15 Baby Products You Actually Need

15 Baby Products You Actually Need- and ones you dont

I remember being pregnant with my first baby and going to the store to register for baby products. I was like a kid in a candy store, convinced that I needed every cute outfit, innovative gadget and award winning baby product. I registered for dozens of items, and in hindsight, I’m so glad that I never got most of them!

We’ve now gotten rid of many of the items we did get and either replaced them with better quality options or found we didn’t need them at all. I sometimes wish I could go back to my first time mom self in that store with the knowledge of a mom of six, and give myself a cheat sheet of items I would actually need and use.

Since I can’t, I’m sharing that list here, as I wish someone had given me this list all those years ago.

Baby Products: The “Don’t Needs”

Be warned before you go into any baby store in a highly pregnant state- there are hundreds of baby items and your nesting emotions will try to convince you that you need to buy them all. Don’t get sucked in!

Yes, every baby item is cute (just like every baby!) and there are so many cool things that didn’t exist when we were kids. You also don’t need all of those things! After the first few weeks of new baby, many of these items will be relegated to the “stuff I trip over while walking through the house in a sleep deprived state” list and you’ll silently curse them and wish you hadn’t bought them in the first place.

When it comes to clothes, you’ll find that your infant rather quickly outgrows newborn clothes and that he or she might never have worn all the outfits you had in that size!

You can certainly indulge your nesting instincts and create a space that you and your baby will both enjoy, but consider the long-term usability of baby items too. At the end of the day, if you want an item for you or baby, definitely get it! This list is not meant to be an all-inclusive judgement of which baby items are worth it and which aren’t, it is just my list of items I actually used and those I didn’t.

These are the items that I “had-to-have” with my first that rarely or never got used (and that I wish I’d saved the money on):

  • A Wipe Warmer: Especially because we ended up cloth diapering, this rarely got used, and my kids never seemed to mind cold wipes anyway. Some people love the wipe warmer… it just wasn’t something I ended up using.
  • Changing Table: This is certainly one that some people may use often, I just found that I didn’t use it that much. It served a purpose for holding extra diapers and clothes but I didn’t actually use it to change baby very often. Instead, I kept basic diaper changing supplies in a small basket with a handle that I could carry around the house (and eventually have older kids bring to me) so I could change baby wherever it was convenient. If you a short on space like we were, I’d suggest just getting the changing table cushion topper and putting in on top of a short dresser or other piece of furniture you already have to save space.
  • Diaper Waste Pail: Not used once we switched to cloth diapers, but even with disposable diapers, I found that the expensive diaper waste pail was a pain to use and actually made things smell worse. Our solution? Diapers went in the kitchen trash can, which is pretty small and which we took out daily anyway. This cut down on the smell and simplified things.
  • Nursing pillow: I’m sure they can be awesome and many moms love them, but I personally could never get in a comfortable position using them and always ended up using a regular bed pillow or throw pillow instead.
  • Crib Bedding: I know, I know… it is so cute and there are so many options to choose from! I got sucked in and spent way too much money on a fancy bedding set with my first, only to find that apparently bumper pads are really assassins that will kill your baby in his sleep, blankets aren’t recommended for baby (and neither are pillows) and oh, yeah… my baby hated his crib anyway! Plus, the set I picked out wasn’t gender neutral and when we had a girl next, the bedding didn’t really fit. Stick to a neutral color organic crib sheet instead. It’s cheaper and much more versatile.
  • Diaper Bag: They definitely seem like a great idea, and certainly, you need something to carry the baby gear in, but over the years, I’ve realized two simple things: (1) You don’t actually need to carry that much stuff for baby (some diapers, wipes and a change of clothes will work for short outings) and (2) you don’t have to carry these things in a specialized diaper bag. The easiest thing I’ve found is to just add baby items to my purse, or for longer outings, carry a basic backpack that doubles as my purse and diaper bag. (Bonus of this method- my husband doesn’t mind carrying a unisex backpack like that.)
  • Baby Bathtub: I’m guilty of purchasing several of these over the years because they seem like such a great idea… but it turns out that there is an easier and cheaper option that works better. It is this novel invention called: the sink. While baby bathtubs are cute, I’ve always found it easier to bathe baby in the sink or take her in the shower with me. Baby bathtubs take up a disproportionate amount of room and I could never find a good place to store them and dreaded using them because they were such a pain.
  • Bumbo Seat: These things are supposed to be great (though I’ve recently seen several stories of babies being injured or killed if the seat isn’t used correctly), but by the time my kids were big enough to sit in a bumbo, they were too active to want to. Over the years, I’ve learned to avoid items that can only be used for a short time and the Bumbo seat definitely makes this list. Other items on this list include things like walkers, bouncers, jumpers, etc.
  • Baby Food Makers: Since my first baby, I’ve moved away from buying or making pureed “baby food” and now stick to these simple first foods that encourage baby to feed himself. Turns out, babies don’t need watered down foods pureed in a high-tech specialized baby food maker. If you do want to puree, try the blender or get an inexpensive immersion blender that can be used in dozens of other ways in your kitchen.
  • Designer Hospital Gown: This is the item I laugh about the most, and to be fair, I have friends who have purchased a designer gown and actually wore it and have gorgeous magazine-worthy pictures with their gown and full makeup… in labor. I am, unfortunately, not that kind of laboring mom. I’m more of the stark-naked-messy-hair-look-like-I’m-half-dead-after-24-hours-of-labor type and my designer hospital gown quickly became a really expensive pillow covering when I could no longer stand to have it on me. Regular hospital gowns are ugly, but you won’t feel bad if you get bodily fluids on them (and you don’t have to wash them!).
  • Anything Plastic: I wish I’d known a decade ago what I know now about plastic products as I’ve now gotten rid of almost all of the plastic in our house. There are some great alternatives to plastic bottles and sippy cups, and we’ve also found some awesome plastic-free toys.

