The Modern Dad’s Baby Essentials

The Modern Dad’s Favorite Baby things.

When my first child was born I worked at at baby store. I knew exactly what products we had to have and used my knowledge to help others. I researched every product and was able to answer any question that a customer might have. I thought of myself as a baby product specialist.

What I didn’t realize is that most things you don’t need. With our first child I was caught up with everyone else’s must have registries. Now, three children later our must have’s are very basic. As a more seasoned parent I’ve found that there are very few things I have to have for my babies. In fact I can narrow it down to around ten.

***NOTE: I’m posting brands that I have learned to love and will share somewhat WHY, but if you have different brands you love then by all means. Go with your heart. I just think the products are essentials—you choose the brands.***

So here we go:


Crib: Clearly this is an obvious item to be buying. A crib is an investment piece. Our crib has been used every single day for the last almost seven years and will probably be used for about three more. That is a decade of use that you want quality and something to keep your babies safe.

Just like any other big purchase. Shop around. Do your research and look for deals. Most places will have at least one sale in the nine months you are expecting. Babinski Baby has a great selection and expert help to get you just what you are looking for.


Top Ten Must Have Baby Items by The Modern Dad

Stroller: When people are looking at strollers I ask them what they enjoy doing: running and being outdoors, planning on having more kids, what’s their price range, and are they only wanting to have one stroller for everything. From there it directs me into what to show them:

Runner/Enjoys being outdoors = BOB by Britax Cost: $399
Multiple kids close together = City Select by Baby Jogger Cost: $630
Cheaper price point = simple Chicco/Jeep/Britax strollers Cost: $99-240

If they are just wanting one stroller for everything I usually still stick with the City Select by Baby Jogger. This was the best investment we made and use almost daily. It allows us to go on adventures and keep the kids within sight and under control. And with the accessories we have purchased (extra seat and roller board) we are able to have three kids on it at once.

Car Seat

Carseat: Carseats have to go through some serious tests, as they should. They are holding precious cargo and so you not only want the best but the safest too. 

Britax is known for their safety. (That is Britax carseats in a nutshell.) That aside, all carseats are going to be safe, most problems are caused by user error. 

Chicco is nice and light, holds up to 30 lbs and 30 inches (hence the 30/30). We had a Chicco with our first three kids and loved it! Did you know that carseats have expiration dates? Well ours expired and so with our latest baby we went with a MaxiCosi to match the other MaxiCosi convertible carseats that the older kids have. Just like anything, find the style and brand you love and go for it.


Bouncer: You are going to get tired and so is your baby. Sometimes they are going to want somewhere to go (other than their bed) to help them finally fall asleep for nap time or even bed time. A bouncer was the greatest thing we purchased for our first child. We got a simple bouncer that would vibrate that we got this one, which worked fine.

With our second baby we decided to invest in a MamaRoo and loved it. We could strap her in, turn on the sounds, and depending on her mood we’d set it on certain rocking functions. For more details read my previous post about the MamaRoo.


#12DaysofGivaways | My Love for Solly Wraps & Swaddles by The Modern Dad

Carrier: These are always the topic of discussion. Here are my two cents on the whole idea of a carrier vs wrap. If the carrier was really that bad on their legs, hips, whatever they wouldn’t keep selling them all over the world. And wraps are great, but what do you do when it’s hot outside or you’re hiking? They just don’t make sense to me. That being said, I personally love our Bjorn because it is super simple to get on and off, not a lot of straps, washable, and your child can face toward you and away. We use the Bjorn once the baby can hold their head up by themselves. It’s especially great when we are out and about because then it frees up a seat in the stroller and keeps you from getting the baby in and out.

As far as wraps, I have fallen in love with Solly Baby. They allow you to keep the baby cuddling and close to the parent, they are light weight with a little stretch to them, and they are CUTE. Plus, they will fit easily in a diaper bag if you’re not using it. We especially love the Solly Baby when our babies are new and fussy. You know, when they just want to be held but you can’t get anything done. Strap them in the wrap and you are hands free and the baby loves being close to your heart again.

Just know, you’ll want some sort of carrier so you can have your hands free once in a while. Find something that works for you. Ask a friend or neighbor if you can try their’s out and see if it is something you will use.

