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Top Ten New Baby Essentials

Expecting a baby but not sure where to start?

It doesn't have to be overwhelming. Here's a list of parent-tested essentials to get you started on your way:

  1. Safe Car Seat: This is the one thing they won't let you leave the hospital without. Not all infant car seats are equal, although they do all meet strict Canadian safety standards. Look for one that is relatively lightweight, easy to install and has a great safety record. Our top recommendations are the Britax B-Safe and the Maxi Cosi Mico.
  2. Awesome stroller: A good stroller can mean the difference between being trapped in your house vs freedom. Definitely get a stroller that's compatible with your car seat - it turns it into the wonderful "travel system". This means you’ll be able to lift baby’s car seat out of its base and snap it into your stroller - all without waking baby! Look for a stroller that has a great fold, big canopy, all-wheel suspension and ideally, a life-time warranty. Check out our bestseller: the Baby Jogger City Mini GT (compatible with the Britax B-Safe, Maxi-Cosi Mico, etc).
  3. Crib: A co-sleeper, cradle, bassinet or crib? Whichever you choose, look for one that's made of solid wood with metal, has a non-toxic finish (e.g. lead-free) and ideally, converts to a toddler bed. Check out the mid-century styling of the Babyletto Lolly crib, the modern style of the Babyletto Modo crib or the classic old-fashioned DaVinci Jenny Lind. Or if you have limited space (or need something small for Grandma's house), check out mini cribs, like Babyletto's Origami. We love that it can fold up for storage or transport!

  4. Changing place / dresser: Fewer parents are choosing separate change tables these days. They'd rather safe the space and combine a changing place with the dresser (e.g. Babyletto Hudson Dresser with Change Tray). Tip: it may be hard to imagine your little one as a teenager but it will arrive sooner than you think. Choosing a good quality, solid wood dresser means that it will last through their teen years ... and beyond.
  5. Comfortable rocker / glider: You're going to be spending a LOT of time in this chair. And you're going to be REALLY tired. But that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice modern style. Look for a glider that has a solid wood base and has fabric that is stain-resistant  (e.g. Babyletto Kyoto Glider). And then dream of all the bedtime books in your future. 
  6. Health-safe mattress: Recent studies have found that crib mattress can emit harmful chemicals in the form of VOCs. Look for a crib mattress that has no harmful chemicals or allergens, is lightweight (you'll be lifting it in the middle of the night to change wet sheets!) and waterproof. Check out the Lullaby Earth low-VOC mattress, which meets the strictest GREENGUARD certification standards for eliminating chemical emissions.
  7. Roomy diaper bag: You're going to need more than you think in your diaper bag. Also, don't be afraid to get one you're not ashamed to call your purse. Look for the ability to hang in on the back of your stroller (e.g. skip*hop Versa Expandable Diaper Bag).
  8. Baby bath tub:  Sure, you can bath them in the sink but they tend to be slippery, especially curled-up newborns. It doesn't have to be fancy - check out the First Years Sure Comfort - it has two sides (for newborn and then big baby) and fits great in sinks or tubs! The BOON Naked tub collapsible design and hook make storing your baby bath easy. 
  9. Baby Monitor: Short of standing in your baby's nursery all day long, nothing will bring you more peace of mind during naptime than a good baby monitor. An audio monitor is fine although a video one is much better. It's much more useful than you'd think for figuring out if the silence means peaceful sleep or wide-awake playing! Look for ones that have zero interference from the neighbours (e.g. Avent DECT Audio Baby Monitor)
  10. Effective swaddle blankets: Use them for swaddling, holding, warming, sleeping, changing, and playing.  Not all swaddle blankets are created equal, though: you don’t want to spend an hour (or more) trying to get a good wrap -- only to have it kicked off in a matter of seconds. Look for large, stretchy, lightweight blankets (e.g. aden + anais Muslin Swaddles) or zip-up cocoon (e.g. Woombie swaddler).
  • Automatic pump:  If you’re heading back to work or think you'll always be 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 include portability and durability. The Medela Swing is great for occasional pumping, while the Pump in Style is a registry favourite for those who will need to pump several times a day.
  • Baby-safe bath products: When a little warm water and a washcloth aren't enough, use mild, hypo-allergenic, anti-allergen, natural, or organic products. Make sure to use a non-toxic bum cream (e.g. Substance Nappy Rash) along with biodegradable wipes for sensitive skin as well.