Hey there, moms-to-be! This post is for you. I’m breaking down 18 baby items that you actually need as a new mom.
When I first got pregnant, I remember receiving all sorts of unsolicited advice about the things I’d need as a new mom-to-be. I was bombarded and overwhelmed with the information people were spewing at me from all angles– things I “needed to register for” and “couldn’t live without.” One person would tell me one thing, and then another person would tell me the exact opposite. It was a confusing time and I wanted to make sure I was as prepared as I could be before bringing my little one into the world.
So, after some trial and error and learning about the things that make my life easier, I decided to share what items a new mom actually needs. These things have been an absolute life saver in my journey through first-time parenthood. If you’re struggling to figure out what things to get before the arrival of your baby (or if you’re already a mom), these are the necessities worth getting.
18 Baby Items You Actually Need as a New Mom
Babies are used to the sound of white noise from being inside the womb, so having a noise machine definitely helps with sleep training. It keeps them calm and gets them familiar with a routine if you turn your white noise on every day/night at nap time and bedtime. Plus, you have the ability to choose different types of sounds and light colors. You can adjust the volume as well as the brightness of the light, which I find helpful for when I do middle-of-the-night feedings and don’t want to turn the main light on. The app even has a setting for a “time to rise” alarm for when baby gets older. You can control the entire device remotely with your smartphone.
Maybe you’ve already been told by friends how amazing this little piece of baby furniture is, but I’m here to remind you again how helpful it is to have this in your life. My baby spends a good chunk of her day hanging out in this lounger while I’m on the sofa with her. It has a concave center for baby to fit right in the middle perfectly while supporting the neck and head. It also works great as a breastfeeding pillow. You will get use out of this item every single day until baby grows out of it. Promise.
A lot of my anxiety before baby was born was being able to properly bathe her safely so that she wouldn’t slip around or fall over in the tub. This Angelcare baby bath is amazing and makes bath time so easy. I just fill up the big bath tub until just the bottom of this baby bath is covered and then set her down in it so her toes dangle in the water. She now finds bath time relaxing and enjoyable, and so do I.
This one took a while for me to get used to, especially tying it up myself, but once I got the hang of it, I fell in love. There’s something so wonderful about being able to move around while baby is snug and comfortable against your chest. Whether you’re just getting things done around the house or making a grocery run, this carrier makes carrying baby around much easier.
Face it, you’re probably never going to be able to swaddle your newborn as well as the nurses do in the hospital. And that’s totally normal. If you want to create the same baby burrito effect in a simpler way, these velcro swaddle wraps will do just that. Your little one will be snug as a bug in a rug in just 3 easy steps: tuck feet into bottom pocket, wrap left side over tightly, then wrap right side over to the velcro. Bonus: they come in adorable prints! My baby doesn’t go to sleep without it.
A diaper bag is obviously necessary, but I highly recommend a bag that is versatile, comfortable, and stylish to boot. I love this backpack style bag that I can quickly toss over my shoulder when I’m heading out the door. It also has an amazing front pouch that holds 3 bottles in separate mesh dividers and has space for an ice pack. There are also numerous pockets and side holders inside the main compartment that make it easy to organize all of babies things.
7. Diaper Genie
Okay, so this is one of those items that your friends and family members may have told you that you don’t necessarily have to get. However, I’ve learned from experience that having this handy little poopy diaper dispenser has been a Godsend on those extra stinky days. Sure, you can toss those smelly, soiled diapers into a regular trash bin, but your house will likely smell like it until garbage day. This diaper genie conceals nasty smells and makes diaper changes a breeze.
With a diaper genie comes the need for constant bag refills. The great thing about having the Diaper Genie is that you don’t have to purchase the brand name bags every time you have to change rings. These diaper pail refill bags are available in multi-packs for a super affordable price! You’re going to need a couple rings per month, so it’s safe to stock up ahead of time.
9. Baby Hamper
There’s nothing special about this hamper and it isn’t specifically ‘baby’ friendly, it’s just that having a hamper to use exclusively on baby’s clothes and sheets is ideal for laundry days. Since you’ll be using sensitive, fragrance-free laundry detergent on all of your newborn laundry, having dirty laundry in a separate hamper or bin will be very helpful. I have a couple different baby hampers to math the nursery, and I love this star-print one.
