They aren’t kidding when they say kids don’t come with instructions. A new baby can be a ball of confusion, but the right gear can make the transition to parenthood infinitely easier. Whether it’s as simple as just-right-baby-wipes or as high-tech as a smart swing that does everything but change a diaper, these products may not be the instruction manual you’ve been looking for but they will certainly help make your new foray into parenthood a whole lot easier.
You can get all these things new parents dream about at Walmart, and we’ve rounded up 20 things that every new parent should buy from the big box retailer.
1. A silky swaddle set
These super-soft, lightweight, and breathable blankets from Aden & Anais come in tons of prints and colors and have a multitude of uses that go far beyond simply wrapping a baby up like a burrito. They can be used as a summery blanket, a changing pad-on-the-go, a burp cloth, and can even serve double duty as a nursing shield that’s airy enough to let baby breath beneath it while you stay perfectly covered. In a pinch, they can even serve as a pretty scarf to cover up spit up and smears of pureed prunes. And because they only get softer the more you wash them, they get better over time.
2. A changing pad with sloping sides
It’s basically law: The second you roll up your sleeves for a diaper change, your kid is going to be struck with a case of the wiggles. A changing pad with tapered sides is necessary for their safety—and your sanity. The high, curved walls, the non-skid bottom, and the security strap of this changing pad help keep your baby safe even when you’re fumbling for diaper cream. We also like that the vinyl cover makes for easy wipe downs, for when things get messy (and they always do).
3. A comfy chair that rocks and reclines
Here’s a secret that very few parents will tell you: If you just accept the fact that you’re not going to be sleeping in your own bed for the first year of your kid’s life, you’ll get a lot more shut-eye and you’ll enjoy early parenthood a lot more. A comfy rocker is an invaluable investment, and essential not only for crib-side naps, but for feeding times, story times, and endless cuddles. This one not only has rave reviews for a smooth rocking motion that can soothe overtired little ones and that it fully reclines, giving you the resting spot you need when it’s time to sneak in some ZZZs.
4. A snot sucker (you read that right)
It may sound gross to suck snot out of your baby’s nose, but you’ll be surprised at what you’ll be capable of once you start living life on three hours of sleep a night. The ingenious design of the NoseFrida prevents the snot from actually going in your mouth, and is more practical and comfortable for babies than trying to extract the boogers with a bulb aspirator. Hot tip from a mom who knows (me, I’m talking about me), this item is clutch for the first time your child sticks a pea or crayon up their nose. Laugh now, but it’s essentially a rite of passage into toddlerhood. They’re going to do it and now you’re going to be prepared. You’re welcome.
5. A humidifier that does triple duty
It’s one thing to find a highly-rated product that flawlessly lives up to its claims. It’s another thing to find one that can pull off three jobs in one. A good humidifier is not only important for clearing airways during cold season, it helps keep your baby’s dry and irritated skin at bay. This one not only gets high marks for adding moisture to the air, it’s also a nightlight and a diffuser—allowing you to add a few drops of essential oils like lavender to help with sleep or eucalyptus to help tame the sniffles. But always be sure to check with your child’s pediatrician before using essential oils.
6. Baby wipes for everything
Baby wipes are the all-purpose, everything product that you never knew you needed. A good, strong baby wipe is for far more useful than tending to tiny bums. They clean up dirty table tops, grubby hands, runny noses, messy faces, and more. These wipes from Parent’s Choice are both fragrance-free and water-based, ensuring irritation-free cleanups. That is especially important for the sensitive skin of infants. We also like that this flip-top pack prevents them from drying out between uses.
7. A sturdy, easy-to-clean baby bag with lots of pockets
Don’t underestimate the importance of a great diaper bag because you’ll be carrying it for years. This one is made with vegan leather, which is the material of choice for any parent that anticipates wiping down spills or wants an easy-to-clean satchel that won’t get stained or scuffed when set down on park grass or a play space floor. We like that this one has both exterior and interior pockets, an included changing pad, and adjustable straps that allows it to easily convert from a backpack to a cross-body bag.
8. A car seat that will grow with them
There are three major problems with car seats: They’re pricey, kids grow out of them too quickly, and they are challenging to install. This highly-rated one by Safety 1st is a problem-solver that addresses all of the above issues, and it does so at a terrific price point. Your precious cargo will be covered with this easy-to-install seat from their first trip home from the hospital all the way to elementary school.
9. A diaper with built-in newborn features
Velvety soft, stretchy, and available in sizes small enough to put a newborn in, Pampers Swaddlers are a perfect first diaper for baby—and for new parents. Their flexible fit keeps poopsplotions in check, and we like the wetness indicator and the special shape that makes room for a healing umbilical cord.
