregnant, I couldn’t wait to start buying all of the cute baby items I’d been seeing on social media. 

Even though I had no idea what gender my baby would be, I figured buying gender neutral items would be a good start. 

I started baby registries at Target, Walmart, and Amazon using the due date from my What To Expect app. 

I started adding things like the Nose Frida because I read it was ah-mazing (spoiler alert, it is!).

And how could I survive without a bathtub that tells the water temperature and filters out the dirty water? (Another spoiler alert, I survived without it.)

As a new mom, you not only want what’s best for your baby, you also want items that are going to make your life easier. 

The more you can do with one hand the better! Because who wants to put their newborn down for even one second? 

Transitioning to motherhood is exciting and scary enough to make you pee your pants…or that may be because you have a small human cuddling your bladder.

Either way, this list of baby must-haves for first time moms will help you conquer motherhood with confidence!

1. Newborn boppy lounger

Whenever you need a safe place for your baby to hang out while you read a book or scroll through Instagram, this should be your go-to. 

We used our boppy lounger every single day during the first 6 weeks. 

As much as I loved snuggling my daughter, sometimes I needed a few minutes to relax or do something that required both hands.

I would put the lounger on the couch and either swaddle her or sit her in it with a blanket over her.

Almost every time she would fall asleep…yay! 

Since I was right next to her I felt comfortable enough to let her continue sleeping even though the boppy lounger is for awake time only.

So for those moments when you’ll be nearby and need a comfy place to sit your baby, this lounger is a must-have!

2. Baby car mirror

Once you feel comfortable enough to stop sitting in the backseat with your baby, you’ll still want to be able to see what your little one is doing. 

Probably sleeping, but at least ya know! 

What I love about this mirror is that it’s shatterproof which was my biggest concern. 

Once we started using it I loved it even more because it doesn’t move around when we go over bumps or railroad tracks. 

This mirror is a great buy because it’s something that we’ll use the entire time my daughter is in a rear facing car seat which will be at least 2 years.

3. Swing

A swing is essential because babies love to be rocked and sometimes you have things to get done while they’re rocking. 

And if they start out rocking in their swing and fall asleep you don’t have to worry about waking them up to move them (if you’ll be there to supervise their sleep). 

I love the music and the mobile that keeps my daughter distracted until she drifts off to sleep. 

This swing is also a nice place for your baby to relax. There’s nighttime music and daytime music so this is something you can use anytime throughout the day.

4. Pack N Play 

A pack n play is a must! Don’t bother wasting money on a bassinet you only use for a few months. 

This is something you’ll use for many years to come. 

We bought our pack n play with the intention of our daughter sleeping in our room at night since room-sharing is recommended the first year of life. 

The second night home, I quickly realized getting in and out of bed to breastfeed at night after a c-section was not going to work! 

Now we use our pack n play as a luxury baby prison. Whenever I need to do something I’ll put her in her pack n play with her toys. 

It’s a safe place and she has room to move around without getting into anything. 

It’s also convenient when we travel because it’s compact and we can pack it up in seconds. 

If you plan to room share with your baby I recommend using this since it’ll take less space than a crib and have more use than a bassinet.

5. Chest rub

You’ll definitely want to have this on hand so you’re not running out to the store in the middle of the night because your baby is congested.

This chest rub has all natural ingredients and smells amazing without taking your breath away! 

I only put it on my daughter’s feet before I put her socks on at bedtime and it still works with such a small amount. 

It does specify on the box which areas are safe to apply it to. 

Give your little one a bath and rub some of this on whatever areas you prefer and the congestion should get better.

6. White noise

Maybe I’ve been living under a rock but I’d never even heard of white noise until I kept seeing it mentioned in Facebook groups. 

The other moms would brag about how well their babies sleep since they began using a white noise machine. 

This machine was not in the budget but my daughter was still waking up every 2 hours MAX at 8 months so I was pretty desperate. 

I fed her and rocked her for a bit until she was drowsy but not all the way asleep.

Then I laid her down in her crib in her own room with the white noise playing and the night light on. 

