The more kids you have, the more chill you become. It’s  almost counter intuitive, but once you’ve been through the rodeo once, each subsequent ride becomes a little easier to take.

As rookies we worry about all the things, we gather all the things, we make all the plans. As you become more experienced, you’re more relaxed, you don’t gather as much gear, you have a tendency to wing it.

When it comes to gear shopping for babies, hindsight really is 20/20, so if you’ve got a new one on the way take the advice of these parenting veterans. They’re going to run down some items you should skip, and items you should absolutely grab.

The Best Buy Baby Event is on now through Sept 28, 2017 and it is a great place to source out all the must haves (see below).

BUT, as with everything, there is an exception to the rule. There are some places that need all the things. With some help from Best Buy putting together this list, I was able to send a huge care package to the Children’s Cottage in Calgary. It’s a place where families can find safe haven and where children can take a break from stressful situations, and are given nurturing care while their parents receive the help they need.

It’s the kind of place that is always in need of all the things. So while you plan your new nursery, or you clean out as the kids grow up, please seek out a place like this in your community to support.

Do Need and Don’t Need Gear Guide For New Parents!

Make sure you read the whole list and enter the contest at the bottom to win a $200 gift card for Best Buy to get all the things you need (and none of the things you don’t)!


There’s going to be a common theme on this list: for big items, you want them to be able to have multi purposes, or be able to grow with your kids. Cribs should flip into toddler beds, strollers that can work on vacation and home are great, car seats that can be used in different configurations are awesome.

It goes right to decorating the nursery. If you get to cute, you’re going to have to do some big redecorating in just a few years as your child demands a “big kid room.” So going with something soft, but stylish (like this distressed wood peel and stick wallpaper from NuWallpaper) can get you ahead of the game before you even start.

nu wallpaper


A good crib should get you through 4 years and could last as many 7 or more. They grow so quickly you want one that can convert easily with the bottom lowering as your newborn gets bigger, and then the side dropping down when they’re toddling, and eventually turning the crib into a “big kid bed.”

The Kidiway Moon 4-in-1 crib (on sale for $259.99 – save $240) is a solid pine bed that can transform all the way out to a double.

kidiway moon bed
Kidiway Moon – 4 in 1 bed


If you can get away with one stroller to handle all the things, go for it. For us, we had two strollers. One for everyday use, and another for more adventurous weekend things.

A lighter umbrella stroller is great for short trips and for traveling. Finding one that will recline and lay flat is great for on-the-go naps so you’re not tied to their bedroom. The guzzie+Guss Serien Lightweight Stroller (on sale for $99.99 – save $50) is perfect for these needs and the bright aqua is a neutral colour to last through many additions to the family 😉

guzzie+Guss stroller

Justin (Justin and Sarah) agrees. “Absolute must need is a high quality umbrella stroller. It lasted us through 4 air travel trips to Disney and 2 kids with heavy use. Worth every penny to have a quick fold up option.”

Then there’s the “bigger stroller.” We had a mountain buggy because we could stuff a days’ worth of clothes and diapers and gear underneath plus it had big soft wheels that we could take on trails or out for a run. Having the ability to take your baby out for a run is so awesome, embrace it. Chris (Family Optimized) says his jogging stroller was “always used because it was just easier/better on any terrain.”

The Mountain Buggy Urban Jungle Terrain Stroller (on sale for $479.99 – save $250) is EXACTLY what you need. It’s big, and rugged, and does all the things, while still folding flat to fit in your trunk or hatch.

Mountain Buggy Urban Jungle Terrain

The Evenflo Victory Travel System Jogging Stroller with Embrace Infant Car Seat (on sale for $299.99 – save $100) is a complete package pulling in a jogging stroller (see above, you need one) with an infant car seat that can easily clip on for your run. This stroller also has a snack tray (so important)!

Evenflow Victory Travel System


Kids grow up fast. Like super quick. One day they’re tiny, the next day they’re running around breaking all the things. Those first few years are rapid growth, so finding things that adjust with them are important. Just like strollers, just like beds, having a convertible car seat is a lifesaver.

