LilSugar

100 Baby Products We Couldn't Live Without!

Jul 21 2014 - 7:54am

Here comes baby — and with baby comes more "stuff" than a mom-to-be ever dreamed necessary. So how's a pregnant woman to decide what's actually worth the splurge and what's just for fun? She turns to her trusted friends, who've been there and done that already. And that's just what we're doing for you. We've racked our brains and gone through our notes to round up our favorite baby products of all time. Take a look, and tell us what we're missing!

Ubbi Diaper Pail

The Ubbi Diaper Pail [1] ($80) is the unsung hero of our nursery. Its sleek look blends right in, and most importantly, the pail's steel body and tightly sealed lid keeps the smell of dirty diapers where it belongs — in the pail. I also love that you can use regular kitchen trash bags with the Ubbi . . . one less thing to worry about!

Lisa Horten, associate editor

Kissy Kissy Layette

Babies deserve the softest clothing next to their newborn skin, and I've never found pieces softer than Kissy Kissy [2]'s. The pima cotton stretchies, gowns, and bonnets have beautifully embroidered details that make them stand out from almost any other layette pieces.

Rebecca Gruber, editor

Dwell Studio Nursery Bedding

I've always had a weird obsession with bedding, so choosing the perfect crib set for my daughter was a challenge. I'm so happy I decided on Dwell Studio's Zinnia Rose [3] ($40-$178). The quality is amazing, and it washes beautifully. I'm already scoping out Dwell's big-girl bedding [4] for her.

Kate Stahl, contributing editor

Boon Grass Drying Rack

Hand-washing bottles can be a pain (and I hated that my kitchen counters were overtaken by baby stuff for months), but at least Boon's Grass drying racks [5] ($18) make the clutter cute. I have the spring green version, but the winter clear would be great in a modern kitchen.

Kate Stahl, contributing editor

Bulb Syringe

Yes, a bulb syringe [6] ($3) saved me from totally freaking out one day after my babe shoved bits of carrot up her nose. And it also was wonderfully beneficial when my little one had a stuffy nose. It's not the most fun baby essential, but it's a good one to have in the medicine cabinet.

Sarah Lipoff, contributing editor

Moby Wrap

At first glance (and second, and third . . .), I was completely intimidated by my Moby Wrap [7] ($48). The versatile sling is one superlong piece of cotton, and to see it on its own, it's hard to fathom how the fabric could safely hold a baby. But once I watched the online tutorial and tried tying it on in front of the mirror a few times, it became a staple of life with a newborn, freeing up my hands while keeping the baby cozy and secure.

Lisa Horten, associate editor

Dwell Studio Sheepskin Rug

Dwell Studio's Sheepskin Rug [8] ($109) looks great in the nursery, but it's also one of our baby's favorite spots to hang out and play. He loves the feel of the soft sheepskin, and it's just the right size for a little one.

Lisa Horten, associate editor

Munchkin Adjustable Back Seat Mirror

It didn't take long for me to learn how much I dislike driving alone with my little guy in the backseat. Munchkin's Adjustable Back Seat Mirror [9] ($20) alleviates much of the stress of the unknown when your new baby is behind you, and your eyes are on the road. Plus, it's added entertainment for when they're a bit older — babies love looking at themselves in the mirror.

Lisa Horten, associate editor

A Stability Ball

After hearing a number of other new moms praise the relaxation powers of bouncing on a basic stability ball [10] ($20), I had to give it a try. Sure enough, the repetitious movement rocked my own babe right to sleep when he was tired, and calmed him down when he was fussy. Added bonuses for mom? A little core workout, and a great prop for stretching out a sore back and shoulders.

Lisa Horten, associate editor

Mamaroo

The Mamaroo [11] ($200) is just plain awesome. It bounces and sways in multiple directions to mimic how you move when holding your baby, it has built-in nature sounds and also connects to your iPhone, and now it comes in cute patterns, too! It's a lifesaver for the first few months during those moments when you need two hands.

Kate Stahl, contributing editor

ShooShoos

When my toddler started toddling, I wasn't sure what to put on her feet and happened upon ShooShoos [12] ($17) through a suggestion from a fellow mom. What's not to love? The price is right, the shoes grow with your tot, and they take a beating.

