When you’re pregnant, you’re bombarded with a lot of lists of things you need for baby’s first year. Trust me, there are many items you can most certainly do without, or items you don’t need to buy right away. Like most of us, I learned that the hard way!
Obviously, there are items that you only need for the newborn phase, and there are items you don’t need until baby starts to move around or starts eating solids. But now that Little Miss is approaching her first birthday, I’ve put together a list of items we have been using since she was born and that we are still using twelve months later.
Whether you’re looking for a baby shower gift that will be in use for a long time, or if you’re wondering which items are worth the investment as you make your shopping list for your baby-on-the-way, I hope this list helps!
(I’ve linked each item to my original review post.)
Since her first bath at a few days old, Little Miss has been coming out of the water wrapped in her Öko Créations Hooded Bath Towel her entire life. It is, no trace of a lie, the only baby bath towel we own. With Cub, I had a bunch of flimsy bath towels that were so thin they were transparent. I needed two just to get him dry! This towel is so thick and absorbent that it could dry ME off. The Öko towel is worth the investment: made in Canada, organic cotton and super durable.
While she no longer needs the infant support, she still bathes regularly in her Stokke Flexi-Bath. It’s nowhere near too small for her: in fact, all 40 inches and 40 lbs of Cub can take a bath in it if he really wants to. (Sometimes he does.) We also use our Stokke Flexi-Bath as a kiddie pool on hot days! With Cub, I chose a baby bath with a built-in support for newborns. Once he was sitting independently, the tub was way too small for any fun. Our Stokke bath makes way more sense if you want a tub you can use well into toddlerhood. Unlike the bath I had with Cub, which took up valuable space in our tiny bathroom, this one folds flat! I also use the tub as a laundry basket when I’m behind on emptying actual baskets and plan to keep it around for camping and storage even when the kids are way too big to use it.
I didn’t receive our Huggaloops until Little Miss was a couple of weeks old, but I’m 100% certain we’d have used it immediately had we had it on time. Even now, bordering on toddlerhood, I’m happy to carry her in both the Bamboo and Everywhere versions. If I had to pick just one, I’d recommend the bamboo for use right from birth as it is the snuggliest!
Because of the built-in infant insert, this buckle carrier was functional right away and continues to be super comfortable. My husband refers to our Trek as “his” carrier. To give you an idea of how long we will be using it, Cub rode in it last summer when he weighed at least 35 lbs.
As awesome a seat the Peg Perego S35 was to use, I actually kind of regret buying a bucket seat for Little Miss. I will grant that it was practical to ferry her in and out of the house in the winter, but I’m not sure I can justify the cost considering we could have put her in the Evenflo Symphony right from birth, and she will be using it as a booster when she’s in preschool. Because of the included infant cushion, we could’ve used the seat right out of the hospital: its minimum weight is 5 lbs, and she was born at over 6 lbs. I also bought the adapter to secure our bucket seat to our stroller: I probably used it fewer than ten times.
Since she mainly sleeps on our bed, I need to be sure I can hear and see her when she’s asleep and I’m downstairs. I have a bed rail up to prevent her from rolling off, but once she wakes up, I sprint upstairs before she decides to try crawling off the bed herself. If she’s asleep in her crib, I don’t find the video monitor necessary, but you can easily use this monitor just for audio. But since the easiest place to get her to fall asleep and stay asleep is in our bed, I use the video function almost every day. The monitor is portable, so I can bring it down to the basement or out on the deck.
I used it during my pregnancy; I even had it with me during labour. Now I use it to snuggle Little Miss in bed when I sneak away, or to prop myself up when I’m working in bed. For a while, cradling the pillow around her was the only way I could get her to stay asleep for a nap! When I’m no longer nursing and my kids are grown, I guarantee I will still be using this pillow myself.
My goodness do I adore my Au Fait Mama tops. They were stellar during my pregnancy and are still amazing for nursing. I packed only Au Fait Mama tops on our recent trip to Vancouver. They are flattering and comfortable, and even though you pull them down to nurse, the neckline doesn’t get all stretched out! Despite how often I wear it and wash it (and I do not do a gentle cycle nor do I hang it to dry), my first Au Fait tank is still in perfect shape, and I’ve been wearing it since Cub was a baby! I have a feeling I’ll still be wearing these tops when we’re done breastfeeding.
I wore this sweater as a maternity top on cooler nights during my pregnancy and then with Little Miss as a newborn doing a front carry. We had a much milder winter than normal in Calgary, so I got even more use out of it than expected. Depending on how you dress baby and what you wear underneath, this sweater can keep you quite warm! I could probably get through an entire winter in Vancouver with just my Belly Bédaine (and an umbrella). I was so eager to try it out for back carries once she was big enough! Most children fit well under the sweater until at least 18 months old.
I confess she has yet to sleep a whole night anywhere but in our bed: buying a crib was definitely a mistake. I wish we’d just called it a day with the Habitat! The Habitat gave me peace of mind that I had a secure place for her to sleep in our bedroom, but she honestly slept more in a baby carrier or with me in our bed until very recently. For parents who want baby in their room but not in their bed, the Habitat is a great option.
It’s only in the past week that I’ve started transferring her from the carrier to the Habitat for her afternoon nap in the living room while I work and Cub watches TV (like RIGHT NOW!). That said, as soon as she was mobile, the Habitat (or as Cub calls it, “her cage”) became a key piece of furniture in our living room. It’s compact enough that we were able to bring it with us on our road trip to BC. It’s light enough that I can put it out on the deck and move it around the house without breaking a sweat. Now, she often plays in her Habitat while Cub plays on the floor nearby. (She smashes her face against the mesh and watches what he’s doing.) Now that she can get up the stairs, when I need to contain her, into the “cage” she goes! On a good day, she is happy playing in there by herself for half an hour while I’m on the computer or cooking.
I found it so hard when I was pregnant to know which items were worth the investment. Many items are advertised as being useful for multiple ages or stages, but which ones really are? Well, the ones I just told you about have gotten us to the one-year mark, and I expect to be using most of them for at least another year.
What about a stroller? You might notice I haven’t mentioned a stroller, which for many will be a definite must. I’ve found it to be much more practical to wear Little Miss rather than push her. With Cub, we didn’t own a car, so having a good stroller was critical just so I could get home from the grocery store with our purchases. This time around, I think we could actually survive sans poussette! (That’s French for “without a stroller.”)
What baby gear has lasted you the longest?