These newborn essentials and baby necessities will help you prepare for baby, then enjoy those early days in peace.
I should know. I’ve done it 5 times and I’m alive to tell the story. After having had 5 babies on 3 separate continents, I know a thing or two about actual newborn essentials.
There is something so absolutely precious about having a newborn baby. It’s utterly exhausting and all consuming and yet one of the biggest privileges in the world.
And not just what your doctor tries to tell you.
But like what you really really need to survive the newborn phase with your wits in tact.
“Let me love you a little more before you’re not little anymore.”
First, we’ll talk about baby necessities, then we’ll talk about the other essentials… like feeding tips, calm down tips, and those early sleep tips.
Do Not Pass Go without collecting these $200 tips that will pay dividends for years.
After having raised all 5 of my babies (the first two Irish twins) from birth onwards, here’s what I believe to be actual baby necessities.
What's in this post...
Newborn essential gear
The truth is that you can be a minimalist and get by with about 5 baby things. Or you can take great joy in shopping and stockpiling all you need for your upcoming bundle.
You really only need a few things, but there are quite a few that are just plain old handy to have. Let’s jump into it.
Essential baby items for sleep
First, you’ll want to figure out whether you are going to room share with baby or not. Either way, there are a few handy things to have at your disposal.
- Bedside or co-sleepers (or a crib)
- Bassinets for when baby is sleeping in other rooms of the house
- Swaddle (this is our fave and zips from the bottom for easy diaper changes)
- Pacifier (which is a great tool to help baby calm themselves when they’re having witching hours)
- Infant seat
- Carrier or sling (lots of options here)
Tried-and-true *hands on* newborn settling strategies that even the most fussy (or wide-awake-sleep-refusing) newborns cannot resist!Learn More
Baby necessities for day to day life
Here are some things to have that’ll help baby throughout your normal days. Whether you are going on errands or hanging out at the house, these baby necessities will come in handy.
- Onesies and comfy outfits
- Burping cloths
- A baby nest (you can put these into cribs, on your own bed, at someone else’s house for naps, or even in a pack and play)
- A stroller
- Baby monitors (here are some pros and cons for ya on monitors)
- An organized diaper bag
- A lovely mat or blanket to use for tummy time
Tips For Feeding Newborn Babies
If you want to demand feed your infant, then you know what you need to know.
Feed any time you think baby wants to feed.
Use this simple chart to track feeds and make sure baby is eating (not snacking), your supply is up, and everyone is well.
Here’s why routines work with newborn babies:
- You meet baby’s needs in a systematic way before baby needs to cry to make his wishes known.
- Babies sleep better.
- They feed better at regular intervals as opposed to snacking.
- Mom has some predictability and peace in her days which leads to less stress, depression, and worry.
Use our checklist to use cluster feeding to your advantage without feeding every hour all day every day!
Newborn Baby Sleep Tips
You may feel out of your league now, but with a bit of encouragement and some sound sleep strategies, you can have a baby who is napping the day and sleeping the night away.
If you put baby down to nap after every feed, avoid excessive snacking, teach baby to sleep on their own, and don’t let baby get overtired then you are golden.
Below are my best (and most popular) posts on how to do these exact things.
Fast, simple, and free strategies to implement if baby can’t get to sleep, won’t *stay* asleep, or is unsettled in general.
How To Take Care Of Your Newborn Baby (And Your Mental Health) Well
It is the most joyous time of your life… having a newborn baby.
It can also be one of the most stressful. You are a tired, wired, hormone crazed shell of a woman you used to be. And you ain’t the only one!
You’re up at night feeding, spending all day very home-centered meeting the needs of your precious one 24/7 because newborn babies have 0 independent skills.
It is truly precious.
It can also be, for some women, one of the hardest seasons of life. Here’s how you take care of yourself while you’re taking care of baby.
Do you forget to sleep, bathe, eat, relax, etc.? NO MORE. This tracker will help you consistently live within your limits so you have more love to give to your family.
FAQs on newborn essentials
Anytime. You can buy as soon as your budget allows, particularly if you are going to buy gender neutral baby items. If you are going to find out your baby’s gender, you may want to wait until after 20 weeks to start buying.
Nope. If you only want a few essentials you can simply put the word out. Registries aren’t too hard, though, if you want quite a few things to get your nursery ready.
Diapers, a car seat, onesies, and some love and cuddles for your little one. You can grab the rest later, as you are able.