My baby boy is almost one and I cannot believe how quickly this first year flew by. Life with two kids is so different than just having one. I’m busier than ever, but I can’t imagine life without either one of them.
I want to share some of my “must-haves” for a baby, because there are items that made this past year so much easier for me. Before I was a mom, I had no idea what I really needed for my new baby. You walk into a store or search online and there are a million things to choose from. We all have our own ideas of what is necessary and, let’s face it, different babies like different things! But after two kids, I have a pretty good idea of what products made my first year with a baby a lot easier. The products I’m sharing are things that we actually used and I think are worth purchasing. Whether you are a new mom, grandparent, aunt or just had your 5th child hopefully these will give you some good ideas. I’d love to hear your must-have products as well! Here is my list (in no particular order) of:
This Sleep Sack saved us when my son was a newborn. He outgrew his quickly since he has always been tall for his age, but the few months that we used it was absolutely worth it! Swaddling him helped him to sleep better when it came to naps and night time sleep.
If you plan on nursing, a Breast Pump is essential, at least in my opinion. I am a full time stay-at-home mom, but even I need a break from feedings from time to time. When my husband and I get baby sitters I usually have to pump 1-2 times. Also, when you have a newborn and your milk is adjusting engorgement can happen and pumping just a bit can offer such a needed relief. I’ve had this pump for nearly 4 years now and love it; haven’t had a single issue.
There are a lot of great baby carriers out there, but out of all the ones I’ve tried I love this one the best. (I have it in black.) This Baby Carrier works best once your baby can hold his/her head (so around 2/3 months) and then up to 32 lbs. I only use it as a front carrier, but it can go on your back too. What I love the most is how easy it is to put on by yourself – no wrapping or tying involved. I used mine ALL the time and would still use it if my son wasn’t so heavy, haha! (He’s currently 11 months and 23 lbs…carrying him in any form hurts my back.)
A small Bath Tub is always a must for a newborn/baby. We have a simple whale tub (similar to this one) and it has worked well for us. Both of my boys used it as an infant until they were good at sitting upright (0-6 months).
A Thermometer is necessary when you have kids. I like this one because you can take your child’s temperature by moving the thermometer across their forehead or sticking it in their ear. My husband and I use it for ourselves too!
We purchased this Nursery Set for my first son and are currently using it for my second. I want to be completely honest: this is not a high end, super nice set of furniture. What it is, is functional, sturdy enough for children and decently priced. See, kids ruin things. They bite their cribs, pee on the changing table, throw toys at furniture… I don’t see why you would want to purchase expensive baby furniture knowing it will get destroyed. Anyway, this is the furniture we have and I love it. Nothing has broken and the scratches, dings and dents don’t bother me one bit since I didn’t spend a fortune on it.
Playmats are perfect entertainment for immobile babies. Both of my boys liked their playmat from months 2-5, when they were learning to roll but before they could sit up.
I had a simple stroller with my first son, and it worked well but by the time baby number two came along the wheels weren’t turning well and it was HARD to push. I wanted a new stroller with great wheels that could move easily over rough terrain and steer without too much effort. We got this Jogger as a baby gift and have absolutely loved it! It comes with a carseat, perfect for walking an infant, has cup holders, a small storage tray for kleenex/phone/cash, and a spacious bottom basket for carrying things such as blankets or toys.
This Jumperoo was a total life saver. For us, it worked best from ages 4-8 months; where my son could almost sit on his own, but had little mobility. He loved sitting and jumping in here while watching his older brother play. It plays music and sounds that aren’t annoying (like some baby toys), but we honestly didn’t use that feature much. It also has 3 different height levels, making it adjustable for when your baby gets taller.
A lot of people are into high chairs, but we’ve used this Booster Seat for both of our kids and I prefer it to a high chair. I like that it can easily strap on and off any chair and I feel like our babies are more involved in meal time. Also, when they get older you can remove the tray and just use it as a simple booster seat. The plastic is sturdy and easy to clean. This booster seat is best for babies that can sit up and start eating solids. We started using it around 5/6 months and will continue using it until he doesn’t want to sit in it any longer (which was at about 18 months for my first son).
Baby Books! You can never have too many books! My favorite baby books are the touch and feel ones. My baby isn’t yet interested in actual reading and will just grab the book from my hand, so I think interactive books like Pat the Bunny are great.