Baby #2 is on his way and I got to thinking about must have baby items for new moms.
No, I’m not a new mom, but I’m becoming mom to a new li’l man in just a few weeks. With my first son being 13, it’s been awhile since I’ve needed to buy baby things!
What am I going to need? What are the best new baby products these days?
I remember how much STUFF I had the first time and a lot of it was unnecessary extras that took up space and rarely – if ever – got used.
I don’t want to repeat that experience. I’m hoping to streamline my purchases and get only what I’ll need…with maybe a few fun splurges. 🙂
As a new mom, you might currently be overwhelmed with all the items you need to have for Baby. Easy to understand when, in addition to making sure you care for yourself, you’ve also got to care for your new bundle of joy!
If this will be your very first baby, you’re probably unsure about what you need to get compared to what might not be necessary.
I’ve got you covered.
The following items include a comprehensive list of must-have baby items for new moms.
Some of these items are simply highly encouraged, while others are items you absolutely need to have. It helps to see a handy of list of top must-have baby products so you can write up a quick checklist and make sure you get all of the items you need.
Please note that this page contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase via one of these links, I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
✅ Baby Gear Must-Haves
As we get ready for our newest li’l man, my strategy is to start with the biggest, most obvious products I’m going to need.These are going to be your big-ticket items as well as some of the smaller – but essential – things you need for your new baby.
Keep in mind some items you need for your newborn by the time you deliver, while other items you need to get within the first few weeks or months after he is born.
Start looking for the following baby gear for your new bundle of joy…
You can check out the items I’ve added to my own baby registry here. Be sure to start your own baby registry on Amazon if you haven’t already!
Strollers and Car Seats
A car seat is the number one most important thing to have as far as gear goes for your new baby.
You might be able to carry your baby from the car to the house, but he’s going to need to be secure when in the car – you won’t even be able to leave the hospital unless you can demonstrate you have a car seat properly installed.
You must have a car seat properly installed before you give birth.
If you give birth early, have a family member pick up one for you and get it installed! Be sure it is appropriate for newborns, is rear-facing, and is installed properly.
Let me tell you…there are SO many options! Different brands, price ranges, styles.
My top priorities: a good quality car seat and proper installation. So I’m checking out star ratings and reviews of best selling car seats to see what others are saying.
Travel Systems – Stroller and Car Seat Combos
I’m planning to purchase a travel system – these are stroller and car seat combo sets that connect and disconnect in seconds.
The car seat is easy to remove from the mounting in your car and place in the stroller. It locks in easily and keeps your baby safe while walking or shopping. Getting the car seat back in the car is just as easy – most options click into place in about 1 second.
Other Stroller Options
In addition to travel strollers, there are a few other styles to choose from – lightweight strollers and jogging strollers.
Lightweight strollers are my least favorite of all. Every one I’ve ever used has been flimsy, hard to steer, and too short for me to use comfortably (I’m 5’6”). But I will say they’ve made some major improvements to lightweight strollers and they’re handy if you want a back up to keep on hand or in the car. They unfold in a second and you’re on your way.
Jogging strollers are great for active moms. They’re often so smooth to use, have sturdy wheels and are sized really well. They turn on a dime. Some jogging strollers even come as a travel system, which would be my preference.
It might take some practice for you to feel comfortable with a jogging stroller – if this is your first one – because they do steer and maneuver a little differently than a traditional stroller. But you’ll pick it up, lickety-split!
High Chairs for Baby
A high chair is a must-have baby item, but not necessarily something you need immediately. It isn’t until your baby is being fed while sitting up that you need a high chair.
During the first several weeks, you will be holding your baby to nurse or bottle-feed, so you do have a little time before you need to purchase one. When it comes time, choose from these different types of high chairs:
Standard high chair – Many parents choose a standard high chair, which is a stand-alone chair. There are a lot to choose from, in various colors, patterns, sizes, and cost ranges. Look for one that is lightweight and easy to move around, with a comfortable padded seat for your baby, and one that is easy to clean with a removable tray.
Hook-to-table high chair – To save space in your kitchen, you can avoid a stand-alone chair and instead get one that hooks right to the table. Not only is it good to have at home, but it is wonderful for grandma’s house.
Booster seat high chair – This is a high chair you don’t really need until your baby can sit up straight unassisted, most likely when they reach close to toddler age. It allows your baby to sit on a dining room chair instead of needing room for a stand-alone high chair. These are great if you’re traveling!
Baby Monitors – Audio and Video
This time around, I’m getting a video baby monitor. When I had my first, video monitors were hardly common and what was available practically required you to take out a small loan to be able to afford ’em.