The changing table isn’t the only place you’re going to be changing your baby’s diapers. In fact, you’ll be surprised how often you change your baby while sitting on the floor or in your own bed. There are a number of places you’ll be stripping baby down to change them, so having these changing pad liners with you is a must. I keep one in the diaper bag at all times for when we’re out in public. Even though a public restroom likely has a fold-out changing table, it doesn’t mean it’s sanitary. I lay one of these bad boys down wherever I go. I’ve even used it a few times in the back of my SUV. Keep that baby bottom safe and clean! 😉
11. Car Seat Cover
A car seat cover is the best way to keep germs and strangers hands at bay when out in public. I’ve used this on really bright and sunny days to keep the sunlight out of her eyes, I’ve used it to cover her in the backseat to calm her fussiness, and I’ve used it in loud restaurants to keep her from being overstimulated. The best part? This doubles as a nursing cover! Just slip it over your neck and shoulders and you can easily nurse in public while keeping you and your baby private. And the dark constellation pattern is just the cutest!
Whether you’re breastfeeding or formula feeding, having some bottles on hand in a pinch is always a good idea. I love these Dr. Brown’s anti-colic bottles. They are BPA free, dishwasher safe, and hold 8 oz. of fluid. I like to use these when I have enough breast milk stored so that my husband can also feed our daughter for increased bonding time. I’m also currently supplementing with formula, and it’s EASY to go through a ton of bottles when baby is going through a growth spurt.
I really didn’t think I would need one of these. In fact, it seemed kind of pointless originally because I thought my bottles would just dry in the dishwasher. NOPE. In fact, we go through baby bottles, breast milk storage bottles, breast pump parts, and bottle accessories so often that we run the dishwasher twice a day. That means we don’t have time to just leave things in the dishwasher after the cycle has run. So we put all of our bottle parts on this drying rack and let them air dry, and it’s so much quicker. Then when we need to put a bottle together, we just grab them off the countertop and get moving. And these racks are easy to clean and don’t take up too much space.
These next 5 items are for the nursing/breastfeeding mom:
If you’re going to be nursing, it’s absolutely crucial that you invest in a really comfortable nursing bra. I have several different kinds, but this sleeper nursing bra style is my absolute favorite because it doesn’t irritate my skin and it has easy access. You can just pull the fabric to the side. I’ve yet to find a more comfortable bra than this one.
Just like having a comfortable nursing bra, you’ll also want to have some nursing-friendly clothing for easy breastfeeding access. I have this dress in two colors and wear them all the time on hot, summer days. It’s easy to lift the top panel of the dress and latch baby on when she’s hungry. Amazon has a ton of options for clothing that allow easy breast access.
Ladies- this is the holy grail of new mom items! I promise that if you are planning to breastfeed, you will need this in your life. The Haakaa is amazing because it’s made of silicone and can suction right onto your breast for hands-free milk expression. The most effective way to use it is to have it on the opposite breast that you are nursing baby with. Each feeding session, I manage to collect another ounce (and sometimes more!) of breastmilk that I can store in a bottle. I, of course, also recommend investing in a really good electric breast pump, but this is a MUST HAVE. It’s so easy to use and a complete necessity in my book. Don’t let that extra milk from a letdown go to waste! I have 2 of these because I use them so often.
With pumping comes the need for storing. I use and love these Medela freezer storage bags. It’s not often that I get to freeze my breastmilk, but when I have the opportunity to do some extra pumping, I put 5 oz. per bag and throw these bad boys in the freezer. I like knowing that I have a stash in case of an emergency or if we ever go out of town or need a babysitter for London. She’ll never have to go a day without receiving breastmilk, even if I can’t feed her myself. These bags are durable and leak-free. I approve!
Last but not least, the breastfeeding essential: nipple cream. And not just any nipple cream. This is the best there is. It’s made with all-natural, 100% certified organic ingredients. It’s an herbal salve that relieves the discomfort of sore, cracked nursing nipples… and take my word, you’ll need it. I nursed for one full week without using this and I experienced both cracking and bleeding. OUCH. This stuff saved my nipples. All ingredients are safe for ingestion, so it does not need to be washed off prior to breastfeeding baby. I now apply this after every nursing and pumping session. Never underestimate the power moisturizing, even if you think you don’t need it.
Although I’m still a new mom myself, I can say that without a doubt these 18 products have made my life so much easier. If you ever have any questions or want to chat about baby-related products, I’m all ears!
Also, I’m planning to do a diaper review/ranking post in the near future. Are there any specific brands you’d like me to test out and review! Comment below!