Better late than never. This is way late as my daughter is almost two, but I have been wanting to put together the baby gear we used most during the first year and some items well beyond the first twelve months. Of course, so many other items were used beyond these, but I thought these are some of the big ticket items when preparing for baby. When I decided to put things on my registry or purchase items, I did gender neutral even though I knew we were expecting a baby girl. The reason I did this? If we choose to expand our family after baby #1 OR donate items, they are gender neutral. Just my thoughts and opinions and therefore I was not rebuying items again. Plus, I am not a big fan of a bazillion colors all over items. Again, just my personal preference.
Diono Carseat (Radian 3rxt all-in-one convertible) The carseat we have (in each car) is by far worth every penny. It fits 5 lbs. and up, it is an all-in-one convertible carseat to grow with your child and top rated for safety. Not to mention it is slimmer to allow multiple carseats across your back seats or allow other passengers to sit more comfortable. We never did a bucket style carseat, just this one. (it is all preference) When our daughter was still a newborn, she went right from the carseat to a wearable wrap or a stroller when we were out and about. This carseat is $240, but worth it and you do not have to buy another as it grows all the way through booster seat size.
Diono Quantum Stroller (we have it in all black) This stroller was not our original stroller. We needed a second carseat and Diono was running a deal, buy a carseat which was on sale and get this stroller for just a $100 more! This was a steal since the stroller retailed for $600 at the time. So we sold our original stroller. I like this stroller, my husband hates it. It is on the bulky side taking up space and the fold up can be a bit funky at times. Its very sturdy, a smooth ride and it can lay to be bassinet style or sit up once baby gets older. It also has a great big sun shade and big venting on the shade to keep baby cool. My daughter still enjoys riding in this stroller.
Pack-n-Play Some people skip these but keep reading to see why it was a must for us. I am happy with the style of pack and play we chose. We started out using the raised sleeping area when my daughter was a newborn in our room instead of a bassinet. She slept in this until she was 8 weeks old and then we started transitioning to her crib in her own room. We do not have tons of space, so in terms of being practical for us, a bassinet was not since babies out grow them quickly. This pack-n-play was used in her newborn stage, it then became a play area and now it is used as her bed when we travel.
Como Tomo Bottles These were the bottles my daughter ended up loving, but they happen to be on the pricer side. ($24 for 2) We never bought the smaller ounce Como bottles as she was a big eater pretty quickly. They hold up really well and we only had to purchase new nipple sizes as she grew. Well worth the investment if your child loves them.
Baby Breeza Bottle Warmer You can definitely get away with a cheaper bottle warmer or get more fancy than this but we just needed the basic function of warming. The Breeza bottle warmer was very useful during the newborn stage and it warmed the bottle very quickly. We purchased it from Target with gift cards we received at our baby shower.
Ingenuity Portable Baby Swing Again, we do not have tons of space so a more compact baby swing worked for us. The bigger/taller swings take up a lot of floor space so this definitely is more compact and works just the same. My daughter loved spending time in her swing whether playing or taking a quick nap. This swing is great if you need to save space or need something on a lower budget. I would take it on our back patio to sit outside with her since it is easy to fold up and move.
High Chair (Ikea Antilop High Chair) $20 I am now sound like a broken record, but saving space, saving money and getting just the basics was our mindset with baby gear. When it was time for feeding my daughter solids, she only needed a basic high chair. Nothing fancy or huge so off to Ikea I went. Another way to save on baby food, make your own!! It is so easy and very budget friendly. That is another blog post in itself for another day.
Aden + Anais Muslin Swaddles/Blankets We received these at our baby shower and we have used them from day one until now. They definitely have gotten their use and I think they are worth the $40 investment for a pack of 4. My daughter quickly realized she hated being swaddled so we have always used them as blankets. They are so soft and great to pack for travel, the diaper bag, in the car or just at home for bedtime.
Baby Monitor (HelloBaby) $50 This baby monitor is pretty basic. I did not want anything fancy and we did not need it to work with our smart phones. It is easy to move around and you can buy extra cameras if needed. The monitor is easy to carry around the house, you can see and hear baby fine, it has night vision for low light and it plays lullabies. The other function I have started using recently, the two-way talk. You can sing or speak softly to your child without going into their room. (My child wants picked up if she sees you) In the warmer months, I have put my daughter down for a nap in her room and gone out in the yard, it works just fine.
Other first year needs: Onesies and Sleepers (babies are much more comfortable and warm in these), Socks (also use like mittens in newborn stage), Diaper bag (nothing fancy), Nose Frida (some think it is gross, but it works! We still use it on my daughter and she doesn’t hate it. Score!), Diaper and wipes (Diapers in size 3 you will use most!–We love Costco brand diapers and wipes–budget friendly and work great)
I truly believe everyone has their own needs and wants for baby gear, however, I wanted to share a few items we used that work great incase you are in the market. Some of these items are budget friendly and others you might add to your baby registry as wants. Family and friends love to gift you items you need so remember that before you start scanning everything you want make sure you have the items you need. I hope you found this helpful if you are expecting a baby or need to buy a gift for an expecting momma.
*Not sponsored and I do not receive compensation for the links. All opinions are my own. I purchased all items or they were gifted to me by family and friends.