There are some obvious things you’ll need for a baby, clothes, car seat, bathtub, a place to sleep etc. But from the past couple months I’ve found found some other things that has seriously made our lives easier!! We didn’t go out and buy a ton of fancy things for Zoie-Lynne. She didn’t get a swing, fancy toys, designer clothes, etc. We bought pretty much what she needed and a couple other small things. We also didn’t buy anything that we couldn’t at least use for awhile, we try to find multiple uses for things before we buy them, but hey that is just us. 1. Happi Tummi. Seriously the most amazing invention for a crying baby. When you have changed their diaper, swaddled them, laid them down, tried everything in the world and you have no clue what is wrong they are just screaming at the top of their lungs. Sometimes they have a tummy ache or just have gas, the nice warm & nice smelling Happi Tummi wrapped around them works nice. A couple of times we tried everything & as soon as we put the Happi Tummi on she is fine. I got Zoie-Lynne’s on Amazon, but they sell them at Buy Buy Baby, I haven’t seen them at Babies R’ Us. 2. Pacifiers. I told myself that Zoie-Lynne wasn’t going to use a pacifier. Then on top of that everyone had told us since she was being breast fed she wouldn’t need a pacifier, BIGGEST LIE EVER!! I’m not saying that other breast fed babies don’t use pacifiers, but Zoie-Lynne sure does. One night when she was about three weeks old she was SCREAMING from 1am until about 4:30-5am. We couldn’t figure out what was wrong, we tried everything. She’d latch for a little bit and then she’d pull herself off and then scream. I then tried the soothie from the hospital, nope. Then I received a free Nuk pacifier from my doctor, nope. THen lastly I tried the MAM pacifier I had got in my registry bag from target, BINGO. Needless to say we went to Target later that day and bought six more!! My recommendation signup for free pacifiers while pregnant to get all the free pacifiers, see what pacifier your baby likes, because they aren’t cheap because they get lost & you won’t even know if they like them. As soon as you find out the ones they like buy a ton. 3. Swaddlers. When we first brought Zoie-Lynne home she would fuss while she slept, because she’d hit herself and she’d wake up and then fall back asleep. Then I remembered they always swaddled her at the hospital & am the worst swaddler probably on the face of the earth!! Then I remembered that at my baby shower I was given a bunch of SwaddleMe’s. When getting ready for bed we would put her in a SwaddleMe & she wouldn’t wake up, she started getting a good nights rest. We also were given the stage after newborn, and we just folded them down and she was fine. We priced them, about $25 for two, definitely nice to have so your baby has, but I’d put them on your registry to get. 4. Papoose. James & I decided that we wanted to do a Papoose for Zoie-Lynne instead of a Stroller. When we go somewhere we put her in the Papoose and I carry her around. It is a lot nicer to put in the trunk of the car than a bulky stroller. She’ll snuggle up on my chest and take a nap when we are out & I know just where she is and can feel her breath. Also, I hate leaving her stuck in the car seat. Another thing, it is great to have just to wear around the house. A couple of times she has just wanted to be held & I needed to get some chores done. Just strapped her in and did my chores & she’ll go right to sleep because she’s laying with me. My recommendation, buy one that will grow with them. We bought the papoose by Gaorui and then an insert from Ergo. 5. All Free & Clear Mighty Packs. Specialty baby detergent is seriously expensive & you will be washing a lot of laundry!! Babies poo, pee, spit up on just about everything. Also, if you are like me once Zoie-Lynne uses it or wears it once it is dirty. All Free & Clear is the same as Draft, just a lot cheaper. Along with that when you have a baby attached to you it is a lot easier to grab a Mighty Pack than it is to measure out a cup of laundry detergent. If you have Amazon Prime you can get a 20% discount if you have it setup on recurring order. 