Baby Products You Actually Need

The list of most-used items will vary from mom to mom, but these are the ones that I wish I’d known to get with my first and that I still use today. All of these items can be used for several ages and stages and have held up really well through multiple babies.

Ergo Baby Carrier with newborn insert: After a lot of research, I saved up for the Ergo wrap and I wish I’d purchased it sooner. It removed the need for a bouncer, stroller, etc. and I especially like that it support’s baby’s hips correctly to help prevent hip related problems.

Moby Wrap: Another safe carrier option and an easier one for tiny babies as it cradles them carefully and with proper hip position. I used this almost every day the first few months.

BumGenius cloth diapers: We made the decision to cloth diaper to save money but also because this was a safer option for baby. It really isn’t much more work and we have much fewer leaks and ruined outfits than with regular diapers. They are one-size and fit from newborn to potty training…

Cloth Wipes: I use cloth wipes and make my own wipe solution to avoid the alcohol and strong chemicals in many conventional wipes.

Muslin swaddling blankets: I wish I’d found these blankets with my first baby. They are lightweight and big enough to be a great swaddling blanket. nursing cover, and burp cloth for a baby with reflux! They are cute and very functional!

Homemade baby products: I make all of my own baby products including baby powder, baby oil, diaper cream, etc. Many baby products contain ingredients I wouldn’t use myself and most certainly wouldn’t use on a new baby! Here are the recipes I use.

Medela Freestyle breast pump: I don’t pump the first six months, but when baby is older and I am able to get away, I pump so that I can keep nursing longer. I like this one because it is very compact, travels easily and is hands free.

Organic Sheet & Mattress Cover: In place of expensive bedding, we now have a really simple crib setup. We have organic mattresses and also use waterproof organic mattress covers to protect the mattress and an organic crib sheet. The best part? Our fully organic baby mattress/sheets set is cheaper than the original crib bedding I bought with our first!

A Good Stroller: For older babies, we most often just use a lightweight umbrella stroller, but especially when I had a baby and a young toddler at the same time, a high quality double stroller was really helpful. Now, with only one toddler, this lightweight umbrella stroller is the one I take everywhere.

A Car Seat: This goes without saying, but a high quality car-seat is worth the investment and one of our top priorities. We chose this car seat for its high safety ratings (and because you can fit three of them across the back of most cars). It works for baby from newborn until booster seat and has been extremely durable.

A Capsule Wardrobe of Organic Baby Clothes: Instead of buying dozens of cute baby clothes (most of which babies outgrow before they can wear them), I wish I’d known with my first what I do now: buy a few high-quality organic staple pieces in each size. This way, not only am I able to buy higher quality baby clothes that last longer and are more durable, but I ended up spending less on clothes and was much less overwhelmed with the mountain of baby laundry.

