I recently had a friend who had just gotten pregnant and was a first time mama. She was asking me what items I would recommend to survive the first year with a baby. Besides lots of prayers, a good sense of humor, and lots of coffee, here is what I recommend. I hope my list can help you too!
Baby’s First Year Item Survival Guide
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1. A good swing
I don’t really care what type of swing. just get one! Some people have more opinions about this then I do. When Baby S moved out of her rock and play and into her crib there would be the occasional night we couldn’t get her to go back to sleep and that’s where the swing came in.
She would be out in minutes and it allowed us to get some sleep. We never used it on a regular basis, just every now and then. This is the swing we used and we were happy with the price and how well it worked.
2. BOB stroller
This is the easiest stroller I’ve ever pushed. I’ve gone camping on gravel with this thing, run with it, gone to the zoo and stores, and it’s great every time. It’s very easy to set up and take down plus has a car seat attachment from when the babies are little.
3. SwaddleMe Original Swaddle
When Baby S was little she loved to be swaddled but her daddy and I were not good at make a swaddle, hence where these swaddles come in, aka baby straight jackets. They Velcro so they are easy to use.
We could stick her in these things for naps and she would be out. I am really into anything that allows me and baby to get more sleep.
4. MiniStar Shoes
First of all lets acknowledge how hard it can be to put shoes on babies! I might be the only one that has this problem but these are really easy to put on and she couldn’t pull them off as easily as some other shoes we tried. Plus they were soft and had different designs that were adorable.
5. Boon Grass Countertop Drying Rack
This drying rack is awesome! It allows the bottles to stay upright and dry. So many other drying racks I’ve seen the bottles will just fall over. Not so with the Boon Grass Drying Rack. Plus it looks kind of cool!
6. Waterproof Fitted Crib Mattress Protector
This isn’t a fancy product or anything but you will want this to protect the crib mattress. Register for whatever sheets you would like but this needs to be underneath those sheets! It will save your crib and you will get a lot more use out of it!
7. Avent Natural Bottles and Nipples
Even if you plan on exclusively breastfeeding it’s nice to have some bottles and nipples on hand. I’ve personally loved the Avent brand. They are reasonably priced and last a long time. We have had good luck with their Natural line.
8. Pack and Play
This is something else that is personal preference with how fancy you want your pack and play to be. We mainly use ours when we are traveling so we didn’t need anything crazy.
Pack and plays are also great to have when baby is awake and wants to play but you want to take a shower. It gives you somewhere to put them that’s safe but allows them to move around. Don’t forget to also register for the mattress pad and sheets that go into the pack and play.
9. Chicco Infant Car Seat
This specific car seat was recommended to us by many other parents and we have not been disappointed. It cleans well and is well priced. Plus you can buy multiple bases so you can easily switch between cars.
10. Boudreaux’s Butt Paste
This isn’t a glamorous item but an essential first year of life survival item. Your baby will need this at some point and you will be glad you have it. (So will your baby’s bottom!)
11. Medela Breast Pump
This breast pump is awesome and works well for most people. You can buy the parts at most stores which makes it nice if you ever need any additional parts. Its well priced, small, and can be transported pretty easily. Check with your health insurance because in many cases they now will buy your breast pump for you!
12. Breastfeeding Salve
This is another product that isn’t glamorous but is essential. Your nipples will thank you!!!!
13. Diapers and Wipes
We have been fans of Pampers diapers and Pampers sensitive wipes since the beginning. We’ve tried other brands but always came back to Pampers. Register for diapers and wipes!!! They are expensive and you will use them for years! Sizes 1, 2, and 3 is what I feel like most kids are in for the longest amount of time.
14. Circo Wipeable Changing Pad Cover
You will definitely need a changing pad and cover. My favorite type is this wipeable changing pad cover. The bottom is made out of material that easily wipes down! With a regular changing pad cover if your baby pees you have to take the pad off completely and put a new one on. With this one just wipe it clean and you’re done! It’s so worth it!!!
There you go. That’s my top items to make it through the first year of life. I hope it helps you out! Let me know if you have any questions and I would be more than happy to try to answer them!
*An earlier version of this post listed the Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play which has since been recalled and thus removed from this post.