My Favorite Things for Baby’s First Year | Baby Registry Gift Ideas

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I am Neyssa Lee a Seattle area photographer, mom of 6, planning obsessed, and who help you see the beauty, love and joy, in your own family’s chaos. I also use my super power of time management to help fellow photographers take control of their businesses. Learn more by heading to my ABOUT ME page.

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Hi, I'm Neyssa

When you have six kids you have a chance to try out a lot of baby products. Since one of the questions I get most is about what to get for baby, I thought I would share my list of favorite things for baby’s first year.

Whether you’re looking for a baby shower gift, ideas for your newborn session, making your own registry, or looking for something to add to your nursery, this list is for you! 

A few things about my list. These are not the basics like favorite cribs, wipes, or diaper bag. I also love to keep things eco friendly when possible and I love things that photograph beautifully. 

Photo of my family by the amazing Megann Robinson.

Favorite Outfit for Newborns: The baby gown.

In those first days when you are changing SO. MANY. DIAPERS. the baby gown is amazing. We didn’t discover them until my 5th baby, and even my husband was surprised by how much he loved the baby gown. They make diaper changes so quick with just an untie. Plus they can grow with baby as you simply adjust how far down you tie the knot.

Oh and did I mention, they photograph beautifully. We used one for Cohen’s newborn photo session. She also lived in them the first month or two.

My favorite brands of baby gown are by Loulou and Company. They are super soft, have built in mittens in the sleeve cuff (to keep baby from scratching her face), and come in so many color options. They also have buttons at the neck making it easy to dress baby from the feet up when they hate things going over their heads.

Photo by Megann Robinson

Favorite Blanket: Large Swaddle

A swaddled baby is a happy baby that sleeps better. However, as baby grows the need for a larger swaddle becomes even more important. A large, soft, and stretchy swaddle made swaddling easier and more effective. Plus a beautiful swaddle makes for a great addition to your newborn session.

As baby grows and you move to swaddle sacks, a large swaddle blanket is great for laying down on the grass in the park, covering up baby in the car seat, tossing over yourself when nursing, and more. Even though we no longer use swaddle blankets at night, we use our swaddles regularly.

My two favorite brands for swaddles are Loulou and Company and Copper and Pearl. Both companies have SUPER soft blankets, so many prints and are large in size – all must haves for a good swaddle blanket.

Baby boy playing with wooden stacker toy from Bannor Toys.
Baby boy playing with wooden stacker toy from Bannor Toys.

Favorite Toy: Wooden Toys

After 5 kids we have a lot of toys and we’ve tried a ton of baby toys. My favorites are wooden toys. They are not only beautiful, classic, and eco-friendly, but they are quiet! Wooden toys also encourage creative play and last forever. From wooden blocks for building, stacker toys and shape sorters we have them all.

My babies have also loved the wooden and silicone mixed tethers and rattles too. This would be my top recommendation for baby shower or stocking stuffers, Easter basket stuffers or just a sweet gift.

Photo of custom wooden silicone teether from Bannor Toys.
Photo of custom wooden silicone teether from Bannor Toys.

My two favorite shops for wooden toys is Bannor Toys (this link gives you 10% off) for their large assortment of wooden toys and Happy Oak Toys for their custom wooden name puzzles.

Baby girl with Slumberkins, her favorite lovies.
Baby girl with Slumberkins, her favorite lovies.

Favorite Comfort Item: Lovies and Wubanub Pacifiers

Let’s start with the Wubanub pacifier. If you’re going to give your baby a pacifier, we love the Wubanub. It has a built in lovie on the end, which not only helps it from falling far from baby, but gives your baby something to love on. My kids were able to replace their own pacifier faster (compared to my first who just had the regular paci) and were able to find them if they fell out at night! They also come in so many cute little animals.

Lovies are also super sweet for baby. My kids have used them for comfort, turned them into their own babies, and we’ve used them to help document growth. Our favorite lovies are by Jelly Cat (so soft) and Slubmerkins (super soft and include a board book that teaches emotional well-being).

Look more complete with moccasins for your family photo session.
Look more complete with moccasins for your family photo session.

Favorite Footwear: Moccasins

I have lost plenty of socks. No matter which kind, my kids have all kicked them off. When Ezra was a baby, a friend introduced me to Freshly Picked moccasins. The elastic band helps keep the shoe on baby’s feet (no more lost socks!.

The soft sole was also great when Ezra was first starting to walk, allowing his foot muscles to develop well. And they were perfect for our family photos. Regular baby shoes are stiff and hard to get on, and just plain socks in photos can look off when everyone else is wearing shoes.

A Letter board can help you document details your baby’s first year.

Favorite for Milestones: Letter Board

Okay, this isn’t really for baby, but it sure helps us moms. I loved using a letter board to help me document each month. By having the month and a few little facts about that time is so helpful at the end of the year when I’m trying to remember what milestones were hit when.

Baby Ezra asleep in the Tula while we visited the beach.
Baby Ezra asleep in the Tula while we visited the beach.

Favorite Baby Carrier: Tula

Once again, I have tried SO many kinds of baby carriers. While a wrap was nice for those early days, I found it cumbersome and not practical for speed and ease of use when out and about. I tried a few structured carriers and they left my back or neck in agony (I have nice chunky babies).

Then I found the Tula. Not only did they come in so many cute patterns, but they are super fast to put on, easy to switch between my husband or I baby wearing, and so comfortable.

My list of favorites could go on and on. Like I love cloth diapers for day time use and Hello Bello diapers for night time (both eco-friendly and super cute on). Or I love Usborne baby books (okay I love all Usborne books for my kids).

Do you have any other favorite items or another category I should add? Let me know in the comments below!

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