Baby Essentials First 3 Months & Beyond! Is there a right or wrong answer as to what baby essentials you should buy for your newborn? Or can you buy entirely too much and never use it? After listening to friends and family members, I had these same questions. I was so unsure about what I needed and what was truly necessary to buy. I don’t think I purchased too much, but I ended up buying things or receiving items I never used.
What some thought was a complete waste of money I found to be incredibly useful, such as a bottle warmer and a wipe warmer. Matter of fact, those 2 items in particular we could not live without. I will talk about our favorite ones below.
There are going to be many items people recommend that worked very well for them, but you may find useless. For example, I might be the only one in the world that found white noise machines unnecessary, like a waste of money unnecessary. It’s used mostly in our house as a night light. It never helped my son fall asleep or stay asleep. It provided no help whatsoever with sleep.
When getting ideas about baby essentials first 3 months and beyond, you also need to consider whether the high-tech baby gadgets are worth the purchase or should you start with the basics.
In the beginning, especially if you’re a new parent, it’s all so overwhelming and honestly a little confusing when listening to so many voices. I highly suggest starting with the basics, which is what I am sticking to in the list. Newborn stages, well the entire first year is pretty messy and full of learning about what actually works for your household and your baby needs and your families’ needs.
So let’s get into my list of newborn essentials and baby item must haves for first time moms and experienced moms too!
Newborn Baby Needs Checklist
- Breast and Bottle feeding essentials
- Cloth diapers vs Disposable diapers
- Bath time essentials
- Baby clothing essentials
- Newborn and beyond travel gear
- Baby essentials for playtime & development
- Sleepy time baby essentials
- Health and wellness baby items
- Safety items
- Items you need to start solids
Baby Essentials First 3 Months
Bottle Feeding Essentials
To start, consider the different formulas available to you to choose from. Be sure to check for any recalls on formulas you may decide to use.
The best baby bottles to use are Avent natural baby bottles. You can purchase a single bottle or up to a 4 pack. You should purchase 6-8 bottles and nipples starting with 4 and 8 ounces. It will take some time for your baby to work their way up to eight ounces, but having various size bottles on hand as your baby grows is always a good idea. It may also be helpful to purchase a few different bottle brands such as Dr. Brown or Nuk. Overtime, you will learn your baby’s bottle preference.
-wide bottle nipples that help with a natural latch
-reduces colic and discomfort
-various nipple flow rates
Best Budget Friendly Bibs– Baby Essentials First 3 Months
These are the best bibs I have used prior to starting solid foods. They are very absorbent, affordable and easy to clean by machine washing.
The cloth diapers can be easily tucked in your baby’s onesie to collect any spit up or thrown across your shoulder when attempting to burp.
The good news is if you are breastfeeding there’s not much equipment you really need for baby essentials first 3 months, unless you are pumping or getting ready to return to work. You can set up your own breastfeeding station at home and learn about public stations when out and about. You can also find the best nursing tops in c-section recovery kit.
Kiinde Twist Breast Milk Feeding System
This was my absolute favorite and most used gift received from my Amazon Baby Registry. There are so many goodies that come with this set; it is truly all you need for when you’re on the go without baby and someone else needs to feed him, storing and warming milk, all the accessories are there for you. The bonus is the feeding system grows with your baby to include introducing solid foods.
- pump adapters, which allows you to pump milk directly into storage bags.
- twist cap BPA-free storage bags
- bottle nipples
- bottle warmer- As I mentioned above, there will be people who say bottle warmers are unnecessary. The Kiinde bottle warmer is a must have, and it actually warms the milk.
- milk organizer shelf
A Haakaa is a must have for every breastfeeding mom and a must have in your breastfeeding station. You can read all about What is a Haakaa?, where I discuss what it is, the benefits, a step by step on how to use it and comparisons to other forms of a Haakaa.
