Pregnancy FAQ Part 5: Must Have Baby (and Twin) items for Baby’s First Year

This is Part 5 of my Pregnancy FAQ series. If you missed the previous posts you can find them here:

Part 1: Preparing your business for a Baby

Part 2: Preparing for Pregnancy & Managing Client Expectations with a Baby on the Way

Part 3: Tips for Shooting weddings while Pregnant

Part 4: Determining & Handling your Maternity Leave


Must Have Baby Items by Christy Tyler Photography_0001


First of all I want to preface this by saying: All babies are different and therefore one giant list of must haves we loved for our boys does NOT mean that these will necessarily be must haves for your baby! They may love and hate different things and have different particular needs. Listed below are some items we could not have lived without along with some items (like toys & gear) that we and our boys loved.

To make this easier on you – I’m going to list these by age group – because I found we had everything we needed for those first months (thanks to our generous family & friends hosting a baby shower for us) but once they started growing and changing – we had a whole new group of items we had to figure out we needed! So here they are! (Not included on this list are the obvious things, like: changing pad, diapers, pajamas, clothes, sound machines, bottles, etc. etc. etc. I figured you knew about that stuff and can manage to find ones you love, though please let me know if you want to know what we used!)


Newborn (0-3 months)

Just one quick note about this age – everybody told us to stock up on plain white onesies of all varieties (long sleeved, short sleeved, mittens attached – you name it), and we had them by the boatloads (because TWO babies!) and guess what? We used 2 of them ONE time for their newborn photo shoot and that was it. We never touched them again. I found I preferred to dress them in pajamas most of the time – because built in footies are the best and baby socks never stay on at that age and because it was just easier for us/warmer for them (being March babies and all). Okay – now on to the list!

  1. Newborn Boppy Pillows
    Our boys LIVED in these for months, no joke! They were great for naps as newborns (when they’d often be dozing off on these in our living room), and for tummy time when they got bigger! The boys felt so cozy and safe in these and loved to be in them!
  2. The First Years Sure Comfort Deluxe Newborn to Toddler Tub
    I really love this tub (though I know there are lots of other popular ones out there too). This was especially nice for tiny babies because they felt comfy and secure in it because of the infant insert. I will say I wouldn’t consider it a transition to toddler tub though! Once the boys couldn’t fit in the infant part anymore it was pretty uncomfortable just as a plain tub for them and they slipped around a lot so we stopped using it once they outgrew the first part. It was totally still worth the money for us though!
  3. Fisher Price Deluxe Bouncer Chairs
    These were an absolute LIFESAVER with twins!! You never have enough hands and this was the perfect thing to lay them in and for them to (usually) remain calm while you tended to the other baby. It has a lullaby music option as well as a vibrate option (which was the BEST and even helped put the boys to sleep back then)!
  4. Lusa Booty Balm
    We cloth diaper (most of the time) and this cloth diaper friendly balm is awesome and all natural!!!
  5. Saline Drops & Nose Frida
    Totally necessary for handling their first cold and life (i.e. boogers) in general!!
  6. Swaddle Blankets (Aden + Anais and the softest blankets ever: Willow Beans Bamboo Swaddle Blankets)
    Our boys didn’t like to be swaddled using the actual swaddle products (like swaddle me or any of those), but when they got to be around a month old they let us swaddle them using blankets! We just folded the blanket in half so it was a little thicker and laid the baby in the middle with the blanket up to their shoulders, then folded one side over an arm and tucked under their armpit/under their body and then pulled the other side of the blanket over the other arm and tucked it under their body on the other side. Worked like a charm until they started moving! 🙂
  7. Muslin Baby Bath Towel
    Not a total must-have, but we loooove how soft this towel is!
  8. JJ Cole Bundleme
    This or any version of this was a must have for us for Chicago weather!! So nice to just put the boys in their normal winter clothes for their car seats and then use this to keep them toasty!
  9. Pigeon Baby Nail Clipper/Scissor
    Just buy it!
  10. Dr. Brown’s Lovey & Pacifier
    We didn’t have any nooks or pacifiers to begin with, but got these in the mail from Dr. Brown’s as a gift and the boys quickly became obsessed! These really helped with naps early on in their lives (you could prop the lovey in such a way so the nook wasn’t constantly falling out of their mouths!) and the boys loved them! We did transition away from nooks in general around 4.5 months. At which point Gabe started to suck his thumb and my boob became Micah’s human pacifier. (Not sure that’s much better?!)
  11. Double Snap N’ Go Stroller
    This was perfect to keep in the car and use for errands out. Super light and easy to break down – just pop your car seats in it and go! Ideal for trips to the store and indoor use… not good for bumpy roads or off-road!


