Baby Products for the First Year

I cannot believe that we're coming up on Caroline's first birthday. Everyone tells you how fast it goes, but you don't really know until you're in it. 

Along with so many pictures and memories, we have amassed a great deal of stuff this past year. Being first-time parents, I feel like we tried lots of different products, were influenced to purchase even more, and now feel settled in on our favorites. It feels and sounds so naive to say, since we've only been at this parenthood thing for a year, but these are products that I would recommend for new moms creating a registry. As a bonus, I've included a few that I didn't love and wouldn't buy again.


(1) Carters Just One You footies -- these are my absolute favorite footie pajamas. They have a double zipper, are super soft, and are just $8 from Target.

(2) Cat and Jack pajamas -- when Caroline got bigger and more mobile, I started getting footless pajamas for her. I love the Cat and Jack brand. These are soft and a great price.

(3) Knotted gowns -- I put Caroline in these almost every day when she was tiny. They kept her feet warm and made for super easy diaper changes. I loved the Caden Lane ones, though they are more of a splurge. You can find great cheaper options on Amazon and other sites.

(4) Amazon bamboo pajamas -- I love the softness and stretchy-ness of bamboo pajamas, but I don't love the $35+ price tag. These from Amazon are a great alternative!

(5) Halo Sleep Sack Swaddle -- These were my swaddles of choice when Caroline was a newborn. I could wrap her up with her arms near her face and middle of the night diaper changes were a breeze.

(6) Sleep Sack -- We did a cold turkey transition from the swaddle up to a sleep sack. My favorite ones are 1.25 to 1.5 TOG (the rating that tells you what temperature the sleep sack is best for). Our house stays between 67-70 depending on the season and I've never found Caroline to be cold in them. The Copper Pearl ones are linked, but I only get them on sale. I was less impressed with the Kyte ones because I had one fall apart after very light use. You can thrift them or find other options on Amazon or other stores.

(7) Love to Dream Swaddle Up -- I moved Caroline from the Halo to this one. She didn't like it the first time I had her in it, but it ended up working great for her. She loved having her hands near her face.


(1) Oxo Tot Drying Rack -- I love how slim and low profile this drying rack is. It has seen a lot of use this year and will continue to with toddler cups and plates. 

(2) Dishwasher basket -- I wouldn't have been able to survive without the ability to put our bottles in the dishwasher. A large basket is extremely helpful for the small parts. 

(3) Silicone bibs -- Whoever invented these is a genius. That's all.

(4) Muslin burp cloths -- These were the best burp cloths and a few still live in my diaper bag. They're soft, absorbent, and not bulky.

(5) Dr. Brown's bottles -- I know what some of y'all are probably thinking... there's way too many parts. And I get it, I do. I tried to not use Dr. Brown's because of that. But they work. They work so well. The dishwasher basket linked above saved me... putting bottles in the dishwasher is a perfectly acceptable method of cleaning them and is a great way to get them sanitized (not sterilized). If you have a baby that is not immunocompromised and is otherwise healthy, don't let anyone tell you you can't put bottles in the dishwasher!

Travel & Playtime

(1) Jogging stroller -- Especially for us rural moms, a jogging stroller with air-filled tires (this part is important!) is a must. I have the Mountain Buggy one, but there are so many options across so many price points. 

(2) Snuggle Me -- Don't let your baby sleep in this unsupervised! Dock-a-Tots and these get a bad rep because they can lead to suffocation, but let's just be smart about it. It's not a safe place for sleep, but it is a great option to lay baby down next to you on the couch. I used it while folding laundry, to give my arms a break, etc.

(3) Swing and bouncer combo -- I liked the combination so that it cut down on how many gadgets I had in my tiny living room. The removable bouncer seat was great for taking Caroline to the bathroom with me while I shower, in the kitchen while I cooked, etc. She enjoyed swinging and I liked that I could change the orientation so that she could swing either front-to-back or side-to-side.

(4) Freshly Picked diaper bag -- This is a splurge for sure, but I LOVE my FP diaper bag. It still looks brand new after a year, it has so much space, and it has such a classic look to it.

(5) Skip Hop activity mat -- Caroline loved this activity mat! It is simple, not overly stimulating but still colorful, and great quality.

(6) Munchkin magnetic sunshade -- My car has funky-shaped back windows and regular shades wouldn't cover them. These are magnetic and stretch to fit your window. Sun shades are definitely not a must, but I like protecting her from the sun a bit.

Laundry, Bathing, & Sleep

(1) NoseFrida -- You say you won't do it, but you will. A regular bulb syringe just doesn't have the same suction or effectiveness in my opinion. 

(2) Oxi Clean Free -- This stuff is gold. I use it in all my laundry now, but it is great for removing stains and smells. It's scent-free, so I feel good using it on Caroline's laundry.

(3) Baby Shusher -- Caroline slept with this one for the first few months. I can't remember when or why I stopped using it, but it was a great little addition to her sound machine. It's also super transportable, so you can put it in the stroller, take it to go, etc. It's a unique sound that works!

(4) Dr. Brown's pacis -- These are my favorite pacis. I have a fear of Caroline biting the nipple off the Bibs-style ones (or it just falling off), so I like that these are one solid piece of silicone. They can go in the dishwasher, too. They're ugly as sin, but they work.

(5) Cloud Island washcloths -- I like the size and feel of these washcloths the best. I found some types would roll up in my hand when I was washing her and that really aggravated me. These are durable and soft.

(6) Angelcare bath seat -- The only bath seat that I liked! I tried a bunch of different tubs/seats and ended up on this one. I also flipped it over when she could sit up on her own so that she had some freedom, but still a backrest.

Products I Didn't Love (and alternatives for them!)

(1) Pampers sensitive wipes -- These have to be the most popular wipes to register for, but in my opinion, they were dry and scratchy. Huggies Natural Care are the way to go... soft and moist, while still being sensitive and scent-free!

(2) Tush Swiper -- This did not fit the tube well and was just annoying. I prefer the diaper cream spatulas. They are definitely not a necessity, but they make cleaning up so much easier... you don't have cream all over your hands!

(3) Copper Pearl burp cloths -- These were a disappointment to me! They were very thick and bulky. They're great quality, but I wouldn't get them for the price. The muslin ones I talked about above are much better!

(4) Ear thermometer -- I didn't find this to be super accurate... it just didn't make me feel like I could trust it. I prefer the Frida rectal thermometer. It's not as intimidating as it seems and it's a super quick read!

(6) ErgoBaby 360 carrier -- Ugh, this is a tough one for me. This carrier is SUCH high quality and extremely durable, it's just super bulky to me! Even though it's approved for smaller babies, it just never felt good carrying her in it. I used a wrap and enjoyed that, but overall I don't have a great alternative right now. I ordered an ErgoBaby Aerloom carrier from Mercari... hopefully I'll enjoy that one more when it comes!

That wraps it up! 24 products that I loved using this year and that I think are worth the money. Most of these are not super expensive and there are tons of dupes out there. I love some bougie baby items as much as the next, but they are truly a luxury and not a necessity. 

I'd love to know if you have opinions on any items I have listed here, or what some of your favorite baby items are/were!

Post a Comment


Bushel and Peck. Theme by STS.