Now, they’re much more affordable, come with two-way talk capabilities, and come in a range of sizes to ensure you get exactly what you need. I’m getting this one, but there are so many great ones to choose from!
✅ Must Have Baby Items – Hygiene
The next category of must have baby items for new moms is all about hygiene. Many of these items can be added to your baby shower registry as they often come in little gift baskets, but there’s also single item options so you can have some extras for yourself when you need them!
Baby Bathtub – Best Choices for Newborns
Bathing your baby is going to be on your to-do list from the start, so you need to have some type of baby bathtub. I’m pretty old school, though. I’ll bathe with my little one and use the sink straight up.
But I don’t deny how convenient a baby bathtub for newborns is and I’ve seen some really cool options.
The two main ones are a tub that fits in the sink and one that goes in an actual bathtub.
The baby bath slings and inserts for your kitchen sink are meant for newborns and infants up to just a few months old. At that point, your baby will need to be bathed in your regular bathtub. These types of baby bathers are convenient and often better for your back.
Another type of tub for a newborn is a basin tub, which is a tub you can place just about anywhere that is comfortable. Again, these are better for newborns and young babies.
Soap and Shampoo
With baby hygiene items, you will first need soap and shampoo for babies. Make sure you only use soap that is specially formulated for baby’s soft and tender skin. Some bottles will be labeled specifically for newborns.
Your baby soap and shampoo needs to be labeled as tear-free and not have any harsh preservatives, chemicals, or fragrances. Try any new soap on a small area of your baby’s skin first to see if there are allergic reactions. Your pediatrician can also provide some recommendations.
I’m also interested in some of the natural and organic soaps, shampoos, and lotions for baby, but I have to do some digging to see which ones buyers like and why.
Keeping your baby’s nails trimmed is important because it keeps her from scratching herself. Her nails will grow quickly and quite sharp, so keep them trimmed with baby nail trimmers.
Cleaning the Umbilical Cord
Your baby’s umbilical cord will not fall off for a few days or weeks after she is born. During this time, you need to be careful in cleaning her, especially around this area. Cotton swabs and cotton balls are ideal for this area. Be very gentle when cleaning it.
If your baby gets cradle cap or another skin condition, you want to keep the area conditioned.
Just about any oil will work but you want to make sure it’s baby-safe. And there are other products and solutions that might work if oil doesn’t do it for you.
I did a little digging and here are some top picks for clearing up cradle cap:
• Breast milk – some moms swear that using breast milk on cradle cap clears it right up
• Baby oil
• Olive oil
• Coconut oil
• Cradle cap shampoo
Preventing cradle cap may start by ensuring you’re using a good soap. One mom says she used Earth Mama castile soap on her little one and has never had to deal with cradle cap. Something to consider!
Follow up the conditioning with gentle brushing to get the dry, flaky stuff off your little one’s head. I like these baby brushes!
Must-Have Skin Care Items for Baby
Speaking of your baby’s skin, there are a variety of other items you will need for him. This includes:
It is a good idea to put together a little first-aid kit for your baby before he arrives. You don’t need a lot of items aside from what your family has in your main first-aid kit. There are, however, a few items you’ll need that are specifically for babies.
Here are some necessary items to include in your baby’s medicine kit:
To start with, make sure you have a thermometer specifically for your baby. There are standard and digital thermometers, though the digital ones are preferred. I’m getting this one.
You can find an infant thermometer for different parts of your baby’s body. I prefer digital ones for the ear and ones that measure at the armpit are easy to use, too.
Have some acetaminophen – a.k.a. Tylenol – for infants at home for things like a fever or pain. It should be in liquid form and specify the age of infants or babies it can be used for. **ALWAYS check with your doctor before giving Baby any kind of medicine.
This is to help suck the snot out of your baby’s nose. He is much too small to blow his own nose, so you need to do it for him. It looks similar to a turkey baster and is very easy to use. You need to get that congestion out so he can breathe easy.
Hospitals often include one in their new mom/baby gift packages or you can always ask if your hospital has one you can have to take home.
Make sure your checklist also includes some type of rash cream, not just for a diaper rash but other types of skin rashes.
Your baby needs to have infant-approved sunscreen every time he is outside, even while riding in the car. This protects his gentle, delicate skin.
Babyganics 50 Spf Sunscreen Lotion, 6 ozThinkbaby Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+, 3ozBanana Boat Baby Sunscreen SPF 50, 8 OunceCoppertone Water Babies SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion, 3 OunceBurt’s Bees Baby Nourishing Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30, 3 Oz.Adorable Baby All Natural Sunscreen SPF 30+ 4.3oz
Alcohol wipes are excellent for sterilizing items since they are quick and easy to use. They can sterilize the thermometer, bottle nipples, pacifiers, and toys.
