Must Haves for Baby’s First Year

In the first year, we relied on a number of things to keep both us and baby happy, healthy, and thriving. I originally started writing this post in June, when Kurt was just 14 months old. He’s now coming up on 20 months. I cannot believe how quickly the time has flown. I will keep this post solely focused on must haves for the first 12 months of baby’s life, but I am not saying that some of these items can’t continue on past the one year mark.

This list is not exhaustive but it is a good rundown of helpful items that will get you through those first 12 incredible months. If year one is amazing, the second year is even more so… it’s so incredible how little babies turn into little toddlers and little people of their own.

A note – I tried to include prices where I could; they are accurate as of today, December 3rd, 2015.

Whole Foods natural baby wipes (price varies; inexpensive) – these wipes have the best consistency of any I’ve tried (and I’ve tried a lot). These are a natural product but I have tried non-natural ones in a pinch as well (Huggies, etc). These Whole Foods wipes are still better than any non-natural wipe I’ve tried. They are moist, soft, and wipe smoothly over baby’s bottom. They are not rough, and do a great job of cleaning every last nook and cranny down there. #1 Wipe! I will specifically note that they are better than the 7th generation wipes, hands down.


phil&teds Lobster Highchair ($79) (ours is in red) – called a “sassy seat” by some; it replaces a high chair. It’s super convenient and not just because we live in a small apartment. The “lobster” claws hook onto the table and you screw them in to tighten. It’s easily transportable and way sleeker looking than any high chair I have ever seen. It does come with a tray to protect the table but we always forget to use it. It’s one of the things I had on my registry that I continue to recommend to people.

lobster chair

KidKraft Sling Bookshelf, in Natural ($46.19) – I will caveat that this doesn’t hold a TON of books (and we have a ton), but it’s a great storage system that kids can actually use themselves. Kurt can see the covers of his books and pick the one he wants me to read. He can also put the books away which is totally the best part.

sling bookshelf

Munchkin Xtraguard Dual Action Multi Use Latches ($10.91 for 4) – Okay these are possibly my favorite invention. I tried a few different baby proofing solutions before I found these but these are just the best. I use them on all my lower kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets, the front door (!), and the panels on my wall heaters that cover the switches (otherwise Kurt will turn the heat on full blast in July). I first got the 4-pack and then reordered in a 12-pack. A must have once baby starts crawling.


Kabrita Non-GMO Goat Milk Toddler Formula ($22.99; you can also get this at Whole Foods but it’s more expensive – IIRC about $30) – I exclusively breastfed and pumped for Kurt until he was one, but then I replaced my pumping with formula and Kurt really took to this one (it’s the first and only one I tried). Unfortunately the company is not US-based and there isn’t a Kabrita baby formula that’s been approved by the FDA (yet) but this toddler formula was great for us (it still is; Kurt still has a bottle each night). They also make goat milk fruit pouches but Kurt does not like them at all.


Safety 1st Wide Doorways Fabric Gate, in Natural ($38.32) – we have two of these and we blocked off our living room/dining room area to keep Kurt in one area which is mainly baby proof. So helpful not to have baby going into the kitchen and getting underfoot!

baby gate

New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin – 192 ct ($42.74 for 2 month supply) – so this is something for mom, but worth including anyway. During pregnancy and breastfeeding your body loses a lot of its own mineral stores and continuing to take prenatals even after giving birth can be really important! These ones are very high quality and I’ve felt great taking them.


Evenflo Tribute Sport Convertible Car Seat ($68.51) (this is the one for after the infant stage but before booster) – Kurt outgrew his infant seat pretty quickly and we ended up getting this Evenflo model for the next carseat. It’s inexpensive and a little smaller than some of the other models out there but we really really like it. We don’t have a huge car and to be honest, almost none of the other models would even have fit in our back seat (when I told this to the guy at Kids R Us he – unjokingly – told us that we should just get a bigger car – wtf?). This car seat can be used for rear facing (in our state, NJ, you should stay rear facing until you are at least 30 pounds or 2 years old) and then front facing when kiddo is ready. We are keeping Kurt rear facing until he’s two even though he just broke the thirty pound mark in the last month or so… it just seems safer that way.

evenflo convertible carseat


(I know he is not buckled in fully, we were not moving yet!!)

Sleep Sack: Baby Deedee Sleep Nest Lite Baby Sleeping Bag ($34.99) – We loved this sleep sack. I got the medium (6-18 months) and was able to use it for all of Kurt’s first year. It’s great because babies do tend to kick off blankets (and you don’t even really want blankets near them anyway in case of smothering) but they don’t kick this off and in fact Kurt liked it. I got the Mocha Heather color because it’s gender neutral and could be used for another kid.

sleep sack

The First Years American Red Cross Deluxe Nail Clipper with Magnifier ($2.99) – You do need a small set of baby nail clippers for those tiny soft nails. I got these as an Amazon add-on and they’ve lasted 20 months now. I don’t use the magnifier on them (it doesn’t have to be used) but it does look cool.

baby nail clippers

Alaffia EveryDay Shea Moisturizing Shea Butter Bubble Bath for Babies AKA BUBBOOO ($16.49) – We love this 100% fair trade bubble bath. We like Lavender, Coconut Chamomile, or Coconut Strawberry flavor. It’s all natural and Kurt loves the bubbles! An added bonus – all sales of Alaffia products contribute to empowerment projects to help break the cycle of poverty in Togo.

bubble bath

So there you have it – a good list of baby products to get you through baby’s first year! I hope this list is helpful for someone 🙂

*This post was not sponsored by anyone – these are just products that I love – but most of the Amazon links are affiliate links and I may earn a small commission if you buy the product via my link. These commissions help keep this site up and running. Thank you as always for the support!*

2 Replies to “Must Haves for Baby’s First Year”

  1. Okay, Kurt is the cutest little man!!! Good list Maggie – wish I’d known about the goat milk formula when we had our first. I’m not sure if it was around back then though. We thought about making our own, but I was nervous about messing up the ingredient ratios. I also need to check out those Munchkin latches. Our front door could use some childproofing 😉

    Hope y’all are enjoying your new place in NJ!

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