Our Top Must-Have Newborn Baby Items

Trying to get ahead of prepping for baby? No worries! Check out our list of must-have baby items.

If you’re anything like me, I spent a lot of my pregnancy not prepping for postpartum, but instead, shopping for soon-to-be baby. I’d spend hours reading reviews, researching, and cross-comparing items that I never even ended up using. A huge part of me wishes I used some of that energy to prepare for my postpartum days, but now I can say I know better.

Nevertheless, babies require a few key 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 on 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.

must-have newborn baby items

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, make sure to change your baby’s diaper if it’s more than pee.

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Ollie swaddle*

We loved the Ollie swaddle because, unlike other swaddles, you can customize the tightness throughout the entire body, including the hips, which was so crucial for our breech baby.

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Goumi sleepers

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.

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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.

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Sticker-mounted tap lights*

Nursing, feeding, and changing a baby is pretty tough to do in a very 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 simply tap on and off as needed.

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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 easily become a bedside rug or cozy spot to read.

SHOP LINEN LEAF PLAYMAT

Grow-with-baby play gym*

To be honest, 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 every single day! It’s also the most aesthetically-pleasing play gym I’ve found.

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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.

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Guava Pack + 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 play time, nap time, child containment time, and more!

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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!

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Must haves: breastfeeding + bottles

Haaka manual pump*

If you choose to breastfeed, having a Haaka (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.

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Nipple balm*

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.

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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, plus they’re way more comfortable.

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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.

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Dishwasher bottle basket*

I don’t know why I didn’t buy this bottle basket sooner. The one we have is specifically for Dr. Brown’s bottles, but it is a game-changer and helps keep bottles from taking over your countertop.

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Must haves: health + 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.

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Rectal thermometer*

This is the easiest and quickest reading thermometer I’ve found. It can be used both orally and rectally.

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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 how they approach 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*

Newborns have notoriously stuffy noses. We used this saline spray a lot (it’s way easier than the saline drops) paired with a humidifier.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Baby briefcase*

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 for keeping records, bills, and relevant documents all in one place.

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Hello Postpartum

Postpartum Resource Library

Founded by new mom and self-care author Carley Schweet, Hello Postpartum aims to help fill in the gaps in postpartum care and support. At Hello Postpartum, we aim to create an accessible community where everyone can access postpartum education, research-backed articles, and support tools.

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