Top 10 Newborn Essentials
*Just as a note, there are no affiliate links in this post. These are products we truly use and love and we just happen to shop on Amazon A LOT. I probably could’ve added any store with 2 day shipping as one of my must-haves for families with newborns!
Every family is different and each baby has a unique set of needs. Admittedly, I was hesitant to compile a list of our top 10 essentials for a newborn. Not because it was hard to narrow it down, but because as a first-time mom I hardly feel like an expert on the subject. We’ve had so many expectant friends ask me for an honest opinion so here is my list of most loved baby items gifted at baby showers of purchased in our first few weeks with a newborn!
Travel System Stroller - We have used our travel system stroller from Day 1 and it is by far one of our most used baby items. I love how easy it is to just lock the car seat into the stroller with baby in it! This is great if they fall asleep on a walk and you want to transfer them into the car for the ride home without interrupting any sleep! We use the car seat with the stroller a little less often now since Rooney prefers to look out but on occasion I will keep her in the car seat if I know we are going into town or on a walk during her regular nap time! Getting out an walking as soon as I was able helped me heal faster postpartum and was my saving grace on countless days with a fussy baby who refused to nap. It’s definitely worth investing a little more into a system that is lightweight, easy to maneuver, and that you can fold up with one hand! We have the Baby Jogger City Mini but there are plenty of options available at any price point.
Dr. Brown’s Bottles - It doesn’t matter if you’re breastfeeding, formula feeding, or exclusively pumping…at some point your baby is going to need to take a bottle if you ever plan on being away from them for more than three hours. We tried four or so other natural flow type bottles and nipples but Dr. Brown’s remedied all of Rooney’s reflux and gas issues. The new bottles convert if you want to use them without the air venting system as they grow!
Swaddles - My husband was a great swaddler but after the first couple of weeks baby girl became quite the escape artist. At night when you’re tired and just want to squeeze in an extra ten minutes of shut eye somewhere, swaddle wraps come in clutch! We loved the Swaddle Me swaddles until about month 3. When we knew Rooney was showing signs of wanting to roll over, we transitioned to one arm in and one arm out in the HALO sleep sacks. They convert where you can use them once baby has to sleep arms out or allow you to swaddle arms up if your baby prefers that position. We still use ours as wearable blankets!
Baby Carrier - We own a few different soft and structured baby carriers— namely the Boba wrap, Ergobaby, and a WildBird ring sling. I love them all for different reasons! The softer wraps are great at keeping your little one close in the early days but can be a bit cumbersome to tie and the fabric tails tend to drag on the floor when you’re getting set up. It’s never something I wanted to do outside of my own home where there are more germs. The Ergobaby has been my husband’s baby carrier of choice and now that Rooney is a little older, she can face outward and experience the world! I often use my ring sling at home when I’m trying to get things done around the house and she just refuses to be put down. It’s by far one of the easier soft wraps to adjust once you get the hang of it! If you’re not sure what baby carrier you’ll like, check Facebook marketplace for deals or see if your town has a baby wearing group where you can borrow or rent one to try!
Boppy - The Boppy was a last minute impulse purchase. I wasn’t convinced I would want one or need one but they’re relatively affordable so I thought we’d get one just in case. It is a lifesaver when you’re trying to breastfeed or your arms are tired from holding a baby all day long. Alex even liked to use it for bottle feeding so that his arms could be supported while trying to hold Rooney’s head upright. We’ve also used the Boppy for tummy time and propping while she learned to sit on her own. It also makes a great sofa pillow.
Pack and Play - We chose to have Rooney stay in our room for the first six months and having a pack and play at my bedside definitely made countless nighttime bottle feedings and diaper changes more convenient. We chose a pack and play that has a bassinet attachment, mobile/sound machine, diaper changing station, and a napper attachment. Now that Rooney sleeps in her own room, we use it as a playard and keep toys it so we can get changed after work or put away the laundry. While I really wanted a cute vintage rattan bassinet, I’m glad we chose something more modern that would grow with us. We have gotten way more use out of the investment whereas a smaller bassinet might not have lasted us more than three months.
Diaper Genie - Diaper Genies work a little differently that I remember from my days of helping out with a younger sibling (instead of twisting off every individual diaper they all get collected into one sack) but it’s still by far one of our most used baby items. It keeps smells to a minimum and it’s so much easier to take the garbage bags out a few times a week when the bag is full vs running to the dumpster after every diaper change! If you didn’t know… babies have 10 or so diapers a day in the first weeks! We chose the white diaper pail so it doesn’t clash with our décor and really just disappears into the background. We’ve also been lucky enough to find the refills at our local kids consignment shop from time to time! Each refill is good for about 270 diapers and I think we’ve only had to buy 3-packs of the refills twice now.
Hatch Rest sound machine - When we first brought baby home from the hospital we had a touch on/off lamp and used the sound machine that was built into our pack and play mobile. The lamp was way too bright during nighttime feedings and it made it hard for all of us to fall back asleep afterwards. I personally found the noises our pack and play mobile made to be kind of annoying. Luckily I saw that one of my friends posted about their Hatch and by the end of week two it was on its way to me in the mail. My favorite part about the Hatch Rest is the Bluetooth app. It makes it easy to control the volume, color, and music from anywhere in the house. We have also created custom schedules so for example, at 6:30 when we start our bedtime routine it plays nursery rhymes with a red light but by 7:30 it switches to a soft yellow light on the lowest brightness with crickets playing in the background. I have really embraced smart home devices as a new mom and this is one I can’t see myself without. Being able to set schedules to fit our routine and do everything hands-free has simplified our life. We will definitely use it as Rooney grows to create a red, yellow, green stoplight system to let her know when it’s okay to leaver her room and wake us up in the mornings.
Baby Tracker App - A couple of ladies at work told me to download this before we even checked into the hospital for delivery and they were so right! As if you’re not tired enough from being pregnant and having a baby, the nurses will come in every 2 hours or so to make sure you’re feeing the baby and encourage you to try breastfeeding more, ask how many diapers they’ve had, take your vitals, take baby’s vitals, bring you food, ask if you need more ice chips, help you change your linens, make you walk, and give you more meds. It will be impossible to remember what time your baby last ate without this app. I promise. The icing on the cake is that all those questions don’t stop once you get home. You’ll be asked the same things at every pediatrician appointment. If you feel confident that you’ll be able to memorize the number of feedings, ounces consumed, and diapers changed then more power to you! I frankly do not have enough brain cells left to commit any of that to memory so this app helps me make sure I’m getting it right! My husband and I also used it to keep track of what happened while the other person was sleeping or working. It’s an easy way to communicate with each other about the baby’s needs.
Snuggle Me Organic Lounger - This lounger was honestly on my list because it’s trendy and I had seen it a lot on social media. It was gifted to me and I am so grateful! The Snuggle Me hugs your baby tight while they’re napping so it feels like they’re being held or swaddled. We would put ours on the bed or sofa for Rooney to nap in before she could roll over. Since she’s rolled over she is a belly sleeper and I just don’t feel comfortable using it anymore. I think it makes a great play mat for tummy time or an activity gym when they’re still in the newborn stage. We honestly wouldn’t have ever enjoyed a warm dinner or catching up on a TV show if it weren’t for being able to put the Snuggle Me between us on the sofa. I love all the new colored covers they came out with. If you invest in the Snuggle Me it might be worth it to have an extra cover so you can cycle them through the wash!
So that’s it! The 10 baby items we couldn’t live without in the first six months. What were your registry essentials?