Snot Sucker: If this thing existed a decade ago, no one told me about it. A veteran mom friend gave me one of these as a baby gift and while I thankfully don’t have to use it often, it is tremendously helpful when it is needed! Basically, it is a device that let’s you get the snot out of baby’s nose so he can breathe. It sounds strange, but it works really well. This is the one I have and I like that it doesn’t require filters and is softer silicone (unlike some other brands).

Natural Disposable Diapers: I know I just said I use cloth diapers and I think they are great, but there are a few times that I don’t use them (the first couple of weeks, while traveling, if we have a babysitter, etc.) and I keep a small stash of natural chlorine free biodegradable diapers for these occasions.

A Baby Bouncer: For the most part, we avoid baby items that only work for a short time (bassinet, bumbo, swing, etc.) but the one that my husband swears by is a simple baby bouncer that actually bounces. My theory is that this small bouncing movement mimics my movements while pregnant and this is my hubby’s best trick for getting the baby to sleep so I can shower or run errands once in a while.

An Instant Pot: Not a specific baby item, but an awesome kitchen device that shortens cooking time and that I anticipate being a life-saver this time around. I reviewed it here, but this electric pressure cooker allows you to prepare and cook food in a short amount of time (like stews and roasts in under an hour) which is a major plus when you don’t have free hands thanks to a newborn.

What baby items do you use and recommend? Share in the comments below!

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Reader Comments

  1. This is kind of embarrassing but I am a 22 year old girl who have lost a lot of weight and gone through (still am) a difficult time and I haven’t had my period for almost a year. Will these books help or should I just wait and let my body take the time it needs?

    Thank you so much for answears!

    • Some of the books will have good info for that, but you’ll also need to make sure you are addressing things like stress and sleep and eating enough…

    • Thanks for the suggestions for sippy cups but what do your kids eat off of? Would you suggest food grade silicone bowls and plates?

        • Hi wellness mama,
          Love your thoughts and ideas, I am. Just wondering about the ergo, I was recently going to but one the organic one. When I found out there is a flame retardant foam in the straps, this actually made me cancel my order. Is there and pure organic no chemical baby carriers you would recommend besides this?

          Thanks for everything,
          Blessings to you and your family for all the help you put out there…

          • Good question- I have one of the old-school organic ones that doesn’t have the chemicals, at least from what I was able to research when I bought it. Working on researching carriers this week actually while I wait for baby…

          • Have a look at the Manduca. It’s German made and all organic as far as I know. It also comes with a newborn insert, so no need for the padded ergo insert (we live in a hot climate so this was essential!) we love ours, still using it with our 10kg + toddler!

          • The Manduca baby carrier complies with the Oeko-Tex 100 Class 1 standard and contains no flame retardants. 🙂

      • Hi, I’m reading this great website from Australia but sure you can buy all products everywhere these days. My first baby hasn’t arrived yet (still a few months away) but I’ve been looking into how to avoid plastic. There are a great range of bamboo plates/bowls etc. that should do the trick. 🙂

  2. Oh no!!! I missed this by one day 🙁 Is there any possible way to still be able to get this bundle? I was so excited about it!!

  3. What kind of organic mattresses do you have and where did you buy them?

    • We bought Naturepedic organic mattress. The crib mattress has an infant and toddler side for growing baby. It’s great!

  4. my go-to baby items (other than breasts) are: cloth diapers/covers, folding bed rail (instant anywhere co-sleep-ability), & a variety of baby carriers for all ages & stages. the only thing i would ask or register for in addition to the above items is a couple of quality car seats so i don’t have to try to re-install them every time baby goes in a different car…

  5. I am trying find your info on feeding babies(baby food etc.) I thought I had read it on your website, but I cant find it. Could you let me know where to look on your site? Thank you.

  6. Hi! What do you recommend for a 10 months baby?

  7. Hi wellness mama,

    Any homemade formula suggestions?

    Thank you!

    • I would like to know this as well.

      • If I ever needed formula, I’d use the homemade one based on this kit: wellnessmama.com/go/formula

  8. What mattress did you get for a baby? I’m having a hard time finding a good natural crib sized mattress. TIA!

  9. I would be very interested to know what you use for bath time, like what do you use for shampoo, conditioner, and soap???

    I was considering using baking soda and water for shampoo, since that is what I’m using on myself, coconut oil for conditioner, and I was considering making a plain glycerin soap with Lavender peddles and Lavender essential oil.
    I’m very interested in your opinion on these considerations.
    Thank you! I’m obsessed with your site.

