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Our favorite baby gear for new babies

Kristin Chessman is a freelance writer, editor and mom from Southern California with a passion for travel, fashion, Disney, the beach, Italian food and all-things celebrity. Follow Kristin on Twitter @KristinChessman.

Must-have baby gear

The baby gear industry is constantly evolving. Each year brings a new hot stroller, a hip must-have diaper bag and a multitude of helpful products that make motherhood easier and more fashionable. With the help of new and veteran moms, we’ve compiled some of the top must-have items for new babies. Check out the latest and greatest baby gear and get shopping!

top baby stuff must haves

Strollers that do it all

These days, strollers are getting more and more versatile. From strollers that grow with your family to streamlined designs, new moms face a daunting challenge when picking out a stroller for the first time. Check out these practical and quality strollers we love:

UPPAbaby VISTA (Amazon.com, $699) If you're looking for a stroller that can grow with your family, you'll want to take the VISTA for a test ride. This stroller comes with both a bassinet (to be used from birth to 6 months) and a seat (to be used from about 3 months to 50 pounds). The versatile VISTA can also accommodate a second child (with the optional Rumble Seat attachment) and even a third child (with the PiggyBack Ride Along board for toddlers).

Mutsy Easyrider (Amazon.com, $169)  Looking for a lightweight, everyday stroller? Check out the Easyrider stroller by Mutsy. Mom of two Danamarie DeRiggi says she doesn't go anywhere without it. "I love that it folds up easily with one hand and that its padding comfortably supports my baby, unlike many other umbrella strollers we have tried," she said.

Swaddle blanket

New moms will quickly discover the many benefits of an effective swaddle blanket perhaps the most important being better sleep for Baby and Mommy! Swaddled babies tend to sleep for longer stretches of time since their limbs are held secure and they can't flail or wake themselves up.

Summer Infant SwaddleMe (Target, $17)  Thekla Richter, mom to a 16-month-old boy, says these swaddles are easier to use than swaddling with a blanket. "Snuggly close the Velcro snap and your baby is ready for a good, long sleep."
aden + anais swaddle blankets (Target, $35)  Check out these large, slightly stretchy, lightweight muslin swaddlers for your new baby. Mom Caitlin Sullivan used these swaddlers for naps and nighttime for her baby for the first six months. Sullivan raved about the tight swaddle and breathable fabric.
The Miracle Blanket (Amazon.com, $30)  According to many new moms, this blanket lives up to its name. "This blanket is great for all babies, but perfect for colicky or fussy ones," Mom Holly Klaassen said. "Both of my kids were little escape artists, and they were never able to escape from this swaddler."

Breastfeeding pillow

Learning to breastfeed can be difficult enough for a new mom. Take some of the stress out of this experience by registering for a Boppy (Target, $40), a favorite of moms everywhere. It can help alleviate any fatigue on your back and arms even newborns get heavy after awhile. The support is invaluable, and there are washable slipcovers available.

Baby carrier

A comfortable baby carrier is a must-have for new moms and babies. According to mom of two Linda Tong, her baby carrier frees up both of her hands for other tasks while keeping her 3-month-old safe and snuggled.

Moby Wrap (Amazon.com, $40) Mom Richter says the Moby was her favorite way to carry her son as a newborn. "The rocking and bouncing from my normal movement was soothing to him, and often helped him sleep," she said. "I could do chores or go on neighborhood walks with little fuss with my arms free and my baby held close." Richter points out that the Moby takes a little more practice than a more structured carrier, but is definitely worth it.

ERGObaby (Amazon.com, $96)  Mom Klaassen says this baby carrier was a true lifesaver for her family. "You can carry your little one on your front, back and even your hip," she said. "We loved that we could do so many different positions… perfect for a fussy, picky little boy!" Don't miss the simply fabulous line of Petunia Pickle Bottom ERGObaby carriers.

Swing

According to mom of two Tong, her most-prized new baby gear is a swing. "My 3-month-old comfortably sleeps in it while I'm able to take care of my 2-year-old and do things around the house," she said. "We even bought two, one for the bedroom and the other for the living room. That's how much we love and need it!"

Check out the Fisher-Price My Little Snugabunny Cradle 'N Swing (Amazon, $126) for a comfy, cozy swing solution for your new baby.

Bouncer

New moms have to get creative when it comes to finding time for a shower. That's where a good bouncer comes in handy. Mom Lesa Linster recommends the Infantino Fold & Go Bouncer (Babies "R" Us, $49). "This was perfect because [my son] loved it when he was young and it's easy to fold and store," she said. "It plays music and vibrates, and actually allowed me to get a shower in early on!"

Baby monitor

If you're looking for a high-tech baby monitor, look no further than the Summer Infant BabyTouch Digital Video Monitor (Babies "R" Us, $190). Simply touch the screen to control the monitor's pan, zoom, scan and brightness features. You can even help calm and soothe your newborn by projecting your voice through the camera. Mom Lisa Leslie-Williams says she uses her video monitor multiple times per day. "The video monitor feature is especially convenient for moms that live in homes with multiple floors," she said.

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