Things to know: Make sure you can take it apart to wash it, check the appropriate weights to make sure it’s big enough or small enough, and really really really pay attention to the installation.

Even Flo Car Seat

Evenflo’s SureRide convertible car seat (on sale for $109.99 – save $45) keeps your little one safe and secure, while making room for your growing child. The rear-facing car seat, with a weight rating of up to 40 pounds, can convert to a forward-facing setup when your baby is ready and is good until they’re 65 pounds (that’s a 6 yr old!)


When I canvassed my dad blogging friends for this list, many other random items made the list:

Tyler (A Dad’s Adventures) says “having a wifi based security cam in the kids room helped to stop us from checking on them so often.” The Motorola 2.4″ Screen Digital Video Baby Monitor with Wi-Fi is on sale for $89.99 – save $160!

Motorola Wi-FI

Jayson (In The Moment) says they used a white noise machine a lot. Once we got one it allowed us to act like normal humans after the baby was in bed, and not have to tiptoe unnecessarily around the house during bed or nap time.”

Mark addsa full sized blender for making food was invaluable.” I give this thumbs up, too. Making your own baby food is so easy, so quick, and saves so much money and waste.

Zach (8 Bit Dad) gets all practical when he says a good multitool is important. “I always say this whenever someone asks. The screwdriver opens battery compartments, the blade cuts open childproof containers, and pliers are for threatening to take your baby’s nose in a more grand fashion.”

That’s doing it dad style! 🙂


There’s  A LOT of things that new parents don’t need. In fact, Jason (Laid Back Dad) probably under estimates when he says “we did not need 70% of the crap we though we would.”

Do you think you need an bottle warmer for the car? Listen to Rob (Digital Dad) who will explain that he “did NOT need an automobile bottle warmer. Waste!” Yes, he said a bottle warmer for the car. Apparently it’s a thing. 

If you’re a new parent and you’ve made it down this list you need to listen to us. We know. We’ve wasted the money. We’ve bought the things. The ridiculous things. So so so many ridiculous things! We still have the ridiculous things that we’ve bought and have tried to re-sell but other people know they’re ridiculous too.

Some things work for people while not for others. We liked bottle warmers (not the car kind), other dads in my group swore against them. But the things on this list are universally loathed.

Matt (And So It Has Come To This .. ) will tell you straight up that your baby doesn’t need “cool baby shoes.” They can’t walk, they can’t even sit up. They just need warm socks – not shoes! 

Justin (Justin and Sarah) preaches when he says you don’t need a diaper genie. “People swear by them but we hated ours,” he says.

“Same,” offers Scott (Father Nerds Best). “It became the “diaper container that is going to stink to high heaven because we waited too long to empty it out and we should really think about just trashing the whole thing instead of changing it” genie.”

Seriously, these things are just a litter box for kids – nobody needs that! Just roll the stuff into the toilet, toss the diaper in the trash, and then change your trash often and you’re fine.

You can add wipe warmers and diaper bags to the list too. Seriously, do you use warm toilet paper? No. It’s a nice idea, but it’s a frivolous one you don’t really need. And diaper bags? My wife got a fancy one from her girlfriends and it just sat in the closet. We found a comfortable backpack was much easier to tote around a change of clothes, a comfy change mat, and some spare diapers.

And that’s the lesson you should take from this: be practical. You don’t need super specific, one-dimensional gadgets to look after your kid. Just love, feed, and change them and you’ll be fine!

Now .. who wants to go shopping?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Contest is open to Canadian residents with a Canadian mailing address only. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. No cash substitute. Try not to use generic, contest bot Twitter accounts, please. This is a great prize, please share it genuinely with your followers instead of using your side accounts.

This post is sponsored by Best Buy

 Keeping your baby happy, healthy, and safe is always a top priority, and Best Buy is ready to meet all your parenting needs. From comfort to peace of mind, find all the baby essentials you need at The Best Buy Baby Event – on until September 28, 2017

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  1. justin September 13, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    Some great tips here. I would have loved a great video baby monitor. If we ever have another it will be a must have.

