Top Ten Game-Changer Baby Essentials (& Some You Can Totally Skip)

Baby essentials change like the wind.  I read a ton of blogs and pinterest’ed like a fool for the 10 month waiting period before ours.  Fast-forward to present day — I present to you, our list of total game-changer, must-haves!!!

By the way, I consulted in a few fellow new mamas and they chimed in and reminded me of a few solid ideas that my mama brain almost forgot.  Thanks, ladies!  You know who you are!




one // butt spatula

Yes, you read that right.  The butt spatula is amazing.  Who wants to touch butt cream?? That’s right, NO ONE!  We use this thing daily.

two // magic sleepsuit

We had a baby who loved a swaddle, but broke out of it like the hulk in no time.  NOW WHAT?  Enter:  The Merlin Magic Sleepsuit.  Yes, it makes your baby look like Ralphie’s brother Randy from the Christmas Story, but it’s great!  It keeps your baby from rolling over and smothering themselves, with additional comfort.

three // nose frida

CHECK! Add this to the list of things I said I would never, ever consider doing before becoming a parent. Fast-forward to current day when your baby has a terrible cold and wakes up barely able to breath … this thing is your new BEST FRIEND!  Total disclaimer – it has a filter!!!  You are not eating the boogies for a mid-day snack!

four // comfort bathing items

This was Stephen’s suggestion to this post because he has a bad knee, haha. These few items are super nice for parents and baby while bathing. They make this list because we use them all the time. They just make life a heck of a lot easier.  Here and here.

five // pacy clips

If your baby takes a pacy, do yourself a favor and get some of these babies.  I’d get the rubber kind because they can double as a teething toy and they don’t get overly wet like the fabric ones do.  We throw the pacy clips in the dishwasher bottle basket (another good one!) daily along with the dirty pacys.


six // something to co-sleep with

When you bring your itty bitty baby home, you’re feeding them every few hours around the clock. You need something that is near and easy access for getting some (not much) sleep that first month at least. We have the Fisher-Price rock n play and it worked well, but we did transition EJM to crib around 6 weeks because he always sleep with his head facing our bedroom door and I didn’t want his one side of his head getting too flat. Regardless, find a good option for early-on co-sleeping.

seven // baby gates

We are in this phase right now.  Once they are crawling, it’s off to the races!  The gates are a must!

eight // dohm noise machine 

{UPDATE from 2018 – we own two now, one for each baby!  Total MUST have, IMO.  Soothing and keeps the noise muffled if one is sleeping and one is not} I almost invested this one, but my baby is a really solid sleeper.  I’ve had pretty much every single mama I’ve talked to about “must-haves” mention this as one of their top 5.  The noise machines are super popular.

nine // a backpack style diaper bag 

I bought one before EJM was born and quickly realized that backpack style was the only way to go. Who has extra shoulders and hands??? No one. It’s a plus if your bag has backpack straps and a shoulder strap.

By far, my fav is the Fawn Design bag. Not ugly, a bazillion pockets inside and out. Lined with the same exterior fabric so you can wipe it clean. I actually own the mini version and use it as a daily purse/on-the-fly diaper bag .  The mini size is perfect for running to Target or the grocery store with the bare-min, diaper/wallet/wipes/puffs.  I’m going to buy the full size for sure for next baby. This bag is in a class of its own. You can carry it to work and feel like it’s not a frumpy diaper bag.

ten // sleepers

You use them literally every single night. We always have four of each size for laundry washing rotation.  Carter’s brand are easy to find that we’ve had and liked.

Fawn Design Mini Diaper Bag



– honorable mentions

total convenience – diaper genie – was really nice early on when you are changing diaper after diaper after diaper, tag toy – babies LOVES tags, who knew??, swaddles – total must have in the first month before your baby turns into the hulk and breaks out, we used this no-hole boppy pillow a lot, a monitor system is pretty much a must but I can say we didn’t end up investing in the camera version …. yet …. but we are close! Other obvious ones you would want to spend some time looking into would be:  car seat, stroller, crib, etc.




We always had something else better – high chair, boppy pillow, our laps, whatever.  We’ve literally used it like twice.  It is good to take to a vacay in which you are driving and know the destination doesn’t have a highchair.

Fabric Baby Wrap Carriers

I’m talking about the kind that are like 40 feet long wraps and you have to go around and around your body with them.  I can never remember how to wrap them around me properly.  These are cute for like a minute until your baby weighs more than 8 pounds and then they hurt your shoulders like a mother. Get a sturdy baby carrier instead and skip these fabric style ones. You’ll have WAY more options and they will be WAY more supportive.

Wipe Warmer

This this is a waste of time.  Baby’s don’t care if the wipes are room temperature or lukewarm.

Bottle Steamer/Sanitizer

If you dishwasher gets hot enough to clean those plates with the crusted spaghetti remnants on them, it’s hot enough to sterilize the bottle parts too.


Maybe this list will help a new mom who is feverishly trying to gather all the perfect items for her new baby. Or the mom who had a baby six years ago, but is pregnant now and everything has changed so much since last baby. Maybe it’s the aunt who is invited to the niece’s baby shower and is out of the loop to what is relevant these days with babies. One word from the wise – all babies are different and unique so what makes one baby happy may not work for another. It’s a bit of a trial and error, honestly. But it doesn’t hurt to have a solid stash before they arrival. You can always return things!






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  1. Bottle steamers serve a nice double purpose to keep the microwave super clean though. Sterilize bottles, wipe out microwave was my nightly routine with my kids. Especially after the first one figured out the neat little trick of exploding foods with micro waves.

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