Last year while I was pregnant with my son, I did tons of research and asked a lot of questions to figure out what I needed for my new bundle of joy. Frankly, like many new moms, I was a bundle of nerves, trying to figure out what we needed. With so many products on the market and so many recommendations., new parents can feel overwhelmed. As a result, I've created a list of 10 must-haves baby's first year. Plus, I’ve included a bonus! These are the essentials that made life as a new mom a lot easier. Enjoy!
Boppy pillow: My boppy pillow is one of my most used and most versatile product from my son's first year. I cannot imagine breastfeeding during his earlier months without it (I also hear it works well for bottle feeding). It made nursing a lot more comfortable, especially during cluster feedings. As my son got older, we've used it for tummy time, as support when he was learning to sit up on his own and for playtime activities.
Co-sleeper - As a first-time mom, I spent a lot of time researching what co-sleeper to get for our little one. We wanted a sleeper that kept our baby close to us yet provided him with his own sleeping space. After reading loads of reviews, we got the Arms Reach co-sleeper. The Arms Reach design attaches to our bed like a sidecar, so it made middle-of-the-night nursing easier. We also loved that it packs compactly for travel and overnight trips.
Baby Monitor: This helped us keep an eye and ear out for our little one during naps. Since we live in a two-story house, it was easy to press a button on the monitor to check up on him and hear him when he woke up from naps.
Functional Diaper Bag: We wanted a diaper bag that was both stylish (me) and practical (husband) that both of us liked, so we went with this one by Skip Hop. I love the gold detailing and the backpack design (because you need both hands with a baby). My husband likes that the bag comes with a lot of space and fits everything for our little one.
Spectra Breast Pump: When it came to choosing a breast pump, most all my mom friends recommended the Spectra S2. As a first-time mom, I did not know what I should be expecting from a breast pump. Honestly, I just wanted a pump that did the job. I read that pumping could be painful, so avoiding pain was also on my list. Now that I am a more seasoned mom, I liked that I did not experience any headaches with the Spectra. Aside from some initial discomfort, my pumping sessions went smoothly: no pain and a steady letdown of milk. I also liked that the pump is quiet (so you can pump while baby naps) and there's also a night light attached for those late-night pumping sessions.
Play gym: We started tummy time when our son was pretty young per our Pediatrician's advice. Tummy time helps babies strengthen muscles and develop motor skills. We got this one by Fisher-Price at our baby shower, and he loves it. He engaged with the hanging toys pretty quickly and enjoys pressings the buttons on the detachable piano.
Diaper caddy: In the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I found an article that mentioned packing a diaper caddy for the baby if you live in a two-story house. This little hack saved me a lot of time and energy. With almost all of our baby's supplies upstairs in the nursery, having our diaper caddy downstairs saved me a lot of trips up and down the stairs since we spent our days downstairs. We packed the caddy with diapers, wipes, a portable changing pad, and other essentials.
Zip-up Pajamas: Diaper and clothing changes are more efficient when you're working with functional clothing. Zip up pajamas work wonders if you need to do a quick switch between outfits or diaper changes. As a new mom, you'll appreciate anything that makes your life easier. Get a few zip-up pajamas.
White Onesies - One of our friends gifted us a bunch of white onesies, and they are the gift we did not know we needed. White onesies are versatile and great as undershirts in the winter, for lounging, for layering and for keeping baby cool on a hot summer day.
Baby 411 Book - You'll have so many questions as a parent, and this book is chock full of information and provide answers to some of the most common questions new parents have regarding their little one. Keep this book on hand during baby's first year.
Car Seat and Stroller Combo - We learned the hard way by not getting a combo. We got separate pieces, but I believe the travel combo is a lot more efficient because you can remove your car seat and attach it to the stroller frame. This is especially helpful if your baby is sleeping.