Baby’s First Year: Gear You Need

baby gearWhen it comes to baby’s first year, I’ve been around the block, so to speak. Miss E. is eight months old and her brother turns three in two weeks.

Where does the time go?

Now that I can stop and reflect on the craziness of that first year, I have a pretty strong opinion of what you need and what you don’t when it comes to gear. So if you’re getting ready to register and still aren’t sure of the must haves (and a few have nots), I’m going to help you out.

1) A Boppy Pillow
Nursing or bottle-feeding, it doesn’t matter. This pillow is a lifesaver. I used it with both kids and it is a lifesaver on car trips. Nursing in the front seat (while parked at a rest stop – so sad I actually need to put this in here) is a bear without a good pillow. Plus it is the perfect pillow to put around baby when they are learning to sit on their own.

2) A Swing of Some Sort
Can you say saving grace? Seriously, we would not have survived without this thing. I know that there are people who say their kids didn’t like it, but I swear they didn’t give it time. Both of my kids were perfectly content and it allowed me to make dinner, do some laundry and sometimes even finish a cup of coffee.

Fisher Price Aquarium Baby Swing
Miss E in her swing

3) A High Chair (with a footrest)
When both my kids started solid food (a bit after 5 months) they weren’t 100% sitting up yet. After a few weeks of feeding them on my lap or in a bouncer, I was SO thankful to be able to put them in a high chair that is ergonomic. This way they could focus on learning to eat, rather than trying to figure out how to sit.

Svan High Chair
E in her Svan High Chair

4) Exersaucer
Again, I’m sure some people might dispute this as a must have. But seriously? When your baby is too big for a bouncy but not yet crawling, where are you supposed to put them while you empty the dishwasher or eat breakfast/lunch? Plus, they have some really fun interactive toys included.

A few things I kind of wanted but am really glad I didn’t fork over the money for? A double stroller (Bug is just old enough that he doesn’t need it) and a wipe warmer. Oh, and you don’t absolutely need the diaper disposal. Until someone makes one that actually doesn’t stink…just take it to the trash.

And if you need more advice for baby’s first year, check out this Babycenter Advice Group.

This post is sponsored by BabyCenter in conjunction with the BabyCenter Blog Network. All prizes and compensation are provided by BabyCenter. All opinions are my own.


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  1. Suzanne VanDyke says

    I couldn’t do without my baby bjorn…my baby had to be held and the carrier tricked him into thinking he was:)

  2. Ashley S. says

    For a singleton it was the swing. I have very needy babies so the cradle swing made them feel like they were being held so I could get a shower or some laundry done.
    Recently it was the quad stroller.. That’s right… Quad stroller. I had a baby may 2010, then 39 weeks 5 days later I had twins… And now one year aftr my twins were born I am expecting another baby. Have you ever tried to carry two infant seats, a toddler and pregnant at the same time? Woah for back problems. I got the quad stroller and fell in live. Some awesome… Only bad thing is that it draws attention. Not only does it have the four seats, it is bright blue… All I need is a flashing sign saying “come ask me silly questions.” I can’t go anywhere without feeling like a sideline show. Every feels free to ask me the most stupid or personal questions… And I just smile and politely answer. I have learned to give myself extra time when going out… Not for the fact that I have 3 babies… Soon to be 4 under 2, but for the million questions I am asked.

  3. Leigh says

    I would have to say the pack n play. I loved having another “baby station” downstairs- a place for sleeping, a place for changing and then something that easily folds up for when we travel and need a bed somewhere else. I definitely cannot imagine not having one of these!

  4. Kristin Neal says

    I found the Sleepy Wrap (or Moby wrap) was a must have for #2. Not only were my hands free to do other things, but he loved it! My oldest was 17 months old when he was born, so I needed both hands to keep up with her. The wrap also helped when we went shopping. The oldest would go into the cart and he would snuggle up in the wrap.

  5. Clare Tyner says

    Where do I even start. So many cool things that I found the 2nd time around. I think my most favorite though was my Moby Wrap. I was hesitant at 1st, due to bad press, but I can’t believe how amazing it was. Kept baby close and warm while I had my hands free to do laundry and play with my other son. I had used a front carrier before but this keeps baby so secure, like a little nest. LOVE IT!

  6. Lina Lindberg says

    Sleep sack! After my daughter was to old for swaddling, I found the sleep sack to be the perfect solution. I don’t like putting blankets in the crib. Even if I did use a blanket my baby would kick it off in two seconds. A sleep sack keeps her warm and snuggly all night long.

  7. says

    Hey Erin! I agree with these, especially the Svan High Chair. I liked the Boppy. It was great for nursing when Charlotte was older, but the My Brest Friend pillow was my lifesaver!!!!

  8. says

    i agree with all of yours. swing, carrier, but most of all my pump- lifesaver! would love to win this! been eyeing that fisher price little people hanukkah set for years ;) love the new blog layout, too :)

  9. Christine says

    Definitely my Arm’s Reach co-sleeper. My LO is a frequent night nurser and I love that I can scoop him up, feed him and get back to sleep with very little movement. Also love love my Baby K’tan and Babyhawk carriers.

  10. Susanna Lauer says

    I could not live without our sound machine/ light show machine – forget what you call it but it projects pictures on the ceiling. My son loved the pictures and the music. But, it also creates “white noise” and it is a life saver when you travel – it calms him and is something that he recongnizes from his room!

  11. says

    Personally, I could NOT live without my BabyTrend jogger. We can calm the baby a bajillion different ways, but if mommy doesnt get some fresh air each day, the rest of the world will pay! The kidlet expects to get his fresh air every single morning, plus I get my energy boost and some exercise. I could live in a tent, but GIVE ME MY JOGGER!

  12. says

    So many things that make the tee-tiny months easier, but my faves and couldn’t-have-done-withouts were definitely our baby papasan, the gumdrop paci and the boppy. Once they start sitting up and eating, the Svan chair – without a doubt!