Christmas is around the corner, and that means my son will be one year old in less than two weeks. There are 1001 items that you “should” get before having a baby. The amount of products available can simply be overwhelming. In addition, it’s hard to gauge in advance which products will truly turn out great once your baby arrives. While plenty of the products on the market are indeed helpful and make your life easier throughout your baby’s first year of life, we decided to keep things pretty minimal.
We started out with only a few products and added new ones as we got to know The Little Potato and his needs – as well as our preferences. These are the top 8 products that have stood out to me over the last 12 months.
I cannot stress enough how much I loved our carriers in those first six months. For the first three months of my son’s life I basically only existed with a Moby wrapped around me. And even when he got older, the Moby or the Ergo were great when he had a fussy day. Also the Ergo is great for (city) travels. I have also tried a hip seat baby carrier, which was really comfortable to carry my baby. You can check out some top quality hip seat baby carrier of 2020. When my son was 4 months old, he discovered Amsterdam in the Ergo, and when he was 7 months old, we even used the Ergo for a small hike in the Italian Alps.
Sophie la Girafe
Yes, Sophie is a little hyped up. But The Little Potato loved her throughout his first 12 months of life, so it’s a reputation well deserved. From about 3 to 7 months, he actually liked to play with her. After that, Sophie was mainly in use whenever he was teething. Overall, a great toy.
Striped onesies by hessnatur
These onesies are made of silk and wool and come with quite a steep price tag for a onesie (17 €). But after a year of rebuying them I can say that they are worth the price. They wash very well, and they wear incredible. In the summer, my son didn’t sweat in them, and in the winter, they keep him warm. They are just awesome, and we have already stocked up on the next size up.
Wooden activity center by Walter. This one shouldn’t come as a surprise as I have raved about it before. Like any other activity center it’s a great toy when babies start to notice the world around them and realize they have hands. But thanks to the wooden frame the activity center has continued to excite The Little Potato. We bought it when he was 6 weeks old and he has since used it heavily until about 11 months. The last few months he mainly used it to pull himself up and to practice his standing. Considering the time he used it, this wooden activity center has been one of the best toy investments we have made so far.
Boxy, firm cushions by Plumplori Paris. Another investment piece, but a great transitional item that will be in use for a long time to come. For babies these cushions are great to climb over and to build stairs, so they can climb up on the couch. When kids get older the cushions are great to build tunnels and castles. The cushions are really firm, so even when my son climbs onto them now, he doesn’t sink in at all. We bought these when The Little Potato was 6 months old, and he doesn’t get tired of playing with them. Currently tunnels are a big hit.
Wooden boxes by Walter. Another baby and toddler staple. Starting with about 9 months sorting, and later building, become one of babies’ favorite activities. These wooden boxes are a great quality toy, that my son has enjoyed playing with since about 8 months.
Car seat Sirona by cybex. This car seat is just great (as mentioned before). The Little Potato sits securely and very comfortably in there. It can swivel around 360°, so you can turn it towards the door which makes putting my son in the car seat much easier for me – and for my back. The car seat can be used for extended rear facing, which is why we bought it in the first place. Cybex also offers a newborn kit to make the Sirona smaller to fit a newborn, and I am sure that if and when we have a second baby, this will be the route we go as opposed to the infant car seat that we bought for our son (and that did not make this list…).
Tripp Trapp high chair by Stokke. I can’t say anything bad about this high chair. First, this high chair isn’t hideous – yes, this is an important criterion for me and my husband. It’s easily cleaned and made out of quality material. Like many other Stokke products it outperforms other brands with regard to minimizing harmful substances and toxins, which, for us, is a crucial factor. Now that our son is on the move, he loves to push the Tripp Trapp around the living room, so it even doubles as a toy.