✅ Baby Furniture
Baby furniture is one of those categories that include some items you need and others you can hold off on. You may also decide that what’s essential for one mom isn’t for you and vice versa.
Here are some different types of furniture to get – including what I have and what I plan to get – and tips on whether each one is essential or not.
Co-sleeper or Bassinet
While a crib might not be completely necessary for a newborn, you do need somewhere safe and comfortable for your baby to sleep.
If you are co-sleeping and your baby is on your bed, you probably don’t want her directly next to you on the bed as this can result in Baby being harmed.
This is when a co-sleeper comes in handy. It is just big enough for your baby to sleep and move around comfortably, but keeps her safe from rolling around or having you roll a little too close to her.
If you aren’t going to co-sleep, a bassinet is good because your baby is in the room right next to your bed, but it takes up far less space than a crib.
My personal pick this time around is a portable playpen combo that includes a bassinet. We already have a crib, so I really only need something to keep my little man close in the early months.
One perk to this is that portable playpens are a must have if you’ll be taking baby anywhere – the park, visiting friends and family, on vacation – because they’re great for keeping baby safe, secure, and settled and they’re also a little piece of home.
Crib and Mattress
As I mentioned above, you don’t need a crib right away, but after a few months you’ll need one. Once your baby is no longer sleeping in your room or is too big for a bassinet or co-sleeper, he’ll need his own bed.
You need to have a crib and a crib mattress set up for him.
Some cribs are very simple and only meant for infants and toddlers, while others (and my choice) convert into their first ‘big kid’ bed, saving you more money later on.
This is an optional item, but one that often comes in handy either for your bedroom or the baby’s room. These are good for soothing baby when putting him down to sleep, or when you’re nursing and want a comfortable and quiet spot in your home to do it in.
Gliders are also a great choice. My mom preferred these and loved using hers to soothe our fussy babies.
Changing Tables and Pads
A changing table is considered an optional item, though something that may come in handy. If you have a dedicated nursery for your baby, these are great to have.
You’ll not only have a convenient place to change diapers, but it also provides some storage for diapers, wipes, and other baby items.
I’ll let you in on a secret, though: Once you get the hang of changing Baby, you’ll be able to change him just about anywhere and will rarely go out of your way to use your changing table.
If you already have a plan for keeping diapers, wipes, and other essentials on hand, you might want to invest in other items that are a higher priority for you.
✅ Miscellaneous Must Have Baby Items
The rest of these items aren’t always considered ‘must haves’ but some items to consider getting either now or during your baby’s first few months of life. They include:
Within a few months of life, your baby will start teething. She will likely cry and be uncomfortable, and might present a fever as well. Teething toys, such as the popular Sophie giraffe toy, help her find some relief as something safe to chew on when her first few teeth start erupting through the gums.
A nursing pillow is a must-have for some new moms. Mine was for me! The right one allows you to sit your baby comfortably in front of you while she nurses, making the whole process so much easier for you and your baby.
✅ Related: Best Breastfeeding Positions
Baby Sling or Baby Wrap
You’re going to be carrying your baby…a lot. And a baby sling or baby wrap can help you keep Baby close while freeing up your hands, which is really nice.
Some of these are easier to use than others and moms are kind of across the board when it comes to preference.
I’ve chosen the K’Tan Breeze for its reputation and ease of use. You slip it on and wear it kind of like a t-shirt and it holds baby securely in front of you.
A baby swing is an optional item, but something that can keep your baby entertained and relaxed – mine would often fall right to sleep when he was in it.
Diaper bags are wonderful to have and definitely must have baby items, but if you are on a tight budget, a large bag or purse you already own will do.
However, keep in mind diaper bags have compartments that make it easy to organize items you need to bring with you when leaving the house with Baby.
A breast pump is highly recommended as it helps to pump breast milk even when you aren’t breastfeeding actively.
A good quality one is a must if you’ll be returning to work.
If Baby is having trouble latching, you can pump the breastmilk, and still give it to your baby in a bottle.
✅ Related: Breastfeeding and Pumping Breast Milk
Wrapping Up – Must Have Baby Items for Breastfeeding Moms
Well, that about covers the must have baby items you need before Baby comes.
I want to hear from you.
If you’re a new mom, what are your must have baby items for new and breastfeeding moms?
For you moms like me who’ve done this before, what will you be purchasing this time around and why?
Let me know in the comments!