Newborn Essentials Must Have Shopping Guide
Before I gave birth to my daughter, I would constantly wrack my brain, figuring out whether or not I had everything I needed for her arrival. I spent more time than I’d like to admit perusing everyone else’s newborn essentials shopping guides, and less time actually relaxing like you’re supposed to (when you’ve reached the status of “beached whale”)!
For some moms-to-be, the nesting stage is this beautiful time where you’re totally glowing. Where you look flawless while you’re setting up the nursery or dusting around the house.
For me, it looked more like the weird pregnant lady obsessing over every little gift we received at the baby shower.
I mean, I would literally just fold and unfold clothes just to look at them. And then fold them back up again. Yeah, I know… *insert the sign for crazy lady, here* LOL
But finally with that said, all of that obsessing I did before my daughter arrived really came in handy.
Because now I get to share with you all of my favorite newborn essentials for your shopping guide.
Let’s start with the basics.
- Does your little squish have a place to sleep?
- Are you breast or formula feeding?
- Maybe you’re exclusively pumping?
Regardless of how you plan on raising your little one, you’re always going to need a place for them to sleep and the proper equipment to feed them. Here’s a list of the newborn essentials I found hugely helpful and important.
So, where will they sleep?
For the first four months of her life, my daughter slept in a cradle made especially for her by her grandpa. For those of you who may not have a woodcarver on hand, there are a lot of options to choose from.
First and foremost, decide if co-sleeping is an option for you. If you do plan on co-sleeping in your bed, the ‘Dock-a-Tot Co-Sleeper’ is perfect for keeping you little baby safe while also allowing for maximum snuggles at night.
You’ve probably seen the ‘Dock-a-Tot’ video on YouTube making its rounds if you’ve been obsessing over the mom vloggers.
I don’t have any personal experience with it, but I think it’s a great investment if you plan on co-sleeping in your bed.
Halo bassinets are perfect for easy access to your baby during those nighttime feedings. You can easily swivel the bassinet closer or further away from you.
MLH Tip: Regardless of what you choose as your little one’s sleeping area, it is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that babies sleep on a safe surface in their parents room for at least the first 6 months of life.
How will you feed?
Who knew you needed to feed something to keep it alive? Maybe that’s why every plant I own dies…
I’m totally kidding! (sort of…) But of course, my daughter is still alive and well, so I must be doing something right … 😉
However, whether you’re breast feeding, exclusively pumping or formula feeding, you’re going to need the proper supplies to do so.
Breast Feeding/ Exclusively Pumping
The first few weeks with a new baby can get a little uncomfortable in the breast region. And by a little, I mean your boobs will probably feel like they’re going to explode (TMI, but still essential information!). You’re of course going to need a good breast pump regardless of whether you plan on only breastfeeding or bottle feeding.
Luckily, you can get a breast pump partially or fully covered by your insurance. Talk about a major SCORE. Getting a breast pump through insurance will save you upwards of $300.
I actually opted for the ‘Medela’ brand because of the amazing ratings and reviews they had. They even have a feature on their website where you can find a supplier for your insurance-covered pump here.
I chose to do a little bit of each. I mostly breastfed, but I also pumped and formula-fed as a supplement.
There are a million different brands of bottles out there and every baby is different. But my daughter loved ‘Tommee Tippee’ brand bottles best.
It was important to find a bottle with a “like-mama” nipple because I exclusively breastfed for the first few months. ‘Tommee Tippee’ bottles have a specially designed nipple to closely resemble that of a mother’s breast. My daughter didn’t really notice much of a difference at all.
Underrated, but equally as essential newborn essentials.
Infants love to be snuggled up tight. Swaddling your baby (whether in a swaddling blanket or a swaddle sack), helps keep their Moro Reflex at bay until it fades.
We were gifted a ‘Halo Sleepsack’ from the hospital as part of the safe-sleep-initiative and it worked wonders for us. My daughter didn’t grow out of her Moro Reflex until she was around 4 or 5 months and this sleep-sack helped keep her from startling herself awake.
Dohm Noise Machine
Living with dogs is so great, but regrettably the barking never failed to wake my daughter up from her nap. Turning on a fan for background noise wasn’t enough, so I caved and spent the money on the ‘Dohm Noise Machine’.
I was a little skeptical before buying it because I wasn’t sure if it would be worth the money. But now, in my opinion, I can say it most definitely was worth it!
Ever since we bought the Dohm, my daughter has slept soundly during naptime. And that’s a huge plus for this mama who can only get writing done when the boss is asleep.
Cover Those Hands!
I was always told babies are born with fingernails, but nobody warned me that they were actually talons. I swear, baby fingernails could cut diamonds. LOL. For this reason, I always covered her hands!
So many baby companies make newborn mittens, but I found that they never really stayed on. We opted to use socks instead of using the mittens. Yeah, it looked a little funny. But strangely enough, the sock material clung to her skin so much better than regular baby mittens.
Cool Mist Humidifier
This has been a godsend for us. Humidifiers are one of the greatest newborn essentials for when your little one is really congested.
We opted for the ”Vicks Starry Night Humidifier because it has a slot where you can insert Vick’s Vabortabs to run with the cool mist to help open your little one’s blocked airways.
It also has a starry night projector that shines a moon and stars on the ceiling in revolving colors as a nightlight to help lull your kiddo to sleep.
Zip Up Sleepers
Finally, one of the most needed newborn essentials. I cannot stress the importance of zip up sleepers enough. No matter how adorable you think that sleeper with the snap-up buttons is, you MUST resist for the sake of your sanity later on.
Any veteran mom will tell you the same thing, so don’t think this is just some random lady’s opinion. I was told this by like a zillion different moms while I was pregnant, and of course I didn’t listen to them.
I still bought the adorable floral print button up sleeper and a few months later, sleep-deprived me was cursing nesting me fairly regularly.
Zip up sleepers come in handy during late night diaper changes when you’re on the brink of insanity from sleep deprivation and want to get baby back to sleep as soon as possible.
With zips, the time it takes for diaper changes and outfit changes are cut in half. And ultimately anything that can make those pesky small things a little easier is a great thing in my book!
Preparing for baby can be a difficult and daunting task, but with this list of newborn essentials and must-haves, I hope I’ve made your experience just a little bit easier.
If you’re an experienced mom, what are / were your go-to products during your baby’s first few months?
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