Staff Favorites: 20 Essential Products for Baby's 1st Year

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by: Lindsay Hutton
The FamilyEducation staff is made up of moms and dads like you, always on the lookout for the best products for our kids. We've come up with a list of the must-have baby products that have been essential to our young families — everything from "miracle" blankets to fun first toys. We're sure you'll like them too!
WubbaNub Infant Pacifier
WubbaNub Infant Pacifiers
From WubbaNub. All moms would agree that pacifiers always seem to disappear into thin air, especially when you need them most. The Wubbanub solves that problem! Says one of our moms, "This one is great because the cute little stuffed animal at the end ensures that you never lose it. Plus it's entertaining for babies and calms them to have something to hold on to."

Price: $15.99
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Trend Lab Nursing Cover
Trend Lab Nursing Cover
From Trend Lab. These nursing covers fit easily into a diaper bag or purse and, with the adjustable neck strap and versatile size, give moms privacy while nursing their baby. One of our staff members says, "They're great for giving moms confidence that they'll keep their privacy in public while nursing, plus the 'collar' gives baby some space and allows you to see him as you nurse. They're stylish too!"

Price: $14.99
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BabyDiaperChangingPad
Folding Changing Pad

From Patemm. This smartly designed product is the easy alternative to carrying a diaper bag. Invented by a mom, this fold-up changing pad also carries diapers, wipes, and other essentials. It's an all in one solution for an on-the-go mom! One of our moms says, "This pad is 'no worries,' large (easily covers a friend's bed or dirty bathroom changing table), easy to clean, has pockets for diaper and wipe storage, and folds up. I can't even say how many times I've been thankful to have it."

Price: $58
Buy on Amazon

InfantCarrierFrame,Stroller
Infant Carrier Frame

From Jeep. Moving your baby from the car to the stroller has never been easier! Your infant's car seat locks securely into the frame, allowing you to get going faster without disturbing your child. Members of the Family Education team love it! One says, "I loved this product! It made it so convenient to get the baby out of the car and on the go, without having to disrupt the baby taking her out of the infant carrier."

Price: $79.99
Buy on Amazon

Boppy,Baby,InfantPillow
Boppy

From Boppy. Using Boppy when nursing takes the strain off your body by putting it in an ergonomically correct position. It is also great for helping your baby first learn to support himself. We asked some staff members why they loved Boppy so much. Says one, "I used this for nursing, propping up the baby on his belly for tummy time, and supporting him when first starting to sit up."

Price: $24.99
Buy on Amazon

PlasticBabyLinks
Plastic Links

From Sassy. Plastic links are colorful and attach to anything, including the car seat, stroller, or high chair. The colorful textured links are great for your baby's first toy, or if you have a teething infant at home. Our team loves them!One team member says, "These were so useful for everything from hanging toys in her crib, in the car, on her infant carrier, to hanging the diaper bag on the stroller, and just linking them together and letting her play."

Price: $3.49
Buy on Amazon

BabyBjorn,InfantCarrier
Baby Carrier

From BabyBjörn. Baby Bjorn makes it easy to take your baby everywhere. This baby carrier straps snugly to your body, keeping your baby close and secure while providing you with the flexibility you need to move around.

"This is so easy-to-use, the baby feels safe and secure, and you have your hands free. I love this carrier," says one of our moms.

Price: $95.75
Buy on Amazon

Fisher-PriceInfant,BabyRainforestSwing,Chair
Rainforest Swing

From Fisher-Price. Your baby can relax in this swing that goes back and forth and side to side. She will be soothed by one of the 12 different songs that play, and will love watching all the rain forest animals above her. One staff member says, "This swing goes in two directions and has an AC plug, so no batteries! I was very thankful that it didn't need batteries for all the hours she slept in it."

Price: $74.99
Buy on Amazon

MiracleWrapBabyBlanket
Miracle Blanket

From Miracle Blanket. This swaddle blanket helps put your baby to sleep, especially if she has trouble sleeping on her back or side. It also aids with breastfeeding, and can help keep your baby from scratching her precious face. Our team loves this product: "This swaddle blanket worked great for us ... it does not come undone during the night like most other swaddle blankets. It's made out of super-soft, stretchy cotton and comes in lots of colors. I swaddled my babies every night until they were about four months old."

