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The Best Cheat Sheet For Things You NEED For a Newborn
You’ve probably seen all of the fancy baby equipment, beautiful designer baby clothes, and a ton of other baby items you need and want to put on your baby registry for when you little one is born.
That’s all fine and dandy if your friends and relatives (and yourself) are made of money and can afford those things. But, let’s drift back to reality, where the majority of new moms, and their friends and family, can’t afford all the luxury baby items out there.
Now, you’re probably wondering:
What do I need for a newborn baby?
If you’re still in your first trimester of pregnancy, check out these posts:
What You Actually Need for a Baby
See, newborns don’t need all that much!
The most important thing you can give them is your love!
But, they will need a few material items.
They’ll need something to be in when driving home from the hospital, or when you need to go out with them (if you choose a home birth).
They’ll need something to wear.
Something to be bathed in.
Some type of diapers, and a few other things.
I’ve actually needed to figure this out for myself recently, with baby number three due in a few months, and not having any baby stuff for babies under a year; due to us moving cross-country when my second child was a year old, and we only brought with us what we absolutely needed. You can read more about that move, and moving, here.
The 10 most essential things a newborn baby needs
1. Baby Clothes and Pj’s
Baby clothes and Pj’s should be pretty obvious.
Though, if you’re a stay at home mom who won’t be going out much, and your baby is due in the beginning of summer, like mine is; let’s face it, your baby is probably going to be in just their diaper most the time, or just a onsie. So, you can get away with not purchasing a lot of baby clothes.
If you’re having a baby shower, there’s a good chance the people attending will be buying baby clothes anyways, because it’s such a fun thing to pick out!
If you’re low on funds, you can always see if you can get hand me downs, or go to a clothing closet/ thrift store.
When my husband and I had our first child, we had so many hand me downs, we barely needed to buy any clothes what-so-ever!
And, don’t turn down places that sell gently used childrens clothes.
Where we used to live on the East Coast, there was a cute little kids thrift shop called ‘Once Upon a Child’, run the same way as ‘Plato’s Closet’ was run. Most of the items weren’t even worn before being sold there (especially the baby shoes).
So, YES, you need baby clothes and PJ’s, but you don’t need to go all out and buy the best of the best, or even a ton of baby clothes for the first couple of months. Though, you’ll want to make sure you have at least 10-12 outfits, whether day clothes or Pj’s, just in case of diaper blow outs and spit up….which brings me to the next item(s) you’ll need.
2. Burp Clothes, Receiving Blankets, and/or Bibs
Babies spit up…a lot!
There’s not really a way to avoid it; they’re just learning how to eat (or rather, drink), not everything is going to stay down. It doesn’t matter if you breastfeed or bottle feed; it’s inevitable.
These can be hand me downs, too, if you know people with little ones who have passed this stage.
Personally, I may still have some of these and not even know it; my girls love using baby stuff from when they were babies for their dolls. So, I’ll have to take a look through their toys before buying more. Actually, I know my 6 year old just found about 4 or 5 bibs for me to wash and put away for the new baby.
I know, I know. You probably don’t want your baby to get addicted to using a pacifier and using it til they’re 4. But, in reality, that doesn’t usually happen!
Both of my girls had pacifiers, they had to be this brand or they wouldn’t take them. And, neither of my girls used their pacifier past a year old.
This will save your sanity when you’re the most sleep deprived and know that your baby isn’t hungry.
It’ll help soothe them and help them sleep longer.
With my first, I thought the same thing; that we wouldn’t need a pacifier for her, so we didn’t get one…til after the first couple of nights home from the hospital, and then it took us buying a few different brands before we found one she liked.
So, don’t make yourself suffer while you’re already deprived of sleep, pick up one of these now, or add it to your next Amazon order!
4. Something for the Baby to Sleep in
Some new moms dream up and want to create the perfect nursery for their newborn, you know, something Pinterest worthy! And, there’s nothing wrong with that. If you have the money, creativity, space, and ability(or help) to do so, go right ahead!
But, creating the ‘perfect’ nursery for our child isn’t always possible, or even realistic. Don’t feel bad if you don’t have the money to buy a fancy crib with the changing table and drawers on the side, or the fancy crib bedding you saw at the store and fell in love with.
*Hint – babies shouldn’t be sleeping with loose blankets, pretty bedding, or stuffed animals, anyways; so why spend the money on it!?
If you are dead set against co-sleeping with your infant, then a crib and mattress might be a great investment. These could certainly be hand me downs, too. Just make sure any crib you decide to use for your infant meets crib safety standards, many old ones may not. So, don’t assume you can simply ask your parents if they still have your old crib
If you are planning on co-sleeping with your infant, you will at least want a bassinet, or a pack-n-play with a bassinet feature. This way you won’t have to worry about rolling over on a brand new baby, and you can slowly get used to co-sleeping for their first three months.
(This is the one we’ll most likely go with, it’s quite affordable and has a little area underneath to store things I’ll need for the baby in the middle of the night; aka, diapers, wipes, extra clothes, nursing pads, etc.)
Bassinets are relatively cheap, and if you get a pack-n-play with a bassinet feature, then you’ll get even more use out of it!
Personally, my husband and I co-sleep with our babies, and it’s worked just fine for us! The only issue we’re currently having is getting our youngest to sleep in her bed all night; instead of crawling into bed to cuddle us in the middle of the night!
5. Bath time Items
All babies need baths, but what they don’t need is the super cute spa deluxe bathtubs that you see at stores.
A simple baby bathtub will do, and that’s all we’ve ever used. (This is the one I had with my first daughter and loved it!)
Of course, you’ll need special baby soap (and probably some baby lotion) and some new wash clothes, too. You could use wash clothes you already have, but for the price, you might as well buy new. There’s no need to buy new towels specifically for your baby, though.
