16 baby must-haves for every season (that might surprise you)
16 baby must-haves for every season (that might surprise you)
Whether you’re pregnant or already in the groove of mom life, you probably already know that the list of items you “need” for your baby can seem endless.
While it’s true that the market for baby gear is vast and a little over the top, there are some essentials you’ll want to have on hand that are especially important if you live somewhere where the seasons change.
In addition to dressing your baby for various climates, you’ll want to stock up on some of the must-haves that make the seasons more enjoyable for you both. Here, we’ve rounded up the best baby gear for spring, summer, fall and winter you might not already have thought of.
Stroller rain cover
In most areas of the U.S., spring is the rainiest season, so you can expect some major downpours mixed with some intermittent sprinkles. But don’t let that keep you and your baby cooped up indoors!
A stroller rain cover will come through in the clutch to keep your baby dry while you hide under a rain jacket or umbrella. Some rain covers are even windproof, so your baby’s stroller nap can continue uninterrupted by the weather.
Lightweight baby carrier
While you might enjoyed snuggling your baby while bundled up nice and tight in a warm baby carrier through the winter months, in the springtime you and your little one will be craving something a little lighter — and less bulky.
Look for a baby carrier that has breathable fabric — bonus points if it’s UPF protectant. You also want to make sure it’s comfortable not just for baby, but also for you, since you’ll be the one wearing it 24/7!
Rain boots for stomping in puddles
Once your baby graduates to toddlerhood, they’ll be looking for ways to make a giant mess — and, in the springtime, that often means jumping in muddy puddles (thanks for the inspo, Peppa Pig!).
Make sure your tot has a sturdy pair of rain boots with a firm rubber sole that are easy to clean (because your kiddo will make a mess!). By the way — make sure you’ve also got sturdy waterproof boots for outings and errands during rainy season … not to mention the occasional grown-up puddle stomp.
Car window shade
With spring comes more sunny days, some of which may be surprisingly warm. And the spring sunshine through your car windows can be surprisingly intense. A car shade can help shield the sun’s harmful UV rays so that your baby can ride without having to squint to see you in the rear-view mirror.
Outside baby tent
Whether you live near the beach or just plan to vacation by one, you’ll want to be able to spend a few solid hours with your feet in the sand. That’s hard to do with a baby in tow!
That’s where these baby tents come in handy. They’re the perfect size to protect your baby from the sun’s strong rays and keep them cool during naps so that you can enjoy yourself like you deserve to. They’re great for picnics in the park, too.
Your baby is going to love playing in the summer sun — so much so that it might be hard for you to make sure she’s well-protected. Look for a hat that’s lightweight and covers all areas of your baby’s face (bonus points if it also manages to protect the neck area). You’ll definitely want to make sure it has a chin strap so it actually stays on.
If you haven’t heard about these attention-grabbing toys that children love to play with in warm weather, consider yourself warned. These water park-like entertainment centers are high enough for babies to stand and play with and feature an array of activities that keep your baby endlessly enthralled.
No matter your baby’s swimming capacity, you want to be extra careful when it comes to water play. A puddle jumper is like a mix between a life jacket and a swim vest—it wraps around your baby’s entire body, buckling in the back and providing floating support for your baby while she’s in water.
Don’t forget to keep both eyes (and hands) on your baby at all times when she’s in the water, as these devices are not life-saving!
Nose and cheek balm
Don’t underestimate just how sensitive your baby’s skin is, especially when exposed to the changing elements of the season. Fall tends to be far less humid than the summer months and often comes with a strong wind chill that can dry out your baby’s face.
Definitely stock up on a nose and cheek balm that’s intense enough to moisturize those dry cheeks and runny red noses while preventing painful chapping.
Fall is usually a welcome break from the heat of summer. But in the northern half of the country, it can get cold pretty fast. Be sure to have a zip-up fleece coat tucked into your stroller or your carry-all for those breezy afternoons where you start to feel the chill of winter.
Car seat and stroller covers
Just because it’s getting colder outside doesn’t mean you should slow down on your outdoor walks. Babies love fresh air — and tend to sleep better when they’re exposed to it.
A car seat cover and a stroller cover will act as a coat to keep your baby warm on colder days. They’re designed to go right over the seat and tend to be insulated with a warm fabric like fleece.
Bottle and food warmer
Know how a hot cup of tea or cocoa hits the spot on a chilly afternoon? Your baby loves the comfort of warm foods on a cold day, too. When you’re on the go in the colder months of the year, a portable warmer can help warm up a bottle or maybe some oatmeal, so that no matter where you go, your baby’s belly is nice and full.
Warm sleep sack
You probably know how finicky a baby can be when it comes to sleep. It has to be the perfect temperature (not too hot or cold) for your baby to sleep well, which can be quite the challenge when the temperatures start to drop.
Luckily, a warm, wearable sleep sack can help. You’ll want to look for one with a high TOG (Thermal Overall Grade) level. This indicates how heavily insulated the sleep sack is.
It might sound funny, but most parents swear by this device. Unlike the syringe bulbs they send you home with from the hospital, these puppies actually draw out some nasty boogies, which is good for everyone, because your baby will sleep and eat better when she’s not stuffed up.
Yes, you do have to quite literally “suck” these snots out, but these devices are designed with filters to protect you from the nasties.
Pushing a stroller with bare hands in winter weather is a form of torture that’s purely unnecessary. Stroller gloves make the chill more bearable. They velcro right onto your stroller handle and allow you to put your hands right in while you push so that you’re never too cold for an outdoor walk.
A baby bunting (aka snowsuit) is a must-have for winter. Whether or not it’s snowing outside, they keep your baby nice and toasty without you having to wrap them up in a million layers for some outdoor fun. They’re also waterproof, so when it does snow, your baby’s free to build snowmen (with your help, of course).