What Baby Essentials You Need To Have Before Your Baby Is Born
When I was preparing for my first child, Atlas, I would sit down and look over lists and lists of things that I should get for my baby before he was born. It was really overwhelming for me. Of course I wanted to make sure that I had everything the baby needed before he was born! Realistically though, these items all add up and it seemed impossible. I needed to figure out which baby essentials I needed right away.
For someone who just graduated university when they found out they were pregnant, I was anxious about being able to handle this financially. When it came down to it, I was scared of not being prepared and went a little overboard on baby supplies that I both bought and put on my registry. We ended up with a lot of unnecessary things that just didn’t get used much (or at all) and I felt incredibly guilty that I had “wasted” mine or someone else money.
So, whether you’re like me and don’t have the financial means to go all out on baby supplies or you just want to be minimalistic and buy the absolute necessities, I have created a simple list of absolute essentials for babies that got us through the first 3 months of parenthood!
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Most babies aren’t in newborn (Nb) diapers for very long before going up in size. If you chose to stock up on diapers before your baby is born, I would recommend only getting one box of Nb and a couple boxes of size 1.
Atlas was born at 8lbs 4oz, so we used up the small pack of Nb diapers that we had and moved right onto size 1 after less than a month. However, as much as you may want to, I wouldn’t buy too many more diapers. Some babies can be very sensitive to certain brands!
This is the one thing I recommend stocking up on completely, right from the beginning! Try to avoid scented wipes though, which often cause irritation or reactions to a baby’s sensitive skin and get some water wipes instead. Trust me, even if your baby reacts to these, you will be using them to clean up every other mess anyway, not just your baby’s bottom.
Diaper rash cream
In my opinion, this is a must! Babies, especially newborns, wet and poop themselves very often throughout the day. They are very prone to getting rashes because of all the moisture in their diapers combined with sensitive skin so it is really great to have this on hand right away!
This is a necessary item because, as I have said, babies have extremely sensitive skin. Personally, I don’t like to lay my sons down just anywhere. I prefer change mats over an entire change table because they are more efficient for space and can be brought into any room with you.
Check out my post What’s In My Diaper Bag: 12 Diaper Bag Essentials to see just how handy these are!
Health & Hygiene Essentials
I think we can all agree bathing your baby is important. They have dirty diapers, spit up a lot, and generally are just messy beings. That being said, having baby soap body and hair wash is extremely necessary. One of my favourite baby soap products is The Green Beaver Company’s Lavender Baby Wash!
Saline Nasal Spray & Suction Bulb
Babies noses can get very stuffy and they don’t know how to blow them on their own yet. I found it very helpful to use saline spray to loosen the mucus and a suction bulb to clear out the nasal passage. This combination has made life so much easier on Atlas at night to help ease up on his post nasal drip.
Blunt End Nail Scissors
I really don’t know how anyone use nail clippers, even baby ones, on their kids. I swear you need to have very steady hands to use them. When I first tried out nail clippers on Atlas I pinched his finger a bit and that was the end of it. Instead I use blunt end nail scissors made for little baby hands and feet that allow me to view where I am cutting at all times.
I found lotion to be an essential. It is especially useful for babies born in the cold, dry winter months! Using lotion after a bath or daily really helps keep baby’s skin soft. My sons have very dry skin, which gets kind of itchy and causes him to scratch, so we try to use lotion at every diaper change.
I find Burt’s Bee’s Baby Nourishing Lotion to be the best that we have tried! It is mostly organic and seems to hold the moisture in his skin longest.
I almost forgot to add this one to the list, but it is crucial! From ages 0-3 months your baby should not have a fever. If they do (37°F +), you need call your paediatrician or go to an ER.
Buying a high quality thermometer is a great investment and should be one of your priorities for baby essentials. Having a thermometer will allow you to relieve any anxiety you may get when your baby becomes sick. I remember, before we had purchased a thermometer, I panicked whenever I thought Atlas was warm even though in reality my hands were just cold.
Having a baby bathtub allows you to have a smaller space for your baby to soak in and allows you to rest your arms while cleaning your baby. It can get very tiring to hold your baby with one arm while washing them with the other! Just make sure to never leave your baby alone in it!
