10 must-have items for baby’s first year (according to me)

Note: This is not a sponsored post. I use all the items listed below and am only sharing my love for them because I wish I had known about them sooner.

I am no expert when it comes to children but, after having had three, I feel like I could, and should, pass on some of the wisdom (and I use that word loosely) I have gained to other mums who are just starting out. I know I appreciate any recommendations more seasoned parents pass on to me, so I thought I would do the same for others.

The following are the only items I would wholeheartedly recommend that any parent prepare for baby’s first year. The rest can be (more or less) done without. I am not including any bottle-feeding equipment simply because I did not use any with Ivy (and very little with Robin), so I don’t feel up to speed on which products are out there.


Mustela Foam Shampoo for Newborns – I started using this shampoo when Ivy was a couple of months old and had the dreaded cradle cap. It removed all cradle cap within a few washes (I just used almond oil a couple of times before washes) and I haven’t gone back to using another shampoo since. I love the texture, the smell, how quickly it rinses out and how clean the hair is afterwards.

Mothercare Foam Bath Support – I first used this when Robin was a baby and now have one for Ivy. We didn’t use the baby bath for long (we don’t have a traditional changing station where to put it), putting Ivy directly in the big tub on this simple but genius sponge. It keeps the baby comfortable and safe from slipping and makes my life a million times easier come bath time.

Ikea sleep sack – Our Ikea sleep sack has kept three babies warm at night and it still looks brand new. Whichever brand you choose, a sleep sack is essential. Why? Try keeping a wriggly baby tucked in and warm at night and you’ll realise this item is a must-have.

Ikea Muslin Squares – I know, Ikea again. But bear with me. I’ve tried muslin squares from various brands (excluding Aden and Anais, simply because I couldn’t bring myself to spend that kind of money on squares of fabric) and these have proven to be the most versatile. I’ve used them as burp cloths, instead of face towels, as light blankets, nappy changing mat and as bibs. Thinking about it, a set of Aden and Anais squares would have got so much use that they would have paid for themselves!

Cath Kidston spoons – These came with dinner sets which my sister gave us as gifts but I especially love the spoons. They are just the right size, not too big and not too small and their tip is ever so slightly more pointed than normal. Plus, they’re pretty.

Munchkin Stay-Put Suction Bowls – Where to start? The pack I got had two bowls, one larger than the other. I used them when I was still feeding Ivy her mashed food and now she uses them to feed herself. Thanks to the suction base, I can stick the bowl to her high chair tray without worrying that she’ll throw it on the floor. An added bonus is that they come with lids, so they’re perfect for packing a meal to take with us when we’re driving her sisters to their activities.

Nuby Tip It Up Cup – I’ve lost count of the number of sippy cups I’ve tried over the years. After 10 years of parenting, I whittled down my list of requirements to three: the cup has to be easy to clean, does not allow spills and is easy for a baby to drink from. Nuby’s Tip It Up ticks all the boxes. It is a plastic cup with a silicone lid (and handles which we haven’t used in months). No valves, no straws, no fiddly bits. The spout is gentle on baby’s gums and the cup is easy for the littlest hands to manage. Ivy started using hers when she was about five months old and it is still her favourite cup to use (and my favourite to wash).

Sip Snap Snug Spout – We bought these this Christmas from Kekstor and we haven’t left the house without them since. Much like the lid on Nuby’s cup, these reusable lids are gentle on the baby’s gums and can be stretched over any cup to turn it into a sippy cup. I bought them for Ivy (to use whenever I forgot to pack her Nuby cup) but Robin uses them more than her. No more spilled glasses when we eat out!

Funky Giraffe Bibs – I started using their bandana bibs when Robin was a baby. She used to drool ALL THE TIME and her clothes were always soaked. Until I discovered these amazing bibs. They have a large range of designs, are not expensive and, most importantly, they soak up all the drool. I recently started using the same ones for Ivy, because we never had the drool problem with her until now. They still look great and work perfectly well, even though they’ve been washed hundreds of times.

Ergobaby carrier – I don’t need to elaborate on this one because I’ve already written about it HERE but I’ll just tell you this: without it, my body would be a wreck and my family would have eaten a whole lot of fast food this past year. It has also become my husband’s favourite baby item since he started using it to take Ivy with him on his daily walks (15kms, during which she sleeps, sings and has some fresh air…while I get a child-free hour to myself).

What other items would you add to the list?


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