First Year Must Haves for Baby!

Hey y'all!

I can't believe it's been over a year since we had our first baby! It's definitely given me a lot of time to reflect on things that are used regularly vs things that I thought I needed, but actually didn't. If you're expecting your first (or second or third!) this list may be useful for you.

Some things I won't include because that's going to boil down to personal needs and preferences (like car seats, strollers and nursery furniture!). But I'll do my best to recommend most everything we use on a regular basis. Please note that some things do get out grown or grown into, but these are our favorites for the First Year.

Things we used the most in no particular order-

1. Boppy Newborn Lounger - $30
This thing was amazing. It was something that I didn't know I needed, but absolutely loved once I got one. Being able to put baby down on a soft surface with a slight elevation was great. It has handles to make it extra portable. I used this a lot to bring baby to the bathroom with me. It snuggled her and kept her calm while not in my arms! It was also great to sit on the counter while cooking or on the table while chowing down on a much needed lunch.

We had a regular car mirror (I think it was Eddie Bauer) but it just didn't work very well for us. We could not get it to attach properly to our headrest and the angle always ended up being much higher than we could see the baby in. Luckily, I stumbled across this mirror one day when looking for a new one and it's been love ever since. Our baby girl was completely enthralled by the lights in this mirror once we turned on it's soothing lullaby. She naps almost every time we put her in the car with the mirror active. Now that she's a bit older, she loves to reach up and turn the mirror on herself before being buckled into the car seat. The great thing is that it comes with a remote control that you can slide onto your visor to control the volume and keep the tunes coming.

We actually received a Graco Blossom 6 in 1 Convertible High Chair and don't use it that much. It's SO freaking big! We received this Fast Table Chair for free from another family who didn't use it that much. And it's become our number one spot to feed the baby. It's great for traveling to the grandparents house too! It clamps onto most tables and countertops. It's convenient and a space saver.   Easy to clean too, just take it apart and toss it in the wash for a like new clean.

I think everyone recommends some sort of structured carrier for baby at some point and this one is my recommendation. It works from newborn stage to older and allows for comfortable carry in multiple positions. It's been a life saver for my back and those times that baby didn't want to stay sitting in the stroller.

We started out with the Diaper Genie but hated fumbling with the refills and tying off the bags. It also has a sharp razor inside that older babies can easily get to that was a risk I was not going to take. We replaced it with the Ubbi Diaper Pail which has been a dream. It has a child proof lock and works with regular trash bags. We loved it so much, we got a second one for the living room.

Really not much of an explanation needed, all parents need some sort of thermometer for the littles to monitor sickness. This one we like because it's easy to get a quick temperature check on a moving target.

I don't know why we didn't just do this sooner. We picked this up about 4 months ago, and it's been a lifesaver on helping the baby sleep through the night/morning. We live next to a school and once the buses start running, it can get loud outside. This, along with her air filter, help add a layer of steady noise so that she isn't disturbed out of her natural sleep cycle. If you only get one thing, get a white noise machine!!

When we got the go ahead from the pediatrician to start adding water to her daily consumption, we went straight for a straw cup and skipped the traditional sippy cups. It only too her a minute to realize she needed to suck on the straw to get the water to come up and she loves water! This cup was great in the beginning because it moved the straw to whichever way she had picked up the cup. Once she mastered this cup, we moved over to the NUK Everlast Straw cup. These are also great and don't leak in the diaper bag!

We had a Graco pack and play, but the baby didn't like it at all. The mesh was not see through enough, the space was small, and the mattress was hard. We purchased one of these to try it out and she actually liked this one. I think she liked the fact that it had a lot more room to move around in, so it didn't feel so enclosed. It's been great inside and outside for keeping her in a safe space while we finish up a task (like cleaning or yard work).

10. For Traveling Families - Lotus Travel Crib - $210
If you visit a lot of family, fly a lot, or just travel in general, this is the best travel crib you can get. It's lightweight, easy to setup, and super comfortable for baby. When we flew to the East coast, she actually slept longer in this crib than she did at home!

11. My Choice: Lily Jade - A GOOD Diaper bag - $-$$$
Ya'll. This is one of those personal preferences, BUT, I cannot stress how important it is to find a bag that you love and that works well for your needs. I've been through several diaper bags already, but I may have found the one. It's lightweight, easy to clean, and can be carried multiple ways. It's also spacious and comes with an insert with lots of pockets. I did have a leather bag from them and loved it, but the more stuff you add to it, the heavier it gets. I tried another bag - their Nylon carry - and it's so much better. I'll link it here: It's great for traveling too! Holds so much stuff. If these are out of your price range, check the stock in the Outlet section or join a BST group on Facebook for an even better deal!

12. Dad's Choice: Hiking Backpack - Deuter Kid Comfort Child Carrier - $180
We're fairly active and go on hikes frequently. This is a great carrying option for long term comfort for both the wearer and baby. Baby gets to sit up high on your back and see everything while being protected from the sun with the canopy. It's super cushy and padded and has all the adjustment straps you need in order to make your load as comfortable as possible.

-xo Tracey