Sarah Lipoff, contributing editor

Bugaboo Cameleon

My husband jokes that I was more excited for my Bugaboo [13] than I was for our first baby to arrive. Over the last six years, our stroller has been pushed thousands of miles, been folded and flown across the country several times, and has lulled two boys to sleep for countless hours. It is still the best city stroller I have come across, if not only for its strong, cushioned wheels, then for its ability to withstand bumps, potholes, rain, snow, and more.

Rebecca Gruber, editor

White Noise App

I discovered the incredibly basic White Noise App [14] ($2) when we took our then 9-week-old on his first trip. Concerned that he'd have trouble sleeping in a new environment, I downloaded the app, turned on the "Oscillating Fan" setting, and put it right next to the crib — supercomforting and great to have when you're on the go.

Lisa Horten, associate editor

Fisher-Price Cradle 'N Swing

The Fisher-Price Cradle 'N Swing [15] ($127) may just be the greatest gift a new mom can receive. In our home, it worked like magic; as soon I as placed the boys in it, they were lulled off to dreamland. It worked so well, I was often tempted to try it out myself!

Rebecca Gruber, editor

Rockabye, Baby! Lullaby Renditions

I was given Rockabye Baby [16]! Lullaby Renditions of Bjork by a friend, and it quickly became my favorite CD to use for lulling my newborn to sleep. Along with dreamy renditions of Björk [17] ($11), you can select from Bob Marley, U2, and even Metallica [18]. I love these CDs, and my little one does too.

Sarah Lipoff, contributing editor

Halo 100% Cotton Sleepsack Swaddle

We chose to keep our babe's gender a surprise until the big day, so we were given tons of gender-nuetral items prebaby. This Halo Sleepsack Swaddle [19] ($30) quickly became one of our favorite — and essential — gifts. Our new girl loved being swaddled tightly in the sack at night and slept for four to six hours stretches each night.

Sarah Lipoff, contributing editor

Gripe Water

Both my tots got upset bellies after feeding, and I was at my wit's end when someone finally told me about gripe water [20] ($11). The ginger-based concoction is a miracle worker for gassy babes.

Rebecca Gruber, editor

Kicky Pants Coveralls

I've never found a softer piece of baby clothing than anything made by Kicky Pants. I'm especially partial to the coveralls [21] ($34), which come in sizes for babies 0-24 months. If only they made them in mom sizes, too!

Kate Stahl, contributing editor

Dapple Fragrance-Free Baby Bottle and Dish Liquid

At the beginning, I was paranoid about anything and everything that touched my baby, including dish soap residue. Dapple's fragrance-free soap [22] ($6) is totally green and made with all-natural ingredients. But it also works really well and totally gets rid of milk residue and smells.

Kate Stahl, contributing editor

Aden + Anais Crib Sheets

Aden + Anais swaddle blankets have become ubiquitous, and for good reason. Turning that same soft muslin into crib sheets [23] ($30) was a natural next step for the brand. I love how breathable these are, and the sweet patterns don't hurt either!

Lisa Horten, associate editor

Boppy Pillow

I was given a Boppy Pillow [24] ($30) from a friend when I mentioned I planned on breastfeeding, and I actually hardly ever used it for that reason. I loved being able to place my daughter in the comforting pillow to encourage her to sit on her own, roll over, and sit up straight without fear of harm. And what's awesome is you can pick a cover to fit your style.

Sarah Lipoff, contributing editor

Source: Dean Lipoff [25]

Medela Freestyle Breast Pump

If you haven't invested in a hands-free pump, I would highly recommend it. I used the Medela Freestyle [26] ($380) and loved how portable it is. You can literally throw it in your purse. While I never really liked pumping (does anyone?), this pump made it bearable. It's expensive, but it will definitely last through multiple babies.

Kate Stahl, contributing editor

Jellykitten Library Books

Prebaby, I knew about Jellycat [27]'s adorable stuffed animals, but it wasn't until postbaby that I discovered the brand's awesome line of crinkly, crunchy, soft books for baby [28] ($17). The textures are designed to appeal to developing senses — my 3-month-old takes Jungle Tails wherever he goes!

