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Baby's First Year Essentials

Ten years after doing my wedding registry we had the satisfaction of going through Buy Buy Baby with one of those scanner things beeping everything that I thought we might need for baby. Turns out I got a lot of things that I didn’t use because either I didn’t like it (like the ring carrier and Velcro swaddles) and there were things I didn’t know I needed that I got a little down the way (like nipple cream and a crib wedge for my reflux baby) but it was very overwhelming.

I’m putting this list together, not to shove a bunch of products in your face, but hopefully to help you see what you might need and make the process of preparing for baby a little more fun and a little less crazy. This post should be called "Everything baby might need...and the kitchen sink." Although I'm not sure that's a saying in the States?? If not, then never mind.

Ok, so it's almost laughable that I'm calling everything an essential because you can get by with very little, and I'm sure our parents and their parents did just fine, but these are the things I have used and loved for my first child and now my second. We added a few things for baby number two that we didn’t have with my first and I’ve listed those towards the end.

It can be so overwhelming to make a registry when you have no idea what you are really going to use and there are a thousand different brands and types of things from clothes to monitors and pumps. I will say that every mom and every baby is different, so what worked for our family (like we love snaps on footed pajamas instead of zips) might not work for your family so just have fun looking at this list and hopefully it helps if you are expecting! I can't talk in length here about each item as this post will just be too long, but message or email me and let me know if you have any questions. I LOVE talking about baby gear. ENJOY!

This post contains affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, I receive a small commission if you purchase an item.


  • My Breast Friend Pillow (or Boppy but not as supportive)

  • Bottles (We use Dr Browns, Advent, Medela)(Really want to try Comotomo)

  • Breast pump (Check if you can get one free with Insurance. I tried the Freemie Hands free but it did not evenly drain the breast so switched back the Medela one from my first child)

  • Bottle Drying rack (Best one, so easy to clean)

  • Breast milk freezer bags

  • Nursing pads (Reusable or disposable)

  • Burp cloths (I love using flannel blankets as burp cloths)

  • Nursing bras

  • Nipple cream

  • Nursing cover (I use these big swaddle blankets by tying a knot with two of the corners)

  • Teething toys (Banana toothbrush, elephant teether, kitchen utensils work really well!)

  • High chair (We got this one second hand and Oliver still uses the base at 3 years old)

  • Silicone bibs (I got ours from Target but I've heard these are great too)

  • Bowl and utensils (Also use these Ikea plastic bowls and plates available on Amazon)

  • Microwave steamer bag


  • Diaper bag (This backpack I got for my second is so perfect!)

  • Diapers (Cloth: Charlie Banana, Thirsties with disposable bamboo liners and Disposable diapers: Hello Bello)

  • Wipes (Water Wipes and Seventh Generation)

  • Portable changing pad (Gray or Floral)(Literally my most used item for 2+ years!)

  • Diaper cream (Aquaphor or Desitin)(None of the more natural brands worked for us unfortunately)

  • Reusable wipes to dry baby's bottom and prevent diaper rash

  • Changing mat, mat cover (and we use these liners to go on top. A little excessive but it works for us)

  • Trash can (or diaper pail)


  • Baby rug

  • Playgym or activity mat (We got the Lovevery for baby #2 and love it)

  • Rocker (great for reflux babies – max 15 minutes at a time)

  • Baby toys (books, ball, stuffed animals, rainbow stacker-I remove the red ball on the top till 2+years old)


  • Travel system - car seat, stroller, bassinet (I don’t recommend the one we got but I do recommend a jogging stroller as it can go anywhere!)

  • Baby carrier: wrap and/or carrier (Used a Solly Wrap and Baby Bjorn with my second as a newborn, Ergo Baby Carrier after 3+months)

  • Travel bassinet/pack n play and mattress if you plan on traveling (for our second we used the DockAtot and loved it)

  • Car seat cover (Light one and heavy one)


  • Dresser

  • Bed (we did a floor mattress, but a lot of people do cribs or bassinets. We added a crib wedge underneath to help with reflux/spit up as well as a bumper to help baby not fall out of bed)

  • Sheets and mattress protector

  • Recliner or glider (Ours is no longer available)

  • Night light (We have two - the Vava and cloud light)

  • Baby monitor (ours is out of stock -we went for a radio frequency monitor instead of a wifi monitor so it couldn't be hacked)

  • Humidifier + essential oil diffuser (similar to ours)

  • Montessori mirror and pull up bar (So amazing for baby from newborn to a year)


  • Footed onesies (Little me, Cloud Island and Carters are my favorites brands. I'm team snap not zip!)

  • Long sleeve onsies (Carter’s tend to run small)

  • Short sleeve onesies (So many cute options for girls and boys)

  • Pants

  • Swaddles (I didn't use swaddles for either of my boys)

  • Soft bibs -used for catching drool when teething (ordered them two months ago and perfect for winter)

  • Hats (Only need about 2)

  • Socks (don’t go crazy here)

  • Muslin blankets (34 options!)

  • Burp cloths/flannel blankets

  • Sleep sacs (love ours so much! Callum is in the Medium right now)

  • Bathing suit and hat (love UV Skinz so much!)

  • Warm onesie (my second has lived in his white one this winter)

  • Baby-safe laundry detergent (we love Seventh Generation Sensitive Skin for the whole family)


  • Baby tub (Loved this for newborn but not great after three months)

  • Bath towels

  • Face cloths

  • Bath toys (don't get squirt ones - lots of bacteria even invisible! I use teethers and this duck)

  • Baby oil (we love Beauty Counter but it’s not available for some reason and Hello Bello)

  • Baby wash (currently looking for a new one, have been using Babyganics)


· Thermometer (simple rectal one worked for us)

· Nasal aspirator (Nose Frida - 100% worth the hype)

· Nail trimmer (I use a regular one but this would be much safer!)

· Suction bulb (the hospital gave us one)

· Gas relief medicine


Wipe Warmer | DockAtot | Haakaa (wasn't around for baby #1) |Portable white noise machine | Lovevery Play Gym (an absolute must for your registry! Love all their products – their toy subscription is amazing (contact me for $20 off) | Solly Wrap and Baby Bjorn carriers | Bella Tuno Teether | Snap Sleep ‘n Play footed pj’s | Diaper Backpack |

These are really great items and I'm so glad I got all of them. The DockaTot is 100% worth it and Callum slept so well in it for every single nap and night time sleep. The wipe warmer is so worth it for the colder months, I mean have you tried wiping those freezing wipes on your body? Its freezing! The Haaka has been so helpful and I hardly had to use my electric pump, but beware - it is a pump not just "catching your let down" so use it carefully. I loved the Baby Bjorn

Whew, well done for making it this far. It feels a little ridiculous that I have all this stuff. I mean where is it all? Oh yes, all over my house haha! I though of myself as really going with not much but looking at this list, I have to rethink those thoughts.

Did you love and use any of these items?

What are your baby favorites?

Did I miss something? (I feel like I did but really this list is hectic!)

Till next time,


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Hi, I'm Kendra

I am a qualified Montessori teacher and yoga teacher up to my ears in diapers, toy cars and the best kisses a mama can handle. I am passionate about connecting with moms and supporting each other on this journey of motherhood. I share family-friendly recipes, my pregnancy, postpartum and parenting journey, Montessori inspiration, and products we loveI am a South African living in the US with my hubby and two boys.

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