Everybody will tell you something different, but new moms need to know, what do you REALLY need for a newborn, and what do you not need? I asked the same question, and three babies later, wasted a lot of money in the process!
These are true baby essentials that you really need – and what you can skip!
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Newborn Baby Essentials
Look for the stars ⭐️ for my top 10 baby registry items you’ll fall in love with!
Baby Feeding Essentials
Besides breastmilk itself and my favorite coconut oil, this was my absolute favorite nipple cream. Because it was organic and Lanolin free, I knew it was safe if my tiny babe accidentally ate some of it.
Haaka is a really cool product because it catches your let down on the side baby isn’t down and reduces waste of that liquid gold!
I have tried several breast pumps, and loved this one because of its different settings to choose from that made power pumping easier and was more comfortable for me! Some insurance companies will offer one for free or at a discount. The Spectra 2 was my favorite pump by far!
It took me until my third baby to learn that there are different flange sizes, a lactation consultant can help you find your perfect fit, and that you can have two different sizes! Who knew?!
These were my flanges of choice that fit my breast pump (I tried about three brands) I shared about above. They come in size 19mm, 21mm, 24mm, 27mm, and 30mm and are compatible with the following pumps: Spectra 1, Spectra 2, and Spectra 9 Plus.
Pro tip: Lube your breast with a little organic coconut oil to ease discomfort during pumping. I trust anything from the Garden of Life brand! Myself and my loved ones have always had fabulous experiences with them.
These are another awesome product that took me until my third baby to figure out. I don’t know who let me take the first two home 😂
These bottles are the single best hack I have found to avoid nipple confusion and save mom’s sanity in those early weeks. If you are touched out and just need one feeding where your boobs aren’t being hung off, if Dad giving the baby one bottle would help you but you don’t want the baby to become confused and start refusing your breast, these bottles are your answer.
They were the only bottle Lexi would take and then nurse on me with no problem.
I love boppies for newborns! They’re perfect to rest baby on. I always had about three: one for my bedroom, one for the couch, and one at my mom’s.
As your baby grows, nipple confusion should be less of a problem. With Lexi, these bottles were our favorite. I loved them because they resembled breastfeeding the most closely and made switching to bottles easier for her.
I have loved Dr. Brown’s bottles for all of my babies because of the vents that push the air to the top of the bottles so they swallow less (which means less burping, gas, and spitting up). I always did paced bottle feedings.
But, every baby is different! Sophia had acid reflux and she did well with Dr. Brown’s tall, thin bottles. Lexi couldn’t take these because of her high palate and gag spot. Don’t feel roped into one brand! See what works for your baby. What you like best, might not be what he/she likes best. 😊
Let’s talk breast shields for a minute here. Breast shields have been called “controversial”. I understand why. The why is because they can act as a band-aid, because breastfeeding is not supposed to hurt. It’s supposed to feel like a tug and no more. If you use them too long, it can confuse the baby, get him or her used to it, and make it hard or impossible to learn to latch correctly.
But, if used temporarily, they can be a great tool and help you breastfeed longer.
I urge you, if you’re struggling, visit a lactation consultant or 10. Lactation consultants pick their specialties and they’re all something different. I have seen several before I found one that really helped me and had the knowledge I needed. Using a breast shield helped me which is why I still recommend them, with a word of caution.
But it has to be a quick stent. If your latch is painful, there is a reason why.
Are you wondering why I didn’t list a pumping bra? Well, I’ll tell you about one of my favorite life hacks. Take an old sports bra, cut holes in it, boom. Free pumping bra!
Bonus products I loved:
A travel pillow?! Yes. A travel pillow. Because sitting up in the wee hours of the night is mean on your burning neck and back.
Our favorites were the Jersey Stretchy Covers. This is another product that has been called controversial because they aren’t produced by the car seat manufacturers, which technically is a no no because they aren’t fireproof.
I am a tad of a carseat Nazi. I won’t even deny it at parties. But to me, the benefits of keeping the cold air off my little baby was worth it… In a car. surrounded by things that are not fireproof. If you feel safer, you could always keep them in the diaper bag, and only use them outside to get the best of both worlds!
I loved that they could double as a nursing cover, which is why I included them here!
I loved my reusable breast pads because they were cute, soft, and saved me money compared to disposable! These are so high quality, they have lasted me through three babies!
Dr. Brown’s bottles.
A formula you trust.
