These are not the fanciest baby items around. I tried to specifically focus on only bringing items into our house that were recommended to me from trusted parents in my life or that were tried and true, and that we would really actually need. Of course even with the best intentions, we still ended up with so many items that we thought we’d need and either didn’t use at all or barely did and easily could have gotten away without. But you don’t know what you don’t know, so instead of a list of all the baby items we received or bought like many registry posts do, I am instead going to give you just the list of what we’ve used.
Each family and baby is so different in their lifestyle, priorities and needs, so this list is in no way meant to say that other options or different wants or needs are better or worse. Our family just assigned value to different things, and that’s okay! Our main goal was to try to be as practical, realistic and rational as possible and not get wrapped up the best and newest.
We just tried to keep in mind that this phase goes by so quickly and that led us to wanting to do a no-frills approach to most things being almost all of this stuff won’t be needed in just a few months as they grow out of this age so quickly. We generally chose the less expensive item that still, to us, will get the job done just as well as something spendy that has the exact same utility. That being said, it’s totally fine if our mindset or priorities differ! So this is just a short list of the 0-6 month items that we personally used a lot and often, or/and are still using and that our baby enjoys.
4-in-1 Front and Back Baby Carrier – $32.99 – This is my husband Justin’s domain being he’s the one that straps the baby on, and this is the one he likes and is most comfortable. We also tried the Ergobaby Omni 360 ($179) and returned it right away. He said that one is more bulky and there’s not enough of a difference in comfort or ease of use to warrant the drastic price difference when they both do the same thing.
The other thing he really liked about this one over the other is that this one is more compact with less bulky padding and pockets, it can get wrapped/rolled up tightly and fits into our backpack at airports or out and about for the day while we’re traveling, which was ideal for us so we didn’t have to carry the carrier.
Skip Hop 3-in-1 Activity Center – $141 – (I bought this on Facebook Marketplace for $60!) He loves it. It can be used from 4 months and up and will grow with him and can be used as a table once he’s grown out of the toys. He’s getting great at balancing himself with the foot rest, and has figured out how to turn himself so he can play with the other toys around the seat. Keeps him occupied and he also loves that he can see the dogs better, ha!
Greco Slim Ultra Compact High Chair – $80 – (I bought this on Facebook Marketplace for $40!) This high chair has 22,000 five star reviews, and after having some use with it, I see why. It’s super easy to wipe down the cushions and the pad itself, the seat cushion comes out easily to machine wash and it folds up by using one hand and in about one second.
This makes it easy to store or put away when not in use, which I love so it’s not taking up a ton of space between my kitchen and dining room all day every day. My only complaint is that the straps used to buckle in the baby are a little annoying to wipe down unless you do it right away but I think that would likely be the case with most high chairs.
Skip Hop 3-Stage Baby Bathtub – $39.99 – (I bought this on Facebook Marketplace for $15!) I know there are about 1 million bathtubs on the market. My only qualifications for which one I wanted was one that would work for as much of the first year as possible. I didn’t want to have to use one for the newborn stage and then have to get a new one when he was sitting up so this checked those boxes. It’s also nice that I don’t have to fill the entire bathroom bathtub and only need enough water for this. Also like that it has a piece on that back so that we can hang it on the towel bar to dry in the bathroom when we’re done.
Handheld Light – $29.99 – This light fits into your palm, dims on and off when flipped over, gives out a soft light that is enough to see what you’re doing but not wake up your sleeping partner or have the need to turn on a larger lamp or light. It’s super soft silicone and it really is so nice to just turn over the light to the other side and have it slowly dim on. It has a USB charger and the charge lasts a really long time. I don’t think we needed to recharge it until our son was 10 weeks old.
It’s great for traveling (even without a baby) and works really well for hotels, long overnight flights and in the car for taking care of baby, feeding baby, needing to find something quick or even for reading for you! We really like it and wish we would have gotten it before we even had a child – we would have gotten plenty of use out of it!
Affordable Baby Monitor – $49.99 – Again here I just couldn’t rationalize spending a few hundred on a baby monitor (fine if you do!!) and this one has worked wonderfully. It doesn’t connect to wifi, has the ability to zoom and move the camera around from the handheld monitor, lightweight and still works from our basement, garage, yard and deck.
Portable Baby Bouncer Seat – $39.99 – I will freely admit this is slightly assaulting to a grown person’s eyeballs to look at, but I don’t care enough about aesthetics to to spend $210 on the trendy neutral baby bouncer that does the same job as this one. Nothing against the other option or anyone who has it! It’s just not my journey for something that will only be in my house for 6 months.
