Dana's favorite things for baby's first year.
The registry. It’s a Daunting task. What do you actually need for your baby? What is going to get used for a couple weeks and then will go to the garage to collect dust? It’s really hard to figure out and it’s really overwhelming with all the fancy baby gadgets out there. This post contains affiliate links.
When I did my registry it was in a time of Babies R Us, I was also registered at Target, both stores had very different items and price points that I wanted. So I had two lists but this made it very confusing for some of my friends and family. I think these days the meca for us all is Amazon, and I realized after a friend set her’s up that you can have an Amazon Baby Registry. Ummm, Mind Blown. Yeah it’s probably common knowledge but I don’t think it was really a thing when I had Link. Not only can you have a registry there but you can also add things from websites other than Amazon! So that really cute item you loved on Etsy or at Target, add it to this Universal list and bam it’s all in one place. Easy Peasy.
I’ve put together a quick List of some of my Favorite Baby items, all but one of these items I have personally used with my son and I don’t know how I would of lived with out it that first year!
Silly name, yes, but it describes exactly what it is. Simplicity I like that. When you are fumbling around at 2am trying to get baby back to sleep the last thing you need to be doing is messing around with a whole bunch of buttons. The Baby Shusher is a simple turn dial at both the top and the bottom, super easy to use. It has one job and that is to Shush the baby, that’s it. As a Newborn Photographer I keep one of these in my studio to use during Newborn sessions, before the Newborn Shusher I was doing all the shushing and let me tell you that starts to hurt after a couple hours. The Baby Shusher is such a life saver for both new parents and Newborn Photographers alike.
Gripe water is something I personally used with my own son and used almost everyday to help him with gas and fussiness. It is a herbal supplement designed to relieve stomach discomfort from gas, colic, fussiness, and hiccups. He loved the taste of it and never gave me trouble when I would give it to him and it always helped him feel better.
This is THE BEST Diaper rash ointment. It is the only thing that worked on my little guy’s terrible diaper rashes once he started solid foods. I tried so many others and none of them gave me the results that this did. When it says it clears a diaper rash in 6 hours they aren’t kidding. If he would have a rash from something he ate, I’d put some of this on before bed and by the next morning he would be all cleared up! My guy is two and I still used this ointment every diaper change, it makes a great barrier to keep the rashes away as well. I keep the big tub in the nursery and this one in my Diaper Bag.
So this little baby teether is probably the best baby teether I have seen. My Son LOVED his Sophie. She went everywhere with us and he chewed on it constantly. It’s soft enough to be a comfort friend and solid enough to really work through some of those new teeth but not super hard. I often wiped Sophie down with a baby wipe or water wipe to keep her clean and the paint never came off and she held up very very well. In fact we still have her in his keepsake box.
So at my core I’m a simple girl, I don’t like a lot of stuff. It’s a harsh reality when you have a baby because they honestly need a lot of stuff. Thankfully most of it is small stuff so having things in cases really makes my heart sing. I loved the organization of this kit when I had my son. It was easy to remember in the middle of the night where the thermometer was or the Boogie Sucker because it came in it’s own little bag that I kept on his dresser so it was always close at hand and I LOVED that!
Trust me on this BUY THE BACK PACK. With all the things you need to take everywhere with you those first few weeks a Back pack diaper bag makes that SO much easier. If you are small like me you will have enough trouble with carrying the baby in the car seat, you don’t need to add a diaper bag falling off your shoulder to that mix. Having everything on your back makes balancing the car seat easier and frees up your other hand for things like opening doors and carrying coffee (trust me there will be a lot of coffee those first couple weeks/years). The great thing about back packs is that they grow with the kids so once you hit toddler years and you’re only bringing an outfit or two as back up it frees up space for more toys in the diaper bag. Space is paramount. They also make them in all kind of stylish patterns and colors now, so they are even fashionable!
The first couple weeks you want to hold your baby all the time but you also want to get things done and be useful again. At least that’s how I felt. I had a C-section and got really tired of sitting around doing nothing really quickly. That’s where a baby carrier came to my rescue! My son loved to be held and be close to his mama and he still does, we have a great bond from always being close in those first few weeks. I didn’t want to be bothered with tying a wrap or wearing him a more structured carrier, which honestly made me feel like I was going hiking not a quick trip to Target. Carriers like this Baby Ktan are awesome and totally fulfilled my needs to keep my hands free while still being close to my son.
After a few weeks of using a Ktan style carrier I moved on to a Ring Sling, which was my absolute favorite for ease of use. I kept it threaded through the rings and hooked over the head rest of the back seat, which made it so easy to put on and put him in straight out of the car seat. You can use ring slings with newborn babies all the way to toddler. This Ring Sling is rated to hold babies from 8-35lbs!
I was a nursing mama and quite a few times I was able to nurse discretely and still easily shop while he was in the carrier. I “wore” my little guy most of the time while out in public, it was so much easier than food shopping with a car seat in the cart and worrying the box of Cherrios may fall on him. Baby wearing also allows you to get more places than taking a stroller along, such as if you were at a street fair or flea market, getting through crowds is just easier. I highly recommend baby wearing for so many reasons, I really feel it made my life so much easier that first year!
I like my baths Hot but I always worried I was making the baby’s bath too cold because I was scared of burning him or that I was making it too hot because I was so used to hot water. I ended up getting this really cute Stingray bath thermometer and I still use it today. It’s super cute and worked really well. He loved playing with it and watching it float on the surface of the tub when he was a little guy. Best part was the clearly displayed temperature and the blinky red light when the bath water was just too hot for baby, absolutely fool proof way to get the best temperature for bath time. Made it easy to figure out the precise temperature he liked his bath to be.
All babies drool, some more than others, but it’s always nice to keep the cute outfits cute and not soaked through. That’s where Drool bibs come in. Now you can just go with an old school plastic backed bib but they aren’t always absorbent enough and certainly aren’t cuddly enough. I preferred these adorable bandana style bibs that added a little style to his outfit to the boring old style bibs that my mother put on me. Whats great about these is they are lined with fleece which makes them cuddly but also keeps them absorbent and baby’s clothes dry. They come in multipacks so there is always one to go with the outfit of the day. There are options for both Boys and Girls.
One thing I really regret is not buying a standard baby book. I had this idea of grandeur that I would scrapbook his first year or create a photo book online. Well he’s two and I still just have an envelope of “baby book stuff”. I think it would of been so much easier to fill in a guided book like this one. Also this book is so gorgeous and can work for a little boy or little girl. Obviously not all baby books are super cheesy with funny cartoons, they have heard our call and are making beautiful classy memory books for us style conscious Mamas. So don’t be like me, go with the easy pre-made baby book, it’s better to have those memories written down than to forget them.