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25 Products I Couldn't Live Without in The First Year

By Danielle |

What are yours?

Lifesavers. That is what we call them.

Something that keeps us sane in the moments we really feel like we are losing it when our baby is in the first year of their life. I have had so many different gadgets and gear over the years, and there were so many amazing products I couldn’t live without.

Of course there is stuff they don’t tell you that you will never use at all, but I took that on ages ago.

But now that I am 5 days away from having a toddler instead of a baby, I wanted to look back at all the stuff I needed to use, and what I couldn’t have lived without. If anything it will help new or first time moms really know what they should waste their money on instead of all those registry guides telling then what to buy.

I wish I had done more reading online before I had my first son because I would have been so much better off!

Anyway! I would love for you guys to also share your favorites.

I am so trying to be as upbeat as I can be while I am on the verge of crying my eyes out any day that my baby is so grown up!

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25 Must Have Products

Hygeia EnJoye Breast Pump

I don't know where I would be without this! Not only is it probably the best breast pump I have used, but it saved my sanity. At a year old we are still going strong! Oh and the fancy tote bag it comes in is a huge highlight as well. Two very big thumbs up!
Check out the Hygeia Here!

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Read more on Baby’s First Year from Danielle:

25 Things I Bet You Didn’t Know About Me!
My Favorite Posts from My Year on Baby’s First Year
How Do You Get Your Family to Respect Your Parenting Choices?



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About Danielle



Danielle Elwood is a straight-shooting Florida based mom of three and emerging indie author. Read bio and latest posts → Read Danielle's latest posts →

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16 thoughts on “25 Products I Couldn't Live Without in The First Year

  1. Anjie says:

    Nice list! I agree with some of these, but many items on your list are extremely expensive. I could never in a million years afford some of these. The first year is very survivable without so many of these specific items.

  2. Meagan says:

    Agree Anjie. I would count all of these among the “nice to haves” rather than “must haves.” Nice to have: cute design low footprint high chair. Must have: some kind of high chair. Necessity: a boob/bottle, spoon and a lap.

    Also, I have the mama & papas infant seat, it’s way cuter than the bumbo and more versatile, but it’s not any safer!!! Don’t put any kind of infant seats on high surfaces… Including chairs for feeding. Both are safe if used as intended… on th floor.

  3. Kaylee says:

    Wow, that is a pricy list! Did you actually buy all of this stuff or was it given to you? Because I don’t know many people who could afford all of that and feel they can’t live without it. Certainly not “crunchy” mamas like yourself. I mean that is how you have said people describe you, right? I couldn’t think of 25 things I needed in the first year. A good carrier, a car seat (which you completely left out), diapers, clothes, and a place to feed the baby and stuff to feed him with once the breastfeeding wasn’t enough, but that’s about it. Not even close to 25 must haves in the 1st year. Even if you throw in your soda addiction and electronics nope, I’d be impressed if I could come up with a dozen must haves for the 1st year. An interesting insight yet again into how you live vs how you want people to think you live.

  4. Sandy says:

    I have to agree with Kaylee. I needed no where near that amount of supplies.
    I guess you got most of them as freebies for promoting them.
    And converts to a walker? Why would you ever use a walker? I know you are a “Kolkraft Mom” but really, walkers are dangerous, even the new safer ones.

  5. Amy says:

    I wish there was a swing big enough for adults! And Amen to the teething tablets!

  6. Anjie says:

    @Sandy, I went to their site. By ‘walker’ she means a push toy. Not the kind of walker that Addie would sit in.

    @Kaylee, I love your reply!!

  7. Meagan says:

    @Kalee to be fair, I think food, clothes and car seats are sort of given necessities for a baby. “Must have” lists tend to be a little beyond needs… otherwise they’d be fairly obvious, even for a first time pregnant lady. I think of “must haves” as being more like a bouncy chair or, yes, a good carrier. Things you can technically live without, something a first time mom might not think of, that really makes life more manageable. I agree that some of these go a bit beyond even that.

  8. TK says:

    There’s a lot of pricey items on that list… items I would NEVER consider as “must haves”…
    My daughter never used (or needed) a swing, highchair or “Mamaroo”. She hated any type of swing/cradle/rocker we tried to but her in. We didn’t bother with a highchair at all (she was breastfed), and once she was eating solid food we just got a small booster that attaches to our regular dining chair.
    What I would consider a “must have” was my handmade, Moby-style wrap, and later (as she got heavier), my ring-style sling. These allowed me to get sooo much done around the house, or out at the grocery store.
    Also must have – amber teething necklace. Natural way to avoid teething pain.

  9. Erica says:

    Danielle, you said Addie hated the carriers like Ergo.

  10. Kaylee says:

    @Meagan to be fair I did not say food I said a place to feed the baby in and stuff to feed with ie plate, bowl, spoon. And to be fair the title of this post was products I could not live without. Now I imagine that this writer goes out and about in a car. If she didn’t have a carseat for that car, then she wouldn’t be able to go places and that certainly could be harmful to someone’s sanity. I suppose many would say a stroller is an absolute must have for a baby and would also consider it an obvious purchase. And the writer also included cloth diapers in her list, so why was there something wrong with my list of must haves, but hers is just fine?

  11. Dana says:

    I’m pretty sure, most if not all of the things on this list was given to her in exchange for giving positive reviews and “giveaways”.

  12. Meagan says:


    I didn’t say there was anything “wrong” with your list and I agreed that this one was a little over the top. Why so defensive, I wasn’t attacking you…? I was just pointing out that most of us can agree on basic baby needs. I think we would usually expect a “must haves” list to go beyond car seat and crib, and while “couldn’t live without” is sort of extreme, it’s not atypical web hyperbole. Almost everything on THIS list seems like more of a luxury than a “must have” to me (not the ergo… A carrier has been a definite “must have” in my baby’s first year). I have no idea why the cloth diapers are mentioned here, bragging rights? I tend to agree with Dana… The specific nature of the “must haves” here makes me think this is more commercial than informational. I was just pointing out that this kind of list usually wouldn’t include “stuff to feed him” or a car seat… I mean what’s the point? Everyone knows they need a car seat. I really wasn’t trying to go after you, just trying to add to the conversation… I apologize if I came off as aggressive.

  13. Meagan says:

    *btw I read “stuff to feed him with” as food, not spoons.

  14. Kaylee says:

    I apologize Meagan, the to be fair came off a little like you were nitpicking I guess. The nature of the internet. You misunderstood to feed with as meaning to feed and I misunderstood the to be fair as nitpicking. No harm no foul. The post shows up as must haves and I guess I view a must have as things like a car seat, clothes, and diapers. And given the original list I’m surprised that since diapers were included that something like a car seat wasn’t included. And I got the impression this was a big billboard as well so I’m surprised she wouldn’t be suggesting a car seat. I’m just saying that if I was giving a list of must haves of the first year a car seat is a must have even if it seems obvious a car seat would be one of them. And when I say car seat I don’t mean one of those infant carrier ones, but a convertible car seat so a 2nd does not have to be purchased in the middle of the 1st year. That is something a 1st time mom might not think of since everyone uses the infant carriers these days.

  15. Meagan says:

    Ah see and I consider the infant carrier a “must have” for sanity. It’s so nice to be able to bring the sleeping baby from car to wherever in those early days when they sleep throught everything. Obviously not a REAL must have, a convertable car seat fits the real need- keeping baby safe. But that’s exactly what I mean… different definitions. It’s a spectrum.

  16. heidi says:

    i ADORE the joovy room2 it seiously is the BEST!!! way better than a pack and play and so easy to set up!

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