There are so many products out there for baby, it can be overwhelming. I felt so conflicted over so many of them, I feel like we bought nearly every product at every store we registered at. Since hindsight is 20/20, and Chloe is now 1-year-old, I am realizing now that we didn’t need half of what we bought. So, I wanted to share my Baby’s First Year: Top 12 Products for the First 12 Months. These are products that we definitely got our money’s worth by purchasing. I’ve included the links (embedded in the photos) in case you are interested in purchasing any of these,but mostly I just hope this helps any soon-to-be moms or new moms out there just trying to get a grip on the massive amount of products on the market for Baby’s First Year.
1. Universal Pacifier Clip Paci Holder Teether Clip Soothie Pacy
There are so many reasons why this pacifier clip is better than most of the others on the market, but the main reason is, you can clip it securely with one hand. No one ever told me when you became a mom you forfeit use of one of your hands, but it’s true. The easy clip is safe and secure – this pacifier clip was exponentially better than the others we bought (and we bought MANY different kinds :))
2. Aquascale 3 in 1 Digital Scale, Water Thermometer, and Infant Tub
There aren’t words for how much I loved our infant bathtub, but the fact that Chloe is 13 months and we still use it is reason enough. The insert seat for infants is so much better than others on the market. It actually provides a secure seat for them to rest their bum on, so you can (with caution) have both of your hands free to bathe baby. The scale is pretty accurate (better than most others we tried) and the temperature gauge is right on the money. When baby can sit up, you just remove the seat insert and there is plenty of room for them to splash around this little tub without having a whole bathtub to roam. It’s a quicker, safer method of bathing for as long as they fit in to it.
3. aden + anais Classic Muslin Swaddle Blanket
After buying multitudes of different swaddles and blankets, these are genuinely the best ones out there. They are softer and larger than other swaddles (the real ones are 47”x47” – make sure to check the size before you purchase because they make copycat versions for the Target brand and other stores that are only 44”x44”). Once you get the hang of swaddling, these are the easiest swaddle blankets to use. Plus, because they are lightweight they are GREAT for nursing in public, using to canopy over baby’s car seat, and for toddler’s first night-time blanket. We resisted buying these for so long because they are more expensive, but we could have saved a lot of money if we just started with these in the first place. 4. Huggies Clutch ‘n’ Clean Refillable Wipes
This is the best portable wipes container I’ve used. It’s a space saver, easy to refill, lightweight and keeps your wipes moist longer. Ps. This comes FREE in the bulk boxes of wipes sold at Costco… Enough said.
5. Bright Starts Lots of Links Accessory
These are a must for baby’s first year. They can link together, link to car seats, link to play mats, and they can link your cabinets closed for baby proofing your house. The list of usages for these is endless. You won’t regret spending $5 on these.
6. JJ Cole 2-In-1 Mirror
This car seat mirror is awesome because the mirror is clear, the strap to secure it to your seat is straightforward and it doubles as an iPad holder!! Do you know that this can save you hundreds of dollars because you will never need to install a TV in to your car to keep the kids occupied on long car trips? I love this thing and it has saved us in the last year of traveling hours upon hours in the car during our move to Atlanta.
7. myBaby Soundspa Lullaby Sound Machine and ProjectorI’m a huge advocate of helping baby sleep with white noise. It’s worked like a charm for us and helped us get our little one sleeping through the night more efficiently and effectively. I’m also a huge advocate of cost savings where you can and this product does that. It’s not the best sound machine on the market I’m sure, but ours has been cranking away for 13 months now and Chloe has slept through the night no problem. Also – it doubles as a projector which has been a plus for us when we’re traveling and forget to pack a nightlight!
8. Comforter Toy Crumble Bear While I’m on the subject of sleep, here’s another one of my favorite products: a comfort bear. This was essential to helping cue baby when teaching her it was time to nap or go to bed. When she could fully lift her head (around 6 months old or so) we introduced this little bear to her for sleeping and I can’t even begin to tell you how much she loves this bear now. Not only does it cue her it’s time to sleep, but it’s helped her napping and it’s helped her stay entertained in her crib after she wakes up so we don’t need to rush in to get her the second her eyes open. Also, if you sleep with the bear for a while it takes on your scent which is also a comfort for baby in the beginning. I’d highly recommend getting one of these or a similar product. Ps. This one is gender neutral!
9. BABYBJORN Baby Carrier Original
Anyone who has met me has probably seen me (or Tim) carrying Chloe in her Baby Bjorn. It’s comfortable, secure, easy to put on and best of all it’s easy to wash! You can face baby inward in the beginning and then as soon as they are ready you can turn them around and let them see the world facing outwards. There are many carriers on the market, but for baby’s first year, I absolutely loved the Baby Bjorn!
10. J.L. Childress Gate Check Bag For Standard and Double Strollers
We’ve traveled a lot this past year… A. Lot. So I’ve learned a few tricks to help make traveling with baby a smoother process. This bag is for when you gate check your stroller and/or car seat. It keeps just about any size stroller clean (trust me, they get DIRTY when they are gate checked), it helps you carry the stroller off the jetway, it makes your stroller easily identifiable and it ensures you don’t lose any pieces. It’s totally worth the $18 just in the fact that it keeps your stroller clean! It’s durable and ours has lasted 18 flights with minimal damage to the bag, aside from absorbing all the dirt that would have gotten on our stroller without it! LOVE this product!
11. BEABA Babycook Classic
I know I just wrote a whole blog post about how much I love my Beaba Babycook, which is why I couldn’t leave it off my favorite’s list. Feel free to read my post: Homemade Baby Food for more about why I love this product!
12: Tiny TOMS
Ok this I saved the best for last. I could be a spokesperson for TOMS with how many times I’ve recommended Tiny TOMS to my mom friends. Everyone adores how cute these shoes are, but the reason I love them is because they are easy to slip on, and the flex bottoms are perfect for new walkers. They provide the support to keep baby feet supported, but they are flexible so they bend and confirm to baby’s newly walking feet. I’ve bought countless pairs of baby shoes (ask my credit card company) and these are BY FAR my favorite. We have already pre-ordered the next size up. These come in a variety of colors and sizes (they start at size 2 which, by my comparisons, is similar to a size 1 in other brand shoes). I’m obsessed with Tiny TOMS!
Hope this list helps you moms and dads just starting out and trying to weed out the necessary products from the unnecessary. Being a new parent is already a very steep learning curve, so hopefully one, two or all of these products helps make the first year a little bit easier for you!