There are SO many baby products out there, and as a new mom it can be hard to know what is worth the money and what are only useful in theory. With babies being so expensive in general every dollar counts. I have composed a list of common baby products and included my personal opinion about whether they are genius or a major dud. I have also rated them out of ten to tell you how much you need and will appreciate each item (as determined by my own satisfaction, so take it or leave it.)
Baby wipe warmer (8/10)– I am surprised that so many people don’t spring for a wipe warmer. They get a bad reputation, but have you ever wiped your butt in the middle of the night with a freezing cold wipe? Even if they are not super warm, it definitely makes a difference to your baby. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself. My mom works in a hospital and she says that all of their wipes are in a warmer. My rule of thumb for a baby is that if I don’t like something, they most likely won’t either. (find it here)
Humidifier (7/10)– These seem like useless machines that sit in their closets for about 11 months out of the year, but they come in very useful when your little one has a stuffy nose! We see a dramatic difference in sleep for Isabel when we don’t use the humidifier as opposed to when we do. It basically helps keep the air moist so that her nose does not dry out. (find it here)
Bottle warmer (9/10)– I have both warmed bottles on the stove top with a pan and warmed out bottles in the warmer. Let me tell you, warmers are a seriously genius invention. I can just throw the bottle in and comfort or sit with my baby until it is ready instead of waiting and stirring and hoping that it does not get too hot while holding a screaming child. (find it here)
A good pump (10/10)- If you are planning to breastfeed at all, there will most likely be a time when you want to take a siesta for a few hours or have your partner take a midnight shift. A good pump is such an awesome tool for moms, but the wrong one can lead to a battle of frustration, pain, and lack of milk. Invest in a really good pump, especially if you are a working mom and still wish to give your bundle the essential nutrients from your body. Disclaimer: I got a breast pump through my insurance for my baby and, unfortunately, this brand was not available. However, this is the kind I am planning to buy for my second baby and I have heard amazing things about it. (find it here)
Changing table (9/10)- Some parents choose to change their babies on the couch, bed, or even the floor, but I found it really nice to have a little changing station where all of our supplies stayed and the poo was contained (most of the time). You don’t necessarily need an official changing table: the top of a dresser will do just fine. Just slap on a changing pad and you are good to go! Caution: there will come a time where your toddler is too big for a changing table and will be over the edge faster than you can spell A. In this situation we just moved our pad and supplies to the floor. (find it here)
Munchkin Music Cube (10/10)- Want to install a love of music in your baby but can’t stand the tuneless and inane electronic baby toys? Try this amazing Mozart music cube! It is insanely clever: each side of the cube represents an instrument, so you can turn them on and off as you please during the songs. I love this because it not only teaches you what each instrument does in an orchestra, but it changes the song each time you turn on or off an instrument so it does not get repetitive as quickly. (Find it here)
Velcro Swaddle Blankets (9/10)- When they come out, babies are used to the warm snuggle of their mommies tummy and prefer to be wrapped up tight. But getting that perfect swaddle, especially in the middle of the night, can be quite the challenge. If it is too loose they can get free or risk getting smothered. We absolutely adored these swaddle sleepers and our little bean looked so adorable in them. They are like a little sack that you put them in and velcro shut, so there is no fancy wrapping and they very rarely come undone. (find it here)
Boppy pillow (7/10)- This product is genius, BUT I have a few thoughts. 1) I only used mine for about a few weeks until I got the hang of breast feeding, and then I realized that I didn’t need it anymore. 2) It can be a pain in the butt to keep track of. If you are dedicated to using it, it will move around with you, and it can get irritating if you get all settled on the couch and you realize your pillow is in the nursery. 3) So many people are in a situation like me where they used theirs for a week and are looking to get rid of them, so it might be worth it to check craigslist and see if you could find one secondhand since they are a bit pricy. 4) I don’t think I would buy this for a second or third child since once you have the hang of breastfeeding, you are pretty set. 5) I had a C-section and this thing SAVED MY LIFE initially. You don’t want anything touching your incision and this is a good protective padding. (find it here)
White noise machine (9/10)- We had a “she needs to tough it out and get used to the world” attitude when it came to her sleeping situation in terms of noise and light, but boy did we get over that fast. If baby does not sleep, nobody sleeps, so as a parent you do whatever it takes to help them. A good white noise machine helps babies fall asleep faster by emulating the sounds from inside your tummy and it keeps them from hearing outside noise and waking suddenly. (find it here)
Not worth the money:
Sophie the giraffe (4/10)- These sweet tethers are adorable and some parents swear by them, but our little girlie chewed on it maybe a total of one hour max for its entire life. Maybe it was just our unique child, but for the price we were quite disappointed.
Expensive jogging stroller (2/10)- Now. If you are a marathon runner and you plan to keep running even with your child, I think you should go for it. But strollers can easily get up to $1000, and my $100 dollar one was just as nice and useful as my sister’s $700 Super Jogger Plus 2000. I know that by the end of your pregnancy you have sworn to run every day to get back your pre baby figure, but A) you just grew a human, you deserve to give your body a break, and B) running with a stroller is much harder than just running. And you might need some time alone on a nice stroll while your partner takes care of the tot.
Shopping cart cover (4/10)- We actually used this and like it for a short period of time, but I feel like it was a hassle to remember, it was not super protective, and our girlie did not really care one way or another.
Bottle disinfectant (2/10)- Bottle or pacifier disinfecting tools sound good in theory, but it is so hard to maintain that level of clean. My general philosophy has been that a thorough washing with soap is good enough for a child that will literally eat specks of dirt from the ground.
Sleep dress (4/10)- Someone invented these sleepers that are basically dresses with elastic around the bottom to make changing your baby easier at night. My sister loved these little sleeper dresses for her baby, but I would not buy one again. They are convenient for changes in the middle of the night since you just hike them up and you are done, but they also ride up CONSTANTLY. A little too irritating for me.
Baby Safety Kit (4/10)- There are all kinds of expensive kits full of “emergency” tools for your little. We have one of these and have used maybe two or three items out of it. I advise making one of your own out of some infant Tylenol, baby nail clippers, some bandaids, some boogy wipes, and a bulb syringe.
Sweet baby blankets (3/10)- It is very likely that you will get approximately 71.6 sweet, homemade baby blankets from relatives or a baby shower. As tempting as they are, I would hold off on buying fuzzy baby blankets, especially since babies can’t sleep with blankets for their first year of life.
*The links to Amazon on this page are affiliate links. I would NEVER indorse a product that I did not believe in 100%.*