Price: $29.99
Buy on Amazon

VibratingBaby,InfantSeat
Vibrating Seat

From Fisher-Price. This seat contours to your baby's body for soft and cuddly support. The adjustable head support and removable body pillow allow for extra support. When it's time to relax, you can choose from different songs, and calming vibrations will allow your baby to drift off into blissful dreams. One grateful dad on our team says, "Both my kids loved it. Matter of fact, Paige is in it now!"

Price: $64.99
Buy on Amazon

BumpkinBabyBibs,Infant
Bumkin Bibs

From Bumkins. This bib is made of a waterproof material that is stain and odor resistant. It contains a catch-all pocket for dropped food, and fastens securely with a velcro closure. Our staff member says it made feeding so much easier: "They cover her clothes, have a pocket to catch lost food, and are so thin and light weight that they travel really well."

Price: $7.95
Buy on Amazon

PeekRattleBlocks,BabyToy
Infantino Peek, Rattle, and Teether

From Infantino. This toy stimulates your baby's senses with fun colors, textures, and teething rings. One of our FamilyEducation babies got a lot of use out of these: "They are light and easy for young babies to grasp. As 1-2 month-olds, [the babies] started out just looking at the various colors and patterns. They graduated to teething on them, playing with the different sounds (crinkles, rattles, bells), and exploring the various textures. They loved to play with these in their car seats while traveling - and they are soft and easy-to-pack."

Price: $9.99
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DrBrown'sBabyBottles
Dr. Brown's Bottles

From Dr. Brown's. This bottle's design mimics breastfeeding, and is great to use for breast milk and formula. It helps to reduce colic and spitting up through its unique venting system that eliminates air bubbles. "My daughter had a little reflux and these bottles almost cured it on their own. Plus they don't leak like a lot of the other brands I had tried," says one of our staff members.

Price: $19.50
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RainforestJumparoo,Babyseat
Rainforest Jumparoo

From Fisher-Price. The spinning seat and all the lights and sounds of this toy will keep your baby entertained for hours. The spring covers will keep your baby's little fingers safe from pinching, so he can enjoy tons of jumping fun. One of our dads says, "You put the baby in and they can jump up and down. It makes a lot of noise, but it would entertain my daughter for hours."

Price: $74
Buy on Amazon

BabyTossCupsandUtensils
Take & Toss Cups and Utensils

From The First Years. These reusable, lightweight utensils are the perfect size for little mouths. They are dishwasher safe, easy to carry, and are a cinch to pack for trips. Plus, your baby will love the bright colors they come in!

"I love this container. It's very handy and keeps the spoons together," says one satisfied mom on our team.

Price: $3.49
Buy on Amazon

BabyVideoMonitor
Video Monitor

From Smart AV. This portable unit makes it easy to see and hear your baby from anywhere in the house. Now you can check on your little one without fear of waking her. The night vision gives you an unobstructed view of her at night for optimum safety.

Price: $179.99
Buy on Amazon

WhiteNoiseMachine
White Noise Machine

From Marpac. This lightweight, easy to pack machine allows your baby to sleep peacefully, even if you are away from home. The long cord makes it easy to plug in anywhere, ensuring a good night's sleep for everyone ... including you! Moms on our team love this product. One says, "The sound of white noise is very similar to what babies hear when in the womb. Plus, it's a great sleep cue - when I turn on the white noise machine, the babies know it is time to for bed."

Price: $49.95
Buy on Amazon

LulaInfantBabyToy
'Works Every Time' Toy

From Leap Frog.Lulu the Letter-Spinning Spider engages your child with rhyming songs that help develop your baby's speech and language. Plus, who can resist the plush, soft material!

"Elle loves this toy. She absolutely can't get enough and hasn't gotten tired of it in months and months," says one mom.

Price: $19.99
Buy on Amazon

BabyToy,TinyGym
Gymini

From Tiny Love. The tummy-time pillow and vertical toys expose your baby to more than 17 different activities that will aid her development and give her exposure to different playing positions and configurations.

"My babies spent hours playing under this activity mat! It had a permanent spot on our living room floor for many, many months," says one of our happy team moms.

Price: $46.94
Buy on Amazon

Purchase Online Computer Keyboard Button
Diapers.com
Have you ever wished that someone could just deliver everything you need for your baby to your doorstep? Diapers.com does just that! They offer anything from formula to diapers, shipping is free on orders over $49, and many orders usually arrive the next day.

One staff member says, "This is huge for those winter days when you're running out of diapers (or formula, or whatever) and don't want to drag the baby out to the store. I think it's a savior for all new moms."

Price: varies
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