  10. Hi! New to this blog. We are expecting our first baby, baby girl in January. I really want to try cloth wipes and cloth diapers. Any suggestion on brands there are so many I find it overwhelming sometimes.
    Ive been checking out your homemade products and I love it!


    • This is a little late for you but I went with Green Mountain Diapers’ Cloth-Eeze prefolds and Rumparooz covers. The prefolds come in unbleached and organic and the covers are a really smart design that prevents blowouts. All of them can go in the wash together and we use our HE machines without problem. We just started using the soap nuts too and those seem to work just as well. I bought two packs of Gro-Via wipes on Amazon and use Katie’s homemade wipe solution in a spray bottle. I also have two reusable diaper bags that fit in a used Dekor diaper pail I bought for $8. So far the whole system is working beautifully and all in all our diapering supplies will cost under $350 and last us through the children we plan to have and then can probably be resold. Green Mountain Diapers also sells other diaper styles but I find it nice to be able to reuse the covers when the prefolds are just wet. I think it will be less wear and tear on the covers in general from not having to be washed constantly. Green Mountain has a cool pinning system called Snappi also so you don’t have to use safety pins. Hope this helps if you’re still struggling!

  11. This year, I bought the Ergo winter cover for our baby carrier and I have to say it is awesome! Definitely recommend it!!!

  12. Ergobaby i agree, I tried beco soleil, slings and all were hurting my shoulders. Instead baby powder I recommend potato starch used in Poland for years. Always dry baby bum, crotch after cleaning with wet cloth\wipe to avoid sores, rashes etc. I had medela breast pump but it was very sore to use it. Then I found babytec breast pump for fracture of the cost and never looked back. Swaddling doesnt work for all babies and u wont get long out of them blankets. Would u really like to be restrained yourself?

  13. My favorite brand of cloth diapers are Happy Heiny. I also love my Moby Wrap & Tula carriers!!! I don’t know what I did before a baby carrier. I also love large muslin swaddle blankets.

  14. I do not like “What to Expect” book either. My favorite is “Our Bodies Ourselves”. And “The Better Way To Care For Your Baby” baby-care book.

    When it comes to baby products, #1 is organic mattress. Nothing more important than that. I ordered Greenbuds Baby. It was the least expensive organic mattress, coconut on infant side and latex on toddler side. Covered with cotton and wool. They also sent me free organic sheet that is really nice.

    I wouldn’t buy Naturepedic baby mattress, it’s not organic false advertising.

    I have Ergo baby, but the foam in the shoulder paddings concerns me. My baby chews on it a lot now and foams usually contain chemicals. But I can take that, I love Ergo! I wouldn’t buy it secondhand though, there are counterfeits out there and that could be really unsafe. I got mine from Ergo website but got 30% discount for “open box” option. It came new and the box was not even opened.

    For the wrap, Wrapsody Breze. I personally don’t like Moby wrap. And wraps are something that is usually better to buy used, already broken down.

    Bumgenius Freetime All in One diapers and cloth wipes. I only use water on the wipes though (lazyyy) and no wipe warmer. When the babies are slowly introduced to cold water early then you can teach them to love it and it makes life much easier.

    Aden & Anais swaddle blankets, cotton not bamboo. Their bamboo is very artificial and comparable to polyester. You can buy the Target version cheaper in Marshalls ($20 for 4-pack), or boutique blankets on eBay. People get great deals and sell them for a great price on ebay.
    There boutique blankets are 47×47. Target has smaller, 44×44.

    Aden & Anais cotton Dream Blanket. (eBay)

    Burts Bees baby pajamas.

    Under The Nile organic cotton toys. They are made in Egypt. I would buy Under the Nile everything, but it’s pricey.

    Haba wood toys, made in Germany. I would avoid popular in America Melissa & Doug toys. They are made in China and not the best quality. I prefer to have fewer toys but only safe and the best quality.

    I also got Sophie the Giraffe French teether. It is controversial and I wasn’t sure if I was going to buy it, but I ended up getting it for Christmas and I love it. Babies have to be supervised using it though and buy only from a store. Again, lots of counterfeits out there, especially on Amazon.

    Organic cotton sleep sacks. I am still saving for the 100% wool sleep sack:) They are the best and for sure won’t contain fire retardants.

