Baby’s First Year Must Haves

I belong to a group on Facebook for the mom’s in my neighborhood and a woman is having her first baby and wanted to know what everyone’s must haves / don’t bother items were. I realized that I’ve done several revues on products but I’ve never compiled Kricket’s first year must haves. So here it is! I’ve also included why I didn’t go with some of the more popular items that everyone has on their registry.

I feel like I need to also admit that we hired a night nurse to sleep train Kricket. She was the one that introduced us to Mam, Dear Angel, Miracle Blankets, the Nordstrom Blanket, Arms Reach Cambria Bassinet, Infantino Food Pouch System and the Holle formula. She’s been a must have for Dallas families for over sixteen years. She has a three year waiting list and I’m telling you she knows her stuff! Under each of these items I go into more detail and how they really do work.

Must have items for when you leave the hospital:

#1 Nuna Rava Car Seat

The hospital isn’t going to let you leave without a car seat. We bought two different car seats, one for each of our cars. After a ton of research I knew that I did NOT want an infant car (see reasoning under Bugaboo Fox Stroller) seat but a full size car seat that we could use from birth. David wanted an infant car seat and he wanted the Bugaboo Bee Stroller for his car. This was the car seat that I did for his car because of the adapters for the stroller. David and I spent HOURS at Buy Buy Baby and after so many long talks David did not want cup holders in the car seat. He didn’t want Kricket to think every time we got in the car she needed a snack or whatever. The Nuna Rava had the grow with me capability with ALL of the inserts! Seriously there are a ton! It also has this great wicking technology for sweat which I loved because it gets sooooo hot in Texas. Now here was the kicker. This car seat has cupholders but they fold down! Kricket now uses them to hold her pacifier! LOL I LOVE this car seat. I wish we’d bought two. We only used the infant car seat maybe three times. Such a waste of money! However, if you’re going to do the stroller with the car seat attachment that you probably would have gotten more use out of it.

Before we were discharged from the NICU Kricket had to do a car seat study. She had to sit in her car seat for two hours (that’s the maximum time the hospital says that baby should be in the car seat). They make sure that she doesn’t stop breathing, etc.

#2 Arms Reach Bassinet (dark wood) Arms Reach Bassinet (white)

Our night nurse had us set up this bassinet in the living room. That’s where Kricket slept for awhile. She wanted her to get used to noise, people talking, the T.V., etc. She also wanted her to be able to sleep with light coming into the room. The night nurse that we used is Romanian and very much this is how it is. You’re not here to flip your life upside down now because of a baby. Our living room has a lot of dark wood. We wanted the dark wood bassinet but somehow we wound up with the white one. Due to Covid Buy Buy Baby wouldn’t take anything back or do any exchanges! So we have the white one!

Yes, she has the Owlet Smart Sock on and yes it is worth the $$$

#3 Nordstrom Blanket

,Our night nurse had us get two of these blankets they’re so plush and soft! She folded each one in half and then covered the bassinet mattress with them. It made the bassinet so snuggly and comfy! I now use these blankets in the car. I read somewhere that your not supposed to put the baby in their carseat with their coat on because the seat belt harness isn’t snug against their body. So I use these blankets to keep Kricket warm!

#4 Miracle Blanket

Ok, these are AMAZING! They’re swaddles but cheat swaddles! She had us double swaddle and I’ve seen so many other moms on my Facebook group that swear by double swaddling. Here’s a video on how these work.

#5 Mam 5oz Bottle

I’m not going to lie, I thought these were the ugliest bottles! I did NOT want to use them. I did my research and wanted to use glass bottles so I stocked up on the beautiful Lifefactory bottles. When we were in the NICU they had us using Dr. Brown Preemie Bottles. I HATE those things! There are so many parts to wash and because of the tubes I never really felt like they were getting clean. When we got home I put the preemie nipple on the Lifefactory bottle and it worked for a while but because of the glass, they’re heavier, the milk flow was way to fast! Also, I started to notice that Kricket was developing colic. I finally started using the Mam bottle and we had a new baby! These bottle are very easy to clean just make sure that you get the vent back on and the bottom screwed on correctly or it’ll leak! Also, don’t waste your money on the big bottle (9oz). I bought so many packages of these and there was way too much air so Kricket would end up miserable and spitting up. Stay with the 5oz and just make two bottles!

