It’s easy to go overboard with your first baby. A simple Internet search yields a ton of ‘recommended’ registry lists and must have baby products. After buying nearly every baby product under the sun for my first daughter, I’m sharing my simple recommendations for 5 newborn essentials you will actually use and 5 things you probably won’t need.
Diapers, Diapers and More Diapers
Newborns have an average of 10 dirty diapers every day. As a general rule, you can never have too many diapers. It may take a few tries before finding the brand that fits your baby best, so I recommend testing out several different types until you find the perfect one. If you plan to register for diapers or stock pile them in advanced, make sure to get several sizes as your child will be in diapers for the first 2-3 years of their life.
Not all burp cloths are the same. I love the old fashioned cloth diapers. They are super absorbent and great for catching the inevitable spit up that follows feeding a newborn. Burp cloths have multiple uses and come in handy for all kinds of baby messes. This is my mom’s signature baby shower gift. She dyes burp cloths and adds cute ribbon accents or patches to customize them based on the mom to be. She’s also had four babies of her own so she knows what a new mom needs even if they don’t quite know themselves.
I understand the hormonal urge to buy every cute outfit you see when pregnant. However, it is more practical to invest your money in comfy clothes. My baby lived in pajamas for the first 3 months simply because they were easier to change and more comfortable for her to wear. I loved zipper PJ’s because they were so easy to change in the middle of the night, despite being sleep deprived.
We didn’t buy a sound machine until our daughter was one month old. What a difference it made! I now give a sound machine as a gift to any new or expecting mom. The white noise drowns out other household noises and helps baby sleep so much more soundly. I remember shushing our newborn was the only way to calm here in the first few weeks, after buying a white noise machine it did all the shushing work for us.
The art of swaddling is not something I mastered right away. I found out the hard way that certain types of blankets work better than others. I preferred the Aden and Anais muslin cloth swaddle blankets (a gift I received from a mom of two who knows her stuff). Not only were they lightweight but they were also extremely large making it easier to keep baby swaddled tightly.
These are 5 newborn essentials I think every mama should have. On the other end of the spectrum, here are 5 things you probably won’t need, despite what registry lists claim.
We were given a diaper pail with our first child and quickly got rid of it after bringing baby home. While in theory these sound like a great idea, the regular trash can works just as well. Who wants an extra trash bag to empty? If you’re super concerned with smell, grab some doggie bags. We wrap dirty diapers in dog poop bags because they’re a lot cheaper than the ‘baby’ equivalent.
Even as a newborn, my daughter would pull her mittens off or they would slide off on their own. Forget these ridiculous things and bite your baby’s nails to prevent them from scratching themselves. If you MUST have baby’s hands covered, try buying the pajamas with built-in covers instead of individual mittens.
Resist the urge! Fancy outfits are so tempting to buy for babies because they look so darn cute, but they aren’t easy to put on and will probably have spit-up (or worse) on them within the first 5 minutes of being worn. Save yourself the heartache and skip the fancy clothes.
Baby Powder & Diaper Cremes
I never once used baby powder. The pediatrician told me not to use it when she was first born, so why is it considered a ‘necessity’ on so many registry lists?! Diaper creams, in general didn’t really help with my daughter at all. After trying multiple brands, I found organic coconut oil worked best.
Baby shoes are adorably impractical. A baby doesn’t need shoes until AFTER they have mastered walking so why waste the money? Invest in cute and comfy socks and skip shoes altogether.
What am I missing? I would love to know what newborn essentials you couldn’t live without!