Lisa Horten, associate editor

Mini Boden Dribble Bibs

At around 10 weeks, my baby boy started drooling like crazy. Wearing a bib around all day seemed silly, but constantly wiping his little chin and chest also seemed pretty inconvenient. Enter Mini Boden's Dribble Bibs [29] ($26 for two). They're more like little bandanas than bibs, so they look like a part of his outfit, rather than a cover-up.

Lisa Horten, associate editor

Fisher-Price Precious Planet Whale of a Tub

Bathtime can be scary with a newborn, so I loved that Fisher Price's Precious Planet Whale of a Tub [30] ($26) grew with my baby as he went from needing neck support to sitting up on his own.

Rebecca Gruber, editor

Fisher-Price Link-a-Doos

They might not be the cutest or most exciting toys in the toy store, but Fisher-Price Link-a-Doos [31] ($6) are certainly one of the most versatile (and inexpensive!) baby buys that I've made. They're great for little teethers, can easily be switched up to avoid boredom, and turn most any little toy into a take-along stroller or car seat activity.

Lisa Horten, associate editor

7 A.M. Enfant Blanket 212evolution

It may have been late Spring, and I may have still been pregnant when our 7 A.M. Enfant Blanket 212evolution [32] ($189) arrived in the mail, but my husband and I were eager to use it from day one. This is truly the coziest (not to mention best-looking) bunting on the market, and it lasts from infancy through preschool.

Lisa Horten, associate editor

A Soft Idea Plaid Receiving Blanket

I've been giving these plaid receiving blankets [33] ($32) as gifts for years, and was quick to add one to my own registry. They're a great weight, cozy, and so pretty!

Lisa Horten, associate editor

Angel Dear Curved Pillows and Blankies

I was never a fan of those wraparound nursing pillows, but Angel Dear's curved pillow [34] ($18) provides the perfect amount of support for your arm while your baby is eating or napping. My daughter also loves the brand's little blankies [35] ($13), which are the perfect size to tuck into your infant car seat to keep her warm.

Kate Stahl, contributing editor

Boumy Shoes

While baby shoes might not really be a necessity until your little one is walking, they're awfully cute on tiny feet. My favorite brand is a Dutch company called Boumy [36] (most shoes are $32). They use the softest leather, and the styles are just the right balance of cutesy and sophisticated.

Lisa Horten, associate editor

Carter's Onesies

For those first months, no piece of clothing was more vital to me than a white onesie, which my daughter wore every day, all day (underneath her many cute outfits, of course). I found the best brand to be good-old Carter's [37] ($21 for five). Soft, comfy, and washes beautifully — what more could you ask for in a onesie?

Kate Stahl, contributing editor

Puj Snug

After moving my son from the sink to the tub, one of my biggest concerns was hitting his head on the faucet. So many spout covers are made from hard plastic or rubber! But the Puj Soft Spout Cover [38] does a great job protecting noggins while still looking cute!

Rebecca Gruber, editor

Safety 1st Baby's 1st Deluxe Healthcare and Grooming Kit

Filled with everything you need to keep your baby groomed and healthy, this kit [39] ($20) was also a baby shower gift and quickly became an essential go-to when my daughter was sniffly or needed her first nail trimming.

Sarah Lipoff, contributing editor

Freshfoods Freezer Tray

I never thought I'd be the type to make my own baby food, but once I tried it, I was hooked. Annabel Karmel's baby puree cookbooks and her line of food prep products, especially the Freshfoods Freezer Tray [40] ($6), made it a breeze.

Rebecca Gruber, editor

Milkmakers Lactation Cookies

I laughed when my sister-in-law told me the cookies she was handing me would help increase my milk supply, but after eating my way through one bag of Milkmakers [41] ($20-$50), my boobs and I were hooked. Not only were the cookies really tasty, but they also worked!

Rebecca Gruber, editor

Jellycat Stuffed Animals

Jellycat [42] just makes the softest, sweetest stuffed animals ever! My daughter sleeps with her Jellycat Bashful Monkey [43] ($19) every night and drags it around a lot of days, but it's still as soft as when she first got it. We recently added a Bashful Bunny [44] ($13) to the family too.