#6 Mam Pacifier – 0-6 months, 6+ months, glow in the dark, Mam pacifier clip, teething pacifier clip, pacifier clip rings. If you want to get fancy or just looking for a unique gift here are a couple of personalized pacifiers, clear and pink. Kricket has a few that Mam gifted us and she gets soooo many compliments on them! LOL

These scratch her face so I’m not crazy about them but when she started trying to hold stuff these were great because she could get her fingers around them. These were my favorite. They glow in the dark so they’re super easy to find when they fall under the crib!

Again, not my favorite but they’re amazing. Kricket only used the 0-6 month pacifier for a couple of months. She had acid reflux so we started using the 6 month pacifier pretty early on to help combat the acid. I also read somewhere that there’s less chance of S.I.D.S if baby sleeps with a pacifier so I was so happy that she took to using one.

#7 Dear Angel Lovey

I didn’t use a lovey or a blankie and neither did David so I wasn’t so sure about this one. When the night nurse sleep trained Kricket she put these right by her face to teach her to self soothe. HOLY MOLY they work! I did so much research on this product because they say not to put anything in the crib with the baby. The material that they’re made with is breathable. David got so worried one night that he moved them to the edge of the crib. She woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t reach it. She had a freaking melt down. Normally when she wakes up she finds lovey in her crib and rubs her face and puts herself back to sleep. These things are magic!

#8 Owlet Smart Sock

I would say this is a personal preference. The smart sock tells you when babies oxygen levels dip, it won’t prevent S.I.D.S but hopefully you could get into babies room and perform CPR before it’s too late. I wanted this from day one and David thought it was unnecessary. As soon as Kricket was born he decided that we needed one and was at Buy Buy Baby that afternoon.

Items you don’t need ASAP:

Burt’s Bees Pajamas

These are the absolute softest. The newborn pajamas also have the built in hand covers so baby won’t scratch their face.

Bugaboo Fox Stroller

This was one of the first things that we bought and I’m glad because these things are ALWAYS sold out! I like to go on walks and I knew I wasn’t taking my newborn anywhere so I knew we’d be going on lots of walks around the neighborhood.

Let me start off my saying I’m 4’11” and had absolutely no interest in lugging a car seat around that attaches to a stroller. I’d already made up my mind about this and then I saw a story on the news about how parents were leaving their babies in the car seat too long. Some suffocated, etc. Fast forward to Kricket being in the NICU and we had to actually do a car seat study before they would discharge us. Our doctor told us babies should NOT be in a car seat longer than two hours. This is also why I did NOT choose the Doona. I know everyone loves it but I preferred taking her out of her car seat and putting her in the bassinet. Everyone said no you don’t want to do this. You want to leave the baby in the infant car seat and bring them inside and let them sleep there. This is exactly the opposite of what the hospital said. I put Kricket in the bassinet as soon as we brought her home and she would fall asleep on walks. We’d get home and put the stroller in the living room and let her keep sleeping in there. It was perfect. She stayed in the bassinet until she was about six months old. She’s VERY long otherwise we would have stayed in that position. She transitioned to the seat wonderfully and now when we go to restaurants we put the stroller in the most upright position and push it up to the table. It’s the perfect height for a table … We LOVE this because we know that it’s clean unlike restaurant high chairs.

Tip: Don’t get the silver chassis get the black. I wanted the black but they were sold out EVERYWHERE so I got the silver. The silver shows scuff marks!

Bloom High Chair

You guys know I LOVE to cook and I pretty much always make dinner so I wanted a high chair or a seat for the kitchen that I could use from day one. I LOVE this hight chair I don’t have enough good things to say about it. The height is adjustable which is great for eating dinner at the table or cooking at the kitchen island. This high chair works from day one to I believe the website says ten years old. I’m going to be rude here, I hope your ten year old isn’t still in a high chair . . .

Seriously, I used it from day one!
Yes, we even travel with it!
She’s not tall enough for the full seat yet so it has a booster seat in it!
We LOVE it so much my mom even bought one for her house.

Skip Hop Changing Table + liners

I didn’t want a changing table with a fabric cover because I knew that accidents were going to happen and I didn’t want to keep washing the cover. Guess what I was right! Accidents do happen and this has been a great changing table pad. We got a normal dresser that matches her crib and just stuck this on top. We can continue to use the dresser when she’s out of diapers. I read somewhere to keep puppy pads in the diaper bag for whenever you have to change a diaper in a public restroom. Lay the puppy pad down then the changing table insert from your diaper bag then baby. This way germs aren’t getting on the insert and you’re putting it back in the diaper bag.

