Nowadays, there are so many baby products to choose from, sometimes it’s hard to figure out which ones you absolutely can’t live without. But trust, me, there are definitely ones that you can live without. So, here’s a list of baby essentials and non-essentials for the first year. Check it out!
When I became pregnant with my fifth and final baby, I had already gotten rid of all my baby stuff. So, when I started buying the essentials, I thought long and hard about what baby essentials and non-essentials for the first year I really needed. Because you can spend a lot of money and take up a lot of space in your house with baby stuff that you really don’t need. Here’s the list I put together.
20 Baby essentials for the first year
This isn’t a complete list of EVERYTHING that you’ll need for the first year, but it covers most of the main stuff. As a first-time parent, having a baby can be overwhelming, so just start with the absolute essentials and then consider the other non-essentials if you think you might need it.
- Swaddling blankets: Swaddling your baby is a must in my book. Learn how to swaddle your baby. You’ll thank me later.
- Stroller and car seat combo: This goes without saying.
- Bouncer: Until your baby can move around on her own, you’ll need a safe place to put her down when you’re at home
- Pack ‘n play with bedside bassinet: I used this for the first couple of weeks when my baby slept next to my bed and then I had the pack ‘n play to use whenever we went out of town.
- Electric breast pump: If you’re nursing, don’t even think about using a manual hand pump! Plus, most insurances will provide a free breast pump.
- Nursing cover/car seat cover: This is a two for one! Cover your boobies when you’re nursing and then cover your baby in her cart seat. Plus the nursing covers are so much better than they used to be. They actually cover you.
- Bottles: Even if you think you’re only going to nurse your baby, buy some bottles just in case.
- Diaper cream: Newborns poop a lot and sore bums are inevitable. Plus, Triple Paste is the best diaper cream.
- Baby bath: It’s always scary giving your newborn their first bath. A really good, safe baby bath is a must.
- Front carrier/wrap: Some moms prefer the wrap carrier. I prefer a front carrier. Either way, sometimes you want to keep your baby close around the house or when you’re out and about. This is a must.
- Diaper backpack: These are catered for the modern mom with everything you need on the go with a baby.
- Convertible crib: As your baby grows, you can switch the crib to a toddler bed.
- Plastic bib: Don’t buy any fabric bibs. These are so much easier.
- Infant Tylenol: When your baby won’t stop crying in the middle of the night, you’ll be glad you have this.
- Humidifier: These really do when your baby sleep better at night.
- Activity Center: Once my babies start to sit up around six months old, the bouncer won’t work anymore. An activity center helps will their development and keeps your baby entertained so you can get stuff done.
- Binky/binky clip: Don’t buy a binky without a binky clip. Your baby will spit it out and your binky will be lost in binky land for eternity.
- Baby fingernail clippers: These are made specifically for tiny baby fingers. Then you don’t have to worry about your newborn clawing her face to death.
- Baby snowsuit: If you live in a colder climate, you don’t have to feel like you’re stuck inside with baby all day. I took my baby on walks all winter long.
- High chair: I prefer the kind that attaches to a chair so it doesn’t take up extra space.
20 Baby non-essentials for the first year
Believe it or not, you don’t have to buy every baby product that is out there. There are some products that aren’t totally necessary but are more of a convenience. Here’s 20 items that you don’t really need when you have a baby.
- Bottle warmer – It takes just as long to warm water on the stove.
- Shoes – Babies usually just rip them off and plus they can’t even walk
- Nursing pillow – Just use a regular pillow
- Play mat – They tend to just take up space. My kids have never liked these.
- Bottle sterilizer – One word: dishwasher
- Diaper Genie – These start to stink up your house and plus you have to pay for the bag that go in them.
- Baby wipe warmer – For reals?
- Changing table – This is basically a glorified dresser that takes up space. Try a changing mat instead.
- Baby monitor – These are pricey. I just crack my baby’s door and listen for her.
- Bumbo – None of my kids like sitting in Bumbos and I think they aren’t totally safe.
- Baby food mill – Just use a blender.
- Formula dispenser – These are just the same amount of work as measuring your formula each time.
- Car mirror – I have never used one of these. I just don’t consider them essential.
- Teething toys – Just an excuse to buy more toys
- Noise machine – If your baby gets used to a noise machine, you have to have one anytime you go out of town.
- Crib bumper and bedding – Choking hazard
- Umbrella stroller – I usually don’t use these until my babies have outgrown their car seat/stroller combo.
- Grocery cart covers – Put a blanket in the cart if you’re worried about germs.
- Snack cups – These seem to take up a lot of space in my diaper bag. I prefer ziplock bags
- Jumparoos – I always worry about safety with these and I can’t ever find a place for them in my house
Well, there you have it. There’s 40 baby essentials and non-essentials for the first year. Hopefully this list will help you as you’re preparing for the arrival of your little one. Is there anything I should have added to one of these lists? Let me know in the comments below.
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