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Three things you learn when you have a baby: 1) You are totally able to function without sleep. 2) It takes about three diaper changes to be an instant pro. 3) DANG babies need a lot of stuff.

Fortunately, these 11 products are here to help you cut down on that last one. (You're on your own with the diaper changing 😬.)

1. Four position carrier

This ergonomically designed baby carrier will take you from your baby's newborn days all the way through 4 years old. With four carry positions—front-inward, front-outward, hip, and back—this is the only carrier you'll need for all of your babywearing adventures. We especially the cool mesh breezy cutouts for extra comfort on warm days.

ERGObaby 'Four Position 360 - Cool Air' Baby Carrier
$180.00, Nordstrom

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2. Multi-use seat

This multi-use seat transforms from a floor seat to a booster seat, making it perfect for newly sitting babies all the way through to the toddler years. It's great for playtime, feeding, and giving your little the extra boost they need at the grown-up table. It's super easy to clean, and the seat's foam pad cushions can even be removed to create more room as your child grows.

Bumbo Multi Seat
$44.99, Target

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3. Adjustable high chair

This Scandinavian classic has been around for over 40 years, and for good reason. Its brilliant design grows with your child, providing a safe, comfy seat at any age. (Truly—it can hold a full-grown adult. We know; we've tried.) We also love its iconic minimalist, modern aesthetic, which compliments almost any space.

Stokke Tripp Trapp Chair
$249.00, Nordstrom

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4. 3-in-1 potty

Not only is this toilet a sleek addition to your bathroom (seriously—you might not even notice it there in the corner), it's also an award-winning design that will grown with your baby. Start your tiny tot on the potty, and when they're ready to graduate to the real porcelain throne, simply place the toilet trainer seat on your toilet seat to create a smaller hole for the little bottoms. Then flip the base of the toilet to create a step stool for your kiddo. Genius!

Ubbi 3-in-1 Potty Trainer
$34.99, Amazon

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5. Forever car seat

Ten years, one car seat—it doesn't get more impressive than that! This incredible car seat transforms from a rear-facing infant seat to a forward-facing 5-point harness seat to a high-back belt-positioning booster and finally to a backless belt-positioning booster. So instead of buying four separate seats, you can buy just one—winning! It's comfy, easy to install and adjust, and overall completely just completely awesome.

Graco 4Ever All-In-1 Convertible Car Seat
$239.99, Walmart

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6. Convertible swaddle

A swaddle provides a great way to soothe and comfort your newborn—but once baby starts rolling, you'll need to leave it behind for another type of wearable blanket. Enter this convertible swaddle that expands with baby, eliminating the need for multiple items. This swaddle + wearable blanket in one is suitable for babies from birth up to 18 months old. The fabric is soft + stretchy, and perfect for meeting the changing sleep needs of your growing little one.

Woombie Grow With Me Swaddle
$34.99, Amazon

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7. Multipurpose playard

This sleek playard is not only multipurpose, but it's truly a breeze to use (sorry, we couldn't help ourselves...). It opens and closes with the simple push of a button and can be used for little ones 5-40 lbs. It also comes with a bassinet feature, eliminating the need for a separate changing table and infant hang-out area. Playard + changing station + travel crib all in one = one happy mama!

4moms breeze Playard
$299.99, Bed Bath & Beyond

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8. Transformable sippy cup

These cute sippies are everything you want in a toddler cup: they're sturdy, don't leak, and come in a variety of cute colors—plus, they can convert from bottle to sippy cup to straw cup with just a few lid swaps. The products and packaging are also made with eco-friendly materials, and the company donates to organizations that are engaged in making the world a safer, healthier place. (Everyone wins, right?)

Thinkbaby Sippy Cup
$5.99, Target

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9. All-in-one activity center

Featuring 20+ activities, this all-in-one activity center seamlessly transitions from an exersaucer to a cruising playtime table and finally to an art table, making it ideal for your ever-changing little one. And we ? the wooden accents and sophisticated color palette that give the table a more modern feel.

Evenflo ExerSaucer 2-in-1 Activity Center + Art Table, Gleeful Sea
$119.99, Walmart

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10. Super powered stroller

The ultimate in convertibility, the Vista makes all our stroller dreams come true ? It's a big investment, but we think it's worth every penny—it allows for multiple configurations and can transport up to three children, so it's perfect for a growing family. It includes amazing features like a bassinet, a toddler seat, a telescoping handlebar, an amazing under-seat basket (it holds up to 30 lb.!), full recline, shock-absorbing wheels, and a one-step fold, just to name a few. And have we mentioned it's also gorgeous? Sigh.

UPPABaby Vista
$899.00, Nordstrom

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11. Adjustable activity center

This minimalist, modern activity table comes with three sets of legs that are easy to attach and remove, allowing you to adjust the height and easily convert it from a toddler play table to a big kids' table and eventually to a desk. (It also works as a train table for all your little locomotive lovers, too!) It also features a paper holder and a roll of paper, perfect for your budding little artist.

Adjustable Kids Activity Table
$349.00, Crate&kids

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When I was expecting my first child, I wanted to know everything that could possibly be in store for his first year.

I quizzed my own mom and the friends who ventured into motherhood before I did. I absorbed parenting books and articles like a sponge. I signed up for classes on childbirth, breastfeeding and even baby-led weaning. My philosophy? The more I knew, the better.

Yet, despite my best efforts, I didn't know it all. Not by a long shot. Instead, my firstborn, my husband and I had to figure it out together—day by day, challenge by challenge, triumph by triumph.

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The funny thing is that although I wanted to know it all, the surprises—those moments that were unique to us—were what made that first year so beautiful.

Of course, my research provided a helpful outline as I graduated from never having changed a diaper to conquering the newborn haze, my return to work, the milestones and the challenges. But while I did need much of that tactical knowledge, I also learned the value of following my baby's lead and trusting my gut.

I realized the importance of advice from fellow mamas, too. I vividly remember a conversation with a friend who had her first child shortly before I welcomed mine. My friend, who had already returned to work after maternity leave, encouraged me to be patient when introducing a bottle and to help my son get comfortable with taking that bottle from someone else.

Yes, from a logistical standpoint, that's great advice for any working mama. But I also took an incredibly important point from this conversation: This was less about the act of bottle-feeding itself, and more about what it represented for my peace of mind when I was away from my son.

This fellow mama encouraged me to honor my emotions and give myself permission to do what was best for my family—and that really set the tone for my whole approach to parenting. Because honestly, that was just the first of many big transitions during that first year, and each of them came with their own set of mixed emotions.

I felt proud and also strangely nostalgic as my baby seamlessly graduated to a sippy bottle.

I felt my baby's teething pain along with him and also felt confident that we could get through it with the right tools.

I felt relieved as my baby learned to self-soothe by finding his own pacifier and also sad to realize how quickly he was becoming his own person.



As I look back on everything now, some four years and two more kids later, I can't remember the exact day my son crawled, the project I tackled on my first day back at work, or even what his first word was. (It's written somewhere in a baby book!)

But I do remember how I felt with each milestone: the joy, the overwhelming love, the anxiety, the exhaustion and the sense of wonder. That truly was the greatest gift of the first year… and nothing could have prepared me for all those feelings.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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My husband and I always talked about starting a family a few years after we were married so we could truly enjoy the “newlywed” phase. But that was over before it started. I was pregnant on our wedding day. Surprise!

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