Kate Stahl, contributing editor

Bugaboo Organizer

Perusing the seemingly endless accessory options for my Bugaboo Cameleon became an addiction while I was pregnant, but if I had to choose just one add-on, it would have to be the Organizer [45] ($30). The sleek little bag adheres to your stroller with velcro, and enables you to run out without your diaper bag. There's just enough room for all of your mom and baby essentials [46].

Lisa Horten, associate editor

Tiny Love On-the-Go Mobile

My kids loved hearing music to lull them to sleep (they still do). Tiny Love [47]'s On the Go Mobile [48] ($23) helped drown out outside noises and kept them happy while Mama ran her errands, not to mention ate a meal in a restaurant.

Rebecca Gruber, editor

Uppa Baby Easy-Fit Car & SUV Sunshade

A must have — and not just for Summer — the Uppa Baby Easy-Fit Car & SUV Sunshade [49] ($10) is adjustable to provide complete sun protection for your little passenger in the car seat.

Lisa Horten, associate editor

Skip Hop Alphabet Zoo Activity Gym

My daughter was never really a fan of her swing or bouncer, but she absolutely adored her activity gym. Unfortunately, most of them are not so cute (and by that I mean seriously ugly). Skip Hop's Alphabet Zoo Activity Gym [50] ($75) is an exception I was very grateful for.

Kate Stahl, contributing editor

Good Earth Original Tee

With its nice and spicy flavor, I couldn't get enough Good Earth Caffeine Free Tea [51] ($7) while breastfeeding. I loved the flavor — and that I wasn't adding caffeine to my breast milk. I still enjoy a nice hot cup on cold afternoons.

Sarah Lipoff, contributing editor

Bordreaux's Butt Paste

I'm pretty sure I've tried every single kind of diaper cream out there, but I always come back to Bourdreaux's Butt Paste [52] ($17 for 16 ounces). I swear it's the only thing that works for my daughter, and this might be weird, but I kind of love the smell. Get the big jar; you won't regret it!

Kate Stahl, contributing editor

Cybex 2.Go

There are so many baby carriers out there, but the Cybex 2.Go [53] ($110) was my favorite because not only can it be worn in various positions, the hip area can be adjusted based on baby's size.

Rebecca Gruber, editor

Cariboo Folding Bassinet

Perfect for compact spaces, this Cariboo Folding Bassinet [54] ($283) was great for keeping my newborn close without needing a dedicated space. If we were outside and she grew sleepy, I could easily open the bassinet and get her cozy. And when it wasn't in use, the bassinet folded perfectly into a closet.

Sarah Lipoff, contributing editor

Summer Infant Baby Touch Digital Color Video Monitor

Video monitors have come a long way, and the new Summer Infant Baby Touch Digital Color Video Monitor [55] ($190) looks more like an iPhone than a monitor. But the two-way talk feature (so baby can hear you too), controllable camera, and the fact that it comes with a docking station makes this the coolest one on the planet in my opinion.

Rebecca Gruber, editor

Aden + Anais Muslin Swaddle Wraps

I'm not the only one who loves aden + anais's [56] muslin blankets; just visit any newborn playgroup and you'll see them everywhere. The Australian muslin blankets [57] are large enough to swaddle a tot, use as a playmat, cover a stroller when baby's sleeping, and do about 100 other things. They are so soft that I even wanted one as a scarf for myself!

Rebecca Gruber, editor

Serena & Lily Moroccan Leather Pouf

If you have illusions of transitioning your nursery into a big girls' room and teen room, then a Serena & Lily Moroccan Pouf [58] ($450) is actually a great investment. I hope my daughter will continue to think it's as cool as I do, but if she doesn't, then I'll put it in my room.

Kate Stahl, contributing editor

Fisher-Price Snugabunny Bouncer

If it wasn't for this awesome bouncer [59] ($65), I wouldn't have had a minute to myself during the first few months of having my newborn. She loved sitting and watching the birds as she bounced and bounced.

Sarah Lipoff, contributing editor

Skip Hop Hare Comb & Brush Set

Skip Hop's Hare Comb & Brush Set [60] ($20) is the cutest way to store baby's brush and comb. I also like that having a dedicated space keeps them neat and germ-free.