When he was really little, we would have it on the island while cooking, and once he started getting bigger and more interested in things we put the toy bar that it came with back on and it would keep him occupied when we needed to be hands free for a bit. It wasn’t an every day use kind of thing, but we appreciated having somewhere safe to set him that we knew he enjoyed.
Kick and Play Baby Gym – $39.99 – (I bought this on Facebook Marketplace for $20!) Our baby has really enjoyed this from about 2 months and up. Prior he just was not interested and too little, but now it has been able to be used in different ways as his abilities change and develop. He did his first roll on this, and loves being on his tummy and watching the piano/lights/listening to the songs. My husband and I have the songs memorized now, too. It’s.. lovely.
Burt’s Bees Reversible Quilt – $19.99 – These are our favorite baby blankets. By far. They come in lots of different colors and patterns, and they are the perfect size. They’re made out of organic jersey cotton, really well made and somehow seem to get softer with each wash. We have two of them and they are one of the few things I can see us and him still using years down the road. They’re thick but not too thick, and super comfy.
Halo Sleepsack Swaddle 0-3 Months – $29.99 – We used these from when he came home from the hospital until he didn’t want to be swaddled anymore. It worked really well and were easy to deal with in the middle of the night for changing diapers. The velcro swaddle is way easier than some of the other methods. Once he was done being swaddled we switched to the Kyte Baby sleepsacks and it’s been an easy transition for him.
6 Pack Muslin Burp Cloths – $18.99 – These are the perfect size, super soft and thick and really absorbent. They wash well and while we’ve never used them as the typical over your shoulder burp cloth (our baby never spit up much) we still use them all the time. He likes to get his milk all over his face and neck so we’re always wiping his face (much to his dismay) and we use them to cover his torso in the bath, wiping or catching drool, especially while teething, as washcloths, a place to put toys on restaurant tables or airplane tray tables, etc.
Wonder Wheel Activity Center – $10.99 – My best friend gifted this to us and promised me he would love it, because she knows how picky we are about not wanting or needing 50 baby toys. And, turns out, he absolutely does love it. It was the first toy he showed an interest to and even months later, it still keeps him entertained for quite a long time. He or I hold it in his lap, or suction it to the activity center or high chair if he’s in there. But he will sit on my lap and play with this, spinning all of the different spinners and wheel for over 20 minutes at a time.
The First Years First Rattle – $7.99 – This one is simple and inexpensive and my kid loves it. There’s a variety of sounds, textures and colors that keep him occupied and interested. It’s met different needs throughout the past months from first when he was learning to grasp and then started enjoying the different textures in his mouth when teething.
Soft Sensory Tummy Time Fish – $19.99 – This keeps him entertained for quite a long time. When he was smaller he liked to kick at the scales and now he loves to lay on it or hold it to play with it. It’s hard to tell from the photos, but it’s pretty big, 11-inches by 15-inches, not a tiny handheld thing that I was expecting which I also appreciate. Somehow we ended up with a lot of the small rattles and whatnot, so I like that this adds some variety to the sensory and development toys. It’s really good quality as well, and washable.
Secure-A-Toy 2 Pack – $6.99 – These are just simple straps that will keep a toy attached to a car seat, stroller, activity center, etc. These also are applicable for travel items we use because the work great to keep toys off the ground and within his reach on the airplane. The length is adjustable and it just keeps you from having to grab toys off the floor.
A little fun tidbit about me is that in high school I used to work at a store called Creative Kidstuff, which was a toy store focused on creative, educational and developmental toys, much like a Lakeshore Learning or Discovery Toys store, if you’re familiar with either of those. The store carried a lot of HABA brand toys – a German toy company that’s been making wooden clutching toys and soft sensory toys (and now many other development toys) for 100 years sustainably and nontoxic and all that good stuff.
Over time I heard from so many parents about how much they and their kids loved these toys, and that kids still find ways to play and be entertained by them from infancy up through preschool age. They apparently are such great quality that they can be passed down and are intended to be that durable. I spent a lot of time setting up the HABA marble tracks as displays, and even as a high schooler I had fun doing it!
Long story short, I’ve just always thought they were cool, good for minimalist toys that engage the child and their brain without being obnoxious, and because I didn’t want 500 toys for a 4 month old, we got him some of the HABA ones and so far he does love them and is curious about them more than most of the other rattles and blocks and key ring links we’ve acquired.
These three are his favorite in the first 0-6 months and currently:
Round Teether & Activity Toy – $19.99
Fabric Sensory Ball – $19.99
Magica Toy and Teether – $19.99
We also have the Kringelring, but haven’t introduced it to him yet.
