7 Must-have baby items for the holidays

Nov 4, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. ET

Surviving the holidays with a baby in tow can be tough, especially when combined with a youngster who won't sleep or mommy fatigue. However, the right baby gear just may help put the jolly back into your holidays! From travel beds to a portable swing, discover the seven must-have baby items for the holidays, whether you're planning holiday travel for your new baby or staying at home with your soon-to-be toddler.


1Baby sling or carrier

During the hustle and bustle of a holiday, staying close may be all a new baby needs to feel safe and serene. Baby items like slings and carriers let you hold your baby while keeping your hands free to get ready for, or enjoy, the holidays.

2Infant car seat

Also lovingly dubbed "the baby bucket," an infant car seat gives you the liberty to move her from car to holiday festivity without waking a snoozing baby and throwing off her delicate nap schedule.

3Travel yard

Also called playpens or a pack and play, this is one of the most versatile baby items for traveling. Most can be used as a changing table, safe play area and secure sleep station for babies on the go.

Read up on the new mom's guide to surviving the holidays with a newborn >>

4Travel bed

When embarking on a family holiday, a travel bed for your new baby makes it easy to sleep safe when away from home without lugging a travel yard. Most collapse down to the size of a medium diaper bag, and can also double as a place to change or entertain your little one.

5Portable swing or bouncer

When it just isn't practical to carry your babe in arms, a take-along swing or bouncer seat can be a sanity saver for both you and your baby. These compact baby items can help soothe fussy infants while freeing up your hands for a short time.

6Nursing cover

So you won't miss a minute of merrymaking, invest in must-have baby items like a nursing cover to keep you from having to isolate yourself to feed your hungry infant.

Get the inside scoop on our favorite baby gear for new babies >>

7Sound machine

Whether home with a house filled with guests or traveling to another's abode during the first holiday for your new baby, baby items like a sound machine produce soothing white noise to keep the chaos -- or at least the sounds of it -- at bay. Also known as a sound spa, kick it on while she's sleeping to keep sudden noises or loud merry-making from startling your little one.

When holiday time becomes overwhelming for your little one, remember to communicate with your partner and take turns caring for baby to ensure that you all get a chance to enjoy the seasonal celebration. But whether you're on the road or staying at home, these seven must-have baby items for the holidays can make things for your baby -- and you -- a little easier.

Read more holiday tips for your new baby

How to holiday shop with a newborn
Better holiday baby photos
Born on Christmas day: Planning a holiday delivery