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.

365_Baby_Wipes_30ct_475

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.

latches

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.

formula

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.

prenatals

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

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!*

Baby Registry Must-Haves {Part 1}

If you can believe it, my sweet baby boy K turned 3 months old (13 weeks) last Friday!

kurt

We are pretty sure he is over 20 pounds. What a bruiser. And yes, he does always have that smile on his face. He is honestly the perfect baby – never cries and always makes me laugh.

There are a lot of items that people will tell you that you have to have for a baby. Well, turns out – you don’t actually need much. Here are the items from our registry (or that we just bought ourselves) that we actually use.

1) Arm’s Reach Cosleeper: Arm’s Reach Concepts Mini Convertible Arc Co-Sleeper Bedside Bassinet, Cocoa/Natural

cosleeper

 

NOTE: We are not actually using the cosleeper (though we do own it) because we co-sleep (he’s in our bed). HOWEVER, if you are nervous about traditional co-sleeping (aka bed-sharing), this is a great alternative. Baby is right next to you, within “arm’s reach”, and it is easy to pick him up to rock or nurse. I still recommend this; if we weren’t bed-sharing we would be using it. If there is interest maybe I will do a bed-sharing/co-sleeping post.

**Update at 7 months: You can use the cosleeper as a playpen (it’s convertible). This is how we are using it now because K outgrew it for sleeping in. He is 25 pounds at 7 months.**

2) NO CLOTHING – people will buy you clothes anyway. You don’t need to put this on your registry unless you want something very specific.

3) Seventh Generation Baby Wipes. These are great. I haven’t tried any other ones, but these have done the job well so far. Great that they are environmentally friendly.

wipes

4) BumGenius Cloth Diapers. These are awesome! They are AIO (All-In-One) cloth diapers. This means that there is just one piece, unlike the cloth diapers that have a cloth diaper + a diaper cover. It also means they are dad-friendly. They are super absorbent. We like to use them overnight. We only have three of them – the black one below (“Albert”), a blue, and an orange. K is wearing the Albert in the picture at the top of this post. (At $20 each these get expensive – I’ll have another post on our cloth diapering routine with a few other options.)

bumgenius

5) Pampers Swaddlers – with color-changing wetness indicator. When we aren’t in the mood for cloth, these are the disposables we turn to. I’ll admit that I tried the more “natural” brands and they just don’t hold up to Pampers. The wetness indicator line is so helpful. It’s yellow when you put the diaper on, then turns to blue when he’s wet.

pampers

6) BelleFit Postpartum Girdle. I actually only ended up using this for about two weeks after K was born, but I did like it while I used it. I was back down below my pre-pregnancy weight 6 days after the birth, shockingly, but my stomach was still poochy. This really made me feel more supported.

girdle

This was me 3 days postpartum using the girdle:

3 days

And then 5 days later, at one week+1day postpartum (with girdle):

one week

7) Everything California Baby. I love the shampoo & body wash, the diaper rash cream, and the massage oil.

8) Stroller: we got the BOB Revolution SE Single Stroller in Navy. This is a running stroller. It’s the hummer of strollers and it’s great for navigating city curbs. It’s a little bit big for everyday use, but I don’t use it everyday anyway (I’m more of a sling person).

BOB

9) Car SeatBritax B-Safe Infant Car Seat in Black (if you have a BOB or another big stroller, don’t forget the adapter: BOB Infant Car Seat Adapter for Britax). We love the car seat – it was fairly easy to install and K enjoys his time in it. He always falls asleep when we’re driving.

car seat

10) Diaper PailDiaper Genie Essentials Diaper Disposal Pail (for the pampers) – and don’t forget the refills (Playtex Diaper Genie Refill).

diaper genie

11) Bottles: We have the Comotomo Baby Bottle, Green, 5 Ounce, 2-Count. These bottles are fantastic. K has not had any kind of nipple confusion and I started using them early, around 2 weeks. The Comotomo bottles are shaped like the breast and work really well. I work full time so I have to pump and either B or our sitter gives him breastmilk from these bottles. (We tried several other bottles including the Lansinoh Momma and the Adiri, which are also supposedly more like a breast – K liked the Comotomo the best.)

comotomo

12) Breast Pump: I have 3 pumps! I have 2 of the Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump with On the Go Tote (double electric) and just one manual pump: Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump. I use the double electric at home in the morning before I go to work and then I have one at the office to use during the day. The manual one is for when I travel or any other random time – it’s super portable and works great.

medela pump in stylemedela harmony

If you do end up getting either of the Medela pumps, I would highly recommend using their “Pump & Save Breastmilk Bags” – the bag hooks right onto the pump (in place of the bottle) which makes storing/freezing/transport a snap. The bag in the picture above (with the Harmony manual pump) is the Pump N Save bag. My only caveat is this: make sure that the zip top is closed securely. I haven’t had any issues but reviewers said that if you don’t close it carefully it’ll leak.

13) Stylish Diaper BagSkip Hop Studio Diaper Bag, Black Dot (I have it in Pewter Dot but I can’t find that color anymore). This has lots of pockets and is cute. It goes with any outfit. Lots of room for diapers, outfits, creams, wallet, phone, etc…

diaper bag

14) High Chairphil&teds Lobster Highchair in Red. We only just started using this recently and K loves it. It lets me have 2 hands free while eating but K can still hang out with us at dinnertime. Very functional. It can attach to any kind of dining room table.

lobster chair

15) Storq leggings. This is not actually something for baby, but something for pregnant and post-partum momma. These are the absolute best leggings I found (and I tried a lot). Storq also has fantastic tank tops. It may be a little pricey for such simple clothing but it is worth it. I got the size 2 (Medium) in leggings and a tank, both black.

That is all I have for now… there is lots more to come!

What are your baby essentials?