6. iPhone. Let me just say my iPhone has been such a lifesaver in many ways since having Zoie-Lynne. I always have my iPhone with me! Lets just start with the hundreds of pictures I take of her and all the videos. As soon as I take the picture I upload it to her blog with the WordPress App. Videos I can just upload straight to YouTube with the new update. Then when she is doing mirror time I just put on my camera and put it on the front facing camera and she has a great time!! Along with that, the many apps I have for her. Baby WebMD, What To Expect Baby, Baby Charmer, Relax Melodies etc. Baby Charmer is one of my favorite apps for Zoie-Lynne. It is an app that she can watch the dots move across the screen, when she taps the screen it makes a noise & you can set it at different speeds. When she first started using it she would cry because she didn’t know where the dots were going, but now she really likes it. 7. Snap Shoes from Gymboree. I am a firm believer in children need to wear shoes. As soon as Zoie-Lynne gets up we dress her and put her little snap shoes on, even if she is in the house all day. This way she gets use to wearing shoes now during the day and she doesn’t hate them. I guess it really isn’t an essential for everyone. Also I’ll add that they help keep socks on so you don’t lose them & are nice in the winter to keep their feet warm. My recommendation, buy a larger size, we purchased 6-9 months and we put her socks on and then her pants overtop. Also, just about every baby magazine has coupons for Gymboree and they always have sales. 8. Cloth Diapers. When I found out I was pregnant I did a lot of research & I found out about cloth diapers. They are so much nicer, in my option, than disposable. First off for your wallet, you can save over $2,000 in the first year. Secondly, on your babies little butt. So many babies end up with chemical burns and diaper rash because of disposable diapers. Yes they are so convenient just to throw them away or just pick some up at the store when you are out. For us we pack her in her diaper mat three inserts, a shell & cloth wipes. Then in her larger diaper bag that stays in the trunk we keep 4 inserts and two shells, it has worked pretty well. Don’t buy them in stores, my god are they expensive!! Secondly, buy the One-Size, so they can just grow with your baby. Another thing, buy bamboo inserts. They are a little bit more pricy, but they are nicer on your babies skin, softer & much more absorbent, especially for night time. Went with the brand Alva, they have been really nice & they have a warranty on them, if the snaps break you just contact them and they will send you a new shell. Also, their bamboo inserts hold A LOT!! When Zoie-Lynne pee’s, she sure does pee!! For cloth wipes I’d recommend the Bumkins Reusable Flannel Wipes. Then obviosly you will need a place to put your cloth wipes before you wash them, which you should do every other day, I’d recommend the Sterilite Click-Top Medium Wastebasket with the Planet Wise Liner. If you decided you will be going out, don’t forget your small wet bags, I’d recommend the Planet Wise Wet Bag. Last thing I would recommend, you can’t dry your cloth diapers in the dryer because it will ruin the SNAPs & the inserts, so purchase a hanging system. We have this cool Octopus from Ikea. 9. Baby Kimono. First off it is a pain in the butt to seriously put clothes over a babies head, especially when they are a couple weeks old. On top of that it is a serious pain to change a diaper at 2am when a baby is in a jumpsuit with snaps!! After bath time Zoie-Lynne gets put in a Kimono and then to keep her legs warm she gets a swaddler. When 2 am comes around I take the swaddler off change the diaper and then back in the swaddler. I don’t have to deal with 20 snaps on a dang jumpsuit. Also, I’m not a fan of people in public, even babies. She wore the Kimonos for the first couple weeks and they are really nice! 10. Books. Ask for books, used books & any kind of books. When it is bedtime we dress Zoie-Lynne for bed, put her in her swaddler, turn the lights off and we turn the dim lamp on and it is story time. We rock in the rocker and she cuddles mommy and she listens to the story. Yes she is to young to understand the story, but she enjoys it. There has been a couple times when I was reading and I thought she was asleep & I go to put her in bed and her eyes widen & she wants me to keep reading. We are currently reading the Harry Potter series, we are on book three. 11. Coconut Oil. If you have a baby with cradle cap, this is what you should use. Since we started using it has started going away. It also smells really nice. I’m not a fan of anything with tons of chemicals and man made products. Coconut Oil is 100% all natural and is the only ingredient. Also, if your baby gets diaper rash this is the best thing to put on it & if you are using cloth diapers you shouldn’t use anything other than coconut oil, diaper rash creams ruin the cloth diaper inserts. 12. Night Light. Zoie-Lynne isn’t a fan of the dark & mommy likes to peek at her to make sure she is doing fine. We purchased a Ciro Mushroom night light from target (sadly no longer available in this style), you can plug it in or you can take it with you thru the house. It has rechargeable batteries so she will be able to use it for awhile when she starts potty training. They have a flower & turtle now, no more mushroom. I’d recommend one that your baby can use now and when they are older. 