If you read a lot of the baby registry checklists you see through retail stores or websites that sell baby gear, you can get overwhelmed with all the things you’re told you need to buy. Do you need a wipe warmer? What about a swing? A microwave bottle sterilizer? And what’s with all the different types of bottles?
In one year, your baby goes from newborn to walking/almost walking. That’s a lot of change! Yes, your baby will need a variety of different things in that year but it’s not as much as you may think. There are just a few things you need for baby’s first year. The rest are just extras.
A place to put baby to sleep
Yes, you will need a crib eventually. Another great option is a pack ‘n play, especially if you will be traveling or baby will be spending time at Grandma’s. But as far as a bassinet, a co-sleeper, and a Moses basket, you really may not need those. We had a pack ‘n play that had a bassinet attachment for both our kids. That and the crib were all we had for our first. With our second, we did purchase a used co-sleeper. She hated to be far away from me. She would only sleep if she could feel or sense me nearby until she was about 6/7 months old.
A baby carrier
No need for a ton of different options here. An Ergo with an infant insert will take you the whole first year and then some. I know some moms prefer a wrap when the baby is small but I found the Ergo to be a much easier option. Plus, cheaper as I didn’t have a bunch of different carriers.
Bottles, a bottle brush, sippy cups, spoons, etc
Even if you will be staying home and primarily breastfeeding, have some bottles on hand. The ability to get a few hours off for some you time or a date night will be greatly appreciated. Or if you discover that you need to supplement with formula, it will be nice to have some bottles already in the house. You’ll also want a bottle brush. I found a great one when my second was a baby that had a nipple brush built into the handle. It was so handy!
You will also need a few baby spoons for when they are ready to start solids, a few sippy cups, etc. You don’t have to do baby sized bowls unless you want to. I found plastic baby plates to be pointless until they were around 16 months. You will also eventually need a high chair of some kind.
A car seat
I know you can just get a convertible car seat as they will not stay in the infant car seat super long and will need to move up eventually anyway. But an infant car seat is so much more convenient. Most the time I’m all about dual purpose but when it comes to this, just get the infant car seat. All car seats have to meet the same safety regulations so an expensive one isn’t going to be safer. It may just have features you prefer. Personally, we go with a Chicco KeyFit for an infant car seat. We like how easy it is to install and has fit well in all the cars it needed to go in. Then we just do a $50 convertible car seat before moving on to a nice 3-in-1 booster seat.
Clothes, diapers, blankets
These ones are pretty obvious but I want to mention them anyway. When babies are under 3 months, mostly they just need one bodysuits and sleepers. Afer that, some regular clothes will be needed too. It’s hard to know how much you’ll need as some kids spit up a lot, some don’t. Generally, you’ll need enough clothing to make it to the next laundry day. Unless they soil them or drool a lot, babies can wear a pair of pajamas a couple of nights.
Same with blankets. You will probably get so many blankets as gifts but you really don’t need more than a few. We did about 3-4 thin ones (like receiving blankets) and 1-2 heavier ones, and a couple of sleep sacks for swaddling.
With diapers, it’s more of a choice of if you are going to use cloth, disposable, or a combination of both. How many you need will depend on your baby. The good thing with disposable is you don’t have to buy a bunch all at once. You can stockpile when they are cheap but you can also just buy as needed.
A few toys
You will want a few rattles, soft blocks, some stacking cups, and a play mat. You don’t need a ton of different things but a few things will be good to have. A play mat/baby gym will be amazing when you need a place to put baby down. You’ll also want one bigger thing like a jumping toy or an exersaucer. No need for more than one! If you have a door frame or a way to have a bracket, a Johnny Jump-Up is perfect as it is also pretty compact.
Anything else is extra. You might want a bouncey seat or a swing, especially if you find your little one has a hard time sleeping. You don’t really need a rocking chair or glider unless you really want one. I found I never rocked my babies to sleep and feedings usually just happened on the couch in the living room. I never found a wipe warmer or a bottle warmer to be useful.
I did prefer my Diaper Genie over a trash can but not necessary. We had a changing table but many parents never use them. I will say that a humidifier can get bumped to a necessity if your baby gets a cold or you heat with wood which causes your house to be dry in the winter. We also would have been lost without pacifiers but some babies never use them.
The things you need for baby’s first year can vary some as every baby is different. But generally speaking, you do not need everything you read on suggested registry lists. With just a few things, you can make it through baby’s first year, no problem. Did you have something you found useful that I didn’t list? Drop a comment and let us know!