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My little man’s first year on Earth is coming to a close. I cannot help but think back to those last few months of pregnancy; particularly the state of cluelessness as to what a child would need. Baby registries overwhelmed me. The categories and checklists made my mind numb wondering if a baby really required all that stuff. When it came time to register for our baby shower, my registry comprised of 5 items. Turns out, babies do need a little more stuff but not everything. So I thought back to this first year and compiled a list of what has been beneficial for me. Aside from the obvious clothes, diapers, and milk, here are my 12 essentials for baby’s first year.
I am all about being practical. A good travel systemis invaluable. The included car seat is the perfect size for keeping babies safe from birth up until a year (or 20 lbs). It also comes in super handy for the times baby falls asleep in the car while you’re running errands. It goes from the car seat base to the stroller with a simple click without disturbing your sleepy babe. When baby is big enough, it functions as a full stroller up until about 50lbs. We have the Chicco Bravo Le Trio Travel System and are big fans. The stroller itself folds easily using one hand. It’s come in so handy specially when I’ve had to fly with the baby alone.
Somewhere to Sleep
And I don’t mean the crib – unless you have a unicorn baby who actually likes to sleep in the crib. (By the way, I’m jealous). When I was pregnant, I was adamant about not co-sleeping. I slaved over his nursery picturing sweet baby slumbers in my upcycled crib. Then, baby came & reality hit so co-sleeping it was. As a new mom with a husband who can sleep through the apocalypse, I was so scared about us rolling over onto the tiny little baby. But my little man slept best next to me and it made nursing easier. The DockATot not only gave me piece of mind and direct access to him at night, it also helped him sleep a little better feeling snug. It’s also great for nap times on the bed when they start to roll over.
If co-sleeping is really not your thing, the HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Bassinet is a God send for the first few months. You can keep baby at arm’s length for night time feedings and it also has sound and vibration settings to help baby sleep.
I will never get over the baby startle syndrome. I think it is the funniest thing to see but also hated it when I finally got him to fall asleep after hours of protests. Everyone tells you that you need swaddles but no one tells you that they are not all created equal. The Nested Bean Zen Swaddle is made of the softest materials and help keep your baby feeling like he’s in your embrace. But the best part is that it has weighted pads on the sides and the chest that simulates your touch. Apollo is a horrible night sleeper but this has significantly helped his naps which average two hours vs the 45 minute fragments he slept before introducing the Nested Bean
It’s true that you can change your baby anywhere – the bed, the couch, the floor – but get peed on enough times, you’ll realize how important a designated changing pad with a waterproof liner is. Back to practicality, there is no need to spend bucks on a designated changing table that you will never use after potty training. Buy a cheap contoured changing pad, put a cover on it and prop it on top of a dresser. You’ll be good to go.
A Good Looking Diaper Bag
Splurge on a good looking and practical diaper bag because this will take place of your bags for at least a year. I am a big fan of the Fawn Design Bags. They hold so much, doubles as a messenger bag or backpack, and are sleek enough that my husband doesn’t feel emasculated when he holds the diaper bag in public.
You don’t have to believe in attachment parenting to reap the benefits of baby wearing. But a good carrier, be it cloth or a sturdy one is an asset. It helps keep your hands free when baby doesn’t want to be put down and helps foster a bond because of the closeness. We’ve used it in airports, hikes, around the house – everywhere. My tip is to actually try them on before buying because no two carriers are alike.
We made the mistake of buying a cheap bath initially. It was slippery and I suffered from backaches from hunching over to keep him supported with one hand during those first few month. The Angelcare Bath Support is fantastic for its sleek design and the nonslip support it provides for the baby.
I love products that grow with your baby. The Ingenuity Baby Base 2-in-1 Booster Seat does just that. It acts as a floor seat, a booster seat for when your babe grows, and also functions as a high chair. Our dining area is small so this seat has helped save space. It attaches to a chair via a strap that goes on the bottom and the back of the chair to ensure your kiddo will stay put. It’s also very cute in design.
You can never anticipate when your baby gets sick. It is the worst. The least you could do is be prepared and manage the symptoms. The Little Remedies New Parents Survival Kit is packed with items to help your little one at the first signs of discomfort whether it be a runny nose, gas, allergy to a fever. Another essential for us is the NoseFrida. Those bulb nasal aspirators don’t work. I received the NoseFrida from a friend when Apollo was only a couple of months old right before he had his first cold. The NoseFrida is the best product out there to help get the congestion of out of their little noses. I love that little snot sucker.
It really is true when they say that the days are long but the years are short. Before you know it, your baby will be mobile. No doubt you will want to keep your little one out of certain places of the house. Baby gates are absolutely necessary. We have them all over the house; in the kitchen, the top and bottom of the stairs, and the bathroom. Fortunately, there are tons to choose from depending on your budget