There are so many baby products on the market these days that it can be crazy overwhelming to try and figure out exactly what one needs. I remember reading baby product checklists thinking ‘Do I really need a wipe warmer??’ (Spoiler alert: I didn’t). There’s a part of me who thinks that the baby industry “creates needs” but then there’s another part of me who thinks some of the things they’ve created are legit genius and make things sooo much easier.
RELATED READING: 20 Lessons We Learned In Our First Year As Parents
I narrowed this list down to our top 25 must-have products from various categories that we used and loved the most during Lake’s first year. Many of these we’re still actively using as she enters into toddlerhood. I truly believe that any of these products would be an excellent addition to your baby registry or shopping list if you’re expecting, or to give as a gift to anyone who is expecting.
Also, if you’d like a more comprehensive list of the baby products we used, click here and select the ‘Kids – Baby’ category.
1. Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper. This bassinet has so many great features including mesh sides, a folding rail and a 360 degree rotation. We bought the regular version as we didn’t need any of the features of the higher-priced models.
2. Babyletto 4-in-1 Convertible Crib with Toddler Bed Conversion Kit. We took two trips to IKEA to buy this crib, but it was sold out both times. Then I found this Babyletto crib which is similar in appearance and even better in functionality because it also converts to a toddler bed.
3. Newton Crib Mattress. This safe, breathable mattress gives us peace of mind when Lake sleeps on her stomach.
4. Infant Optics Baby Monitor. While I originally thought I wanted a baby monitor that could be viewed via an app on my phone, I’m glad I went with a freestanding unit like this one because I can keep an eye on the monitor while still having my phone free for use. I also like that it doesn’t connect to the Internet/Wi-Fi so it’s more secure. Other features include: interchangeable lenses, camera pan/tilt/zoom and room temperature reading.
5. Baby Blanket. I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of this blanket. It’s so incredibly soft, plush and warm. They need to come out with an adult version!
6. Fleece Footed Sleep & Play. The softest and warmest fleece sleepers. Also, if you’re new to the baby pajama world – forget fumbling with buttons and snaps (especially during those middle of the night diaper changes!) – zippers are the way to go!
7. DockATot Deluxe+ Baby Lounger. A great portable “lounger” for baby.
8. Sophie The Giraffe. This is arguably the most popular baby teether/toy on the market. Lake absolutely loved Sophie!
9. Hatch Baby Grow Smart Changing Pad & Scale. This is one of those products that I think is genius. This changing pad is soft, super easy to wipe clean and doubles as a scale. You can download the Hatch Baby tracker app to track baby’s weight, as well as a variety of other things like feedings, sleep and diapers. Along with baby’s weight, it also provides the percentile where your baby falls.
10. Graco Simple Sway Baby Swing. This swing is one of the best, if not, thee best product for us on this list. We didn’t use the extra features all that often but it plays music and vibrates. It operates via power cord or batteries.
11. Doona Convertible Car Seat Stroller. We used this on our trip to Arizona and it was worth its weight in gold. We also use it as a car seat in our secondary vehicle. Click here to see how it works – It’s so slick!
12. UPPAbaby Vista Stroller. I all caps LOVE this stroller. It’s incredibly well-designed, durable, stylish and provides such a smooth ride. It’s compatible with the Mesa car seat (see below) and comes with a toddler seat. It can also go from a single to a double stroller with the addition of a second seat.
13. UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat. Out of all of the baby products I researched I spent the most time researching the car seat. While the Mesa is pricier than its counterparts, we were okay with that because safety is our number one priority. The Mesa is at the top of numerous safety lists and is such great quality. The installation is quick and easy using the latch system and as mentioned directly above it clicks right into the Vista stroller. Also, if you plan on using your Mesa car seat in more than one vehicle you may want to purchase an extra infant car seat base so you won’t have to re-install the base every time you switch vehicles.
14. Fawn Original Diaper Bag. They’re doing amazing things with diaper bags these days! There are so many cute options out there and you would never even guess they’re diaper bags. This Fawn one is super chic, heavy-duty and comes in a wide-array of on-trend colors. It can also be worn as both a backpack or shoulder bag.
15. Graco Pack & Play. A great portable product for playing or sleeping at home or on the go.
16. Baby Walker. Lake loved zooming around the house in this as well as playing with the toy attachment. It’s lightweight and super easy to assemble.
17. mushie Silicone Baby Bib. Another genius invention: the silicon baby bib. So easy to clean! There are a ton of cute ones out there but I especially love the colors of the these mushie brand ones. My favorite colors are Cambridge Blue (it’s more of a sage green), Blush and Lilac Flowers.
18. FridaBaby DermaFrida the SkinSoother Silicone Bath Brush. We love using this gentle brush as both a hair and bath brush.
19. Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottle. I bought several different brands of bottles to see which one Lake would take the best. She actually ended up taking quite a few of them just fine, so then I chose the one I liked the best out of those. We have the Avent bottle in all of the available sizes – 2, 4 and 9 ounces.
20. Angelcare Baby Bath Support. This bath support makes bathing baby in the bathtub a breeze. It has a great design and the mesh material drains the water right through.
21. Sposie Booster Pads. These booster pads are an absolute game changer. We’ve had ZERO overnight diaper leaks ever since we started using these diaper inserts.
22. WaterWipes Unscented Baby Wipes. These are our favorite wipes. They’re soft, easy on baby’s skin and I love how they remain super moist even after the package has been open for awhile or if accidentally left open.
23. Baby Bum Brush. At first glance this product seems completely unnecessary/gimmicky, but it’s a “sleeper” product if you ask me. This spatula is the best applicator to apply diaper cream. It not only keeps your hands (and underneath your fingernails) clean and is more sanitary, it also spreads the cream on faster, allows for better and more even coverage and helps you get into all of the necessary crevasses. It’s soft, flexible and easy to clean. I love that it also includes a travel size to keep in another room or toss in your diaper bag.
24. Triple Paste Medicated Ointment for Diaper Rash. I tried a couple of the more natural diaper rash creams, but unfortunately they did nothing. This paste is a miracle cream, as it’s super fast-acting.
25. IKEA ANTILOP High Chair with Tray. This is a really popular high chair likely due to its price tag of $19.99. I particularly love the modern and minimalist design. If you opt for this high chair, be sure to check out Yeah Baby Goods, as they make awesome accessories (place mats, cushions, and footrests) made specifically for this high chair.
I hope this list helps you find some of your baby essentials! If you’re a parent, leave a comment below letting me know a few of your baby must-have’s!