Baby Gear Essentials

Once you find out you're pregnant you are inundated with a whole new world of things people say you need and have to have. It can be incredibly overwhelming. American Baby magazine turned to their readers-real moms-to find out what they loved, what made their lives easier, what they recommend to their friends and what they wish they never bought.

Parents say products that make the first few weeks with a newborn infinitely easier include a nursing pillow - The Boppy. It got the most votes of any item and readers call it indispensable. The pillow comfortably positions your baby while nursing. And just when you thought you couldn't love something more, a new design now features a sideline so mom can remember which side she fed from last. The Boppy runs around $30 and an extra slipcover is $25.

Swaddles can be a game changer. No need to master origami to slip your newborn into this swaddle. With velcro on the wraps, swaddling is a cinch from day one. Your baby's feet go right into a pocket and then you close it up with Velcro. This must have is by Summer Infant Swaddle Me Swaddlers and runs $13.

There are also some products that deserve a special place of honor in the nursery such as the video monitor. These devices have come a long way. No need to worry about being out of range. These now connect to your Smartphones so you can watch your baby wherever you are. A high end model such as the Summer Infant Baby Touch video monitor can run you $250 while low end models are much cheaper.

Diaper Bags are usually considered an essential for everyone. The best thing about the new diaper bags is that they don't look like diaper bags at all. They look like adorable totes. The moms we surveyed loved that these neatly clip to a stroller so you can haul around everything that you need without actually having to carry it. If they can be spot cleaned and have lots of pockets that is a plus. Skip Hop diaper bags come in different prints and start at $58.

For more information on baby gear essentials and other parenting tips, click here.