    H&M organic cotton onesies. And socks, they have the best socks. Made with organic cotton and they really stay on baby’s feet. Lots of great organic baby clothes in H&M.

    I don’t buy anything that contains polyurethane foam, especially My Breast Friend nursing pillow. They contain fire retardants. If you have anything containing foam, you can send a small sample to test it for free. There is a place that tests the presence of fire retardants in products. I can try to find the link to it if someone is interested.

    • Wow great info! Thank you

  15. Hi wellness mama! I’m debating between a boba carrier and an ergo carrier.. What’s your advice ? Do you have a preference on which is better? I know in another post you had them both listed as good ones. Thanks in advance for your help!!

    • Honestly I don’t have a strong preference for one or the other. I have one of each. Both are ergonomically good for baby, as they support the legs properly and won’t contribute to hip dysplasia. I think it’s really up to you and how much you want to spend and what will suit your style.

  16. My four babies were never swaddled, but they were tummy sleepers in my bed from birth… and I never used a stroller with any of them either – always in a sling.

    I did Baby Led Weaning from six months too, so they simply ate what we did, no exceptions. No purees, special preparation, or anything like that. Spices, shapes, textures, everything!

    So that’s three things I would cross off the list! 🙂

  17. Everyone in my family swore up and down that we’d need a swing, and I’d seen the miracle it had been for several of my younger siblings, so we invested in one before baby. That thing has been worth every single penny on late nights post-feeding when I’m too tired/still asleep to walk around bouncing baby back to sleep for 15-20 minutes. I just put the super compact swing next to my side of the bed, and once she’s back to sleep after a few minutes she can go back in the bassinet. It’s been such a blessing!

  18. Snot sucker, was an item I learned about babysitting. I also never got to use disposables in those days, that was 46 years ago! I knew about all the clothes. I loved the baby gowns that were so popular in those days. Sleepers were a must since both my babies were winter babies. I had a carrier for my second baby. I never had crib sets. I did get one but didn’t use until my son was 6 months old. This was before all the crib accessories were banned. My daughter’s clothes went through 3 little girls. My son’s used by my nephew. Blake’s were a must to keep my baby covered from the weather & warm. I wrapped my babies tight before swaddling was in style. I used a diaper pail that my mom picked up every day to wash for me. No changing table, but I did have a baby tub for my son. I had a place to sit it in my bathroom, but I bathed my daughter & son in the sink when I was visiting my mom. Baby socks were a must for me for both babies even under sleepers. I never was lucky enough to have clothing my children never wore. I shipped for my youngest grandchild at resale sale near me, It is held 2 times a year. I did donate many of his clothes though. I’m thankful my babysitting taught me things about babies. My daughter never babysat so her first baby did end up with clothing he outgrew before wearing. Resale shops & charities got some of his clothing. The girls, well they had some to resale, some to pass down the line. Yes, I have gotten items with tags still on them gifted for my grands. So yes, you’re right about many extras. I did use a bumbo seat & passed it down. The extras gifts are shared in my family. Now we’re having great, great grands. So we will spread the love to grandma, too. I am sure this baby will have many natural baby care items. What a lucky little guy.

  19. Hi Katie,
    I have been wondering if you have researched car seat chemicals, I have attempted to do much research but I haven’t been very successful in determining the car seats with the healthiest fabrics/least amount of chemicals. We use the same brand and model that you recommend in this posting. I have also been wondering about cars and chemicals, with baby #4 arriving in a few weeks we are looking into a larger vehicle. I am very sensitive to chemical smells in cars. My husband’s last new car I could not ride in for a full 3 years. Our mini-van we bought 3 years used and I can drive it but the odor is still bothersome. I mostly drive the car that is 11 year old, but with 4 kids we won’t fit. Have you researched this at all?

    • It is really hard to find good info on car seat chemicals. From what I could tell and from emailing several companies, Diono seems to be on the lower end of the spectrum on chemical use, but I couldn’t find a completely chemical free option. I hear you on the car thing too! It is the reason we drove a 10-year old suburban for years and years and upgraded to another used one when we had to.