Doona Infant Car Seat to Stroller – $550 – (I bought this from a trusted friend for $300) – I don’t even know where to start with how much both Justin and I have loved having this. The benefits of this have just been too numerous. It’s made everything more convenient and traveling so much simpler. It collapses into a car seat and opens to a stroller so easily with the baby in it and fits in an airplane seat if you bring the carseat on board with you. I love it. Justin loves it. I will cry when he outgrows it. I did buy a storage bag that hangs on the bar of a stroller to use with it and have not had a need to use it once or taken it out of the packaging, so there’s that.
Car Seat Travel Bag for Gate Check – $24.99 – This is exactly what it says it is. It’s affordable, does it’s supposed to do, comes with backpack straps and folds up into a small carrying bag . It’s pretty large and would fit most strollers, car seats and booster seats.
Portable Bottle/Pump Cleaning and Drying Set – $9.00 – I ordered and returned 2 other travel cleaning and drying sets before getting to this one. I wanted the smallest and thinnest option possible to be able to slide into our carry on and the others I tried looked small, but once I got them they were too bulky and large. This one is the size and width of a CD case and gets the job done. That’s all I wanted and need it for, and this one is perfect. Plus it’s under 10 dollars which half the price of most other options.
Portable Changing Pad – $29.99 – Holds about 6-7 diapers without getting too bulky, and wipes, and it’s easy to wipe down. Honestly, I often put my wallet in it and just bring this if we have quick errands to do, but for traveling it fits well into one of our backpacks. I did get rid of the plastic wipe container it comes with because I don’t find that easier than just having a pack of wipes in there but to each their own.
Diaper Disposal Bags – $9.99 – I throw a roll of these into the changing pad zipper pocket and a few more in our luggage to have for the trip once we get there. These are glorified dog bags, which I will likely buy once these are gone, but they do come in really handy to tie up diapers when you’re throwing them away on an airplane or in your own hotel room. There is also a little bag dispenser you can get that clips onto a backpack or diaper bag but it’s not necessary.
2 Pack Wet Dry Bags – $9.99 – These are what they sound like. I take one with us on trips and shove it in an outside pocket of my backpack just to have incase we end up with dirty or wet clothing while on the plane or out and about, swimming or whathaveyou.
Portable Travel Sound Machine – $16.99 – This is the lowest priced travel sound machine that has the best reviews compared to the others at this price point. Honestly, my kid isn’t all that invested in the sound machine thing, but when we are sharing a hotel room we drop this into the crib or pack and play with him, throw a blanket over the top and 3 sides, and it makes us feel like the outside noise we make is masked as much as it can be, and it’s seemed to work thus far. The batteries last quite a while. We’ve taken a two week trip where it was used 12 hours a night, every night, and didn’t need new batteries.
Inflatable Bathtub – $13.99 – This isn’t entirely necessary, by which I mean it is possible to wash a baby as long as there’s a water source, but after a few hotels that were less than ideal, this has been a game changer and it’s easy and small enough to toss into a suitcase. We’ve had some hotels with really small and/or awkward shaped sinks and while we got it done, this makes it so much easier.
It also turns a shower into a bathtub and this fits into a small corner/square shower. We like having this because I don’t want to pick a hotel room solely on if it has a bathtub or not, and this supposedly fits up to a 2 year old so we’ll get milage out of it.
Reusable Swim Diaper Size N-5 – $16.99 – When we’re traveling the very last thing I want to do is pack an extra type of bulky diapers and this removes the need to bring disposable swim diapers with us. It works well, is cute and will grow with him to fit up to 32 pounds.
That’s all! Again, it’s totally okay if you disagree or if you want or need something different! This is just what we’ve found has worked best and been most practical for us and most used by the baby.
Because I’ve also added notes on the things I bought on Facebook Marketplace, I thought it might be helpful to list a few of the other items I’ve gotten on marketplace here if you’re curious about other things we saved money on this way.
- Swivel glider recliner for $300 that is $720 at retail
- Baby Letto crib for $200 that is $499 at retail
- Snuggle Me Organic nursing pillow and cover for $60, both items together retail at $116 (did not use, resold for same price)
- Snuggle Me Organic baby lounger and cover for $60, both items together retail at $161 (did not use more than a 5 or 6 times, resold for same price)
- Guava Lotus Travel Pack and Play Crib for $175 that is $279 at retail
- Fisher-Price bassinet for $30 that is $109.99 at retail (only used for a few weeks and resold it for the same price)
- Changing pad for $5 that is $34.99 at retail
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