There are plenty of essentials you will need as a new parent in the first year of your baby’s life. Whether you are pregnant and preparing for a baby or buying as you need items for a growing baby, these are some of the items you’ll need for your baby’s first year.
Super-Soft Receiving Blankets
The first item you will need is a receiving blanket. It’s highly versatile, able to keep your baby warm, swaddle during naps, act as a playtime mat, and can even be an emergency burp cloth or changing pad. Some of the best receiving blankets, like those from aden + anais, are made from super-soft cotton muslin, and will only get softer by going through the wash. Receiving blankets will be an invaluable tool for every parent.
Stacks of Burp Cloths
Burp cloths will be your go-to cleaning method during your baby’s first year. From dealing with spit-up to just a handy way of cleaning spills, you will want to have a stack of burp cloths ready to go at any time. Keep them near where you usually feed your baby.
Versatile Baby Bibs
Like burp cloths, baby bibs are essential during feeding time. They will catch sneaky dribbles before your or your baby’s clothes get dirty. You can even find baby bibs that unsnap and can be thrown over your shoulder, transforming into a burp cloth. They make for wonderfully useful mess-protectors!
A Variety of Bottles
Whether you are using formula, breastfeeding, or both, you will want bottles. It may take trial and error to figure out which style and brand your baby will use, as every baby’s mouth is different and bottle nipples come in a variety of sizes. Newborns will need a 4-ounce bottle while older babies need 8-ounce bottles.
A Sturdy High Chair
When your baby is ready for solid food, it’s easiest to manage mealtime with a high chair. You can also go with a high chair that converts to a booster seat.
A Safe Bassinet and Crib
Having somewhere for your baby to sleep is essential. First, you will likely use a bassinet so that baby can be in your bedroom with you. However, your little one will outgrow it quickly and need a crib. There are a few key features to a good crib. It should have adjustable positions, and it should be easy to get your baby in and out. Do not use mesh around the bottom, and don’t add anything to the crib that doesn’t come with it from the manufacturer!
A Reliable Baby Monitor
You have two options for a baby monitor: sound only, or video. The video options may or may not come with night vision, and some can be controlled with and viewed through a phone or tablet. One or the other is needed to know when your baby is awake or stirring.
Safe Sleeping Bags
Also known as a sleep sack, sleeping bags will replace swaddling with a receiving blanket once your baby starts rolling over, freeing up the blanket for other uses. The sleep sack can be thought of as a wearable blanket and is vital to safe sleep.
A Dedicated, Secure Changing Table
A dedicated place to change diapers will make changes much easier. Use the safety straps, and don’t put the table near a window. Be sure diapers and wipes are in ample supply and nearby.
A Diaper Pail for Odor Control
Regardless of whether you are using disposable or cloth diapers, unless you throw them away individually, you will want a diaper pail. Think of this as a trash can specifically for diapers. They also help contain odors.
A Spacious Diaper Bag
If you intend to leave the house with your baby (and you probably will), a diaper bag is a must. Most have a pocket for wipes, as well as extra space for plenty of diapers, a spare change of clothes, and more. Don’t leave home without one, and keep it stocked and ready to pick up and go.
One or Two Safe Car Seats
You will need a safe car seat before you are allowed to leave the hospital. There are convertible car seats that will last for a few years, or those specifically meant for infants. Don’t forget to have car toys and a receiving blanket for warmth, as well. Remember that car seats expire! Use a new car seat. Some people like to have two car seats if they have multiple vehicles.
A Sturdy Baby Carrier
Going out and about means also transporting your baby. In stores and around town, it’s often easier to use a baby carrier than a stroller. These are like backpacks except they can hold your baby to your chest or back securely. Plus, since your baby will be nestled up against you, they are less likely to be fussy.
A Stroller for Long Journeys
With multiple babies or when walking long distances, a stroller can be much more convenient. Just use baby blankets for warmth or a makeshift sunshade, and you are all set to go.
Baby Bathtub or Bath Seat
Before your baby can sit up by themselves, you will need a baby bathtub. There are several variations, ranging from baths meant for the sink to seats used in an actual bathtub. The important part is keeping the baby safe and supported, with their head out of the water.
A Trustworthy Thermometer
There are a few different methods that thermometers use. The most common methods are under the arm and rectal, though the forehead is also common.
Diaper Cream to Prevent Rashes
Stock diaper cream at your changing station to help prevent diaper rash while soothing their skin. This is an item you want to have on hand before a diaper rash becomes an issue.
Nasal Aspirator and Saline
Much like diaper cream, have saline spray and a nasal aspirator, such as a bulb syringe, at the ready. These items will help in the event that your baby catches a cold as they will help clear their nose.
Baby Nail Clippers
Baby nails can get surprisingly sharp! Nail clippers meant for babies can prevent them from scratching themselves, and you, of course.
About aden + anais
Known for their signature super-soft cotton muslin products, aden + anais is loved by parents for their stylish, versatile products. Their blankets are favorites of parents and gift-givers alike, able to transform from blanket to stroller cover to emergency burp cloth. aden + anais aims to provide both new and seasoned parents with cute, practical baby essentials. Founded in 2006, they focus on safety, comfort, simplicity, and style. Their high-quality, Insta-worthy offerings include baby bibs, blankets, swaddles, and more.
Shop aden + anais for winter baby essentials at Adenandanais.com