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Essentials for Your Baby's First Year

Updated on January 4, 2016

The exhilarating period of waiting for your baby to arrive to this world is filled with many preparations to make this world a perfect one for your little one. Those preparations usually include decorating the baby’s room, buying clothes, and, basically, acquiring all the things your child will need in its first year of life. Between all the excitement, obligations and the know-it-all magazines, mothers’ and friends’ advice, sometimes you may forget some of the most important items for a peaceful and safe beginning of the life. Do not worry, we will not allow for that to happen. Here is a short list of the essentials you should have when your baby arrives.

Baby Clothes

Because babies grow rather fast, you will need to stock up on various sizes (from preemie to 12 months). Your primary concern should be that clothes are comfortable and of excellent quality. Because you will wash it frequently, choose durable materials. Some of the basics you will need are one-piece outfits, shirts, leggings, pull-on pants, outer layers (jackets, sweaters, sweatshirts, etc.), hats, mittens, socks, booties, shoes and pajamas.

Baby Gear

First, you will need to prepare supplies of diapers and wipes. You will also need a changing pad or a table. Baby carriers are neat things to have, so that you can carry your baby with you, while still having two free hands. Stroller is an efficient mean to roll your sweetheart around the town, but if you are traveling to longer distances, you will definitely need a safe car seat.


Sleeping is the most important and the longest part of the day (an average newborn sleeps for 16 hours) for your little one, so make sure that time is well spent. Crib, mattress and bedding are the basics and you should acquire them as early as you can. To avoid sleep disruptions caused by sudden temperature changes (babies can sometimes kick off the covers during the night), you can use baby sleeping bags. Other useful items to have are swaddling blankets and wearable blankets.


If you are planning on breastfeeding, you will need breastfeeding accessories, such as hot/cold gel packs (to soothe sore breast), breast pump (optional) and disposable breast pads. Nursing/feeding pillow is useful no matter how you decide to feed your baby. If you will feed your newborn with a bottle, prepare formula, bottles and bottle brushes in advance. Somewhere between 4 and 6 months of age your little one will be ready for solid food. Then, you will need a high chair, bowls, baby spoons, sippy cups and bibs.

Safety and Health

As soon as your child is mobile, you have to childproof the entire house. That means acquiring safety equipment, such as safety gates, outlet covers, cupboard and drawer latches, toilet seat locks and baby monitors. Since your baby’s health is your primary concern, prepare digital thermometer, first-aid kit, bulb syringe, teething toys, baby nail scissors or clippers, soft baby brush and baby-friendly laundry detergent.

Soothers, Toys and Entertainment

A newborn is exploring the world and sometimes it can be scary and sometimes boring. It is up to you to equip your baby with items which will make that experience a happier and safer one. Baby pacifiers are one of those items, some babies love them, some do not, but it is useful to have them around. Play mat is a great way for baby to explore and play, safely. As for toys, the baby will not need anything fancy during the first year; a couple of rattles, soft toys and musical toys should be enough.

Hopefully we have helped you to get ready to greet your newest and dearest family member. It should not be that hard. After all, you are already equipped with the most important thing a mother can have – unconditional and endless love.


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