Motherhood Essentials: 23 Must-Have Items for New Moms

It is so important to be prepared with motherhood essentials to help navigate this new phase of life.

Becoming a mother is a wonderful journey, filled with unforgettable moments. Moments of pure joy, tender vulnerability, and unbreakable bonds. From the first flutter of a tiny heartbeat to the sleepless nights cradling your sweet newborn, motherhood is a full of love, care, and countless memories. Becoming a mother can also be a stressful journey, wondering what to expect and what you need, and figuring out whether what you are told is truths or motherhood myths. As you start on this extraordinary path, having the right tools and knowledge becomes essential. This post contains some words of advice for new mothers about motherhood essentials – those indispensable items that will not only ease your transition into this new role but also help you to embrace each moment with confidence and grace.

Whether you’re a soon-to-be mom putting together a registry or a new mom navigating the stormy waters of early parenthood, wondering what newborn baby essentials you need, this post is for you. I will uncover the must-have items that will not only enhance your journey but also celebrate the extraordinary art of being a mom.

mom wondering about motherhood essentials

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Motherhood Essentials for the Nursery

Setting up the perfect nursery is an exciting project for expectant parents. Three essential items for the nursery are a crib or bassinet, changing table, and rocking chair or glider.

1. Crib or bassinet

One essential is choosing a safe and comfortable sleeping space for your baby. You can start with a crib and/or bassinet.

If your baby will sleep in your room in the beginning then the bassinet would be more important to start with. The HALO BassiNest is a great option, especially if you plan to breastfeed. The bassinet can go right up against your bed, making it easy to pick up the baby to nurse.

When you’re ready for a crib, choose a convertible crib that grows with your child. A convertible crib will first convert from a crib to a toddler bed, and then a full-size bed, so you will have less to worry about down the road. Just make sure that you buy any additional rails or other supplies needed for converting all at once, in case the model gets discontinued down the road.

2. Changing table

Another essential is a changing table to keep diaper changes organized and efficient. You can get a crib model that comes with a changing table (see convertible crib option above) or buy a changing table separately. Changing tables are very convenient since there are multiple drawers and shelves to store all of your supplies. You don’t want to have to search for wipes when you’re in the middle of a diaper change.

3. Rocking chair or glider

A rocking chair or glider is essential for creating a cozy spot for feeding and bonding with your baby. You definitely want a comfortable place to sit in the nursery since you will be up during the night. The gliding motion can help soothe your baby back to sleep.

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Baby Gear Essentials for Motherhood

Choosing baby gear can be very overwhelming. There are so many options! What’s essential? A travel system, convertible car seat, and diapers.

4. Travel System

It is essential to opt for a durable, easy-to-use stroller for outdoor adventures. A travel system, which is an infant car seat and stroller, is very convenient. The car seat clicks right into the stroller which makes it very sturdy and easy to use for family outings. You have less of a risk of waking a sleeping baby when moving out of the car since you can take the car seat with you. You can also get the baby all settled in the infant car seat inside your house and then just carry the seat into the car. When the baby outgrows the infant car seat the baby can sit in the regular stroller seat for walks and adventures.

5. Convertible car seat

A good car seat is essential for ensuring your baby’s safety while traveling in a vehicle. If you’re getting a travel system, then you have the infant car seat covered. Eventually the baby will outgrow that car seat (usually around one year) and need a larger one. If you go with a convertible car seat, you will end up using that car seat for 10+ years! It starts as a rear facing harness car seat, then transitions to a forward facing harness car seat, then transitions to a high back belt positioning booster, and finally transitions to a backless belt positioning booster.

6. Diapers and wipes

It is essential to stock up on diapers and wipes for the frequent diaper changes. Make sure you have them on your diaper bag checklist too! A diaper and wipes subscription makes things easier since you will get diapers and wipes delivered to your door on a regular basis, and also get a discount too. Honest diapers are adorable since they come in so many different prints and I find their wipes to be so soft.

baby in stroller

Motherhood Essentials for Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding can feel like a full-time job. To make things easier, you will want to stock up on some breastfeeding essentials such as nursing bras and tops, a breast pump, and nipple creams and pads.

7. Nursing bras and tops

Comfortable clothing is essential for easy breastfeeding. Kindred Bravely’s Sublime Hands Free Pumping Bra is an all-in-one pumping and nursing bra. It’s also comfortable and supportive too. This bra eliminates the need for separate bras, since you can unclip the top layer and insert your flanges to pump or unclip both layers to nurse.

Nursing tops have flaps that allow for discreet and convenient breastfeeding. You definitely want something soft and flowy so you are comfortable too.

8. Breast pump

A breast pump is a valuable tool for maintaining milk supply and flexibility for leaving the baby. You will likely get a free breast pump through your insurance and many of those are very good! Spectra is a popular pump these days but definitely check with your insurance before buying online.

9. Nipple creams and pads

Nipple creams and pads are essential for managing discomfort and leakage from nursing or pumping. Earth Mama’s Organic Nipple Butter is my favorite option for nipple creams since it has no petroleum, no preservatives, and no lanolin so there is no need to wipe it off before nursing or pumping. Lansinoh’s Stay Dry nursing pads are a good option for nursing pads since they are comfortable and also stay in place throughout the day.

mother breastfeeding

Motherhood Essentials for Bottle Feeding

Whether you are using formula or plan to pump, you definitely want some bottle feeding essentials such as bottles and a bottle warmer.

