Good Lord, babies need a lot of stuff! When I was registering, er… we, I mean when WE were registering…. we decided to stick to just the things we needed early on to make sure we got the essentials. We could supplement items later on when there was less to buy and less to do. I stuck to things I would need in the first few months that were absolutely MUST-HAVES for your baby registry. Well, as baby gets a little bigger there are a lot of things that pop up that you need in the 3-6 month stage. These are my must-have baby items for 3-6 months!
Must-Have Baby Items for 3-6 Months
What do Babies need in the first 6 months?
There are the things you register for that you know you’ll need right away. The things you scramble to buy that you realize will make life easier with a newborn. And then there are the things that come after. The age-related items that go along with babies development. So, what do babies need in the first 6 months? Well, a lot of things, hah! I’ve broken them down by type: Toys, Sleeping, In the Car, Feeding, and Clothing. These are my baby must-haves for 3-6 months!
Best Toys for 3-6 Month Old
Oball – Just get the classic Oball, they’re basically every baby’s favorite toy and one of the first things they can truly grab and play with. They’re cheap and one of my absolute must-have baby items for 3-6 months.
Rattles – Aside from the Oball, rattles are generally a little heavier so they take to them a bit later. We have this set of rattles and our little guy started playing with them around 4.5 months or so. He instantly loved them, just watch the face he has a tendency to get going crazy and smack himself in the face (though it doesn’t faze him in the least and doesn’t leave a mark).
Crinkle Books – OMG the crinkle books. 100% his favorite toy to this day. I’d say the lighter and smaller the better at a young age. I had no idea this would be such a huge hit but it’s one of the best, and cheapest, baby must-haves for 3-6 months!
Button Toy – Basically just anything with buttons, bonus if it sings a lights up. This came about because our little one is always reaching for our phones (my queue to put it down!) and our TV remote. I’m not on board with toy phones or letting him play with my phone. I don’t want to start that obsession early (or ever) but he loves buttons, music, and lights so I found something that other than a toy phone that covers all of the above… a baby toy TV remote. Ugh. Someone make a toy with buttons, music, and lights that isn’t related to a bad habit. But regardless, I bought it so he would have something of his own to play with and he enjoys it.
Teething Toys – Theethers are the best toys for 3-6 month olds because they are dual purpose. We have several kinds and seriously, he prefers the Sophie La Giraffe brand. I don’t get it (well I do, it’s a totally different material than most teethers) but why do they always pick the most expensive option, lol?! At least the expense wasn’t for nothing. He loves them. We have both the large FanFan the Fawn (Sophie’s friend) and the smaller Sophie Teething Ring. He loves them both more than any of his other teething toys.
Note: I am aware of the issue some people have with mold growing in Sophie (this can happen to anything with a hole, rubber ducks, nose bulbs, etc.). If you are aware of the potential issue and clean your Sophie according to the directions you will have no mold. I still think it’s one of the must-have baby items for 3-6 months.
Exersaucer (Activity Center) – These are amazing. We have a Skip Hop Activity Center and he just loves it. He’s a stander, always wants to be standing and bouncing, so this is perfect. It comes with 4 clip-on toys and a suction cup bowl. The bottom wiggles to give the jumper effect and if bounces in it like crazy. Plus, there is a little light up keyboard on the bottom with a viewing window on the table. The keyboard lights up and plays music when he jumps and it’s so cute watching him peek through the window to watch it! As he gets older and his legs get longer he’ll be able to actually play the keys on his own. Read more on our Activity Center and more baby gear that isn’t ugly!
Suction Cup Toys – When we bought the exersaucer we also purchased a couple of suction cup toys to use on his high chair. They ended up working great on the Skip Hop Activity Center as well. After a couple months of playing noticed the new toys, we noticed our little guy getting bored after short periods of time. I purchased a couple new suction cup toys and we now rotate toys so he doesn’t get bored. The old toys feel like new toys without actually having to spend more money. Win, win! These are the best toys for 3-6 month old because they’re stuck in place and can’t be thrown!
