13 Newborn Essentials | Baby Must Have Items

When I was pregnant I loved reading Baby Must Have lists and making a shopping guide of my own. Initially I purchased much more than 13 items because I was a first time mom who didn't know what the heck she was doing! But now I've got some experience under my belt (and a lot of unused newborn shoes) and I can tell you with confidence that we have used and loved every single one of these items at some point.

Here are the 13 must have items for a newborn baby. (Note: Diapers and wipes have not been listed because- duh!- we all know you need them. Also, the list is in no particular order.)

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1. Diaper Trash Can

1. Stainless Steel Step Trash Can 3L: Diaper Genie's seem to be all the rage but they can get a little pricey. I find that a regular trash works just as great. Look for a product made of thick plastic or stainless steal and buy the sturdy black trash bags to go along with it.

2. Gentle Detergent

Tide- Free & Gentle: Newborn baby skin is so sensitive that you need a gentle detergent to do their laundry. I save a little money by purchasing Tide so I don't have to buy baby detergent and detergent for our own clothes. My son has really bad eczema flares and this is one of the only detergents that doesn't irritate his skin.

3. Pacifiers

Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier, Blue: Your kid might love them or they might hate them. Regardless, they're cheap enough that if they give you just 30 minutes of soothing your fussy baby, you'll be happy you had them. Those early weeks are so intense that any relief will be greatly appreciated!

4. Thermometer

Braun Forehead Thermometer: When you have a baby less than a month old, you will worry about any change in temperature or appearance of fever. The hospital may send you home with a thermometer but if your child is a wiggler like mine, you won't have a very good chance at getting an accurate reading. Look for a product with a non-invasive technique and quick readings, like the one listed above.

5. Nasal Aspirator

FridaBaby Nasal Aspirator: You know the nose suction devices they give you at the hospital? Those are archaic compared to this gadget! The Swedes really know what they're doing when it comes to clearing a baby's nose.

My son occasionally suffers from intense allergies. We only have to use this once or twice before he is able to breathe through his nose and sleep peacefully again. I highly recommend you have this on hand!

6. Breastfeeding or Bottle Gear

Medela Breast Milk Storage Bottles: You'll need a little bit of feeding gear regardless of whether you breastfeed or nurse. Check with your insurance provider before you purchase a breast pump. I received the Medela Double Breast Pump, gear, and breastmilk storage baggies for FREE because it was covered under my plan. That's over $200 saved!

7. Swaddlers

aden by aden + anais Swaddleplus: Oh man these are high on the list! You know those blankets they send home with you from the hospital? Meh. They're okay. But my son was born in Texas in the summer. Those blankets were way too think for him, even as a newborn.

These aden + anais swaddler blankets are out.of.this.world! They're made out of cotton muslin so they feel incredibly lightweight while also being extremely durable. And the size is perfect, being large enough to swaddle even my chunky little man.

If you're worried about actually having to swaddle, I completely understand. Baby's like to squirm and it makes it nearly impossible to swaddle them. These Summer Infant SwaddlePods are an easy solution because of their zip up feature. Keep in mind that you'll have to buy larger sizes as your baby grows. But the convenience may be worth the extra cost!

8. Pack N Play with Bassinet

Graco Pack N Play Playard with Bassinet: You may have the luxury of fitting a baby crib in your room. But if you don't, you'll want to have a smaller, portable bed nearby for those early months. We purchased a Pack N Play that turned into a bassinet to save on space. It worked out great! And it was a good thing we went with it too because my son ended up growing so quickly that an actual newborn bassinet would've been a waste of money.

9. Dependable, Safe Car Seat.

Britax B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat: Learn from our mistakes. We purchased an affordable car seat to save a little bit of cash. We were fortunate that we never got in an accident but that thing was made of cheap plastic and didn't feel very padded or comfortable at all.

I will never use any other brand but Britax, even with their expensive prices. The quality is far and away better than anything else I've seen and it's the only car seat I feel safe putting my baby in. I highly, highly recommend them!

10. Nail Clippers/Scissors

Safety 1st Steady Grip Infant Clipper: Babies are born with long nails. It's kind of bizarre to see but it's not like they had time to get a manicure done in there, right?

Invest in a set of small nail clippers or scissors to safely trim the nails away. You'll want to look for items that offer you a lot of hand stability, either with a long or thick handle.

11. Burp Cloths

Gerber Birdseye Flatfold Cloth Diapers: Get ready, my friend, because that darling baby of yours is going to spit up...a lot! You're better off having too many burp cloths rather than not enough. I love this type from Gerber because they are lightweight and absorb very easily.

Not sure how many you need to buy? As a point of reference, I purchased one 10-pack and did laundry twice a week.

12. Bouncer or Swing

Graco Portable 2-in-1 Swing: I wish you could look into a magical ball and see if a swing or a bouncer will be your go-to for soothing a fussy baby. Personally, our son loved his swing and it soothed him almost every single time.

Unfortunately, kids will quickly grow out of them so keep that in mind when you're purchasing. The swing I list here isn't fancy but it was definitely a lifesaver.

13. Stroller

Graco LiteRider Classic Connect Stroller: If you splurge with the car seat you don't necessarily need to splurge with the stroller too. We bought a fancy schmancy stroller and our baby absolutely hated it. We also owned this affordable one from Graco and he loved it. Go figure.

Whatever you go with, try to find one with the most adjustable seat back. If it can sit upright, your child will be able to grow and still use it when they're a little older and want to be engaged with their surroundings.

Every must-have list is catered towards the needs and preferences of the writer and I guess mine is a little bit like that. You may not need all of the items on this list. But I can guarantee you I would have been lost or just plain miserable without each one! They have helped soothe my baby, thus also soothing me.

Best of luck to you expecting Mamas out there! I hope you find at least one item from this list that saves your day.

What are your newborn essentials? What surprised you most about what you couldn't live without?