Do you ever feel like you just wish someone would tell you what the best product is when it comes to mom and baby must-haves? It can be exhausting to look through the review lists and try to sort out what really is the best. We’re hoping to make it a little easier on you with this one-stop guide. Below you will find our top item picks for the categories we find mamas have a hard time making a choice in. This includes everything from strollers and baby lotion.
Of course, we do have more in-depth articles where you can dig deeper and compare items to one another. We have linked those below as well if you feel ready to get your research on!
Rookie Mom’s Top Picks of 2021
Overall: Chicco Bravo Trio Travel System
The Chicco Bravo Trio includes the Key Fit 30 infant car seat, the base, and the Bravo stroller. The reason it tops our list is that you get great bang for your buck. Plus, this car seat is extremely popular and beloved by many parents.
While this travel system is affordable, you still get plenty of luxury features like adjustable handlebars and a parent tray with a cup holder. My favorite thing about this stroller, though, is that you can completely remove the regular seat, making it very easy to pop the car seat right into the frame. When you put the seat back in it is converted to a traditional stroller.
As for ease, you can fold the stroller with one hand, there are auto positioning wheels, and it self-stands when in its compact position. From mom to mom, this self-standing thing is a pretty big deal. It means you can get your little one out, put them safely in the car, and then come back to put your stroller away at the very end without worrying about it sitting on the dirty ground. There’s also a parent tray on top with cupholders and storage space perfect for your phone. The travel stroller system really has it all!
Stroller Weight: 23 lbs (car seat addition is 9.6 lbs)
Age Range: 50 lbs
Jogger: Thule Urban Glide 2
This is my personal favorite. It is so sleek that I love taking it around anywhere. It is lightweight enough to be pushed and maneuvered with one hand. The rear wheels are 16? so the stroller glides nicely. Plus, it is super easy to fold (you can do it with one hand), then pack it up and throw in the back of your car. This model is also available in a double jogger as well.
Here are some of the other amazing features:
- One-handed, compact fold for easy storage and transportation.
- Integrated twist hand brake provides speed control on hilly terrain.
- Reclining seat for when your little one needs a nap. But not only that, the seats are very easy to clean, so your stroller looks like new for a while.
- Secure and comfortable seat with a padded five-point harness
- Protective UPF 50+ canopy.
- Peekaboo window with magnetic closure. I actually love this feature so much, cause the velcro versions always wear out after a short time.
Stroller weight: 23 lbs
Age Range: Up to 75 lbs, from birth to 5-years old
Double: The UPPABaby Vista V2
You seriously get the best of both worlds with this stroller; it is lightweight, has all the accessories you could ever want, and is so easy to convert into whatever you need it to be. The stroller comes with a bassinet seat, which is even equipped with proper ventilation and depth for overnight sleep making this stroller perfect for travel.
If you have multiples you will be able to attach 2 bassinet seats or 2 infant car seats. However, if you have a toddler and a newborn the stroller can be adapted to that as well.
Just you wait, there is even more. The Vista can even hold a 3rd child with the Piggyback Ride-Along Board attachment, which allows a walker to hop on for a ride. This stroller has an answer for every scenario on top of being slick and modern in looks.
Stroller weight: 28 lbs as a single stroller, but varies depending on attachments
Age Range: Newborn up to 50 lbs (dependent on attachments)
The Graco SnugRide SnugLock is easy to install, safe, and affordable making it pretty hard to bear! Not to mention, this is is one of the lightest rear-facing only car seats on the market. As for the basics, there’s a removable insert to get newborns the perfect fit, a 4-position recline, and comes with a removable all-weather boot for colder months.
This car seat has the Click Connect Base System which provides a secure fit. I love that the click confirms the placement because it gives my anxious mama heart extra confidence. Plus, this car seat works with all other Graco products that use the Click Connect System making it easy to use with a stroller or varying car seat bases.
Weight Limit: 4-35 lbs and 32″
Convertible: Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat
Like the name says, this car seat really can last forever making, so it is definitely the best choice for parents who never want to go car seat shopping again. Not only does this seat do forward and rear-facing, but it can later turn into a booster seat. I know it’s hard to imagine your sweet little baby as big kiddo, but Graco thought it all through for you so you don’t really have to.
It also has an easy latch system making it easy to install and it comes in 3 bright fun color options.
Weight Limit: 4-120 lbs
This simple crib will provide your baby somewhere comfy to sleep, yet easy for mom or dad to reach in and grab them out of. It is one of the best-priced Pottery Barn cribs, but built with their same integrity and superb design skills. It converts from a crib to toddler bed easily and has three mattress height positions.
We recommend using the Newton Baby Crib mattress with whatever crib you choose for extra peace of mind! They are breathable and 100% recyclable.
The Nested Bean Zen Sack offers a unique twist on the traditional sleep sack by adding a weighted component to the chest. The weight is to add comfortable pressure, much like that of a parent’s hand which is said to help the baby sleep more soundly.
I love that this sleep sack is made of 100% cotton, which is a more breathable alternative to microfleece. Plus, the tank top upper portion has two sets of buttons making it easy to adjust the size and take on and off. The bottom portion also has a zipper along the bottom edge which opens to easily accommodate diaper changes.
The Paxton Recliner and Rocker is both adorable and modern. Besides its absolute adorable look, you know with Pottery Barn that the chair is very well constructed. I also love the fact that it is GREENGUARD Gold Certified which means this glider meets or exceeds stringent chemical emissions standards.
One of the other great features of this rocker is its ability to swivel a full 360 degrees which is great for those times you might want to change your view to a window or maybe your favorite show on Netflix.
Solly Baby Wraps are the perfect cozy carriers, especially during those long newborn days. They can carry up to 25 lbs and are specialized for your baby’s first nine months. The stretchy material will conform to whoever is wearing it. No worries about it getting sweaty or dirty, just toss it in the wash to clean.
Bonus; they have a Dolly Wrap that you can get for your little one to carry themselves!
Baby Skin Care
We love Tubby Todd; the ointment, bubble bath, products for hair, body wash, and everyday lotion are all incredible! They are especially great for babies with sensitive skin.
At just around $159, this pump works almost as amazing as some of the hospital-grade options. It’s pretty petite making it easy to carry around with you and quiet, so you can feel comfortable pumping anywhere.
Both speed and suction are adjustable. It also has some little perks like a nightlight for those late-night pump sessions and a timer. There’s even a letdown mode perfect for signaling your milk to come in.
**BONUS** No need to clean the narrow tubing because Spectra S2 has a closed pumping system that keeps tubing dry by preventing air flow between expressed milk and pump tubing while pumping.
And, that is a wrap on our favorites of 2021! We know how hard it can be to pick out baby essentials, so just keep in mind that what works for you might not work for everyone else. You know yourself best and you know what will work for you. You got this mama!
What is your baby must-have for 2021?