Everything You Need, Don’t Need, and More: For the First Year

I think every new parent gets caught up in the uncertainty of what they actually need for their new bundle of joy, I know I did. You feel like the only way to decide what you need is to read a hundred articles, the problem is, the shopping list just keeps growing and growing.

With my first I bought everything I thought I would need. Oh, the hundreds I wasted! Five years later I’m preparing for my 3rd child and I have gladly narrowed that long list down to what I know we will need.

The problem with the lists you find online, in my opinion, is that they are either too minimal or way over the top. The minimal lists leave you feeling like there must be more (and there is), but the others leave you overwhelmed with options and price tags many people can’t handle.

Since I know that moms run on all budgets, I wanted to create a list of everything you absolutely need, but I wanted to also include things that you don’t have to have, that will totally make your life easier.

Then, I’m going to share some products that are everywhere in 2017. Whether you need them or not, I’ll leave up to you and your budget and as a bonus i have included a list of things for mom that will make your life with a newborn much easier!

This post does contain affiliate links, which means if you purchase something I may receive a small percentage, at no extra cost to you of course! I have added links to each example, not for to buy that exact product, but for you to get an idea of what I mean and find something similar in your price range. The items in the links are things that I have used or plan to use and I always try to get the most out of my money!

Things you absolutely need for the first year!

  1. Crib, bassinet, or co-sleeper
    • You really only need one option, think hard about which will be the best fit for your family
    • After buying a full size crib with #1 and a small co-sleeper to go between me and hubby for #2, I’ve decided on the halo co-sleeper with #3 and I’m very excited!
  2. Extra fitted sheets
    • This is something new moms may not think of, but will be an absolute life saver in the middle of the night when those newborn diapers aren’t doing their job!
  3. Storage for baby items
    • You are not going to want to get out of bed and search for anything in early morning hours.
    • The best thing to do is have your storage set up within reaching distance of your bedside so won’t need to have diapers, wipes, clothes, and everything else in two places.
  4. Clothes
    • My newborns live in gowns at night and ZIPPERED coveralls during the day. No buttons, please!
    • Soon enough, though, they will need onsies and pants sets to go out in.
    • Bundles like the one in the link are awesome because you’re getting a good deal on something that is interchangeable, so less money and less work for you!
    • For a newborn I suggest 5 gowns, 5 zippered coveralls, 10 size appropriate onsies, pants, bibs, burp clothes, socks, and gloves.
    • For 6 months and older: 7 season appropriate casual shirts, 7 “play shirts”, 5 pair comfy casual shorts/pants, 2 dressy shirts, 2 pair of jeans, 1 pair khakis.
    • This may not seem like a lot, but at the rate kids this age grow, it is plenty!
  5. Swaddles
    • Swaddles give newborns the security of the womb and help babies sleep more soundly.
    • These are 100% cotton and what I use with my littles. I suggest getting at least 4.
  6. Blankets
    • Eventually they will out grow the swaddle and need something larger and possibly warmer.
    • You will probably get receiving blankets if you have a shower, but that’s another item you will need more of, because of accidents.
    • Wait until after the shower to see if you need more.
  7. Bottles and pacis
    • This is something you may want to skip on your registry, especially if you plan to start out breastfeeding. Babies can be very picky about what bottle they use.
    • I think I went through 4 or 5 brands with my son before we tried MAM and he loved it!
    • He never wanted a paci and some moms don’t like them anyway, but starting with the paci is a cheaper way of seeing if the baby will respond to the brand, since most pacis are similar to the bottles.
    • My daughter was also breastfed and responded right away to MAM bottles and pacis, which is why I love the brand so! Every baby is different, but that is what I will be using (first anyway) when this little guy gets ready for one.
  8. Diapers and wipes
    • I love the pampers newborn diapers because they are specially designed to fit under the umbilical cord while it’s still healing., but you can just fold the front of the diaper down, if you like another brand.
    • After the cord falls off, I have been a Luvs mom thus far. However, it’s been some time since I bought a pack of Luvs, (currently in pull-ups) and last I remember, the quality had gone down hill. Even to the point of having to contact the company over an entire box of diapers that wouldn’t stick together. They sent a coupon to reimburse me. I’ll give them another try, we’ll see.
    • As far as wipes go, my children do have sensitive skin and I have always used pampers sensitive wipes. I love them. That is all.
  9. Diaper bag
    • This is an essential, it just depends on your needs and budget as to which one you will choose.
    • Make sure you can carry the bag comfortably and that there is enough room for diapers, wipes, your wallet, diaper cream, a change of clothes for baby, and maybe even an extra shirt for you.
    • The bag in the link is cheap, stylish, and comes with several accessories!
  10. Diaper cream
    • Burt’s Bees diaper rash cream is 100% natural and that’s why I like it. When it comes to sensitive newborn skin you can never be too careful about what you use.
    • It wouldn’t hurt to buy two of these: keep one at home and one in your bag!
  11. Infant car seat
    • The seat you use should be lightweight, easy to install, and easy to get baby in and out of.
    • I have used Evenflo, Graco, and Britax, with Britax being the clear winner for me!
    • I had never used a Britax infant carrier before i purchased one for the new guy and i can’t wait to try it out!
  12. Convertible car seat
    • This is one thing I have never felt like I was going to spend too much money on.
    • The right convertible seat will last your kid YEARS. And that whole time it will be solely responsible for keeping your child safe, God forbid you were to get into an accident.
    • The Britax seat in the link is their mid-line convertible seat, price-wise, but I have used more than one in this model (3 to be exact) and they are great, easy to use, car seats!
  13. Booster style high chair
    • Not just any regular high chair. The booster here has no cloth to wash or worry aabout staining, easy to wash off, it’s even dish washer safe, and it is a huge space saver! After purchasing to many highchairs between two kids I will be using this with the third!
  14. Nursery care kit
    • Everything you really need to groom and care for your baby in one bag.
    • Thermometer, nasal aspirator, nail clippers, medicine dropper, comb, brush, tooth brush, gum soother, and even a teether.
  15. Baby Wash
    • I haven’t gone wrong yet with ole fashion Johnson’s head-to-toe wash.
    • My daughter’s hair is prone to tangle, so I do use something more moisturizing there, but I still use it on my son’s hair and he is almost 5!
  16. Baby lotion
    • I love everything about a freshly bathed baby, coated in a layer of lavender softness. I think it’s about as close to heaven as you can get on Earth!
    • It is really a special bonding time as you apply the lotion. Also, the scent of lavender calms babies.
  17. Baby Detergent
    • People will tell you that you don’t need this, but baby’s skin is very sensitive and you do need to use something more mild.
    • I’ve also heard people say that you can use a “free and clear” detergent for the whole family, this is NOT a cheaper alternative.
    • I used Dropps with my first two and I will use them again. If I do 2 loads of baby laundry a week the tub of 75 will last around 8 months! At under $20, you can’t beat that.
  18. Toys
    • Toys are about soothing baby, keeping it’s attention, and learning it’s surroundings. Keep this in mind with every toy purchase and avoid overspending.
    • Instead focus on getting your child quality toys, like this wooden and cloth hedgehog teether.

