If you are planning to have a child or have a newborn, congratulations! This is an exciting time for you and your family. We can often be overwhelmed by the things people say that we need for baby’s first year. In this blog post, I will share with you what I found helpful as a first time mom.
Though my baby is almost 2 years old (as of this writing), there were some essential items that I want to share with you for your baby’s first year.
Things on this list includes items you will need outside of the regular basics such as clothing and wipes. I found them to be highly useful and definitely recommend them to all my friends.
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Here are 10 items you must get for your baby’s first year:
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1. Pajamas with hand and feet covers
When my daughter was born, her fingernails were a little long. It can be pretty scary when she puts them so close to her eyes.
Though the nails are not too sharp when she is born, she can still scratch her face and leave marks.
Getting these pajamas with hand and feet covers are very helpful to prevent her from doing that.
Mittens and socks can easily get lost and also the baby will figure out a way to take them off, whether by kicking or throwing their hands around.
These pajamas with hand and feet covers are super helpful and one less thing to think about when caring for a baby.
I found them to be very helpful until a few months old. Check out some pajamas options here.
Swaddles is supposed to mimic the mother’s womb and make babies feel cozy.
We did not get a swaddle at first as we were thinking to just use any regular cloth. However, after getting a swaddle (similar one here) for our daughter, it did make a difference.
She was not waking up as easily, but at intervals when she is hungry or feeling some discomfort.
The other day, I was thinking that swaddling a baby seems easy enough with a cloth, but with lack of sleep, it might be more challenging.
There are some really cute swaddles with different patterns, check them out here.
You might want to switch them out to sleep sack once they can start to roll over.
3. Baby Carriers
I feel like I’m a broken record here with the baby carrier being a must-have.
Again, it is a must-have.
When my daughter was younger, I bought a cloth baby carrier (similar one here) so that she can be close to me while I do things around the house.
It’s such a freeing feeling to be able to have your hands and arms rest from carrying a baby all day.
Check out this one that is similar to mine that is highly recommended.
Not only I was able to wear it, my husband could too if he wanted to.
My daughter felt close to us and we were still able to do the things we wanted.
When she was a little older, we transitioned her to the Ergo baby carrier. We are still using it at 2 years old.
We might not need to carry her around the house when she became more mobile but it is very useful for travel and walks around the neighborhood.
I definitely highly recommend this carrier as it is pretty durable and makes my life a little easier.
4. Nail Clippers
Remember how I mentioned that when the baby is born, their fingernails can be long?
We will all need to figure out how to cut the baby’s fingernails.
There are a couple of ways.
First, you can use a nail filer and clipper.
You want to be careful as their nails are quite small and they might not hold still for you. This is a similar one to the one we have.
We found it best to file at night after she falls asleep. However, a friend of mine found it best to do it in the morning after breakfast. You will need to figure out what works best for you and your baby.
The other option is to use an electric nail filer.
I have not tried this option, but I’ve heard good things about it. I might try this option for our next child. Supposedly, it will remove some fear of cutting too deep. If you get a chance to try it, please let me know your experience.
The only thing for both options is to try and do it consistently so that it will not be as sharp when they unconsciously scratch themselves.
5. Bottle Sterilizer
Whether you are planning to bottle feed or eventually transition to a baby bottle in your baby’s first year, this is an important thing to have.
After each use of the baby bottle, just pop them into the bottle sterilizer to sterilize the baby bottles for you.
You can try to sterilize the bottles yourself every night, but honestly, we’re tired.
Sometimes, I would put in my breast pump parts in the bottle sterilizer as well.
It’s worth to invest into a good bottle sterilizer and let it do the job for you.
6. A pack of face and burp cloths
Face and burp cloths are so important, especially during the first few months of the baby’s life.
Here are some uses for the face cloths:
- Wipe the baby’s drool
- Clean their face
- During bath time
- Clean up spit ups
- Put in freezer and use as a teether
It can be pretty versatile so it’s helpful to get a pack of face cloths especially for baby’s first year.
What I would suggest is for you to get a few lying around the house in places where you’ll know you need them. For example, you might have some in the bathroom, kitchen, diaper bag, and also play area.
As for the burp cloths, they are similar to face cloth but bigger in size.
We found these really useful after each feeding session.
My husband would put the burp cloth over his shoulder and burp our daughter after he gives her a bottle at night.
Again, this would be helpful to have around in your diaper bag, crib, or wherever you feed your baby.
7. Body soap and lotion
I did not know much about baby soap and lotion prior to being pregnant. Also, I did not really know the difference.
However, after having my daughter, we realized that she had cradle cap. A friend of ours suggested to use this lotion for our daughter.
We were diligent in putting the lotion on her and it made a difference.
Depending on your baby’s skin, you might want to try out the La Roche Posay balm for your baby.
8. Breastfeeding pillow
The breastfeeding pillow is a great buy for new mothers and babies.
Here are some ideas of how to use the breastfeeding pillow:
- Feeding the baby
- Supporting guests and young children to hold the baby
- Tummy time (putting the baby’s arms and hand on the pillow)
- Sitting up (great support on the back and also on the sides)
When I went to deliver my daughter, K, I brought my breastfeeding pillow. It was not only great for me to support my arms while I feed her, but also for family members who visited. They were able to hold her with the support under their arms.
Read here for what I packed in my hospital bag: What do I pack in my hospital bag?
9. Toys to promote exploration
The best toy for your baby is you.
It’s true that they love to watch your expressions, listen to the sounds that you make, and laugh when you laugh.
However, you can get them toys to encourage exploration and curiosity.
At the newborn stage, you can get them these black and white flash cards.
With these, they can explore the different shapes and patterns though they may be young. You can also get them a play mat so that they can do tummy time and lie down to look at the different toys that come with it.
We have this Finding Nemo play mat.
As they might be drooling due to teething or want to put everything in their mouths, please avoid smaller toys. You can see which toys are easier to clean at the end of the day.
I wrote a post on Toys My 9 month old baby loves. Please feel free to check it out for older babies.
Your baby does not need many toys, but these are ones that can encourage them in their exploration and creativity. You can rotate toys to make it seem like the old toys (that were kept away) are like new toys to them.
10. Portable Diaper Changing Pad
Last, but not least, it is so useful to get a portable diaper changing pad like this one.
Whether you are going out to a friend’s place, visit family, or travel, this will come in really handy.
I changed my daughter on the plane (read more about the poop explosion here), at a family member’s house, and even in a public washroom when we traveled with a changing pad like this one.
What I love about it is the compartments that I can put extra diapers and a pack of wipes as well.
You’ll just need to hold the baby in one arm and this is another. You should be good to know, unless you want to bring extra clothes in case of diaper leakage or poop explosions.
These are my 10 must-have baby items you’ll need for your baby’s first year Be sure to let me know if you have anything you want to add to the list below.
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