Lisa Horten, associate editor

Belabumbum Before & After Cami

I wish I'd stocked up on these while I was still pregnant; I love Belabumbum's Before & After Cami [61] ($39) so much. It's supersoft, great for nursing, and the adjustable straps make it easy to accommodate your changing pre- and postbaby bod.

Lisa Horten, associate editor

Angel Dear Featherweight Fine Gauge Knit Clothing

The brand is probably best known for its adorable little blankies, but I fell in love with Angel Dear's apparel line [62] at first sight and touch. The designs are sweet, but not overly cutesy, and I love the muted palette of soft pinks, blues, and neutrals. The featherweight fine gauge knit is beyond soft — a great year-round weight.

Lisa Horten, associate editor

Crane Cool Mist Humidifer

I have used my Crane Cool Mist Humidifier [63] ($50) in my daughter's nursery almost every night since she was born. It's especially a must during the colder months. I have the elephant version, but the new drop shapes are so much chicer.

Kate Stahl, contributing editor

Thermos Foogo Tritan Straw Bottle

When it was time to move beyond the sippy cup and onto a straw cup, I tried a lot of cups [64]. The one that worked the best — didn't leak, didn't require too much pulling, was easy to clean, etc. — was the Thermos Foogo Tritan Straw Bottle [65]. Two years later, we're still using it!

Rebecca Gruber, editor

Baby Bjorn

One of my proudest moments as a new mom was the night I made dinner while my newborn daughter was strapped to me in her Baby Bjorn [66]. My dog was also very grateful for it too; he probably would have gotten a lot fewer walks those first few months if I hadn't had a Bjorn. I have the Original Bjorn [67] ($66), but the new Miracle style [68] ($127) might be worth the upgrade.

Kate Stahl, contributing editor

Carter's Keep Me Dry Waterproof Fitted Quilted Crib Pad

A waterproof crib sheet [69] ($13) is a must have for any new parents. In fact, pick up two. This way, when you have to change your babe's sheets in the middle of the night, you'll always have spare. Trust me.

Sarah Lipoff, contributing editor

The Woombie

My second baby was a lil Houdini — as much as he loved being swaddled, he loved working his way out of it. The Woombie [70] ($27) was the only way I could keep him tightly wrapped and happy. It may look like a straight-jacket, but it truly comforted him and gave Mama a few extra minutes of sleep in those early days.

Rebecca Gruber, editor

California Baby Super Sensitive Shampoo and Body Wash

My daughter has sensitive skin, and California Baby [71] ($14) products leave her clean without any irritation. And her hair is always nice and soft after a big bubbly bath.

Sarah Lipoff, contributing editor

Sophie Giraffe

There's a reason Sophie Giraffe [72] ($17) has been around more than 50 years. Babies have a magnetic attraction to her. I can't imagine getting through all those months of teething without Sophie!

Kate Stahl, contributing editor

Puj Tub

No one tells you bathing a newborn is kind of scary, but the Puj Tub [73] ($45) helps immensely! Not only is it the perfect size and shape for a sink and your lil one, but it also unsnaps to dry flat, meaning it's easy to keep clean and sanitized.

Kate Stahl, contributing editor

Trumpette Baby Socks

I'm sorry, but there's just nothing cuter than a baby in a pair of trumpette socks [74] ($27-$30). The styles just keep getting better and better, and the packaging is too cute. A perfect baby shower gift!

Kate Stahl, contributing editor

Maclaren Triumph

As much as I love my Bugaboo, I couldn't live without my Maclaren Triumph [75] ($185). It's lightweight, folds with one hand, and easily fits in the trunk (without taking up much room) to make taking my toddler out for the day as easy as can be.

Rebecca Gruber, editor

Oball Rattle

When I started taking my little guy to baby yoga classes at about 5 weeks, I noticed how popular the Oball Rattle [76] ($19) was amongst the older babies, as it seemed to keep them entertained for the entire hour of class. Intrigued, I picked one up and quickly learned what the attraction was. The holes make the Oball easy for tiny fingers to grasp, and the soft rattle keeps it interesting.

