Bringing a new baby into the world is such an exciting adventure, but MAN OH MAN, I never knew a tiny human could have so many things. As a first-time mom, you will think you need EVERYTHING. However, you really don’t, unless you are prepared for a lot of clutter. Trust me, I’ve been there. One of the most exciting things that you get to do while you’re pregnant is picking out all the cool gadgets and outfits for your little one, at least, it was for me. I thought I’d make it a little easier and make a list of the things we actually used and enjoyed during the first year! I will also link the items, so it’s easy for you to just add to your registry if you have one!
A good bassinet and/or a Pack N Play
It is recommended for you and your baby to room share for at least the first six months, ideally even a year. I didn’t invest in a good bassinet, and I ended up getting rid of the one we had because I wouldn’t want to use it our next go around. However, by four months or so, you need them in something a little lower, which is why I would also recommend a Pack N Play unless you would prefer having a crib in your room.
This is the Pack N Play we used! https://amzn.to/32TzGzL
The 4moms Play Yard is way more user friendly and easier for travel, but we did love ours.
Velcro Swaddles and Sleepers that Zip
We all love an adorable burrito baby, but we were HORRIBLE at swaddling. When we got home from the hospital, we didn’t swaddle our daughter at all until I finally remembered we got these Velcro Swaddles at our baby shower. They were a game-changer. They are super convenient, and she couldn’t just break out of them like she could with the swaddle blankets. Another thing I highly recommend is sleepers that zip. In the middle of the night, you are not going to want to wake up (for the fourth or fifth time) and have to button eight or nine buttons to change a diaper. My daughter also spent the majority of the time in these PJs.
Hatch Baby Rest sound machine
Honestly, I would register for two of these. One for your room and one for the babies. You will miss having it the second you move the baby into their bedroom. The Hatch Baby sound machine has nine sound options and numerous night light options. You can use it manually, or you can set it up through the app on your phone. This is also my “go-to” when I’m buying someone a gift for their baby shower.
A baby monitor
I didn’t use a sound machine for a long time, just because our daughter slept with us for the first 11 months at night, or in my arms during naps (we will get back to this later). However, if you plan to put your baby down during a nap, then I would suggest getting a baby monitor. You will most likely end up wanting one later on even if you don’t want to use one in the beginning. We use the Infant Optics. It’s worked well for us!
A Boppy pillow
If you plan on breastfeeding, I recommend you get some sort of breastfeeding pillow. We used the “Boppy” pillow. I didn’t always use this during breast-feeding but we had to hold Mia upright for about 20-30 minutes after each feeding due to reflux. So, my husband actually used it a lot too. It was a life-saver for our arms.
Let me just say, no one told me that babies rejected bottles. I breastfed my daughter, so it wasn’t a big deal until I had to go back to work. Everyone kept telling me that she would eventually eat when she was hungry (while she was away from me), but no. She would hold out the entire day. We tried every bottle!! Eventually, we found the Comotomo bottles, and she LOVED them. They’re also super easy to clean, and they’re pretty cute!
A floor mat
Floor mats are great for tummy time and hand-eye coordination! We ended up with a couple of these mats, but Mia also loved to kick, so we ended up getting one with a piano on the end for her to kick her feet against it. It played music, which she loved, so she was able to entertain herself for a while! We ended up keeping this for our next baby, but I’ll probably end up getting The Lovevery Play Gym the next time, simply because all of the different textures are good for them as well!
So, after four months, I felt like Mia started to outgrow her little seats we used, such as the rock n play (which has been recalled), and her bouncer, so I ended up getting her an activity center that she could stand up in. This had little attachments that were supposed to be developmentally helpful, and it also helps with their leg strength. It was also nice because we were able to put it in the kitchen, and it kept her entertained while we were cooking.
ONE MORE THING!
I also wanted to mention a sleep training program. Finally, after about eleven months, we decided to sleep train our daughter. For us, this was necessary. She was sleeping with us and waking up constantly throughout the night. Again, I was breastfeeding, and up until that point, I wasn’t ready to do anything to affect my supply. We purchased Becca Campbell’s “Little Z’s” 6-16 month sleep training program. This program is a two-week (14 days) program, so we picked a week to start and then transitioned her into her room. She ended up sleeping through the night on the very first night and stayed asleep for 13 HOURS. Thankfully, the program also went over naps, because up until we decided to start this program, someone was having to hold her while she was napping. This program was 100% worth the investment. Now, if you are planning on breastfeeding, “supply and demand” is the number one thing that is going to make your journey successful. After we sleep trained Mia, she no longer was breastfeeding in the middle of the night and slowly started weaning herself shortly after that, which is kind of what I expected and why I ended up waiting so long.
Here is a list of a few other smaller items that we used that are worth mentioning.
Burp cloths – You can never have too many.
Spectra S2 Breast pump or Spectra S1 – If you’re planning to breastfeed.
Haakaa– This is great for catching milk on the breast you’re not nursing on!
Socks – This seems obvious, but who knows what happens to their socks!
BOOKS– High-contrast books are great for young babies! We also LOVE Sandra Boynton’s books.
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