Are you trying to get ahead of prepping for the baby? No worries! Check out our list of must-have baby items.
If you’re anything like me, I spent much of my pregnancy not prepping for postpartum but instead shopping for a soon-to-be baby. I’d spend hours reading reviews, researching, and cross-comparing items I never even used.
A huge part of me wishes I had used some of that energy to prepare for my postpartum days, but now I can say I know better.
Nevertheless, babies require a few essential items when they enter this world. I’ve rounded up my must-have newborn baby items to help you spend less energy on baby gear and more time preparing for your role as a mother.
For easier shopping, the post is broken out by category. Within each category, I’ve added an asterisk (*) to items that are an absolute must-have in my book. I’ve also corraled the top must-haves all in one place for you below.
Shop by category
- Nighttime essentials
- Playtime and baby gear
- Breastfeeding and bottles
- Health and safety items
- Medicine cabinet basics
- Organization items
Shop our top must-have picks
Must-have: nighttime essentials
Diaper booster pads*
Babies often wake in the middle of the night when their diaper is too wet and full. Use these diaper booster pads to increase the absorbency of any size diaper and, ideally, help your baby sleep more soundly. Of course, change your baby’s diaper if it’s more than pee.
We loved the Ollie swaddle because, unlike other swaddles, you can customize the tightness throughout the entire body, including the hips, which was crucial for our breech baby.
These organic and adjustable sleepers are the definition of quality, not quantity. The easy-access butt buttons make for easier middle-of-the-night changes, so you don’t disturb your little one. Plus, the organic bamboo fabric is super soft and cool.
Small changing pad
If your little one is sleeping in your bedroom, it’s nice to have a small, portable changing pad to change your little one on your bed. I love this one from Pehr because it folds up nicely and has a pocket for wipes and diapers.
Sticker-mounted tap lights*
Nursing, feeding, and changing a baby is challenging in a dark room. Turn on any lights, and you risk stimulating your little one too much.
These sticker-mounted tap lights are a game-changer and emit a soft, warm glow that you can dim by remote. Strategically place them around the room (and at the top of the stairs) and tap on and off as needed.
Shop nighttime essentials
Must-haves: playtime + baby gear
Comfy (and decor-friendly) play mat
I wanted something that felt ageless and would last through Landon’s toddler years. This leaf playmat is perfect! It’s great for tummy time and can quickly become a bedside rug or cozy reading spot.
Grow-with-baby play gym*
Honestly, I was undecided about purchasing a Lovevery play gym at first as I thought Landon would quickly outgrow it or become uninterested.
After five months, I can say that it’s become his favorite baby item and something we use daily! It’s also the most aesthetically-pleasing play gym I’ve found.
Snuggle Me Organic
This cozy pod-like pillow is the perfect landing spot for your little one when you need a safe place to lay him down. He lived in this in the early months, and you can even fold it in half for a quick nursing pillow.
Guava Pack and Play*
This pack and play is the lightest on the market, and you can set it up in under a minute. You can use it for playtime, nap time, child containment time, and more!
ErgoBaby Embrace carrier*
Baby-wearing has become our favorite way to explore the world, and the ErgoBaby Embrace carrier is easy to use and supportive enough for your little one from birth up to 25 pounds.
I found it way less intimidating than some of the cute wrap carriers available. We still use it to this day!
Shop playtime and baby gear
Must-haves: breastfeeding and bottles
Haakaa manual pump*
If you choose to breastfeed, having a Haakaa (or two!) on hand is a must. They’re great for attaching to the other breast baby isn’t nursing from to catch your let down and help create a small milk stash.
I don’t need to say much about this other than your girls will thank you. I chose this organic nipple balm because it’s natural, and there’s no need to wipe it off before nursing.
Washable nursing pads
As your body works to even out your milk production, leaks can happen. I opted for these washable nursing pads because they’re more environmentally friendly than the disposable ones and are way more comfortable.
Dr. Brown’s bottles*
Every baby is different, but these are the only bottles we could get Landon to take (still to this day!). I prefer the natural-flow nipples for newborns, especially if you’re breastfeeding.
Dishwasher bottle basket*
I don’t know why I didn’t buy this bottle basket sooner. We have one specifically for Dr. Brown’s bottles, but it is a game-changer and helps keep bottles from taking over your countertop.
Shop breastfeeding + bottle must-haves
Must-haves: health and safety items
FridaBaby Basics kit*
This handy little kit contains the top four FridaBaby care items: the Windi (for relieving gas), a nail clipper + file, a cradle cap brush, plus a NoseFrida (for snot sucking). It comes with a handy silicone pouch for easy travel.
Pro tip: buy two, one for the diaper bag and one for the changing station.
This is the easiest and quickest reading thermometer I’ve found. It can be used both orally and rectally.
Diaper bag first aid kit
This small first aid kit is one of those things you don’t think you need until you do need it…and you don’t have it. Trust me on this one as well.
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Must have: medicine cabinet basics
Every parent has different views on treating their little one’s ailments in the early days, so please, make sure to do your research and consult your pediatrician for the final word.
Little Remedies saline spray*
Little Remedies acetaminophen*
Compared to the usual kid’s stuff, the ingredients in this acetaminophen are more natural and free of harmful artificial sweeteners, flavors, and dyes.
Little Remedies gas drops*
Newborns usually have gas that makes them uncomfortable, and that’s just how it goes until about eight weeks in. These gas drops helped alleviate Landon’s pain, but we used them sparingly.
Shop medicine cabinet basics
Must have: Organization items
Custom memory box
This custom memory box is the perfect way to store all of your baby’s keepsakes. I love the price (under $30!) and the variety of fonts available. Plus, it’s nice to support a small business with this purchase!
I added this baby briefcase to our registry on a whim, and now I don’t know what I’d do without it! It’s essential to keep records, bills, and relevant documents in one place.