When I went to do my baby registry, I was so overwhelmed by the insane amount of baby gear out there. So much to choose between! What is the best? And what really is essential?

Shawn and I live in a teeny, tiny 1 bedroom house. Less than 700 square feet. We are not really into “stuff”. Nothing makes me happier than throwing things away. I wanted to keep our baby gear to just the bare essentials, otherwise we would get overrun and fill our house to the brim.

Now that I am 3 months out, I am shocked at how little I actually need to get by with our baby. Definitely not what Buy Buy Baby and Babies R Us wanted me to think, haha!

These are the 22 baby favorites that I cannot live without.


  1. Snuza – Every mom needs to know about the Snuza! It is a movement monitor that clips on to your baby’s diaper. If it doesn’t feel your baby take a breath for 15 seconds, it vibrates to stimulate the baby. If there isn’t a breath within 5 seconds of it vibrating, it starts beeping like a smoke detector. I am OBSESSED with it. When we came home from the hospital, my crazy mommy brain started worrying that Josh would randomly stop breathing. Probably because the hospital goes over how SIDS can occur minutes before you’re discharged. Scary! The Snuza gives me such peace of mind. I had Josh wearing it 24/7 for the first few weeks. Then I came to my senses and relaxed, and now he just wears it at night. It’s actually gone off a few times, but always because he has moved in a way where the Snuza isn’t pressing against his tummy anymore. When I’ve heard it go off I jump awake! At least I know it works. Ha!
  2. 4Moms MamaRoo – Josh loves the MamaRoo! The movements mimic the swaying I do when I hold him. If Josh is awake and needs to be “entertained” when I’m not holding him (cooking, eating, showering, going to the bathroom), the MamaRoo is the best. Sometimes it’s the only way I can eat a warm meal at the same time as Shawn! I have the newborn insert, thank goodness, because he was a teeny tiny 5 pound baby when we brought him home, but he fit just fine with the newborn insert.
  3. Leachco Podster – Josh spends so much time in this baby pillow. I keep it in the living room on the couch. Perfect safe spot to put him when he’s awake or sleeping. He’s a really mellow fellow, so if he’s awake and content, I just plop him in this podster pillow and he’s fine. (If he needs stimulation he goes in the MamaRoo.) It’s really easy to bring over to other houses, like my parents house when we head over there. He sleeps amazing in it too. This pillow was a lifesaver when Josh’s acid reflux was really bad. Since it’s angled, it was the perfect way to let him sleep with his head elevated up. I would actually put this pillow in his bassinet crib for him to sleep in at night. Saved me at night time! Otherwise I would have had to sleep with him on my chest with his head elevated. Luckily now Josh’s acid reflux is much better, and he can sleep flat again no problem.
  4. Dr Brown Natural Flow Bottle – These were the first bottles that I tried with Josh, and he took them no problem! I never had to try any other bottles. He doesn’t have any extra burps than he does when nursing, so that’s a winner in my book. I pump and have a bottle in my fridge at all times. That way Shawn can help out and bond with Josh during feedings too. I’m also HORRIBLE at nursing in public, so whenever we’re going out I like to bring a pumped bottle instead. I have just 3, and that’s the perfect amount. He only drinks up to 4-oz, so the 4-oz size is perfect for now.
  5. Aden + Anais Bamboo Burpy Bib – Josh spits up a lot. A LOT. A whole whole whole lot. He’s getting better now that he is taking acid reflux medicine, but the first few weeks he was spitting up like 3 times during each feeding. These burpy bibs are the best. Super wide and super long, so when he spits up it rarely gets on me. And they’re very absorbent, they soak it all up and keep my shoulder dry. I also like that these have a button, so when he’s older and eating solid foods these burp rags convert to bibs. 2 for 1! I have 6 of these, and that amount is good. If your baby doesn’t spit up as much you could probably get away with 4.
  6. Soothie Pacifier – All hail the Soothie! I love this pacifier, and more importantly so does Josh. I have about 20 of these. I’m not kidding. They’re all over my house and my car and his carseat and in my diaper bag. Josh depends on them. He started using a pacifier when he was around a week old, and it didn’t cause any issues with nursing. And he looks so cute sucking on it. You can peek into his mouth, and he looks like a little fishy. I tried giving him the Philips Avent pacifier too, but he did not like it. Soothie it is!
  7. Boon Grass Drying Rack and Twig Drying Tree – I was on the fence about whether I needed this or not. Thank goodness my sister surprised me and bought it for me, because I use it everyday. Such an easy way to dry bottles and pumping parts.
