Preparing to bring home a new baby is a big task. You have to sort through all the advertisements and personal advice you get, and decide which items will be especially helpful to you. Once you’ve purchased the basic necessities, you’ll have to decide which other items you’ll need for your baby’s first year.
There are an incredible number of products advertised to parents that really aren’t necessary, but how do you know which ones you actually need, especially if you’re a new parent? In order to eliminate some of the confusion, we’ve given you some specific suggestions about things that are a top priority for your baby’s first year.
1. Portable booster seat
Once your baby can sit up independently, it is great to be able to sit them in a booster chair close by while you work, cook or play. There are models that can be attached to chairs, have safety straps and even trays for eating or playing with toys. These seats help your child transition to a high chair and have the added benefit of being portable.
2. High chair
A high chair is a super helpful addition to your baby gear collection. Once your baby is ready to try solid food, you’ll love having a table-height chair that is safe for your child and easy to clean.
3. Baby food maker
A baby food maker is a wonderful addition to your kitchen, particularly if you want to save money on food costs. You don’t have to buy something expensive or fancy. A simple puree wand or machine will help you prep food for your growing child.
4. Bowls, spoons and sippy cups, bibs
All the feeding accessories are a must-have for parents. There are lots of really great affordable options here, so there’s no need to splurge. Get something that will help your child transition to solid foods easily.
5. Safety gate
A safety gate is very important, especially if you have stairs in your home. Even if you don’t have stairs, a gate can be placed at the end of a bedroom door so your baby can play in a confined, baby-proof space.
6. Baby jumper, bouncy seat or play mat
Once your child is able to move around, sit up or crawl, it is great to have an engaging jumper or mat that will entertain and teach your child. Save money here by buying one second hand, as they usually won’t be used much past the two-year mark.
7. Sound machine
If naptimes are a struggle, try a sound machine. They’re great for blocking out extraneous noises around the house and are wonderful for when you travel as well.
8. Ring pillow
If you’re breastfeeding your child, a specialized pillow can be helpful for obvious reasons. But in addition to breastfeeding support, you can use this pillow for tummy time, play time and nap time as your child grows.
9. Digital thermometer
Unfortunately, it’s likely you’ll need a thermometer at some point for your child. Invest in a high quality digital version that will last you for many years to come.
10. Bulb syringe or nasal aspirator
The bulb syringe you get from the hospital is usually one of the best, so keep it handy. There are other nasal aspirators that work really well when your child is stuffy. This is an essential item since the types of medication you can give your child are very limited.
11. Stroller or baby carrier
Once you are ready to brave going out in the world with your little one, a baby carrier or stroller will be very helpful with transporting your child around. Choose something that suits your style and budget. Lots of options can even transition from newborn through the toddler years.
12. Toys and books
It’s important to have items that will help your child learn and develop. Eye-catching toys will help your child’s hand-eye coordination and books will help in language development.
Becoming a parent is a wonderful journey, but there will always be lots of learning along the way. Talk to trusted friends and parents who can help you navigate what things will be great additions to your home. As you become more familiar with how you prefer to parent, you’ll understand what products are valuable to you and which ones you can skip altogether.