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Shopping for baby items is one of my most favorite things to do while pregnant. It gets progressively less fun as you accumulate more and more with each child, but I remember with my first baby the world of excitement and cuteness as I shopped and researched what to get. Fast-forward to 5.5 years later, and I’ve survived the first year with baby three times. This is a super comprehensive list of the gear I KNOW you need to get through your first year. This is really the only list you need to survive and thrive, as well as grab some cute photos because everything is totally Instagram-worthy. These are also all items I still have and use, or used and handed to my younger sisters, so I they’ve been used for multiple babies in our family.
First, if you haven’t signed up for a registry yet, Amazon is a super easy way to go, especially for your shoppers because most everyone has Prime now. – Create an Amazon Baby Registry. If you don’t have Prime, you’ll need it as a mom. I use it for diaper and wipe subscription, and I HATE shopping with all three kids, so Prime is really the way to go. I have the first month free for you to try and see if you like it. I also link you up to a coupon for diaper subscriptions in this list! Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial
This is almost EXACT swing that I bought and used for all three of my babies, and my sisters used it for all of their babies. It plays music, lights up, has cute animals and the swing motion seemed to do really well for us all. You could speed it up or slow it down depending on what the baby liked. I can’t recommend it enough, and it was a life-saver with naps for my first one. When I was struggling to get him to sleep, I’d put him in there and he loved it. It also entertained him really well. My mom also has this swing at her house for all the grand babies. I have to say it is super deluxe, not that much more expensive, and all the babies loved it too.
This is a pretty new product on the market now, so I wish I had more experience with it, but it is such a stress-relief for new mamas! It’s basically a super deluxe video monitor, and it will tell you how long they slept, how well the slept, their sleep pattern and more. Literally amazing, and totally worth it!
If you aren’t totally sold on the idea of the Nanit, a regular video monitor is something you need for your first baby and years down the road. I still use it with my toddlers because I want to put them in their room, but keep an eye on them while they are playing. There’s really years of value in a video monitor, so make sure to check out this one, or anyone that will get the job done!
These are so important for more than just eating. They are a safe place to put baby at eye level. Babies love to watch what you are doing, so in the kitchen you can get a lot done, give the baby little kitchen things to play with, or small snacks, and they love to be more at eye-level with you. It’s amazing how much entertainment can be done, more than eating in a good high chair.
These are life-savers, and it’s important to grab some with your high chair. They will protect your floors, make it easier to clean up, and overall keep you from pulling your hair out. Mine third baby is 15 months now, and all he does is throw everything on the floor. He literally will store one piece in his cheeks, and the rest goes down. Just trust me on this one.
Before I get too far into the list, you need to sign up for this! I can’t tell you how many last-minute runs I’ve done to the store for diapers. It’s so annoying. I swear I’ll have a few left, then they are gone! I haven’t bought diapers at the store in a year now, or ran out because of this, and I recently added wipes too. TOTALLY WORTH IT! Get it now with the 20% off I have for you.
Join Amazon Family 30-Day Free Trial
You might not think you need ones of these if you are getting your larger, more expensive City Select or BOB Jogger, but these are so nice to have!!! I have literally had all sorts of strollers, and I highly recommend this one if you plan on having more kids. This one is amazing for all sorts of terrain, while this jogger is the best for your first baby, and this one for multiple babies. This is the double jogger I am LOVING now, and have for 4 years (plus it is WAY affordable!). Anyways, the umbrella stroller is such a quick and easy one to pack up, take into a doctor’s office, malls, markets, the beach, pool side…you name it really. It’s also a wonderful place to keep your baby entertained while you are cleaning or getting things done. You can stroll baby around the house with you, and they have fun watching. If anything, just keep it tucked in the back of your car, and thank me when you realize you need it and love it!
Okay, these aren’t totally necessary, but so fun for the first year. You HAVE to take some great photos with some milestone cards or a blanket. Super fun props for lots of great Instagram moments. The first year is my favorite time to photograph. I got the milestone cards this last year, and I had fun with those too.
Gosh, I was not a good swaddler for any of my babies. I didn’t like all the folding, so I grabbed these blankets. Life was so much easier. I just found it simpler to wrap them up, and use the Velcro to hold things in place. Either way, you definitely want to swaddle your baby. I find these easiest, but there are lots of super cute blankets out there too.
