As a first-time mom I'm learning everything through trial and error...mostly error. Now that I'm officially 8 weeks into being a mama, I have very strong opinions on my newborn baby essentials.
I now look back on my baby registry and have a good laugh – because why did I feel the need to register for 3 Solly Baby wraps? Was I planning on hitting the town and couldn't be seen wearing the same wrap twice? (Actually yes. That's exactly what I thought. Little did I know I'd prefer to spend all of my time in bed cuddling my baby with zero care for who saw me in what wrap.)
My 10 Newborn Baby Essentials
This is not a full list of everything you will need. Most likely you will come home from the hospital and within the first 24 hours have your own running list of items you wish you had. Hopefully my newborn baby essentials guide will minimize your post-hospital panic.
I registered for beautiful layettes and cute little rompers, but do you know what I learned on night ONE of having a baby – fast access to the diaper is the only thing that matters. At 3 o'clock in the morning you will not care if your one-of-a-kind linen overalls and matching knit tights look pretty. You will be fumbling around in the semi-darkness, leaning over a changing table and muttering, "Why is this taking so long?"
Enter the zippered onesie. Aside from a few clothing items purchased by family members (which Desi must wear to maintain the family peace), he exclusively wears these. They are incredibly soft, have built-in hand covers and come in adorable patterns.
Some of you may know this as my very expensive dog bed. Scrappy tries to hijack Desi's Dock-A-Tot any chance she gets. When my pup isn't snoozing in it, it's the perfect bed to carry around from room to room for an easy sleep spot. Pair this with a cozy Halo Sleepsack and it's lights out for my babe.
Above is the Mod Mountains quilt pattern (Available April 4) and the Campfire quilt pattern.
Another funny thing I registered for was TONS of swaddle blankets. There are so many beautiful ones out there, I assumed I needed at least 10. The truth is, when Desi is over stimulated and just needs his hands snuggly out of his own way, this velcro fleece swaddlesack is where it's at.
4. Burp Cloths
OK, I'm sure if you've been around a baby for any length of time this is going to seem like a no-brainer. I knew, in the theoretical sense of the word, that I would need some form of burp cloth, so I registered for about 5 soft organic bamboo washcloths that were probably free trade and also profit sharing to help orphaned gorillas. What I'm saying is I was living in total lalaland and NOT prepared for the amount of liquids that would come out of my baby.
However many burp cloths you think you need, go ahead and double that. Then double it again. Now you're prepared.
5. Pacifiers (that actually pacify)
You might have already figured out based on my overall cluelessness going into this newborn baby phase, that I created my registry from things I saw Insta-moms use. The best example of this is the type of pacifier and pacifier accessories found on my registry.
I saw fashionable mamas use stylish binkies connected to equally stylish wooden bead clips. Obviously that's what I needed. There's only one problem – my baby hates those pacifiers. He HATES them. Somehow they manage to do the exact opposite thing a pacifier is supposed to do.
I finally conceded and gave Desi the same pacifier they gave him in the hospital and guess what? He loves it. Calms him right down every time!
Desi was born in February on one of the coldest days of the year. My biggest worry as a new mom was keeping him warm and cozy at all times. The great thing about these booties is that once you snap them on they stay on. I actually pair them with a footed zipper onesie and he's layered up and ready to snuggle!
Above is the Modern Fans quilt pattern.
A mother of four reached out to me on Instagram while I was pregnant and wrote me this message, "I've been debating for weeks whether or not to write to you because the last thing you want is unsolicited advice, but after having four babies I can't help myself. You must get the Blooming Bath Lotus. It will save your back from bending over a bathtub and will make bathing your newborn so much easier."
Well IG mother of four, you are absolutely right! I don't bathe Desi as much as I should, but when I do it's really nice doing it from the bathroom sink.
One thing I didn't put together until after bringing Desi home is that after spending months decorating a nursery, you won't really use it. Sure, you may go in there from time to time to smile and remember all of the fun times you had designing that nursery, but for the first few months of a baby's life, chances are he's going to be in your bedroom – it makes those midnight feedings and diaper changes so much easier!