  2. ivy pluchinsky September 13, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    Parents do need a good baby monitor, car seat and a good crib! They don’t need a million blankets and baby shoes, and onesies.

  3. Sunshine H September 13, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    We needed a breast pump which we didn’t expect at the beginning – otherwise, it depends a lot on the family. Diapers is the only other one that was a must have.

    We didn’t need, well, much. We didn’t even need a crib, or monitor.

  4. Lushka Smith September 13, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    I’d say you would need a car seat and diapers of course.

    You don’t need an iPhone X to take lovely photos, they will be great with a cheaper phone.

  5. Josh S September 13, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    If you actually want to leave the house with baby you need a good quality stroller. I sure loved taking my kids out in a proper stroller that could handle multiple types of terrain. You don’t need more than one or two pairs of baby shoes….they out grow them so fast!

  6. Michael Kwan September 13, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    Falling into both the “do need” and “don’t need” camp is a general piece of advice: If you can suitably repurpose something you already have, you don’t need to get something new just because it’s in the baby aisle.

    For example, I didn’t get a baby monitor, because I already had an IP camera. Since I work from home, I just left a browser window open to the IP camera’s video feed while sitting at the computer.

    But you do need somewhere safe (and reasonably comfortable) to put the baby in just about every room you plan on bringing the kid. We had a bouncer in the living room, her crib in her room, and a bassinet in our room.

  7. Judy Cowan September 14, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    Great tips – in addition to your list I would add a swing, bouncer chair, and easy to get them in & out of clothes to the need list. To the don’t need list I would add baby shoes, fancy outfits, and stuffed animals.

  8. Stephanie September 14, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    You definitely need a good stroller, a crib, and a baby monitor. You don’t need many toys and shoes.

  9. jan September 14, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Always need washcloths and diapers. I didn’t need so many stuffed animals.

  10. toni v September 14, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    do need lots of onesies and diapers.

    don’t need so many toys

  11. Mandy September 14, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    Good tips. We found a baby nail clipper was super useful. We saw some other parents using scissors and there was a lot of bleeding!

  12. kristen visser September 14, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    Definitely need a digital baby monitor. I had a regular monitor with my first and with my second a digital one and it was so much nicer to be able to see what was going on in my daughters room instead of just being able to listen in

  13. Florence Cochrane September 14, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    A crib, lots of sheets and blankets, a baby monitor and a mobile are a must.

  14. Kam September 14, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    Do need a baby monitor…definitely don’t need that bouncy chair thing!

  15. Wanda Tracey September 14, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    I think new parents need a baby monitor for the safety of the baby and to give the parents some peace of mind.Babies need a lot of sleep and it’s nice to be able to check on them without waking them up.

  16. HEIDI C. September 14, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    Important items are diapers, wipes, monitor, lots of swaddle blankets, bassinet/crib/pack ‘n play, and stroller. Top of the line, most expensive is not always equivalent to best-rated, safest so do your research.

  17. Jonnie September 14, 2017 at 11:29 pm

    I think you need a swing, lots of wipes, car seat and a diaper bag. You don’t need a wipe warmer, a $1000 stroller or a ton of clothing during the younger months. They outgrow the small sizes so quickly!

  18. Heather Howard September 15, 2017 at 12:03 am

    Little mesh bags with handles to put frozen fruit in when teething..these were also great to stop blood after toddlers fall when learning to walk and their teeth cut their lip/gum.

    Fisher Price rainforest vibrating, musical, light up bouncy seat/chair – lifesaver on days with colic or upset belly.

