Top 10 Items for Baby's First Year

I remember when I was pregnant walking into Babies R Us with the checklist in my hand, ready to write down my decisions I needed to research. As soon as my husband looked at the list, he turned to me and asked two things: 'We need all of this?' 'Where are we putting it all?' Of course I knew we didn't need all of it, I just thought most of it. And I already had a plan for where it all would go, at least while we were using it.

Well I was wrong in both of my thinking. We didn't need most of it and I had no idea where it all actually was set up - and if we even used it. 

I have a friend who is expecting and she just sent out an email asking friends for advice about some baby products that are a must have. So I wanted to share this information with all of you too!

This is not all of the stuff, but this is the top 10 things we found that made the first year easier.
*some of the links for the products featured are affiliate links*

Rock n Play - Our rock-n-play was recommended to us from a friend. This allows the baby to sleep next to your bed like a bassinet but it is easily moved to anywhere in your house. Our daughter napped in this in her own room and even slept a couple nights in it in her room before we transitioned her to her crib. If our daughter woke in the middle of the night, I was known to just reach down and start rocking to try and calm her - worked half of the time.

We almost didn't even use this product because we were gifted a co-sleeper. However, our daughter had a lot of mucous from being born via c-section and was having trouble sleeping flat. The first night we switched her to this and she slept great {in combination with the Miracle Blanket - see below}

Some concerns that were brought to my attention with this product

  1.  Baby will get a flat head because the plastic piece is hard. Our baby did not get a flat head. She was in this for all naps and bedtime. We held or wore her in a wrap the rest of the time. Most babies develop flat heads because they are laid down most of the time. Just as a precaution, we did add a hand towel folded up under the flap of the bunny as extra padding, just in the beginning when she wasn't moving much in her sleep. 
  2. Baby will have a hard time transitioning to a flat bed. We transitioned slowly. We gave our daughter a nap in the crib for a couple days. Then added a nap each time until it was time for her to sleep overnight. She did great.

Also, now they have this automatic rocking Rock n Play - we may have to upgrade if we have another!

Burt's Bees Multipurpose Ointment - This was not a product previously recommended to us. I was looking on the EWG for a product that we could understand what was in it and that had a good score. This product scored a 3 on the EWG scale. There are now some others that are higher rated, but we used this all the time, and we still do. We slather it on before her nighttime diaper and we did it for almost every diaper change when she was dirtying her diapers a lot. We had ZERO diaper rashes. It is easily wiped off and easily applied.

Backpack Diaper Bag - This was a purchase my husband requested for when he took our baby out. We ended up getting this Fisher Price one but by friend got the Ju-Ju-Bee Back Pack for Mother's Day which I loved and wanted to buy {but restrained myself}. I usually use my coach bag as a diaper bag, but we use this when we are out on trips or when I carried her in the Ergo {almost made the list but may get it's own spotlight :)} . The Fisher Price one even comes with some labeled pockets for diapers, wipes {with a handy pop-open container}, and pacifier. It is nice and spacious and is still prefect for outings like the aquarium, out for a walk or when my husband is with me. Best part - no hands needed :)

Nuby Teether - This teether came from a mom friend who tried so many teethers for her daughter. She gifted this one to me and it quickly became one of our daughter's favorite ones. I bought 3 more. I love that it comes with a protective case you can store it in. I tend to keep one in the freezer too. This is one teether that I always gift to new moms now.

Infant Probiotic - After 3 weeks of my baby girl crying in pain due to colic/gas, we were willing to do almost anything to make her feel better. We used a product called Tummy Calm {which we still do use when she has an upset tummy} and it worked wonders, but nothing compared to probiotics. We went and purchased the Gerber one at our local Walgreens and gave it a shot. We added the drops to some pumped milk once a day. After 3 days, our happy, curious and calm baby was back. We still give her probiotic but due to the price on the Gerber, we switched to a powder that we now mix into her food.

Infant Monitor with a Camera - We have been spoiled. We love, love, love being able to see our little angel sleeping in her crib. We love that we can see when she is crying if we have to go in, we watched her roll over for the first time in the crib and I watch her play with her stuffed animals in the morning, We use a Foscam Security Camera and our iPhones with an app to watch her.

Won't people be able to break into my Foscam and wake up my baby - like that one article I saw? We keep our Foscam on our secure, in-home network wi-fi. The probability of someone actually choosing you to do this is probably low, but just in case, we have not opened the network up to outside viewing. So my husband cannot login at work and watch us. {Plus it would be a bit creepy to know someone can just login and watch your child sleep/you nurse - even if it's you or your husband}

Miracle Blanket - I was gifted this from my husband's cousin who has three kids herself. Honestly, when we got it, I thought, "There is no way that I would use this. Our baby will be sleeping great because I am going to do XYZ and I learned the perfect swaddle." Boy was I wrong. Our baby girl was a great sleeper...the best when she was in a swaddle, but she learned early on in the hospital how to break out of that swaddle. One night in a desperate attempt to get her to sleep, we pulled out this miracle blanket. It worked!!! She fought it at first {and every night/nap we put her in it} but within minutes she was sleeping and slept longer. 8 hours the first night in it! This is another gift I tend to give to mommies to be :)
*If you purchase this on the Miracle Blanket website, they usually have a buy more than 1 deal - I recommend at least 2, in case you need one in the middle of the night...we ended up with 4*

Jumperoo - We did register and receive a different jumper but when it came to using it, it wasn't making the cut. It had a plate at the bottom and it was up to the child to make it push down. She was so tiny, she just sat there. Our daughter would jump on our knees so we knew she would do well in a jumper. We purchased this Rain Forest one and were so glad for Prime free 2-day shipping. As soon as we put her in it, there was joy on her face. This was by far her favorite activity for the longest time. Her first baby sign was jump. Even when she started cruising, she would crawl over to this and walk around it playing with the toys {but never wanted to get back in}.

Travel High Chair - I love having this travel high chair. It has come in handy so many times. We used it when we went out to lunch/dinner and our daughter was too young to sit in the restaurant high chairs. I have brought it to friend's/family's houses. I even brought it with me to a baby shower {the mom-to-be went out and purchased one too}. I have even used it in my house when little friends come to visit. It has even come in handy when I have needed a toddler seat for a friend, the tray is removable, We were gifted this one at my shower from one brilliant mom, but I am fully impressed with the one I featured. I love that it folds up for ease of storage/travel. The one we have is a bit bulky but it does the job.

Boppy - This was a wonder product for us. I know there are several kinds out there, so choose your weapon of choice. We used the boppy for every nursing session starting in the hospital {best thing I packed in my hospital bag} and continued when we got home until she no longer fit on it while nursing, around 4 months. It lived around me. She would fall asleep nursing and I would lay her down on it and have tow hands free. When she got too big to use it for nursing, we would prop her up to practice sitting. I have even seen moms use it for tummy time when their kids didn't like it. She still loves to curl up in it and lay her little head down. I plan on keeping it around for a floor pillow for her when she gets older and wants to read on the floor.

Looking back on all of this makes me tear up a bit. It seems like only yesterday that we were fumbling around trying to use all of this for the first time. I hope this helps all of you first time moms.

What would you add to the list?
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