Welcome to the baby stage! Surviving the newborn stage is a huge accomplishment, so congrats!
Now you’re feeling like you’re actually getting the hang of this whole mom thing and also probably realizing:
- You bought a ton of items that you didn’t actually need
- What do babies truly need at this age?!
- Holy crap, how do I decide which products to buy?!
Trial and error and endless research are how I went through tons of products to find out what was actually worth it, what I couldn’t live without, and what was a total waste of money.
I do my best to only buy what I really need, so this is somewhat of a minimalist baby checklist. There are items on here that you can live without, so it’s not a BARE MINIMUM BABY CHECKLIST, but it’s practical.
So, without further ado, here are my TOP BABY ESSENTIALS for 6 to 12-month-old babies!
1.NUK TRANSITIONAL SIPPY CUP
The Nuk learner cups are amazing for transitioning from bottle to sippy cup. We tried them all, and none even came close to these.
We have them in every single design.
It’s recommended to have your baby off the bottle completely by their first birthday.
Start introducing a transitional sippy cup around 6-8 months to get them used to it, and your transition will go much smoother.
FIND IT ON AMAZON
2. MUNCHKIN 360 SIPPY CUP
Once they’re ready for a full-on sippy cup I definitely recommend the Munchkin Miracle cups.
Easy to use and spill-proof!
This is sort of the next step up in the sippy cup world, and it’s great for teaching them how to drink out of a cup without a spout.
3. UTENSILS (FORKS & SPOONS)
These are definitely my favorite baby utensils.
They are affordable, excellent quality, and the perfect size.
Some utensils are tiny and barely hold any food, while others are humongous and can’t even fit in their mouth. These are just perfect.
4. OXO SUCTION PLATE
Once you start introducing solid foods to your little one, things get messy.
This plate helps give them opportunities to learn, without the plate getting flipped upside down every second.
It suctions down to the table and gives them a sturdy plate with dividers!
It’s really easy to clean, and allows them to learn how to eat a meal off a plate!
READ NEXT: BABY LED WEANING | EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW!
5. IKEA PLATES & BOWLS
Once they master how to eat off a plate without throwing it around, these plates and bowls are amazing!
They are so durable, extremely affordable, so easy to clean, very practical and SO CUTE!
6. SILICONE BIB
Go ahead and skip those fabric bibs all-together.
They don’t catch spilled food, they need to be washed after every single use, and to be honest they just flat out don’t work very well.
This silicone bib really checks all the boxes. It catches everything and is extremely easy to wipe clean.
7. BABY K’TAN WRAP
This wrap is great for when they’re pretty little and love to be snuggled up close with mom.
Not all babies like to be worn, but if yours does, it can be a huge help for getting things done!
This wrap is great for when they’re fussy, wanting to be held all day, napping in your arms, because it allows you to do all of that while being hands-free!
This is how you get things done with a clingy baby. 100%.
READ NEXT: NEWBORN BABY ESSENTIALS | 0-3 MONTHS
8. BABY TULA CARRIER
This carrier is perfect for when they’re a little bigger and need a carrier that isn’t quite as snug and allows them to move around a bit.
It is SO easy to put on, it has a pouch in the front for your phone or keys, it’s very sturdy, and even has a little cover attachment to protect their head from the sun if need be.
This is great for going on walks, going to the store, or traveling without needing to lug around a stroller.
9. MONTHLY MILESTONE STICKERS (BOYS, GIRLS, BLANKET)
These are a MUST if you want to document their growth.
Without these stickers as a reminder each month, I would have missed the gradual changes they go through.
Set a reminder in your phone to take a picture in the same location each month, and at 1 year put them all together.
I was SO glad I did this because it is such a special keepsake!
They have cute stickers for boys, girls, and even cute milestone blankets for those kids who don’t keep stickers on long enough to take a picture 🙂
10. SOFT BLANKET
The muslin blankets are amazing on warmer days, but a warm soft and cuddly blanket is every baby’s dream come true!
This particular one is INCREDIBLY soft (even thru a million washes), and has the cutest design! It comes in blue or pink, and my kids are obsessed with them.
I love the idea of them having a favorite blanket that they will have forever and makes them feel safe and comforted.
11. SIT-ME-UP CHAIR
This seat is amazing for when your little one starts to sit up on their own.
Once they can control their head, this chair is great for practicing sitting up when they can’t quite sit in a high chair yet.