We have this playard set up in our bedroom and use it as a changing table and organization station for his diapers, wipes, burb cloths, nail file, my breast pump, bla bla bla you get the picture – all of the stuff you just bought on Amazon after coming home from the hospital and realizing you weren't prepared at all.
I've never 180-ed so hard on something as I have on this booger sucker. I actually bought one of these for my sister-in-law as a joke when she was pregnant with my nephew. I thought there was no way this could actually be a thing!
Well, not only is it a thing, but it's one of my most used products. My husband has a whole booger process now. It starts with a squirt of saline spray, is followed by suction, and ends with delicate Q-tip wiping. It's very entertaining to watch.
10. Bottles (that are right for your baby)
Even if you're breastfeeding, you'll probably still want to have a bottle on hand just in case you can't be there. I wish I could tell you that the bottles that work for us are going to be the bottles that work for you. Unfortunately, I don't think that's how it works. I went through two different brands before landing on these Dr. Brown's bottles. What I like about them is that you can graduate the nipple for faster or slower flow.
I was told by many people that we wouldn't need a bottle warmer. Well, this mama doesn't agree. Desi does waaaaay better and is a lot calmer if the milk isn't coming straight from the fridge.
What are your newborn baby essentials? Every parent has a list. I'd love to know yours!
34 thoughts on “My 10 Newborn Baby Essentials”
My favorite burp cloths are some that I made – I sewed soft, cozy flannel onto the back of cloth diapers. They are so absorbent and durable.
My baby is 3 months old and we had the same pacifier situation. Except she likes the super ugly, bulky pacifiers that we got in some new parents gift bag.
My favorite thing has been my haakaa milk catcher thing. I’ve saved so much milk with that thing!
Gas drops were a must with all 3 of mine! And for some reason with my first I thought I just had to have a wipes warmer. I will say it was nice having them warm for my princess’s sweet bottom but I always forgot to refill it!! And we used those same bottles with both my boys. I love Dr. Brown’s.
LOVE this list. Made me laugh and smile a lot. The only thing I would add is the Shusher! Have you used it? It’s a miracle worker. I still use it once in awhile for my now 1 year old to get him to sleep.
I couldn’t agree more with the Nose Frida! Also, Target’s Cloud Island Sleep and Play pajamas are the best things ever. The zipper zips closed to the bottom, instead of the top. It makes it so nice not having to completely undo him in the middle of the night for a change.
For burp cloths we just bought a huge pack of cloth diapers and use those. I will never use anything else!
Great list…25 years ago I was kissy as unprepared! Totally agree about middle of the night diaper changing. I love how you keep everything real!
For newborn and beyond, my favs –
*Dishwasher “box” for pacifiers, nipples and other little plastic things like toys
*Bibs with plastic backing for those especially drooly days
*Lots of extra pacifiers – went from desperately looking for baby #1’s pacifier to having MANY for last two (#4 and #5) with devices to attach to clothes.
*Cloth diapers – great for all fluids, cleaning and the obvious, original use.
*light weight receiving blankets
Colic Calm… all natural and essential for the medicine cabinet, that and a decent thermometer (any brand suggestions would be awesome as im still on the hunt after 2 fail purchases). The colic calm is perfect for gas, tummy upsets, reflux and at 2am a complete life saver, and the 1st thing any medical helpline asks is bubs temp!
Great list! Even for the most researched mom, babies have a way of humbling us all. 🤣 A couple things I swear by — if your little guy likes the paci from the hospital, check out Wubbanubs. They’re obnoxiously named and look ridiculous, but they do a nice job of helping keep the dang thing in, which is important while they can’t actually put them back in their mouths. Also, for a tech thing I was sooooo skeptical of that actually worked: Hatch noise machine. The thing is like $60, which is outrageous, but it’s been amazing for us. You can set volume and light levels AND adjust from your phone when you’re not in the room, using Bluetooth. We had GREAT sleepers for the first 6 months, and then with both kids everything imploded between 6 and 12 months. Teething, leaps, sleep regressions. They hit us hard. This noise machine doesn’t cure it, but it makes life so much easier (much to my chagrin and my husband’s delight).
