I can hardly believe my little boy is turning 1 in less than a week! This year has been an amazing, wonderful roller coster trying to figure out how be a mom of two! It’s crazy how quickly you forget the up and down emotions of the first 3 months of life. This time around, Leo had colic, and I was nothing short of hysterical every day of those first 3 months. But just like everyone assured me, the day after he turned 12 weeks old, everything seemed to turn around. I finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel and was able to enjoy my new baby. So I wanted to share my most prized possessions – those first year must-haves that got me through those tough early months and made the rest of Leo’s first year amazing!
First Year Must-Haves to Keep the Sanity
I remember the first time I decided to take both boys out on my own. Leo was about 8 weeks old and Jax was 3. I took them to Dunkin Donuts thinking, “Sure, I can do this!”
Boy, was I wrong!
All three of us left in tears. The baby was hysterical, as always (everyone staring at me). I couldn’t warm up his bottle, and Jax was having a tantrum over the lack of chocolate munchkins. I left that day and said I was NEVER going out with the two of them by myself again…lol.
Of course, with lots of patience and tons of family to help, I finally found my perfect routine, a little more confidence, and became a kick-ass mom of two!
My Ultimate List of Must-Have Baby Gear
I also couldn’t have made it through this year without some amazing products. They helped make things so much easier for me. I think asking fellow moms for their recommendations is the best way to know what is really worth it and what is not! So today I am rounding up my top 12 favorite products – one for each month of the year! These first year must-haves kept me sane through this past year, and I hope they will do the same for you!
Being a brand ambassador for Dr. Brown’s has been the opportunity of a lifetime for us. All three of us have been using their products for 8+ years, and we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon! Their bottles are unparalleled to any other brand.
Their Options+ bottles are for sure my favorite! When you have a baby with actual colic, you better believe you’ll try every product on planet Earth to make things easier for you.
And these bottles do just that!
You can use the bottles with or without the vent system depending on what you prefer. I like using the vent system because it helps reduce any feeding problems, preserves vitamins, helps with digestion, and the vent/nipple combination create a vacuum-free feeding! This choice is an easy one for bottles in my opinion.
I also LOVE their teethers. I use them daily and keep them all over my house. Leo loves when I give them to him straight out of the fridge.
This time around, I decided to buy my dresser for Leo on Wayfair. It actually wasn’t meant for a nursery, so it didn’t come with a changing table on top, which I was totally okay with because I was eyeing the Keekaroo months before having him. The material makes it easy to wipe off spit up, food, and whatever other mess your baby makes. The design provides a perfect cozy little nook and prevents your baby from rolling off. It’s also extremely durable, and I can move it from room to room when needed.
Yes, Yes, YES. Like a Keurig, but for bottles! With Jax, I didn’t produce enough breastmilk a few months after he was born, so I had to supplement with some formula. I breastfed as long as I could for about 5-6 months and then went straight to formula.
Prepping bottles was tiresome, and there were many days where I just wanted it to be ready for me.
Well, hooray, because Baby Brezza created that product for you!
I was excited to have this product for baby two as well! It automatically makes warm formula bottles in seconds. You don’t have to spend any time measuring the powder or sticking it in the microwave to warm up. There is an easy-to-use control panel on the bottom, so you can adjust the ounces you need for each bottle. With my 3 year old running around like a crazy toddler, I will take any spare time I can get!
I love this gadget! When I put my baby monitor on the shelf, I never get it at the perfect angle. This holder clips onto your crib or shelf and gives you the perfect view over your baby’s crib!
5. Dock A Tot
Can they please make one for adults? I love this product and was desperately searching for something like it with Jax. I like to spend a lot of time during the first few months in my bed because it’s just more comfortable than the couch. So I wanted to have something soft and cozy for him that I could snuggle right up to. Sometimes you don’t need all the bells and whistles. Your little one just wants a snug and cozy spot to fall asleep.
The Dock A Tot provides the perfect womb-like environment for our little ones to nap in. The cocoon-like feeling really makes babies feel comforted and is a great place for them to fall asleep. You can also use the extra toy accessory so it’s useful for your baby to play in as well.
It’s also a great option for traveling. I love how it can grow with your baby. You can use it even past 36 months! Plus, I am obsessed with all the different prints available!
Maybe it’s the amazing fabric, or the subtle bounce, or maybe how easy it is to slip your baby in and out. But I LOVE this chair!
I originally put this chair on my registry because I needed something lightweight I could throw in the car when I’m heading to Grandma’s house! Something to keep in the bathroom with me while I was taking a shower or getting ready. Or just a great spot for baby to chill when he is up playing. It also comes with an attachment toy bar to keep your baby entertained!
I used this breast pump for the first 6 months, and I loved it. The one I used with Jax was Medela’s Free Style version, but with Leo, I used the Sonata pump. The best part about this pump is all of the smart features! It delivers all your information directly to your smart phone via Bluetooth, meaning it collects all the data on your pumping sessions and has real time tracking of your baby’s growth! It also gives you unlimited access to important lactation information and personalized content designed to help you reach your breastfeeding goals. I am a major believer in pumping – so Dad can get in there and help with the feedings, too – and this pump was amazing!
Leo loved this activity center up until just a couple of months ago! It is perfect to start around 4-5 months old. He actually spent a lot of time playing in it when we were home, and it was great when I needed some time to get my own stuff done. You can attach other toys to it as well to switch it out and keep your baby occupied!
9. Baby Shusher
Definitely get one! Or two – one for your house, and one to hang in your car. It will put your baby to sleep in seconds. I swear!
10. Crane Humidifier
Unfortunately, Leo was sick many times during his first few months! Since I was unable to give him meds, this cool mist humidifier was perfect to help with congestion. It was perfect at night, especially when he was awake and coughing. Crane is my favorite brand because they offer so many great colors and characters that go with any decor! A humidifier is definitely at the top of my list for first year must-haves!
All I need to say is who wants to clip their babies nails with that teeny tiny horrifying nail clipper? It is terrifying and each time I did it with Jax, I prayed I wouldn’t cut his skin. Why go through that?
Well, you don’t have to anymore!
Zoli created an electric nail trimmer that makes it so much easier to cut your baby’s nails. A must buy, guys! Must!
12. Baby Bullet
This system is so easy to use if you are making your own baby food! I do not prepare food weeks in advance. I need something easy to use in a hurry, which is why I love this system!
Perfect to throw food in there and blend something up for him in seconds! And the happy faces are just adorable – I can’t help it!
Final Thoughts on First Year Must-Haves
The first few months of your baby’s life can be a bumpy road, especially when colic and adjusting to life with two little humans are thrown in! But hopefully my experiences will help YOU out! Enjoy my first year must-haves. And let me know if you have anything you would add to the list!