In this post, I have provided a list of 10 essential items or must-haves for newborns.
Whether we like to think about it or not, we are all born completely reliant on others for our basic survival skills and necessities.
Though babies are wonderful creations, they can keep us up at night, have to be taken care of, fed, cleaned, and given the right amount of attention in order for them to grow up to be thriving, confident, capable human beings.
To help baby (and parents of course!) through those tough first few weeks and months there are certain items that are invaluable and that some parents can’t live without.
10 Essential Items for a New Baby
Yes, there are hundreds of items we can purchase for our new baby, and different people will have different items that are more and less important to them.
These are the 10 items that we have found to be essential. Some are obvious, others less so.
- Diaper Bag
- Gifts for existing kids
- Water Bottle for yourself
- A Newborn Suitable Car Seat
- A Baby Carrier
- A Bassinet or Moses Basket
- Breastfeeding Pillow
- Baby Bottles and a Breast Pump
Of course, there are other obvious things, like diapers, clothes and blankets (depending on the climate/season). And these will are best bought in advance. You don’t want to have to do a mission to the store just to get these items, when you have a 1 or 2 day old baby to look after.
This one is less obvious and we didn’t think about it initially for our first child, until the nurse visiting us told us that our baby’s diaper rash was from continuing to use wipes from the hospital as opposed to cloths.
Washcloths are nicer for baby, not to mention a lot cheaper in the long run than using wipes.
Fortunately, my brother had given us washcloths at the baby shower (he has kids – he knew!)
But not only for wiping the bum, washcloths are also great to have on hand for washing their face, wiping their hands.
But do get colored cloths – so that you can assign a certain color for each job. You don’t want the same cloth used for wiping the bum also used on the face! We use blue cloths for bum, red cloths for face, yellow cloths for hands and white cloths for wiping down the high chair.
A diaper bag is essential, especially for those moms/dads that like to be on the move. But a diaper bag isn’t just essential for a change mat, diapers and wipes. You can also bring a spare set of clothes, pacifiers and anything else you might need for baby (or yourself).
And once baby is bigger you can also carry snacks in it.
But definitely do keep a change mat in there. The amount of times we’ve had to change baby on the floor due to a lack of change tables in restrooms in cafes, restaurants etc.
Gifts for Existing Kids
This third item is only a necessity if you have other children. They may not like the idea that there is now another small human in the household who will take away your attention.
If you get your existing child or children a gift and tell them that it comes from the baby, it will help to let their guards down and know that there’s nothing to worry about. They will especially like the new-born if the gift is something that they really wanted.
This might seem silly but if you’re like us and like to move around a lot, it’s essential to have water on the go. You’ll need a water bottle and some fruit for yourself as a mother. If you’re breastfeeding, this will take a lot of fluids out of your body. The water bottle will keep you hydrated
Newborn Suitable Car Seat
The fifth item you will need before bringing your new-born baby home is a car seat. Even if you don’t own a car, you will need one for taxis, friends/family driving you around etc.
There are car seats for every stage of a child’s development. For now, you will need a new-born car seat that will support their head and will keep them safe from any harsh movements since they are especially vulnerable at this young age. You can get all-in—one car seats that can be adjusted as babies get bigger. We have a newborn seat for our youngest (who is still just 2 months at time of writing) and an all-in-one for our older son (3 years).
Now, we wouldn’t be running a site about baby carriers, if we didn’t think that they were an essential item!
But seriously, we have found carriers to be lifesavers.
Being able to still get stuff done, with hands free, whilst keeping baby calm and bonding with them is priceless.
We’ve also found, especially with our second, that it’s the only reliable place that he will sleep every time – and it’s the best way to calm him down when he’s upset. He also has silent reflux and our pediatrician recommended to keep him upright as much as possible. Much easier when you have a carrier.
Whilst, baby-wearing is highly recommended, there are certainly times when you need to transport your baby in a stroller. Although we are avid baby wearers, sometimes it’s easier to have them in the stroller
For example, if they fall asleep in the car and you can easily transfer them onto the stroller, if you have an integrative stroller/car seat setup.
Which leads me to my other point – get an integrative stroller/car seat setup! It’s so easy and convenient.
Bassinet or Moses Basket
Whilst a crib is great for when baby gets bigger, we’ve found that they are too big for newborns and prefer to have them sleeping in a bassinet. They also take up less room – so you can save some space before you bring in the crib.
We never had a breastfeeding pillow for our first – but we got one for our second and looking back, we wish we’d gotten one straight away with out first.
Yes, you can use any old pillow, but it’s a lot easier to setup with a breastfeeding pillow – especially if you are breastfeeding for the first time.
And once your baby has sufficient neck/head control you can also use a breastfeeding pillow as a seat for your baby.
Baby bottles and a breast pump
If you want to continue to breast feed your new baby – but want a break from them every now and then (which is only human!), then pumping is a lifesaver. You can pump milk and store it in the fridge (or even freeze it for later).
Then you can give it to your partner for night feeds, so you can some extra shuteye or give it to a baby sitter, so you can go out for dinner. I don’t think you need any more convincing as to why a breast pump is a good idea! ?
Of course, you’ll need bottles too – and nipples. Try to get good nipples that best imitate real nipples so that delivery of the milk is as similar as possible. Some babies don’t take to bottles that well, so you want to make it as easy as possible for them.