If you’re ready to have a child, you’ve no doubt got a loooooong list of items you’ll be looking to buy. There are definitely some must haves for newborns that will cut down on the anxiety and prevent you from buying every single thing on the market. I mean, have you seen all those baby registry lists?!? Some of us don’t have a thousand friends (outside of Facebook) and that, “Top 200 What To Put On A Baby Registry” list is looking more like which are the “Top 11 necessary items to own.”
With a little past experience (and all mothers will have their own favorites), I’m gonna narrow that list down to my favorite “Must Haves” that I used for my 2 little ones. These aren’t lifesavers, just great to have items that WILL improve the quality of your life.
1. Travel System – Stroller and Carrier/Car Seat
Let’s be real. You’ll need a stroller and you’ll need a car seat. Why not kill two birds with one stone and pick them up together. Like you, I didn’t have time (or the desire) to go test rolling 20 different strollers and 20 different carriers and car seats. Ugh! The fail-proof situation would therefore be to combine the 2 purchases into one and get yourself the best travel system you can find.
And since they’re paired to fit together, getting the carrier removed from the car seat and put into your stroller is as easy as click, click, boom. I’d suggest not fussing with incompatible strollers and car seats in the middle of a busy grocery store parking lot.
2. Video Baby Monitor
My favorite technology, even today as my guys are growing up I can monitor them in their separate rooms, on one video unit. But as an infant, I bought this for my 2nd son. I can hear him breathe, wiggle, jiggle and cry. I’m a new-tech kinda mom, so this was huge for me!
Depending on the video monitor you like best, you’ll also find that there are tons of extras that come with these monitors. You’ve got clear sound and picture, pan/tilt/zoom features, a belt clip to take the unit with you outside and some even come with remote-controlled lullabies and 2-way talking. Loving it!
3. Baby Bottles
Let’s face it, some of us can’t always breastfeed, so it’s wise to have an infant formula option. In fact, there are several benefits to bottle feeding – you know exactly how much your baby has consumed, anyone else can take over the feeding responsibilities, and your baby may need to be fed less with formula milk as it digests slower than breast milk. It’s not breastfeeding, but it’s good to have a backup option.
Not a true “essential,” I’d still recommend getting a nursing pillow over many other items. Trust me. A baby may not weigh a whole lot… until you’re constantly having to lift her up to get a good latch. I’ve tried regular house pillows and they’re hit or miss with sizing or density that just isn’t sufficient to fully support an infant. Not to mention, your husband can use it too when it’s his turn to feed (from the bottle, hopefully!).
What’s more, if you’ve had a C-Section, this is way up there on the “must have for newborns” list. Unless you want your child kicking and rubbing against your incision, causing pain and discomfort.
5. Baby Tracker – Smart Phone App
Get yourself into the 21st century and download a baby tracker app! The first thing your nurses will tell you when you leave the hospital is to monitor diaper changes, sleep and feeding patterns. Why not make it easier on yourself and download a free App that you can easily and quickly log from your iPad or smartphone. Pediatricians and nurses will all agree that this is a must have for newborns – perhaps number one on the list!
So, don’t be an old lady and trade that chewed-up, yellow pencil and notepad for a smart phone App. It’s quick (and free) to download and easy to monitor everything your baby does!
After having my first child, I decided I was done opening up trash cans to the waft of more than just trash (if you catch my drift). The Munchkin Diaper Pail saved me from gagging on old diapers “festering” in my trash can each time I lifted the lid. Plus, if you have a dog that tends to get mischievous, the last thing you need is a tipped over trash can with dirty diapers all over the place.
There are several cheap options, there’s no more stink and I find it absolutely convenient to not have to run outside each time I have to toss a diaper. A must have for your newborn, in my opinion.
7. Baby Swing
A swing is another necessity for me and, if you can’t afford any type of larger activity center, get yourself a portable swing instead. The free time you afford yourself to shower, do laundry, dishes and several other things is invaluable with the addition of a infant swing. They’re totally safe and come with toys, music, nature sounds, soft swaying and a comfy environment for your newborn to rest beside you.
To get an idea of the different types of swings, as well as those most recommended by parents, check out our baby swing reviews.
Do I even need to go into the most important piece of clothing your newborn will own? They’re cute and make diaper changes SUPER EASY! They’re cotton and they snap at the crotch for quick diaper change access, as well as easy removal. There are also a million different cute designs available and are cheap as can be.
Babies grow quick, so this is a popular hand-me-down from a friend (or your previous child). They’re so cheap, you can just get a bunch of plain ones for the price of a fast food meal.
9. Diaper Bag
You’re going to need something to carry all that stuff and, while using a large purse or backpack will do, a diaper bag has all the convenience of carrying your little one’s things. With all the supplies you’ll be needing initially, a diaper bag will have a sturdy bottom to hold it all, and several pockets and spaces constructed for toys, bottles, wipes, snacks, your phone, etc.
This is also a no-brainer, not to mention they come in all kinds of chic designs!
Harvey Kemp, Pediatrician and Author of the bestselling book, The Happiest Baby on the Block, suggests that the best way to calm a baby and get them to sleep is to mimic the snug environment and whooshing sounds of life inside the womb. A white noise maker aims to do just that by creating that environment, as well as drowning out other ambient sounds. Perfect for putting a baby down or for its general soothing effect.
Do, however, make sure that you use your white noise maker properly. Here is a New York Times article on the proper decibel (sound level) settings if you are going to use a white noise machine.
11. Swaddle Blanket
There are a few debates on the benefits of swaddling your child – is it beneficial in getting your baby to sleep, does it calm a fussy baby, when do you stop? I love it, personally. During the first few months you may find it extremely useful in getting your little one down to sleep better and having them stay asleep longer! Some of the other benefits include your child not scratching himself, startling himself out of a deep sleep, and the calming caress it provides against your baby’s skin.
If you do decide to swaddle your newborn, here are some standard procedures and tips on how to swaddle correctly.
There you have it, the 11 must haves for newborns. The truth is, for hundreds of thousands of years parents have been getting by without any of these, but new-age technology and studies on infant health and safety have increased our demand for newer, better products to enrich our lives. I’ve used all of these (in different variations) and find them essential for raising a happy baby, as well as making my life so much easier. So if you’re looking for what to put on a baby registry, you can start with some of the basics.