  8. Graco SnugRide Click Connect Car Seat, the Elite Stroller, and Car Base – Car seat and stroller felt like the hardest thing to decide on. There are SO MANY. And a lot of them are ridiculously expensive. Like, thousands of dollars. After doing lots of research and trying them out in person, we kept it simple and went with the Click Connect 35 infant carseat and love it. It’s priced reasonably, has perfect safety ratings, and Josh seems comfy as could be in it. I’m really glad we went with an infant carseat, rather than a convertible carseat that converts to a toddler carseat when the baby is older. They’re much safer in my opinion, since they’re designed specifically for an infant. We use the base, which makes it easy to click him in and out of the car. Takes a second. Much faster (and safer) than having to buckle him in with a seatbelt each time. How did our parents get by doing that? We also got the Elite Stroller, and I love it. Josh falls asleep in his carseat when we’re driving all the time, and I love that I can keep him strapped in to his carseat and just click him in to the stroller. To be honest, we don’t use the stroller a ton. Really only when we go the doctors, or if Shawn and I are grocery shopping together. Otherwise, one of us are wearing him. But he’s still light and very cuddly, so I bet we’ll be using the stroller more once he’s bigger. So I’m glad we didn’t go with one of the crazy expensive stroller models out there.
  9. Aden + Anais Bamboo Swaddle Blankets – I love these swaddle blankets. I like things simple, so got the plain white ones. They come in a ton of fun colors if you like that. They’re super soft, nice and big, and made it easy to swaddle Josh. I had a way easier time swaddling Josh myself, rather than those cheater swaddle wraps. But Josh HATES being swaddled, he has to have his arms free and UP. Swaddling him would actually wake him up, rather than keeping him asleep, because he would get so annoyed that his arms are pinned down. I gave up trying to swaddle him to bed when he was around 4 weeks. His startle reflex would wake him up a lot at first, but within a week or two he was pretty used to it and his startle reflex wouldn’t wake him up as much. Even though I didn’t get to use these blankets very long to actually swaddle him, they’re the perfect blanket for cuddling, or to put on the floor for tummy time, or to use in the carseat to put over him when he’s sleeping and I want him to stay warm. I got 12, which is WAY more than I need. I would really be fine with just 3 or 6.
  10. HALO Bassinest – Our original plan was for Shawn to build Josh a tiny crib that would go in our room. But he was born a lot sooner than we thought, so we ran out of time. While I was on bedrest in the hospital, I bought this bassinet and am really glad I did. Perfect size. I love that it is an adjustable height, so I could raise it up high and see the baby while laying down. The side easily collapses when you push down on it, so it’s easy on your arms to get the baby out while still in bed. Loved this during night feedings. And since the side was mesh, I could always keep an eye on Josh, and just stare at how cute he is when he is sleeping. When Josh was around 6 weeks old, he actually started sleeping in bed about 80% of the time. He would sleep longer stretches, and he’s so dang sweet and cuddly I loved having him even closer. I don’t think I would co-sleep with a brand new newborn, especially one as tiny as Josh when we brought him home, so I’m glad I had the Bassinest. Now Shawn has built the most amazing trundle crib that connects to our bed that Josh sleeps in.
  11. Solly Baby Wrap – I love baby wearing! The only way I can get dinner cooked most nights. And the easiest way to bring him when I’m grocery shopping alone. We go for a walk everyday, and I like wearing him rather than pushing a stroller. And, if we’re going out to friends or family for dinner, I can wear him and be able to eat easily. This wrap is just great! I use it multiple times a day. I was able to use it when he was an itty bitty 5 pounder, and am still using it now that he is almost 13 pounds. I got the gray color so it would be neutral and match any color of clothes. Love it!
  12. CoveredGoods Multi Use Nursing Cover – Even though this is meant to be used as a nursing cover, I’ve only actually used it as a nursing cover less than 5 times. I hate hate hate nursing in public. I just can’t get the hang of it. I pump and bring a bottle instead. But! This also works as a carseat cover, and I use it for that all the time. I love covering up the carseat when we’re out in public and he’s sleeping. I feel like it keeps him warmer since it blocks out any wind and cold air (was so cold this December and January!), and when we take him to doctors appointments I always kept him covered up so he won’t be as exposed to germs. Once he’s bigger, I can use this cover as a grocery cart cover. It can also be a scarf! Embarrassing story, but once we were out and my boobs started leaking milk and left super noticeable wet marks on my shirt. Gah! Thank goodness I had this in my diaper bag, I wore it as a scarf and it hid the stains. It folds up tiny, and fits in my diaper bag just great. I love the neutral gray and white stripe I got. Great multi use item!
  13. Skip Hop Diaper Bag – There are so many dang diaper bags out there. But I really like my Skip Hop. It’s not crazy big, perfect size for the things I need to carry. Has just the right amount of pockets. Waterproof and washable. It came with a little changing pad that I use whenever we’re out. Clips on to my stroller. Love it. I really like the white and gray chevron design I got. Are you noticing that I really like gray and white? Ha!
