Newborn Essentials (not too much and not too little!)

Are you having a newborn soon & not quite sure what you ACTUALLY need? Been there, and it can be stressful! Click to read my list of newborn essentials!

Before I had my son, I did so much (possibly unnecessary) research into what I needed to have at home for my newborn baby. I watched youtube videos, read blogs, talked to other moms…you name it, I did it. I was convinced that there was this magical list out there somewhere that would be perfect for my baby! After spending almost 3 months with my baby boy so far, I now know that there is no one-size-fits-all list that works for every newborn baby. Duh, right? However, I have discovered some specific items that we have LOVED that I think work great for just about any and every baby. These are things that I either discovered while pregnant and am so glad that I did, or they are things that we found a good amount of need for after his birth. This post won’t have exactly, every single thing that your child may need, but will be a list of all the things I found to ACTUALLY be necessary. Babies don’t actually need much, and I found a lot of the lists that I read to either have too many items or not enough. My hope is that this post hits a sweet spot for you if you’re preparing for a baby and that it will bring you peace of mind and confidence in what you choose to have ready for your bundle of joy!



(*This post contains affiliate links.)


place to sleep

We placed Kit to sleep in a crib from day 1 at home, and it was one of the best decisions we made! I toyed around with the idea of buying a bassinet to have him close to the bed (especially since I was worried about needing a c-section), and I also thought about using a pack-n-play with a bassinet attachment. In the end, we decided on a crib with the changing table attached*. Our room has just enough space for a crib, and I love all the storage space that this one has since he sleeps in our room! We keeps his diapers, sleep clothes, socks, and blankets in the crib storage space which really makes it convenient for us! Having him in the crib for EVERY NAP and EVERY NIGHT (unless we are out of the home, of course) has not allowed him to develop a preference for any other place to sleep, so there is no transitioning him from a bassinet to the crib at some point. If you start with a crib from day 1, your child will like the crib. 🙂


Sheets and Waterproof mattress covers

3 fitted sheets and 2 waterproof covers will do the trick just fine!



Babies are super cute in whatever you put them in, but they sleep allllll the time. It’s really not necessary or comfortable for them to have all them in all kinds of fancy outfits when they are so little. We had 2 sets of zip-up sleepers (we bought them in packs of three) in sizes NB and 0-3 months, three 0-6 month sized gowns, and 2 sets of long sleeves onesies in size NB and 0-3 months. We bought minimally from the start, and when he needs something or we want to get him something, we can go do that now knowing his actual size!


play mat

Having a designated space for your child to lay down and play on is pretty essential in my book, but I wasn’t a fan of all the brightly colored mats. They stressed me out just looking at them, so I can’t imagine how busy they must seem to a child that’s very new to our world. After a lot of research, I settled on this play mat* for Kit, and I couldn’t be more pleased. I will warn you, it is much more expensive than many play mats on the market. However, I was so impressed by all the research done in terms of how children learn by the makers of this mat. It is so well made, not too busy, and it comes with an amazing booklet that details exactly how to use the mat through each age range in order to best help along their development. LOVE THIS MAT.


Related:  5 Tips for Surviving (and enjoying) the Newborn Stage


bath tub

We really like this one* because it’s easy to clean and will grow with him, but really any will do!


bath supplies

Towels (you don’t need hooded baby towels…your baby is gonna look adorable in any towel!), baby washcloths, a baby brush for scrubbing their head, baby soap, a cup to use to pour water over them, baby lotion



We got about 6 of these*, and Kit likes them just fine. I know that a lot of people worry about which pacifier baby is going to actually take to. I was worried about that too! I have found that if only one option is provided (this goes for more than just pacifiers!), baby will normally be just fine with that option. I would definitely suggest buying at least more than 1 pacifier, because they get lost or dirty easily, so it’s good to have a backup!


changing pad covers and liners

You’ll need something to cover the changing pad, and honestly…just about any cover will do! We have 3 covers that we rotate, and we also use these liners* to lay on top of the covers. If he gets the liner dirty, it’s much easier to remove that than to have to wash the cover daily.



I thought about adding this to the clothing section, but I’ve got some serious opinions about baby socks! Ha! Okay, most baby socks suck. They don’t stay on AT ALL. But as moms, we don’t want their cute little toes to get chilly, so socks are a must. I have found the absolute best sock brand ever* on amazon! They’re super cute, and they stay on baby’s tiny feet! Seriously, if you don’t take anything else from this post…GET THESE SOCKS. Obsessive sock rant, over. 😉


cloth diapers and wipes

I truly don’t know why more people don’t give cloth diapers a chance. They are SO EASY, and can save you thousands of dollars per child! I actually use cloth diapers and cloth wipes. For the wipes, I simply cut flannel receiving blankets into small squares with pinking shears or I buy inexpensive baby washcloths. I squirt some water mixed with this solution* on them, and good to go! My favorite brand of cloth diapers are these*, and you can get 6 diapers for about 40 dollars (plus, they have the cutest prints!). Most people recommend having 24-30 diapers for each child, so you could diaper one child for $120 or less if you use just this brand! There are plenty of other brands I like, but if you’re thinking of just giving it a shot, I highly recommend these to start with…or stay with! If you have any questions about cloth diapering, leave them in the comments. I’m thinking about doing a whole post about them, but I don’t know what you don’t know! 🙂


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swaddle and sleep sack

For the swaddling days, we love these swaddles*! Super super easy to use! And of course, the halo sleep sack is our favorite now that Kit isn’t swaddled anymore.


sound machine

This is oh so essential, and I love it too! We decided to go with an adult sound machine instead of one of the ones that are made for kids. We wanted to have something that we would be able to use after Kit is done using it. This one* has the basic white noise with volume control, and it’s been great!


black and white book

Newborn babies love to look at contrasting colors, and Kit loves this black and white book. He still uses it now! I love that it is an accordion style so that he can use it during tummy time to look at, but it’s also a soft, cloth material…so he can hold it, spit up on it, and I can wash it. 😉


muslin blankets

Okay, so these are definitely on almost every newborn essential list I’ve ever seen, but that’s because they really are an essential. We don’t actually use ours for swaddling, but they are still priceless in my opinion! I use them to lay Kit down around the house instead of moving his play mat or to lay him down in public places to let him stretch his legs. I also use these in place of a travel changing pad because those things are expensive, and a blanket works just fine! I just throw a new one in the diaper bag when we go out, and throw it in the laundry hamper when we get home.


(Items with an * next to them are affiliate links. Learn more about what that means for you, here!)


There you have it! I hope this list is helpful to you and that it eases your mind about some of the crazy things other lists suggest you buy! Leave a comment below if I missed anything or tell me what your favorite thing about being a new mom or soon-to-be mom is! 


If this post encouraged you, check out my new Ebook! It’s FULL of tips on how to balance mom life, and I think you’ll enjoy it!


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  • tiffany
    January 1, 2019 at 4:52 pm

    I have cloth diapered and cloth wipes and made my one solution with all 3 of my boys. I have probably spent $300 in 5 years on diapers and wipes. Also I’m a big Swaddle collector! I really can never have enough blankets for me or my babies!! Lol