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Great Values for Baby's First Year

Erin Mcdonnell
The list author says: "Great choices for the first year of a child's life, things you will use day after day, and month after month. Focuses on good values, especially things that are inexpensive and offer multiple kinds of value (like play value and developmental value)."
The First Years Infant To Toddler Tub with Sling, Blue
The First Years Infant To Toddler Tub with Sling, Blue
"Simple, easy to use with a young newborn even by yourself, and can sit on countertop or fit into the top of the kitchen sink."
Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle and Sensory Teether Activity Toy
Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle and Sensory Teether Activity Toy
Big Box of Boynton: Barnyard Dance! Pajama Time! Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs!
Big Box of Boynton: Barnyard Dance! Pajama Time! Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs!
"Sandra Boynton walks on water in my house. Her stories are fun and engaging for children and adults, and the illustrations are adorable. Many of the stories are crafted to conventional musical rhythms, so Pajama Time is written to standard jazz tempo and Barnyard Dance is written to a square dance tempo. Very fun."
ERGObaby Original Collection Baby Carrier, Black/Camel (Older Version)
ERGObaby Original Collection Baby Carrier, Black/Camel (Older Version)
"Amazingly comfortable carrier for a heavier baby. Distributes weight well on your body, and spreads the weight across baby's pelvis and thighs to avoid putting too much pressure in one spot."
Thirsties Duo Diaper, Mango, Size One (6-18 lbs) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Thirsties Duo Diaper, Mango, Size One (6-18 lbs) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
"I've tried four of the major cloth diaper brands, and Thirsties is the absolute best. In my opinion, the velcro tabs stay put better in the wash, are less likely to curl up than other velcro tabs. The legs have gussets to provide better closure around the legs. The absorbent insert is "two ply" and has never leaked on us."
Moby Wrap Original 100% Cotton Baby Carrier, Chocolate
Moby Wrap Original 100% Cotton Baby Carrier, Chocolate
"A great safe carrier that we loved when our child was a newborn. Great for multiple flexible positions and keeping a newborn's head supported. But after our son was about 20 lbs and pretty strong, we moved on to the Ergo."
Burt's Bees Baby Bee 100% Natural Diaper Ointment, 3 Ounces
Burt's Bees Baby Bee 100% Natural Diaper Ointment, 3 Ounces
"We have tried at least four major brands of diaper cream, and this is by far the best. The only brand that is still on baby's butt the next morning, providing a continuous barrier against skin irritants, like urine."
Playskool Busy Basics Busy Balls:  Rhythm & Sounds
Playskool Busy Basics Busy Balls: Rhythm & Sounds
"Fantastic! Fit perfectly in little hands, encourage seated play and then crawling as baby chases after these engaging balls. My son continues to love playing with them even now as a 20 month old. They are also great to use in a home made shape sorter for sorting spheres."
Disney Baby Einstein Tummy Ticklers: Bird
Disney Baby Einstein Tummy Ticklers: Bird
"When my son was only a few weeks old, the beautiful realistic bird sounds from this toy was one of the few things that always stopped his crying. The loop on the back allows you to attach it to different play gyms. He still takes it out to play with it and "fly" it around the house."
Tiny Love Lights and Music Gymini Activity Gym, Super Deluxe Lights and Music
Tiny Love Lights and Music Gymini Activity Gym, Super Deluxe Lights and Music
"We loved this gym. A small infant is often attached at the hip, but our 8 week old would play with this for up to 40 minutes at a time! The hanging animals encourage hand play for infants and advanced digital manipulation for an older baby. Mirror promotes neck strength. Interactive lights encourage baby to pick up hands, a pre-crawling skill."
Vehicles Sound Blocks - (Child)
Vehicles Sound Blocks - (Child)
"Great as starter blocks for younger kids, and an increasingly challenging puzzle for older children, where they learn to match the two halves of different vehicles. When they get it right, it plays a very short, not annoying sound of the vehicle."
Summer Infant Tiny Diner, Green (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Summer Infant Tiny Diner, Green (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
"Absolutely indispensable if you want to eat out with your kiddo. You have a clean eating surface instantly, then just take it home, clean it, roll it up and store it in the diaper bag for next time."
Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe Microfleece
Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe Microfleece
"Amazing easy to use swaddle so that baby and parent get a good night's sleep. It has slats in the back so that you can even use it in the car seat to keep an infant warm and snug during errands in the winter. Get fleece for winter and cotton for summer."
