When it comes to being a new parent, a lot of things are overwhelming. I remember googling every little thing about how to take care of a newborn. Anything from “how to swaddle a baby”, to “what diaper pail won’t make our room stink.” It’s a lot to take on!
So that’s why I compiled this list of 21 of the best newborn essentials that I felt were the most useful and for us as new parents. Some of these items were things I had no idea about before we had our daughter so they might surprise you. I also provide a short list of items we ended up not using at the end of this post. But please don’t stress if you don’t have all of the things on this list, there are so many options out there for newborn essentials and everyone’s experience and baby is different. I just wanted to share our experience to hopefully provide helpful insight for anyone interested.
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Newborn Essentials List
- Hatch Sound Machine: a good sound machine can be your best friend! I am so glad we splurged and got the Hatch. It connects to your phone so it’s very easy to adjust the sound, volume, color and brightness without having to sneak back into the baby's room. It also has a lot of options for sounds like waves, static noise, and even some nursery rhymes.
- Baby Monitor: There are a lot of baby monitors out there but we opted for a simple monitor that didn’t connect to wifi. So far this monitor has worked great for us and is just what we needed. No added bells and whistles but it’s clear enough without losing connection if the wifi drops.
- Crib: The crib we decided on is a convertible one so she can use this bed when she gets bigger to convert into a toddler bed.
- Ubbi Diaper Trash Can: Diaper trash cans can get so stinky and I feel like this trash can really seals in the smell keeping the nursery smelling fresh. I also like that it has a lock at the top of the can so when my toddler tries to open it up, I can lock it easily.
- SwaddleMe Swaddles: We found that these swaddles were so easy to use and our baby loved them! They were easy to adjust the snugness to the baby and they have multiple sizes so we used them as she got bigger too.
- Diaper Rash Cream: It’s a good idea to have some cream on hand because no matter how often you change your baby’s diaper, there is a chance that it will become irritated and a good cream can be a much needed relief for baby.
- Stroller / Carseat: We loved that this stroller set came with the infant carseat and stroller combo. We had Piper in the spring so it was amazing to be able to have her in the carseat and attach it to the stroller for walks outside. I also love how easy this stroller folds up and it has held up very nicely into toddlerhood.
- Mirror for car: I love this mirror. It is large and gives me peace of mind when driving and makes it so easy for me to check on her. We’ve used it in multiple vehicles and it fit well in all of them so it truly is universal.
- MAM Pacifiers: There are cuter pacifiers out there but these were the only ones my baby liked. She did not take to any other pacifiers I got so I recommend buying one of a few pacifiers to see which style your baby likes, if any.
- MAM Bottles: My daughter only liked this type of bottle too. We rarely fed her with a bottle but when we did it was one of these MAM bottles. I also love the style of the Comotomo Bottles but she preferred the MAM.
- Baby Carrier: Even before I was pregnant, I was excited about baby carriers and couldn’t wait to be able to use one with my newborn one day. I chose two types of carriers, the Solly Baby wrap and the Ergobaby Embrace. I was happy with both of them. The wrap was great for those early newborn stage and the buckle one was great from newborn to 25 lbs.
- Pack 'N play: They are so convenient to bring on trips and fold up smaller than you'd think. We also set ours up in the living room for a while when my daughter was a newborn for a convenient place to put her without having her on the floor.
- NoseFrida: To this day, my husband has still been too scared to try this but I think it’s amazing. I don’t enjoy using the classic bulb because it often doesn’t get anything and is hard to clean.
- Burp Cloths: One of the best and inexpensive purchases I made for our newborn. Newborns (or at least ours) usually spit up a lot. It surprised me the amount of burp cloths we would go through. I quickly realized using cloth diaper inserts was the easiest and most absorbent choice.
- Boppy Pillow: I loved this pillow for breastfeeding because it was easy to position baby and allowed me to maintain good posture. The removable cover is easy to take off and wash also.
- Play Gym Mat: I think about this play mat fondly. When my daughter was a tiny baby she loved playing on this mat and looking at all the colors and toys. As she got older she would reach and play with the hanging toys. I felt like it kept her entertained for her first few months very well. I also would lay this black and white board book out for her while she was on the play mat. She loved the high contrast images.
- Zip-Up Sleepers: Honestly, we didn’t even bother with button-up for newborn sleepers. We found that zip-up sleepers were way easier to use when changing the baby many times a day and night.
- Angelcare Baby Bath: This baby bath is designed very well in my opinion. The shape fit my baby comfortably from newborn until she was able to sit up in the tub. It does take up a bit of space so if you’re looking for a collapsible option, this one probably isn’t for you but we loved it.
- Carseat Cover: This carseat cover has many uses. We used this cover for her carseat, breastfeeding cover, and shopping cart cover. It’s small enough to fit in my diaper bag and we still use it for a shopping cart cover when we go to the store.
- Baby wipes and diapers: I think this one goes without saying but you're going to need a lot of diapers and wipes for a newborn baby. We chose to use Huggies diapers and wipes for the most part.
- Diaper Bag Backpack: and with all those diapers and wipes, you need something to store them in when going somewhere. This backpack was fairly cheap but it stores a ton and is still in perfect condition after using it for almost two years. I also love that it's a backpack!
Things I Thought I'd Use But Didn't:
Breast Pads: I thought I was going to need so many breast pads that I went out and bought the bulk pack AND a pair of reusable ones in preparation for baby. I didn’t even use one the entire time I was breastfeeding! Zero. Now that doesn’t mean you won’t need them but I’d recommend just keeping the free sample packs that you'll probably get if you make a baby registry. That way you have a pair if you need them but you don’t waste your money or space for something you might not need.
Bottle Warmer: I thought a bottle warmer would be so convenient but it turns out I really didn't need it. We used ours probably three times. We realized it was just as easy to warm frozen milk in warm water or just leave it out on the counter for a few minutes.
WabbaNub Pacifiers: I thought these pacifiers were so cute when I was pregnant. Turns out my baby did not like them at all. She definitely preferred the MAM pacifiers and wouldn’t take any others. I like the idea of these but just keep in mind every baby is different and yours might not enjoy these. So my advice would be to buy a few types of pacifiers to find which type your baby likes. Then buy more of the type they actually like.