Things that will make life easier in the first year

  1. Bouncer
  2. Play yard
  3. Activity gym
  4. Baby swing
  5. Exersaucer
  6. Jumper
  7. Baby carrier
  8. Car seat stroller
  9. Dock-a-tot
  10. Prince lionheart wash pod bathtub
  11. Boppy pillow
  12. Bumbo seat
  13. Gripe water
  14. Teething tablets
  15. Baltic amber teething necklace
  16. Towels and wash clothes

Trendy items that you do not need in the first year (but are still awesome)

  1. Lalabu sooth shirt
  2. Kinde bottle and breast milk warmer
  3. Soap sox
  4. Teething bandana bibs
  5. Silicon bib
  6. EZPZ silicon place mat
  7. Squooshi filling station and reusable pouches
  8. Infant optics video baby monitor

Bonus: Items to make mom’s life easier in the first year

  1. A comfy chair
    • There is not a link because i don’t think you should have to  buy anything to find a good spot to feed and hold baby comfortably.
  2. Comfy nursing pjs
    • If you find something comfortable and easy to nurse in, that doesn’t look like pajamas, you will be happy to stay in your pjs all day. And in the first few weeks/months that isn’t a bad thing!
  3. Night time nursing bra
    • Like i said you will probably live in your pjs, so it’s more important to have comfortable items at first.
  4. Supportive nursing bra
    • You will on occasion have to leave the house, so it is improtant to have one or two supportive, well fitting bras, with easy access if you are nursing.
  5. Nursing shirt
    • If you plan on breastfeeding, then you are going to have to plan your wardrobe more carefully. That means making sure you are wearing something where baby will have easy access and you will not feel too exposed.
  6. Mixie baby bottle
    • Keeps formula and water separate until you get ready to mix it. Awsome for when you are traveling!
  7. Secure strap
    • If you are having your first baby, you have no idea how many times you will have to bend over to pick up your child’s bottle or sippy cup! With this strap you can attach the bottle/cup to a high chair, stroller, or any number of places, to save your back and avoid germs!
  8. Travel mug
    • As frivolous as it may sound, the little things will mean a lot when you’re running on 2 hours of sleep and have a thousand things on your to do list. That is when you will drink your last sip of hot coffee, smile, and silently thank God that you read this list! 😉
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