It supports them in the upright position, is comfortable, and keeps them entertained with the attached toys.
This is what I used when I started my kids on solid foods.
It also folds up for easy storage.
Once they can sit up on their own and use their legs, this jumper is where it’s at!
Babies absolutely LOVE bouncing around in there, playing with the toys around them and getting those legs moving!
This particular one has 5-star reviews from over 6 thousand people! That is unheard of but well deserving! It’s a good one.
13. TEETHING MITT
This is a STAPLE when teething strikes.
A teething baby is constantly drooling, gnawing on ANYTHING and EVERYTHING, and super fussy if what they’re chewing on is not soothing those sore gums.
This teething mitt is perfect because it’s designed for this exact situation.
It actually stays on their hand and is there for their chewing pleasure!
READ NEXT: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO TEETHING
14. TEETHING PACI
Once teething strikes, you really can’t have enough teethers.
This one is another favorite because of the texture. It’s silicone with a bumpy texture designed for chewing!
It’s only a few dollars, lasts forever, and works great!
15. TEETHING WAFERS
Teething can seem to last forever.
Sometimes, you need to bring in the big guns.
These, in my opinion, are the big guns. Not only because they are the perfect texture to soothe teething gums, but they are also delicious.
Soothing painful gums AND feeding them a snack AT THE SAME TIME?! Yes.
If you want a few minutes of peace and quiet, bust these out.
16. BABYGANICS SHAMPOO & BODY WASH
This one is great because it is fragrance-free and super gentle.
Babies tend to have pretty sensitive skin, and I never have to worry with this one.
We have tried other brands and my daughter’s face and body broke out into a rash.
We ended up sticking with the Babyganics and never had an issue after that.
17. BABYGANICS SUNSCREEN
Just like with the body wash, this one has never failed us!
We forgot it once and used our regular sunscreen on my daughter.
Shocker, she turned all red again. We went back to Babyganics and it never happened again. I’m sensing a trend here.
18. MUNCHKIN SNACK CUPS
I’m certain you know exactly what these are because every person on the planet with kids has one.
It’s a NO-SPILL snack container. ‘Nuff said.
It doesn’t take long after you start giving snacks that you realize how MESSY they are!
Save yourself from unnecessary messes with this life-saving contraption.
This walker is great for the transition period between crawling and walking.
It really does encourage them to start walking and provides good support.
It’s fun, interactive, and gets them walking in no time! It’s also great as support in the beginning stages of walking when they aren’t quite as sturdy as you would like them to be.
20. CAR MIRROR
A car mirror is a great way to keep your baby entertained during car rides.
There’s nothing worse than a crying baby while driving, but this mirror is usually enough to keep them happy and distracted.
Also, I loved being able to see their face through my rearview mirror to make sure they were okay.
21. VIDEO MONITOR
Once we started sleep training, it was important for me to have them sleep in their own room and crib to have a quiet place they associated with sleep.
We started this around 2 months of age, so I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing this without a video monitor for me to be able to see and hear them.
I researched this SO HARD before making the purchase, and I was so happy we went with this one!
It works SO WELL, has a lot of great features, and even shows you the temperature in their room and notifies you if it gets too warm.
22. VITAMIN D DROPS
At a pretty early stage, your pediatrician will recommend giving your baby Vitamin D drops as a supplement.
These are the ones that worked best for us. Super easy to use, you only need a few drops and it never upset their stomach.
23. NASAL ASPIRATOR
Okay, so my kids never really got sick as newborns.
Even as babies, I think maybe once?
I never found this necessary for babies, unless you have one that is constantly sick.
This did, however, come in very handy for us a little later down the road when they got a stuffy nose or were congested.
The bulb syringes they give you at the hospital are basically worthless (not to mention impossible to clean).
The concept of the Nose Frida is pretty terrifying, but rest assured you will NOT get any mucus in your mouth, I promise!
It really does work better than anything else.
24. STROLLER HOOK
This hook is awesome on your stroller for carrying your purse, shopping bags, groceries, you name it!
It hooks right on to anything and is SO HELPFUL for carrying bags without having to shove them all under the stroller.
I think it’s pretty obvious that you will need a crib.
However, if you can get a quality convertible crib it will save you from having to buy a toddler bed down the road!
Graco is a great brand, and this crib is pretty amazing.
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