We know we’ll need bottles, blankets, and a crib, but it can be easy to overlook other Newborn Baby Essentials. Being prepared with just a few extra items can make newborn life much easier and more enjoyable!
Since welcoming our Little One I have thought a lot about how we could have made those first few weeks/months a little easier. Having a newborn is something so wonderful, yet totally overwhelming (in a way I never understood until I experienced it). Being prepared makes a world of difference even when things are really tough.
Please note that this post contains affiliate links which allow me to earn a small commission when a purchase is made at no additional cost to you. Read more here.
Both my husband and I take a sort of “minimalist” approach to raising our LO and determining what we will buy for her. Hubby, because he is budget-minded and me because I don’t like clutter.
My list of Newborn Baby Essentials isn’t meant to be exhaustive, but rather just a few things we have found invaluable in months 0-3. I’m skipping recommendations that you might find on a standard checklist, like “crib, bottles, blankets”. Think of this list as mostly bonus “extras” that will make your life easier. And be sure to let me know in the comments what you couldn’t live without during months 0-3!
Newborn Baby Essentials Checklist for Months 0-3
Here we go, in no particular order!
Middle of the night feedings, diaper changes, safety checks (because who doesn’t check on baby 100 times per night those first few weeks?). This lamp has a really easy tap on/off switch with a dimmer. So handy. I still flip it on for our little’s AM needs and it’s a soft enough glow that my husband can keep sleeping (and I can fall asleep afterward). Like a nightlight, but better!
Snaps are fine, zippers are great, but no closures are the BEST when it comes to sleep deprived diaper changes. I think this is definitely one of those “preference” things where some will love ’em and some will hate ’em. For us though, these made the middle of the night so much easier!
I wanted one of those luxury diaper bags that are ubiquitous on Instagram, but even after I’d saved for one I just couldn’t do it. SO. Much. Money. This bag though? Literally about $25, has plenty of space, a great layout of pockets, and is cute but not girly. I also moved my purse contents to this diaper bag and I find things so much more easily! Game changer.
Along with your diaper bag you’ll want to pick up a travel changing mat. We liked this one. Simple and easy to clean.
In those first few months you need to soak in all the snuggles and sweet baby smells. Those precious moments got us through the harder ones (hello 1 AM and 2 AM…and 3 AM). So shampoo that dear little head and enjoy the unbeatable smell of a tiny newborn.
Ok, I’m going to be honest. I wanted this set because it was cute. Then our little one got cradle cap (as newborns do) and it became absolutely invaluable. So, cute AND useful. I’ve since discovered some other options on Amazon for cradle cap so it might be worth reading some reviews if you are struggling with this one too!
No, I’m not going to link to all my favorite snacks, but I highly recommend keeping a small basket of supplies (including lots of water!) anywhere you will be feeding baby. Some energy bars, crackers, trail mix, CHOCOLATE. You’ll be hungry.
Ok, this one is a little tough for me because our girl LOVES it. And it’s only recommended for supervised naps (AAP guidelines for safe sleep), so it’s kind of a total bummer to have this awesome piece of gear you aren’t okayed to use for night sleep. You have to make the call, is it better to just skip it altogether or at least embrace the opportunity for naps/supervised sleep to go super-well? Your call, but I will say the name says it all. If you need a cozy place for baby to be snuggled while you eat or just take a break in those first few months I suggest the Snuggle Me.
I don’t know why I didn’t swaddle our little one in the first few weeks (really, can anyone explain what they did those first couple weeks of baby life?), but once I did? Game-changer. Hello 4+ hour stretches of sleep and counting. I found that using swaddle blankets with elasticity to them (knit fabrics versus wovens) instead of the all-popular muslin variety worked a lot better for us. It was easier to get a tight wrap and avoid escapes. You could also buy swaddle sacks or something of that nature if you don’t want to mess with blankets, but I do love that these are multi-use even after the swaddling period is over.
10. Burp Cloths
…and plenty of ’em! Spit up, drool, etc. etc. etc. Babies aren’t known for their tidiness and though yours might be exceptional, I recommend having a whole slew of medium/large sized burp cloths on hand. You can make your own (tutorial here) or we like these muslin ones or these cloth diaper inserts from Gerber.
I love my Copper Pearl cover. I use it for a carseat cover and on the go for a nursing cover. Cute, convenient, and easy to use.
12. Diaper Changing Stations
So simple. Just grab a couple of baskets you have hanging around and fill each with a pack of wipes, some diapers, and diaper cream. Place a basket in each spot you change baby. Again, these travel mats work great to stash in each basket too.
13. Baby Wraps/Carriers
I am a huge fan of baby-wearing. Getting baby to sleep can be tricky, but not when they are tucked into a wrap close to mom or dad.
Knit Wrap (such as the Solly)
I LOVE my Solly Wrap (full selection here) and was able to use it right away with our little girl. Definitely practice before baby arrives and it’ll be a lot easier to wrap that tiny newborn! The Moby wrap is also a popular choice, though I have not used it myself.
Ring Sling (such as Wild Bird or Hope and Plum)
Though the ring sling can be used for newborns, I find it a lot more comfy now that our little one is older/has better head control. The great thing about the sling is that it is a really fast option for taking baby in and out.
As our daughter grows I expect that I’ll use a more structured carrier (such as an Ergo), but for now we are loving these options!
14. Help for Mama (and Dad too!)
Make sure you have some help lined up for those first few weeks. Whether it’s friends and family bringing meals or help with chores around the house, if anyone offers help, take it! By the same token, do not feel obligated to entertain visitors etc. Ask for what you need and enjoy some time off from the mundane tasks of life while you snuggle that tiny newborn.
And one more just for fun suggestion:
15. Baby Bling Bows
We didn’t know if we were having a boy or girl, so I had a couple of these sweet bows on hand just in case. Well, what do you know but we had a tiny little lady! I love buying these bows from Nordstrom or Amazon, because free shipping! They are pricey, but great quality and so sweet. If you’ve got a little girl on the way it’s a fun not-so-practical splurge.
How about you friend? I would love if you would suggest in the comments a few of the things that made your life easier as you adjusted to a new baby!
1. Elastic Closure Gowns // 2. Himalayan Salt Lamp // 3. Snuggle Me Organic // 4. Knit Swaddle Blanket // 5. Diaper Bag // 6. Knit Swaddle Blanket // 7. Burt’s Bees Shampoo // 8. Hairbrush Set // 9. Copper Pearl Multi-use Cover