36 baby must haves for new moms

baby must haves

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When that brand-new baby arrives, you want to make sure you have everything you need for their arrival. I know for me when I started my baby registry when I was pregnant, I was kind of overwhelmed. The long, lengthy lists of baby musts haves seemed a bit extensive and I wasn’t sure what I actually needed. Here is a good comprehensive list of baby must haves for new moms.

baby must haves

Obviously, you don’t actually need everything. Because to be honest your baby only needs a few necessities such as food, clothes, love, and safety.

You and your baby would survive just fine on the bare necessities. But I feel since we have access to so many great things, I think it is nice to be well equipped.

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36 baby must haves for first time moms

  1. Bassinet
  2. Crib and mattress
  3. Reclining chair
  4. Dresser/changing table
  5. Highchair
  6. Sleepsack
  7. Swaddles/blankets 
  8. Dock-A-tot
  9. Sound machine
  10. Baby video monitor
  11. Baby bath seat
  12. Body wash and shampoo
  13. Baby powder
  14. Blue diaper sacks
  15. Diaper rash cream
  16. Nursing pillow
  17. Burp cloths
  18. Nipple cream
  19. Pumping equipment
  20. Breastmilk storage bags
  21. Baby bottles
  22. Drying grass
  23. Dishwasher basket
  24. Bottle warmer
  25. Onesies
  26. Robeez socks
  27. Car seat/stroller combo
  28. Car mirror
  29. Amber teething necklace
  30. Essential oils
  31. Nose frida
  32. Jumperoo
  33. Teething toys
  34. Play mat
  35. Baby carrier
  36. Diaper bag

A lot of these items make the everyday life of motherhood so much easier to deal with, while giving you the peace of mind your baby’s needs are easily met. Along with that, your baby will probably enjoy some of them too!

Baby nursery essentials (baby furniture)

  • Bassinet
  • Crib and mattress
  • Reclining chair
  • Dresser/changing table
  • Highchair

1. Bassinet

Usually, most parents will have their newborn sleep in their room for the first few weeks to months. This makes those middle of the night wake ups to feed easier and more convenient.

Having some sort of bassinet can be the perfect place for your little one to sleep if you don’t plan on bedsharing. We opted for a pack and play that had a few versatile features and easily converted into a bassinet.

If you are wanting to stick to a smaller budget the pack and play bassinet will serve your baby as they grow older and can be the perfect baby item for travelling.

There are so many different bassinet options to choose from and ones that are space efficient and provide the perfect sleeping environment for your baby.

If you are willing to spend a little bit more money on a bassinet the “Baby Delight Beside Me Dreamer Bassinet & Bedside Sleeper” is the perfect middle of the road option.

2. Crib and mattress

Even if you plan to have your baby sleep in the same room as you, to begin with, a crib and crib mattress is probably something you will want in the near future anyway, so you might as well be well equipped beforehand.

Depending on your preference, you can always search for a second hand crib – We did exactly that and completely refinished it.

There are some great affordable crib options that convert into toddler beds and even beyond, that are easy to find, highly versatile and will last your child forever.

convertible crib

Secondhand things are great and a perfect way to save a little money, however I would suggest choosing a new crib mattress over a used one (in my opinion anyway).

Think about all the hours your baby will be laying their head down on the mattress! You want to know that the mattress is new and your baby isn’t breathing in any mold or contaminants.

Purchasing an organic, non-toxic, breathable mattress is going to be your best option in ensuring your baby isn’t breathing in anything bad.

3. Reclining chair

I know these can be a bit pricey, but I think having a good recliner/rocker in your baby’s nursery will really be something you are grateful for.

Whether you are breastfeeding, bottle feeding or rocking your baby while you sing, a comfy rocker is a must have!

Still to this day, I use my rocking chair all the time, so I sure have got my money’s worth out of it. I’m not saying you need to spend a fortune on one because no one has a budget for that, but find one that is comfortable and practical.

You will be grateful for it.

Especially if you are up late at night feeding your baby, you will be glad for a comfy seat.

