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Are you trying to conceive, expecting, or perhaps already a mom? The baby isle can be overwhelming. There are so many different products, many of which look great and extremely useful but aren't.

Which baby products will you really end up using? Well, that's going to vary from person to person. Here are the top baby items we didn't regret buying, and think you'll love as well. 

A good baby carrier

Many expectant parents spend a lot of time considering which stroller or travel system they would like to have. There is a lot of choice. You want the sturdiest, most practical, best-looking, longest-lasting stroller and preferably one that can be used from birth to toddlerhood, perhaps with multiple children. A good stroller is going to make your life easier in many cases. The fact that most strollers are ridiculously expensive certainly justifies spending ages picking the one you want. But here's a warning. When you have your baby, you will discover that there are situations in which a stroller isn't going to do you any good.

No matter how good those wheels are, your stroller won't like rough terrain. There will be times at which you won't manage to squeeze that stroller through a door. There will definitely be times at which your baby just wants to be held, and when you are desperate for a set of free hands. Enter the baby carrier. Go for a good one. Avoid bag slings or pouch slings, which can be dangerous. Go for a mei tai, ergo baby carrier, or Baby Bjorn. You'll be happy to have your carrier on hand.

An automatic baby swing

Rhythmic movements mimicking the movements your baby was exposed to in utero, when you walked her to sleep without ever realizing it are soothing to small babies. Crying babies who just won't go to sleep can be terrifying for new parents. What are you going to do about it? You could walk around your bedroom, rocking your baby for hours. You could put her in her car seat and drive her around town as well.

An automatic baby swing is significantly more expensive than either of those things, but it can buy you sanity. Would you like a quiet and happy baby while you make a phone call? Would you like to shower in peace, without being disturbed by those piercing cries? Would you like to enjoy a glass of wine with your partner? Not all babies are fond of automatic swings though, so you may want to ask a relative or friend if you can try theirs out before you buy. For parents of babies who do like to be soothed in this way, an automatic swing can offer a little piece of heaven.

Cloth diapers

No, they are not for everyone. Some people are going to feel sick at the very thought that they have to reuse their diapers, something that means washing and drying them. And yeah, you do actually have to change cloth diapers more often than you change disposable diapers. Here's the thing, though if you buy enough modern cloth diapers (which come in a huge variety of types), you will never, ever run out of diapers. You'll never have to make late-night diaper shopping trips.

Also, you won't have to think twice about changing a diaper that is wet just because you are worried about running out. Trips to the container to throw stinky diapers out will also not be something you will encounter if you use cloth. Besides that, cloth diapers are good for babies' bottoms. Changing more frequently means a lower chance of diaper rash, and using thick diaper creams can actually interfere with the absorbency of some cloth diapers, so you might not have to buy cream either. The nicest thing? You might have your baby potty trained a whole lot earlier if you choose cloth. Oh, and cloth diapers are great for the environment too. You can save the world while changing diapers. Yay! Oh, did I even mention they save tons of money? Well, they do.

Activity centers

Who says babies don't need intellectual stimulation? Those baby gyms can replace your automatic swing as soon as the baby comes out of the sleep-a-lot phase, and keep your baby busy while you hoover or cook, or answer your emails. Babies love bright colors and things to pull on. How about you? What baby products have you been really happy with? What purchase did you grow to hate?

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