17 Baby Must Haves (Under $20) Recommended by REAL Moms

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Hear What Real Moms Say Are Must-Haves For New Parents

Are you looking for practical baby must haves to fill up your registry? Do you see recommendations online and wonder if real moms actually use them, or if corporations are just paying for great reviews? Keep reading to find out what baby must-haves real moms actually recommend!

Baby Must Haves

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Are Those REALLY “Must Haves”?

As an expectant mother (or father), it’s easy to get caught up in the hype that you just have to have the newest, coolest baby gadgets. The wipe warmers, the Diaper Genie, the baby cologne. Yes, that’s a real thing!

Believe me when I say, as a mother of five, absolutely none of those things are necessary, or even practical, really. Everyone I know who has purchased a wipe warmer, or been given one as a gift, either returned it or donated it within months.

It’s important when buying baby products, to take into consideration the cost of the product weighed against how much use you will actually get out of it.

Don’t spend (or ask your friends and family to spend) $100 on a designer onesie your baby is going to wear one time and ruin with an explosive poop. Instead, stock up on $10 packs of onesies you can throw out when that happens. (Because it will!)

What Makes Them Baby Must Haves?

For something to be considered a must-have baby product, it has to be practical. It has to be something you will reach for in times of desperation. (Think middle of the night screaming fit or sick baby keeps spitting out medicine.)

A must-have baby product is not only practical, but it has to be easy to use. When you’re sleep-deprived and can’t think straight, you’re not going to want to read complicated instructions or figure out how something works.

Finally, a baby must have product is one that mom experts agree is a life-saver in rough situations. By mom experts, I mean real women who have been in your situation. Real moms who needed to soothe a sick baby, or calm a fussy one, or simply keep them occupied while she does the dishes.

Mom experts agree that the baby must haves below saved them in their most desperate moments! And they are all under $20!

What is a Mom Expert?

Expert: “having, involving, or displaying a special skill or knowledge derived from training or experience”

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

I consider myself a mom expert. After going through the baby stage so many times, it’s hard not to! I also consider most of my close friends and family mom experts.

They’ve been through it all. Sick babies, teething babies, colicky babies; you name it, they’ve dealt with it!

They are the ones I ran to for advice (and still do!) when I was faced with situations I had no clue how to handle. Their advice and opinions are invaluable to me!

We all need a group of mom experts in our lives to help us through the baby days!

Baby Must Haves According to My Mom Experts

Now, for the reason you’re reading this today! I asked my group of mom experts what must-have baby products they would recommend to expectant parents on a budget. Here are their recommendations.

For the Sick Baby

Sick Baby

1. Pacifier Medicine dispenser– Tamara says, “Something so simple but still a lifesaver, was a soother that held medicine so the baby sucked it out.” So much easier than using a syringe and baby spitting all the medicine out!

2. Nose Frida – Sarah recommended this must have nose clearing tool. Sydney seconded it, and I have to agree! This came in extremely handy during those nasty snot filled nights!

3. Baby Vicks Baby Vicks is great for relieving congestion in babies. Some moms I know put it on baby’s feet at bedtime to soothe cough and congestion. This is a very practical recommendation from Belinda!

4. Gripe Water– Sydney recommends the #1 thing I’ve always heard moms say is an absolute must have- Gripe Water! Great for soothing colic symptoms in babies.

5. Straws– Amanda thinks outside the box, and I like that. She recommends straws! As she puts it, when trying to get more fluids into a sick baby, “I was panicking trying to get some water or fluids into the kid. I took her to the pediatrician, and was shown the most awesome thing – babies know how to drink from straws! You put a small amount of fluid in the straw, plugging the end with your finger. Put the end of the straw in the baby’s mouth – and slowly release your finger so small drops of liquid go into the baby’s mouth. The baby will instinctually try to suck on the straw – but you control the amount of fluid being given.” Metal straws are great, or you could consider these silicon ones as well.

Everyday Needs

Baby Must Haves
Photo by Uby Yanes on Unsplash

6. Lavender Lotion– Belinda says “Lavender lotion relaxes all 3 of my boys. I still let my oldest 2 use it.” I have also used Lavender lotion with all of my kids, and it’s especially great for before bed foot massages! It’s calming and helps baby relax.

7. Boudreaux’s Butt Paste Diaper Rash Cream– This diaper rash cream is recommended by Adalia. I have also used it for my little ones, and it definitely works wonders!

8. Onesies– Ashley recommends onesies as a cheap baby must have. Like I said earlier, don’t splurge on the boutique onesies, invest in a few packs of these, so you don’t feel guilty when they get ruined!

9. Baby Fruit/Vegetable Mesh Chewer– Sarah F. says about these baby mesh feeders, “This was such a wonderful thing we kept on hand.” And I couldn’t agree more! My youngest loved eating frozen bananas in this feeder. Not only did it taste great, but it soothed his sore gums during teething!

10. Glow in the dark Pacifiers– Tonya says these “were a lifesaver in the middle of the night!” Be prepared for those late night binky searches! Every binky baby has those nights, and these glow in the dark pacifiers make life so much easier when that happens!

11. Prefold Diapers– Tonya also recommends these prefold cloth diapers. She has also found several uses for them! She says, “I used them as burp cloths because I had big spitters and they soak up so much more than the thin burp cloths that are sold. They also make good dusting and cleaning rags once the kids outgrow them.”

12. Luvs Diapers– Donna has only used one brand of diapers for all seven of her children over the years. Nothing has compared to Luvs brand diapers. Not only are they great at keeping baby dry, but they are also inexpensive!

13. Sound Machine and Lavender Essential Oil– Marifaith (who runs the awesome family-centered blog, Journeys to Simple) recommends keeping a sound machine for baby and Lavender essential oil to encourage calmness. I wholeheartedly agree with her recommendation. My youngest would not go to sleep at night without hearing the sound of rain from his sound machine! This is like the sound machine we used.

14. Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser and Sound Machine– If you don’t mind spending a little bit more, this Aromatherapy diffuser AND sound machine is a great combination!

15.. Baby Bowls with Suction– These are great for giving your toddler a snack. If your child is anything like mine, they might get a kick out of throwing their bowls. These handy suction bowls keep that from happening!

16. Tummy Time Mats– Jenny recommends these inflatable tummy time mats to keep your infant and toddler entertained. “It’s so fun watching them explore and learn, and it frees my arms up just long enough to fold some laundry!”

17. Door Jumper– All of my kids have used a door jumper like the one below. It’s great for letting them get out some energy, and it gets them using their legs.

Baby Must Haves

Cheap Baby Must Haves

I hope I was able to provide you with some ideas for must have baby products, whether you are searching for them for yourself or as gifts. All of these products will make Mom and Dad’s life with baby so much easier!

For tips on saving money as your kids get older, check out this post I wrote explaining how I Parent on a Budget.

As always, if you like what you see here, please check out the rest of my blog for money saving tips and tricks! And share with your friends!

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