What Do I Need for Baby? One Month Favorites


Newborn baby is sleeping in basket near window

As a mommy to be, I knew that a baby was going to introduce a lot of STUFF into my life , but figuring out what stuff I really needed was a challenge!  Baby registry checklists seemed ridiculously long, and while I received many adorable baby gifts, not all were entirely practical!  (Thanks for all the fancy lace outfits, Mom!  Beautiful but not blowout-friendly ☺ )

Now that I’m a few months into my parenting experience, I thought I would start sharing our can’t-live-without-‘em items from each month.  Everyone’s experience and needs are a bit different, but hopefully this is a helpful starting point for others.

In Month One, baby isn’t doing much besides sleeping, eating, pooping and looking completely adorable, of course. All you really need are the basics:

  • Old Navy Zip Onesies – while fancy outfits are fun, they aren’t very practical in the first few weeks.  If your little one is on the small side as ours was, they may not even fit.  Our favorites for day AND night were these inexpensive and easy one-piece sleepers from Old Navy.  Looking back, I’m not sure why I ever bought any sleepers with snaps – they are so much more painful to deal with in the middle of the night, and my husband eventually just refused to use anything but these quick zip-up options!
  • Little Unicorn Swaddle Blankets – swaddle blankets are the workhorse of your baby gear.  In addition to being useful for actually swaddling, they are great for wiping up spit-up, covering up the car seat or stroller, and blankets for baby to lay on or be covered by in warmer weather.  They are soft and easily tossed in the machine on a daily basis.  There are a number of brands that make great ones, but we particularly love Little Unicorn for their fun prints.
  • UppaBaby Vista Stroller – for the first few months, you can’t do very much with baby except go on walks. Luckily, this is a great activity to get you out of the house for some fresh air and ease back into some light exercise.  A stroller can be an investment, and it’s important that you love yours, so I definitely recommend testing out a number of options in the store if possible.  We love the UppaBaby because it’s large wheels can handle the hills and bumps of San Francisco sidewalks, its large basket easily holds a diaper bag plus a decent amount of groceries, and it comes with a bassinet, which our baby loved so much more than being strapped into a car seat.
  • Wubbanub Pacifiers – These are adorable and a major life saver!  A Soothie pacifier comes attached to a little stuffed animal, which holds the pacifier up to baby’s mouth when they drop it, keeping it easy to access.  We ended up buying a second because this was the only pacifier we really used.
  • Baby Wrap – For the first few weeks, most babies really wants to feel close to their parents in a way that mimics what they were used to in the womb.  It’s exhausting to try to hold your baby 24/7, plus makes it hard to get anything done, so baby wraps are perfect.  There are many options for cloth wraps out there, but whichever you choose, I highly recommend having one.  Our daughter was never calmer than when curled up against me.
  • Bouncer – Speaking of not being able to hold baby 24/7, you will definitely want a bouncer to set him or her in while you shower or grab a bite!  There are so many options from sleek and sophisticated (such as the Baby Bjorn) to very “kid like” (such as Graco or Fisher Price).  In the end, we went with a Fisher Price option because it was less expensive than the pretty, high end ones, but it’s really just a matter of preference and budget.   
  • Little Giraffe Blankets – if you’re like us, you will be gifted many different baby blankets of all shapes and sizes… for some reason, people love this as a gift!  However, the Little Giraffe blankets are our absolute favorite.  They are plush and almost faux-fur-like – I really wish they came in my size!  They are admittedly pricey, but a great item for your registry.  We particularly love ours to put in our stroller bassinet and keep our daughter warm on those chilly SF morning and evening walks.
  • Fisher Price Rock N Play – If you plan to have baby sleep in your room but not in your bed, you will need some sort of bassinet for the first few months.  The Rock N Play was the perfect solution for us.  It’s relatively inexpensive, folds up easily to move around the house or store, and keeps baby on a slight incline which is especially helpful if he or she tends to spit up.  For us, it has been a total workhorse!  We also purchased ours second-hand.  I definitely recommend exploring Craigslist or consignment sales for items like this – they are used for such short periods of time that they are often readily available in perfect condition for much less than retail.

Do any of you experienced moms have other favorites to add?  We’d love to hear more suggestions and advice!

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Melissa is a Chicago area native but first moved to the Bay Area for college in 2001. Since then, she has lived all over the country, but kept getting drawn back to beautiful Northern California. She and her husband, Rob, made a permanent move here in 2012 and just recently moved from the city down to the peninsula. Melissa is a new mom to a baby girl and works full time in finance, trying to navigate the challenges of "doing it all". When not at work, she loves to spend time with family and friends over good food and even better wine.



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