A note on baby soap- make sure it’s fragrance free and contains no alcohol in it. Alcohol will dry out your babies skin (and yours), and is usually found paired with fragrances in soaps. This is the baby soap I used for my girls, my three year old still uses this soap since she gets eczema in the winter. (We also use this on her eczema right after baths to help it go away.)
6. Diapers and Wipes
And, you’ll need A LOT of them, especially in the beginning. If my memory is serving me right, you should expect to go through at least 8-12 diapers a DAY!
No judgement here on the type you use.
If you’re using disposable wipes, and not clothes, to wipe your baby, make sure you don’t get scented wipes. Sure, they smell nice, but think of your baby’s bottom, scented things on baby bottoms don’t feel all that good.
You may also need some type of diaper rash cream for your baby, or you may luck out and not need any. We used Angel Baby Bottom Balm for our first two, it comes in a tiny jar, but lasts a while. It has very similar ingredients to what we use for our 3 year olds eczema, it even smells the same, so we’ll try that out for our next baby (plus it’s much cheaper).
7. Carseat (and/or stroller)
If you own a car and use it; you need a carseat for your baby, plain and simple.
In fact, if you deliver your baby at a hospital, they probably won’t even let you leave the hospital without the baby in a carseat.
This you can get as a hand me down, if you know the person it’s coming from and know for a fact it’s never been in an accident, but I personally wouldn’t. The safety standards for carseats change, just as they do for some other baby items. I’m not even sure if we would be able to use the infant carseat we had for our first daughter, for our next baby, seeing as how it’ll be almost 7 years old.
The type of carseat you choose is absolutely up to you! And, there are plenty to choose from. You can get an infant carseat, or a convertible carseat, or even a travel system.
If you plan on going for a lot of walks, or to the mall, with your baby then a travel system, with the infant carseat and stroller, would be your best bet.
But, if you don’t plan on being outside your home very often, or walking a lot outside your home, then you could get away with a convertible carseat that you’re child will be able to use for at least a few years.
Again, this is up to you; at the very least, you’ll need an infant carseat when your baby is born.
8. Baby Hygiene Items
Babies don’t need a lot of hygiene items, and some they do need have already been mentioned above.
But, you’ll also want to make sure you have at least a nose suction thing and baby nail clippers, even if you don’t get anything else. These are must haves! You’ll be using the nail clippers for years, anyways; I even use them for myself (I have really small hands).
9. Baby Feeding Items
What you need when it comes to feeding your baby for the first couple months will depend on if you breastfeed or bottle feed. And, if you choose to, and are able to, breastfeed, but need to go back to work after a maternity leave, that will change which items you need, as well!
If you breastfeed and are a stay at home mom, then there really aren’t that many things that you need, but there are certainly some awesome items that will make your life a ton easier!
You will need:
(**Also, don’t forget you will need other pads, too! I highly recommend these too , or something similar, just like what they give you to use at the hospital to help ease pain after childbirth.)
You may want:
- A boppy (will save your back from a ton of pain, or from having to use pillows to support you and your baby)
- Nursing bras (and/or shirts) (I honestly just use Genie Bras, their stretchy enough to nurse in and super comfy!)
- Nipple cream (I never needed this, but other new moms do, or you could just use coconut oil)
If you’re a breastfeeding mom who will be going back to work, you’ll also need:
- A breastpump
- Bottles (I stored the milk I pumped in bottles and had a whole freezer full of pumped milk before my maternity leave was over- be sure not to fill to the top)
You may want:
I’ve never personally formula fed my kids, but I would assume you need:
If you need to go back to work after having your baby, and you’re having a baby shower, you may want to add a breast pump to your baby shower registry. Sometimes friends and family will pitch in together and get an expensive item for you. This is the breast pump I used, it’s not super expensive (under $100, and it’s a double electric breast pump!), and works really well! (I pumped milk for my second daughter for a full year with that breast pump.)
10. A safe place for baby to be when not sleeping or being held
As adorable as your little bundle of joy is you’re not going to be able to hold them every second of the day that they’re awake. It’s just not feasible.
You need to eat, possibly care for other kids, go to the bathroom, and more!
If you decided on a pack-n-play with the bassinet feature in it that comes out, then you’re all set! This is what I had with my first daughter and it was awesome!
But, other options you could choose from don’t have to be expensive (they certainly could be, but they don’t have to be).
You could get something as simple as a little bouncy seat, or a simple baby swing (you may need to find one of these at a used baby item store if you want a cheap one, they keep getting more and more expensive).
Babies Don’t Need All That Much
Babies don’t really need all that much when just born.
- Something to wear
- Something to catch their spit up
- Something to soothe them
- Something to sleep in
- Something to bathe in
- Diapers and wipes
- Something to ride in in the car
- A few hygiene items
- A way to eat
- A place to be when not sleeping or being held
- and most of all, they need your love!!
If you have a bit more money, or friends and family with money, then you can have quite a bit of fun looking at and picking out items for your baby!!
If your budget is super tight, don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to get what you need for you baby for cheap, sometimes even for free.
Accept hand me downs and shop at thrift stores.
There’s no reason to feel weird about shopping smart, and not spending a fortune on items your little one will use for maybe a year and then will outgrow and never remember, anyways!
What you choose to get for your new baby will be up to you. And, I know there may be a few ‘extras’ on the list above; that complete minimalists, or frugalistas, would not have included on their list of needed baby items. But, this list was created based on need and experience!
Some items we need for the sake of caring for a new baby; some we need to keep our sanity while caring for a newborn while sleep deprived!
If you’re expecting and having a baby shower, make sure you create a baby shower registry and add the items above to it.
Leave a comment with any other sanity saving items (or tips) you have used with your newborn! We can use all the help we can get as new moms!