We just celebrated our son’s third birthday last week, and we still can’t believe how quickly time is flying! It seems like just a couple of months ago we were bringing him home from the hospital. As I reflect back on when he was first born I can’t help but think about our favorite baby items that carried us through his first year. And some of them we are even still using today! So I decided to share our favorite baby items, mom and dad approved, since I know the task of deciding what you need for a newborn can be overwhelming.
Some of our favorite baby items we bought ourselves. Others were given to us at our baby showers or as a birthday gift for his first birthday. And it’s nice that a lot of these aren’t expensive, especially if you can catch them on sale. And of course you better your chances of getting a better deal and even baby registry completion discounts if you register at more than one place. We created registries with Target, Babies ‘R Us, and Amazon.
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Britax B-Safe Carseat | A car seat is one of the most important purchases that you will make. Take the time to choose the one that you feel is best for your needs and suit your lifestyle. And it needs to be able to fit in your car. We had two 2-door cars at the time. So we had to be sure it was going to fit. At first, we were going to register for a convertible car seat only. However, we decided to register for an infant car seat and 2 bases as well. And I’m so glad that we did! It was very convenient to be able to strap him in while we were inside and then put him in place once we got to the car. We bought the Britax Head and Body Support Pillow to go along with it.
Britax Back Seat Mirror | Came in handy so that we could see him since he had to be rear-facing. And I choose to do extended rear-facing. So we’re actually still using it.
Britax B-Agile Stroller | We debated between the Baby Jogger Citi Mini and the Britax B-Agile. We liked both of these because they could be collapsed using only one hand. The Britax B-Agile ended up winning for us. Omar preferred the way that one handled. The only downside is that the basket underneath the stroller is on the smaller side. The basket on the newer version from 2017 appears to be bigger. We also received the child tray and bought the stroller organizer, which both come in handy.
Baby Monitor | We used our reward money from Babies R US to get a Levana baby monitor. We mostly use it when he’s sleeping in another room. And we can even talk to him through it.
Baby Gate | Electrical Outlet Covers | Drawer + Cabinet Locks |I was more reactive than proactive when it came to baby proofing. The exception was the electrical socket covers. We bought the baby gate after we got tired of chasing him away from the stairs. And of course, this was even before he could walk good! The drawer and cabinet locks soon followed. sidenote: I couldn’t link directly to the exact baby gate we have, but it’s the first one that comes up when you click the link.
Bath Tub + Floor Mat | The tub we received was similar to this one. The insert made it easy to bathe him until he was bigger. And the floor mat helped to spare our knees when kneeling beside the tub to bathe him.
Hooded Bath Towels | We preferred the hooded bath towels, especially for when it was time to wash our son’s hair.
NoseFrida | This is also grossly known as the “snot sucker” but hands-down it’s one of the best things we ever bought. He’s almost 3 and yes we still use it because he still won’t blow his nose properly.
Crane Humidifier | We used this at bedtime whenever he had a cold that lasted more than a couple of days. It seemed to help speed up the process of him feeling better.
We decided to give cloth diapers a try after talking to one of my friend’s about it. She told us about how it could be very cost-effective. That was if I didn’t go overboard with buying all the cute cloth diapering stuff. However, whenever we were out and about for an extended time we would use disposable diapers and disposable wipes. We didn’t spend much on disposable diapers because we received lots at our baby shower. And the majority of the time we used the cloth diapers.
Cloth Diapers + Cloth Wipes | We started using the cloth diapers and cloth wipes after he was a month old although you can use them right away if you like. We used Imagine Baby Prefolds and Thirsties covers at first. Once he outgrew those, we switched him to the Best Bottom cloth diaper system, which consists of the cover and snap-in insert. He wore these until he was around 18-months-old and he figured out how to unsnap his cover. We then switched him to pull-ups and underwear.
Bumkin Diaper Sprayer | This sprayer made rinsing the poop diapers so much easier! I read that you don’t have to rinse them until they start solids, but we didn’t like that idea.
