The market is CRAZY for products for babies – you’re probably wondering what the heck do you actually need? We’ve done the work for you! Read on to discover what baby essentials you need and which items you can remove from your list!
Baby essentials you need postpartum
3-4 gowns + hats
Gowns are sooo easy to deal with in the middle of the night, especially with frequent diaper changes! I love these Monica and Andy gowns and knotted gown, SO soft, all organic cotton, and the cutest prints!
These little knotted hats are great for babies of all sizes – the knot is adjustable to fit baby’s head.
2-3 footed pajamas with a zipper
1-2 in newborn size + 1-2 in size 0-3 months.
Kickee pants makes the softest footed PJs in so many cute prints! Stick with zippered onesies in the beginning, they’re the EASIEST (you can thank me later). If you want to avoid a zipper, I have recently tried these Magnetic Me footed pajamas and LOVE them!
2-3 swaddle sleep sacks
When Roey was born, I started using the Ollie swaddle and fell in love with it! Babies love to be swaddled tightly and this swaddle makes it so easy! This is my favorite baby essential product!
Woombie grow with me convertible swaddle is the best because it can be worn swaddled and unswaddled (fits baby from 0-9 months)!
BIBS pacifier has a soft center, latex nipple and is the ONLY pacifier that will stay in your baby’s mouth. It’s almost impossible for the littles ones to latch onto the standard green pacis from the hospital; – they don’t form to baby’s mouth and will drive you nuts!
Milkbarn organic burp cloths are SOO soft and durable. I had about 10 in rotation with Finn (still have them!) because he spit up so much! They can also double as a lovey when the time comes.
If you’re looking for a budget friendly option, these standard diaper clothes are great! The only thing I don’t love about them is that they stain easily.
Loud sound machine
White noise is an essential piece to the sleep puzzle in babies. It’s a must!!
- The HATCH sound machine is what I use for my kids. It’s connected to an app on your phone (where you can adjust the settings), has an ok-to-wake light that transitions into toddlerhood, and presets that you can save to make things easy! It gets LOUD to drown out outside noise, pets and siblings.
- The Lectrofan is also a great sound machine. Similar in price to the Hatch, but minus the app capabilities. It’s a little less “electronic” than the HATCH, but still gets loud.
**While I love the Marpac Dohm for myself, it doesn’t get loud enough for babies!
PRO TIP: don’t spend a ton on a bassinet. Babies grow out of them quickly! Spend your money on a quality mattress that your child will use for 3+ years.
I’m getting the Newton Mattress for baby #3.
- The Newton is the first 100% breathable and washable mattress that uses all eco-friendly and non-toxic ingredients – use this link and discount code NB50 for $50 off.
This Chicco bassinet is a great option for a bassinet. Breathable sides and portable for travel.
This Dream On Me Bassinet is also a great budget-friendly option.
PRO TIP: Avoid angled containers and rock’n’plays for safety reasons for UNSUPERVISED SLEEP. DO NOT PUT YOUR BABY IN A DOCATOT IN A BASSINET IF YOU ARE NOT SUPERVISING THEM AND YOU ARE AWAKE. See my safe use of baby container’s blog post to learn more.
It is OK to put your baby in their crib right away if you don’t want to invest in a bassinet.
An infant carseat is a must – you cannot go home from the hospital without it. Choosing an infant carseat can be tricky!
I used the Nuna Pipa (regular, not LITE) for all my kids (and will use it for baby 3 also). It’s super light weight and SAFE! I love that you can use it without the base for traveling/grandparents cars (PSA – THE NUNA PIPA LITE MUST ALWAYS BE USED WITH A BASE).
If you’re looking for a budget friendly option, Cosco convertible carseat can actually be used for infants over 5 lbs. This is the travel carseat that I use for Bee and also use it in our spare car. Read more here on my travel tips, but the Cosco Scenera Next Convertible carseat:
- Fits 3 across in the back seat of most vehicles
- Rear-facing 5-40 pounds (19” to 40”)
- Forward-facing 22-40 pounds (29” to 43”)
- Side Impact Protection
- 5-point harness with easy front adjustment
Need help with your car seat? If you need help with installing your car seat or have any questions, Renée is a national certified car seat technician and can help you in-person or through video chat! Book a consult with Renée today!
Woolino has amazing all seasons blankets, swaddles, and sleep sacks that extend into toddlerhood. The fabric is SO soft, wears well, and the wool helps to control temperature for all seasons. Click here and use code BUMBLEBABY10 for discount.
Zoe Tour – has a carseat adapter, is lightweight, and the lux line has a leather grip. It’s also easy to steer and travel with!
- So easy to steer, lightweight but sturdy.
- The Tour folds up to be able to fit in the overhead bin of the plane and also has a handle to pull behind you like luggage! You can even flip it open with one hand.
- Use code BUMBLEBABYZOE for discount!
SollyBaby is the BEST cloth carrier! I used it for both Finn and Bee. I preferred cloth carriers when babies are newborn over carriers that have more structure (Ergobaby etc.) because the cloth is custom fit to the size of your baby and MOLDS to them. Loved mine! Comes in SO many cute and trendy colors and the fabric is ultra soft.
Finn literally never fit in newborn diapers because he was so big! So make sure to have some size 1 diapers as well – don’t over do it on the newborn size, they grow fast!
I used cloth diapers for Finn and Bee for the first 6 months, and then switched over to disposable.
Diaper cream + water-based wipes
YOU NEED THIS DIAPER CREAM SPREADER. It seems silly, but one diaper change where there is diaper cream all over you, baby, the diaper, and baby’s outfit will have you convinced.
These water wipes are so gentle on newborn skin.
PRO TIP: Have you seen my 48 hour diaper rash remedy post?