4. Dresser and changing table

Finding a dresser and changing table combo is going to be your best friend. Babies acrew a lot of clothes which you will need to store somewhere and you will be changing a ton of diapers.

That is why this combo is so essential and will make life easier.

Don’t get me wrong, you could totally find elsewhere to put all of those onesies and socks, and change your baby’s diaper on the floor…But a dresser and a changing table will help everyday simple tasks so much easier.

If you are handy or has a husband who likes extra items on his honey to do list, you can always buy a dresser and convert the top into a DIY changing table.

5. Highchair

Your baby is going to constantly need nourishment and as they get older, solids will become more prominent in their diet. Since your baby will be eating multiple times throughout the day it is great to have a highchair or something similar for them to sit in.

Having a highchair is super helpful and makes mealtimes easy and keeps your little one contained.

Highchairs can be quite big and they do take up lots of space, so if you are limited on excess space, purchasing a hook on the counter chair might be better suited for your space.

Each of Thomas’s grandparents have one so it makes visiting and meal times there so convenient, plus, they hardly take up any space and are super easy to remove when you are finished.

Baby sleep products

  • Sleep sack
  • Blankets and swaddles
  • Dock-A-tot
  • Sound machine
  • Baby video monitor

6. Sleep sacks

My baby still wears a sleep sack at night. Sleep sacks are amazing! They keep your baby warm all night long and ensure safe sleeping.

I love sleep sacks because I really have the peace of mind knowing my baby isn’t going to kick off the blanket in the night and get chilled. Also, I know the sleep sack isn’t going to act as a danger like a loose blanket could when they are really young.

There are lots of different sleep sack options for different ages of babies but a good popular one to start out with would be the Love to Dream Swaddle Up. This one is great because it acts as a swaddle but then can also help transition them out of the swaddle when that time comes.

For the 5 Best Baby Sleep Sacks, check out this post.

7. Blankets and swaddles

You might get a ton of these at your baby shower anyway so don’t be alarmed. But honestly, you can never have too many baby blankets and swaddles for your new little human.

minky blankets

My baby was born at the beginning of the summer, so it was starting to get warm outside. I love the muslin blankets for that time of year. I also have a ton of the soft minky plush blankets and my toddler now loves to snuggle with those ones.

The swaddles you can find now make swaddling a piece of cake. I tried the velcro ones and the zipper ones, both of which made swaddling easy. And they kept my baby from breaking out of them.

8. Dockatot

My sister in law gave me her Dockatot since her babies were all done using it and it was super nice to have. So I was lucky to have one with my baby.

I do have to say though, this is one of those items that you could totally live without but definitely has its perks.

It can definitely help your newborn baby sleep and feel secure and safe. I think sometimes putting your tiny baby straight into the crib or bassinet looks kind of terrifying.


The Dockatot definitely gives the baby security and help them feel like they are wrapped up in something, instead of being just out in the open.

Dockatots are also amazing if you travel with your baby while they are small. They make for PERFECT travel beds. They are super easy and convenient to move.

Definitely look into the benefits of purchasing a Dockatot and if it makes sense to you and is worth the money, go for it! Even though your baby will grow out of it, you will always have it for the next one.

9. Sound machine

This is one of my top sleep essentials for babies. Having some kind of sound machine is helpful in creating a good sleep environment for your baby.

Babies are used to the sounds of being in your uterus. A constant “white noise” of your heart beating, blood rushing through your body or your rhythmic breathing.

When your baby is born everything is so different and new. A quiet sound machine can help offer some of those similar sounds and help your baby fall asleep and also stay sleeping.

A white noise machine can help drown out any other environmental noise that might occur while your baby is sleeping. These can aid in preventing premature wake-ups.

10. Baby video monitor

To be honest with you, as a first time mom I actually didn’t think I would want or need a video baby monitor. I quickly changed my mind and having a video monitor gives SO much peace of mind!

They can be kind of pricey (one of the reasons I didn’t want one initially) but check out my post “Best baby monitor for a frugal mom” and this is the best baby video monitor that is great quality along with being VERY affordable.