You and Dez are so great! As a mom of five I’m just enjoying all your stories. Love how you keep it real! As for baby products, I would just say skip the rice cereal and baby food and just feed little Dez from your plate. But when we’re on the go I love the pureed food packets that you just squeeze into their mouth. The best!
These are spot on! The only supplement I have is that in addition to the hospital-issue pacifiers, which were great in the beginning but inexplicably lost their luster in my daughter’s eyes, we loved the Smilo pacifiers and used them until we weaned her off the pacifier at around 15 months. Highly, highly recommend!
I second this – we love the Smilo pacis and have used them for every stage! They’re supposed to help develop the mouth properly and reduce need for orthodontics in future. Fingers crossed!
Wouldn’t that be nice!
OH! And the Nanit monitor for when they do head over to the crib. We loooooooooove it. (We’re also on a different level of the house than the nursery, so it’s essential for us, but even without that distance it’s so nice to be able to see what our gal is up to and easily track her sleep.)
I used flannel “receiving” blankets as burb cloths for our second child. I think they are about a yard square. So much came back up! My clothes always had stains. She was/is very healthy.
Great list. For me, it was the My Brest Friend pillow. It was a total game-changer for my nursing life, and i’m so bummed that it took me several months to find it. Also, when he was slightly older than Desi is, it was the Ergo carrier. Ring slings and wraps all killed my back, but the Ergo was magic, and i’m sad I didn’t figure it out until way too late. Finally, we had these amazing Aden & Anais (I think) burping bibs that doubled as a cloth that you could put over your shoulder. They were super absorbent, and even though we still had to double and triple bib him because we had a milk oversupply and reflux (not a good combo), they saved my sanity…as much as it was possible to be saved at that level of sleep deprivation. Wish I was there to feed y’all…that was my other life-saver…friend’s bringing food!
Don’t give up on swaddles! Those are my favorite burp clothes, nursing cover, sun shade, and scarf!
I originally scoffed at wipe warmers but now I love them with homemade wipes.
Bumbo too. Once your little guy likes to look around it’s great to prop them up when you are doing something!
I’m a grandmother now, but these rompers are the best! They have two way zippers so you can get access to the bottom without having to freeze out the top. Genius.
White noise machine. My kids liked the rain one. Try to start a set nap time and treat as non-negotiable. It’ll be easier when they get older.
That’s a great idea! What age do I start, though? Desi is 8 weeks.
1. Halo sleepsack
2. Open bottom nighties – literally a nightgown. It’s like a long onesie that’s just open on the bottom – even easier than the zippered ones!
3. Hakaa breast pump
4. Nose Frida
5. Boppy pillow
7. Burp cloths
8. Rock and play
9. Snuggle me organic swaddle – used mostly as the softest blanket and sometimes a swaddle.
10. Pacifier – we didn’t use one with rose, but wow – so glad to use one the second time around 😂 and yeah, those trendy pacifiers were a no go for us too. A big gag fest!
11. I’ll add one more – Motherlove nipple cream was a MUST the first time nursing. Saved me!
Isn’t it funny how immediately after your first night you realize how unnecessary most baby stuff is? Haha!
Sound machines are my jam. My kids sleep so well when it’s not silent.
Yes to tons of burp cloths!! I made a bunch from flannel double-layered and jusy serges around the edges. Same for cloth wipes (we cloth diaper, but even if we didn’t we’d still use cloth wipes, they are amazing!). Zippered sleepers that have two-way zippers or zip from top to bottom so that you don’t have to fully unzip for middle of the night changes! Old Navy and Bonds (Australia) are our favourites! An awesome nursing pillow…I love my L-shaped one (Posh n Plush). And finally my Beluga Baby bamboo wrap-style carrier…it’s so lightweight, easy to use, and soaked in sleepy-dust for soothing fussy babes…absolute must have!!
In reference to the white noise machine, our family swears by them. Check out wirecutter.com for their suggestions about which to buy and why. It’s a cool site for a ton of stuff. Also, check out castleware pajamas and sleep sacks! We adore them!
Those pacifiers from the hospital are great, but once they get a little older and you switch to something else, I def recommend the glow in the dark ones so you can find them in the bed when they fall out of babies mouth.
