Baby Gear: The First 6 Months

toptenWhat Gear Do You Really Need?

If you are, or know of, a first time mom getting ready to bring an infant home, it is easy to get overwhelmed when it comes to registering and deciding what you really need versus what looks cool. This TOP 10 Baby Gear List is a place to start if you are trying decide what you will really use, in efforts not to go overboard on buying big items you will only use for a handful of months. I am all about being realistic trying to keep my home from looking like an infant gear show-room at all times.

I will be the first to say that everyone’s thoughts on what is most useful will be as wide as the brand of baby bottles that span the massive wall at BabiesRUs, so I am not necessarily focusing on any brand being better than another. Also, I left off nonnegotiable items such as a crib, infant car seat and a small bassinet or pack and play.

1.  Lightweight Stroller (newborn – till they move into larger car seat) – Of the 12 strollers that line my daughter’s daycare hall after morning drop off, 75% of them are this light weight style now. I didn’t realize the first time around, that you can forgo buying the entire travel system that includes the infant car seat, base and the heavier stroller and instead simply purchase the seat and base set and then separately purchase the lighter weight stroller that coordinates with your brand of car seat.  These are around 12 pounds versus 30 pounds for the other strollers. This will be the stroller you can leave in your car and constantly use the first 12 months while running errands all over town. Trust me, you will get tired of loading and unloading the heavier options multiple times a day.Graco Snug Rider Stroller

2.  Infant Tub With Mesh Sling (newborn – 9 months) – This First Years tub, sold for less than $23 right now, is what I used for all three of my kids. I used the sling until they were over five months old and then removed the sling when they were able to sit up, before moving them to the regular bath tub. Washing a newborn is one of the places you want to make sure they are the most secure and I still find peace of mind with this one.

First Bath (15) Bath tub

3.  Baby Swing (newborn – 5 months) – In our experience, the baby swing is one the best inventions for this early age until they get old enough where they don’t like to be laying down as much.  All three of my babies enjoyed it and for my middle child, it was a straight out life saver during those early months filled with colic. We were known for disassembling and bringing it with us everywhere.  Some friends have opted for the Space Saver Swing Seat and have enjoyed the portability they offer.


4.  Bouncer (newborn – 7 months) – The bouncer was another essential piece for five months and younger when mommy and daddy need a break. Most babies love being at a slight incline where they can see what is going on. I used this while I showered, cooked dinner and almost every waking hour in between, when I wasn’t holding my new bundle of joy. Bouncers are light weight therefore easy to move from room to room and they have a vibration feature that some babies love.


5.  Video Monitor (Newborn – preschooler) – There are some places I try to save money and some places I don’t, a video monitor is the most expensive baby gear item on the list but I believe whole heartedly that it is worth every penny. I have found being able to visually see your baby is priceless and allows you hear them making tiny sounds, then see if your baby is okay before running in and getting them out of bed when they would have gone back to sleep.



6.  Carriers (Newborn & up) – This one is a must but it is VERY personal. Many new moms love those adorable long wraps made with fun fabrics but after a few uses, many find them more of a hassle to put the baby in and take out, especially once they are past the tiny newborn phase. We have used the Baby Bjorn with our kids and my husband especially loves it. My best friend just got the ErgoBaby with her 3rd and loves it. I just bought the Baby K’tan for it’s mesh fabric and ability to wear my seven month old on my hip, allowing me to use my hands more when at functions with the older children.


7.  The Bumbo (4 months – sitting up on their own) – This is favorite invention tied withe the swing. My kids LOVED being able to see everything in a whole new way – sitting up!!! You obviously don’t want to keep it on a table because once they are stronger, there is a chance they can push themselves up out of it and the newer versions do have seat belts. I even just found a different brand of one that has 350 consumer ratings with 4.5/5 stars!


8.  The Activity Center  (5-8 months) – After a baby doesn’t want to be confined in a bouncer or swing yet isn’t able to sit up confidently on their own, this is what gives you the ability to put them in so you can fold some laundry, take a shower or start dinner. We are in this phase right now with my seven month old and this activity center is what allows me to take a shower and put makeup on in the morning… we actually keep it in our bathroom. There are multiple different types of these activity centers that achieve the same goal!


9.  Booster seat (4 months – 3 years or more) – less than $23: We decided early that we wanted each of our babies to sit at the actual table eating with us plus I really didn’t want the clutter or expense of a huge high chair always in the way. At five months of age, all of our kids LOVED sitting with us in this same Fisher Price Healthy Care booster seat and used it (without the tray) well into their third year. Now that is a good investment if you ask me!

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10.  Walker  (8-14 months) – There is a time period after sitting up and before they can walk on their own when you need a safe place for your baby to roam as they aren’t happy just sitting in one place. We absolutely loved our Baby Walker during that critical time and it helped that we had tile and hardwood floors through out majority of our house.


Megan is a serious bargain shopper, Boxer loving, research junkie kinda gal. Chances are she can tell you the best item to buy from everything from a baby monitor to a dishwasher. She claims to be the blogger on the team that will never win an award for being an eloquent writer. In fact, she prides herself in graduating from Texas A&M University (’02) without ever having to write a paper! San Antonio born and raised, Megan learned early in life to always learn from others and she enjoys sharing helpful tips she encounters while navigating this ‘kid chapter’ of life. The three little people that gave her the title of mom and thus the inspiration to get out and explore our city, from a child’s perspective, are Carter (2006), Addie (2008) and Delaney (2013). She’ll admit, the third one has been WAY more work than they ever expected but they wouldn’t have it any other way. Her motto now is “What ever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger,” right?! Megan has a serious to-do list addiction which one day may need intervention; for now, this aliment allows her to accomplish the many balls she has the energy to juggle. She may be an outlier to some but loves working outside the home and is grateful for her working-mom-friendly company and career in sales, which gives her the best of both worlds. Although, Megan will be the first to tell you, without her ridiculously amazing husband and hands-on-dad, Blake, she wouldn’t be able to do any of it. Like most women, half the time she feels like she has it all together and the other part, she’s treading water trying not to drown. But as of now, she wouldn’t change a thing.


  1. Thanks for these great ideas Megan! Some of these were already on our list but others we were still debating, like the light weight stroller option. It’s great to hear experiences from mommas who have been there!

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