  14. Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Bubble Bath – I was first using Johnson and Johnson Baby Wash, but with all these claims that it has an ingredient that causes cancer, I got freaked out and looked for something else. I went to Target and smelled all the baby products. This Burt’s Bees was my favorite. I just squirt it in to Josh’s bath, and let him soak in the soapy water. I don’t like to use a ton of products on myself, and I’m finding I’m the same way with the baby. I have their lotion too, but rarely use it. He’s already super soft.
  15. Gerbers and Carter’s Long Sleeve Onsies – I am actually shocked at how little clothing Josh needs. I’m not that in to fashion myself, just basic jeans and tops. And Shawn literally just wears Levi jeans and Hanes white t-shirts every day. And I love it. We’re simple when it comes to clothes. I’m finding I’m the same with Josh. He just wears long sleeve onsies (since he was born in the winter) and baby leg warmers. I have 8 plain white Gerbers, and the 2 of the boys color 4 packs of Carter’s. 16 onsies total. Ha! The Gerber’s  are stretchier and fit a little more snuggly, which I like. But they only come in white. For color ones I have to go with Carter’s. Josh is a leaner baby, and the Carter’s seem to be made more for chubby babies. But they still work fine. They all fit in 1 little basket on his changing table. He does have some cute outfits that I’ve put him in for Christmas and such. But for everyday, it’s onsies.
  16. juDanzy Baby Leg Warmers – Obsessed obsessed OBSESSED with baby leg warmers! First of all, they could not be cuter. Josh looks adorable wearing them! Secondly, they make diaper changing SO easy! No pants to pull down or unbutton. Just unbutton his onsie. Thirdly, I like the way he looks in them. When Josh wears onsies and sweats, I feel like he looks like a chubby potato. But when he’s in a onsie and leg warmers you can actually see his shape. Way cuter to me. I seriously have like 12 pairs, and just combine them with different colored onsies. They all fit in another basket in his changing table.
  17. VTech Baby Monitor – At first I didn’t have a baby monitor. Our house is super tiny, and I thought I would be able to hear Josh just fine. When he was around 2 months old and he was finally able to nap in his bed alone, I really liked having this baby monitor so I could hear his first little stirrings. That way, I can run in the room, put his pacifier in his mouth before he woke up too much, and he would stay asleep. I also like having it for when I need to go outside to do the trash or get the mail or something. I just got the audio one. I didn’t think I would need the video feature, and still don’t feel the need for it. Hearing him is just fine for me.
  18. Electric Heating Pad – This is a great baby hack my mom told me about. When I feed Josh in the night, I put this little heating pad down in his bed to keep it warm while he is eating. Then, when he falls asleep in my arms, I can really easily put him down without waking him. Before, he would feel the cold bed and it would jolt him awake. Now, he can’t feel the difference. So nice for these cold winter months!
  19. GroVia Cloth Wipes – We actually use cloth diapers, and I also use cloth wipes. I’m thinking about doing a separate cloth diapering post (anyone interested in learning about our amazing newborn cloth diapering experience?), so I didn’t want to include any of those items in this post since I don’t think it’s for everyone. But I use these cloth wipes constantly! They’re not just for making homemade wipes. I use them as little wipes to wipe up spit up and drool. And I tuck them in to his shirt while he’s eating so he doesn’t drip milk all over his clothes. They’re soft and super absorbent. Much better than using a stiff and scratchy paper towel. I seriously have like 60 of them, and go through all of them within 3 days. I keep a small stack in the living room, and on our headboard.
  20. Boppy Nursing Pillow – This pillow made it so comfy and easy to feed Josh while we were getting the hang of breastfeeding. I especially loved it at night, because he could just lounge on it sleeping while eating. I got a water resistant cover and the elephant gray cover (all the other covers were too colorful and annoying for my taste). I put the water resistant cover on first, then the elephant gray cover. Really protects the pillow against spit up and leaking milk.
  21. The Windi – This one is a little weird, but a major lifesaver. It’s a little gas catheter that you stick in the babies booty. It relaxes their muscles, and leaves an opening big enough to let all the gas come out. AND IT WORKS! There have been times when Josh is fussy, turns out it’s because of gas. I use the Windi, and all this air comes out. (Along with poop so be sure to have a diaper down under this!) He is instantly relieved and a happy baby again! It’s like magic. So grateful for this marvelous invention.
  22. Nose Frida – Easiest way to clean out the babies nose. Josh just had his first cold, and this nose sucker got put to work.

