baby gearOne of my biggest regrets about the start of my motherhood journey is that I wasn’t fully prepared when the baby arrived. My water broke seven weeks early, and I still didn’t have the nursery set up or the car seat installed!

Being prepared for baby’s arrival well in advance will go a long way towards your peace of mind. Doing it months in advance may seem silly to some, but you just never know!

So what are the most important items you should have before baby arrives? Check out this list of essential baby gear that every new parent needs.

Baby gear for travelling

A stroller and car seat are non-negotiable baby items.

An infant car seat, or bucket seat, is the safest way to transport your newborn, since it’s properly designed to support developing infants. It’s also the most convenient, because the base detaches from the car seat. In other words, you don’t have to remove your child from the seat to get them out of the car. This makes going for walks in the stroller or taking a trip to the grocery store so much easier!

baby gearA travel is a great way to bundle your baby items and save money. The Chicco Cortina CX Travel System includes an infant car seat that easily clicks into the matching stroller and car seat base, so it’s a fast way to get your baby from the car to the stroller and back without disturbing his sleep. The seat reclines to 8 different positions to keep your baby comfortable. This stroller is designed to make life easier for parents, with a one-pull adjustable harness for tightening and loosening the straps, and a one-hand fold for packing it away. Other perks of this stroller include a peek-a-boo window for checking on your baby, an ergonomic padded push-handle with three height positions, a parent tray with cupholder, a child tray with removable dishwasher-safe liner, and front wheel suspension for a smooth ride. Once your baby outgrows his bucket seat, he can still use the stroller without it.

baby gearIf you don’t want to purchase two separate car seats, a convertible car seat is the way to go. The Graco 4Ever All-in-one Car Seat is a super popular car seat, and for good reason. It lasts from infancy all the way up to 65 pounds, starting with a rear-facing seat, to forward facing, and eventually a booster seat. It features a six-position recline for comfort and safety. It even has cupholder for your little one’s sippy cup for those long trips to Grandma’s house.

Baby gear for the nursery

There are several essential pieces of furniture and handy gadgets you’ll want to make sure you have for your baby’s bedroom.

baby gearExperts agree that the safest place for your baby to sleep is a crib. The Delta 4-in-1 Convertible Crib with Changing Table is yet another way to bundle your baby items. It’s a space-saving solution that combines a crib and change table. This piece of furniture gives you amazing bang for your buck, and it’s perfect for small spaces with its compact and organized design. The base adjusts to three different mattress heights to grow with your baby, then converts to a toddler bed and full-size bed for each stage of childhood. The spacious drawer underneath the crib maximizes space and can store bedding or clothes. The change table with two additional front drawers and open cubbies offers even more storage, and can either be attached or stand alone. It also comes in grey and chocolate brown to suit your taste in decor.

baby gearI remember how nervous I was for the first few months I put my son to sleep in his crib. Having a great baby monitor really helped with that, so I could still keep an eye (and ear) on him while he slept. The Motorola 5″ Wi-Fi Baby Monitor with Zoom/Pan/Tilt is a smart video monitor that allows you to see and listen to everything in your baby’s nursery. It features two cameras with remote pan, tilt, and zoom, and split-screen viewing, so you can have a view of your baby from two different angles. Or, if you’re expecting twins, you can have one camera on each baby. With two-way communication, you can soothe your baby with the sound of your voice, which is perfect for when you can’t get there right away. This monitor has the ability to display the temperature of the room and play lullabies to soothe your baby to sleep. With the Hubble app, you can even keep an eye on your little one when you leave the house (or if you want to go outside the 1000-foot range of the monitor—like sitting on your patio with a cool drink on a warm summer day while your baby naps).

Baby gear for feeding

Whether you’re breastfeeding or formula feeding, there are a few things you’re going to need.

baby gearIf you’re keen on nursing your baby, you’re definitely going to want to invest in a good breast pump. As an exclusive pumper for the first half a year of my son’s life, I consider myself an expert on pumping! A breast pump is one piece of baby gear you won’t want to live without.

Pumping is a great way to stimulate milk production and make sure your baby is getting enough nutrition even if he’s having trouble nursing. It also allows Mom to have some baby-free time once in a while, because she can leave Dad or the grandparents with a bottle of breast milk while she goes grocery shopping on her own or gets her hair done. The Philips Avent Comfort Double Breast Pump Set has everything you need for pumping. It comes with a double breast pump, two bottles, breast pads, thermo breast pads to soothe sore areas or stimulate milk flow, and milk storage cups. The neck on this pump is angled, meaning you can sit back comfortably while you pump instead of having to lean forward. All parts are dishwasher safe, which means you don’t have to do the two-step hand washing and sterilizing process after pumping. This saves a ton of time and energy, meaning more time for napping (trust me, you’ll need it!) and more quality time with your family.

baby gearIf you’re planning on formula feeding, the Baby Brezza Formula Pro is a must-have. This lovely little appliance comes highly recommended by all of the formula feeding moms I know. When your baby cries out for the third time in the dead of night, do you want to be fumbling around in the dark, measuring and mixing formula powder? Or would you rather have a perfectly prepared bottle ready for your baby with the push of a button? The Baby Brezza is compatible with all sizes and brands of bottles, as well as all types and brands of formula. It stores the formula powder in an airtight container right in the machine so you can get your baby’s meals ready before you go to bed at night. This is such a small investment that can make your life as a new parent so much easier!

With a little bit of planning and a few key items, you’ll be all set for the arrival of your little bundle of joy.

What were your most essential baby items? Share with our new parent readers in the comments below, and visit Best Buy online for all your new parent and baby gear needs.