The Definitve Baby Gear List

by Tested_to_Destruction

Ok, so the world is full of lists but surely there's room for a definitive baby gear list. Right?

Having a baby is a huge deal, and trying to make sure that you've got everything that you're going to need is a bit of a nightmare.

Happily there are lots of lists out there that will help you to collect all the different types of baby gear that you and your new baby are going to need but - what about one that covers all the bases? Happily, the one below does just that.

Modern Baby Gear - And Why You Need It

There’s a wealth of modern baby gear and beyond paying for it, the hardest part is knowing what’s necessary, and what’s not. Of course it goes without saying that you need a stroller, diapers, baby bottles and a variety of other baby items but – what we’re talking about is do you choose function over fashion, or fashion over function?

We’re constantly bombarded by who’s buying what, the latest styles and trends, not to mention that the internet is a powerful conductor when it comes to bad news and/or media hype. Often is just as difficult to work out fact from fantasy, and that’s before the sleepless nights kick in!

For that reason we’ve compiled a list of necessary items of baby gear, why you need them and what to look out for. Enjoy the reading and using our free guide, and, if you'd prefer, the book below is an awesome buy, not just because it's a great price but also because it really does cover everything, plus you get to keep it and can refer back to it time and again.

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The Basic Essentials

Here’s the short version of what’s on the list, the bare essentials, the things that you really can't manage without:

  • Stroller
  • Baby crib
  • Car Seat


Stroller – one of the most important items of baby gear. Before you go on and purchase your stroller, you need to consider several factors:

  • What age is your baby? A newborn will need more support than a toddler so what may look great due to its size, color or design may not hold up once you place a newborn baby in it. Make sure that you’re aware of the weight capacity, what age the stroller is designed for and so on. The same can be said of a stroller that’s better for a toddler – check out the maximum weight carrying capacity.
  • What do you need it for? Are you an active mom? Do you need something that fits into a busy lifestyle? Do you envisage long leisurely strolls or will your stroller only be used for short trips or popping to the mall? Your final choice needs to be one that fits in with what you need it for. A lightweight jogger is a great choice for a sporty, active parent but they’re not always the best idea for those that live a more laid back lifestyle. Think about the weight, how it folds, the suspension and long/short term durability.
  • How much storage are you likely to need? Do you really need a parent tray? Can you live without a play tray? Do you need large or small shopping storage or can you manage with an over sized diaper bag that you can attach to the stroller?

The above factors are the ones you should consider and let’s face it … they’re all common sense reasons.

More Tips For Stroller Buying

The Baby Crib

An obvious one this and in terms of what they cots, they’re relative to what you can end up paying for a stroller.

Babies spend a large portion of their time lying in their crib. More so in the first six months, so you’ve got to associate comfort with safety. Of course most parents all want the best crib, the one that blends well with the nursery décor but it’s never a bad idea to combine function with fashion.

Here are the points you need to check up on prior to purchase:

  • Stability: It needs to be robust; the crib needs to be manufactured to a standard that will allow it to cope with the needs of a growing baby. Newborns are hardly likely to test a crib’s ability to stand up to a good old rattling of the crib sides but, when baby becomes a 12 month old mobile bundle of energy … any crib will surely be tested to its limits!
  • The structure: the cribs slats and corner posts need to fit in with current legislation. The slats should be no more than 2 3/8 inch apart. This is to prevent the possibility of a baby getting his or her head stuck between the slats. The corner posts shouldn’t rise above 1/16 inch, as anything higher than may well catch clothing. If they’re higher as a means of supporting a canopy, fine – but make sure that you do use a canopy, otherwise avoid buying the crib.
  • What do you need it for? If you require something that needs to be versatile, you should check out convertible cribs. There are plenty on offer on the market that will cover most parents’ needs, such as the need to be portable, lightweight and easy to assemble. If you don’t need a crib that will double up as an occasional travel cot, then buy a standard model instead.
  • Safety: Check whether or not the crib that you need is or isn’t on one of the product recall lists issued by the Consumer Production Safety Commission. The information is freely available and will allow you to purchase with complete peace of mind. As a side not – did you know that drop side cribs are now to be outlawed? Find out what you need to know here: Recalled Products
  • Crib size and mattresses: A good piece of advice is to make sure that you buy a crib that falls within the standard mattress sizing criteria. This will allow you to use any type of standard size mattress, which may well save you a whole heap of dollars in the future. The size you’re looking at is on or around:  27 3/4” wide x 51 3/4” long. Custom sized mattresses are not cheap! Further, is the mattress height adjustable? As previously mention, there’s a vast difference between newborn’s ability to get up and shake, rattle and roll around his crib, and that of a growing baby!

More Help When Choosing Your Crib

The Car Seat

Most parents, if not all, are unlikely to manage without the use of a good quality infant car seat. The points to look out for are:

  • What type do you need? There are three different types of car seats available and each one plays a specific role. The convertible car seats are aimed at both newborn and older babies. These are a good buy if you don’t want to revisit the need for replacing your baby’s seat once he outgrows it. They’re made to fit both front and rear positions according to baby’s age and weight, so despite the fact that they’re generally more expensive initially, they are a good investment for the longer term.
  • Infant car seats are designed purely for the newborn baby. They are rear-facing and will accommodate a baby up to 20lbs in body weight. Once your baby has outgrown the maximum weight capacity, you will need to upgrade.
  • Booster seats are aimed at toddlers and pre-schoolers. Designed to work with a car’s shoulder belt system and should only be used if your child is 3 years and above and weighs at least 40lbs.

More About Choosing Car Seats

What Other Items Of Baby Gear Do You Need?

The baby gear list can become almost endless but what you do go on and buy over above the necessities is entirely up to you – or perhaps related to your bank balance!

Here’s a concise list of the necessary baby items that you’re also going to need, at least for your baby’s first year:

  • Baby bottles
  • Bottle brushes
  • Sippy cups
  • Diapers
  • Cot bedding
  • Burp cloths
  • Baby bath tub and related bathing items
  • Infant first aid kit
  • Bowls
  • Highchair
  • Baby spoons and related feeding products
  • Baby bibs
  • Clothing: pajamas, vests, hats, mittens, bootees, jacket/coat, sweaters, socks, one-piece clothing

Of course there are so many more baby products on the market, baby jumpers, bouncer, baby carriers, toys, pacifiers and a whole list of other items but – you do need to draw the line initially. As a parent, it’s fair to say that some of the baby gear items that you’ll need will arrive by way of gifts.

Others will be given, passed on. You’ll also realize what you don’t have as the months roll by and, as parents go, you’ll no doubt enjoy locating and buying what’s missing. As long as you’ve covered the basic essentials, you will manage just fine.

Having a baby is a wonderful experience and the hole it puts in your bank balance notwithstanding, there’s no doubt in our minds as to how much fun both you and baby are going to have over the coming months and years.

As long as you don’t forget just how important it is to be the best parent you can be … everything will somehow fall into place!

Updated: 09/21/2012, Tested_to_Destruction
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