I bet in total, we have probably tried somewhere in the neighborhood of 8-10 formula brands. We have been around the formula block, and we always come back to Gerber Goodstart GentlePro.
This formula was recommended to us by our pediatrician when Sophia stopped gaining weight when she was breastfed. I have come to so respect our pediatrician and value her opinion because she has said hard things to me in the moment that was hard for me to receive (or that I didn’t receive) that I realized later in hindsight was in fact right. This was one of them.
Our pediatrician recommends Gerber Goodstart because she loves the probiotics in it. It mixes easily, goes down smoothly, and is gentle on baby’s tummies. If your baby struggles with acid reflux, gas, or spitting up, this might help them like it did mine! The awesome probiotics have benefits that will still be benefitting them into adulthood.
I didn’t like the additives, oils, and some of the things in the biggest name brands, and every organic formula we tried constipated Sophia. We have bounced around, and always came back to this formula. It became our go to for Ella and Lexi and always worked well for them, too.
Lexi Lou loves pouches better than a cat loves cream! Admittedly, normally I buy the disposable ones for convenience. But I have used and loved these refillable pouches because I can feel good about what is going into them!
The worst part about these is they can be tricky to clean, but they can be worth it. I love that they are dishwasher safe and BPA free!
This is our favorite high chair! They’re extra nice if you have limited space so you don’t have a huge high chair hanging out to smash toes on.
Baby Travel Essentials
Ahh, car seats! My, this one can be stressful. I’ll save you the safety schpeel and leave this awesome car seat guide here to answer any questions you have. When I had my first baby, I stumbled on a post about car seat safety on Facebook… Which I didn’t even realize was a thing. Yeah. I was that new.
Then in hindsight, after I thought I knew correct car seat safety, I have still looked back on pictures and noticed things I didn’t see then. I consider myself pretty knowledgeable on this one, and I still do refreshers to make sure I’m not missing anything. I’d rather be too safe!
I can’t mention car seats in good conscience without making sure you have good information! Moving on.
Through three kids, we have used some car seats, too. Our favorite brand has always been Graco. They are high quality, well made, fairly lightweight, comfortable, and we’re confident our precious cargo is safe riding in them.
This was the car seat Lexi rode in. It was lightweight and lasted her until she was over a year old! Graco has always and will always be my favorite brand of car seat.
Man, if I could only go back and tell myself a few things about babies! This is yet another product that took me three children to figure out.
This stroller was and remains probably one of my top three favorite baby products that exist. When I was postpartum and overweight with Sophia and Ella, I remember breaking a sweat trying to haul the clunky, awkward car seat all the way into the store, the house, or the doctor’s office with a diaper bag on my shoulder and a 15-month-old in tow. Mercy.
This stroller can literally be collapsed in 2 seconds with one hand like WA-BAM. It makes traveling with a baby much more quick and seamless. I love that it has three wheels because it was extremely maneuverable in tight spaces. It’s one of my go to gifts for new mamas and one of the few things I actually consider a baby essential!
I have used probably 5 different diaper bags, and I loved the HaloVa diaper backpack! It didn’t rip at the seams like other bags I’ve used. It’s light weight, has tons of pockets, and putting it on your back makes it much easier with multiple kids. It won’t be falling down, whacking your kids or your stuff while you’re doing the Mom shuffle to exit whenever you’re at!
Whether or not you really need a pack and play will depend on your unique situation, but even with me being a stay at home mom, ours has served us well! Leaving it in the living room gives a nice place to lay the baby when he or she is not in her crib.
This pack and play has lasted us through three babies! I loved the insert to raise them up when they were little. It’s also nice to have a portable bed. We have used ours at my mom’s, for vacations, and camping trips. You never know what might come up!
Baby Clothes Must Haves
⭐️ White long & short sleeve onesies.
I have always loved white onesies because they’re so versatile and gender neutral! I’ve noticed lots of clothes sets only come with a jacket or vest and pants (which is dumb but whatever) so chances are, you’ll need some anyway.
Pro tip: only get sleepers with zippers. Until you have had a squirmy, hungry baby in the dark at 2:00am and been off by one snap multiple times, you might not understand why I’m so adamant here. Just trust me.
I loved these things when my girlies were tiny because cutting their nails scared me.
I have come to love all white socks and scratch mittens because you won’t be forever losing one! They all match! Hey hey hey.