I laid down in bed and looked at the baby monitor 738 times (approximately lol) before I finally felt comfortable enough to go to sleep. 

She slept 6 hours straight! 

I even woke up after 4 hours and snuck into her room like a church mouse to make sure she was still breathing. 

This has not only been a game changer but a life changer! We all sleep so much better and at 9 months old she’s sleeping 8 hours straight and going right back to sleep for another 3 hours after a quick milk break.

7. Diaper bag backpack

From the very beginning I knew I wanted a diaper bag backpack. 

They’re so cute and stylish and it didn’t matter what gender my baby was since I needed it to be neutral to match whatever I was wearing 💁 

I love that this diaper bag has an insane amount of space without being bulky. 

As a new mom, you’re going to pack everything you could possibly need while you’re out the first few times you leave the house (unless you’re using my diaper bag checklist).

We received ours monogrammed with our daughter’s initials as a baby shower gift and we absolutely love it!

8. Nursery kit

I love a nursery kit because they not only save money but they include basic necessities like:

  • Nail clippers
  • Brush
  • Comb
  • Emery boards (nail files)
  • Thermometer

You may not use all of the items, but they’re nice to have on hand just in case.

9. Swaddles

Your baby is used to being nice and cozy in your womb so being in this big world is scary for them. 

Swaddling your baby will bring them comfort and remind them of their happy place.

My go to swaddle is the muslin swaddle

They’re soft, comfy and breathable so you and your baby will love them.

My daughter would hate when we swaddled her arms so I would put her in a long sleeve onesie and swaddle her with her arms out.  

These are also oversized so you can use them for much more than just swaddling.

10. Travel system

If you’re debating on which car seat and stroller to get do yourself a favor and get a travel system

So what the heck is a travel system?

It’s a car seat that attaches to the stroller and will save you loads of time and make your life substantially easier. 

While I was pregnant I was in the parking lot of target when I noticed a mom struggling to get her stroller open. 

Once she finally got it opened she had to get her baby out of the car seat and put them into the stroller. 

That part was much easier except that in the process she woke up her sleeping baby to buckle them into the stroller. 

If she had a travel system she could’ve easily opened the stroller and clicked the car seat on top of the stroller without her baby cracking open an eye. 

Walking around Target with a crying baby kinda takes the fun out of it. 

With a travel system you get the car seat with a base and the matching stroller instead of buying everything separately. 

I like the jogger stroller with 3 wheels because they help me look more active than I am. 

Having only one wheel in the front makes it easier to maneuver and it glides along smoothly. 

And I can collapse it and throw it in the trunk with one hand!

11. Car seat toy

At some point in motherhood you’ll have the longest car ride in the history of life with a screaming child in the backseat. 

It’s inevitable. 

But having a car seat toy to keep your baby distracted will help minimize that problem. 

Any soft hanging activity toy with bright colors should do the trick!

12. Car seat cover

Since babies are so cute and cuddly I understand why everyone wants to look at them and touch them. 

But as a mom, it’s our job to protect them, even if it means telling the nice lady in the checkout line to please keep her hands to herself. 

A car seat cover will cut back on people trying to touch your newborn and it’ll also keep them warm.

Having a newborn in the winter is terrifying. 

With deadly viruses like RSV and the flu, you can’t risk taking any chances. 

Anytime we would leave during the winter I would keep my daughter in her car seat with the cover closed (unless she was awake). 

Since people couldn’t see her cute face we didn’t have to worry about anyone trying to touch her.

13. Baby Carrier

Have you heard of the fourth trimester? I’m sure you’re aware that pregnancy is 3 trimesters, but no one ever tells you about the fourth trimester. 

This is the first 3 months after you have your baby. During this time your baby is trying to adjust to this loud scary world. 

They were used to being carried in your nice warm belly 24/7 so they’re not a fan of being sat down for any amount of time. 

Welcome the Baby K’Tan

Babywearing is a game changer if you’re struggling to keep the house looking nice or just need to get things done with both hands free.