10. Bottles

It is essential to choose the right equipment for feeding your baby. Bottles can be hit or miss. My older daughter did great with Phillips Avent bottles but my younger daughter choked with them and did really well with Nuk Simply Natural bottles. You may find that bottles are trial and error. If you are nursing too, I did find that both Phillips Avent and Nuk Simply Natural are good for transitioning between the breast and the bottle.

11. Bottle warmer

A bottle warmer is essential for getting breast milk or formula to the appropriate temperature in a timely manner. You definitely don’t want to be warming a bottle under the sink and trying to calm a screaming, hungry baby. Bottle warmers get those bottles to an appropriate temperature in just a few minutes.

mother feeding baby a bottle

Motherhood Essentials for Baby’s Health

You will definitely want some items to monitor your baby’s health and help them heal. Some baby health essentials are a thermometer, first aid kit, and baby monitor.

12. Thermometer

A thermometer is essential for monitoring your baby’s temperature in case of illness. A rectal thermometer is the most accurate method for babies.

13. First aid kit

You definitely want to have some essential supplies on-hand for minor injuries and ailments. Safety 1st’s Nursery Care Health & Grooming Kit comes with 30 items such as a nasal aspirator, digital 3-in-1 thermometer, bottle medicine dispenser, antimicrobial alcohol wipes, and a cradle cap brush.

14. Baby monitor

A baby monitor is essential for ensuring you can keep an eye on your baby from a distance. With a great video monitor, you will feel comfortable to relax on a different floor of your home or even sit outside while the baby is sleeping. It’s so helpful to be able to see what is going on with your baby since they may let out a few peeps while sleeping and you can see whether they are able to put themselves back to sleep on their own.

Motherhood Essentials for Childproofing

Once your child is mobile, you want to stock up on some childproofing essentials such as a childproofing kit and safety gates.

15. Childproofing Kit

A childproofing kit is essential for creating a safe environment for a mobile baby. Safety 1st’s Safety Essentials Kit comes with 46 pieces such as door knob covers, cabinet and drawer latches, and outlet covers.

16. Safety gates

Safety gates are another essential item for creating a safe environment for a mobile baby. Depending on your home, you may need a safety gate to close off rooms as well as a swing gate to block off stairs. Swing gates are safer for stairs since you don’t have to worry about stepping over anything.

mobile baby with baby gate

Motherhood Essentials for Postpartum Period

Those early postpartum days are tiring and uncomfortable. Childbirth recovery can be a bit easier with some postpartum essentials such as maternity pads and underwear, supportive pillows, and skin care items.

17. Maternity pads and comfortable underwear

Maternity pads and comfortable underwear are essential for managing post-birth recovery. You can use any kind of pad you would use for a heavy period, but perineal ice maxi pads can really help with your recovery if you had a vaginal birth. Comfortable underwear is key for either a vaginal birth or c-section.

18. Supportive pillows

Supportive pillows are essential for finding comfort during feeding. These pillows can come in handy for both nursing and bottle feeding and can even be used for propping up the baby as he or she grows.

19. Skin care and relaxation

A postpartum skin care kit is essential for taking care of your well-being amid new responsibilities of being a mother. Honest’s Top-2-Bottom Postpartum Kit comes with a postpartum hair wellness supplement, cleansing oil, hydrogel cream, and body cream. It will help brighten you up during those tiring days. There are many self-care products for new moms to help you during those early exhausting days.

postpartum mom with self-care

Photography Essentials for Motherhood

You’ll definitely want to capture adorable moments with your baby so make sure you have some photography essentials such as a camera or smartphone and a photo album or journal.

20. Camera or smartphone

A camera or smartphone is essential for capturing precious moments of your baby’s growth. The iPhone keeps improving their camera with each new model. I’m amazed at the photos I can get when I play around with the different settings. There are many other great smartphones out there too!

21. Photo album or journal

A photo album or journal is essential for documenting milestones and memories. I find baby books to be overwhelming but I’ve been using the Hello Baby Memory Book with my younger daughter. There are prompts so there’s not a ton that you need to fill out each month. Even when I forget about it for a while it doesn’t take me too long to catch up.

mom taking photo with baby

Sharing and Preserving Essentials for Motherhood

After you have all of those adorable photos of your sweet baby you definitely want some sharing and preserving photo essentials at your fingertips, such as social media sharing options, and methods for backing up digital memories.

22. Social media sharing

Social media sharing is essential for connecting with loved ones and other parents. I completely understand not wanting to share photos on Facebook, Instagram, and other more public social media platforms. I have found Tinybeans to be very secure and private. You control who gets to see and download your photos by inviting people to see your album.

23. Backing up digital memories

Backing up digital memories is essential for ensuring that those adorable photos and videos are secure. There are many different methods for backing up digital photos and memories. Some methods are a USB flash drive, a cloud-storage service such as iCloud, and free cloud photo services such as Tinybeans or Shutterfly.

Motherhood is a unique and transformative journey that requires preparation and adaptability.

Having the right motherhood essentials for new moms, and then mommy must-haves for toddler moms, can make all the difference in navigating the joys and challenges that come with raising a child. From preparing the nursery with a cozy sleeping space and functional changing corner to ensuring your baby’s health and safety with first aid and childproofing kits, every item serves a purpose in making this journey smoother. Self-care for moms is just as crucial, as it enables you to be the best version of yourself for your little one. If you need some extra help, download my free 5-day self-care challenge!

happy mom with motherhood essentials

By focusing on these motherhood essentials, new moms can navigate the challenges and embrace the joys of raising their child.

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