      • I have a 7 month old and I am dealing with the convertible car seat issue myself. I am frightened by all the chemicals that are used and recently purchased a Foonf by Clek, I loved what I read about it but I haven’t installed it because we have two cars and need two car seats. My husband is a tad upset with the cost of a Foonf and is resistant on getting 2 of them. I did check out the Diono you recommended and I read a lot of reviews talking about how bad the smell was when they got it and the newer Diono which was suppose to have less chemicals still failed some tests. There is a lot of info out there on the internet so it’s hard to know what to believe. Have you found out any more information regarding a convertible car seat that is safe chemically and structurally?
        Thank you

    • Clek car seats. They are very conscious about not using harmful chemicals or flame retardants.

    • For car seats I recommend checking out Britax, Nuna, Cybex, and Clek. All have “better” reputations for using less toxic chemicals but as Katie said it’s hard to find good information! I would steer clear of Orbit as they have recently gotten a lot of not so good attention for using toxic flame retardants they claimed not to be using although they used to be a popular non-toxic choice. Diono also had the same issue recently. Honestly your child will likely be in the car a relatively small amount, and cars in and of themselves are toxic 🙁 Use the car seat for the car only- never for sleeping inside the home or transporting baby into stores and such (baby wear or use a stroller). It limits exposure to the flame retardants all car seats are required by law to have in them plus car seats are just not good or safe for babies to be sleeping or spending a lot of time in unless it’s while driving, in which case it’s essential because it’s protecting their lives!

      Whiles I’m on it I want to encourage you to read the car seat manual cover to cover so you know how to install it and buckle your baby into it perfectly every single time you use it, rear-face for until at LEAST two years of age but ideally until the rear-facing capacities of a given seat are outgrown (Sweden rear-faces until 3-4+ years of age and that country simply doesn’t lose kids in car accidents the way we do here because it’s a much safer way for kids to ride until their spines develop properly). Car accidents are the #1 cause of death for kids in the USA so certainly protect them as best you can from the toxic chemicals in car seats but it’s also soooo important in the short run to make sure you’re using whatever car seat you end up getting correctly 🙂 Good luck!

    • We really like our Lilebaby carrier. It’s less expensive than most, doesn’t require a newborn insert, and does not have any flame retardants, etc.

    • Britax recently did an overhaul after being named the worst offender for chemical emissions. After a lot of research, that’s who were going with (buy only made after 2015)

  20. Two on the don’t list I found very helpful after 3 kiddos. I could not manage without the baby bath for the first few months possibly because I have deeper sinks. Holding their head and body up while trying to wash them was horrid. Once they can sit by themselves fine but until then… I’ve always carried a smaller purse but I did love my small simply black babybag. It made it easier to find bottles and snacks. However yes a neutral backpack will work to but i consider them both pretty equal.

    Likewise I did not care for the snot sucker or the wrap, not only did babyhate both but they just weren’t useful. A quick pinch/rub from the top of the nose down gets a lot out! If the baby is wrapped to my front I can get NOTHING done! It was not helpful at all.

    One thing not nessesary at all though is a crib! Thousands of babies go to the hospital every year due to crib related accidents. They are more like a cage way off the ground. Use a toddler bed with double side rails or a play pin.

    • Your statistics are quite incorrect; co-sleeping, the natural way to be with baby, is EXPONENTIALLY safer than putting them in a cage in another room. Mama’s heartbeat and breath help regulate baby’s. Not to mention that baby was never meant to be ripped away from mama’s womb and thrown in a cage (on their back, omg even worse!) in another room alone. Please read some more and speak to educated experts before stating incorrect facts. Thank you!

      • I am really glad you said something. Bedsharing is the best and most natural way.

  21. I love nursing necklaces. I wear it all day everyday never at night as I co-sleep with my babies. But, I got my nursing necklaces from freja toys on etsy. I had to go to the DMV last month. I was waiting for almost three hours and my baby played and chewed on the nursing necklace for most of the time! He eventually fell asleep but it kept his interest for the whole time he was awake:)

  22. Well, every parent and every baby is different. You just got to do whats right for you and your baby. I tried co-sleeping with my baby and it did not work. My husband moves around a lot and makes a lot of noise when he sleeps (he’s a bear!) And my poor daughter didn’t sleep good until we put her in her own room in a crib with thin bumpers (shocking, yes I know!). She sleeps 13 hours a night and takes 2 hour naps. I am totally happy with that despite if some people think I’m doing it wrong.

  23. Hee-hee! We call it a booger snarfer 🙂

  24. Something that worked great for us were cotton based disposable wipes. After using them once, on a urine only change, we would wash them in the machine. Then they become great liners for the cloth diapers!