Essentials for Mom After Birth
Whether you need actual nursing tank tops is a total matter of preference. I loved just plain black tank tops. You can wear them around the house for easy access, or under any shirt so you’re not showing so much skin when you pull your shirt up to nurse in public!
Nursing bras are a must! These were my favorite nursing bras. They are easy enough to click with one hand and comfortable enough to sleep in when I was engorged and weaning!
Motherhood Maternity makes awesome, high quality leggings! These were comfortable, stretchy, thick enough that they didn’t tear and easy to dress up or down.
These yoga pants are still my favorites! Also comfortable and high quality, and they suck in some squish in the middle. Win win win!
Be sure to make your own postpartum care kit to accelerate your healing. Mine helped me heal from my births fully in 5 1/2 weeks!
Favorite Baby Bathing Products
This has been our go to baby wash for all of our kids. It’s gentle, lathers well, and leaves them smelling baby fresh!
This flower is perfect for bathing little ones in the kitchen sink! It’s super soft, helps hold baby up before he or she can sit up, and is easy to wring out to drip dry over the shower curtain.
This baby bathtub is perfect for the first year or so! After she was too big to bathe in the kitchen sink, we switched to this tub in the bathtub and have loved it.
You will want some soft towels and washcloths for your tiny one’s skin! These towels are soft and have a hood to make wrapping them up after bath time easier. I love Carter’s washcloths because they’re larger and thicker than others without sacrificing softness.
Bonus product: Tubby Todd Bath Co” target=”_blank” aria-label=”free shipping (opens in a new tab)” rel=”noreferrer noopener” class=”rank-math-link”>free shipping on orders over $50!
Baby Safety Products
These are our favorite for just about anything that opens! Low cabinents, drawers, end table drawers, dresser drawers, closets doors, even toilets. Literally, anywhere your little one can open!
We love this baby gate for stairs because it opens the full width of the walkway, compared to other gates that might have several inches jutting out either way.
When Sophia was little, we started with an audio monitor. I hated it because it didn’t help me when I couldn’t actually hear her (like when she was sleeping). I ended up running into her room, panicked, more than once because I heard a “weird sound”. Kids are full of weird sounds, but they’re all garbled over a crackly audio monitor.
We love and trust this baby monitor. Some of our favorite features are the large color display, the ability to mount the camera on the wall, and switching between several cameras. The girls love the nightlight, and we have used the talk back feature often, too! I recommend this baby monitor to all my friends who are having babies.
Outlet covers are an absolute must if you have a little one under four for obvious reasons. They only take 2 minutes to install in the whole house and are well worth the few dollars, because you can’t be everywhere all the time.
Baby Sleep Needs
High quality, waterproof mattress covers like these will save your mattresses and maximize the life of them! Trust me. Babies pee out their diapers more than once in their diapering career.
By using great mattress covers, we have been able to use the same crib mattress with all three of our girls. They really work!
Okay yeah, you need sheets. I wouldn’t even mention this painfully obvious thing if it weren’t for these sheets. They are literally the softest baby crib sheets I have ever felt in my life. These cute girly ones or blue polka dots will fit your portable crib or pack and play.
These are my favorite for standard cribs and toddlers beds.
I could say so much about this crib, but I’ll try to condense.
We got this crib when I was pregnant with our first baby. It has lasted us through three babies, and has lots of life left in it. We love how sturdy it is. My husband has literally laid in it with our babies!
It has an adjustment for the mattress height and was perfect in our small house when our family was growing. It has shelf storage, drawer storage, a changing table, and a convertible kit can be bought to change it into a toddler bed. We have never converted it, but the option is there if you’d want to! All around, it’s a beautiful crib (made of solid pine!) and has been well worth the investment for our growing family.
I have co-slept with my girls for 6 months, 8 months, and 10 months, and I always recommend safe co-sleeping to new moms. Babies have biological needs for closeness, touch, and proximity. Plus, it gives you added peace of mind that your baby is safe when he / she is close to you. 😊
The safest way to co-sleep is by not sharing a sleep surface. They have tons of cute co-sleepers and bassinettes out there, but you don’t really need one unless you want one.
A pack and play will do the job just fine, or you can do what we did: Joey got a small portable crib, and took one of the sides off, then made it level with our bed by adding a few small pieces of wood to the legs.
I love Muslin blankets for summer babies especially, but have loved them for my winter and spring babies, too! Here’s why: they’re crazy versatile. While they are more of an investment than other baby blankets, they have always been worth it to me. They’re super soft, large, and come in a variety of cute colors and patterns.
