For first-time expectant moms, it is usually overwhelming trying to decide what products to get and how to prepare for the arrival of the baby. For second time moms, they have already been through the process and are able to be proactive in preparation and they already have favorite products and baby items they can swear by. It’s wise for first-time moms to do their research on these products recommended by veteran parents in order to be best prepared for the arrival of their baby. With so many recommendations and so many variations of products available for example, Graco has 157 variations of its popular Pack ‘n Play it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Getting advice and recommendations from trusted sources definitely, helps. Once you start to parse through all the recommendations and advice on trusted mummy blogs and websites, certain patterns start to crystallize. Despite there being thousands of baby products on the market, a handful of items will start to crop up as must-haves. Below I’ve listed some basic items that every mum swears by as necessary for the care of a baby.

Fashionable Diaper Bags

It goes without saying that a diaper bag is necessary, however, when it comes to picking the Best Diaper Bag for expecting parents, a fashionable one is definitely needed. Here’s why; most of the time the diaper bag doubles as your own bag and you will have to carry it around all the time. A stylish all purpose diaper bag will serve you better than a hideous flowery granny looking diaper bag. Trust me you will be grateful to not have to carry that around every time. It will also make you happier and more like yourself as dealing with only baby stuff may make new parents start to feel like they are losing themselves. Having an item that blends well with your sense of style and you closet definitely, help to make your personality shine through amidst the chaos. As long as the diaper bag has got tons of pocket space and a washable matte finish, and easily attaches to your stroller, you’ll be good to go.

Changing Pads

There are lots of changing pads out there but unlike traditional changing pads, which are made of cloth and require a cover and a waterproof liner to protect said cover from inevitable messes, moms usually prefer an impermeable changing pad. This kind of changing pad is all you need for Baby’s frequent diaper swaps. It might be more expensive than other changing pads but it’s durable and more convenient. Many mums like the fact that you only have to wipe it with a disinfecting wipe when there’s an accident and of course there will be many accidents.

Baby Feeding & Infant Support Pillow

Constantly hunching over to feed baby can do a number on your back, so nursing pillows, which help prop the baby up, are a godsend and they also get the baby in proper feeding position. Go for cushy horseshoe-shaped pillows that provide ergonomically correct support. As the baby grows, the pillow becomes a handy baby prop for tummy time. You can also accessorize with different colorful pillow covers and blankets that you can easily throw in the wash.

Soft Blankets

When it comes to blankets, you can’t have enough. You should get lots of blankets as they are versatile and can be used for a lot of things. The can be used as burp cloths, stroller covers and more. You can line them everywhere: on your swing sets, your bouncers, your bassinet, your stroller etc. Babies spit up a ton and are just generally spewing fluid from lots of crevices. This way, your surfaces are protected and your baby is comfy and cozy.

Rocking Sleeper and Newborn Lounger

Unlike bulky swings, a rocking sleeper is portable and easy to move around. It’s also very comfortable for the baby. It has a calm vibration that might help put the baby to sleep. It’s fine for newborns since they only nap a couple hours at a time. A newborn lounger is also a great item to have because lounging is what newborns do. This oversize recessed pillow provides a safe place to put Baby down without taking up too much space.

Oils and Healing Ointment

While the jury’s still out on whether there’s any discernable difference between the tried-and-true classics and this baby-specific version aside from the cute packaging, one thing’s for certain; an all-purpose ointment is a must to have in your diaper bag or baby changing table.

Baby Carriers and Swaddlers

Baby Swaddlers are a must have a swaddling a baby is an art form that has to be learned.The pre-made wraps and swaddles take much of the fear and guesswork out of the equation and if still in doubt, there are lots of video tutorials on youtube that can guide parents through the process. Baby carriers are great for carrying the baby during an outing or even around the house. The soft fabric feels like a hug on the baby’s back and it’s a fast way to get them to fall asleep. Baby slings have become the cool-mom way to get around with the Bambino, and it’s no wonder. They free up your hands but keep baby close. They can also sometimes instantly quiet a baby in full-on freakout mode. Choose your fabric according to the season: a cozy Polarfleece; a quick-drying, lightweight nylon athletic-knit mesh; breathable cotton; and a UV-blocking Solarveil.

Sophie The Giraffe (Sophie La Giraffe)

Lastly, a must have sworn by by most mums is the teething toy called Sophie the giraffe. Now many specific toys gain this kind of popularity so it’s worth investigating. This teething toy comes handy big-time in soothing the discomfort that comes with teething. Sophie La Giraffe has been all the rage in France ever since its debut in 1961, with its soft, flexible parts to gnaw on and since she’s handmade in the French Alps with nontoxic paint and natural rubber, baby can chew away. Sophie’s dark, contrasting spots make her alluring to infants, who see contrast best.