10 of the Most Useful Baby Items

Part of the fun of anticipating a new baby is shopping for all those cute nursery essentials. Here are some of the handiest purchases you can make for your new addition.

Bouncy Seat or Swing:

This is a great place to park your little guy or gal when you’re at home just relaxing together. They allow for lots of eye contact and smiles, and you can give your tired arms and back a break. 

Portable Crib or Bassinet:

The American Academy of Pediatrics’ safe sleep guidelines for infants include room-sharing, but not bed-sharing.  Invest in a safe portable crib or bassinet that fits in your bedroom. They’re usually quite light and easy to move, so you can keep baby nearby for those daytime naps too.

Receiving Blankets:

Hospital nurses are usually swaddling experts, and by the time you bring your baby home, he will have grown accustomed to being bundled up. Have some cute receiving blankets on hand for swaddling, and check out these important safety recommendations.

Stroller/Car Seat Blankets:

You can use these to tuck around baby for warmth and comfort. They’re also handy for draping over the stroller or car seat to shield him from bright sunlight and rain, as well as those unwanted germs in the pediatrician’s waiting room.

Bottle Warmer:

Whether you’re pumping or using formula, you may find that your baby prefers his bottles warmed. Be sure to test the temperature of each bottle by shaking a drop or two on your wrist before feeding begins.

Bottle Sterilizer:

Bottle sterilizers make it easy to be sure all parts of your baby’s bottles are clean. After washing with soap and hot water, simply pop the parts into the sterilizer for a quick steam treatment to eliminate bacteria. 

Play Mat:

You’ll most likely hear about the importance of daily tummy time from baby’s very first checkup with the pediatrician. Give your baby a comfortable, clean, and safe place to play!

Rocking Chair:

You may find that rocking soothes your baby when she becomes fussy. Even if she doesn’t become grouchy on a regular basis, the rocking chair is a wonderful place to cuddle, sing songs, and read books together.

Designated Diaper Bag:

If you keep this packed and ready to go, you won’t find yourself haphazardly stuffing baby items into your regular shoulder bag at the last minute (and inevitably forgetting something you’ll wish you hadn’t!) Include several diapers and a travel-sized package of wipes, a travel-sized tube of diaper cream, a burp cloth or bib, a blanket, several plastic bags, and a pacifier or small toy.

Stroller Toy:

Your bundle of joy will love a cute plaything that dangles from the handle of the stroller or car seat. When you’re not traveling together, you can hang it near your changing table for a welcome distraction during diaper change time.

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