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Many moms-to-be look forward to building their registry – picking out nursery colors, adorable stuffed animals, and the latest baby gadgets. However, this is when you first start to realize just how much stuff is available on the market and you start asking – what do I actually need?
Lets just focus on the items your baby will immediately need in the first year of their life. Yes, that means you can skip the tricycles and plastic golf club sets for now (although, save those ideas for birthday presents in the future!)
So lets just dive in to see our 'absolute essentials list' of the items you may not survive without in the first year of motherhood!
Needless to say that 'Food, Shelter and Clothing and diapers and wipes' are the basics and not part of the this list. Check out ourFEEDING LIST,CLOTHING LIST, and DIAPERS & WIPES LISTfor more comprehensive list of these essentials.
For each and every essentials below we have a SEPARATE POST as well giving you a detailed explanation of each item to buy with product review, trends, and budget friendly options.
Lets see now what all you need in the first year!
1. Car seat
Besides clothes, this is one of the very first things you’ll need for your little one. Your hospital will supply burp cloths, blankets, and diapers during your stay, but to get your baby home from the hospital a car seat is necessary! In fact, you won’t be able to leave the hospital without having a car seat installed and inspected first. In most states 'Fire Department' installs and/or inspects car seat installation. Check with your local fire stations if they do it!
For more information on car seats CHEKC OUT OUR CARSEAT LIST.
This is something you cant live without until your baby turns in to a preschooler. Do not be tempted by the sleekest, sexiest stroller on the market. Make sure to check how heavy it is, how easy it is to collapses, and if you can navigate all that one-handed. There are many options on the market and there is always a right one for you. Pro tip : buy a neutral color incase planning for more kids down the road. Many parents choose to re-use most of their first born stuff as it gets easy on pocket.
Your diaper bag will be your purse, closet, refrigerator, and emergency pack as you and your baby head out into the world. We recommend the backpack style bags as it keeps your hands free, but there are number of styles and options out there. Whichever style you choose, make sure there is enough space to hold everything you need and it is easy to clean in case of spills. Check out our DIAPER BAG LIST andDIPAER BAG TYPES post to know more about diaper bags.
A diaper changing pad is a great addition to your changing station, but our favorite perk is its portability. Buy two for two level homes like the caddy. The pack and fold ones are easy for travel needs.
Is this an absolute must have? may be not, but you will be thankful to have something where you can put your baby down for a quick nap. This wont last longer than 5 months as the baby starts to roll over or wiggle, however a swing is god send when it vibrates or sways to lull your little one to sleep. Every baby reacts differently to a baby swing, but the gentle rocking motion works wonders in getting my baby ready for a nap or bedtime.Check out ourBABY SWING LIST for further details.
Co sleeper/ Bassinet: Easy co sleepers can work up until your baby starts to move / wiggle. Not as pricy so crib can wait until your baby outgrows his/her bassinet giving you some time on our wallet! Check out our TOP SLEEPER/ BASSINETS OF 2022 LISTfor further details.
Playpen: Lightweight playpen can be used as a crib for baby up to 1 to 2 years if you buy a lightweight crib mattress to go in it. Having a playpen, especially one with walls, will help keep your baby contained and safe while you quickly wash the dishes or take the trash out. Also, go for one that easily collapses and travels. It will be a game-changer when you want to visit friends and family! Check out our TOP PLAYPEN OF 2022 LISTfor further details.
If buying a crib or playpen then crib mattress is a must. Find a firm mattress that does not indent when you push down on it. If your baby rolls over onto their face in the middle of the night, a firm surface will not conform to it and will allow ample space to breathe. Crib safety is of a massive importance. Experts recommend not having any loose or extra items in the crib as it increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Tight-fitting crib sheets will ensure your baby is comfortable and your crib mattress is protected. The right crib mattress plays a huge role in avoiding suffocation and other accidents.