1. Baby play gym
This one showed up on the peer-reviewed list and I’ve used it before with success. It’s a padded mat with some hanging toys and things (like mobiles), oftentimes with electronic components like music that activates when the baby kicks at it or pulls on something. The purpose of the activity mat is to keep your baby occupied and maybe build some motor skills. A bonus feature that I didn’t use much with my daughter was the fact that you can flip it over and there’s a little ball pit, so she could learn to crawl in and out of the balls as well as jump up and get them. I didn’t have this as a baby so I was fortunate to have it as a child, and now my kids can enjoy the same thing. The one above with the spider-man theme is very popular (amazon affiliate link) is perfect baby stuff.
2. Pack N Play
We used our pack n play mostly for naps and for travel. Since it’s like a mini crib, the baby feels very comfortable in there, and it has some mesh sides (for safety) so they can sleep but still be able to see their surroundings. We even set ours up at my brothers’ house when we went to visit them with our daughter. The one above is very popular with the animal theme.
These are similar to the activity mats, but usually have more of a variety of hang-able objects for the baby to play with or chew on. It’s also long enough that you can lay your baby on it and have them play on their own baby stuff. There are tons of these types of mats/gyms available, so choose one that fits your needs and tastes.
4. Bouncy chair
I’ve always liked bouncy chairs for when I wanted to sit in the bathroom while my baby was napping or just wanted me nearby to keep giving them attention. I thought I’d list this as a separate item since it’s not a necessity, but can be very useful if you have the room for it.
5. High chair/Bibs and stuff
The highchair is necessary to feed your baby solid foods, so I decided to group it with the bibs, spoons, and such. I couldn’t find a picture of just a highchair so here’s an example of some baby stuff. There are tons of different brands and styles, so choose one that meets your needs and tastes.
6. Activity table/play table
This is something that my kids can play with when they were little. There are tons of these types of tables available. The one above is a very popular model from Fisher-Price, and Amazon has it for a good price here.
7. Stuffed animals
I know stuffed animals aren’t really necessary, but I thought I’d throw them in as a bonus. My kids have all loved stuffed animals, so I figured it’s worth mentioning. They also serve as a distraction from the pain of shots and other medical procedures as well.