Newborn Baby Essentials: The Only Items You Need!

newborn baby sleeping

Welcoming a newborn into your life is an extraordinary experience, filled with joy, anticipation, and yes, anxiety.

As a fellow mom of littles, I remember those early days vividly—feeling overwhelmed with love and, let’s be honest, a little confused about what my baby truly needed. There’s a sea of products out there, and believe me, I added many of them to my baby registry. It was so hard to figure out the true newborn baby essentials and those items that are just a new fad.

That’s why I decided to put together this resource for moms on newborn baby essentials for the first six months, to share some of the wisdom I’ve gained having gone through the newborn stage twice now, and also, make your journey a little smoother. From the must-have items that saved my sanity to those sweet little extras that made life easier, here’s everything you need to know to get started on this amazing adventure of motherhood.

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Newborn Baby Essentials

Here is a quick list of all of those crucial newborn baby essentials in case you just want to jump to the items you want to learn more about.

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Newborn Baby Essentials for Sleep

The following items are sleep essentials for the first six months.

1. Zipper sleepers

My girls pretty much lived in Carter’s sleep and play zipper sleepers – during the day and at night – for the first six months. You’ll be going through what feels like never-ending diaper changes, so you definitely want your baby to be wearing something that is quick to get on and off. Zipper sleepers also make those middle of the night diaper changes much easier.

2. Rompers

When the weather gets warmer, rompers are great alternatives to zipper sleepers. I loved putting my girls in Carter’s rompers since they came in adorable prints and also made for easy diaper changes with just a few snaps!

3. Bassinet

I used the HALO BassiNest with both of my girls and loved it! It’s the only bassinet that swivels over your bed, giving you easy access to your baby for middle of the night feedings. A bassinet is essential for those early days so you can make sure that your baby is sleeping safely.

4. Sleep sack

A sleep sack keeps your baby comfortable and safe overnight. We used the HALO Sleepsack Swaddle with our girls. It’s an easy way to keep your baby swaddled since all you have to do is fasten the velcro. It also has three different swaddling options – both arms in to reduce the startle reflex, one arm out for self-soothing, and both arms out to help transition from the swaddle to a regular sleep sack.

5. Bassinet sheets

Bassinet sheets are definitely essential for your bassinet. It’s always good to have a couple extra sheets in case your baby has a blowout during the night.

Newborn Baby Essentials for Diapering and Bathing

The following items are diapering and bathing essentials for the first six months.

6. Diapers and wipes

Diapers and wipes are obviously a newborn baby essential to stock up on! We used the Honest brand for both diapers and wipes. I thought Honest’s diaper prints were so adorable, they even had seasonal options! I also thought that their wipes were softer than other wipes that I have tried.

7. Diaper rash cream

Diaper rash cream is another essential item to help soothe your baby’s bottom during diaper changes. I used the Honest brand for diaper rash cream. It worked really well on my girls.

8. Baby tub

A baby tub is essential for easy bathing. I used the Fisher Price Sling ‘n Seat tub with both of my girls. We got a lot of use out of it since it has 4 different stages – a sling for newborns, a baby stopper insert to prevent slipping, a seat insert for unsteady sitters, and a basic tub for toddlers.

9. Towel and washcloth

A towel and washcloth set is necessary for easy bathing and drying. Babies look adorable and cozy after a bath in a hooded towel!

10. Baby body wash

A body wash that is gentle enough for a baby is definitely needed for bath time. I used Honest’s 2-in-1 shampoo+body wash with my girls in lavender scent. My 3 year old still likes it!

Newborn Baby Essentials for Feeding

The following items are feeding essentials for the first six months.

11. Bottles

Bottles are a feeding essential whether you’re breastfeeding or using formula so you are able to get a break. Nuk Simply Natural bottles were recommended by our pediatrician since the nipples closely resemble the breast. If you’re planning to breastfeed they are a great option.

12. Breast pump

If you’re considering any level of breastfeeding, then a breast pump is a necessity so you’re able to provide breastmilk when you’re away from your baby. You’re likely entitled to a free pump with your health insurance. The Spectra breast pump worked really well for me.

13. Bottle cleaning brush

Bottles come in all shapes and sizes, so a bottle cleaning brush makes cleaning the tight spots much easier. We used the OXO Tot Bottle Brush.

