34 Must-Have Baby Items 2021 for the Nursery and Diaper Bag

Photographed by Arthur Elgort, Vogue, December 2008

Shopping for must-have baby items—especially for a first-time parent—is overwhelming. Sifting through the volume of product options is a full-time job. And the sheer range of items, from cotton swaddles to monitors to diaper pails, is the definition of the paradox of choice.

I love a word-of-mouth recommendation. And my husband loves a good spreadsheet. So we took every product that our friends and family suggested, categorized them, then ranked them based on how often they were mentioned to us. It took a while, but sure enough, a pattern emerged. You will soon realize that there are critical items and then there are the nice-to-haves. Get the critical ones out the way first, then enjoy picking and choosing the rest.

Here is a comprehensive list of what we have found to be the best out there. From stylish basics, to practical meal-time options to promising sleep solutions, shop 27 must-have baby items, below.

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