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The 15 best baby products for your first year

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The fifteen products you need for baby’s first year

As a new mom it’s SO hard to figure out everything you’ll really need for baby. So much of the time you register for stuff you don’t really need, or won’t end up using frequently. You’ll also get a ton of gifts that might not be very practical. Hello – I’m looking at you 0-3 month baby bikini when your daughter was born in December. The list below includes 15 of the best baby products that I couldn’t live without.

Ok, that’s aggressive, you can live without even the best baby products, but life would be a heck of a lot harder. If you’ve landed here and you’re looking for EVERYTHING you need, check out my list of newborn essentials.

Related: Newborn Baby Essentials Checklist Printable (perfect for first-time-moms)

This post probably contains affiliate links. That means if you buy something using one of my links I may receive a small commission – at no additional cost to you! How cool is that? It’s kind of boring, but feel free to read my full disclosure if you want more info.

There are so many baby items that it can be overwhelming as a new mom. These are the top 15 baby products we used the first year. They're all must haves on your baby registry and were 100% worth the money. Check out what we REALLY needed the first year with an infant.

Here are the items we use the most throughout my daughter’s first year. I promise you won’t regret buying anything on this list. In no particular order…

Burp Cloths

This was hands down one of the best baby products we used the first year. You will not BELIEVE the amount of spit up that can come out of a baby. I think I lived with these burp cloths on my shoulder. They also turn into a bib that can catch the drool and spit up in between feedings. The muslin was super absorbent and I wish I would have had more of them. {I think we had four.}

Tommee Tippie Bibs

Our friends got these for us when I was pregnant and I had no idea how amazing they would be. I had them in the closet until our daughter was feeding herself, but they’re made for 7 months+. She’s three and still asks for this bib. They catch everything. And you can just wipe them off when you’re done. It’s probably the only thing we still use every single day.

Lansinoh Nursing Pads (or Bamboobies, if you want washable)

Not everything on this list will be for the baby. I couldn’t have survived without my nursing pads because I didn’t have enough nursing bras to wash every time I leaked milk! I preferred the disposable kind, but if you’re super green or don’t mind washing, you can try the washable kind as well. They both work just as well, I just preferred the ones I could toss in the trash.

Breastmilk storage bags

Again, not for the baby. I couldn’t have built my freezer stash without breastmilk storage bags. If you plan to pump and need to store more than a few emergency bottles in the fridge or freezer, you’ll need some efficient storage space. These were a lifesaver. They come in a ton of different brands, but I was just fine with the Lansinoh, and they were the cheapest I found.

Ergo 360 (or Boba Wrap)

You will probably want a baby wrap at some point if you need to be hands-free. I had both the traditional carrier (the Ergo) and a wrap (the Boba). My daughter LOVED the boba wrap when she was really young. So much so that I called it baby magic. It was the only way to make her quit crying in the early days.

However, my friend’s baby hated it. It had the opposite effect and he just didn’t want to be tied down. This is one of those items you just have to test out. Keep your receipt and if your baby throws a huge fit when you try to use it, just take it back.

We started using the Ergo when she was too big for the Boba and it was also amazing. I didn’t try any other brands, but I’d highly recommend a baby carrier of some sort.

Pottery Barn Diaper Bag

You will have SO MUCH STUFF once you have a baby. You don’t necessarily need a fancy diaper bag, but you do need something. Whether you repurpose an old gym bag or get a $30 diaper bag backpack off Amazon, you’ll need to have something pre-packed that you can use to tote around all your crap.

I love the one we got from Pottery barn because it was huge. It looks like a mini-duffel and we can now use it as an overnight bag for her if she’s going to mom mom and pop pop’s house. I use a diaper bag backpack that I love now, but I don’t think it would have held all our stuff when she was a newborn. This is probably because I overpacked, so if you just want the backpack, it’s also a good buy.

Receiving Blankets

I didn’t actually use these to wrap the baby very often. I used them to protect our stuff. As I mentioned, there was a lot of pee, spit up, and milk in my life when my daughter was born. I kept these handy and covered all the pillows we nursed on, or the bed or floor when I set her down for a minute. They come as a multipack and are super easy to just toss in the wash. I never worried about them because they weren’t expensive. It was definitely a good buy – we actually bought another pack I loved them so much.

Muslin Swaddle Blankets

This is probably one of the most versatile baby products we had since we’re still using them and my daughter is three. She calls them her “hugging blankets.” In the early days they were swaddles, car seat covers, blankets, or nursing covers. These are one of the best baby products we had when she was an infant. Another highly recommend.

Footie Pajamas

My kid lived in footie pajamas. I don’t even think I bought her an outfit until she was six months old. We had a few from grandma and other than that she just wore footie pajamas and onesies with some cotton pants.

As a newborn I couldn’t get behind the nightgown thing, so she lived in sleepers. We had to change them several times a day due to blowouts and spit up, but if you only buy one article of clothing for your child, this should be it.

Teething Rings

My little lady loved her teething rings. You can put them in the freezer so they get cold, and the silicon is great for teething or just banging around. It doesn’t make a ton of noise so I could give her these as a toy when we were out and it didn’t distract anyone.

We left these strapped to her car seat and stroller until she was one.

Portable Milk Cooler

Sometimes as a breastfeeding mamma, you just want to go out and not have to worry about whipping out your milk makers. I LOVED this insulated pack that could fit two bottles. If you’re formula feeding you probably don’t need this one. However, if you want  to keep your milk fresh and leave the house for more than 30 minutes it’s a great thing to put on your registry or pick up at the store.

Lansinoh bottles

Even a breastfed baby will probably need a bottle at some point. These were the only bottle my daughter would take for awhile, and we loved them. They didn’t have a ton of air bubbles and the nipple mimics the breast. These are a great and cost effective bottle option, particularly for breastfeeding moms.

Bottle Cleaning Brush

Not sexy, but highly used. We needed a new brush every couple of months, and you definitely want to sterilize it or run it through the washer more frequently than that. If you use bottles or pump for the freezer, you’ll need something to truly get around the bottom and top of your bottles.

Baby Bouncer

I’m recommending the baby bjorn bouncer because that’s the one we had, but we mainly used our Rock N Play for the times we needed to put down the baby. It has since been recalled, so I don’t know what other substitutes will come out next. But you need somewhere safe to strap in your child. It’s a must-have.

Pack N Play

Finally, last but absolutely not least, I couldn’t have lived without our pack N play. This is probably because it’s where she slept, and in the very early days, it was where we changed and dressed her. We had a version with a newborn napper and changing station so we were able to do everything right in our room.

If your baby sleeps in a bassinet or his own crib, you might not need this other than for travel, but for us, it was mandatory. We had an entire station set up in our bedroom that allowed her to sleep, get dressed, and have a diaper change three feet from our bed.

Everyone will have their own opinion on the best baby products, but I can attest that we used the above items a TON the first year and beyond. Which one could you not live without, or do you think will be your favorite? Leave me a note in the comments below!

Want to know more about one of the top items your baby will be using her first year? Check out our non-toxic baby playmat review and roundup.

Related: The best non-toxic baby playmats to keep your baby safe

The fifteen products you need for baby’s first year

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