There are so many things that people think that they need when they have a new baby. It is an entirely new world, and you want to do your best to be prepared. People around you will have so much advice about the things that you need, but there are many things that you can skip. It can be completely overwhelming to try to get everything on all the baby registry lists, and many times, later on, you may realize that you didn’t need all that stuff after all. So what’s a mom to do?
Do not worry. We’ve got you covered! We’ve put together a list of the top 10 things you’ll need for the first few weeks, at least, with baby. Everything else is nice to have items, but you can always explore them later.
Top 10 baby essentials
The first thing that you absolutely need is a car seat. You will not be able to take your baby home without one. Of course, you will want your baby to be as safe and comfortable as possible. There are many choices when it comes to selecting a car seat, so it’s important to make sure the features align with your needs.
You will want an easy way to take your baby (and yourself) out and about! A stroller is so helpful because not only does it safely carry your baby without hurting your neck and back, but it can also carry your diaper bag, water bottle, and more! There are many different options when it comes to selecting a stroller. See which ones best fit your lifestyle and your budget.
It almost goes without saying that you will need diapers and wipes. Make sure to get diapers in both newborn and size 1. Your baby will probably not be in newborn sizing for too long. Another tip is to make sure that you take all of the diapers provided if you give birth in a hospital.
If you plan on exclusively breastfeeding, you don’t need too much. A nursing pillow can be helpful but not required, as well as a good nursing bra, nursing pads, and nipple cream. If you are going to exclusively pump or formula feed, you will need bottles, storage containers or bags, a breast pump, a bottle warmer, a bottle brush, and sanitization products. Slow flow bottles are best for newborns, so it’s a good idea to have those on hand.
My little ones pretty much lived in onesies. Pants and fancy outfits sat collecting dust, honestly. Newborns are bundled up in a blanket anyway, so you don’t need to dress them that warmly most of the time unless it’s winter. Onesies are great for squeezing their adorable baby legs too, which we can’t help doing as moms!
I loved swaddle blankets. They were multifunctional and so helpful. When my babies were newborns, these were great for swaddling and keeping them cozy. When they were older, I also used them as blankets or a playmat option for the floor. While I liked the typical swaddling blankets, many choices have velcro or other fasteners. As long as I wrapped the baby by the instructions, I had no problem using ones without velcro, but then you can use them in multiple capacities.
For a whole list of our favorite swaddles, click here!
If you want to take your baby anywhere, you need a bag to carry all your stuff in. Diaper bags are superbly designed and have pockets for the diapers, wipes, and extra outfits you need when going out. Some of them even come with changing pads to make that easier on you. You can forgo a purse and get everything into a well-designed diaper bag, so you don’t have to worry about carrying more stuff.
Even though I co-slept with both of my kids, somewhere to put them down safely was essential when I needed to deal with another kid or just run to the bathroom. A bassinet, crib, or pack ‘n’ play is great to have just to have somewhere to keep the baby safe when you need to put him down or for somewhere to sleep.
With how many times you need to change them, all babies get diaper rashes. Having diaper rash cream stashed somewhere for when you need it is super helpful. Believe me, you will feel awful if your baby gets a rash and you can’t soothe it right away. Having this ready to go when you need it can save a lot of hassle.
You will need a safe place to wash your baby. I’m a fan of plastic baby bathtubs because they are easy to use and will keep your baby safe. These are easy to place in the kitchen sink, and your baby will love splashing the water all over the counters.
There is no deficit of advice regarding what you need to have for a newborn. Don’t let it freak you out. Many things are supplemental and nice to have, but you need to be sure to have the items above. As you get settled into motherhood, you may want additional things, and you will also learn which ones you and your baby really need.
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