It can be daunting deciding what you’ll need before the arrival of your baby. There are so many baby products available but we just bought what we thought to be essentials through watching numerous YouTube videos and reading blog posts. That way we didn’t end up wasting money on non essential things.
Below is a list of baby/toddler items that I found most useful for our toddler boy and baby girl in no particular order (not including any clothing, bedding or toy products).
1. Catcher bib – The Babies R Us Molded Bib is made of soft flexible plastic so when it gets dirty you can just wipe/rinse it and use it straight away. We don’t use any other food bib and they only need one each. No stains, no drying time, and the catcher catches any falling crumbs and food. I also use it as a portable snack bowl.
2. Backpack diaper bag – I personally dislike diaper bags that are bulky, padded/puffy, have too many compartments, heavy even when empty, and have a ‘diaper bag’ look. We have a navy Anello backpack that we use as our diaper bag. It’s a light weight, great quality, sturdy backpack that opens wide like a doctor bag. We love it!
In general, backpacks are great to use as a diaper bag because it’s better to be handsfree for those times you don’t take the stroller. It doesn’t fall off your shoulders when you need to carry it and it’s less straining on the body.
3. Baby carrier – I borrowed a Baby Bjorn Original Carrier and used it every time we went out until our boy was too heavy for it! Now we use it for our baby girl. It’s so easy to clip on by yourself and very comfortable to wear. I also use it around the house when needed.
4. Bottles & bottle related items – Our essentials are milk bottles (we use Advent bottles that were given to us by family), Munchkin Miracle 360 Cup (dentist recommended, drinkable from any side like a normal cup, and spill-proof unless dropped hard on the floor but reseals back – a favourite item of ours), Tommee Topper formula dispenser (you can also store snacks in them), Boon Forb Silicone Bottle Brush (mold and mildew resistant, durable, nipple cleaner on the other end), heat-safe glass jug (for cooled down boiled water), Closer to nature bottle steriliser (it’s recommended to sterilise bottles till at least 6 months of age).
5. Stroller & stroller accessories – Apart from using the stroller when we went out, it was also great to use at home during the day where I would push them wherever I go and they would watch me or fall asleep in it while I did things around the house or when we were over at someone else’s place. So we didn’t need a portable cot or bouncer.
The stroller we have is the Joie Mirus stroller. The frame is made of lightweight aluminum, you can reverse the handles to face your baby, and you can fold and unfold it with one hand. It lays nearly completely flat for sleep. Unfortunately the straps pilled so I replaced them with nylon straps. Another issue to consider is when you’re facing the baby the wheels don’t turn at the front so you’ll need to get use to manouvering it. Issues aside, we would still purchase this stroller again or something similar because it covers our needs.
Attached to our stroller is a Jolly Jumper Caddy (to hold drinks and small items for easy access), Huggies refillable wipes case (for wiping tables, hands, trolleys, diaper changes ect.), two large carabiners (to hang our baby bag or extra shopping), and a Baby Gear Easy carry change mat (don’t need to place your baby directly on a public change table, can change them wherever you are, easily wipe off any mess). A stroller liner is also a must for the unexpected poo explosion or food and drinks spillage.
6. Convertible carseat – We didn’t purchase an infant carseat because we couldn’t justify the price with how long it can be used for. Most babies outgrow them quickly. We managed well with a convertible Infasecure Kompressor carseat when our son was a newborn, and now our daughter is using it. They can use it till around 4 years of age.
7. Bath/shower support – We use the Dream Baby Bath Support with Foam Padding in both the bath and shower. We didn’t have one of these till our son was over a year old and I wish I had one sooner because it was difficult washing with one hand and holding him in my other arm. I use the support to wash my baby daughter and to wash my nearly 2 year old son’s hair in the shower as I sit on a small bathroom stool. It’s easier to avoid water going in their ears since they’re laying back.
8. Wipable change mat – Our Kmart change mat has a memory foam interior and wipable exterior. It’s large enough for a toddler, as well as light weight. We previously borrowed a changing bath station for our son but found that it took up a lot of space and he outgrew it quickly.
9. Vicks vaporiser & Forehead thermometer – Both products are a life saver whenever they are sick! We use the vaporiser during bedtime when they are sick and it clears their nose, letting them sleep soundly through the night.
10. Basic plastic high chair – We have a dark grey one from Aldi but they sell these nearly everywhere. It’s easy to wipe down, simple to use and light weight, making it a breeze to use around the house.