Mama + Baby Life

What you really need for a Newborn (2017)


When I had my first baby Jo in Feb of 2015, I had no idea what I needed for a newborn. Friends and family gave their helpful advice, but I was still so overwhelmed, and I didn’t even know where to begin. I did lots of research, TONS! Google ended up being my best friend, but in the end, I over prepared and ended up buying things that I didn’t even use, not once!

There were plenty of things I bought that Jo didn’t really need until she was about 6 months also (like a crib, crib mattress, crib bedding, and high chair). These things your baby won’t need right away. I don’t want you first time mommies to make the same mistakes I did, so I put together a list of items I definitely would have on hand before baby is born.

This list may seem like a lot. But I kid you not, this is a minimal version of newborn necessities to have before baby is born!

Newborn items you and baby will need:

  • baby wash cloths: I wouldn’t use any wash cloths, make sure they are for babies because the material is a lot softer for baby’s fragile skin.
  • Circo lamb baby towel: I got this towel as a gift at my baby shower and Jo still uses it! I just love it and it’s super cute!
  • Baby bath: Loved this bath for newborns up to 6 months (then you have to upgrade to a bigger tub). This one comes in both blue and pink!
  • Purex baby detergent: I really love the Purex baby detergent, it’s VERY inexpensive and works just as well as any other brand. I would stock up on baby detergent and keep a bottle in the kitchen as well. Lots of times, I found myself hand washing bibs and onesies from blow outs, yuck!
  • Cool Mist Humidifier: This is a product we didn’t even know we needed until after Jo was born. She was born in the middle of winter, and we were cooped up in the house. She was having a hard time breathing and was always stuffed up. This helped tremendously, especially at night time.
  • Target baby Wipes: When Jo was first born, I was all about the name brand baby wipes, but honestly, they all work the same. I wish I would have just saved the money and went with a cheaper brand. Target brand wipes works just as well and is a lot cheaper.
  • Up and Up Target Diapers: Another item I wish I could have saved money on. I only bought the name brand diapers, but Target brand works just as fine.
  • Aveeno Baby wash + shampoo: I really like the Aveeno brand baby wash + baby shampoo combo. But any brand is fine as well.
  • Aveeno baby lotion: baby lotion for a newborn is super important! Keep that babies skin away from dryness.
  • Target diaper rash cream: I got this diaper rash cream as a baby shower gift and loved it! Jo barely struggled with diaper rashes, so I haven’t tried any other brand, but this one worked well for us.
  • Changing table: A well organized changing table is a must! With the diapers, products, and laundry, you’ll want something with extra storage. I liked this one from Amazon.
  • Summer infant changing pad: This Summer infant contour changing pad is amazing, I didn’t use a cover for it either for easy cleaning.
  • Diaper genie + Refills: I was told this is a must, so I bought it. But honestly, I am on the fence about this one. We also just had small garbage bags to use for disposing dirty diapers and threw it away at the end of the day, and that worked well for us as well. But whatever works for you, I would try it out, it’s inexpensive, especially if you want to eliminate the smell. 🙂
  • Newborn onesies 5 pk: Jo lived in these plain ole white onesies during the day. Her dressier baby clothes were only wore when going out, and we barely went out unless it was for a Dr’s appointment lol. I would probably buy a couple packs of these to have in Newborn and 0-3 size. Blow outs and messes will happen so it’s always good to have extra.
  • Sleepers with zippers!: I cannot stress how amazing these were at night time. I can’t imaging changing diapers in the middle of the night half asleep while the baby is wearing button sleepers, I probably would have lost my mind! The zipper ones are the way to go!
  • Hats: Newborns love to be snuggly warm 🙂
  • Boba wrap baby carrier: Another item I didn’t buy until after Jo was born but realized I needed, a baby carrier! Jo had her moments where she only wanted to be held, and I had things to do. So carrying her in a baby carrier while cleaning and getting things done around the house was beneficial. Just don’t baby wear while cooking! Yikes!
  • Stroller + car seat system: When looking for a baby stroller and carseat system, make sure it also has the carseat base for the car.
  • Carseat cover: I really like this poncho from Milk Maid Goods on Etsy! It doubles as a carseat cover and a nursing cover! Amazing!
  • Britax carseat mirror: I got this car seat mirror as a baby shower gift and loved it.
  • warm heavier blanket for outings: Just incase it’s chilly out.
  • Diaper bag: Any diaper bag is fine, I bought this one from Mat & Nat and enjoyed it.
  • Changing pad Clutch: I would say this is a must! So many times I had to change Jo’s diaper on the go and had too many items in one hand and a baby on the other. A clutch is the way to go to stay organized!
  • Bibs: Definitely have lots of bibs on hand. Jo still uses her bibs after 2 years.
  • Burp cloths: You will be burping baby a lot, so these are a must.
  • Swaddle blankets: These were a life saver during Jo’s naps and bed time. Whenever she had her moments of discomfort and fussiness, and good tight swaddle just did the trick! She loved being swaddled up until she was about 6 months old.
  • Auto Rock and play: Jo lived in her Fisher Price Rock and Play during her first 6 months of life. I carried it to the bathroom when I needed to shower, carried it to the kitchen when I needed to cook, then at bed time I had it right next to me as we slept. I highly recommend it.
  • Rocking chair or glider: I loved my glider, I basically lived in it during the day. You’ll definitely need a comfy zone for feeding a baby 8 times a day and pumping.
  • Nursing pillow: a regular pillow worked for me, but I know lots of mommies who loved the Boppy pillow.
  • Play mat for tummy time: Jo didn’t really use her play mat until she was about 1 month old, but it is a must for tummy time. Find one with a tummy time pillow and overhead toys for baby.
  • Nose frida: I didn’t know this existed until we needed something to suction Jo’s nose after she suffered her first cold. This is definitely a must have!
  • Saline nose drops: We probably used these on Jo daily, it works well to flush out any boogies.
  • Gripe water: We loved using Little Remedies Gripe Water whenever Jo was suffering from hiccups or colic. This product works very well.
  • Infant tylenol: As much as you are a helicopter mom with your child, babies will still get colds or fevers. This was good to have on hand.
  • Vitamin D drops: Daily dose of vitamin D is mandatory for that first year of life.
  • Thermometer: Always good to have, I like the digital ones, great for the whole family!
  • Nail clippers + emery boards: Newborns nails can get sharp. I noticed I barely used the emery boards, but the nail clippers I used weekly. I like this set from Babies r us.
  • Baby mittens: A good item to have for that first month of life, even though Jo still found ways to scratch herself during her baths lol.
  • Baby brush + comb: You probably won’t need this right away if your baby is born with barely any hair. But Jo was born with a FULL head of hair (now I know why I suffered the worst heartburn during that pregnancy lol).
  • Pacifiers: Start out with a couple of pacifiers first to see if baby will like it or not, sometimes the hospital will give you some. Jo hated hers so she never used them (waste of money on us), but you never know, your baby may love them and it may be your life saver item.
  • Pacifier clips: If your baby enjoys the pacifiers, pacifier clips will be helpful to prevent them from falling to the ground and getting dirty.

