What New Parents Really Need to Buy for Baby

Navigating the world of baby products can be overwhelming for new parents. There are so many options for strollers and car seats alone, let alone baby monitors! As a new parent, you may be wondering if purchasing these items are truly necessary. In most cases, they’re not.

If you’re looking to buy a baby item for a friend, check out Amazon’s Baby Holiday Gift Guide! It features all the products any new parent would need. These also make perfect gifts for baby’s first Christmas. This Baby Holiday Gift Guide includes strollers, car seats, nursery items, feeding items, clothing, activity & gear, and gift sets.

Baby Registry

First of all, create your baby registry at Amazon, Target, and wherever else you prefer. I recommend having at least two places, even if you aren’t having a baby shower.

Both Amazon and Target give you discounts and coupons to finish buying registry items before and after baby is born. Plus it’s an easy way to keep track of items needed.

Car Seats

When you look at car seats, you have two options – an infant seat where you can take the carrier out of the base, or a convertible car seat that you can use for multiple years. Most new parents opt for the infant seat so you can easily and quickly transport baby to and from the car. This is very helpful in colder weather.

The popular seats are Graco SnugRide, Chicco KeyFit, or Britax B-Safe. Whichever brand you choose, consider getting the same stroller brand so you can lock the infant carrier onto the stroller.

If you have more than one car, get an extra car seat base so both parents can use the same infant carrier in all cars. It’s a good idea to get an extra seat base for grandparents or babysitters if they will transport baby too. Once the car seat is installed, you won’t want to uninstall or move it frequently.

Check out all the infant car seats on Amazon.


Most new parents will purchase a stroller before baby arrives. You can save by purchasing your car seat and stroller together in a travel system. These strollers allow the car seat to snap into the stroller, so you can push your infant without putting baby into a large seat with a huge seat belt.

The biggest stroller decision is whether you want a three-wheel stroller or a four-wheel stroller.

Three-wheel strollers are easier to maneuver, especially with one hand. Jogging strollers have larger, rubber wheels that can handle all types of terrain. The front wheel can spin 360°, giving the stroller a tight turning radius. But three-wheel strollers typically cost a bit more than four-wheel strollers. They are also heavier and take up more space in your car.

Four-wheel strollers are more affordable and come in a larger selection than three-wheel strollers. They are also more stable and will be more compact when folded, making it easier to fit into smaller spaces.

Many strollers offer great features such as cup holders, phone holder/clip, and storage locks so that the folder can stand upright when folded. When you’re deciding between strollers, also look at how much storage is available underneath. If you’re going to throw the diaper bag underneath, look for a stroller with larger storage.

Pro tip: Don’t worry about getting an umbrella stroller yet as you won’t need that until baby is at least one year old. We didn’t even use one with our first child.

Browse through the best selling strollers on Amazon.

Nursery Items

As far as nursery furniture, you only really need somewhere for baby to sleep and get changed. If you have the space, get a full-size crib. If space is tight, you can use a mini crib for or pack n’ play for several months.

Convertible cribs can convert from a crib to a toddler bed, higher day bed, and full-size bed that uses the crib’s walls as a full-size headboard and foot board. An additional bed frame or rails are sold separately for the full-size bed.

There are many beautiful cribs on Amazon, such as the Storkcraft Tuscany 4-in-1 Convertible Crib, pictured here. Many cribs are sold in different color finishes so you can choose your favorite style! The most popular finishes are white, gray, and espresso.

If you’re looking for something more stylish, check out the Evolur Signature Amsterdam 5-in-1 Convertible Crib!

Amazon also has budget-friendly cribs such as the Dream On Me, Synergy, which comes in 12 different colors! Some cribs even have a storage draw underneath, such as the Graco Solano.

Whichever crib you decide one, be sure to also purchase a firm crib mattress, 2-3 waterproof mattress pad covers, and 2-3 crib sheets. There is no need to purchase a crib bedding set.

Many cribs have matching dressers. If you don’t already have a dresser for the nursery, be sure to purchase a low dresser that can double as a changing table. There is no need to purchase a separate changing table. Just get a changing pad for the dresser and 2-3 changing pad covers.

Most new parents will also use a glider or rocking chair in the nursery for night feedings. A night light is also helpful.


You’re going to get a lot of baby clothes from friends and relatives. Even though baby’s clothes may easily get soiled, you really don’t need more than a handful of nice outfits for the first few months. Stock up on footed sleepers and onesies instead. Have enough where you don’t need to do laundry every other day because you’ll be tired. Get a few pairs of socks too.

Sleepsacks, swaddles and receiving blankets are essential for newborns. Get 2-3 Sleepsacks or swaddles in cotton. Depending on time of year, you may also want to get micro-fleece sleepsacks or muslin receiving blankets.


Every mom is different. Some will want to breastfeed and others prefer to feed formula. If you plan to breastfeed, it’s wise to invest in a breast pump. Some insurances will cover this cost. If you want to breastfeed exclusively, still purchase a few 5 oz. bottles and a bottle brush. It’s better to have them on hand and sterilized in advance. The same is true for pacifiers.

A pack of absorbent burp cloths is all you need to start. Bibs are helpful as baby gets older.

You will need a high chair later but there’s no need to purchase one now.

Activity & Gear

There are so many options here between pack n’ plays, playmats, baby swings, portable swings, bouncers, jumpers, jumperoos, and the list goes on! Not all babies will like using a swing or bouncer, so our advice is to borrow some from friends first.

Pack n’ plays can serve as a playard alone or include additional features such as a bassinet, changing table, and elevated sleeping area for infants, much like a mini crib. Some parents will use a pack ‘n play in the master bedroom so baby is closer to them at night. This is a typical baby shower gift but if you don’t receive one, consider whether you would really use it in those first few months.

You don’t need to buy a playmat if you’re on a budget. Just put a blanket on the floor for baby to lay on. Some babies like to rest in a Boppy pillow lounger. Others may prefer the constant motion of a swing. If you don’t have much room, go with a portable swing instead.

Bouncers, jumpers and jumperoos won’t be used until baby is older.

Enjoy your time

The number one piece of advice parents will give you is to enjoy the time with your newborn. One day you will fondly look back and at those sleepless nights and wonder where time went.

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