Most baby books will tell you about the must-haves for a new baby, but first-time parents may greatly benefit from gear that may not be essential, but will certainly make life easier. The following article offers a few suggestions worthy of consideration.

You have to have a car seat, and today’s seats usually come with a carrier you see new parents toting around. Did I say toting? I meant struggling; those things are heavy without the baby. A great way to cart your baby around outside the car is with a snuggle nest—a carrier harnessed to you. Made to sport newborns as well as older infants, this makes shopping or visiting relatives. Baby is where he wants to be—right up against you, but your arms are free to do what you need to do.

There are all sorts of toys on the market; of course, toys are optional, but you’re really going to need them sooner than you think. Toys that make sounds of waves or running water often have the sound of a heartbeat as an undercurrent. The heartbeat mimics the mother’s heartbeat—a pleasant sound to baby. These are great bedtime helpers new parents should consider.

For older infants who can sit up, stationary walkers are great way to keep baby safe while mom or dad so the dishes. Baby gets entertainment by the attached toys and parents get some momentary free time. Some of these new walkers even allow baby to jump while harnessed; this strengthens baby’s legs and provides lots of fun.

Finally, bouncy seats that gently vibrate are ultra handy for feeding baby or keeping him safe and entertained when you’ve got to run to the bathroom, for instance. There are many styles available with various toys included. They’re portable so you can take them with to the grandparents. Many babies nap in their seats too!