Ubbi Diaper Pail | This diaper pail is awesome at containing the smell from the diapers!
Burt’s Bees Multipurpose Ointment | When we used the cloth diapers we would use the ointment to help protect his bottom. It’s cloth diaper friendly and it smells good! Whenever we used disposable diapers we used Aquaphor to protect his bottom. We especially used it overnight to help keep his bottom from being reddened when he woke up.
Planet Wise Wet/Dry Bag | The wet/dry bag was used to put soiled cloth diapers and covers in whenever we left home. It also had enough room to hold a couple of extra clean cloth diapers and covers.
Skip Hop Diaper Clutch | The diaper clutch came in handy when I didn’t want to carry the whole diaper bag. I would fill this with several disposable diapers and wipes and throw this in my purse. It was a diaper changing pad as well.
We chose not to find out the gender of our baby. This helped a lot when it came to this particular area. Everyone likes to buy a new baby clothes, myself included. However, they really don’t need that many clothes of the same size. Whenever we have another baby we will be able to reuse most of the clothes since they’re gender neutral!
Carter’s Onesies + Carter’s Sleep and Play | Our son spent a lot of time in onesies and sleep and plays, especially when we were lounging around the house. And if we needed to go somewhere we could throw on some pants or shorts. If he had on a sleep and play outfit we didn’t even bother to change his clothes unless he needed to be dressed up fancy!
Carter’s Sleep Sack/Bag | These came in handy at night, especially since he was a Fall baby. After his bath, we would put him in a onesie and one of these. And then he was all set for bedtime!
Aden + Anais Muslin Blankets | These were my favorite blankets. They’re thin, breathable, and can be used no matter what season your baby is born. I used them for swaddling, to lay him on the floor (when we had carpet) or on the couch next to me, and to lay across him once he got older.
Socks w/ Grips | We have hardwood floors. Need I say more?
Stride Rite Freddie Bootie | These were technically his first pair of shoes. Prior to this, he only had one pair of shoes for “special occasions”. Otherwise, he wore socks.
Medela Breast Pump | Lasinoh Breast Milk Storage Bags | After my maternity leave was up, I knew that I would have to pump. I decided to use a Medela Breast Pump since I was already familiar with it from helping patients use it. It got the job done and I was able to get it for free through my insurance. When I would pump my milk and freeze it, the Lasinoh Storage Bags were my favorite bags to use.
Lasinoh Lanolin + Gel Pads + Hot/Cold Soothing Beads | All of this came in handy during the first 2 weeks of breastfeeding and dealing with painful nipples and engorgement.
Breastfeeding Pillow | I didn’t register for one of these, but someone (actually a male friend of ours) bought me one and I was so happy to have it. It wasn’t heavy to me like the Boppy pillow seems to be when I try to help patients use it. sidenote: The exact one I had doesn’t seem to be manufactured any longer.So I provided a link to one that has a similar shape.
Lasinoh Disposable Nursing Pads | Mother-Ease Cloth Nursing Pads | A couple days after I started breastfeeding I realized just how important my nursing pads were. At first, I used disposable nursing pads, but after getting tired of buying them, I bought cloth nursing pads.
Soma Nursing Bra | I started off with a nursing bra that was a size medium, but about 3 months into my nursing journey, I needed a bra sized more specifically then small, medium, or large. I ended up getting some bras from Soma and loved them. Since the bra was unlined I continued to use my cloth nursing pads as a way to line the bra.
A lot of these things we didn’t start using until our baby started eating solids. However, we still registered for them so that we would have them on hand when needed. The table chair seat and floor mat are the 2 things that we’re currently still using ( and our son is almost 3).
Aden & Anais Burpy Bibs | I’m an Aden + Anais fan, and these burp cloth bibs were no exception. We used these as burp cloths before our son started eating solids and then used them as bibs when he was teething and once he was old enough to eat solids.
Cuisinart Mini Food Processor | Oxo Storage Containers | Baby food is another expense that I felt like we could avoid if we took the time to make our own baby food. I used the food processor to puree his food and then I would put the leftovers in the containers.
