As I neared the 40-week mark of my pregnancy, I was in full nesting mode and my anxious mind kept wondering “what do I REALLY need for the first month with a newborn?”
The baby industry and perfectly curated Pinterest boards make you think you need it all, including a perfectly decorated nursery, but at the end of the day, there are only a few essential items you’ll use over and over again in the beginning.
I wanted to put together a list of all the baby items we couldn’t live without in the first weeks with a newborn to help other parents that might be a little nervous as the due date approaches.
Quick note, if you haven’t started your registry, I loved using babylist to create one as you can add things to your registry from various websites and stores across the internet, not just one specific store.
Here is what you really need for the first few weeks with a newborn baby.
We LOVE our Uppababy Vista and couldn’t have survived the first few months of newborn life without it. It is extremely functional with a sleek design.
There is a bassinet insert included, which can be used as the bassinet babe sleeps in at night. The bassinet insert is so lovely for walks in those early days as baby can nap while mom and dad got some fresh air. Charlie still loves the bassinet at over 3 months old.
The Uppababy Vista is a must if you plan on having multiple children within a few years, as you can attach the bassinet and toddler insert at the same time.
This car seat is incredibly well made and is compatible with the Uppababy Vista. You can transfer babe from the car straight into the Uppababy Vista for short walks or errands. The Mesa car seat has a great safety rating and comes with a newborn insert that you remove as they get older. You will need a car seat when you leave the hospital, so this is definitely the most important when it comes to what you need for a newborn in the first month. It will be the first thing you use to take babe home!
Moses basket and stand
My girlfriends bought me a Moses basket for my baby shower. I was so excited for all the cute photo ops but could never have imagined how functional and handy it would become! The Moses basket is the perfect place to set baby down when you want to make a coffee, do some laundry or take a few moments to yourself in your various living spaces. It’s also a great spot for naps in the first few weeks with a newborn.
If you’re on the fence about adding one to your registry, I would highly recommend it. It’s so light and easy to transport. We have often popped it in the trunk of our car to take with us on outings. You can certainly live without it, but it made our lives so much easier and still does 3 months later.
You can buy a stand to place it in here which comes in handy and you can put the oh-so-popular snuggle me organic inside.
We didn’t have the mamaroo for the first month until our friends let us borrow theirs. How we survived the first few weeks without it I have no idea. This is absolutely worth the price, especially in those gnarley witching hour moments. When nothing seems to soothe her, we place Charlie in the mamaroo and she calms right down and even falls sound asleep. It’s also handy when you need to get some housework down or cook dinner, as you can just pop babe in the mamaroo and you’re good to go. A real MVP for tired, multitasking parents.
See Mamaroo Swing
When I was pregnant, I daydreamed about all the cute newborn outfits I would dress our babe in. However, in those early days, you’re in survival mode and the fancy outfits fall by the wayside as days blur together. Charlie LIVED in these gerber onesies. They are so easy to put on, and with all the blowouts, spit-ups, and healing umbilical cord in the early days, it’s great to just have a bunch of these on hand.
These are so soft, and most importantly they have zippers! Never been so thankful for the invention of the zipper in those midnight moments. I bought about 5 of these and we rotated between these and the Gerber onesies for months.
This Ikea dresser seems to be the universal change table on Pinterest and Instagram, and for good reason. It is the perfect height to change diapers and has three deep drawers for lots of storage. Place all your diaper changing needs in the top drawer (diapers, wet wipes, dry wipes, diaper rash cream, burp cloths, change table liners, spit-up cloths, socks, and a few onesies) then all the baby clothes in the bottom two drawers. I keep all the clothing she fits into now in the middle drawer and clothing she will grow into in the bottom drawer.
If you have a larger space, consider the 8-drawer dresser. This dresser is easy to customize too, so you can purchase some fun knobs for the drawers to match your nursery decor.
Also, these dividers are a must to keep everything organized!
This peanut changer is amazing. It is SO accident-proof. Easily wipe off stains and surprise pee accidents mid diaper change (who knew this happened so often?!) I got the vanilla color and was worried it might stain easily, but it looks brand new three months later. Can’t say enough about this changer!!
I love this diaper pail because it holds a ton of diapers and it manages to hide the dirty diaper smell quite well. We set up our change table in our bedroom in the first few months for easy-access diaper changes (a parenting tip we got from our mom and dad friends) so we were thankful the pail masked the scent.
Have a bunch of newborn swaddler diapers on hand, and a few packages of the size 1 diapers for when they grow out of the newborn ones. We tried hello bello, pampers and huggies and huggies were our fav for limited blowouts and sizing. Buy some diaper rash cream with a high zinc content too just in case.
We had this handed down to us and it is definitely nice to have but not a need to have. Great for those midnight diaper changes when the added warmth is a nice touch.
