Babies are not exactly materialistic at such a tender age. You can get away with a lot less than what you think you need for an infant. Most of the stuff new moms receive before the baby is born falls under the category of nice to have, but they’re not necessarily essential baby items. However, some things really do help a mama out and make life infinitely more convenient. Keep reading for our shortlist of must-have baby items for first-time moms. All else is optional.
Get a Car Seat or Infant Carrier
You will not be able to take your baby home from the hospital without this essential baby item. When preparing for the baby’s arrival, you’ll need to buy and install the car seat, as it is illegal to transport a child in a car without one. Making the car seat one of the very first items on your buying list. There are many styles and brands to choose from, make sure you do a little research to know you aren’t buying one that has a recall out.
Get a Stroller
You may not need the stroller during your baby’s first month or two, but it’s nice to have anyway. And the perk about strollers is you can often get them with your car seat carrier as a travel set. That means they match. You can often get a better price when you purchase them as a package deal.
Get Plenty of Diapers
We’re not sure there’s any such thing as too many diapers. Start stocking up on them early, and don’t be afraid to buy different sizes if you see an exceptional deal. They won’t go to waste! If your baby does happen to grow out of a certain size before you finish the pack of diapers, you can always donate them.
Get a Crib or Bassinet
Another of those must-have baby items is a bed for the baby to sleep. You can get a crib, or if that’s not quite in the budget yet, opt for a smaller bassinet or bedside co-sleeper. Some new moms have been known to let their baby’s sleep in their carrier seat if it helps them sleep through the night, so no judgment here. Just get a bed that is for the baby, because as tempting as it is to let them sleep with you every night, you’ll eventually want a little breathing room, even if it is for a night.
Get a Few Outfits
You don’t need a ton of clothes for a newborn, or even that much variety. Onesies are versatile and excellent. Babies can wear onesies alone or beneath something else if it’s chilly. You can get them in different colors and sizes. Luckily, they are small and easy to pack and look cute with a matching pair of socks. Nightgowns are also great, especially those with zippers or buttons at the bottom for easy diaper changes. Sleepers and rompers are a good idea too, especially if you live in cooler climates. Since they have feet, you can skip the socks which often fall off and get lost anyway.
Get Blankets and Burp Cloths
Make sure you have at least one warm, cuddly blanket and several thinner, lightweight receiving blankets. The cuddly blanket can be used as a security blanket and help your little one feel safe when you’re on the go. Receiving blankets are super versatile and can be used for everything… swaddling, as a burp cloth, and cleaning up messes. Since they are thin, you can pack several without taking up too much real estate in your diaper bag.
Speaking of a diaper bag, that’s one of those essential baby items you won’t want to skip. Diaper bags are convenient and can help you keep your baby’s gear neat and organized while you travel back and forth to doctor appointments and visits with friends and family. You can get them in different styles, although backpack diaper bags are probably one of the most popular styles for hands-free convenience.
Bottles, Pacifiers, and Accessories
If you’re breastfeeding you can go with getting a couple of pacifiers. Try different styles to figure out which your baby likes best. If you are formula feeding or you plan to pump, you’ll need bottles, a few spare nipples with slow-to-medium flow, and accompanying accessories like a bottle brush for cleaning and a warmer to heat cold milk.
Beyond our shortlist of must-have baby items, there’s not much else that’s “essential.” Your baby will need other items as they grow, but you can always get that stuff at a later date. Baby proofing your home, for example, can be done at a much later date as your newborn won’t be mobile quite yet. But don’t worry momma, we suggest buying the essentials first, there is always time to budget the rest. Stocking up on the first must-haves allows you more time to prepare mentally and physically for your baby’s arrival by focusing on what you need for right now.