Before you go blowing tons of cash on baby gear you may wind up using only once, it’s time to get schooled on the absolute must-haves. So here it is: Our guide to the top 10 new mom essentials.
1. A travel system
Why you need it: ** You’re cruising around town with baby in the backseat, ready to embark on errand number three when all of a sudden… the little guy dozes off. Abort mission, right? Wrong. With a travel system, you’ll be able to slide baby’s car seat out of its base and stealthily snap it in place on your stroller in a matter of minutes – all without waking your sleeping babe. Sound totally brilliant? That’s ‘cause it is.
Moms love: Quinny Buzz 3, $580
2. An umbrella stroller
Why you need it: We know that you’re thinking: Two strollers? But hear us out. You won’t always want to push around a heavy stroller everywhere you go. Having a lightweight and easily collapsible umbrella stroller on hand will be a lifesaver (and a back-saver) in the long run.
**Moms love: UppaBaby G-LUXE stroller, $160
3. A soothing baby swing
Why you need it: Sadly, there will come a day when all you need is five minutes to throw in a load of laundry, make a phone call, or hey, even wrangle 30 seconds or less for that much-needed pee break — and that cranky baby of yours won’t let you put her down. Have no worries: From easing your tot into naptime to entertaining her while you steal a few precious moments for yourself, the baby swing will prove a worthy investment.
** Moms love: Fisher Price Little Lamb Comfort 'n Swing, $150
4. A convertible diaper bag
Why you need it: Consolidate your gear and _baby’s by springing for a diaper bag that also doubles as your own bag. That’s right – there _is such a thing as a stylish, all-purpose diaper bag, sans the paisley flowers or hideous bright polka dots. (Who knew?) As long as it’s got tons of pocket space, a washable matte finish, and easily attaches to your stroller, you’ll be good to go.
**Moms love: OiOi Hobo Diaper Bag, $120
5. A lightweight carrier
Why you need it: Trust us, toting your tot around will become a _much _easier feat with a lightweight carrier. So skip all the extra baggage you normally lug around and leave the stroller in the car. Baby will be much happier riding shotgun in a stylin’ carrier and you’ll love having two free hands (for once).
**Moms love: Baby Bjorn Active Carrier, $100
6. A baby lounger
Why you need it: Much like the swing, a baby lounger will come in handy for all those moments when Mom just needs to give her arms a rest (and baby could use some chill time himself). Afraid he’ll get bored in there? Spring for one with an activity bar on it to keep him busy – but don't forget, you don’t need a ton of bells and whistles.
**Moms love: The Babysitter, by Baby Bjorn, $150
7. A trusty breast pump
Why you need it:** We won’t beat around the bush: Attaching two suction cups to your boobs won’t ever feel normal, but if you plan on nursing, then chances are you’ll want a reliable pump. And if you’re heading back to work or find yourself always on-the-go, you’ll want to invest in a sturdy, daily use pump that can stand the test of time. Things to look for: portability and durability.
Moms love: Medela Pump In Style breast pump, $280
8. A travel chair
Why you need it: *It’s no secret that babies and restaurants don’t always mix. But at least there’s one invention that will cut down on the chaos when dining out with your little one – the travel chair. Fixing itself easily onto the side of any dining table, you can store a travel chair in the back of your car. While it’s perfect for restaurants, it’s great for those trips to Grandma’s too.
* Moms love:** Phil & Ted’s metoo travel chair, $50
9. A swaddle blanket
Why you need it: Ah, the swaddle blanket… comforting babies (and saving the sanity of moms) everywhere for centuries. By wrapping baby up snuggly, you’ll not only help her self-soothe, but also ease her off to sleep faster, since being swaddled will remind her of her days back in the womb. And a calm, sleeping baby is always a plus.
**Moms love: The Miracle Blanket (because yes, it actually works miracles), $30
10. A top-notch car seat
Why you need it:** It pretty much goes without saying why you’d need a first-rate car seat, so we’ll skip the overview. In fact, you’ll probably put more research time into baby’s car seat than you did with your college thesis — and with good reason, since baby’s safety and comfort are your number one priorities these days. Here’s a tip: Don’t just look at popular ones, be sure to read up on all recently recalled products and newly-issued safety standards, too.
Moms love: Britax Marathon, $280
11. A well-deserved treat for Mom
Why you need it: **Okay, so technically this puts us over our 10 items, but our round-up wouldn’t be complete without a little bonus treat for Mom herself – aka you. And hey, after making it through those 9 long months, being a champ in the delivery room, and wiping yourself out with that new baby of yours, you deserve it. So what’s our spring-time pick for Mom this season? We’re totally loving Tori Burch ‘s metallic Thora sandals – they’re comfy, classy, and will give you a pretty good excuse to steal an hour (if you can) and get that much-needed mani-pedi. Tori Burch Thora sandals, $115