Bathing must haves

  • Baby bath seat
  • Body wash and shampoo
  • Baby powder

11. Baby bath seat

Bathing your baby is something you are probably going to do pretty frequently, so having some kind of a bath seat or support will be super useful to help make the process easier.

bath support

Having a bath seat will help make your baby feel secure in the bath and it makes washing them easier for you.

12. Baby shampoo and body wash

Your baby is going to need some baby shampoo and body wash for all of those future baths they will have. As simple and obvious as it sounds, making sure you have baby shampoo and body wash will help you be well prepared for bath time.

Taking a look at the ingredient list on these two products can help you better determine the best option for your baby.

Babies often have sensitive skin, so choosing something as natural as possible without all the added synthetic ingredients might be a better option compared to some of the common choices.

Both Puracy and Weleda have a baby shampoo and body wash 2 in 1 with the best and most safe ingredients for your baby.

13. Baby powder

Baby powder is one of those common iconic leading baby items, however the main ingredient in baby powder is talcum powder.

Due to recent years and studies, talcum powder poses some serious risks, along with containing asbestos which can lead to cancer and other issues. It is generally not recommended for use and I certainly think it should always be avoided on not ever used on babies.

Thankfully, there are some other great talc free baby powder options that do the trick just as well, if not better and don’t carry those added risk factors you want to avoid with your baby.

Redmond clay baby powder and e.ra organics baby powder two great safe options when looking for a baby powder.

Diaper changing station essentials

  • Blue diaper sacks
  • Diaper rash cream

14. Blue diaper sacks

This one is seriously a winner for me, and I don’t understand why more moms don’t use them.

They’re missing out!

In England, it is common practice, but I notice over here, more people would rather spend unnecessary money on a diaper genie and expensive refills.

And do those diaper genie things even work? I feel like they would be pretty smelly!

All you need are these affordable little blue sacks. We use these sacks every day and they are convenient and easy to use. Dirty diapers go right into the bag, and it is easy to carry and is effective for odor control.

They are also especially helpful if you are out and about or in the car or somewhere without a trash. If your baby still needs to do a stink, you have a handy little diaper sack to hold on to it for you.

They are game changers!

15. Diaper rash cream

At some point your baby will probably experience some sort of a diaper rash, so having some diaper rash cream on hand is a MUST!

Earth Mama offers a great diaper balm that will offer great protection and help soothe any rashes or skin irritations. It is free from both zinc and lanolin containing all natural, non-GMO and organic ingredients.

If you are looking for a diaper rash cream that does contain zinc and may be more effective in treating severe diaper rashes, Weleda has the perfect formula that contains other natural soothing ingredients.

Breastfeeding must haves

  • Nursing pillow
  • Burp cloths
  • Nipple cream

16. A good nursing pillow

Whether you are a breastfeeding mama or not, a nursing pillow is needed! They are SOOO handy to have around. You can use them while breastfeeding or bottle feeding. They are the perfect thing to prop your little baby on while you get a couple of things done.

Nursing pillow

If you need to pump, a nursing pillow can practically act as a second set of hands and take care of your baby while you pump. Nursing pillows are versatile, helpful and will definitely get their fair share of wear and spit up!

17. Burp clothes

No matter whether your baby is breastfed or formula-fed or a mix of both, burp clothes will be something you will use ALL the time.

Spit up is pretty much inevitable with babies, so having a handy stash of burp clothes readily available will be something you wont regret having.

If you are creative and have time, you can easily make your own. There are many different burp cloth patterns out there to choose from and with a quick trip to the fabric store, you can easily make your own if that is your style.

18. Nipple cream

With breastfeeding comes lots of wear on those nipples, so some soothing nipple cream is going to be something you will want to have.

Make sure you choose a nipple cream that is baby safe and free of all those nasty added ingredients.

Remember your baby’s mouth comes into contact with your breasts and nipples so it is good to be cautious what you choose to put on them.

Here are some great safe and organic choices that are relatively affordable too.

