best baby gear

New Mom Guide: Best Baby Gear to Keep or Skip

Picture of Maura Tilbury

Maura Tilbury

Working mom and owner of Little Ru Ireland

Approaching my baby’s first birthday feels like hitting a milestone, and it’s got me reminiscing about the wild ride of the past year as a new mom. Time flies when you’re knee-deep in baby giggles, sleepless nights, and an abundance of love. So, as I take this trip down memory lane, it’s got me thinking – what best baby gear was a game-changer, and what could I happily part ways with next time around? Because, let’s face it, we’ve all had those conversations with fellow new moms about what we regret buying. Take the fancy, slightly overpriced cot, for instance. Next time around, I’m leaning towards convenience over luxury, maybe opting for a cozy co-sleeper. Hindsight is a wonderful thing! Perhaps I should’ve taken a breather before splurging on those big-ticket items. 

But let’s shift our focus to brighter horizons. Next time around, there are a few gems from this experience that I’d happily keep. Here’s a list of four items that have proven their worth in the chaotic symphony of parenthood.

Table of Contents

Baby Carriers:

My little one wasn’t exactly a fan of the buggy, but every baby is different. While some tots adore napping in their cozy buggies, my little sweetheart preferred being close and snuggled in a carrier. And let me tell you, it’s been a game-changer.

baby carrier

The baby carrier has made everyday adventures easy. Whether it’s strolling around the shops, enjoying long walks, or navigating airports like a pro, the carrier has been my go-to. Seriously, it’s my number one essential item. I once left it at my brother’s house for a week, and let me tell you, I felt like I’d lost my right arm. The convenience, the closeness, and the ease of it all – irreplaceable.

In those early months, my little one would happily snooze away in the carrier, content and cozy. And as she grew, the option to face out became a delightful treat for her. Picture this – she’d be having a blast interacting with people as we strolled down the street. It’s not just a carrier; it’s a magical device that keeps both baby and parent happy and connected. So, if you’re considering baby gear, trust me on this one – a good baby carrier is essential. While we don’t stock baby carriers here at Little Ru, my own personal favourite brand is the BabyBjorn carriers (no affiliate).

Swaddle blankets 

Now, let’s unwrap the next gem in the baby gear treasure chest – swaddling and swaddle blankets! I was fashionably late to the swaddling party, but let me tell you, it’s a game-changer once you arrive. Picture this: your baby snug as a bug, wrapped up in a cozy swaddle. It’s not just about keeping them warm; it’s a magic trick for getting those precious longer stretches of sleep.

how to swaddle a baby

Our little one, who adored being close, found solace in the swaddle. The coziness, the sense of security – it’s like a baby-sized hug that works wonders. Plus, the benefits don’t stop there. Swaddle blankets are multitasking marvels. Need a discreet cover-up for breastfeeding on the go? Check. Forgot the burping cloth? No problem, the swaddle has you covered. Bath time? It doubles as a perfect little towel.

Like with any parenting trick, there are pros and cons to swaddling, and let’s not forget, every baby is unique. While some babies might be the swaddle champions, others may not be as fond of the cocoon-like embrace.

If you want to delve more into swaddling you can read our swaddling guide, an in-depth guide on swaddling, where you can explore all the ins and outs, pros and cons. It’s a valuable resource to help you navigate the world of swaddling and make informed decisions based on your baby’s preferences and needs.

Sleeping Bags

As we continue our baby gear journey, let’s talk about another bedtime buddy – the baby sleeping bag. When it comes to the ups and downs of baby sleep, finding anything that promises a smoother night is like striking gold.

Once your little one outgrows swaddling, enter the sleeping bag – a bedtime signal that says, “Hey, cozy sleep is on the way.” These sleeping bags not only wrap your baby in comfort but also make the sleep environment safer. No more loose blankets to worry about – it’s like a cozy sleep nest. The snug fit gives your baby a comfy space, encouraging longer stretches of sleep. And those little legs get the freedom to wiggle – it’s all about comfort and healthy development. Plus, these sleeping bags are perfect for family travels, creating a familiar sleep zone wherever you go.

Zipper Babygrows


If you’re anything like us, the first year is a clothing bonanza. Between the delightful gifts pouring in and those irresistibly tiny outfits you can’t help but buy, little clothes become a sweet abundance. Yet, as the year unfolds, practicality takes the spotlight. One thing that truly stands out for me is the appreciation for practical baby clothing. If I were to make a change for the next round, it’d be bidding farewell to those snap closing baby grows. 

Wrestling with tiny buttons during post-bath newborn dressing sessions? No thank you. Enter the superhero of ease – the zipper babygrow! A complete game changer. I’m left wondering why all babygrows aren’t designed this way. Quick, easy, and perfect for those moments of tackling post-poo-nami changes or wriggling through nappy swaps with an older baby. Once you’ve experienced the zipper magic, there’s no turning back. In fact, they’ve claimed the title of bedtime champions in our household.

Summing Up My Best Baby Gear

As I reflect on the past year, it really has been a rollercoaster of baby giggles, bleary-eyed nights, and heaps of love. Gear choices have been a mixed bag – some hits, some misses. Lesson learned: practicality over luxury next time – although we all love a bit of luxury sometimes too.

Looking ahead there have been a few gems. Baby carriers have been a saving grace, making outings a pleasure. Swaddle blankets were a cozy cocoon for my little one. And let’s not forget the baby sleeping bag, a dependable companion for bedtime shenanigans. As we turn the page to the next chapter, these tried-and-tested favorites will stay close, making life a tad smoother. Here’s to embracing the messy, cherishing the moments, and finding joy in the journey ahead. 

About Us

Children’s Boutique Ireland

Little Ru is a small online children’s boutique based in the west of Ireland. We love sharing our passion for artisan products with our customers.

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