Check out the list of newborn needs below. I’ve broken them up into absolutely essential, nice to have, and I even have a category for stuff that is just plain unnecessary.
This post is by our guest blogger dad, Chris, who here writes about all the stuff necessary and not-so-necessary for a newborn baby.
Here’s what Chris thinks about newborn needs:
When my wife and I found out we were pregnant, our minds began to race with thoughts about all the newborn needs we would have to get.
Of course, we also thought that nine months would be plenty of time to get prepared. Throw in the fact that my job took us to Uganda for a month and you can easily see how time could slip away.
In the end, we got everything ready, but it took a concerted effort on both our parts.
Dads can play a key role in helping to plan and purchase those essential newborn needs necessary to welcome home your new baby.
Check out the list of newborn needs below. I’ve broken them up into absolutely essential, nice to have, and I even have a category for stuff that is just plain unnecessary (at least in the early weeks, we can even call it stuff to save for later).
Have fun planning and shopping! And if you need tips and help on how to choose baby gear, such as the stroller, crib, infant car seat, and so on, read our tips here.
Here you go:
- Absolutely essential newborn needs
- Nice to have newborn needs
- Newborn stuff to get later
- Shopping newborn stuff online
Absolutely essential newborn needs
Diapers and Diaper Supplies
- Cloth or disposable – You can read more about why to choose cloth diapers here.
- Baby wipes – These are like gold, believe me. If possible, choose organic wipes.
- Diaper rash cream – If you choose to use cloth diapers, you will need to get a cream that does not have zinc in it. Cloth diapers lose their absorbency from zinc. Believe it or not, we used lard. The stuff works amazingly well. Any rash our baby got went away almost immediately after applying the lard. If you choose to use regular diapers, a cream with zink oxide is very efficient for dealing with diaper rash.
If you think diapers seem to be a steep cost, consider registering for “Amazon family”. It will give you 20% off on diapers and discounts on lots of other baby-related items – also extra discounts on your baby registry. (After 1 month, you’ll need to become a so-called prime member to keep all these benefits, but with 30 days to test you’ll know if it is worth it for you before paying anything.)
Infant Car Seat
If you want to take your baby home, you’ll definitely have to put an infant car seat on your list of newborn needs. Most hospitals will even have a certified car seat inspector check your car seat to make sure it’s installed properly.
For a few tips on how to choose and use the best infant car seat, click here.
I never saw one of these until we were given one at the hospital. Think of a sleeping bag with arm holes. Sleep sacks also help promote placing babies on their back to sleep and reduce the risk of them falling under a blanket (which in turn reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
Make sure you pick one that opens from the bottom, like this one, so that you can change diaper at night without undressing your baby.
Another interesting possibility is to get some sort of easy swaddle blanket, since a lot of newborn babies love being swaddled.
Newborn First Aid Kit
- A bulb syringe for the nose – It is common to have a stuffy baby early with lots of mucous, and a bulb syringe is a huge help. This is by far the best one you can find.
- Baby nail clipper – You’ll be shocked to see how fast those toenails grow. You’ll find tips on how to cut baby nails here.
- Baby thermometer
- There are also som excellent baby first aid kits, like this one, but I’d still combine it with the Nose Frida.
Babybjorn carrier or wrap
Trust me on this: You and the baby will love having a carrier.
The wrap or Bjorn keeps baby close and snuggling to your body while you can have your hands free to get things done around the house. These even work well for dads too!
If your back is the least sensitive to you carrying something heavy, make sure you invest in a BABYBJORN Carrier ONE or similar. This newer carrier is more expensive than the one called “original”, but the back support is so much better.
This is not so important in the beginning, but babies grow very quickly!
If you want to be able to take your baby out or even put him or her to sleep, you’ll want a baby stroller right from the start. You’ll find help with picking the right stroller here.
Newborn and 0-3 month clothes
Obviously, your baby will need clothes too. You don’t have to buy the whole store, though, especially not with the smallest sizes. For some help regarding what clothes to buy for a newborn baby, click here. A tip: Get onesies that open easily for diapering. That is the main piece of clothes your newborn baby will need.
Nice-to-have list of newborn needs
While not essential, a baby bathtub is good to have. We didn’t have one right away, so in the meantime, we just bathed our little one in the sink.
Although really cool to have and even though we were given one as a gift, our situation is such that we rarely use it. My thinking is that if you can get it as a gift, that’s great. If you have to invest in one yourself, wait a little bit and make sure it’s an essential thing to have.
For those living in two-story houses (or more) or who has a garden where the baby can sleep in the stroller, a a good baby monitor can be a huge help.
If may seem strange not to put a baby crib among the absolutely essential list of newborn needs. But really, most newborn babies sleep better together with their parents at night and in their stroller for naps. So even though you are likely to want and need a baby crib at some point soon, it might not be necessary right from the start.
Newborn stuff to get later
Toys, toys, toys
Seriously, people love buying toys but so many will just sit around for a couple of months. Little rattles and other brightly colored, high-contrast toys are okay but you can save the electric swings and excer-saucers for later.
When purchasing newborn needs it’s important to remember what is the difference between the items that are absolutely necessary and the items that are merely a convenience. Dad’s input is important here and helping purchase newborn needs is a great way to be involved.
Shopping newborn stuff online
You can bring the list of newborn needs to your local baby store and just get everything there, of course. Chances are though, that this will be a lot more expensive than doing some of your shopping online.
In addition, with things like diapers, first aid kits, baby bathtubs and so on, there really isn’t much need to have a look at them before buying. Registring for “Amazon family” and their 30 days free trial is a great way to save money. Of course, you also shouldn’t miss their baby registry, if you consider having one.
For some additional great places to either create your baby registry or actually do your newborn shopping online, check out my list here.
So, what do you think? Is there anything that should be added to or deleted from this list of newborn needs? Share your thoughts below! :-)
Paula Dennholt founded Easy Baby Life in 2006 and has been a passionate parenting and pregnancy writer since then. Her parenting approach and writing is based on studies in cognitive-behavioral models and therapy for children and her experience as a mother and stepmother. Life as a parent has convinced her of how crucial it is to put relationships before rules. She strongly believes in positive parenting and a science-based approach.
Paula cooperates with a team of pediatricians that you find here. They write or review all health-related articles.