Playmat – This is one of the first “toys” babies will engage with. Our playmat has a mirror on it that he loved from an early age. He also loves the long hanging fox that’s easy to grab. As he’s gotten older we use it for tummy time, stretching, etc. It’s a nice, soft place to lay baby before they’re crawling all over the house.
Prop Toy – We did PT for a little while for a bit of Torticollis and Plagiocephaly. Thankfully he improved greatly over a few weeks and no helmet was needed. While at PT we also learned a few tricks to strengthen his core and neck and help baby learn to roll and sit up. Our physical therapist suggested using a toy to prop baby up with you helping to stabilize as needed. After doing this here and there for a couple days our little guy was sitting on his own! Crazy!
Walker – They may not be walking yet but they will be soon and walkers are dual purpose. They can be used as a seated toy when they’re 4, 5, 6 months and then a walker a little later. Our little guy just lights up when his walker signs and blinks at him. LOVES IT! Definitely one of the unexpected must-have baby items for 3-6 months!
Tissue Paper – Yep, you read that correct. Tissue paper. Super fun and cheap sensory activity for little baby feet. We “hang” it from between our couch cushions and lay him on his back with his feet touching the tissue and he goes crazy. Just love the crunchy texture and sound.
Sleep-Related Must-Have Baby Items for 3-6 Months
Soothe and Vibe – Our son slept in the bassinet insert in a pack ‘n’ play next to our bed for the first 4 months. He loved his rock ‘n’ play and swing because they vibrated so rather than succumb to the rock ‘n’ play for night sleeping we bought the Soothe and Vibe. It vibrates and plays music and its amazing for sleeping on-the-go.
UPDATE: we also have this portable sound machine that comes with a remote control so you can turn it on and off, change sounds, and turn the volume up and down form OUTSIDE THE ROOM!!! Game Changer!! Love this thing!
Crib Mobile – Since we used the pack ‘n’ play in our room for the first 4 months, our mobile didn’t get used at all. I initially thought it was going to be a wasted project (I made ours from an antique lampshade) but now that he’s in his crib he loves the mobile. The music helps soothe him and the spinning motion helps make him drowsy. A crib mobile is a must have even at 1.5 years old!
Pacifiers – We started with Soothies at night but he would never keep them in his mouth. It was like he sucked so hard they popped out. It wasn’t a big issue early on because he never really seemed to need them. Well, around 4 months when putting him down got a little rough I decided to try a flattened pacifier since the soothies are round. He instantly took the flat shape of the Dr. Brown’s Pacifier and was able to keep it in his mouth while sucking. He only uses them as needed but they are a lifesaver when he’s just not going down. TIP: Get the glow in the dark pacifiers. So much easier to find at night! One of the key must-have baby items for 3-6 months when they learn to throw!
Halo SleepSacks and Swaddles – Halo are the only Swaddles and SleepSacks worth having! The Swaddles are great for birth to around 4-5 months. Once Baby is rolling, you can’t swaddle with arms in anymore. That’s generally the point where you swaddle arms out and then transition to the Halo SleepSack without the swaddle wrap. Read my Review of the Halo SleepSacks and Swaddles!
Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit – A Godsend for us during the 4-month sleep regression! If your little one is struggling with sleep, try the Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit! Read my full review here: Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit Review.
On-The-Go: Must-Have Baby Items for 3-6 Months in Car Seat
Window Sun Shade for Car – I think it actually took us a bit too long to get one of these (3 of them actually). Once you’re really venturing out and spending time in the car, you should have a window shade. Babies can get a sunburn through the car window and it’s advised they don’t wear sunscreen until after 6 months (some people suggest after 1 year). These cling on car window shades are the perfect solution and one of the must-have baby items for 3-6 months!
Baby Mirror for Car – I wanted a baby car mirror pretty early on but I read something that said they were dangerous in a car accident. Then real life happened and I realized there was stuff all over my SUV that could be dangerous in an accident and there is just no getting around that. So I did a little more research and decided it was more important to be able to see him and know he was quiet because he was sleeping and not slumped over or choking.
Car Seat Toy – We got a car seat toy at a baby shower and I thought it was great until I realized newborns don’t play. Well, fast forward 3 months and now I’m glad to have it. It’s the perfect always-there toy for when you’re out and about. Even if I forget to grab one of his favorites (see my next point) I know this one is there to keep him entertained.