This is a must. Most people know that but I highly recommend splurging a bit on this item because it is something that will be of use to you for many years. We started off with a cheap single stroller which within a year lost grip on its wheels and is hard to control and will be of no use soon as we have a second on the way.
If you’re planning on having multiple children close in age I would start off initially with a convertible double stroller, such as Evenflo Pivot Xpand (which is on the cheaper end but still good quality). It can be used as a single stroller and comes with a carseat attached until it is needed as a double!
Carseats are really number one on the list of baby essentials. If you’ve got a car, you cant leave the hospital until you have a carseat and baby is safely buckled in. It is also really important to have a good quality seat to protect your baby. I would suggest one that attaches to your stroller. I found it nice to have in the case that my baby fell asleep in the car. You can just remove the entire carseat without waking him up.
Make sure not to keep your baby in the carseat for longer periods of time (it is recommended not to leave in for more than an hour).
Whether you use a backpack you already own or purchase a diaper bag with all of the special compartments for bottles and diapers, a bag designated for your baby is a must for outings. You should make sure that the bag is durable and able to hold all of your needs for a day out with baby.
Related Post: What’s In My Diaper Bag: 12 Diaper Bag Essentials
These are, hands down, the best thing ever! From being able to do things around the house hands free to going out without the big bulky stroller, having a baby carrier has relieved so much potential stress for me.
For the first little while after birth, it is suggested that your baby sleeps in your room to prevent SIDS. We chose to use an Evenflo travel sleeper and my sons both loved it. Being on an angle after eating when they went to sleep really helped them with digestion. We have barely had any issues with acid reflux with either child. The best part about this was that it is small so we could take it into whichever room of the house we were in with no problem!
The womb is a very tight, safe place for your baby and they are often very squished in there (in a comfortable way). When they are born it can be very comforting for them to be swaddled and maintain that feeling of closeness while they try to sleep. This can also help prevent them from waking themselves up as they are gaining some muscle tone and reflexes.
White Noise Machine
Have you ever heard the sound of your insides during an ultrasound? Just as babies are used to the closeness in your womb, they also are used to hearing the noises that your body makes. White noise can mimic these noises and bring some comfort to your baby.
Personally, I like when things are multi-functional, so we decided to use our Google Home to provide white noise at night and during naps when Atlas and Axel sleep!
Babies generally get cold a lot easier than us, so keeping their feet warm with socks is a great way to prevent them from getting sick!
Zip up onesies
Any onesie will do just fine, however, I always found zip up onesies the quickest and most efficient when changing my baby. For how often they need to be changed, it can become a bother to be undoing and doing up individual buttons all the time, especially at night so zip up onesies were perfect for us.
For the same reason as you need socks, babies get cold very easily and heat escapes the fastest through the head and feet so your baby will need a hat to prevent them from getting sick.
I found baby mittens (with no thumb holes) to be great because Atlas would scratch his face whenever he got tired, regardless of whether we cut his nails or not.
Vitamin D Drops (if EBF*)
If you choose to breastfeed, they’ll tell you at the hospital that you need this. Formula is fortified so babies who drink that will get enough Vitamin D. However, breastfed babies don’t get enough through your milk and need to supplement.
Bottles + Liquid Formula (if not EBF*)
If you aren’t breastfeeding and you know that from the beginning, you should get bottles (at least 6 if you suck at washing dishes like me!) and formula to start your baby off.
When picking formula, try and get something that you can continue to afford. I started Atlas off on a sample of an expensive formula and when we tried to switch him to something cheaper, he had already acquired a preference for the first one and refused anything else!
Receiving blankets/wash cloths
Babies spit up a lot. One of the most important baby essentials. Enough said (Unless you’d rather just sit there with puke on you, then thats cool too I guess…).
Even if you aren’t breastfeeding, having a nursing pillow is very handy! Babies feed a lot so holding them in your arms while doing so can get quite tiring. Having a place to rest your arms while keeping the baby up is ideal.
For myself, after having a c-section, this made it much easier to hold Atlas and Axel in general. It removed any weight of holding them off my incision and placed it on the pillow instead.
What are your absolute must-have baby essentials?
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*EFB — Exclusively Breastfeeding