Top Baby Items for the 1st Year

The number of baby items out there is so overwhelming! I remember when Joey and I made a trip across town to BuyBuy Baby to check out strollers and car seats… looking at everything in that store stressed us out! We didn’t know what we really needed, how much we needed, or how any of it worked.

Joey shopping for car seats at BuyBuy baby.
I laugh looking back at this…we were so clueless!

I took my time registering online for months, reading reviews on every item. As a new mom, you feel the need to check off every box and have it all. But in the end, some things end up going unused or they just don’t work for your baby.

Looking back at the past year, these are the top items that we absolutely couldn’t live without! I tried really hard to narrow it down to 10 and I couldn’t… so here are my top 11!

1. The Hatch Sound Machine – This thing is truly our favorite! We use this for every single nap, every night of sleep, and it most definitely travels with us. Joey and I can’t even sleep without it! It’s basically a sound machine that also serves as a nightlight. You control it with an app on your phone, which I always find convenient when I’m sitting down to rock Jacob. We always go with the blue light and white noise, but there are endless options. Babies or not, you NEED this in your life.

Jacob sleeping in the pack n play with the hatch nearby
He loves the Hatch!

2. The newborn boppy lounger– I will never forget when Joey and I brought Jacob home from the hospital. We had packed enough for a 12 week vacation and had some serious unpacking to do. Immediately we realized we needed somewhere safe to place Jacob for a few minutes. That was the moment we grabbed this thing! This boppy lounger was LIFE for about 4 months. It’s the perfect size, easy to carry, and Jacob absolutely loved it.

Jacob in the boppy the first night at home
Our first night at home.

3. Bibs– I know, this sounds basic. But I was introduced to two kinds of bibs as a new mom and we literally can’t live without them. I was gifted drool bibs at my baby shower and Jacob has basically worn them around the clock (except for sleeping) since he was born. So many outfits have been saved by these bibs catching all the drool and spit up. We always attach pacifier clips… whoever invented these is a genius. I also never knew about silicone bibs for feeding. I learned about them after Jacob’s first time eating carrots/smothering our new highchair in carrots. They catch everything!

Jacob wearing a green drool bib
He wears these drool bibs with every single outfit.
Jacob wearing a silicone bib during meal time
He wears one for every meal!

4. Sleep sacks– Jacob started busting out of his swaddles very early on and we needed another safe option for sleeping. These are sleeveless blankets that keep your baby cozy at night! He still sleeps in them every night and will for a very long time. There are lots of brands available, but we have always really like the Halo line.

Jacob sleeping on his back in the bassinet in a sleep sack

5. Zip pajamas– When it was time to bring Jacob home from the hospital, the nurse had to help dress our child. We had this awful little outfit (that was way too big because he came early) and it was so stressful trying to dress a tiny newborn! I quickly learned that zip pajamas are LIFE. No one has time for buttons and snaps when you’re changing diapers all day. I found Little Sleepies zippies on Instagram and we always have a pair for Jacob. They are $30 and I don’t care because they are stretchy magic, insanely soft and adorable.

Jacob in his blue zip pajamas in the stroller.

6. Britax stroller/car seat- There are so many car seat and stroller options. We chose ours based off the best safety ratings. We’ve been really happy with this travel system. I use the stroller almost everyday for our walks and it glides easily. The car seat itself is heavy, but I’m pretty sure that’s a good thing for safety reasons. It’s really easy attaching the car seat to the stroller. We had one of these car seat bases in both of our cars (and also one in Mimi & Grammy’s). We recently got this Britax car seat for our growing boy and I assume we will love it even more because we won’t have to carry it anywhere!

Right before our first family walk.

7. Highchair– I’m not sure it really matters which one you get, but this one has been great for us! It’s easy to clean, rolls and can also be used as a booster seat as your baby grows.

8. Pack n Play– For us, this is absolutely the number one item we couldn’t live without. For the first few months we just used it as a changing table. It was a great place for storing diapers and burp cloths. Jacob also loved the cuddle cove seat that came with it. Once he outgrew the bassinet, our sleep journey looked like Jacob transitioning to this pack n play instead of his crib. He still sleeps there every night. We did invest in this mattress to make it more comfortable… it has a firm side for babies and fits just right. We also use the pack n play for travel and it’s the safest place to put him right now if I have to run to the bathroom.

What will I do when he grows out of this?!

9. Bassinet– I know a lot of people say you don’t need one of these, but this was a must for us. A bassinet provided us with a safe place for Jacob to sleep for months… right next to Mama. This was probably our most expensive registry item, but it was totally worth it.

Jacob's bassinet set up next to the bed
I was so sad when he grew out of the bassinet!

10. Bathtub– There are tons of cute ones out there, but we just needed something basic that fit into our bathtub. This tub was perfect from Jacob’s very first bath up until he got really mobile. We recently got this one because it allows him to sit up easily and splash. We did invest in this kneeling pad to make bath time more comfortable for us.

Jacob in his newborn bathtub.
This little tub was perfect for the first 7 months.

11. Glider– We have one in the nursery and one in our bedroom. We have spent countless hours gliding! These are both so comfortable and we love having the ottoman. Obviously you don’t need two, but we didn’t know how little time we’d actually spend in our nursery. We truly only use the one in our bedroom since that’s still where Jacob sleeps, but we like the way both of them look and will use them for years to come.

Nursery glider
Nursery glider

I’m curious to know… what was the baby item you couldn’t live without?!

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