Diaper Bag

Diaper Bag: Okay fellas, we don’t know why women are so obsessed with purses, nor will we ever, but a diaper bag is their new purse. If they want to spend $300, $400, or $1000 on a bag, let them! It will make them happy and believe me, after they give birth you will want to get all the points you can. Really diaper bags are all about preference, style, what you’re looking for, and clearly trend.

Some great brands that I have loved and used since having our first are Freshly Picked (structured backpack), Fawn Design (bag/backpack), Lily Jade Co. (purselike bags), and Nena & Co (day bag). So find the right one for your woman and just go with it.

Bath Soaps and Lotions

Bath soaps and lotions: I think the selections have really improved since our first baby. You know Johnson and Johnson Baby lotion, well that is what we used with our first child. He smelled great, but was always needing more lotion.

About the time our second was born, Tubby Todd created a clean line of soaps and lotion for sensitive skin. It has been a complete game changer for our family, especially for our kids with dry skin. With our two middle children, this is the only lotion they can use and has completely changed their skin.

Another favorite is Noodle & Boo Bath. The smell is so gentle you will want to lather not only your child, but yourself in it. You’ll find something that you love, but just know that they are a must for our baby list.


Dockatot: I was skeptical on this one because I felt like it was something that was not a necessity. We purchased it as a desperate attempt to get our baby to sleep through the night. She loved cuddling and would wake up the second she felt alone, basically anytime we put her in her bed.

With the breathable pillowed edges of the Dockatot we could place her next to the edge and the pressure of the pillow kept her asleep. We have the larger one and it has been a total game changer for our family.

The great thing is, you can get new covers so once you have one and need a little change you purchase a new cover and you’ll be good.



Swaddles: Babies want out of their mom so bad, but then we swaddle them because it feels like being in the womb. I don’t get it. Familiar surroundings I guess? Whatever it is they are amazing and babies love them. Solly Baby has beautiful knit swaddles and they have become our absolute favorite! They are made of the softest, most breathable fabrics and have been our favorites for the last three babies. You can wrap your baby and they stay swaddled. It’s all about what style and look you are wanting.

Aden and Anais was the most popular brand when our first was born. They’re made of a muslin material that is breathable, stretch, and the original material holds the swaddle best.


Diapers: I know, seems silly but honestly they are a must! We have tried lots of different brands and have found that Costco’s Kirkland brand is our favorite. They are durable, leak free and can be delivered to your front door if ordered online. Our babies are tiny. For the first month they are in Premie and then for the second month newborn. Both of those sizes are only sold in small packages because most babies grow quickly.

Huggies are our favorite brand for the smaller sizes. They don’t leak and stay on the baby’s little bum. I know lots of people like to stock up to save money, but for us, the growth of our kids is so unpredictable that we actually don’t save money when we stock up. You’ll find what’s convenient for you but us this has worked. Did I mention that Amazon delivers diapers too?


One thing I wished I would have purchased when we had our first was a comfortable seat. We had a vintage rocking chair for a second and that was way too hard. Then we used another vintage chair from Emily’s grandma. It swiveled and glided, but was short and not comfortable.

Believe me when I say this, you are going to be spending a lot of time in this chair for at least the first year of your child’s life. You want something comfortable so when you are feeding the baby or calming the baby down, you are calm too. You will also want something comfortable for you if you happen to fall asleep while soothing or feeding the baby.

I purchased the Bilana chair from Babinskis and I don’t regret it one bit. Like I said, I had been eyeing this chair since before Nixon was born (seven years ago) and I am kicking myself for not getting it sooner. Complete game changer.

Keep it simple.

So don’t let the elaborate Pinterest baby must have’s get you into an overabundance of baby gear. Keep it simple. You will find what works best for you and your family. After you have the basics ask around for other must haves but the reality is babies don’t require much.

We found that after our baby showers we had too much stuff. In fact many things that were never used. Just remember that you can always purchase something you need but most things are not necessities. These are just the things that I have used with every single kid and absolutely loved. I swear by them all!

Hope this helps and takes some of the stress of registering off. If you have any questions about any of the products mentioned or other products to register for please leave a comment or email me at [email protected].