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Newborn Baby Essentials for Health and Hygiene

The following items are health and hygiene essentials for the first six months.

14. Nasal aspirator

Babies are constantly congested, whether they’re actually sick or not. You definitely want a good nasal aspirator to help relieve their congestion. We loved the OccoBaby Nasal Aspirator. It really gets the mucus out and my youngest even asked for the aspirator when she was stuffed up as a toddler.

15. Nail clipper

Babies’ nails grow so fast and if you’re not regularly trimming their nails they’ll end up scratching themselves. It’s hard to keep babies still long enough to use a manual clipper so we really liked the Royal Angels baby nail file. My toddler would stay so still for a trimming as if she was at a spa!

16. Thermometer

A rectal thermometer is most accurate for children younger than 2.

Newborn Baby Essentials for Entertainment and Travel

The following items are essentials for either entertaining your child at home or leaving the house during the first six months.

17. Bouncer

You definitely want a good seat to put your baby down in. Babies have different preferences but a bouncer is a great and reasonably-priced start! The bouncer that I used with my girls has been discontinued but the Ingenuity SmartBounce bouncer looks to be very similar.

18. Play mat

An interactive play mat is a newborn baby essential for some tummy time and exercise. The Fisher-Price Kick & Play piano was a favorite for both of my girls. It also grows with your child since they can sit up and play the piano as they get older. Hearing the music brings back memories, ha!

19. Baby carrier

The Ergobaby Omni 360 was an absolute lifesaver for me. I didn’t leave the house without it. It came in handy on walks, family outings, and vacations. I also used it around the house when my baby didn’t want to be put down and I wanted to get some chores done.

20. Travel system

A travel system, which is an infant car seat and stroller, is so convenient. We absolutely loved our Chicco Bravo Trio travel system. It’s extremely durable, lasting through both of my daughters! It’s so much easier to get the baby all settled in the infant car seat inside wherever you’re at and then just carry the seat into the car. When your baby outgrows the infant car seat he or she can sit in the regular stroller seat for walks and adventures. We have used the stroller well after my girls outgrew the infant car seat.

21. Diaper bag

You can’t leave the house without a packed diaper bag. I loved having my hands free with my RUVALINO backpack. It also comes with a travel changing mat, handy pacifier holder, and insulated pockets.

Nice-to-Have Newborn Baby Items

The following items are nice-to-haves. I wouldn’t quite call them essentials, but they do make your life easier.

22. Video monitor

A video monitor can definitely come in handy if your house has many floors and you want to keep an eye on your baby while he or she is sleeping. We used the Motorola baby monitor and still use it even though our daughters are 6 and 3. If you live in an apartment or smaller home then a video monitor may not be needed.

23. Pack and play

A pack and play is great for traveling with your baby. It can also come in handy if you want to set up a diaper changing station on a different floor from your baby’s bedroom. The Graco Pack ‘n Play comes with many different features to choose from so you can find one that fits your needs.

24. Swaddle blankets

We didn’t use swaddle blankets to actually swaddle our babies but we did like to stash one or two aden + anais blankets in the diaper bag in case the girls needed to be put down on-the-go or I wanted to cover up while nursing.

25. Pacifiers

Parents have differing opinions on pacifiers. My daughters used them for sleeping until they were 3. Some babies don’t use them at all!

26. Breastmilk storage bags

If you plan to pump, then it’s a good idea to stock up on some breastmilk storage bags so you can build up a supply of milk for when you are away from your baby. I liked Lansinoh breastmilk storage bags as they were great to freeze too.

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Navigating the world of newborn baby essentials can be a daunting task.

Just remember that every family is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. The newborn baby essentials I’ve shared here are based on my own experiences with my two daughters. Ultimately, choose what feels right for you and your little one.

I hope this guide on motherhood essentials helps you feel a bit more prepared and confident as you welcome your newborn into the world. As a special bonus, for those days when you’re ready to get out of the house with your baby, download my diaper bag checklist for free!

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While having the right essentials can make a big difference, the most important thing is the love and care you give your baby. Don’t stress too much about getting everything perfect—your baby just needs you.

Remember, you’ve got this!

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