Moms Buying baby gear is both incredibly exciting…and completely overwhelming.  There are just so many choices, and things start to add up quickly.  What items are really worth it?  What items are just a waste??  How are there so many pacifiers to choose from?? AHHH!!

We want to help make your decision-making a little easier!  We’re all moms of two and want to share with you our top Must Haves: tried and true items that we’ve used with both kids, or wish we’d had with our first, with the hopes that maybe we can help you navigate the insanity that is shopping for baby.

Michelle’s Must-Haves:

1) A Snap N Go Stroller for sure!

2) A vibrating bouncy seat.  I used it all of the time for James (baby # 2); never used it with Hannah (baby # 1) though, because she wouldn’t sit in it.

3) Instead of the Bumbo (which I used for Hannah), I would recommend something like this because it entertained James a lot more while I was trying to get his dinner prepared than just a Bumbo with a toy on it would, because the toy would always fall off.

4) A walker so baby # 2 can walk around outside while baby # 1 runs around and plays.

5) Confidence and knowledge that the baby will grow out of crying all the time.  Hang in there!

Also, for parents expecting their second baby –  I got a doll for baby # 1 (Hannah).  I was able to teach her how to be gentle with “the baby” before “the baby” got here. I also made sure to keep Desitin, wipes, and diapers within her reach so she could “help” me when James needed a diaper change. I put all of James’ clothes in the bottom drawer of his dresser and Hannah would pick out his outfit for the day…she still does all of the above and is actually really really helpful!

Heidi’s Must-Haves:

1) BOB jogging stroller (single, then double) – we have other strollers, but these are the ones that get the most consistent use for my runs and walks to the park or Starbucks.

2) Aden + Anais swaddle blankets for swaddling, car seat covers, impromptu nursing covers. Easy to cram in a diaper bag for on the go. Get softer with every wash.

3) A bouncy chair

4) For the second baby, the Fisher Price Rock ‘n Sleep changed our lives!! We borrowed one from a friend, but I bought one 24 hours later after James actually slept for more than ten minutes.

5) Coffee!

Also essential – a pacifier for Molly! Absolute must-have. Not so much for James, unfortunately 😉 And, Planet Wise wet bags – for cloth diapers, soiled clothes (Just don’t leave one in the car during the summer. Gag!! The whole thing went in the trash.)

Andrea’s Must-Haves

1) Carrier – We used the basic Baby Bjorn with our first son and that thing was a back and shoulder killer. This time, we got an open box deal on the Cybex 2.go Carrier. I use it every day many times a day because I love having my hands free and snuggling with our little guy. Definitely make sure to get one with good lumbar support. It’s much easier to carry a child in a carrier than lug a stroller and car seat around.

2) Bumbo, Bouncy Seat, or Papasan Chair – The Bumbo is a great seat for a child who can hold his/her head up. It allows them to see the world and safely sit up. Bouncy chairs, or just papasan chairs are also great in a pinch and provide better head support. We have two of these, one in my older son’s room and the other in the living room. I use the bouncy one as a place to put the little guy down and still bounce him while playing or snuggling with his older brother.

3) Swaddle/Sleep Sacks – We swaddled both boys. With our first, we used basic rectangle swaddle blankets. Every night in our sleep-deprived state, we did (and redid) the baby burrito more times than we could count, frustrated by the size and lack of elasticity. How could he get out so easily?!? With number two we discovered the quick-wrap velcro or zipper swaddling blankets and sleep sacks. All are great. At first we used the Woombie,then transitioned to the SwaddleMe blankets, and finally used the Sleep Sack.

4) Breast Pump – If you plan to breastfeed, I recommend a pump. For date night, late nights, or just a break, it’s always nice to have a bottle available. I use the Medela Swing (single pump) now but also had the Medela In Style (double electric).

5) Pack ‘n Play or a Co-sleeper – We used these in our house and on trips. For the pack ‘n play, we opted for one similar to this Graco Playard with a bassinet and changing table. Our first son slept in it for the first several months of his life. Our second son slept in the Snuggle Nest (a co-sleeper) in our bed for a month and a half. It was great for middle-of-the-night feedings because he was right at hand. I wish we had done this with or first.

Shannon’s Must-Haves

1) Aden + Anais Swaddling Blankets – for all of the reasons Heidi listed above!  They’re incredibly soft and HUGE.  Perfect for swaddling, playing on, or using as a quick and easy nursing cover.  We received a lot of different blankets when our first was born; these are the only ones we used with our second.  Others just don’t compare!

2) Cold Supplies – Babies get a ridiculous amount of colds.  Our poor firstborn had to deal with our rookie parenting mistakes when it came to handling his snuffy nose – a crummy nasal aspirator, some Tylenol, and a lot of cuddles.  Now we know better!  A Vicks Waterless Vaporizer, the Nosefrida (totally weird looking but really works) and saline drops are the key to a restful nights’ sleep, even with a stuffy nose!

3) Lansinoh Lanolin – A nursing mama’s best friend!  It soothes, heals and protects your nipples, and is safe for baby – meaning you don’t have to scrub it off between nursing sessions.  Stock up on it!!

4) Stroller – We used a Graco Travel System single stroller and now love our Graco Quattro Tour Duo double stroller.  We love that both boys have snack trays and cup holders, the big sun shades, the large storage basket underneath – and the fact it collapses with one hand.  But, I’d love a jogging stroller, or something that rides more smoothly outside.

5) Baby Carrier – Like Andrea, we used the Baby Bjorn with our first son and it killed our backs.  We switched out for the Infantino Flip Front or Rear Facing carrier with our second, and while it was better, I still kick myself for not investing in a nice carrier right from the start, like an Ergo or BabyHawk.  Now that our second is 22 pounds it’s brutal strapping him to my chest – but since he’s crawling and shoveling anything and everything into his mouth, there are some situations (like at the park or playground) where wearing him is preferred.

We want to hear from you!  What are YOUR must haves?