Ingenuity Baby Base 2-in-1 Seat | I registered for this table chair seat instead of a high-chair because I felt it would take up less space. I like the chair because you can use it with the tray when your baby is younger. You remove the tray once your baby is tall enough to use the table. Also, you can take the insert out once your child is tall enough to not need it anymore.
Nuby Floor Mat | This is probably the best couple of dollars I’ve spent on an item for him… ever! We had carpet in our dining room when he started eating solids. And with the spots that he was able to make on the carpet in a short amount of time, I knew we would need something to protect our hardwood floors. I wanted something that was plain and didn’t stick out in our dining room. So when I came across this mat I didn’t hesitate to buy it.
Bumkins Waterproof Junior Bib | The older our son got the less regular bibs worked when he wanted to feed himself, especially since he would snatch them off. I went on the search for something that would cover his shirt and his lap because it was guaranteed that he would make a mess every time. I found this body bib on Amazon, and we used it until he wouldn’t wear it anymore (he was much better at feeding himself by then). Now we use the body bib when he wants to finger paint. A good way to get our money’s worth!
Everything already mentioned above is helpful for mom and dad, but I feel like the items in this category are more for mom and dad then they are for the baby, with the exception of the crib.
Ergo Baby Carrier w/ Infant Insert | We didn’t use our baby carrier much when we were out and about. But it definitely came in handy around the house when he wanted to be held, but we needed to get something done. We also had aT swing was a hand-me-down that was used for the same reasons… when we needed a little break to get something done!
Bassinet | Nuna Sena Mini Travel Playpen | Ikea Sundvik Crib | You don’t need all 3. However, we had all 3 because the bassinet (similar to this one) was a hand-me-down that we were given after we had already purchased the playpen. We liked it because it was small and we could easily move it around the house. Once he outgrew the bassinet we would put him in his playpen for naps. And then we thought that maybe his crib would be more comfortable since it had a memory foam mattress. Hence, the reason I say you don’t need all 3.
Waterproof Sheet Protector | Waterproof Mattress Protector | We were advised to get a waterproof mattress cover. And it came in handy until he peed in our bed and we still had to strip down everything and wash it. So then I decided to get a waterproof mattress pad and it was a life saver, or should I say a bed linen saver. If he only peed on the mattress pad we didn’t have to strip the whole bed.
You have to have something to keep your baby entertained and help make your life easier. And these were some of our son’s favorites:
Books | Books aren’t toys, but they were a must-have for us. At one of my baby shower’s the host actually asked for people to get a book in lieu of a card. It was a great idea. Through this and over time, he’s acquired a good amount of books. Some of them were best for when he was a small baby. Others are better now that he’s learning colors, shapes, and telling what’s going on in the picture. And then there’s some that made great stories for us to read at bedtime and he’ll be able to read them when he’s older too.
Fisher-Price Kick & Play Piano Gym | I looked at lots and lots of floor mats and this was my favorite one that I came across and the price was right. He used this from the time he was a couple weeks old up until he was over 1-year-old. We put the mat up and he would play with the piano.
Fisher-Price Woodland Friends SpaceSaver Jumperoo | I debated getting a walker or this jumpy seat. I decided to go with the jumpy seat because I felt like he would get more use out of it.
VTech Sit-to-Stand-Learning Walker | At almost 3 years old, if he gets his hand on this toy he still finds amusement out of it. I would say this was another toy success.
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Scooter | It took our son a little while to warm up to this toy and figure out what to do with it. But once he did, he would ride it all around the house and even down the hill in our driveway. He used this until we got him a balance bike for Christmas last year.
VTech Smart Shots Sports Center | He enjoyed playing basketball and soccer using this time. He also liked the music it played.
It took me a while to narrow down what I felt we needed and wanted for our first baby. I tried to make sure that we were getting the best bang for our buck. That meant that depending on the item, it needed to have multi-uses or could be used for an extended period of time. The things in this list were our favorite baby items and were very useful. I hope that you have found this list helpful!