14 Things Parents Actually Need Before the Baby Arrives

Editor’s Note: Babble is a part of The Walt Disney Company. 

Four months ago, I welcomed my third child into the world — a baby girl named Nova. Having three very different kids, I’ve gone through my fair share of baby gear through the years.

It’s important for new parents to know that being prepared doesn’t mean buying every gadget ever made, it’s about getting the essentials, so you have less to worry about when your bundle of joy arrives.

Here’s my list of products to have on-hand that are not only super helpful for parents but also feature colorful characters that your baby is sure to love!

Image Source: Casey Brodley | Babble

1. Car Seat That Can Turn Into a Stroller

Image source: Casey Brodley

I’m starting with the most important item, because you literally cannot leave the hospital without one: a car seat! A travel system (aka a car seat and stroller combo) is my preference.

Image source: Casey Brodley

If your baby falls asleep in the car seat, you can unlatch it from the base, and click it right into the stroller. Many, like this one, can also transition as your child grows, so you only need one.
Disney Travel System is available now, $136.61

2. Leak-Detecting Diapers and Natural Baby Wipes

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Both of these are also necessities — unless you’re going with cloth diapers, and even then, it’s good to have some disposables when traveling or out and about. I tried a bunch of different diapers, and am a big fan of these. They’re super soft and have a strip on the front that changes color when they wet the diaper.

As far as wipes, I look for fragrance-, alcohol-, and paraben-free — perfect for all babies, especially those with sensitive skin!
Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers are available now, prices vary
Huggies Natural Care Baby Wipes are available now, $2.37

3. Easy-to-Change Baby Clothes

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Clothes are pretty important (and the most fun!). In their first few weeks and months, my kiddos didn’t get out of their jammies much. (Neither did I, for that matter!) My favorites were those with feet. When they’re so little and wiggly, it’s hard to keep socks and blankets on them, so I liked knowing their tiny feet weren’t cold.

Image source: Casey Brodley

From 3-12 months, I heavily relied on one-piece outfits because they’re super easy. I suggest looking for pieces like this dress that has snaps on the bottom. This ensures it won’t ride up each time you pick them up or get bunched up around their neck.
Winnie the Pooh Sleep n Play is available now, $7.44
Winnie the Pooh Polka Dot Dress is available now, $7.44

4. Soothing Sound Machine to Drown Out Noise

A sound machine will not only help your baby get to sleep, but it will also help them stay asleep. After all, your mouth can’t make the “shushing” sound all night. Plus, it’s nice to not worry (as much) every time a garbage truck drives by or someone rings the doorbell during naptime. Some sound machines also feature a projector, which can entertain your little one until they fall asleep. Even now, my 4- and 6-year-olds like to use it as a night light.

5. The “Perfect” Pacifier

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You’re going to want pacifiers from the get-go. They help soothe your baby and comfort them as they fall asleep. Pick out the cutest one first, but know you might have to try a few to find your baby’s favorite. Each of mine preferred a different shape! It’s also smart to get a binky holder, so you’re not having to pick it up a thousand times a day.
Winnie the Pooh NUK Pacifier is available now, $5.96

6. Baby Monitor to Ease Your Worries

A baby monitor can give you peace of mind on those first nights when they’re sleeping in their own room. My favorites are those that connect to your phone, so you can check up on the little one at work or on a date night. Others even have a two-way speaker, so you can let them know everything’s okay without even leaving your bed!

7. All. The. Bottles.

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It’s also a good idea to have bottles on-hand before your baby arrives, even if you’re planning on nursing. You may still decide to pump or supplement with formula down the road.
Mickey Mouse NUK Bottles are available now, $15.93

8. Cute (Yet Practical) Crib Bedding

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You’ll need bedding for their crib — usually a sheet and bed skirt. A thick blanket is also great to lay on the floor to practice tummy time. And when they’re done, have a swaddling blanket ready to help your baby sleep.
Pooh First Best Friend Collection is available now, prices vary

9. Year-Round Humidifier

It’s important to keep your baby’s room at the right humidity, for their optimal comfort. I recommend a cool mist version for year-round use when temperatures fluctuate.

10. Compact Bouncer

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A bouncer might be the best thing you ever buy. I bring it into the bathroom when I’m getting ready and set it near my desk when I need to get some work done. Babies love it, and you’ll love giving your arms a break. Look for a bouncer that’s compact, like this one, so it won’t take over your room.
Winnie the Pooh Rocker is available now, $39.98

11. Play Gym with Engaging Toys

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Variety is important for babies, so I suggest adding a play gym into the rotation. My little gal likes to look up at all the details, grab things, and chew on the teethers. It helps with development AND keeps them entertained.
Winnie the Pooh Activity Gym is available now, $49.98

12. Forehead Baby Thermometer

As much as you don’t want to admit it, your kiddo is bound to get sick at some point. I know, you don’t want to think about it now. But you must be prepared. So have a thermometer ready to check your baby’s temp. I like the forehead versions, since it’s the most accessible spot and it won’t wake them up.

13. Multifunctional Pack ‘n Play

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I mainly use my pack ‘n play for traveling. Wherever we go, I know the baby will have a clean, safe place to sleep and play. This one also comes with a changing area and two separate levels for when they’re really little and when they grow. A bunch of my friends have also used it in their rooms for the first few months, so they’re not having to go back and forth to feed and change the baby throughout the night.
Mickey Mouse Playard is available now, $104.69

14. Easy-to-Clean High Chair with Removable Food Tray

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Around 4-6 months, your doctor may suggest introducing solids to your little one. You’ll need a high chair, so you can spoon in their first few bites of rice cereal. The most important feature? A tray table that’s easy to clean, because it’s gonna get dirty! This tray pops right off, so it can be quickly (and thoroughly) wiped down.
Minnie Mouse High Chair is available now, $58.01

Check out these baby must-haves available at Walmart.

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