Pumping or formula feeding

  • Pumping equipment
  • Breastmilk storage bags
  • Baby bottles
  • Drying grass
  • Dishwasher basket
  • Bottle warmer

19. Pumping equipment

Whether you are going to breastfeed or pump, having some kind of pumping equipment is definitely a mama and baby must have.

If you do plan to pump quite a bit or even exclusively pump, I would recommend having an electric pump.

If you are going to mostly breastfeed it might be good to have a manual pump or Haakaa on hand.

20. Breastmilk storage bags

If you plan to pump, having breastmilk storage bags will make storing your breastmilk, easy, convenient, and efficient.

The market is saturated with so many different breastmilk storage bags that it can be hard to know ones are the most durable, cost effective, and easy to use.

Mom Loves Best has put together a great easy to read compilation of the 7 best breastmilk storage bags.

21. Baby bottles

Pumping and formula feeding require some sort of baby bottle for your baby to drink out of. You thought there were a lot of breastmilk storage bags to choose from, well when it comes to baby bottles there is an endless amount of choices.

nanobebe bottle

Some are designed for anti-colic, slow flow, some for reflux, others imitating the breast, the list goes on and on.

Babylist shares 10 of the best baby bottles to help mothers decide what is best for their baby’s needs.

22. Drying grass

The drying grass rack or whatever you want to call it is super handy especially if you bottle feed or pump and have lots of baby bottles and equipment.

If your dishwasher is anything like mine, I always seem to have wet bottles or things that haven’t completely dried. Having the drying rack as a backup is something I was constantly using.

I still use it for my toddler and his mass amounts of sippy cups!

23. Dishwasher basket

Still to this day, I use the dishwasher basket that I got off of my baby registry. It has been so helpful when loading bottles, pumping attachments and sippy cup parts into the dishwasher and keeping all the little nipples and accessories safe in the while washing.

24. Bottle warmer

Okay, a bottle warmer isn’t necessarily a necessity or must have, however it is something really nice to have.

It makes warming bottles up quick, easy and very convenient. You should never warm any milk, breastmilk or formula in the microwave.

A bottle warmer is a great baby product that will heat your baby’s bottle to the perfect consumable temperature in just a couple of minutes.

Baby clothes

  • Onesies
  • Robeez socks

25. Onesies

Life with a newborn often results in lots of wardrobe changes and diaper changes. With that in mind, onesies are the perfect item of clothing for your baby.

They are simple, quick, and easy. Not to mention being super soft and comfortable for your baby. They also pair well with other items of clothing and are a great base layer, or item of clothing your little one can sport all day long.

26. Robeez socks

My little guy was notorious for getting his socks off. No matter what socks I bought for him, he would always manage to easily pull them off, kick them off, or they would just outright fall off!

It drove me crazy! He would always be sockless and then I would end up losing socks and have a never-ending odd-sock crisis.

This was the story of my life until I found Robeez. These socks were the bomb.com! Finally, I could keep socks on my child. These socks are a must buy and will keep your baby’s little toedio’s covered and warm.

Baby travel gear

  • Car seat/stroller combo
  • Car mirror

27. Car seat and stroller combo

I know these are a little pricey, but trust me they are 100% worth every penny. Having a car seat that is compatible with your stroller is heaven-sent.

It can make trips to the store, walks, and any outing so much easier and isn’t a hassle.

stroller carseat combo

You avoid having to transfer your baby out of the car seat into the stroller, plus when they are little sometimes the stroller on its own is just too big for them.

Clicking the car seat with your baby already in there right into the stroller is quick, convenient and hassle-free.

28. Car mirror

Car mirrors are awesome! They are affordable, useful and something you will use every time you go for a car ride with your baby.

For quite a while your baby is going to be rear-facing, which means, when you look behind you to glance at them you aren’t going to be able to really check how they are doing.

The car mirror provides you with the ability to always see your baby’s face. I love this because I could see if my baby was awake, asleep, happy or needed me to stop and help him.

Also, I think they sometimes like looking at themselves in the mirror anyway! I mean who wouldn’t?! Babies are too dang cute.