Battat Shape Sorter Cube
Battat Shape Sorter Cube
"The best shape sorter, created with developmental goals in mind. One side has easy-access sturdy plastic flaps so that baby can retrieve pieces for herself, fostering independent play. The picture is incorrect: shapes are color coordinated to the side they go with, to teach color matching. Too many developmental values to list in one small space!"
umi Infant Puggle Crib Shoe
umi Infant Puggle Crib Shoe
"The best shoes we tried. Great mix of soft flexible sole for foot development, gripping rubber pads for stability/balance, and much easier for mom to put on with fat velcro to secure it."
Munchkin Stay Put Suction Bowl, 3 Count
Munchkin Stay Put Suction Bowl, 3 Count
"These are great for those months when baby is learning the independence of finger feeding herself, but doesn't yet have the discipline to not pick up the bowl and dump it all over the place. My son was quite strong, and these were one of the few brands of suction bowls that he couldnt immediately pull up."
Sassy Baby's Mam 5 oz. Boy Bottle - 3 Pack
Sassy Baby's Mam 5 oz. Boy Bottle - 3 Pack
"We tried four different kinds of BPA free bottles, and these were our favorites. Easier to clean than other natural flow bottles, and we loved that the oblong nipple fit so well into our baby's mouth, which helped prevent him from sucking air."
Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder, Colors May Vary, 2 Count
Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder, Colors May Vary, 2 Count
"Great when you start introducing more solid foods, and also fantastic for baby "popsicles": put frozen purees from an ice cube tray into these mesh feeders for baby to chew on when teething."
Booginhead SippiGrip Cup, Bottle and Toy Tether, Orange Grey Stripe (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Booginhead SippiGrip Cup, Bottle and Toy Tether, Orange Grey Stripe (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
"You can functionally make one at home with fabric and a heavy-duty rubber band, but if you aren't up to it, grab one of these. Babies have a tendency to just drop bottles or sippies when they tire of them, and this saves a lot of hassle."
Cloud b Sound Machine Soother, Sleep Sheep (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Cloud b Sound Machine Soother, Sleep Sheep (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
"Not sure who liked this more: me or the baby. It was a great tool to help encourage sleep in those fitful first months. It also helped me fall asleep!"
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
"Big, colorful, simple pictures make this a great book for early readers, nice for teaching colors and animals."
The Sleep Lady®’s Good Night, Sleep Tight: Gentle Proven Solutions to Help Your Child Sleep Well and Wake Up Happy
The Sleep Lady®’s Good Night, Sleep Tight: Gentle Proven Solutions to Help Your Child Sleep Well and Wake Up Happy
"I thought this book had more usable, practical information for suggestions to help you get through the first few months with more sleep, and without creating bad sleep habits that could be detrimental to baby's sleep in the long run."
Positive Discipline A-Z: 1001 Solutions to Everyday Parenting Problems (Positive Discipline Library)
Positive Discipline A-Z: 1001 Solutions to Everyday Parenting Problems (Positive Discipline Library)
"You won't be doing a ton of disciplining in the first twelve months, but it is a great time to read up in advance, because before you know it you will be looking at a 14, 16 or 18 month old and realize that discipline is upon you. The A-Z version of this series is a fast and easy reference for all ages, and the intro does a great summary of how to put the ideas into practice."
Positive Discipline: The First Three Years: From Infant to Toddler--Laying the Foundation for Raising a Capable, Confident Child (Positive Discipline Library)
Positive Discipline: The First Three Years: From Infant to Toddler--Laying the Foundation for Raising a Capable, Confident Child (Positive Discipline Library)
"If you want more in-depth for the youngest aged children, this is your book."
Fisher-Price Large Link Pack Toy (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Fisher-Price Large Link Pack Toy (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
"Like carabiner clips for babies, these links can attach a variety of toys securely to a car seat or stroller. Add extra toys to play gyms. They double as fine-motor builders as baby  experiments with them herself. Later, carve a small slot into a cardboard box and let baby practice orienting the long object correctly to push it into the box. Lots of value!"
Munchkin Bath Letters and Numbers, 36 Count
Munchkin Bath Letters and Numbers, 36 Count
"My son loves these in the bath. Young babies play by 'sticking' these to the bathtub walls or experience the properties of floating and sinking. With a more lingual child, play sounds games by pointing to a letter and making its sound. Later the child can learn to spell out her name or simple words as reading emerges. Years of useful fun and developmental play!"
Pocket Nanny By Itzbeen Personal Baby Care Timer (Blue) - Award Winning Must-Have for Moms
Pocket Nanny By Itzbeen Personal Baby Care Timer (Blue) - Award Winning Must-Have for Moms
"Confession: we didn't actually own this timer when my son was a baby. But we needed it desperately. I used to day dream in my sleep deprived state about something just like this, so when I saw it I was shocked (and disappointed that I hadn't been able to find it sooner). Great for keeping track of the essential newborn things and a reassurance to first time parents."
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