Lisa Horten, associate editor

JJ Cole Diapers and Wipes Pod

Even if you have a changing pad and minibag in your diaper bag, I had an extra diaper and wipe pod [77] ($22) stashed in the back of my car and the bottom of the stroller for unexpected accidents. And they still come in use even now after my daughter is finished potty training.

Sarah Lipoff, contributing editor

Sandra Boynton Board Books

My daughter, like most little ones, is a huge fan of board books, and she especially loves anything written by Sandra Boynton [78] ($6-$8). I highly recommend you pick up one . . . or a dozen.

— Kate Stahl, contributing editor

Lansinoh Nipple Cream

This cream isn't just for sore nursing nipples; I used Lansinoh Nipple Cream [79] ($14) on my dry, cracked hands, around my cuticles, on the rough patches of my elbows, and even on my babe's sore tushie. It's a miracle cream.

Sarah Lipoff, contributing editor

Baby Gap Leggings

I say, take those cute baby jeans and shove them. I am all about baby leggings, which are easy to get on and off and are supercomfy for your little one. The best I've found is from Baby Gap, a brand that obviously believes even the smallest babies should be able to dress with style and comfort. Whether Baby Gap leggings [80] ($12-$35) are attached to a skirt, have a cute bow on the back, or come with a modern print, they're guaranteed to make both Mom and baby smile.

Kate Stahl, contributing editor

Susan Goldman Rubin Books

Susan Goldman Rubin has put together a collection of educational, arty books for kids that introduce colors, numbers, and shapes with the help of famous authors. I loved reading Counting With Wayne Thiebaud [81] ($7) with my daughter and watching as she learned to count.

Sarah Lipoff, contributing editor

Wimmer-Ferguson Crawl and Discover Play Mat

My daughter couldn't get enough of this play mat [82] ($50). She could spend hours looking at herself in the mirror and squeezing the crinkly spots. I loved how it was bright and graphic and easily stored in her closet.

Sarah Lipoff, contributing editor

Valco Baby Stroller

We happened upon this Valco stroller [83] ($500) by way of a friend, and it quickly became one of my most essential baby products. I loved how easy it was to walk my tot wherever I needed to go. From strolling through town to taking a short hike, this stroller was easy to navigate and folds easily into the back of my car.

Sarah Lipoff, contributing editor

Boon Naked Bathtub

Bathing a new baby is no easy task, but using the Boon Naked Bathtub [84] ($60) certainly helps matters. The sleek tub is great for small spaces — it collapses and can be hung from a hook or slid under the bed or bathroom vanity.

Lisa Horten, associate editor

Restoration Hardware Moses Basket

For the first couple of months, our baby boy slept in the Restoration Hardware Moses Basket With Cable Knit Bedding [85] ($109). It's the perfect size for a newborn, and when used with the basket stand [86] ($79), mom and dad can rock the little one to sleep.

Lisa Horten, associate editor

Belly Bandit

OK, this one's for Mom rather than baby, but between my pregnancies, a colleague told me about the Belly Bandit [87]. It was hard to believe that a compression garment could help shrink my postpartum belly, but after seeing her, I decided to try it. Not only did it help my belly go down, but also, it provided some necessary back support that helped me stand straighter and taller. I recommend it to all moms-to-be now!

Rebecca Gruber, editor

Blabla Dolls

There aren't many stuffed animals that you actually feel kind of cool buying, but Blabla dolls [88] ($42-$52) probably qualify. Josephine the Ballerina, Perchance the Cat, and Pierre the Bunny are soft, cuddly, and, yes, totally cool with their whimsical names and awesome outfits and accessories.

Kate Stahl, contributing editor

Zutano Itzy Bitzy Cozie Hat

No matter where you live or what time of year your babe is born, a cozy hat is an essential baby product. I was given this adorable Zutano hat [89] ($12) by a friend, and my babe loved wearing it on cool afternoons or while we were on a long early-morning walk.

Sarah Lipoff, contributing editor

Pottery Barn Kids Comfort Swivel Glider

If there's one thing I recommend splurging on as a new mom, it's a great glider, and my Pottery Barn [90] Kids Comfort Swivel [91] ($950) has been a ridiculously comfortable godsend. My mom thought I was crazy when I got it in white, but the slipcover stands up well to bleach — and believe me: it's gotten its fair share!

