9 Must-Have Items for Every New Parent

9 Must-Have Items for Every New Parent

A new baby can be overwhelming for parents, so a gift that gives them a chance to relax is always welcome. A calming bath soak or a cozy robe are great options, and a coffee mug that keeps their beverage hot and within reach is perfect for breastfeeding mamas.

While items like onesies and muslin swaddle blankets may already be checked off their baby shower registry, these unique ideas will help them feel even more prepared for this life change.

1. Insulated Food Jar

Keep food warm or cold on the go with this insulated stainless steel container. With double-wall vacuum insulation, it will ensure your home-cooked food reaches your kids’ mouths at just the right temperature.

It’s great for school lunches or picnics. It also has a sleek planet design, leak-proof construction, and wide-mouth opening.

Designed with young children in mind, this insulated jar comes with handles that provide leverage so kids can open the lid on their own. It also has a unique stop lock feature that prevents parents from over-tightening the lid.

It can be filled with a variety of foods such as pasta, soup, salads, and even fruit and yogurt. Just make sure to pre-warm it before adding food. This will allow it to stay hotter for longer. The jar has a 335ml capacity and also includes a spork utensil that tucks away into its custom bumper.

2. Activity Gym

A play gym is the perfect way to stimulate newborns’ senses and help with tummy time. Many come with a tummy time pillow to promote the healthy development of the back and neck muscles. Look for ones that offer visually stimulating sensory toys, crinkly sounds and a variety of textures. Beware of overstimulation; a Broadway-worthy amount of motion, lights and music can cause anxiety in some babies.

3. Feeding Essentials Set

In feeding therapy, a good Mat is a favorite tool for teaching kids that food play is fun and trying new foods isn’t so scary! It’s also great for letting infants experiment with different textures and flavors.

Designed by a mom entrepreneur, mealtime solutions are thoughtfully (and rigorously) free from BPA, BPS, latex and phthalates. The company’s flagship product is an all-in-one plate + placemat that suctions to the table, reducing tipped bowls and plates.

The First Foods Set includes the Mat, a Tiny Bowl that fits highchair trays and two spoons. The cup has a soft, easy-grip opening and the spoons are sized for early self-feeding milestones. ezpz’s developmental utensils are designed for toddlers and preschoolers who are scooping and piercing food and include sensory bumps for tactile awareness, short handles that fit in little hands and appropriate sized prongs to prevent choking.

4. Diaper Bag

Stylish, hands-free diaper bags like this vegan leather option provide on-the-go convenience for new parents. Evaluate the design and strap length to find a diaper bag that fits your lifestyle, then select a model with organizational elements like internal dividers to make finding diaper cream, hand sanitizer and keys a breeze.

Fanny pack diaper bags are a great choice for parents who prioritize fashion, sustainability and hands-free convenience. Some models have a unisex design to appeal to both moms and dads, promoting shared responsibility and making parenting a more equitable experience. For outdoor adventures, look for a diaper bag made from durable, water-resistant materials. It sits comfortably on your waist and is equipped with a waterproof pocket for wet wipes, a changing pad that folds into the main compartment and slots for credit cards and cash. If you are a new parent, learn if baby wipes expire to know better for your baby.

5. Cordless Screwdriver

As new parents, they’ll likely have a lot of projects on the horizon. Help them out with this versatile electrical hand tool that can handle a range of screwing tasks. Its clutch settings let them adjust the amount of torque applied, which helps protect surfaces from damage. Plus, it’s compact enough to stash in a drawer or fit into a tool belt.

When they’re tired of reheating the same meals, this electric soup warmer can keep food hot for hours, saving them from having to continuously heat and re-heat. It also has an insulated lid and two room-temperature misting modes. Plus, it’s a sleek addition to any kitchen. Embroider it with “mom” or baby’s name for a personalized touch. This gift is sure to make them smile.

6. Cozy Pajamas

Pajamas are a sleep essential that’s loved by celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Mandy Moore, and Nina Dobrev. The sustainable, responsibly sourced fabric is super soft and helps regulate body temperature.

These PJs are made of a 95% bamboo viscose blend, which also includes 5% spandex for added stretch. They’re also free of chemicals and dyes, so they’re great for new moms who are sensitive to these kinds of materials. Consider also good sheets, duvet covers, and bath towels that feel amazing. This bedroom splurge is a perfect gift for any new parent. Moreover, good baby wipes would help you clean your baby.

7. Sleep Mask

Kids need plenty of sleep to develop, learn and grow. It’s also important for their health and well-being. But getting enough quality zzzs can be difficult for kids.

One of the easiest ways to help them get a good night’s rest is by creating a dark and quiet sleeping environment. A mask is an inexpensive and portable way to do this.

When shopping for a sleep mask, choose one that blocks out light but doesn’t feel too tight or restricting. Avoid designs that include beads or buttons that could be choking hazards for your child, and look for one that has a snag-free micro hook and loop closure that’s easy to adjust and remove by hand. It should also be machine-washable so it can stay clean. Look for cute designs like this Minions one featuring Bob and his bear Tim, plus Agnes’s unicorn surrounded by daisies on a soft pink background.

8. The Insulated Coffee Mug

When you’re a new mom, it’s important to have a reliable, durable coffee mug that can keep your beverage hot or cold for long periods of time. Look for an insulated tumbler that received a top rating from Consumer Reports and is BPA-free and non-toxic, meaning it won’t leave a metal taste in your mouth or rust. It also comes in a variety of colors and designs, so you can find one that suits your style. Anderson says that if you’re considering purchasing a tumbler, you should look for one made of glass or stainless steel instead of plastic because they don’t contain polystyrene, which is linked to the central nervous system and suspected carcinogen. The squat shape of this mug is also easy to grip. You can use a phone app to control the temperature. It can even boil water and steep tea.

9. Instant Pot

When your baby is ready for solids, this versatile appliance makes it possible to whip up delicious, nutritious homemade food. It’s great for batch-preparing soup and broth, grains, beans, stew and chili, and more. And since it cooks foods so quickly, you can come home to a delicious and healthy meal in no time.

The appliance is easy to use and less intimidating than traditional stovetop pressure cookers. Plus, it has multiple functions including pressure cooking, rice and grain, steaming, sauteing, yogurt making and slow cooking, and some even have sous vide settings. It’s a true kitchen chameleon. And the 6-quart size is perfect for most families. It even sterilizes bottles and cups. What more could a new parent ask for?

Blanca Stoker