Newborn Essentials and Baby Must Haves

Do you ever wonder what you really need for a baby? Like the baby must haves and not necessarily all the cool gadgets and stuff that people say you “need.” It is hard as a new mom or new dad to know WHAT is essential baby gear and what is something that looks cool, but won’t be used when the baby comes.

Items you'll use for a newborn - baby picture of newborn behind held by adult with text, Items you'll actually use when you have a baby
From diaper changes to late nights…this is the baby stuff you will use.

Baby Must Haves

Today my husband and I were talking about when our kids were babies. I started looking through all of our old photo albums with the kids and three hours later… we had pictures everywhere! 

In those pictures, I saw all of the baby things that we had and I realized how much of it I didn’t need…. and how much I did!  I wish I had a mom that could have told me what babies really need at that time… 

Because as a new mom…I had no idea. I just bought all the baby products I thought was cute or that my friends or the internet said I had to have. While these baby items may be cool, I learned a lot of them are not baby must haves….but more just wants that may or may not get used.

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Newborn Baby Essentials

Today we are bringing to the baby must have items for all newborn needs. As any mommy-to-be (and daddy-to-be) knows, shopping for a newborn baby can be overwhelming. 

Where do you begin? There are so many products online and in the store that it can be hard to pick out (or register for) what is needed, what is wanted and what is, in the end, completely useless. 

So here are the most important baby must haves you need to add to your baby registry checklist!

Newborn Must Haves

NOTE:  It can be expensive if you are buying for the store.  Register for what you can and don’t be afraid to check out gently-used items.  I was always online looking for a jumperoo or baby carrier! 🙂  

  • Infant car seat
  • Baby Monitor (I loved my video monitor!)
  • Stroller (a big one & an umbrella stroller)
  • Bassinet or basket when the baby is first born (We kept it in the living room) 
  • Crib including sheet sets and mattress
  • Change table/ dresser
  • Pacifiers
  • Diaper Bag 
Baby must haves like the onesie this baby is sleeping in

More Must Have Baby Items

Although these are not necessary, they can make a nursery a lot more comfortable. 

  • Nightlight and mobile
  • Additional sheet sets (trust me on this one!)
  • Dirty Laundry Hamper to keep in the nursery (again- trust me) 
  • Bookcase, dresser or other storage center for baby towels, clothing, etc.- be sure to latch them into the wall to prevent them from tipping or falling. 
  • Glider/Rocker for nighttime feeding (Get a comfortable one.  You’ll be glad you did!)

Newborn Essentials

Newborns, although as cute as can be, spend the majority of their time sleeping. However, when they are not fast asleep, they are often in need of either a feed or a change. 

It’s so important to be prepared with these diapering, feeding and bathing essentials. Stock up now to avoid midnight runs to the shop later.

  • Baby bath tub
  • 2 soft washcloths, 2 soft towels
  • Baby lotion, baby body wash (such as Johnson and Johnson)
  • Baby grooming set including nails, scissors, brush, comb
  • several packages of newborn diapers (buy one of the next size up because it happens so fast!) 
  • Wipes, baby rash cream or diaper cream
  • Diaper Genie or pail for soiled diapers
  • Changing Table
  • Nursing pillow
  • Breast pump and breast pads (if breastfeeding)
  • 6 baby bottles and 6 nipples, nipple brush, bottle brush and formula (if bottle feeding)
  • Thermal bottle carrier
  • Sterilization equipment

You may be wondering why baby lotion on here. Surely it isn’t that important, I meant most of us don’t even use lotion. However, it is the best thing after baths and right before bedtime.

Baby’s skin is very sensitive, and my child’s was extra sensitive, so we want to prevent dry skin as that can make your little one fussy.

Baby Essentials: Baby Clothes Checklist

Most new parents cannot help but buy a whole stack of cute little outfits for their little one. You should have seen my closet from the time that the pregnancy test said: “You’re Pregnant!” 