Aquaphor is good for eczema, diaper rashes, and dry spots.
I prefer a non-wifi monitor because access to a monitor while I was out of the house/at work gave me a TON of anxiety. I ended up using this Infant Optics monitor and still use it with my kids (here is the newest version!). There’s an option to add an additional monitor as needed (up to 4). The only thing that’s not great about it is the battery, but Infant Optics will replace it for you. Plus, it’s budget friendly!
If you’re looking for a wifi monitor, I’ve been dying to try the Nanit! It’s a splurge, but if it helps you sleep at night then it may be worth it.
I like this Angelcare baby tub because you can insert it right into the tub itself. It transcends until baby can sit up comfortably in the tub. Very easy to use in the bath with other siblings.
PRO TIP: Have you seen my blog post on bath essentials and cradle crap remedy?
Infant soap, shampoo, washcloths and a scrubber
If you’re looking for clean and chemical free products, Beautycounter baby balm is the way to go. I use this for clearing up baby and toddler eczema too!
If you’re looking for clean and the best smell ever – then Mustela is for you! It’s literally what a baby should smell like.
A safe space for baby to lay during the daytime
I have a great post on safe “containers” and rock’n’play alternatives here – pick one to keep in your common area!
SO MANY of you responded that you NEVER used your baby swing or mamaroo. I didn’t either! Spend your money on something else.
This travel bassinet is a great option! Great for grandparents too!
**Boppy Original Newborn Loungers, Boppy Preferred Newborn Loungers and Pottery Barn Kids Boppy Newborn Loungers have been recalled. See here for more information.
The scariest thing ever to do as a new parents IS CUT NAILS! AHH!! These FridaBaby clippers have an anti-slip and skin guard to ensure success.
We LOVE this Nozebot nasal aspirator (use code BUMBLEBABY for discount) because it’s a hospital grade portable suction machine that was designed by a pediatric otolaryngologist (ENT). This unique design allows you to hold your child’s head while suctioning.
The power of the hospital grade suction means less attempts at suctioning and more output – better for both you and the kids. Plus, it’s cordless, portable, and rechargeable. The pieces of the Nozebot are dishwasher safe (always a plus for me) with disposable filters. Another perk – the Nozebot is HSA/FSA eligible.
PRO TIP: We recommend swaddling your infant or using our special “snot sucking hold” (see it here on IG) for your larger toddler/child to make the process go a little bit smoother.
Adding a saline spray breaks up thick mucous and makes it easier to suck out! Budget friendly options: using a bulb syringe or this electric nasal aspirator are also great options in helping clear those boogers!
Bringing home your baby from the hospital for the first time can be VERY emotional. Get organized and be prepared with these items no later than 34-35 weeks (in case baby arrives early)!
Trust your instincts and take one day at a time. YOU ARE ENOUGH – you got this momma!!
Baby NOT so essentials:
THE TOP TEN THINGS YOU SAID YOU NEVER USED!
- A SWING/MAMAROO
Sooo many of you commented that you never used/returned a swing! I would suggest borrowing one from a friend if you can, that way you can spend $$ elsewhere.
- BOTTLE STERILIZER
A sterilizer isn’t necessary, but if you are an exclusively pumping mom, then it can be a life saver. Most bottles and pump parts can be sterilized in the dishwasher once a day.
I ended up using these Quick Clean Steam bags at work – the hospital sinks aren’t exactly where I want to wash parts. You just rinse your parts with water, add 2oz of water, and microwave for about 3 minutes. SO EASY! Great for Haakaas and pacifiers too.
- MUSLIN SWADDLES
I honestly think I had about 100 muslin swaddles before I had Finn. And the truth is … they are awful to swaddle with! They don’t stretch at all and don’t keep baby contained. I used them for on top of carseat in the spring, but that’s about it. This of course is a personal preference! Some people use them all the time. I would invest in 2-3 max.
- LOTS OF BLANKETS
SOO MANY BLANKETS. Trust me, you just need 2-3 good swaddle sleep sacks, one big floor blanket and a few spare blankets.
- BABY MITTENS
Use socks! Most onesies have a fold over for curious hands.
- BABY SHOES
Your baby doesn’t need them! They spend so much time sleeping, you’ll end up taking them off. Socks are all they need.
- BABY SOCKS (ONLY USED OUTFITS WITH FOOTIES)
Again, a personal preference. It’s much easier to use footed outfits in those first few days! So maybe have just a few on hand.
- BREASTFEEDING PILLOW
Again, a personal preference. I preferred regular pillows – I am taller and the boppy sat too low! I often see moms during breastfeeding consults that have nipple damage because their breastfeeding pillows weren’t high enough, so regular pillows or a pillow that molded to you is the way to go!
I love this nursing pillow because it’s entirely customizable to your body as well as your baby’s changing needs as they grow. You can adjust the firmness and it’s designed to ease strain on your neck and shoulders.
- COVER FOR GROCERY CART/CARSEAT
I never used either!
- BUTTON UP ONESIES (ONLY USED ZIPPERED ONESIES)
Forget it in the middle of the night! Zipper is the way to go (or gowns!)
**Have you seen our free postpartum checklist?!
Have more questions? Schedule a text or video chat consult with Kate, Lauren or Natalie (NICU RNs) and they can help answer any questions that you have!BOOK CONSULT NOW
Other helpful blog posts:
- Postpartum essentials for mom
- First time baby registry
- How to care for your baby’s umbilical cord
- 13 things no one told you about postpartum
- Common breastfeeding complications explained
- Kate’s favorite sleep products 0-6 months
- 10 common baby + child illnesses and remedies
*Bumblebaby makes a small commission on items listed above.