10. A same-day delivery subscription
The first weeks and months after a baby is born is a hectic time. They’re filled with sleepless nights, forgotten to-do lists, a daunting learning cure, and endless runs to the store. But a Walmart+ membership is your best means for conquering the sleep deprived parenting you’re certain to face, as it offers same day shipping on groceries and necessities. It will get you through those tough moments when you suddenly realize you need a baby thermometer overnighted to your home or fresh groceries and a new box of diapers and wipes delivered before bedtime.
11. A burp cloth that looks good while working hard
Spit-up and stylish don’t typically show up in the same sentence, but there’s a first time for everything! If you’re going to have spit-up on your shoulder, you may as well look good while wiping it up. These burp cloths from Hudson Baby are super-absorbent and come in so many cute and versatile prints that will make cleaning up messes a little less of a chore.
12. A versatile nursing pillow
The Boppy breastfeeding pillow always takes home the “best of” awards for baby gear, and for good reason. This tried and true cult-favorite pillow is an absolute necessity when getting through feeding times and beyond. A typical feeding can take well over 45 minutes, especially during the first few months. The Boppy takes strain off of your arms and back and makes for a comfortable and supported mealtime cradle. Plus, as your little one continues to grow it turns into an all-purpose pillow that can prop them upright to give them a good look at the world or assist them during tummy time when they are building their neck and core muscles.
13. Steady-flow bottles that reduce colic
Dr. Brown’s are the No.1 pediatrician-recommended baby bottles in the United States. They are specially engineered with a vent system that is clinically proven to steady the flow of milk or formula. That means there is reduced colic and less spit-up, burping, and gas—making for much more comfortable feeding times. This set gets you started off right with three two-ounce newborn bottles and it goes all the way up to eight-ounce bottles for when they supersize their feedings. It also comes with a special cleaning brush that gets deep into the bottle and a silicon nipple scrubber to keep things from getting moldy.
14. A home base for bottles, spoons, cups, and more
Add a little zen to your bottle drying routine. This adorable patch of grass is more than just cute: it’s our favorite drying rack for keeping all those small bottle parts, spoons, pacifiers, and more organized while they dry. Don’t get rid of this one once your kid has graduated to a sippy cup. It continues to perform as a drying catchall for all the pieces that go with kids’ water bottles and it’s a genius spot for keeping wine glasses safe from clumsy hands.
15. A bathtime flower bud
A baby in a lotus blossom. What could be cuter? Get your camera ready for baby’s first bath, because this is seriously adorable. Bonus? It’s also incredibly practical. This flower-shaped mat instantly makes sink baths more comfortable and much safer. The soft and supportive contoured petals cradle your little one, keeping them upright and it’s also provides a no-slip surface if your baby gets the wiggles during their water play. We also love that this turns any sink into a baby bath, saving our knees from kneeling over our adult-sized tubs.
16. A 3-in-1 sleeper, bassinet, and changing station
A bedside sleeper is essential during those first few months when they are at their tiniest and feeding every few hours throughout the night. This one comes with six soothing sounds and two lulling vibrations to give you a hand when they are struggling to drift off to dreamland. It also functions as a portable bassinet that you can easily move from room-to-room and as an easy-to-wipe-down changing station.
17. One baby swing to rule them all
It sways, it bounces, it rocks, it plays music, it mimics a car ride so you don’t have to take a drive just to get them to stop crying—there’s nothing this rocker can’t do. It’s also Bluetooth enabled, so you can boss it around from across the room. If I could climb into this baby swing I would. Since I’m a bit over the weight and size restrictions, I’ll just gawk in envy whenever I see a little one getting their snooze on in this soothing beauty.
18. A baby carrier to take them to toddlerhood
If we haven’t made it clear already, we love multi-purpose products. There is no reason to buy numerous carriers and slings for every stage when one workhorse item can take them from an infant all the way to 33-pound toddlerhood. This award-winning, all-position baby carrier allows you to hands-free carry and cuddle your baby and is ergonomically made to protect your back when toting around bigger kids.
19. An endless pack of onesies
During your baby’s first year they’ll have more wardrobe changes than a runway model. Blowouts are a daily occurrence, spit-ups occur by the hour, and as soon as they start eating solids they’ll find ways to get their clothes dirty even if you put them in a baby hazmat suit. You’ll want to have plenty of basic onesies on hand at all times. These adorable, gender-neutral, snap-bottom ones come in a pack of eight and are affordable enough that messy occurrences will be low-stress for all. There’s enough in this pack to keep a few extra in the diaper bag, just in case.
20. An accurate thermometer for low-stress temp-taking
A kid with a fever is stressful enough without having to wrangle them to get a proper and accurate temperature reading. This highly-rated forehead thermometer is an absolute lifesaver when your little one’s temperature seems warm. This non-invasive means of temperature taking lets you monitor your baby whether they are awake or asleep and get a fast reading without any temper tantrums or pushback.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.