    • Ooh! I’ve washed a disposable wipe with the cloth diapers just so it’s not stinking up the trash– love this idea to reuse them! I don’t use them much, but when I do, I will do this.

  25. How do you handle the plastic? Toys from us are almost always wood or fabric, but relatives don’t understand or care. After Christmas and 3 Jan/Feb birthdays my house is filled with plastic toys. I appreciate the thought and don’t want to offend anybody. For my youngest’s 1st birthday we’re donating all gifts to a children’s hospital, but I don’t see that working for every birthday or gift giving holiday.

  26. I think I might have lost my mind with out my wind-up swing. I could get a quick shower or little cat naps on fussy baby nights. My kids both loved the baby bouncer but it didn’t give them enough motion when there was no one to bounce them for me to catch a break.

  27. What do you think about baby monitors? Our 4.5 month old just started sleeping in the crib. Our rooms our very close so I can mostly hear her. I’m worried about the radiation and I’m also a minimalist; however, I care very deeply of course about her safety. We don’t use bumpers or pillows. Just a tucked in blanket. Thank you wellness mama! God has used you to change our life.

    • Thank you so much for reading… I’ve always avoided them, especially wireless ones, because of EMF concerns…

  28. I’m with you in the no need for a baby bath… So much easier to take them in the shower!

    Do you use a highchair? Or do you have a weaning table?

    • Alissa, can you tell me exactly how you bathe the baby in the shower? I would really like to do this, but have no idea how. Do you mean that you use the high chair in the shower?

      • Hi Kathleen, thanks for asking. No, I’ve never used a highchair in the shower but I guess that could work. I just held bubs in my arms and made sure I had a washcloth ready, and a towel laid out to wrap him in afterwards. We have a very big shower, the hot water heats up instantly, and the bathroom is attached to our bedroom, where the change table is. I will admit though that is is much easier to have someone (daddy) to hand the baby to so you can finish showering, especially initially. Now that our baby is a toddler, he will sit and play on the bottom of the shower while I wash. The best age was 10-12 months when he would cuddle in and make little contented sighs while the water splashed over his back. So precious!
        Hope that helps, let me know if you have more questions. All the best!

        • That is helpful, thank you! 🙂

  29. Great list. There are several items of the “must haves” that I emphatically agree. None more than the Intellibed. Yes, they are expensive, but worth every penny. I struggled with chronic and sometimes debilitating back pain since I was 12. During my first 2 pregnancies, I mostly slept on the couch (and still had back pain issues) and it wasn’t great for my marriage. When I found out I was pregnant with my 3rd, I insisted we get a good bed and went straight to the Intellibed store. We’ve never even slightly regretted our purchase. The only downside is that it is now a bit of a struggle to sleep anywhere else. Anyone with back, neck, or joint pain, should try an Intellibed. I’m not a huge fan of their pillows, but the beds are the best (and I’ve tried MANY types of beds).

  30. How do you get people *cough*grandparents*cough* to stop buying you baby crap/kids stuff that you don’t want? Lol even when i registered i got nothing on my list and a bunch of stuff i didn’t want/have any use for and ended up just giving it away almost immediately. Lol

  31. Hi Wellness Mama, have you actually used the Fisher Price Luminosity bouncer yet? Thoughts?
    Also, I am slightly concerned about safety specifications – they are American standards, would the same apply in Australia?
    Many thanks!!

    • I have used it and really like it. I’m not aware of the various safety standards in Australia; if you’re concerned, I would compare with some other similar bouncers that meet the safety standards there 🙂

  32. Is there any reason to be concerned about the polyester filling inwaterproof mattress pads? I’d rather avoid plastic all together by I’ve found it practically impossible to find any without, polyester batting including organic ones.

  33. Hi wellness mama, I’m looking into trying the 360 ergo carrier whereit faces baby out. But want to make sure that won’t overstimulate him or anything.. Not sure if that would or if there would be any reasoning to only have them facing inward?

    • Hi Dana, I’m not Katie, so I hope you don’t mind if i jump in. Outward facing really depends on the personality and age of your baby. Of course you wouldn’t outward face a newborn, but by 6 months most babies like (and some would argue, need) more stimulation. You might find this post interesting: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2015/04/22/5-unpopular-reasons-for-babywearing/
      The 360 was just coming out when I was researching carriers, and I was wary of it. It has since gotten really popular and I have seen so many contented bubs in it. We ended up going with the Manduca, which I still love and recommend, but I can’t help wonder if my now-toddler would be more content in the front, forward facing.

