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Essential Baby Items

Essential Baby Items

When you’re putting together your baby registry for your first kiddo, it can be hard to know what items you’ll actually use. What will be absolutely essential baby items, and what might sit in their boxes unopened (or just used rarely)?

Of course, babies are different, and so what one might need or love another might not care for at all or not have use for. (For example, my daughter never spit up, and so burp clothes sat unused in her drawer. My infant son, however, is a different story, and now we have those same burp cloths stashed strategically around the house so we can grab one quickly at any time! Essential this time around, to be sure!)

But there are definitely some overarching baby essentials that I can confidently recommend to just about any expecting family. Here are some of my most-used baby items: 



Forget snaps or buttons – zippers are the way to go when it comes to baby clothes (especially sleepers). Think about it: The last thing you want to be doing while half asleep at 2 a.m. is searching for one snap after another, only finding that you’ve inevitably missed one and you have to go back and start all over. Zippers are 100% essential as far as I’m concerned! Other easy alternatives that would make for most-used items are the long baby gowns that tie at the bottom as well as the newer sleepers that use magnetic closures to make putting them on super easy.



Building off of essential baby item #1, I’m a big believer in swaddling, and a way to make that process foolproof is to go with a zip-up swaddle. The zipper in this case is incredible because it makes it easy for parents to take the swaddle on and off (and on and off and on and off for those middle-of-the-night diaper changes), but it’s nearly impossible for the baby to break out of them (which isn’t the case with more traditional wrap – or even Velcro – swaddle options). If your family is anything like ours, you’ll find yourselves using your zipper swaddles again and again, and you’ll be quite sad when they’re all in the laundry at the same time.



I intentionally made this plural, because I feel like it’s pretty essential to invest in two of these: one for the baby’s nursery as well as a travel version. We didn’t discover the travel-sized option until my son was born, and it’s a game changer to be able to pop it onto his car seat or stroller and help him stay calm and sleeping soundly on the go. It’s a most-used baby item for us this time around. In fact, it’s one we use daily!



I’ve loved using carriers with both of my babies, because it’s a way to keep them snuggled close while also having both hands and arms available to get things done. (Essential in my book for sure, as a chronic multi tasker!) I personally prefer the ones that snap or latch versus wraps, because they make me feel more confident overall. No matter what style you want to go with, add this to the list of essential items to have on hand before your baby arrives. (And pay attention to the size/weight details for your carrier. Some require infant inserts if you want to wear your baby right from the start – which I highly recommend!)



Fact: Baby socks DO NOT STAY ON. With that in mind, opt for booties that snap on instead. In my experience, these save everyone involved a headache, and they make for fewer microscopic items in your dryer (also a plus!).



You never know when you might need a thermometer or to treat a cut or scrape, so having a baby first aid kit on hand is essential for sure. That peace of mind goes a long way!



You’ll obviously need things to help keep your baby clean and feeling great, including baby wash, laundry detergent, diaper rash cream, etc. Those are all essential baby items, but there are also so many options it can be overwhelming. I love using Environmental Working Group’s Healthy Living app to help me make safe choices when it comes to products for my baby (and myself!).

About The Author

Anna Keller

Anna Keller, creator of, blogs about parenting, pregnancy, health & wellness, fashion, and more. Anna’s priority in all that she does – whether it’s with her family and friends, through her writing for brands such as Beyond Yoga or for the blog Triad Moms on Main, during her work as a Pure Barre teacher, or as a Beauty counter consultant – is connection. After all, from connection comes understanding, purpose, and joy. She lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with her husband, Kevin, their 5-year-old daughter, Maggie, and their 18-month-old son, Vance.

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