Ah, the sweet gift of creating a life. Morning sickness, sore boobs, and constipation for days. What a miraculous experience! No, but really, creating a life is a miracle. Women can do amazing things.
When I was pregnant, I was frantic about what I needed to buy, what could wait, and what I flat out just didn’t need. To save your sanity, I’m going to tell you 10 things newborns need, and 5 they don’t.
Things newborns need:
Small bottles, tall bottles, big bottles, all bottles. You don’t know what kind of bottles your baby is going to take to. Ask for bottle gift sets on your registry, or buy 1 single bottle of different brands until you know what your baby will like the best. After you’ve figured out what brand of bottle your baby likes, you can stock up on them. That’s what I did!
We made the mistake of only buying 2 different brands of bottles (these and these) & when my little one didn’t take to the first bottle, I went into a slight panic. Thankfully, she did end up taking to one of the bottles so we didn’t have to frantically search around for other brands after she was already here. Because of the pacifier she was given in the NICU, she liked these bottles the best.
2. Diapers and wipes.
Here’s another that you may have to try a couple different brands. There are tons of options out there, but every baby’s skin type is different. What worked for your first baby, may not work for your 2nd or 3rd. Or maybe it will!
We stocked up on Huggies because that was what my mom used with myself and my siblings. My sister’s baby was also using Huggies, so if they didn’t work for us, we could just give them to her. With that being said, we also had a few packs of Luvs and a few packs of Pampers, just in case.
Wipes are a different story. Some babies are more sensitive than others.
We used these wipes right off the bat and they worked fine. Other people have tried these wipes and they made their baby’s skin raw. It all depends on your baby. Buy different brands, use what the hospital sends home with you – you know your baby best.
This is a big (and obvious one). Your baby needs clothes. But what sizes, what colors, long or short sleeved?
It’s all up to you.
I knew I was going to be induced early because I had bile from my liver entering my blood stream. So we bought a variety of sizes: premie, newborn, and 0-3 month. I also knew I would be having my baby in November; Therefore, we bought mostly pants and long sleeves.
If you’re having a fall baby, or if you live somewhere that the weather is bi-polar (I’m talking to you, Michigan) then you might want to buy a variety of layers to dress and undress your baby accordingly.
The hospital will show you how to swaddle your baby with a receiving blanket. But if you’re anything like me, you’ll fail at it and your husband will be a pro.
We had some swaddles like these and all you have to do is put the baby in it, zip it up, and swaddle their arms. It was perfect for me because I could NEVER swaddle tight enough. Another reason I recommend proper swaddles, is because if you don’t swaddle properly then your baby could work themselves out of the blanket and they will be at risk of suffocation. Keep your baby safe!
P.S. If you buy these swaddles, you can gradually transition your baby from being swaddled as they grow out of the newborn stage – more on that later though!
5. Car seat (and stroller)
A car seat is a #1 priority. You can’t leave the hospital without one.
Here is the car seat we have & it’s a 4-in-1 grow with baby seat. So you can use it from newborn ALL the way up until they’re out of their booster seat. Imagine only having to buy ONE car seat for their entire life. How wonderful.
A stroller is another good idea, but not a necessity. Before we bought our grow-with-baby seat, we had a car seat that attached to a stroller for easy maneuvering and transporting. But guess what?! Baby grew out of it by the time she was 5 months old! We bought a car seat/stroller combo for $400 and only used it for FIVE months. It’s not worth it. I would recommend buying a larger car seat and a separate stroller.
My friend’s 2 kids have these car seats and she loves them as well!
6. Changing pad
Once you get home from the hospital, you will want a place to put your baby when you change them, at least for the first few months. It doesn’t matter whether you have a boy or girl, they will pee when you take their diaper off. And occasionally, they’ll poop all over the changing table too. You do NOT want that on your couch, carpet, or anywhere else really. & if you have pets, it’s especially a good idea to change them on a changing table. Carpets and furniture have pet hair and dander, which tends to irritate newborn baby skin.
7. Diaper trash can or pail
While we are on the subject of diapers, I can’t stress enough how helpful it was for us to have a separate can for diapers.
We didn’t have to put the diapers in our kitchen trash (near our food) and we could place the diaper can right next to the changing table for easy access. I would recommend the trashcan have a lid, to keep the smell contained. We have a Diaper Genie and it’s been a life saver. We only take diapers out about once a week and you can’t smell them AT ALL when it starts getting full.