For the first few months we had a couple of tinkle accidents when I would take Kricket’s diaper off. I did put the puppy pad on the changing table and then would just throw it away. She only did this the first few months but then got the hang of it!

Dreft + Dreft Stage 2 and Stain Remover

I did a post about this stuff not that long ago and how much I love it! Start with stage 1 which is newborn. When baby starts crawling switch to stage 2 which is active and get the stain remover! If knees get yucky on babies clothes spray with the stain remover. I bought a cheapy toothbrush and I scrub then spray again then throw in the wash. Everything looks brand new!

When we were at the beach this summer David spilt Crystal Light on his polo and didn’t tell me until the next morning (so it had dried). I didn’t have the stain remover with me but I had the stage 2 detergent and I washed the polo in that. It got the dried RED Crystal Light out of his shirt. I now use Dreft for all of our laundry. It’s also great if anyone in your family has allergies or sensitive skin.

Aveeno Shampoo + Body Wash and Lotion

We originally started bathing Kricket in Johnson & Johnson and when she was a year old the pediatrician told us that she has Eczema and we needed to switch to Aveeno Baby Eczema. David and I love the lotion so much that we even use it!

This summer when we were at the beach (I burn easily) I used this moisturizing cream instead of after sun lotion / Aloe and I barely peeled! This stuff is amazing.

Bathtub Insert

We had the baby bathtub and Kricket’s just so long that it didn’t work for us very long. I eventually switched over to this insert and she loved it!

Nuna Aire

I picked this pack and play because it has one string that you push down to set-up and when you want to close it up you pull the string. SO EASY! This one also has an insert for an infant that sits them up a bit so it was great when we were dealing with her acid reflux. I feel like it helped her digest her formula a little bit better and fewer spit ups.

Personal Care – Nail Clippers, Nail File, Hair Scrubber, Hair Brush, Cradle Cap System

I started with these clippers and hated them. Somehow I found this nail file and fell in love with it. It didn’t bother Kricket she’d just sit there and let you file her nails. As she’s gotten older the nail file doesn’t work as well on thicker nails. Now I use the clippers and LOVE them. They work great and don’t get too close.

This hair scrubber is great especially for their little scalps where the soft spot is. It just glides right over it.

Kricket’s hair is very fine so I really like this hair brush and how gentle it is. I even use it when her hair is wet and it gets everything in place!

Cradle Cap System. I didn’t know about this one. I just saw it and will be ordering it today because we still have some scabs on her head and in her hair.

Food Pouch Station + Cook Book + Storage Containers (glass) Freezer Containers (silicone) +Heater

Laxative Our pediatrician had me order these way early and I just stuck them in the medicine cabinet. I was so thankful because when she started eating solids she needed a little bit of help going to the potty. This laxative is AMAZING! She would go to the bathroom IMMEDIATELY!

Buttpaste We started with Desitin and Kricket got a bad diaper rash (I thought it was bad our pediatrician didn’t think so) so I took her to the doctor. He switched her to Buttpaste. He did tell me that when baby is teething their skin is more sensitive. So watch out for this! This is the ONLY time Kricket gets a diaper rash.

Lifefactory Bottle + Nipples and Sippy Cap

I really wanted to use glass bottles and I wanted something that was easy to clean. This bottle is just that. David was worried about the glass and that it would break if it was dropped. Kricket has launched these across the room and the only thing that has broken is the plastic at the top, it cracked and that was only on the sappy cap.

This is such a great grow with me bottle. They have several nipples and then go into the sippy cap. Like I said earlier we used the Mam bottles when she was younger but as she got more independent and wanted to hold her bottle I switched to the Lifefactory bottle. I think because of the silicone sleeve on the bottle it was easier for her to hold/grip. I never did the sippy cup with the handles because she learned how to use both hands to hold her bottle with the silicone sleeve. She’s now drinking out of a cup and uses both hands. This was a great transition bottle.

What were some of your little one’s must have items? I’d love to hear from you leave your comments below.


Disclosure: Some of the links included in this blog post are affiliate links, meaning that, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click through the link and make a purchase.

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