  19. Sab Edwards September 15, 2017 at 5:55 am

    i KNOW that a lot will deny it, but they do need help, its not easy taking care of a baby, and we are NOT built in to know exactly why the babies crying (wet, pooped, colic, hungry , bored , tired, gassy…the list goes on lol)

    Need a break? ASK for help

  20. Kristen S September 15, 2017 at 8:09 am

    Great tips! Important items to add would be a baby monitor, baby swing & a baby crib! 🙂

  21. Joni September 15, 2017 at 9:56 am

    New parents neeeeeed a stroller and crib, but don’t need all those fancy clothes they outgrow overnight

  22. lisa bolduc September 15, 2017 at 11:49 am

    they don’t need a shoe wamer. they do need a good car seat. a good baby carrier and tons and tons of diapers

  23. Glogirl September 15, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    I think parents do need the basics in clothing like lots of onsies. They don’t need brand name clothing as babies will outgrow clothing so fast and the money can best be spent elsewhere on babies needs.

  24. mike k September 15, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    new parents need a baby monitor. they dont need designer baby clothing

  25. Michelle Policelli September 15, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    A baby monitor, car seat and lots of diapers are great to have, baby shoes on the other hand are cute but not really necessary.

  26. Soozle September 16, 2017 at 3:49 am

    Parents NEED a baby monitor, they don’t need a changing table (any surface works)

  27. lori butler September 16, 2017 at 5:00 am

    I totally agrree with some above statements, about not needing a change table, I also don’t think a bassinet is needed either. A swing I believe is needed to help camn and soothe the babe.

  28. Melinda September 16, 2017 at 6:54 am

    I think that parents need a baby seat. A swing is not a must in my opinion.

  29. Krista M September 16, 2017 at 7:11 am

    I think parents need to invest most in a high quality baby monitor, and have a good basic crib, swing, & stroller, without extravagance & breaking the bank. Items that are completely useless are expensive baby food makers, and most recently I saw high-heel shoes for baby. Ridiculous!

  30. Jenny Major September 16, 2017 at 10:26 am

    A good crib and car seat

  31. Jenness M September 17, 2017 at 9:15 am

    A swing and high quality monitor were lifesavers to me. I had no use for formal, expensive baby clothes.

  32. Kendra September 17, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Need: sleep sacks were a lifesaver for us! Don’t need: a wipe warmer!

  33. Juliee Fitze September 17, 2017 at 10:32 am

    New parents need time alone not over runned with visitors the first couple of days. Next would be a video monintor for you can watch the new one.

  34. Holly MacRitchie September 17, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    New parents need a good CRIB! New parents do not need a lot of expensive baby clothing!

  35. Tina L. September 17, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    Need a good crib, stroller and baby monitor. Don’t need a bassinet, stuffed animals or shoes

  36. BobbiJo Pentney September 17, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    Parents Need a Crib, baby monitor, thermometer and a best friend who has been through all this to call. You don’t need a bunch of new born clothing, they will grow out of them.

  37. Brianna September 18, 2017 at 6:35 am

    I loved my baby carrier!

  38. Andrea September 18, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    They DO NEED a baby monitor and they DON’T NEED to stress!!

  39. BlessedTA September 18, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    They need sleep and do not need unsolicited advise.

  40. Amy Heffernan September 19, 2017 at 3:32 am

    I think new parents need all things that include safety! They do not need the lil things like rattles ect.

  41. Jess September 19, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    I think new parents need baby monitors and don’t need your advice!

  42. tracy k September 19, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    they definitely need a baby monitor, but they don’t need nursery decor

  43. Sab Edwards September 20, 2017 at 9:23 am

    Dollarama has the roll of small garbage bags that are scented that are nice for stinky diapers lol

  44. Michelle W September 20, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    Babies need a crib and a car seat. They don’t need fancy gadgets to put them to sleep, but a rocking chair is helpful

  45. em September 23, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    You don’t really need a bottle warmer or a crib mobile. It’s nice to have but it didn’t really have any use with baby. I highly recommend having a swing or rocker. We got a MamaRoo and it helped us out big time!

  46. Karine September 24, 2017 at 8:31 am

    They need to invest in a good car seat!

  47. Heidi P September 26, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    Basics like diapers, crib, clothes, baby monitor, car seat, baby carriage

    Not so important LIKE too many toys

  48. Tess Schrauwen September 26, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    A good baby monitor is a good idea but the best monitor is an attentive parent.

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