First Year Essentials

When I was pregnant, and after I had waited an appropriate amount of time to start buying baby things, I found myself pretty overwhelmed about what baby gear to buy or register for. There are so many choices these days, and on top of that, there’s no sure way to know what your baby will like. Every baby is different, but I thought I would share the baby items that we found the most helpful and that William enjoyed the most during his first year:

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1. Aiden and Anais blankets: Probably any swaddle blankets will do, but we loved these. They are large yet light, with plenty of fabric for swaddling your babe. They hold up great in the wash and are thin enough to layer if necessary (we had a tiny winter newborn and would sometimes double-swaddle him in these.) They also make great burp rags in a pinch and are easy to fit in a diaper bag.

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2. Teethers: Thankfully, my son has been a pretty easy teether. But whether or not your baby has a difficult time with teething, they will want something to gnaw on. William loved Sophie the giraffe, and we also bought some teethers that can go in the freezer, so that he had something safe to chew on that was cold and soothing to his sore gums.image3

3. Bouncer: Once William was strong enough, he loved his Jumperoo. If he was in the mood, he could play on it for quite a while. As he’s become more mobile, he has spent less time in it, but it provided months of exercise and entertainment for him.

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4. Board books: William loves books. I started throwing a few in the diaper bag if we were going to a restaurant or somewhere we would have to sit still for a while. He likes us to read them to him, but he also has started looking through them on his own. He also loves the Baby Touch and Feel books, which I highly recommend.image4

5. Baby food pouches: When William started solids, I made my own baby food for, like, a week. Then I got lazy. I started buying organic baby food in pouches, as opposed to traditional packaging that requires a spoon. I started out putting it on a spoon anyway, because that’s how William wanted to eat it, but now that he’s bigger, he’s learned to suck the food out of the pouch. It can be super convenient and requires no clean up! You can also toss them in the diaper bag without having to worry about glass breaking.

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6. High chair: We chose a spacesaver high chair, which attaches to a chair that we already had. It’s worked out great for us. We haven’t had to make room for a high chair and William can sit at the table with us when we eat.

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7. Activity gym: Oh my goodness, before William could sit up, he spent hours laying on this mat, doing tummy time, first looking at the dangling toys, and then learning to grab them. Even after he could sit up, he still played on it for a while. It is light and portable and it was a lifesaver at the beach when we were staying in a condo and there wasn’t much to entertain him.

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I hope y’all find this list helpful! What would you add to the list?

Emma is mommy to one-year-old William and wife to Bill. She was born and bred in Baton Rouge, attending Episcopal High School, the Manship School of Mass Communication at LSU and the LSU Law Center. Married since 2010, she is loving her new life as a mother. She is an attorney but has limited her practice for now so she can stay home with William full-time, and she feels so fortunate to be able to do that. She is learning as she goes, rejoicing in every milestone and happy moment as well as working her way through the challenges that come with parenting. When she gets a chance, she loves reading, writing, and watching movies. She and Bill are both lucky enough to have their families close by and love spending time with them. She looks forward to seeing her little boy grow and eventually expanding her family. Motherhood has been the most fulfilling role of her life.

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