Kate Stahl, contributing editor

Baby Einstein Musical Motion Activity Jumper

My swing and bouncer lasted only weeks, but my daughter was in love with her Baby Einstein Jumper [92] ($89) for months and months. She loved bouncing up and down in it and playing with all fun objects and sounds. Most of my friends' kids were equally obsessed; in fact, maybe we should start a Baby Einstein [93] Jumper fan club?

Kate Stahl, contributing editor

Aden + Anais Burpy Bibs

I love all things Aden + Anais, but I'm especially partial to their supersoft burpy bibs [94] ($20 for two). Not only do they fit perfectly over your shoulder for a postmeal burp, but they also have little snaps so they also work as a bib for your lil one.

Kate Stahl, contributing editor

Cloud B Sleep Sheep

Here is another baby shower gift that proved to be a baby essential at our house! The Cloud B Sleep Sheep [95] ($28) plays soothing sounds from nature for a timed period, wonderfully lulling your babe to sleep. We found it a great soother when our newborn was feeling fussy.

Sarah Lipoff, contributing editor

Fisher Price Rock 'n' Play Sleeper

My daughter refused to sleep anywhere but in my arms for the first eight weeks of her life. Then a very exhausted me bought the Fisher Price Rock 'n' Play Sleeper [96] ($50). She loved it immediately, and I loved that she was close to me . . . but not too close. I still think this product might have saved my sanity as a new mom.

Kate Stahl, contributing editor

BabyLegs Leg Warmers

Having a Summer baby, it took a few months before I mastered the art of getting him out and about in the cold. One of the first things I noticed was the challenge of covering that gap between where the baby's pants or onesies ended and socks began. And that's where BabyLegs Leg Warmers [97] ($12) come into play. They offer a snug fit around little legs, and are easy to slip on and off without the trouble of a complete outfit change.

Lisa Horten, associate editor

Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light 2

Full disclosure: I registered for the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib [98] ($270) based on looks alone, but now I can't say enough good things about its functionality. At just 11 pounds, the crib is so easy to tote around, and it pops open and collapses with great ease — I didn't even need the instruction manual, which says a lot!

Lisa Horten, associate editor

Bonpoint Bodysuits

Bonpoint newborn bodysuits [99] don't come cheap ($150 for three), but you won't find a softer onesie anywhere. The wraparound kimono style is easy to get off and on for those oh-so-frequent diaper changes in the first few weeks.

Kate Stahl, contributing editor

Sam Lloyd Pop-Up Puppet Books

Sam Lloyd's books, like Turn It Up, Doris! [100] ($11) aren't really made for little babies, but my daughter has absolutely loved them since she was born. You put your hand through the books' back to make the main characters talk — and occasionally grab tiny baby noses and fingers. I have a feeling these will be a favorite in our house for years to come.

Kate Stahl, contributing editor

Mustela 2-in-1 Hair and Body Wash

I've been using Mustela 2-in-1 Hair and Body Wash [101] ($10) on my daughter since she was born, and I'm still in love with the scent. Her hair always still smells dreamy when she wakes up the next morning.

Kate Stahl, contributing editor

Britax Advocate 70 Car Seat

My daughter is definitely pushing the top of the growth chart, so when she was 10 months old, I had to move her to a convertible car seat. A friend recommended the Britax Advocate 70 [102] ($285), and I'm so glad I made the investment. This car seat feels like it could survive anything — from a fender bender to the constant barrage of snacks and sippy cup spills my daughter inflicts upon it. I have no doubt it will last through a second child and beyond.

Kate Stahl, contributing editor

3 Marthas Hooded Towels

Hooded towels may have been my greatest new mom discovery. Not only did they help dry baby off after a bath and keep her warm, they look adorable while doing so! 3 Marths hooded towels [103] were the softest, largest, and cutest ones I saw.

Rebecca Gruber, editor

Safety 1st Fever Light 1 Second Ear Thermometer

There's nothing worse than waking up in the middle night to a wailing baby. And you know when the wail isn't right, which means something might be wrong. This digital ear thermometer [104] ($20) was my savior when I wasn't sure if my babe wasn't feeling good — but didn't require a trip to the emergency room.