Must Have Baby Items by Christy Tyler Photography_0002


Breastfeeding Goodies (if you’re going that route)

  1. My Brest Friend Twins Plus Breastfeeding Pillow
    Must have for breastfeeding mamas of twins (there is a regular version as well)!! I still use this pillow (while propped with other pillows) and the boys are a year old! It has made it the long haul!
  2. Motherlove Nipple Cream
    You’re going to need it. Just trust me on this one.
  3. Embrava Sports Fast Flow Water Bottle
    Any giant water bottle to stay hydrated will do, but I prefer this one because it is a fast flow spout and you can pop it open with one hand (key when you always have a baby in your arms)!
  4. Nursing Tank Tops (all of them!)
    I love these tanks from H&M and they have a ton of colors usually. Their camisole type nursing bras are awesome as well!
  5. Cozy Cardigan Sweater (that is easily washable!)
    Perfect to throw over your nursing tanks and doubles as a blanket basically! 😉 I looooove this one that one of our clients sent me as a gift so much and have basically lived in it for the past year (ahem, currently wearing it as I write this post – haha).


Must Have Baby Items by Christy Tyler Photography_0003


4 months to 1 Year (and beyond)

  1. Summer Infant Pop N’ Play Portable Playard
    Perfect to keep them in one place when they first started to move and crawl a lot and you needed to get something done, or you know – use the bathroom! haha. Also suuuuuper easy to put up and take down and easy transport outside to a park or whatever!!
  2. Skip Hop Geo Foam Floor Tile Playmat
    Hey! Playmats that aren’t neon and hideous? Yes, please!
  3. Boon Ripple Bath Mat
    This is an absolute must have for us! It is nice and big so it covers a majority of our tub and fits both boys and stop them from constantly slipping/wiping out during bath time!
  4. Bumkins Waterproof Sleeved Bib
    We tried just about everything when the boys started eating solids to keep them clean and this is the only thing we’ve found so far that actually does what it is supposed to!!
  5. Nuby Sippy Cups
    These are a great transition cup from the botttle and our boys are obsessed with them! They also figured out how to drink out out of them themselves right away! Bonus!
  6. Lovies
    Our boys are obsessed with their monogrammed elephant and lamb lovies from Pottery Barn Kids, courtesy of our sweet friend, Julissa!
  7. Fresh Food Mesh Feeders
    These are great for all sorts of purposes! We love to put fruit in there or whatever you’d like and let the babies gnaw on them to eat the fruit instead of cutting it into tiny pieces. I’ve found it works especially well for citrus fruit. We also put ice cubes in these and let the boys suck on them when they’re teething!
  8. Radio Flyer Classic Walker Wagon
    I’m pretty sure I should have been earning commission on these bad boys given the amount of people who have purchased them after seeing our boys OBSESSED with theirs!!! haha! Seriously though – worth every penny for one baby or twins! It is a paced walker so it doesn’t just fly out in front of them and bonus if you have a twin you can push in it! 😉
  9. Wheely Bug
    We literally just got this in the mail yesterday, but it is already a hit! My friend, Katie, recommended it and I have a feeling we’re going to have to order a 2nd one soon enough.
  10. Melissa & Doug Toys
    Pretty much any and all of these toys the boys love. We have the emergency truck set, bead maze, stacking rings, wooden blocks, pull toy dog & pull toy frog, cleaning set and more – all of them are hits and some of the boys favorite toys!
  11. Delta Children City Street Side by Side Stroller
    We have a double Bob stroller for walks to the park and outdoors/extended trips and love it for that (so smooth!!), but needed something significantly easier and more lightweight to take in the car and for quick trips. This super affordable, lightweight, no-fuss, compact stroller does just the trick!!
  12. Deedee Sleep Nest Baby Sleeping Bag
    These are so wonderful for sleeping, especially in the chillier months! We used to use Halo Sleep Sacks, but they were so thin the boys still felt so naked in the cribs and didn’t sleep all that well well. These sleep nests are so much cozier and warmer… and we saw a difference in their sleep immediately upon switching to these!
  13. Columbia Baby Tiny Bear Bunting
    Perfect for winter time with the loves and easy for running errands in colder weather once they’re in convertible car seats and can’t use the JJ Cole Bundleme’s with car seats anymore!


Must Have Baby Items by Christy Tyler Photography_0004


I hope this gives you some insight into what we’ve loved and what has worked for us so you can get a head start on some great products for your babies!!! Let me know if you have any questions!! XOXO

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Christy & James are Chicago based but happily travel anywhere in the world that beautiful love stories take them!