I used mine for tummy time, nursing covers, covering surfaces in public for diaper changes, car seat covers, and basically whatever else we needed. They also have these amazing, large, soft Muslin burp cloths. I always preferred thinner burp cloths to the thick ones.
Some of my favorite baby blankets have come from Target, as homemade gifts, and even from Hobby Lobby! Consider this: newborns are coming out of life in your 98 degree body.
Even if it feels warm enough to us, it’s easy for a new baby to be chilly. But you can overdress them, too, and they can’t sweat for a few months to cool off naturally. A nurse once told me the best gauge of baby body temperature is their core, where they have the most blood flow, rather than hands and feet where they get the least.
BPA free teethers.
I trust teethers that are BPA, pthalate, and PCV free.
Teething necklaces are definitely one of those things you hear about less. These are a natural remedy for teething babies. Amber is a natural substance that, when activated by the heat in the skin, acts as a natural pain reliever.
My favorite part about this necklace is that the double knots on the sides of the beads were an added comfort measures to me that they were safe. Just make sure baby doesn’t sleep in them because that can be a choking hazard.
Favorite Baby Health Products
I used to think these were gross. But some snazzy Swedish technology ensures you in will not get sick if your snot suck your sick kid’s nose. I have done it many times and never gotten sick.
This thing is far superior to the nasal syringes in my opinion.
One of these is a must have because it’s obvious babies can’t do the hold under their tongue for a minute thing.
These are my diaper creams:
While these should be used in moderation, there have been times where gas drops have really helped my babies!
Gripe water is a healthier alternative that can soothe gassy tummies.
These diapers have always been my favorite for little ones because they are so soft. I also loved the wetness indicators for the little dribbles so I didn’t miss them.
I love these baby wipes for little ones because of the short list of ingredients!
*Pro tip: Cloth diapering have diaper removal services! You can also make your own baby wipes if you want something more natural. Here is an awesome, easy baby wipes recipe.
Baby Wearing Must Haves
Baby wearing is a total must do. It’s awesome for bonding and it makes life much easier with multiple kids when you have to do more than you might have with the first one.
This video makes learning to tie the wrap super easy.
This was and remains my favorite baby carrier! It’s multi-functional, comfortable, and the buckles make it so easy to wear. It’s easy to adjust to make switching between mom and dad easy. I’ve bought it for gifts for all my pregnant friends several times!
Lexi has loved her giraffey!
Sophia and Ella used Mam passies, but Lexi had a gag spot which this brand hit, so she wasn’t able to use them. She had to have these passies by Nuk because they had a straight top. I also ended up liking them for the loop to hook on passy clips. No more dropping the last passy in public!
I don’t know why it took us so long to use pacifier clips. Absolute life savers!
Something sweet, soft, and cuddly!
What You Don’t Need
Lots of bouncers / swings. These are cute, but realistically, most of them just wind up taking up space. We have had a few we liked. Our favorite was actually a hand-me-down swing we were given! I’m not saying don’t get any, just that you probably don’t need all of them.
Exersaucers and jumperoos. We have never used exersaucers or jumperoos because our pediatrician told us something we didn’t know when we were new parents: these products and similar ones are bad for the development of their hips and backs because of the way they suspend them. For that reason, we never used them and always opted instead for putting them in a blanket on the floor! It paid off, too, because it helped them roll and crawl more quickly. 😊
Diaper genies. In my opinion, they’re a waste of money. We just put our diapers directly outside in the garbage can (or bagged them up and threw them in that general direction until we got there).
Organic laundry soap. I used organic baby laundry detergent when Sophia was little. After that, I used All free and clear because it’s more gentle. It’s not as expensive and can be used for the whole family, so you don’t feel like you’re wasting the “baby” detergent!
Insane amounts of toys. They won’t need many toys, really, until they start rolling. So if you have a baby and no toys, it’s seriously fine! You still have a minute.
Bottle warmers / makers. I have heard of people who really enjoyed these. But what about when you’re out somewhere and don’t have it with you? What if your baby won’t take your bottle because it’s not a certain temperature? I always slowly lowered the temperature of the bottle when we were weaning from breastfeeding until eventually, they would take a bottle at room temperature, which was much more convenient for us!
Wipe warmers. I have the same argument here as I do for bottle warmers. This is another cute item that is easy to pass on.