This is the car seat I still have, and I used it for all three babies. It’s the Britax B-Safe. My sister also used it for her twins, until they just graduated to their front-facing seats now. I’ve loved it, and highly recommend it. Make sure to do your own research, and I recently read there is a Graco slim fit if you have a smaller vehicle!
These are super important for any family visits. They come in handy if you are traveling far too. Sometimes you need to do some work on the nursery or their room, and you need to move where they sleep. If they are used to this, it can make life a whole lot easier if you have to do some transitioning in the first year.
I originally used this carrier for all three of my boys. I didn’t realize how much it was pulling on my shoulders until I was sent a Lille Baby to try. These are fabulous because all the weight is distributed on your hips, rather than pulling on your back. Such a life-changer! I love that you can fold the front down to allow air to flow through, there’s a nice zipper pocket for a debit card a phone, and you can totally cover the baby’s head if they fall asleep. It’s my favorite carrier. I was never into all the wrapping. My sister loved wraps. I just did not have the patience for all that work just to get the baby on and off of me. I find the buckle-and-go types way easier!
I found the Nuk Simply Natural to be a good choice for my nursing babies. It just seemed to be natural enough where they would take it.
These work wonders for sleeping because sometimes just the noise itself can help put the babies to sleep. Especially if they get used to it young. It is a noise that signals their bodies to go to sleep. It also helps keep out other noises, whether its guests over or remodeling noise.
These are so wonderful for tired mamas to nurse or bottle feed. They feel luxurious after a long day of running around after the baby, and a long night of waking up.
You want a few of these everywhere. I have one with the wire like pictured. The reason I like the wire top with the strap to go behind your neck is because it pops out, so the baby can see you. If I used the other kind, they laid on the baby’s face, so he would try to get out and get frustrated. Make sure to get a kind that they can see you.
I bath my small babies in the kitchen sink. It’s just so much easier than bending over in the tub. These baby baths are great to keep baby safe and still. I also used this one whenever I traveled because it was cheap, easy to bring and light.
If you plan on breastfeeding, you will need a pump of some kind. My sister and I both used the full pump set up, but had the most luck getting milk from the manual pumps. I share all our tips and tricks to increase milk supply in this post. Its super important to have milk stored, just in case of an emergency, even if you aren’t planning on leaving your baby for more than a few hours in the first year or so.
In addition to your portable crib, having a crib comes in handy, even if you are co sleeping. I am a co-sleeper, so I didn’t use the crib much for sleeping until about 6 or 9 months, and I needed a safe place for the baby to nap. Now I use it for naps and night sleeping as I am weaning my third baby.
I’ve used both a changing table and a dresser. Here’s how I set up a dresser changing table in this post. It’s more vintage themed. As long as you have organizers, you will be happy with either I think. It depends on the space and your decor.
The binkies with the animals on the end worked really well for my sister. I was never able to get my kids to take binkies, but I feel compelled to have them on here because I’ve seen how wonderful they work for little ones who love them. It is definitely worth grabbing a few to have and see if your baby will take one.
You will need lots of these for covering the baby, keeping them warm, laying them on the ground for play time etc. It is really endless what you’ll use them for, so grab a lot!
I love these bib/teethers. That way they can’t drop them and lose them, and these help with all the drool that comes with teething!!
This is just a safety piece you have to have. Everything comes in handy at some point, and it saves a last-minute run to the store in the middle of the night with a feverish baby.
These disapear like crazy, to grab a bunch and plan on buying more. You need them everywhere!
This is something I wish I had in the beginning. It makes keeping the bottles and nipples clean super easy. You will end up finding a bottle under the car seat or behind the couch, full of mold. These little tools make it easy to clean it up and use it again, rather than throwing it away!
I plan on doing a full review on a few brands here soon, but the back pack ones seem to work best for me when dealing with toddlers and babies. I have three under 5, and for a while I had 3 under 3. It can be crazy with all the stuff, so having my hands free with a back pack option, as well as lots of pockets is a big deal. I’m sure you’ve probably seen the Fawn Design bags. Those are gorgeous, but I haven’t tried them yet. I think they are a great choice in addition to the few below!
I have a separate post on strollers, and my tips of how to choose the right one here. That’s something you obviously need in the first year too!
Did I miss anything?? I sat for hours thinking of everything I used and really needed the first year!
Guest post by Katie Pickett
Precision Nutrition certified coach and mom of 4