Duplicates of Baby’s Favorite Toys – This is probably the last thing you’re thinking of when planning must-have baby items for 3-6 months. After trying to remember to grab his favorite Wubbanub, crunchy book, and Sophie teething ring I just decided to get a second of each and keep them with the car seat. They are his favorite toys so having them always around is good for everyone. He also LOVES the OBall but since that’s easy to throw and it rolls we opt to not take that along unless we’re going for extended trips.
Must-Have Food Items for 3-6 Month Old Babies
Highchair – There are so many types of high chairs out there. Some people use the Bumbo with the tray attachment, some use the larger, classic, freestanding highchairs. We like the smaller, spacesaver high chairs that straps on to your dining room chair. It has rubber grips on the bottom so it doesn’t slide so we use it on the counter when cooking, on our dining room table, or on our dining room chair. It’s super versatile and small enough to take to any room. Honestly, we even use it between us on our big sectional couch when we’re watching movies. It basically replaces the Bumbo and the highchair for us.
Bottles – If you’re formula feeding you’re probably already covered on this one. If you’re breastfeeding you might not be. At 3 months you might be going back to work, or baby might just be taking more bottles to give nursing momma a break, or you might need bigger 8oz bottles. We ended up purchasing more Dr. Brown’s bottles around 3 months because I started bottle feeding during the day and only nursing in the morning and at night.
Higher Flow Nipples – Most babies start out with preemie or size 1 nipples and progress as they get older. Size 2 nipples are supposed to be for 3-month-old babies but we used size 1 until around 5 months. I had purchased them and tried them around 3.5 months and he just wasn’t ready for the faster flow. He was choking and milk was running out the sides of his mouth so we delayed the transition for a bit. When we tried again around 5 months he was thrilled and took to them no problem! At some point, you’ll need these so they’re one of my must-have baby items for 3-6 months.
Spoons and Bowls – Depending on what your pediatrician recommends, you’ll probably start gradually giving your baby pureed foods around 4-6 months. You’ll need baby spoons and possibly some small bowls. If you’re making your own food you’ll need either a blender or baby food maker plus jars for fresh storage or silicone ice trays for freezing.
Baby Clothes for 3-6 months
Seasonal clothing – You’re probably going to be out and about more and more as the baby grows. It’s good to be prepared with seasonally appropriate clothing. Babies aren’t supposed to wear baby sunscreen or bug spray until 6 months to a year. In the meantime, sunhats and long sleeve baby swimsuits will protect them from the sun. In the winter make sure you have a lot of layers so you can easily adjust to the temperature. Cotton and Fleece sleepers are great for under a snowsuit.
Onesies and Bottoms – Our little guy lived in zippered sleepers when he was under 3 months. It was so much easier given how often they need to be changed. Now that he’s older and diaper changes are less frequent, onesies and pants or shorts are more practical. We still have sleepers, just less of them and they are actually used for sleeping now! Stock up on colored onesies (they show less blowout stains) and neutral colored pants/shorts to give you the most flexibility.
Socks – I hated baby socks when he was little. They never stayed on and they were all matched to a specific outfit which is so silly. Now we have cute little baby “dad socks” for the baby. You know the ones, white with gray bottoms. They are just adorable on those tiny feet, plus they match everything and if you lose one you’re not out an entire pair, just keep the extra as a back up until you lose another, because let’s face it, you’re going to lose another.
Tips for getting the most out of these baby must-haves for 3-6 months
Babies grow and learn so quickly it seems like you’re always spending money on something. One tip for extending the use of toys is to rotate them so the baby feels like they are getting new toys every so often. Another is to always price shop Amazon. If you have prime it can be here in 2 days and they are almost always cheaper and have more options that local stores. If you’re a Target lover like I am, I suggest ordering online and choosing in-store pick up. Target is more often than not, cheaper online than in-store. Shopping online for in-store pick-up gets you the online price and all you have to do is run in and your shopping is done!
What do Babies need in the first 6 months? Add your favorite items and tips in the comments below!
Until next time,