However, babies grow very fast so it’s important to limit the budget and only buy what a newborn needs.

  • 6 onesies
  • 6 pairs of booties
  • 5 baby sleepers
  • 2 hats (newborns wear a lot of hats, especially if the baby comes early – it keeps them warm) 
  • 3 washable bibs
  • Cardigans and jackets (depending on season)
  • Several blankets including receiving blankets
  • Burp Cloths
  • Sleep Sacks are great if you’re nervous about blankets

Newborn Baby Items to Save for Later

These items are not essential for a newborn baby, but you will want them down the road.  

  • High chair
  • Travel Cot or Pack n Play
  • Bouncer
    how to help baby sleep through the night

Must Have Baby Items for Postpartum

Not all babies are the same. While we can create a general list of baby must haves there are some things that YOUR baby needs that someone else’s doesn’t. Some of these things may be:

  • Sound Machine for those that struggle with sleep (white noise)
  • Stuffy Nose Wipes (Like Booger Wipes they’re soft and won’t chaffe)
  • Ergo Baby Carrier or Moby Wrap (My second child DID NOT want to be put down)

Additional Tips For First-Time Moms

Remember what I said about buying used or taking hand-me-downs from a friend? I found that Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist & even garage sales can be a parent’s best friend. (Remember to meet in an open area, of course.)  Often parents are selling their almost-new items for next to nothing. 

Happy Shopping!  Happy Parenting! 

Baby Essentials FAQs

What are the most needed baby items?

The absolute must-haves for your new baby:
1. Baby diapers, wipes and diaper cream
2. Feeding baby items: bottles and formula or breast pump, bottles & nursing pads
3. Baby monitor
4. Basic baby clothes that are comfortable and easy to dress/undress
5. Bibs and burp clothes
6. Light swaddle blanket
7. Place for baby to sleep: crib, bassinet or pack and play
8. Way to carry baby – stroller, baby carrier
9. Diaper pail — preferably a sealing one like Diaper genie
10. Place to change baby – changing table or changing pad
11. Baby thermometer
12. Infant car seat

What should I buy for my baby first?

When buying for baby, think about what baby will absolutely need vs. what is cute and unnecessary! You will need to make sure baby is fed, clothed and changed and has a safe place to sleep and be transported. Those are the things to consider first.

What should I put in my hospital bag for baby?

Your hospital will likely give you a packing list for delivery, but since baby will be attended to in the hospital with diapers, blankets, wash cloths and feeding, you may not need as many things for baby as you might think. Take baby’s first outfit and an additional outfit or two for the expected size you need. You will absolutely need an infant car seat to drive home.

What should you not buy for a baby?

When in doubt of whether you will need a baby item, wait and see. There will be things that you don’t need. For me, I didn’t need a changing table because I used a day bed that was in the nursery with a changing pad. But I found one of the items that I thought was the most extravagant, a diaper wipes warmer to be one of my most used baby items! It was less jarring to change my baby in the middle of the night with a warm wipe.

Baby must haves like cribs and stuffed animals

Looking For More Baby Stuff? We Have So Much For A New Parent

  • Is your baby not wanting to sleep in the crib? Is it the crib mattress? Too dark? We can help you with these crib ideas.
  • We’ve created a handy travel system that will make flying with a baby easier.
  • Your baby won’t drink from a baby bottle? Don’t panic! We can help you understand why your baby is refusing formula.
  • Make a safe space for your baby by baby proofing your home.
  • As a first time mom you may be wondering when should a baby start talking? We have the answer!
  • Here is a very good idea! We get so focused on our little baby that we forget about ourselves. You have to remember to take care of yourself too!
  • Tummy time is important…here are some tips and a fun tummy time mat.
  • Eventually your new baby starts growing up and that means teething! Here are some great teething hacks.
  • Mom tips you don’t want to miss

Did we miss a baby essentials or great things that you used for your new baby girl or baby boy in the early days of baby’s first year?

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