35 Life-Saving Products For Your Baby’s First Year

baby products

Trying to buy baby products when you’re pregnant is like furnishing a house you’ve never seen– hard to picture and impossible to know what you actually need. I can’t tell you the amount of conversations I’ve had with new moms who felt exactly like I did– overwhelmed and lost in the sea of baby products out there. 

Before I even wrote my first post at Room for Joy, I had this post in mind– to encourage & help new moms figure out where to start! Since my daughter’s birthday was this week, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting– on all I’ve learned and experienced these past few years. I decided it was time to finally write this post that I’ve been meaning to write for so long!  

{If you are a new mom {or know someone who is), make sure to share this post!}

Please note: Most of these are affiliate links, which means that I get a small commission if you click on them and purchase through the link. With that said, if I couldn’t find the product I used and loved (or something nearly identical), I didn’t put a link.

Here are 35 Life-Changing Products For Your Baby’s First Year

1.RockNPlay Sleeper


I can’t even put into words what a sleeper like this did for me during the first weeks of my baby’s life!

It’s extremely lightweight, can be used as a newborn nighttime sleeper (next to your bed) and can easily moved downstairs for daytime naps. It vibrates and can be rocked manually with your hand or foot. I’d highly recommend getting something like this for the newborn stage!

2.White Noise Machine

When I did sleep training (with the Moms on Call technique), having a sound machine was indispensable. Some babies like this, while others don’t. I can’t find the one I used, but I recommend that you buy one that runs on battery AND plugs in to the wall, as opposed to battery-operated only. (Otherwise, you spend a lot on batteries and can interrupt the baby’s sleep if the battery dies!)

3.Moms on Call Infant Book

Super helpful basics on infant care and sleep!

4.Swaddles with zippers

This is a sleep training essential– and way easier than swaddling blankets or even velcro options. (Note: there are different sizes of swaddles, so pay attention to the weight ranges!)

5.Halo Swaddle

I liked this brand once my daughter was over a month old. It was a good transition swaddle, once she wanted to wiggle her feet at night. I also liked that I could arrange the swaddle how she liked it with her arms. For instance after a while, she wanted one arm out, the design allowed for that!

6. Video monitor

Having a video monitor felt like a luxury when I was buying baby products, but if I had to do it again, it would be one of the first things I’d buy! I don’t have a brand recommendation, since I’ve had trouble with my Motorola, but I’d recommend getting one with video– for sure!

Babies make so many noises and sometimes it’s hard to tell if they are playing or crying. By having a visual, I was able to let my daughter play while I got some extra sleep (instead of barging in to her room to check on her!)

7.Kirkland Formula

What a lifesaver! I researched this formula, felt good about it and switched my daughter at about 6 weeks. It was such a financial lifesaver– less than half of what I was paying for Similac. It’s a little more frothy than Similac, but my daughter didn’t seem to mind.

8. Avent Natural Bottles (4 oz first, then 9 oz.)

I can’t even remember how many types of bottles I tried before I found these! My favorite thing about these bottles is that they only have 3 pieces: a bottle, a ring and a nipple. (No extra rings, removable straws or anything else). This keeps you sane in the middle of the night!

Make SURE to get the NATURAL line not Classic or any other. The other lines of this same brand include more pieces to the bottle and are a pain!

9. Cool Mist Humidifier

I don’t have a brand recommendation, but make sure to buy one and have it ready to go for your baby’s first cold. You’ll be glad to have it on hand!

10. Avent Newborn and Stage One flow nipples

I found that I only ever needed Newborn flow and Stage one. I never needed to go higher. I’d buy them as you go, instead of ahead of time!

11.Boppy Pillow

This one seems obvious, but I was surprised by how amazingly useful this pillow was for me! It was helpful for feedings of course (and saved my arm from cramping), but I also used it for propping, teaching my baby to lift her head and about a million other things.

12. A Dual-Fabric Boppy Cover

Although I had about 5 boppy covers, I pretty much only used one like this (and washed it constantly!) It is so soft on one side and cool on the other. (Worth it’s weight in gold!)

13. Tommy Tippy Bibs

OMG, I could never go back to a cloth bib after using this type. (This particular one is for 7+ months). It’s made of a rubbery plastic, has a lip to catch food and can be put in the dishwasher! Amazing!

14. Dishwasher Basket

This was awesome for all the tiny objects you have to wash with a baby. Put it in the top of your dishwasher and load bottle nipples, soothers, teethers and anything dishwasher safe in it, so they don’t get lost in the depths of your dishwasher!

