After a long time in the making, I've finally completed my newborn must have list! This is inspired by my friend R who is expecting a baby next year and is overwhelmed with what to buy.
I wanted to keep the list simple and easy. The baby market is massive and there is so much you can get lost in. While there are plenty of fancy things you can buy, newborns are fairly simple creatures; they just need clothes, milk (breast milk or formula), a safe place to sleep, and a way to be transported.
For some sections, like strollers, I listed budget friendly and splurge items. Splurge products are more expensive but not necessary something you need.
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Buying for twins: Uppababy Vista, Bugaboo, and City Select all
Car Seats: For newborn babies, you can get a bucket seat (see pic below) or a convertible car seat that lasts a few years (from newborn to toddler/child). The benefit of bucket seats is that you can remove them and insert them into the stroller. Standard car seats cannot be removed for in-out use but have a longer lifetime.
Depends on the type of stroller you buy, you'll need to get a compatible baby bucket car seat. Top line car seats are Maxi Cosi, Nuna; more economic friendly car seats are Graco and Britax.
Also good to have is a car seat mirror.
Diapers: Honestly, it doesn't matter what brand of diapers you get, as long as you buy ones in your budget and style.
Budget friendly diapers tend to be the store brand, Up and Up (Target).
Environmentally friendly diapers: Naty (biodegradable and eco-friendly and cheapest at Target), Seventh Generation (eco friendly diapers), Honest Company (less chemicals used), Earth's Best (biodegradable and eco-friendly). Babyganics (less chemicals used)
Major brands: Pampers, Huggies
Don't forget the wipes, diaper pad, and diaper trash/diaper genie.
Bathtub: A simple tub is great. If you have space, you can get a standard size baby tub. For space conscious bathrooms, a folding tub like Plaj works.
Bottles: Bottles are tricky; every baby is different and bottles deliver formula/breastmilk at different speeds.
In general, for newborns to four months, use nipple size 1 from the bottle manufacturer. Around 5/6 months, you can switch to nipple size 2.
Some bottles help with reflux or colic (though not proven through any research studies), some are ergonomic, and some are simple.
Personally, I like the Munchkin bottle. You can try out a single bottle with nipple size 1, before buying a 3 pack package (better pricing). The Munchkin bottles also come with adapters for the breast pump, which means you can directly pump into the bottle.
I also used the Lansinoh bottle when my firstborn was 5 months old.
Other parents love Dr. Brown's (either in plastic or glass bottles), Aventi, and Medela.
Pacifiers: Like bottles, pacifiers are dependent on the each baby preferences. Almost every bottle manufacturer makes pacifiers from newborns to twelve months (after one year, baby should be kicking the habit).
Many gift bags that stores give when you create a baby registry will include a pacifier. Try it out and see what sticks.
For moms who are breastfeeding: lanolin cream, nipple soothies (the most amazing thing ever!)
Clothes: Depends on the time of the year baby is born, you'll need a mix of cool to warm clothes.
To buy a whole collection for a reasonable price, your best is to search Facebook Marketplace. Many moms will sell giant lots of newborn-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-12 months, etc clothes/accessories. They can be as cheap as $.50 an item. Considering how quickly babies go through them, it isn't until they are older, you need to buy them. And from experience, the older baby gets, like toddler hood, the harder it is to buy secondhand (I don't know why).
Buy the basic lot of clothes and your special items as splurge (like holiday outfits and dresses).
Remember if you are in a cold climate, you will need more full sleepers and pants.
4-8 Full sleepers
6-12 Pairs of Socks
3-5 Pants - My favorite pants are the ones with the footed covers. This way, you can skip the socks and the search 5 minutes later when baby kicks them off!
Swaddles: My favorite is Aden and Anais, the market standard. Made from muslin, they are soft and a bit stretchy.
Nursery: This is when I highly recommend to get these items used. Facebook Marketplace, Nextdoor, and Craigslist are the best places to buy nursery.
Truly, nobody cares except you how the nursery looks and how much you spent. We bought our bassinet used for $50, the crib (an IKEA one) also for $50 (and the parents gave us lots of extra things), and a small IKEA dresser for $75. We instead splurged on a high end stroller system that would last years.
- Crib + mattress or bassinet
- diaper changing table
- Quilt set - this is really just for decoration as baby won't be using blankets for at least a year
- Rocking chair glider
Wraps & Carriers:
Baby K'tan or Lillebaby