Top 10 Basic Newborn Essentials

What exactly do you need to care for your newborn baby?  Because of finances and the small duplex we live in, Dallas and I don’t have the room or money for a lot of items.  We are minimalists at heart and both despise clutter.

So I’ve decide to list out what I believe are the Newborn Essentials.  Make sure you get these on your registry or have them before you bring home your baby.

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Babies Have To Eat.

There are two methods to feeding your baby.  Breastfeeding and Formula feeding.  Either one is a good choice but they have two different essentials.  I only breastfed for two weeks (read that story here)  But my two breastfeeding essentials for the baby are:

1. A Nursing Cover:

Yes, for me this was essential.  If you are comfortable enough to nurse without a cover then go for it.  I was not and was so thankful I had a cover to use not only in public but at home!  So many people come over to help and I didn’t like leaving the room to breastfeed so I would practice using the cover even in those two weeks of nursing.

2. A Nursing Pillow:

I had a Boppy Pillow and used it almost every single time I breastfed (except if I was out in public).  I’ve heard some women prefer other pillows but trust me, you’ll want something.  That tiny baby of yours will get heavy very quickly.


Now, if you have decided to formula feed, or you want that option if breastfeeding doesn’t work out for you here are your alternative numbers 1 and 2:


It’s obvious but remember I’m just listing out the essentials.  I prefer taller and skinnier bottles versus the short fat ones that are a lot of the popular brands.  We’ve only used Medela since that’s what I registered for but I’ve heard great things about Dr. Brown’s as well.  If I had to find another brand that’s the one I would try first.

2. Formula:

Again, we’re talking essentials here.  Now, formula isn’t ideal and I can’t really go into depth on which formula is better.  All I can say is we use Enfamil.  We’ve tried a few other brands but prefer Enfamil the best.  It seems smoother and Gemma tends to tolerate it better than any other formula we’ve tried.


And the last thing for food no matter how you choose to feed your baby:

3. Burp Cloths:

Trust me.  You’ll want a lot of these handy ESPECIALLY if you formula feed.  I only like the diaper cloth burp rags.  They’re bigger and tend to clean up better than the smaller terry cloth in my opinion.


Babies Need to be Clothed.

Alright so you naked little newborn is fed.  What else is an absolute must?  Clothes… sort of.

4. Diapers:

If you don’t have diapers you’ll end up buying some.  So make sure you register for diapers or have a diaper party.  Remember to get a variety of sizes.  You have no idea how big your baby will be or how fast they’ll grow.  From what I’ve heard most places will allow you to exchange an unopened box of diapers for the same brand but different size (just in case you get too many of one size).

Gemma wore Newborn diapers for almost a month.  She’s still in size 1 and it doesn’t look like she’ll grow out of them too fast.  Maybe in the next month or so?  We’ll see.  Either way we already have two boxes of size 2 diapers to use if she surprises us and grows a little bit faster.


5. Wipes:

I’m a wipe waster.  I know it too but I can’t help it.  I use wipes all the time and I’m not about to keep folding a single wipe into a tiny square to clean her after a poopy diaper.  We like to use the Amazon Subscription for diapers and wipes.  I use pampers and really like them for the diapers and the wipes.


6. Changing Pad:

You don’t need a fancy changing table.  Just get a changing pad of some kind and you’re good to go.  My daughter really likes to pee when she’s not wearing a diaper.  So we don’t even use a changing cover anymore.  I had to wash it too many times.  Instead we just change her right on the pad and then wipe it clean when she goes without a diaper.

7. Onesie:

I would have at least TWO packs of onesies (A newborn size and a 0-3 month).  Most likely you’ll have a ton more than that but as long as you have a few in each size then you’ve got the necessities.


Babies Need Shelter and Safety.

8. Carseat:

I mean, how else are you going to get home from the hospital?  I guess you could walk but obviously you’ll need a carseat.  We use the Chicco Keyfit 30.  It was gifted to us as a hand-me-down and we were SO grateful.  However, I think when baby number 2 comes along we might look at the 2-1 convertible car seats like this one.   I’m not sure though.

9. Sleeper: Bassinet/Rock-n-play/Co-sleeper/Dock-a-tot:
I wish I would have known what a dock-a-tot was to register for one with Gemma.  It seems like the perfect place for your baby to sleep.  However, I can’t really know since we don’t have one and definitely can’t afford one.  Instead we have a bassinet and a Rock-n-Play.  Here’s where it gets tricky.  Gemma REFUSED to sleep in her bassinet for the first month of her life.  She would only sleep in the Rock-n-Play.  I have a few theories as to why but I won’t bore you.  The rock-n-play saved our lives that first month.  Now, at two (almost three) months old, she refuses to spend even ten minutes in the rock-n-play and only sleeps in her bassinet or crib.

So, I can’t tell you which sleeper is better.  Just know you need something for your baby to sleep in.  Or if you’re going to co-sleep without any barriers then you’ll need something to lay Baby in while you’re cooking or going to the bathroom or something like that.

10. Soother: Pacifier/Blanket/Swaddle

You will want something to help soothe you newborn babe.  Most would probably go for the pacifier.  If you’re breastfeeding (or attempting to) they don’t recommend pacifiers.  We didn’t introduce one to Gemma until two weeks old and while she took to them initially, she’s not really a fan.
Instead I’m a huge fan of the muslin swaddling blankets.  I absolutely love them.  They are light enough for the hot Texas climate.  They are large enough to swaddle her as she’s growing bigger.  And they are soft enough for her cuddle with.  I’d buy maybe twenty more if I could.  No Joke.



I’ve decided to add one bonus item to my list of newborn essentials.

11. Stroller or Baby Carrier:

We have a Bravo stroller that are carseat snaps right into.  We also use the Boba wrap and Infantino 4-1 carrier.  I used the Boba more when she was a newborn.  She had to grow into the Infantino.  I don’t think you need both a stroller AND a baby carrier.  But I would at least try and get one or the other.  It’ll help you get around a little bit easier.


What are your newborn essentials?  Did I leave anything out that you consider a must-have?  Leave me a comment and let me know!

-Brittany Smith-

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