Those “Clutch” Products that make the First 12 Months Work!

The first year of a child’s life is so special, full of growth and wonder. It’s also very challenging for parents and full of “I don’t know” moments. As a community of parents, Good Buy Gear is intent on helping each other through some of those uncertain moments. Sometimes all it takes is some solid advice that a product will be a lifesaver for you and a developmental win for the baby, too.

Here are 10 products that we strongly believe were invented to help us all through this incredible first year:

  1. A great stroller. Whether you are a runner, walker or shopper, sometimes you just want to leave the house. And you should bring the baby. The fresh air and exercise – or even just groceries – are good for everyone. There are many strollers on the market at all price points. But we’ve consistently found that BOB strollers are the cat’s meow, loved especially by active moms who want to reinstate their healthy outdoor Colorado lifestyle – with a little one who will also enjoy the view.
  2. A Boppy. The inventor of the Boppy is an engineering genius. Not only is it perfect for breastfeeding, it’s great for tummy time, learning to sit up, keeping baby safe on a bed or couch and SO much more. Veteran tip: be sure to have more than one cover so one can be in the laundry.
  3. A Baby Bjorn, Ergo or Wrap. Whether you want to hike Green Mountain or just make sandwiches, some babes just want to be held all day long. The right carrier that keeps the baby close and frees up your arms to do other things is pretty clutch, in our opinion.
  4. A curiosity/play mat (various brands, shapes, styles). The only time you will curse this thing is when you get tangled up trying to step over it when running to answer your cell phone. The rest of the time, you will love all of the hanging details – from mirrors to animals to sounds to textures – all of which help baby explore and develop while you do something else in the room. I’m sure you have something to do.
  5. Teething toys (various brands, shapes, styles). From our experience, it can’t hurt to have a variety of shapes, sizes and textures of teething tools. But make sure you have some that freeze! Having some already frozen is important when sore gums are causing pain RIGHT NOW. Having enough to store in drawers, the freezer and dishwasher are often the key to success. Tip: frozen washcloths can offer pretty great relief for little ones, too.
  6. The right diaper bag. Once again, some parents are overwhelmed by the selection. Let’s break this down. Make sure it has a variety of pockets and will fit a WHOLE LOT of stuff. Don’t deny the amount that you may take with you – diapers, wipes, changing pad, snacks, cell phone, wallet, toys, burp cloths, blankets, extra clothes, etc. The amount could fill a Fiat. So you want a bag that can be organized – but without 598 pockets – nobody’s got time to dig through all of that. And let us tell you, choose a color or pattern that you like. Simple is fine! Is it for Dad? Black, grey and brown are classy. But if you want a bright pattern or something fashionable because your stylish handbags will be in the closet for a while, go for it. (And if it has a built-in or accompanying cooler for milk or other products, that’s helpful, too!)
  7. A soothing noisemaker. There are white noise machines and there are turtles with sounds of a bubbling brook. It may depend on your own personal taste or the décor of your nursery, but when you find just the right sound that makes your little one doze, pure bliss sets over the house. Just make sure a gentle but stern note is up next to your doorbell.
  8. A bouncer/entertainment center. Work those legs, baby! Yes, there are those parents who cringe at the thought of this bright and large piece of furniture taking up the real estate they require. Then the magic happens. Baby starts jumping and giggling and spinning and pushing buttons and life is all happiness and roses. You can go down the hall. You can call your sister. You can even just watch your little one stretch and build muscles and learn – but from a few feet away!  It’s also an easy sell when your child loses interest.
  9. A Bumbo seat. For those times when an entire highchair isn’t in the picture and your little one needs a snack, buckle that baby right up and you are good to go! It’s easy to carry, clean and throw in the car for meals away. Sometimes it’s a gift to just have it for chill time while you are eating your own hot meal. Bonus: it helps babies learn to sit up!
  10. Board Books. Reading is such a key element to healthy development. You’ll develop favorite authors, characters and styles, as will your little one. Board books are the jumping off point, with short and sweet stories and pages that can be turned without accidental tearing. The world of board books is bigger than Dr. Seuss and Sandra Boynton, but it doesn’t hurt to start there.

What other clutch items saved your sanity during the first 12 months? Let us know! Email or post on our Facebook page.

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