Health and wellness must haves

  • Amber teething necklace
  • Nose Frida
  • Essential oils

29. Amber teething necklace

Teething bites, literally. Even though your newborn isn’t going to come out with a mouthful of cutting teeth, those teething days will be here before you know it.

Having a few teething necessities on hand will help your baby when they experience any discomfort.

amber teething necklace

The amber teething necklace is pure magic to me. My toddler still wears his and it really does make a difference.

There are plenty of natural teething remedies, but I think an amber teething necklace is an item you need for sure.

30. Nose Frida

If you haven’t heard of the Nose Frida, you need to.

It is one of the greatest inventions for sucking any snot out of your baby’s nose.

Yes, I said sucking out, but it isn’t as bad as it sounds.

If your baby has a cough, cold or congestion and seems a little stuffy, the Nose Frida is your best friend. It makes getting rid of those boogers easy, quick and painless. Your baby may not love it, but they will thank you later.

31. Essential oils

There are many different essential oils that are safe to use for babies. Make sure to always do your own research when it comes to essential oils and dilute them accordingly.

It is important to choose CPTG (Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade) essential oils. This ensures their safety and high quality.

For more information on what oils are best suited for babies, check this article out.

Baby entertainment must haves

  • Jumperoo or swing
  • Teething toys
  • Play mat

32. Jumperoo or swing

My baby LOVED his Jumperoo and it helped me every day be able to get a few things done around the house. I would pop him in there and he would happily bounce around and play with the fun sounds and toys around him.

It was a great interactive toy that kept him entertained when I needed to set him down.

If you would prefer something that isn’t quite as big as the jumperoo (totally worth it though) the door hanging swings are another great option.

33. Teething toys

Even though your baby isn’t going to be born with teeth, before you know it you will have your baby chewing on everything and drooling everywhere.

teething toys

Babies development happens so rapidly that they quickly learn how to grasp objects and put them to their mouths.

Having a variety of teething toys can help relieve any teething pain your baby might be experiencing along with keeping them entertained and occupied.

34. Playmat

A playmat isn’t really essential but it sure is nice to have. Many mothers find playmats helpful in stimulating their baby while they get a couple of chores done.

A playmat provides a safe environment for your baby where they can see, feel, and touch things. Some playmats even make sounds.

Not only are playmats a great way for your baby to develop their fine motor skills, but they are usually easy to move around the house and storage is a breeze too.

Mom must haves

  • Baby carrier
  • Diaper bag

35. Baby carrier

I found having a baby carrier super helpful especially when your baby is so little. It can help you get a few things done around the house while keeping your baby close to you.

They are also super useful at the grocery store, or out on a walk. There are a million different ones out there, so it just depends on what exactly you are looking for.

I had one that was a “wrap style” and was perfect when my baby was itty bitty. I also had one that was more of the “carrier” type and was better for longer use and when my baby wasn’t such a tiny newborn.

36. Diaper bag

A diaper bag is a definite essential baby must have for new moms. Baby’s come with so much luggage that you need something you can haul it all around in.

You always need to be prepared when you are out and about with your baby. Extra diapers, a change of clothes, snacks, a drink, some teething toys…

The list goes on and on.

diaper bag

Trying to cram all of that into your regular purse will just leave you frustrated and angry when you can’t find that burp cloth when you are covered in spit up.

There a gazillion diaper bags on the market and most of them are pretty well thought out, helping minimize those frantic searches through your purse.

I know some mothers don’t like the idea of carrying around a giant diaper back but there are so many different choices out there, I am sure you will find one you like. Here is one if you prefer the backpack type. If you prefer a purse like style check this one out.

Summary of baby must haves

I couldn’t include every single item on this list, but I feel like those are 36 pretty good baby must haves you should consider.

I had all of these items with my baby and I am glad I did. They made the entry into brand new motherhood a little less daunting.

Hopefully, these baby must haves for new moms will help you feel prepared and ready for your baby.

What baby items do you already have? What baby must haves are you going to add to your list?

    Baby Stuff for New Moms 

baby must haves
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