  34. Did you find any baby carriers without fire retardants. I want to buy one. Also, for car seats there are two brands that don’t have much fire retardant like britax and clek. Did you check on those Katie?

    • I was able to verify that Ergo carriers are free of flame retardants: “All ERGObaby carriers are free of any flame retardants on the carrier as well as the foam in the padding as we have recently retested our products. The are no chemicals found on the carriers.” (response from company)

  35. Hi, my husband is 6’5″ and about 240 lbs. do you know of a baby carrier that would fit him? Thanks! The ergo any will be perfect for me!

    • You may be able to fine a local baby-wearing group in your area that does a lending library to see what would work for him. A ring sling may be best because he can adjust it accordingly.

  36. Why do you not pump for the first six months? ?

  37. Coconut oil for head to toe and dr. Bronnors baby soap for everything from shampoo to bottles to laundry.

  38. I found the washer and dryer make a great changing table and dirty clothes go straight in the washer. Agreed on no need to spend money on a changing table!

  39. Hi Katie , What kind of soap and lotion do you use for your baby?. I have my three months old baby boy and want to know.

      • Awesome! Thanks! Any cleaning solution for mold and soap scum in the shower? The natural ones I used to use scored low on EWG website so I’m trying to find a new one.

  40. Hi! It may not be a baby product but I still can’t find a powerful shower cleaning solution that can replace bleach. Please help! Also, what kind of laundry detergent you use? I’m still exploring and considering making my own but still not sure if it’s a good idea.

  41. Katie,

    Have your recommendations on the disposable diaper changed since this post? Just wondering because we are newly pregnant and first time parents. We are exploring cloth diapering, but know that we will probably want some disposables on hand. Just wondering if that brand is still the one you would choose today.


    • Yes, my recommendations are still the same 🙂

  42. Hi Wellness Mama, Thank you for this fabulous post – such helpful info!
    Do you have a recommendation for a crib? I’m having a really hard time finding one that is truly non-toxic and also affordable (i.e. not $1,000+)! Thanks in advance for your help!

    • I’d look into one that is unfinished, as the stain and finish tend to be the worst parts.

  43. Ok great, thank you for your help!

  44. A Saratoga Jack is a nice alternative to a crock pot. It is basically a giant cooking thermos, requires no power, and you can take it with you on the go. Throw it in the trunk, and when you get to where you are going, there is lunch, done, hot and ready!

  45. Hey
    A short note on dumb seats, walkers and jumpers. They are not only useless but also actually harmful for the baby. Any physiotherapist will tell you to keep away from these.

    Pirjo from Estonia

    • A great resource regarding not using swings, bumbos, etc is RIE, Respectful Parenting. It’s amazing that we don’t need all these things we buy!!

  46. Hey Mama!!! I always admire the way you take your family naturally.. i also tried you few reciepe like eldererry syrup,coughsyrup diaper cream , baby boddy butter ect… it works really well with my family.
    Thank you so much for all your writings. I would like to know about natural feeding bottle cleanser,natural formula mix, and any natural disinfectant for baby cloths…


  47. Hey love the post and very informative! To advise a bit on the “mattress pad”, I have had a couple children and in the past I have found that non-electric crib warmer’s are the best for my children to sleep with/in. I would recommend any and every parent to try one.

  48. This couldn’t have popped up in my FB news feed at a better time since I am just entering my third trimester. I have two boys, but the youngest is three and a half. I am amazed at all I have forgotten! Ha ha! Thank you! I just have to say that I love having a changing table! I had one with my first and not with my second, and I definitely prefer having a designated spot with everything handy to change my littles. But that is just me! I know a lot of people don’t find them useful! Thanks!

  49. I’m pregnant with baby #4 and I gotta say, I think your list is incredibly accurate. The only item I have loved on your unecessary list is the Bumbo. I have one with a tray and have used it as a high chair replacement with all of my kids. My biggest challenge is getting rid of plastic. I have tile floors that break anything glass, so I’m going to go back through all of your links above to check out my alternatives. Also, I just want to add that I’ve been using your wipe recipe for years and have never had a need for rash cream ever sense. If my kids start to get a rash, I squeeze a wipe out over the area and literally by the next diaper change the rash is gone. I pass it on to everyone I know. Thank you so much!!!!