Once I became pregnant, I quickly realized how much stuff a baby required.
It seemed that everywhere I turned there was something or someone telling me that this thing was an absolute necessity for baby, or this thing, or that thing.
Not only did I become confused and overwhelmed, but so did my husband at the thought of how much we would need to spend on all of it.
Both of us were left to question: what really is ACTUALLY necessary for the survival of our new baby?
After a lot of research and advice from mothers who have really been through it, here is a list of your ride-or-die newborn baby stuff.
1. Car seat and stroller
In case you weren’t aware, they will not let you leave the hospital with your newborn baby unless you have a car seat already to go in your car. So obviously they top the list as something absolutely essential.
I put car seat and stroller in the same category because there happen to exist strollers with built in car seats that you can take out and put back in, which is genius in my opinion.
But a stroller is also very necessary, because although you may not leave your house a couple of weeks after the baby is born, you will have to get out eventually, and that little guy or gal is coming right along with you.
2. Swaddle blankets or receiving blankets
When I went to buy these I actually found out that these are also essential to taking your baby home from the hospital.
These blankets come in a lot of varieties from plain swaddle blankets to snap or Velcro ones.
Pick a couple different kinds to have in and out of the hospital and to see which ones your baby prefer, but you don’t need to go overboard either. Many parents are tempted to get lots and lots, but it isn’t really necessary.
3. Bassinet, cradle, or co-sleeper
Guess what? Your baby will most likely not sleep in their crib for the first few months.
This will be because they will need to feed multiple times during the day or night, and it will be easier just to have them right next to you to do it.
That is why a bassinet, cradle, or co-sleeper will become you and your baby’s new best friend, and make middle of the night feedings a lot more convenient.
4. Newborn carrier and infant carrier
These are both different and necessary items for baby.
For newborn babies many moms prefer baby wraps, which allow the baby to be both close to you and calm, and keep you hands free.
The infant carrier will be great for once your baby gets a little bigger, and for when its not as convenient to have them in the car seat or stroller.
5. Bouncer or baby seat
Although your baby will be so cute you will be tempted to never put them down, eventually you will have to.
A bouncer or a baby seat is a great place to put your baby while you are cooking, taking a shower, cleaning, or whatever activity that requires both arms.
It will be a peaceful place for them to sleep, and help you get a little rest as well.
6. Boppy, or nursing pillow
Even if don’t plan on breastfeeding a boppy is essential for helping to prop your baby up and help them with tummy time. And if you do plan on breastfeeding the boppy is great for holding up your baby.
If you don’t decide on the poppy per se, a nursing pillow is a must for nursing moms.
7. Basic burp cloths and bibs
In case you didn’t know: babies throw up. A lot. So it is best to have both burp cloths and bibs handy so you won’t be completely covered in baby vomit at all times.
8. Baby bottles
Even the moms who decide to breast-feed will need bottles.
Most babies outgrow the 4oz bottles pretty quickly so it’s best to go straight to the 8oz bottles.
9. Breast pump and accessories
Every list that I have seen, and every mom that I have talked to, say these are a must.
When looking at them they seem pretty pricey, but good news is most health insurance covers most of the cost.
Also getting nipple cream, breast pads, and nursing bras (at least one or two) are a must.
10. Lots and LOTS of diapers and wipes
Did you know the average newborn needs to have their diaper changed 6 to 10 times a day? That’s a lot of diapers!
This is why it’s essential to start stocking up now, so you can be prepared when the baby comes.
Along with all these diapers there needs to be wipes, which you also will use several in a day. So stock up on packs of these as well.
11. Changing pad
Changing pads are great for baby because it keeps them comfortable while you change them and keeps poop or pee off of other surfaces. And with the amount of diapers they go through, you know it will be used a lot throughout the day and night.
It is not necessary to get a changing table, just place the pad on top of a dresser or even the floor, or your bed will work.
12. Baby monitor
A baby monitor is a must-have for new babies, but even a pretty basic one will do the trick. If you want to splurge a little, video monitors are great, especially for the nervous new mom.
13. Baby bathtub
This is a must when it comes to newborns, and luckily there are some very nice and relatively inexpensive options out there.
Many also have the convenience of a newborn sling that can be removed once your baby gets bigger.
14. Pack-n-play or travel crib
Most moms I talked to swear by these and some have even said they used this instead of a crib the first couple of months.
Not only are these very convenient for the woman on the go, there are even some that come with changing pads and tables which can help you to save your money.
15. Baby clothes
Last, but certainly not least, baby clothes are an obvious must.
Refrain from buying too many newborn sized clothes because most babies grow out of them pretty quickly or never fit in them at all. It’s best to stick to 0 to 3 months, or a variety of sizes.
Obviously there is not a problem with getting more than these bare essentials, but with this list at least you have a place to start.