In each of these categories there are a million options to choose from. After having 2 little ones of my own I’m giving you my favourites that I consider “must haves”. These items I either loved from the very beginning or I purchased with my second baby, once I knew a little bit better.

I also went from being the new mom wanting every little thing to now being more mindful of items I really “need” and use verses ones I just “want” but wouldn’t get use out of. Babies have a lot of “stuff”, which you will find out soon enough if you haven’t already, so keeping things to a minimum is a good idea unless you have tons of room to spare.

So let’s get right into it…

1. Infant Carseat: We chose this model particularly for the safety aspect and for the weight. Of course, when it comes to taking your little one anywhere with you in a vehicle safety is paramount and this seat gets a great safety rating. Then weight is something to consider because there will be times you will likely be carrying this seat on your arm ie: up a flight of stairs, from the car to the store to run a quick errand, from the car to the house if your little babe has fallen asleep in the car (which is very common for a lot of babies) etc. So think about it: if your carseat is say 25 lbs, then you put a 10 lbs baby in there– that’s 35 lbs on your 1 forearm! And, hoping that you have a healthy, thriving baby he or she will only continue to get heavier. That’s a lot of weight on one arm even if only for a few minutes. 

These are considered “infant” seats because they only hold babies from newborn to 25lbs. They are also meant for carrying; so removing them from the car regularly with ease is essential. And they attach to a stroller for travelling out and about with your little one. In comparison to the next level car seat which is not meant to be removed from the car. 

We both found this seat to be structurally sturdy as well as lightweight. It also comes in a few different colours but we just went with the standard black to keep things gender neutral as we hoped to use it for our next baby as well, and we did!

2. Baby Carrier: We went through a few different carrier’s before I decided this was the one that was best for both Jason and I. I like things to be quick and efficient when it comes to baby. When they are little whether its a carseat, stroller, carrier or any other piece of baby equipment that requires them to be strapped in I don’t want to be fiddling around too much. Because most babies get annoyed and frustrated if you are man handling them too much it’s ideal to purchase something that is efficient. 

I originally had a carrier [that is considered very popular] that required me to clip the shoulder straps together right between my shoulder blades. Now I don’t think I have abnormally short arms but I had a heck of a time reaching back and trying to close this clip when on my own without my husband. Then if I was somehow able to get the clop on, once I was done my errand and needed to take baby out of the carrier I couldn’t reach the clip to open it! So frustrating! I literally had to ask a stranger to help unclip me! That was the last day I used that carrier. 

Then I went on to purchase a beautiful and very expensive ring sling carrier. I’d seen a TON of photos on instagram of these super trendy mama’s with their beautiful babies looking chic AF with these amazing chambray or bamboo fabric carriers. Little did I know that it was not something simple to get on, not for me at least. I tried many times to get quick and confident at throwing it on but it was just too complicated for me to get perfect. I could only put it on with baby while looking in the mirror and even then it still took me like 10 mins to get it on properly. That did not work for me when I wanted to wear baby in the mall and I’m in the parking lot trying to get baby comfortable in this long piece of fabric that is now looking like a pretzel. I wanted so much to love it but ended up selling it to another mom. 

Then we came across this simple and fantastic invention. Simple, quick and easy to put on and take off, durable, machine washable, holds a baby up to 25lbs {they have other styles for bigger babies and toddlers too!), baby can face inwards or out– so perfect! I mean, it’s not as spectacular looking as the fabric carrier but for what it is intended for it is by far the best choice. Highly recommend!

3. Stroller: The stroller we bought in the very beginning, before we had our first daughter, was from this brand and we absolutely loved it! And me trying to use my forward-thinking I purchased the version that could either be used for 1 child or 2 children. My hope was to not have to buy another stroller when or if we had another baby. What I didn’t consider was the gap our children would have in age. Mila is 4 and Charlie is 1. They are 3 years and 3 months apart in age. Because our oldest is at the age of not wanting to be strapped into a stroller and would rather walk beside me we actually have no need for a double stroller. I would recommend a double to anyone that has or is planning to have 2 children under 2.5 years apart. Once they get close to 3 years old the last thing most children want is to be restrained in anything. So I ended up selling my double and getting the single from the same brand and LOVE IT! We still use it and if we have another we’ll definitely be using it again. This is the same stroller we used along with our infant carseat then once they were both over the 25 lbs carseat maximum weight we transitioned over to the stroller seat with no issues. Not to mention this stroller is very easy to open, close and store, complete version comes with a bassinet attachment as well as looking very chic. Again, A LOT of options in the stroller category but I personally love this one!

** Side note: If you are looking to buy a double stroller, I would recommend a tandem one rather than a side by side as the side by side get very wide and therefore difficult to maneuver through tight spaces like aisles in a grocery or clothing store or even on the sidewalk. This brand only carries a double in the side by side version but this is my #1 fave for double stroller which is tandem.

4. Swing: We went through a few in this category as well. I can’t stress enough how much space baby things take up. We went from something that was very on trend, expensive, nice looking but quite large to the smallest swing I could find. This swing is actually meant for travel. It can be folded up and actually has a carrying handle which came in handy when having to move it from room to room in our own house and when we took it over to the grandparents house. And something I didn’t consider the first time around but realized was very important: this swing has the option to be battery operated OR be plugged in to an outlet! If you are like me, I can never find a battery to save my life and they are ridiculously expensive, amirite? So I definitely wanted a swing I could plug in to a wall outlet because last thing I need is for baby to be fussy and the swing be out of batteries! Ahhh! Disaster… So it’s compact, lightweight, battery and plug-in capability and it comes in some gender neutral colours so it doesn’t clash with your home decor. That’s a win in my books!

5. Playmat: The mat we first bought was a gift from my baby shower registry and I chose it because I had scoured the internet for the best playmat and that one was the one that came up time and time again. What I didn’t consider was how it was going to look in our house. This playmat was rainbow coloured, which might be okay for some like if you are planning to have your playmat in a children’s play room, but we were keeping this in our main living room. And I also know colours are supposed to be very stimulating for your little one but I figured the girls were getting that stimulation from other toys so it didn’t have to be from the play mat as well. It was vey loud and an eyesore in my opinion so I ended up swapping that out for this super cute and decor friendly playmat instead. Everyone, including my little babe, loved it! Used it for so long and now have it safe keeping for the next babe or a nice hand me down to a friend or family member. It’s adorable!

Outside of these 5 things all other items, in the “Baby Gear” category, were a bonus. For the minimalist Mama this is a good starting list. Then as you start to figure out your childs’ personality you can purchase more items accordingly.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to put them in the comments below.

I’ll be continuing this series with Baby Diapering Essentials so stay tuned!

** This post consists of all my own thoughts & opinions.

** This post is not sponsored by any brand or business.