Your baby will be in their happy place snuggled right next to you and you’ll be more comfortable knowing they’re comfortable.

14. Co-sleeper

Once I realized how painful it was to get in and out of bed after a c-section, we began bed-sharing. 

I ordered a DockATot after reading numerous reviews and decided it was worth the investment.

It made life so much easier! 

I was able to breastfeed my daughter without ever getting out of bed. 

Since she was in her own safe area I felt like it was the best option for us along with following the Safe Sleep Seven.

Even if you’re not breastfeeding it’s still reassuring to be able to raise your head and see your baby snoozing away. 

It’s also great for traveling or moving to different rooms around the house.

Money tip: I saved $50 by buying my DockATot from the sales page on their website instead of through Amazon. Maybe you’ll get lucky too and catch a great sale!

15. Nose Frida

I used the Nose Frida almost every single night! I LOVE this product and you will too!

Bulb syringes have been shown to grow mold when not cleaned properly and since you can’t see inside of them you’ll have no idea.

The Nose Frida is not as traumatic since you’re not sticking anything in their nose. It has a long tube and a filter so nothing yucky even comes close to your mouth.  

My daughter actually laughs while I’m using this which is a HUGE difference from her reaction when I would use the bulb syringe.

16. Glider with Ottoman

Instead of putting your baby in a swing, sometimes you want to rock them to sleep yourself. 

We mostly use our glider at night since it’s part of my breastfeeding station.

This glider provides a nice place for you to relax with your baby and it has pockets for you to put any items you may need. 

Money tip: I bought my glider used through Facebook marketplace! Use these apps to buy secondhand baby products and save some money.

glider with ottoman

17. Baby Monitor

When I added a baby monitor to our registry I thought it would be nice to have a way to look at my daughter without getting in and out of bed. 

Since the original plan was for her to sleep in her pack n play we were going to put the monitor above that. 

As usual in life nothing went as planned and she was in bed with me (my husband slept in the guest room) so there was no need for the monitor. 

When we transitioned her to her own room at 8 months this monitor was a blessing! 

I would lay in bed and stare at the screen waiting for her to make any type of movement. 

I’m positive the transition to her own room was harder for me than it was for her. Thankfully, I had this monitor to help ease my mind.

We have it mounted above her crib and whenever she wakes up she doesn’t even cry she just looks at the camera like, “are you gonna come get me or what?” 

The monitor is small enough that I can easily carry it around with me during nap time or in the mornings when I wake up before her (which is part of my morning routine). 

My favorite feature of this baby monitor is that it tells me the temperature of her room. 

During the summer her room gets really hot and during the winter it gets really cold. This monitor helps me keep the temperature just right without trying to sneak in her room to find out if it’s too hot or cold.

18. Bouncer

Once she started getting bigger, babywearing started getting uncomfortable for my back. 

I needed a place to sit her without her falling asleep like she would in her swing. 

I had been waiting for her to get old enough to use her bouncer because it looked so entertaining. 

She was 3.5 months and the bouncer was for use starting at 4 months but I figured, “what the heck she’s close enough and I’ll be right there with her anyway.”

She freakin’ loved it! 

She would probably sit in it all day if I let her. Every time she turns around there’s another toy to play with. 

This freed up time for me to clean the kitchen or put the laundry away without her crying to be held.

19. Playmat

A playmat is great for both tummy time and laying your baby down to play with the toys.

At first, it seemed pointless because she couldn’t grab any of the toys and she hated every traumatizing second of tummy time. 

Once her hand eye coordination got better and she started grabbing the toys it was like a huge milestone had been reached. 

Quick tip: This was also handy when she had a terrible diaper rash from thrush. I would lay puppy pads on top of the playmat and she would be busy playing with her toys while her bottom was airing out.

Famous last words…

This list of baby must-haves for first time moms will make your life so much easier. 

Put as much as you can on your baby registry and don’t get sucked into the trap of buying the newest baby products. 

I love every single one of these products and will use them again with my next baby.

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19 handy baby items to add to your registry

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