Samantha just turned one.

I am still having a tough time believing she’s a toddler. But now that a few friends and family are expecting the arrival of their own littles, I find myself reflecting on pregnancy and our first year with a baby. Holy moly, it’s been a wild ride.

My daughter, Samantha, when she was one day old.

There are a few things that made that first year much easier. If you’re expecting and feeling overwhelmed by the baby prep, rest easy. I got you.

Here are some things I highly recommend for people expecting their own little ones sometime soon. This isn’t the end-all, be-all list. It’s just what helped our family of three get through those first 365 days together. Put them on your registry or pin this for later. Use the comments to ask questions. I’ll gladly elaborate if something’s confusing. (There’s so much to process when you’re having your first kid!)

In no particular order…here are a few things I’d recommend for the first-time parents eagerly awaiting the arrival of their little bundle of joy.

A Quick Note on Registries

It may be helpful to have more than one baby registry.

Why would you want more than one registry?

  1. Convenience: I figured some of my people like going into Target but others prefer to buy stuff on Amazon. I wanted to make gift-giving as easy as possible for people who were kind enough to think about our little growing family.
  2. Availability: There were a few things that one retailer found that I couldn’t get anywhere else so I ended up with multiple registries. A few things were discontinued or went out of season while counting the weeks, so keep that in mind while you’re shopping.
  3. Rewards: Some retailers offer goodies as a thanks for registering with them. They can include free samples or coupons. Ask your favorite stores what type of baby registry gifts they might offer.

Having more than one registry can cause confusion for your family and friends. So it’s really nice to have a single link that’ll help people figure out what you need or want most. Especially if you’re constantly updating those registries when things go out of season or get discontinued. (That happened to me a few times.)

Enter Babylist. It’s a site that’ll collect multiple baby registries for you. That way you can share a single registry link with your family and friends. It’s super helpful and it doesn’t cost you anything extra.


Baby Things I Appreciated

Again, this is a list of things that our little family appreciated.

It’s not the end-all, be-all list of stuff you’ll need as a new parent.

But here are some of the things that we found really helpful over the course of Samantha’s first year.


  • Onesies
  • Pajamas
  • Socks
  • Shoes
  • Baby mittens
  • Bibs for teething
  • Sleep sack
  • Clothes hamper
  • Baby-friendly laundry detergent
  • Mesh laundry bag
  • Drawer organizers
  • Baby clothes hangers
  • Baby clothes separators (by size)
  • Closet extension rod


  • Crib, mattress, and sheets
  • Rock ‘n Play Sleeper
  • Co-Sleeper
  • Playard (Pack ‘n Play)
  • Monitor
  • Pacifiers
  • Swaddling cloths
  • Mobile
  • White noise maker
  • Dimmable lamp / night light


  • Nursing pillow (Boppy)
  • Bottles
  • Bottle cleaning stuff
  • Bottle warmer
  • Bibs for bottle-feeding
  • Bibs for starting solids
  • Burp cloths
  • Breast pump
  • Freezer bags for breastmilk
  • Nursing stuff: nursing bras, clothes, nursing covers, milk storage systems, etc.


  • Car seat
  • Car seat cover
  • Stroller(s)
  • Bouncy chair
  • Activity mat / gym
  • Jumper
  • High chair
  • Baby carriers


  • Diaper bag
  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Changing pad
  • Changing pad covers
  • Disposable hospital pads
  • Aquaphor
  • Diaper trash can

Bath Time

  • Faucet cover
  • Towels and wash cloths
  • Bath toys
  • Baby bath tub / bather
  • Baby-safe bubbles
  • Baby-safe soap / shampoo
  • Lotion (Cetaphil)

Books and Toys

  • Board books
  • Baby toys
  • Stuffed animals / lovies
  • Different sized bins / basket to contain the mess

Misc Health & Safety

  • Gripe water
  • Nose Frida
  • Fingernail clippers
  • Thermometer

Closing Thoughts

Don’t let these lists overwhelm you. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed as a first-time parent. It’s also really easy to get decision fatigue. (And when you’re pregnant, that fatigue is already so real because you’re growing a tiny human.)

Know this:

  1. You don’t have to have this stuff now – or even in place before the baby arrives.
  2. You may not even want / need some of the stuff that we found helpful. You’ll find your own groove. You’ll have your own preferences and so will your baby.
  3.  Babies grow and change so quickly that there’s a season for everything on this list.
  4. You don’t have to buy everything new. Hey, you don’t even have to buy it. You can borrow from friends or buy it second-hand. There are a lot of ways to save.
  5. You really and truly can get by without most of this stuff, however, some of it makes life with a baby a lot easier.

Seriously, don’t feel a lot of pressure.

You’ll figure it out as you go.


Dude, I could elaborate on each one of these things listed here. If you’ve got questions, please use the comments to ask for more info. I’ll be happy to elaborate!