Here are things I got that ended up not needing and wouldn’t buy again.

  • Sadly all swaddle sleep sacks did not work. Josh hated them all. He’s that narrow percentage of babies who hate being swaddled. I tried the Halo Sleepsack, the Woombie, the SwaddleMe, and lastly the Swaddle Up. None of them worked. None! But I saved them all in case the next baby likes them. Of all of them, I liked using the Woombie or Swaddle Up the most since they were zipper instead of velcro. The velcro was so dang loud, and was getting stuck to everything when changing him or when it was in the dryer.
  • I got this baby bather, and I used it just the first few weeks until his belly button fell off, but don’t use it anymore. Much easier for me to just hold Josh when giving him sink baths. He likes squirming around and kicking his legs, and he can’t do that in the bather. Plus, it’s one less thing I need to store in the house and to dry off after bath time. So I’m glad I went with an affordable one, and nothing outrageously expensive since we used it for such a short amount of time.
  • I registered for this Fisher Price Snugabunny Swing because I heard great things about it. It is GIGANTIC! Way too big for our small house. Josh did like it, but it was just too dang big. And a little “girly” looking. I didn’t like my boy in it surrounded by lace and bunny rabbits. Ha! Now we just keep the MamaRoo in the house.
  • I used the Zoli Buzz Nail Trimmer about 3 times until realizing that it took way too long to get all of Josh’s nails trimmed. To file them all down was taking almost 30 minutes. Now, I just use regular finger nail trimmers. I wait until Josh is asleep, trim them all up in less than 5 minutes, and give them a quick file. Much easier.

{None of this was sponsored. These are all items that I bought or were gifted. There are affiliate links. Thanks for the love!}