8. Diaper cream
Sticking to the subject of changing diapers – diaper cream is another essential. The hospital recommended that we use plain Vaseline and honestly, it’s the best thing we’ve used. We’ve tried Desitin and Aquaphor and though they work, they don’t work nearly as well as Vaseline. Plus, Vaseline is cheap!
9. Rocker or swing
A rocker or swing is a great investment. They mimic the feeling and movements of the womb. It’s comforting for your baby so they sleep more soundly.
When a baby is born, they have a reflex (called Moro Reflex) that causes them to startle awake from a dead sleep. It wakes them up because they feel like they’re falling. A swing or rocker will help the baby feel surrounded (remember, they mimic the womb) and it will help them sleep better.
10. Soaps and lotions
You won’t need any baby soap until 7-10 days after your baby is born because they can’t have a bath until their umbilical cord falls off. But you can give them sponge baths and rub them down with lavender lotion.
Every night, before my baby could have baths, we would begin her night time routine by cleaning her up with baby wipes and rubbing her down with lavender lotion at any time.
More on the importance of a night time routine later!
Once the umbilical cord has fallen off, you are able to give your baby a bath. If you would like to do baths at night here and here are my favorite calming, lavender products. For morning baths, here and here are my favorite refreshing products.
I know I’m not the only one that thinks babies smell SO good!
Things Newborns Don’t Need:
1. Bath toys
Earlier I talked about how your baby can’t take a bath until 7-10 days old (or until the umbilical cord comes off). But even long after you’re able to give your newborn baths, they won’t play with bath toys. My baby didn’t play with toys until she was sitting unassisted. We bought her first bath toys when she was 2 months old and she didn’t touch them until she was almost 5 months old.
Bath toys aren’t a necessity right away. They can wait a few months.
When your baby is first born, you can’t give them any pain relievers (Tylenol, Motrin, etc.). Anything that you can give your baby when they are under a month old are most likely given to you by the doctor.
The only medicine I ever bought for my little one before she was 9 weeks, was Gripe Water. I can’t even tell you how many times Gripe Water saved the day! Our baby was so colicky and Gripe Water was the only thing that helped even the slightest.
The doctor provided Vitamin D and everything else baby needed (even nipple cream for me was given to us by the doc!).
Many people tell you that you need a bassinet. This isn’t true. Instead, buy a Pack ‘N Play.
This is similar to the one I have and comes with a detachable bassinet and changing table. It’s a 3-in-1 deal. The bassinet piece comes off when they grow out of it (around 2 months) and stores flat and easily!
We used my daughter’s pack & play until she was 5 months old and then we switched her to the crib (which has been amazing so far!) But, since we are in the military, we do a lot of traveling from Virginia to Michigan. So the Pack ‘N Play will also come in handy when we go anywhere. As she will fit in it until she is a couple years old.
4. Breast pump
I’m not saying you won’t need a breast pump. I’m saying you don’t need to buy one. Most insurance companies provide a breast pump. Get with your OB or doctor and ask them how you can get one. Originally, I had to pay out of pocket for my breast pump, but then I sent some paperwork into the insurance company and they reimbursed me. I’m sure your experience will be similar. So do your research and make sure you get the right pump for you!
This breast pump is the one I have and it allows you to pump directly into bottles so you can easily store them until the next feeding.
Let’s face it, no matter how cute those shoes are, they just aren’t going to stay on. It’s hard enough to keep socks on their tiny, fast moving feet. Just trust me on this one. My daughter is 10 months old and I just got her to keep shoes on.
Bonus! – Baby monitor
A baby monitor is only necessary once you put the baby in their own room. Since your baby will be with you every waking (and sleeping) moment of every day (or monitored at day care), you don’t need a baby monitor. Do your research, figure out which monitor is best for you and your family and then buy it when you’re ready to move your baby into his/her own room.
This is the baby monitor that we have and we love it! We paid like $75 more than what it costs now, though. *sad face*
Did I miss anything? What were some things you wish you would’ve had with your newborn? Some things you thought you needed but didn’t end up using right away? I’d love to hear it in the comments below! If you found this article helpful, please share it with your friends so it can be useful for them too!
Have a beautiful day!