13. Sound Machine. Babies hear noises all the time in the womb, your heartbeat & organs working and people talking on the outside. They love noise!! Zoie-Lynne has a portable sound machine from Homedics, that she got as a gift. It is so nice it has the beach, heartbeat, rain and a lullaby. She will get fussy during nap time, we just turn it on and she’ll keep her eyes open listen and slowly fall asleep. It is also nice to attach to the car seat and just go. If you have an iPhone or a Mac you can also download Relax Melodies and the app has a ton of sounds and you can mix them. Zoie-Lynne enjoys the mix of rain and the ocean. 14. Car Seat Blanket. We had a winter baby, so a car seat blanket was essential!! First off blankets fall off and she will end up getting cold. Secondly I didn’t want to get one of those canopy covers because I wouldn’t be able to see her and she’d be in the dark, which would get her days and nights mixed up. Car Seat Blankets are very nice, they have holes in the back of them so that the seatbelt can come thru. Along with that it grow with them to go with multiple car seats. When I was looking for Zoie-Lynne’s car seat blanket they were so expensive, people wanted $70-90 for a blanket!! I then came across this shop called HomeMazingHome, the lady was so nice & friendly. She makes these amazing fleece Car Seat Blankets in so many different colors, Zoie-Lynne has a yellow alphabet one & it was only $20. Definate must have for winter!! 15. Baby Burt’s Bees. Again I am a firm believer in natural products. When looking for Zoie-Lynne a shampoo & a lotion I researched so many and on top of that which ones could we actually buy in stores. It finally came down to Baby Burt’s Bees. She gets a bath with the Baby Burt’s Bee Fragrance Free Shampoo & Wash and then she gets lotioned up with their Baby Burt’s Bee Fragrance Free Lotion. She gets a bath every other day and her skin is so soft and nice. On top of that babies get slobber on them & boogers on their face, you need to wipe them off. We use their new Baby Burt’s Bees Face Wipes. They are so gentle on her face and have a nice smell to them. Fragrance 16. BRICA goPad Diaper Changer. I don’t like to lay Zoie-Lynne on changing tables in public, you have no clue if the baby before has had a bath and their weird skin cells are all over it!! This Diaper Changer is so nice because not only is it a changing pad, it also has a place to put diapers & it has a place for a mini roll of trash bags. For us we put Zoie-Lynne’s cloth diaper inserts in the one pocket, a wet bag, shell & hand sanitizer in the other pocket fold it up and that is the only thing we take inside a store. Her large diaper bag stays in the car. I also wipe the changer down with clorox wipes that we keep in our diaper bag, so that there are no germs on it. 17. Clorox Wipes. If you haven’t figured it out by now I am a giant germophobe. I have containers of clorox wipes everywhere in our house, now that we have Zoie-Lynne we have container in her diaper bag. Babies are seriously nasty!! On top of that so are adults!! People sneeze on things, pick their nose. Other moms are also nasty, I’ve gone into bathrooms where moms have left their babies poo on the changing table and I’ve had to wipe it down before I put Zoie-Lynne’s diaper changer down. When we go out to a grocery store or anywhere with a cart I wipe it down first, people sneeze on them all the time. I don’t need a sick baby!! 18. Amazon Prime. Just about everything for Zoie-Lynne we needed we purchased off of Amazon. We look at it in the store, scan it with the Amazon Price Checker App & see if it is on prime. Just about everything is seriously cheaper on Amazon. With Prime you get things shipped to you in two days. Her diapers were only $9 for one instead of $30 in the store!! Having Prime with a baby is seriously nice, because it is a lot less trips to the store, you can even buy groceries on their. I buy my contact solution on Prime and I save $20. Also, with Amazon Mom you save 20% on household and baby items on a recurring order. It is very nice. Just this year the $75 has already paid itself off with the shipping the amount of stuff we have purchased off of Amazon. It is a $75 fee, soon to go up to $100, but my recommendation with a baby it is definitely worth it. Especially for large purchases like a crib, playpen, rocker, swings, etc. We seen our crib at Babies R’ Us it was $450, Amazon it was $175. Just a thought. These are things that have made our life with a newborn easier. If anyone else has any suggestions for us as Zoie-Lynne get’s older that is also greatly appreciated.