15. Boon Grass Drying Rack

I mainly liked the look of this bottle drying rack! It’s rare to find a cute baby product, so when you do, enjoy them! 

16. Avent Soothers (0–3 months & (3+ mo)

Different babies like different soothers, but my daughter liked these. A good place to start!

17. Fresh Food Feeder

Perfect for putting fruit or other foods in (before your baby can chew them!) I also put ice cubes in these and used them for teething.

18. Munchkin 360 Cups–with Handles

These were confusing to my daughter at first, but after a little practice, she loves them! I think we started trying these slightly after age 1. They are a great low-spill option! Start with handles and then move to these.

19. Britax stroller & Newborn Carseat Combo

BEST INVESTMENT EVER. (This is the 2017 equivalent to the one I have). The stroller is the lightest one I found anywhere and can be opened with one hand. The carseat clicks into a base (in the car) or hooks into the stroller (so you don’t have to wake the baby when transitioning). Don’t know what I would have done without it!

20. Target Brand Diapers – up to size 2.

I liked Target diapers up to size two. They have the line on the back (that turns blue when the baby pees) and held up SO MUCH better than huggies or other brands. However, after size 2, I noticed the diapers took a turn for the worst, which is why I switched to Kirkland brand.

21. Kirkland Brand Diapers After Size 2.

Although more expensive than Target brand, it was well worth the increase (after size 2), because they work so much better at keeping liquid in!

22. Pampers Sensitive Wipes

I tried A LOT of brands of wipes. This one is my favorite and costs about the same as the generic brands. I prefer the pop top style, for ease of use. They cost slightly more, so you can also get the ones without popup lids and put in a reusable tub.

23. Waterproof Changing Mats

Definitely get this or something like it for changing! You need something to line your changing area that can be washed daily and replaced easily.

24. Waterproof Bed Liners

You can get these anywhere, but I got the Babies R’ Us brand, which worked fine. Make sure to get more than one, so you can change it in the night whenever necessary!

25. Aveeno Baby Body and Hair Wash

Gentle, soothing, washes the whole body and lasts a long time. We still use it now!

26. Bath Kneeler

This is something I thought was unnecesary, but turned out to be very helpful for my knees when bathing my daughter.

27. Johnson’s Hair Detangler

Works well and is not expensive!

28. Desitin Rapid Relief Diaper Cream

Works well and fast!

28. Target Brand Baby Laundry Detergent

I liked this brand and it was slightly less expensive than Dreft or other baby laundry detergents.

30. Target Brand Tylenol

Cheaper than brand name and effective.

31. Nuby Teether

This one worked best for us out of all the teethers we used. It can go in the dishwasher and can be stored in the fridge (so it’s cold on baby’s teeth).

32. Munchkin Baby Latches

OMG. My favorite baby latch ever! No screws, easy to install and looks better in person than on the picture. Look at the design to see if it would work for your space. It only works in certain situations. I have them on my laundry room closet, my pantry, my daughter’s closet door and my desk drawer.

33. Baby Playyard Gate

What would I have done without this? Once my daughter started crawling, I bought this immediately and let her play inside. Once she could climb, I simply opened the gate and leaned it against the entertainment center and other areas that she would try to crawl under.

34. Evenflo Top of Stairs Gate

I spent hours looking for stair gates that didn’t cost a fortune. This one has worked out well! Make sure to measure your stairwell to make sure it fits. I didn’t love the look of this, so I spraypainted it the color of my stairwell and it looks great!

35. Kidco Doorknob Covers

You don’t need these til your kids can manuever a doorknob (1 year?) I originally got the kind of covers with no pinch feature, but my daughter quickly figured out how to pull them apart. These ones have been a good fix.

I hope this list is helpful! It’s certainly not exhaustive, but is a good place to start! Make sure to share with the share buttons at the top of the article. 🙂 

Also this month: 

2 Replies to “35 Life-Saving Products For Your Baby’s First Year”

  1. Jennifer Wallace says:

    I agree so much with your sentiments about the rock and play sleeper! It was the best piece of baby equipment that I had. In fact, I’m a little sad that my 9 month old doesn’t fit in it anymore. Although, even if he did, he’s so wiggly now, he’d be apt to fall out of it. Great list! I only wish I saw this 9 months ago, haha! My only suggestion would be the OXO bibs are really amazing; they attach by velcro, not that little button. That makes it even easier 🙂

    1. I know isn’t it the best?! Good tip on bib! Thanks Jennifer!

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