20 Unexpectedly Useful Things Every New Mom Needs

Mandy Velez | Feb 18, 2020 Shop
20 Unexpectedly Useful Things Every New Mom Needs
Image: Target

baby on pad

Babies are the cutest things, and it seems as spring approaches, so do more of the pregnancy announcements and births. But where is a new mom to start? Surely she will get advice from other moms who have been there, as well as family and friends. They'll give advice, too, which helps the new mom have a better idea of what to expect and what she'll need. And there will be somewhat obvious items to get as well, from the stroller to onesies to bibs and bottles. 

But lots of new moms, or moms-to-be, may wonder what are some of the things not on the lists or top of the mind for everyone. It's the items that no one really knows until one actually becomes a parent and sees in the moment, "I could really use this right now." That's where this list comes in. These items are the not-so-obvious things new moms should buy that'll make their lives a whole lot easier once the baby comes, from booger suction aspirators to portable pumps and newborn onesies mittens.

Psst: If you purchase an item from this post, CafeMom may receive a small cut. Each item and price is up to date at the time of publication; however, an item may be sold out or the price may be different at a later date.

  • NoseFrida The Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator


    Nasal aspirators aren't the sexiest baby item that parents need, but its among one of the most important. It sucks the snot out of babies' noses for them so they can breathe and hopefully not cry from congestion.

    NoseFrida The Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator ($16, Babylist)

  • Munchkin Designer Diaper Change Kit


    New parents usually have an understanding that for changing diapers on the go they will need the diapers and wipes, but it's easy to forget that they'll need to place the baby down to change him and it's better to have a changing pad to put down. 

    Munchkin Designer Diaper Change Kit ($13, Target)

  • Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Lotion


    Everyone has heard of diaper rash, and some of the creams that can soothe it for baby, but sometimes babies have sensitive skin or eczema on their bodies. This popular Aveeno moisturizing lotion, which is made with oatmeal, can help prevent chafing and cracking.

    Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Lotion ($6, Walmart)

  • Fridababy 3-in-1 Humidifier


    Adults aren't the only people who can reap the benefits of a humidifier. Humidifiers can help babies breathe as well as retain moisture in their skin. But what makes this Fridababy humidifier is that as part of the 3-in-1 feature it also has an essential oil diffuser and nightlight. 

    Fridababy 3-in-1 Humidifier ($50, BuyBuyBaby)

  • BabyBjörn Bouncer


    It may seem like a baby bouncer may not be necessary with everyone coming over once a baby is born and wanting to hold her, but in the times that mom is alone, this will be a true gift. Place the baby in the bouncer and have the little one soothed into calmness or to sleep.

    BabyBjörn Bouncer ($200, Bed Bath & Beyond)

  • Wearable Breast Pump


    Gone are the days where mothers need to be present with their babies to breastfeed them. While skin-to-skin contact is important, breast pumps can help mom prep bottles for the baby to have her breast milk any time. This wearable one makes it easy to pump and multitask. 

    Wearable Breast Pump ($500, Willow Pump)

  • Nipple Cream


    If mom is breastfeeding a lot, the nipples can get sore. Someone is sucking milk out of it after all! This lanolin nipple cream can help take some soreness away.

    Nipple Cream ($8, Target)

  • Nursing Pads


    Nursing is a big part of being a new mom who breastfeeds, so it makes sense there will be a lot of products for it. But ones that are often overlooked are nursing pads. They can be put over the nipple after pumping or feeding to soak up any residual milk leaks.

    Nursing Pads ($28, Walmart)

  • Safety 1st Cradle Cap Brush & Comb


    Cradle cap is one of those baby ailments that parents don't know too much about until they experience it with their babies. Cradle cap, or the flaky scales on the top of baby's head, can be treated, but a cradle cap brush and comb tool can help remove the excess and buildup.

    Safety 1st Cradle Cap Brush & Comb ($5, BuyBuyBaby)

  • Onesies With Hand Mittens


    It's a given that babies will need onesies and lots of them. But babies, especially newborns, may need hand mittens. It's such a small thing but so important. Babies have no motor skills so they can end up scratching themselves with their little nails while sleeping unless they're covered.

    Onesies with Hand Mittens ($8, Target)

  • Electric Bottle Warmer


    Bottle warmers save a lot of time and make bottles that much more soothing for babies to enjoy. This one has three different temperature settings, but instead of submerging the bottle in a warming tool, hot water dispenses into the bottle first to warm the liquid after.

    Electric Bottle Warmer ($50, BuyBuyBaby)

  • Pacifier Clips


    Pacifier clips may seem like one of those items that are just an add-on to a baby shower gift or something available in the check-out line of the store, but ask any seasoned mom: they're huge. Pacifiers can be easily lost or spit out by babies, but these keep them close and off the ground. 

    Pacifier Clips ($5, Target)

  • Graco Lightweight Stroller


    Most people will advise new moms to get a stroller, and she'll likely get one anyone at her shower recommends, and it'll likely be one of those convertible ones. But having a lightweight stroller will come in handy for quick trips and for traveling. 

    Graco Lightweight Stroller ($90, JC Penney)

  • Nursing & Infant Support Pillow


    OK, back to nursing. When people think about it, they likely think of moms just holding their baby and letting it happen, but may not consider holding baby for so long their arms hurt. Having a support pillow can help with that as well as give baby a more comfortable experience.

    Nursing & Infant Support Pillow ($30, Pottery Barn Kids)

  • Swaddle Blanket Set


    Baby swaddles make baby feel safe, cozy, and comfortable and hopefully, fingers crossed, help him sleep better. The thing is, it might be harder to handle with thicker blankets. Swaddle blankets are thin enough for actual swaddling.

    Swaddle Blanket Set ($16, LittleAdamandEve/Etsy)

  • Wireless Earbud Headphones


    One may at first find it strange that a pair of wireless earbuds would make a list of things new moms need, but hear us out. At night, perhaps very late, moms may need to feed the baby or pump. It can get lonely and boring, so wireless buds will let mom listen to music or watch a show while walking around a room and without worrying about cords.

    Wireless Earbud Headphones ($50, Best Buy)

  • Sophie la Girafe Teether


    Sophie the Giraffe is kind of a legend in the parenting world. At some point, babies will teethe and need something to gnaw on. Sophie the giraffe should be that teether. It's a go-to of many moms who have been through the stage.

    Sophie la Girafe Teether ($25, Target)

  • Blowout Blocker Diaper Extension


    We weren't sure such an item existed, but alas it does. Behold, the Blowout Blocker diaper extender. Blowouts happen when a baby and parents are out and about and the poop is so expansive it goes everywhere. Putting this blocker on babies during travel or events will keep things contained, literally.

    Blowout Blocker Diaper Extension ($16, Amazon)

  • Fridababy Quick-Read Rectal Thermometer


    Baby thermometers are important. They can alert parents to when babies are sick, or getting sick, and enable parents to take action as early as possible. It may sometimes miss the shower registry as it's not as nice to have as a teether or pack of diapers, but it's essential to have.

    Fridababy Quick-Read Rectal Thermometer ($15, BuyBuyBaby)

  • Different Size Diapers


    Last but not least, we have diapers. One may think, well, duh, of course, a new mom will need diapers, but a lot of times, moms get tons and tons of diapers of all one size, but babies grow a lot quicker than new parents think, and having the next few sizes handy will be greatly appreciated.

    Different Size Diapers ($53, Honest Company)

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