You will get a ton of swaddle blankets as gifts, so don’t go too crazy on these! I remember thinking we had way too many but turns out they are one of the most versatile items you can have. Swaddle for naps, use for spit up, burp cloth, makeshift diaper change station, shade for car seat, etc etc. My favorites are the stretchy ones from Copper Pearl and the muslin ones for Aden and Anais.
Another witching hour savior for when babe gets fussy. Around happy hour, Charlie would always be super fussy. I’d pop her in the wrap and she’d fuss for a few minutes and then fall fast asleep. Definitely suggest one of these wraps along with the Omni 360 Ergobaby Carrier. I was given the beluga baby wrap but the Solly wrap is also very popular!
This carrier is a 10/10. So well made and feels super secure. Great for walks or running errands when you don’t want to bring out the stroller (something you’ll realize when you have a stroller, how inaccessible the world can be). Handsfree life = you can hold a much-needed cup of coffee and babe can see the world!
The Lovevery playmat is designed by child development experts and sustainably made using organic cotton and baby-safe plastics. This award-winning playmat can be used for a full year of play with your little one and comes with high contrast images that babies love. The perfect playtime spot and somewhere you can leave babe while you get a few things done around the house. Charlie lays here without complaint while discovering new exciting things with every turn of her head. So happy with this purchase. Lovevry also has fun play kits specific for each age.
See Lovevery Playmat
The perfect bathtime duo. The foam insert makes those first few baths much easier and comfortable for babe.
You can never have too many of these! They are used for everything from spit up to accidents to bath time washing. Hot tip: If your baby develops diaper rash, a great way to remedy it is to ditch the wet wipes and just use washcloths with warm water for a while. Tried a bunch and the bamboo ones are my fav. So soft.
These come in handy when you remember to put them on your shoulder before nursing! Great to offer guests as well that come to hold your baby just in case.
We went back and forth on whether to buy the snoo, and ultimately decided against it. We bought the halo bassinest and it has been perfect for us. I love that it can float over your bed so you can safely “co-sleep” with babe nearby for those midnight feeds. Love that the sides are mesh as well so you can easily check on baby.
See Halo Bassinest
I researched the heck out of monitors, and this consistently came up on the top 10 lists across the internet. There is a reason there are over 40,000 ratings on amazon for this monitor. Love that it doesn’t have wifi, and that you can control the camera from various parts of the house. We didn’t want a monitor that we could control from our phone just because we wanted to keep that separate and not have to be on our phones all the time to see how she was doing.
I prefer this sound machine versus the ones that just play synthetic white noise.
This is great to throw into the stroller for outings. Baby will have nice white noise to drown out distractions and lull them to sleep. In the early days, this really helped calm Charlie down and kept her asleep while out and about.
I was a little skeptical of the Hatch rest due to the hefty price tag for this nightlight/sound machine, but it has been one of my favorite purchases.
The nightlight has various colour settings, including red which has been proven to minimize sleep disruption. You can adjust the brightness and save your favorite settings.
The best part? You can also control it through your phone. There have been many nights when I will be nursing Charlie and she will fall asleep on me, and I can’t reach the nightlight. I just grab my phone, open the app and turn it off without disturbing her. You can also adjust how bright or how loud the sound is, or choose to have no sound at all. As kids get older, it can also be programmed to slowly wake them up with soothing sounds.
I’d recommend having a few different types of swaddles on hand as you don’t know which one your baby will like. Charlie loves having her hands up (as many babies do) so the Love to Dream swaddles was perfect for her. The Ollie swaddle also has rave reviews.
Medela pumps have a great reputation. I use the electric freestyle pump and love it. Buy the bra so you can go handsfree!
I purchased one of these to up my freezer stash. It’s great for a quick pump when you are full in the morning.
We decided to introduce one bottle a day starting at 4 weeks. The calma medela bottles mimic breastfeeding as the baby has to work for the milk to come out in the same way they would while breastfeeding. It also avoids babe drinking too quickly or needing to be burped constantly. Huge fan of these!
The parent staple. Great for drying pump parts and bottles. Buy the white one if you’re worried about the bright green lawn ruining your kitchen aesthetic 😉
They say rectal thermometers are the only ones that will give you an accurate reading, but we just purchased the forehead one. Either way, you’ll want one as a first-time parent when you’re constantly worried if they are running a fever.
The thought of trimming a newborn’s nails is a little daunting. I’ve heard many horror stories and was so relieved when a fellow mom recommended this infant safe nail file as her holy grail newborn product. You literally can’t hurt them with this, and it works so well on their tiny nails.
I hope this roundup of things you need for a newborn baby in the first few weeks is helpful and puts your mind at ease. Feel free to reach out on Instagram with any questions about these.
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