My newborn baby essential is….rest for the parents! Take a nap when he naps and lower your expectations for getting anything done right now. Your baby just needs you to be present. The dishes will be there and it’s ok. It all goes so fast. The most important thing is just to love them where they are. It’s more than ok to slow down. I wish you all the best. This is the best thing you will ever do. Enjoy it!
Slumberpod! My daughter is 11months. I WISH I had this earlier, has taken ALL anxiety about traveling away from home (even for one night) away. Also the ‘expecting and empowered’ post partum fitness guide. Even not buying it and just following along on their insta, SO much great free post partum info. Great ceasarian scar tips too. Looking beautiful Mama xx
It’s been a while now since I had my baby (he’s 10 now), but some products we loved were these;
1. Boogie wipes. Wipes with saline in them, awesome for when out and don’t want to use the suck thing but need to do SOMETHING
2. Stroller that can turn on a dime. This isn’t as critical for you quite yet, but when you go to stores, you need a stroller that can turn super easy for navigation.
3. Baby jumping things, either in the doorway or standalone. These are awesome to build up their legs, and good or bad…this is how my kid dealt with constipation.
4. Consignment shops or eBay. I know every mom wants their baby to have all new, but it gets expensive. Find a nice consignment shop near you and you will find all kinds of awesome baby clothes that were barely worn (if at all) and you don’t have to pay anywhere near the original price. eBay is another awesome option where you can get large lots of baby clothes (again many never worn) for a fantastic price.
Our youngest required upwards of 20 burp rags a day, so yes, those are top of the list. The Gerber diaper style ones were the most absorbent & helpful, but my favorites were hand made ones out of flannel by a family friend that we used for both kids. Along with that was extra sheets…my poor kiddo made a lot of messes. Totally agree with the zip up suits, no one wants to be messing with snaps at 3am when you can barely focus on what in front of you. One thing that was super helpful was an adjustable nightlight. We found these great mushroom shaped lights with remotes that had color & brightness settings. So you can see without getting anyone more awake than absolutely necessary. 😉
I always tell people, don’t bother with a high chair. Buy a booster instead. We had the Fisher Price Healthy Care booster and it was the best. I could strap it on any chair or use it on the floor. If we had company, I could throw it in the corner, wipe off the chair, and have another adult chair. It folds into a tiny cube that’s easy to travel with. It’s not a huge ugly eyesore. When the kid gets bigger, we just used it without a tray right at the table. And it’s like $20. I got rid of almost all my other baby gear but I keep this for when friends with small children come over!
Our most used/favorite items: many already on your list but also an over-the-door jumper! We started using it once our girl had good head control and it has been SO helpful to give hands-free time where she’s completely happy and you can quilt or do dishes or whatever! We have used it more than any other baby product! We have an apartment so from one doorway she can see almost everywhere and that works great. Any type product that you can put your baby in where they’re active and stimulated will be super helpful for all your quilting. Your baby is so handsome and you look amazing!
The Happy Song by Imogen Heap. Hands down the most useful baby purchase. It’s pure magic. Fussy baby immediately stops fussing.
Great article, We’re expecting our first grandchild in July and this is helpful. I have an old pattern for those little zippered sleepers that I got when my 37 year old son (soon to be father) was born and they have always been my go-to baby gift. I’ll make a set up in various sizes. They’re not quite as upscale as yours, but they are so cute. I can’t wait to make some in today’s gorgeous fabric options. Are you sure that sleeping nest is called a Dock-a-tot? Looks like it’s a Dock-a-dog.
Congratulations! And yes, Scrappy would agree with you 😉
love that you all want to do “babying” just right. Essentials: sleep baby on tummy from day one and they will get strong, get out burps and gas. So there you go – you’ve eliminated all the “props” to wrap baby up, pacify, wipe up burps – you will no longer need these. Baby will sleep soundly and be happy when awake = happy mommy : ) Also – start feeding tiny spoonfuls fo rice cereal at 2-4 weeks – along with breast feeding. Baby will be so happy and so will mommy! I’m a mom of 5 and now gramma of 18!