When you’re about to become a parent, the list of things to buy or request on a registry is probably a mile long. From the major purchases, like a crib, car seat, and stroller, to the smaller essentials, like diapers, a diaper bag, change pads, onesies, and others, there’s a lot to think about. But what’s absolutely critical to have before baby’s arrival?
Best Buy recently ran a contest asking parents and parents-to-be to tell us what they’d consider to be the top three must-have baby items. Here’s a breakdown of the top results:
It’s no surprise that respondents named the car seat as the top must-have item. You can’t leave the hospital without showing not only that you have one, but that you have safely secured your newborn inside of it. There are lots of car seat options for all ages, but for a newborn, you’ll need a Stage 1 rear-facing infant seat. With my son, I used the Graco SnugRide 35. The latest Click Connect Pierce model makes it easy to remove/secure the seat with one click and place it onto a stroller base, or bring it inside without disturbing a sleeping baby. As your child grows, you can move on to a forward-facing convertible car seat, followed by a booster.
Once baby arrives home, of course you’ll need a place for him or her to sleep. Even if you plan to co-sleep for the first little while, having a fully furnished nursery is essential. At the centre of that is a crib, so it makes sense that this product would come in second on the list. To future-proof the investment, consider getting a convertible crib like the Storkcraft Tuscany 4-in-1 Convertible Crib. This allows you to convert the crib into a toddler bed once your child grows and is able to climb out, followed by a daybed, then a full-sized bed by purchasing the bed rails separately to go along with the headboard and footboard.
Once you’ve covered getting baby home safely and tucking him in comfortably, the next step is taking your baby out and about. So it’s logical that our contest entrants selected the stroller as the third must-have item. Ideally, you want one with a base that can be used with the car seat you’ve selected, either on its own through a compatible system, or via the use of an adapter. Systems like the Evenflo Pivot Modular Travel System, which I reviewed earlier this year, combines a stroller with a car seat that can easily click right into the frame of the stroller when you aren’t using the stroller seat. If you choose to buy the items separately, there are lots of strollers you can choose from, including double strollers should you be expecting twins, or have a second young child.
Wi-Fi Baby Monitor
In the honourable mentions category, the Wi-Fi baby monitor ranked a close fourth, behind the stroller, by our contest participants. I’d agree with these results: while the first three are indisputably the most important items every parent must have, I found immense peace-of-mind from my baby monitor. More so than Wi-Fi capability, however, I’d seek out, more specifically, a video monitor. Being able to quickly check that your baby hasn’t rolled over on his tummy, and see the comforting rise and fall of his chest from the comfort of your bedside, is so reassuring. And it means mom or dad don’t have to rush out of bed every time they hear the tiniest noise, or when worry consumes them in the middle of the night.
There are lots of monitors that combine both Wi-Fi with video, like the Motorola 5” Wi-Fi Baby Monitor with Two-way Communication. You can view baby from the 5” colour LCD over the 2.4GHz spectrum, and remotely from your mobile device, using the Hubble app and Wi-Fi.
Check out plenty of baby and maternity gear at Best Buy Online. Want to try out some of the latest baby products? Join the Baby Samplers Club, and you might be selected to test (and keep) baby products in exchange for writing a review.