Breastfeeding must haves:

  • Nursing cover: This is the same cover as the link above for the carseat cover. These Milk Maid Goods covers are so cute and versatile.
  • Nipple cream: I enjoyed the Earth Mama Angel Baby natural nipple cream and used it daily, I went through about 3 containers that first year of breastfeeding.
  • Nursing bra: Don’t skimp on a good nursing bra! I used some high end ones and low end cheap ones, but the cheaper ones were a waste. These ones from Target were amazing.

Pumping must haves:

  • Medela breast pump + pumping parts: As a first time mom, I wanted to save money and try to exclusively breastfeed, but I found that my breast were so engorge after that first week of giving birth that I needed to pump the milk out since Jo wasn’t eating that much anyways. So we ended up buying a electric breast pump about a week after I gave birth and I wish I would have bought it sooner. A manual breast pump will sort of work as well but not everyday, you’ll end up developing carpal tunnel lol. I even had a big stash of milk growing in the freezer, it was amazing!
  • Lansinoh storage bags: I LOVE these Lansinoh milk storage bags, they are a good size and easy to use. Don’t waste your time or money on those tiny Medela storage bags (Sorry Medela).
  • Dr Brown’s bottles: Probably the best bottles I have used, I love the filtration system, such a game changer. Jo’s feedings were a breeze and I noticed Jo wasn’t as gassy after her feedings too. The only thing about these bottles though they are a pain to clean, but I would use them again and again.
  • Munchkin bottle sponge: I have no complaints about the Munchkin bottle cleaner, I repurchased it twice already. I just used regular dish soap as well.
  • Munchkin bottle warmer: Compact and easy to travel with as well. Used it daily to warm up bottles and baby food too..
  • Munchkin drying rack: Definitely useful, used it daily.

Formula feeding must haves:

Some extras that helped me:

  • I kept a journal by my bed to keep track of feeding times, but there are apps for that as well. I like the Baby Tracker App.
  • Also, find a good playlist to have as background noise (I liked Baby Einsteins on Pandora Radio)
  • Finally, a good working camera with lots of storage. I took about 1,000 photos of Jo by the time she was one month old.

Our second baby girl will be here in a few weeks (March 2017), and this was a good refresher of what I actually need to have on hand. I hope this post was helpful for you as it was for me!

Of course having all of these things will help you tremendously, but one of the most important things I’ve learned is to take care of mommy too! (I’ve learned the hard way). I put my baby and husband before myself and ended up super exhausted, stressed out, and ended up in the ER sick with mastitis. So please mommies, please take care of yourselves and get as much rest with baby too.

My next blog post will be my must haves for that difficult postpartum recovery us mommies tend to not really talk about after having a baby. But lets face it; it takes months, even up to a year, to feel like your normal self again after giving birth 🙂

Thanks for reading! Is there any newborn must haves that you realized you needed that is not on the list? Let me know! xoxo


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