Getting Real with Megan Gregory

I know there are many lists out there of things you absolutely need when you have a baby, but here is my compilation after having my two children and learning what is actually necessary and what just takes up space.

When I was pregnant with my son, I thought I needed EVERYTHING.  Granted, I am a low-key person so I was completely happy with second-hand, hand-me-down, used items, but I admit, I got sucked in by the cuteness of baby gear more than once.

That being said, there were definitely things I didn’t even realize existed that I now recommend or buy for my expecting friends, so here we go!

Must-Have Baby Items

Portable High Chair

This might seem like a luxury, and I am by no means advocating for buying this in addition to a standard high chair; I am suggesting buying only a portable high chair.  I cannot tell you how helpful it has been to be able to bring a high chair when we visit our out of town family or to our massive Thanksgiving dinner.  It’s nice to have an easy way to restrain our child during meals that are outside of our home.  The one we have is Cosco brand (similar to the one shown below) and folds in half for easy transport:



Bear with me!  This one sometimes grosses people out in concept, but I swear it is one of my favorite baby products.  The NoseFrida is a device to more effectively get the snot out of your baby’s nose by sucking on one end of a tube and placing the other end in your baby’s nostril.  Don’t’ freak out, there is a filter and the tube is long, so snot will never enter your mouth!  But the benefits are that you get more of the mucus out faster, it’s more sanitary than bulb syringes, and you can see the color of the snot, which can be beneficial in diagnosing children’s illnesses.

Swaddle Blankets

I know this is a given when you have a baby, but I want to share the specific kind, the only kind, that worked for my daughter.  Margaux and May are organic cotton muslin swaddle blankets and they’re soft and extremely breathable.  In addition, there are several beautiful patterns.

Receiving Blankets

Again, a duh.  But the only reason I am mentioning this is because I specifically dislike those tiny burp cloths but, instead, loved receiving blankets (especially homemade ones, like the Harry Potter fabric ones my mom made for my daughter) because they are bigger and really catch all of the spit up.

Nail Files

Probably another obvious item, but if you are like me, you are traumatized from using baby nail clippers and accidentally clipping your baby’s skin.  So instead, opt for baby nail files (or even regular nail files) to tame those unruly talons.

Bath Toy Holder

Super helpful for allowing the toys to dry and make your bathroom look less cluttered, but also critical when you have kids in different stages of bathing to avoid having to move a bunch of toys in order to use the infant tub (which is what happens to me!).

Totally Unnecessary Baby Items:

Burp Cloths

I really dislike burp cloths, because they are super small, don’t even cover the whole shoulder, and when your baby spits up a waterfall, they are useless.  Opt for receiving blankets or even just a towel.

Crib Sets

I admit, when I was pregnant with my son I really wanted a matching crib set.  I thought they were adorable and made the whole nursery come together.  That being said, with infants, you’re not supposed to use crib bumpers (that’s the current consensus) or the quilt, so what’s the point?  I would say just pick out cute sheets and a bed skirt and call it a day.


If your baby is anything like mine, then they have talons rather than fingernails and constantly claw at their flawless face – especially their eyes.  But, my kids would not allow mittens to stay on their hands and always wiggled them off.  I opted for the pajamas that have the mitten cuffs; they stayed on way better!  Basically, at the end of the arms, there’s a flap that you fold over the baby’s hand and it acts as a mitten.

Hooded Bath Towel

I know these are adorable, and I may be in the minority on this one, but hooded bath towels seemed to be more of a hassle and more annoying than they were helpful.  I say, just use your regular bath towels.

Baby Wash Cloths

Again, just a completely unnecessary item.  Use your hands or cloths that you already have.

Squirty Bath Toys

This one isn’t on the list because it’s unnecessary, but rather because it gets gross fast.  Bath toys that squirt are nearly impossible to fully empty and end up getting moldy on the inside.  Stick to toys that don’t internalize water.

Wipe Warmer

This is an item I just don’t really understand.  I feel like unless you’re putting wipes in the freezer before you use them, then they’re not that cold.  This just seems like one of those luxury items that takes up space.  And, if your baby gets used to warm wipes but then goes to daycare, grandma’s house, etc. and there aren’t warm wipes, you’re in a for a rough night!

What are your must-have baby items? What did you find completely useless?