Sarah Lipoff, contributing editor

Uppa Baby Vista Stroller

I can't even name the myriad of reasons why I love my Uppa Baby Vista stroller [105] ($700). It has seamlessly taken my daughter from a newborn with its car seat attachment to a rear-facing baby to a toddler who loves to look out at the world. And the rumble seat add-on means it will work when we have our next child, too. The extra large basket underneath makes it perfect for shopping trips!

— Kate Stahl, contributing editor

Orbit Labels

A friend gave us these Orbit Labels [106] ($13 for a pack of four) as a new baby gift, and I couldn't wait to get them out of their packaging and "personalize" our baby's bottles right away. The bands adjust to grow with baby — after the bottle phase is over, you can use them to ID sippy cups and water bottles. So cool!

Lisa Horten, associate editor

Ah Goo Baby Plush Pad

While vinyl changing pads are easy to wipe down, they're certainly not very cushy. The Ah Goo Baby Plush Pad [107] ($35) solves that issue, giving baby a cushioned spot for diaper changes, tummy time, or just hanging out on the go.

Lisa Horten, associate editor

Little Noses Saline Spray

Is there anything worse than a stuffed-up baby? Little Noses saline spray [108] ($3) relieves the sniffles and helps my baby get to sleep much better when she's battling a cold.

Kate Stahl, contributing editor

WubbaNub Pacifiers

One of my best friends suggested the WubbaNub pacifiers [109] ($13-$15) to me when my daughter was born, and it has since become one of my favorite baby shower gifts to give. Not only do the attached stuffed animals look cute, but they also act as a weight, which means you'll be popping that paci back in a lot less.

Kate Stahl, contributing editor

Little Castle Glider

I knew I'd be spending a lot of time in the glider, so investing in a Little Castle glider [110] was one of the best decisions we made. The myriad of fabric selections and traditional design make the chair versatile, too; once the nursery is converted into a big kid's room, it still looks great in the room.

Rebecca Gruber, editor

Serena & Lily Sengalese Storage Baskets

I am just a tad crazy when it comes to clutter, so I don't know what I'd do without my Serena & Lily [111] Sengalese Storage Baskets [112] ($290 for three). They look amazing and hold a ridiculous number of toys and books. The handles also make them easy to pop into the car for a trip to Grandma's house.

Kate Stahl, contributing editor

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Car Seat

When my daughter was born, my husband and I (and our dog) were living in a fourth-floor walk-up. I was worried that the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio [113] car seat ($320) might be too heavy for me to get upstairs, but I was wrong. It's so easy to carry, so easy to attach to a stroller, so safe, and so great-looking. The Italians do it right!

Kate Stahl, contributing editor

Baby Banana Bendable Training Toothbrush

My babe was more interested in chewing on this training toothbrush [114] ($8) than actually using it to clean her new teeth. And at the end of the day, I just tossed it in the dishwasher to keep it clean and ready for another day of teething.

Sarah Lipoff, Contributing editor

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

My youngest was born with a mild but annoying case of eczema. We tried a number of expensive, eczema-specific cleansers, but the dermatologist recommended a drugstore favorite, Cetaphil [115], and it worked beautifully. The whole family has converted now.

Rebecca Gruber, editor

Phil & Teds Me Too Highchair

Space is extremely limited in our apartment, so I was dreading having to add a bulky highchair to the mix. The hook-on Phil & Teds Me Too Highchair [116] ($50) solved our space problem while keeping my tot comfortable at meal time. I particularly loved how high it placed him at the table.

Rebecca Gruber, editor

Born Free Bottles and Sippy Cups

I can't exactly put into words why I think Born Free [117] bottles and sippy cups ($6 and up) are the best out there. I only know that once I started using them, all my other brands went in the trash.

Kate Stahl, contributing editor

Fisher-Price Discover N Grow Twinkling Lights Mobile

Soft twinkling lights and glowing characters lull your little one to dreamland with this Fisher-Price Mobile [118] ($55) — at least that's what happened at our house! I love that it has a remote control that I could use from the hallway of her room so I didn't have to barge in when she woke during the night.

Sarah Lipoff, contributing editor


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