I used Aeroflow to order my breast pump through insurance. The company does everything for you once you have submitted your application. If you can, I would order your breast pump as soon as your insurance allows because you never know how early you may actually need it, even though early delivery is never the plan. I ordered the Spectra S2 Breast Pump.
Related: How Dads Can Support Breastfeeding
Black Women and Breastfeeding: Q&A w/ IBCLC
If you are breastfeeding, it’s recommended to avoid early introduction of pacifier use. The reasoning for this is to allow establishment of breastfeeding. Some really great pacifier options are Nuk and MAM.
Cloth Diapers and Disposable Diapers
Oh, the joys of changing diapers and deciding what’s the best option for your family. Side note, diaper changing is a great way to include your partner in the daily baby activities.
If you decide on using cloth diapers, 6 newborn cloth diapers is a good start or you can purchase 6-12 one size fits all adjustable diapers. This is a good start if you are washing your diapers every other day. I will list our wash routine at the end of this post. Hopefully, it is helpful. Cloth diapers are on the pricey side, so you don’t need to purchase them all at once you can slowly build a diaper stash.
Alvababy wet bags will hold in the smell and or any leakage from dirty cloth diapers. Even if you are not using cloth diapers, kid’s clothes get soiled while out just toss them in your wet dry bag and carry on. These are great travel essentials for families as well.
Purchase one box of diapers. It will take some time to learn the best diapers that work for your child. Things to consider are fit, overnight hold, skin sensitivity and leakage to name a few. We moved to disposable diapers around 7 months and it truly took some time to find the right diaper.
The best baby wipes are Water Wipes. You will use a lot of wipes, so it’s a good idea to purchase a large box of wipes. Water wipes have limited ingredients, unscented and great for sensitive skin.
My all-time favorite diaper cream and one that I swear by is Weleda Baby. It contains Calendula to soothe the skin and 12% zinc. It’s thick and creamy and works like a charm. Another good option is Destin baby diaper rash cream.
Bath Time Essentials
Whenever I think of bathing a baby, the thought “slippery when wet” always comes to mind. Bathtubs are an essential part of newborn care because they provide a greater sense of safety and having a little more control over the area. A baby bathtub should be included in baby essentials first 3 months because a bathtub is entirely too large for a newborn to be in without being inside of a smaller tube and the kitchen sink, well it’s the kitchen sink! We started with the Munchkin Sit & Soak and moved on to the Munchkin Inflatable Duck. The Duck tells you if baby’s bath water is too hot. It is also great for a traveling tub.
AMAZING for cradle cap, tear-free and unscented. The best for newborn use.
We battled with mild eczema, sensitive skin and California Baby always did the trick! Even now as a toddler we only use this lotion for our son.
Baby Essentials First 3 months-Clothing
Cuteness overload! We all can’t wait until it’s time to dress the baby in cute outfits and shoes. Even in the hospital we want to put the baby in the cutest outfit for visitors to see. I’m guilty of purchasing all the cute outfits, but what I quickly learned is that it’s not really necessary until you really start taking your baby out and about. In this list I’m only listing newborn clothing essentials, the basic.
2-newborn gowns– Put these on your amazon baby registry or purchase on your own either way, I promise you won’t be disappointed. In the middle of the night, when you are sleep deprived and changing diapers with one eye open, you will be thankful for this gown’s quick and easy access for diaper changes.
2-Footed onesies with zippers– Footed onesies are great for colder nights and also provide easier access for diaper changes and take up less time.
8 Short sleeve with bottom button closure– You truly cannot have too many basic short sleeve onesies for baby essential clothing. They are great for summer and winter months under winter clothing.
3 Newborn Outfits
1 mittens– I do not think mittens for newborns are 100% necessary if you can keep your baby’s nails filed. If you can’t then I would get a pair.
Newborn and Beyond Travel Gear
One of the best things you can do is purchase a car seat travel system. It will make things run a little smoother. I went against my own advice and purchased a different brand car seat than stroller, and I quickly regretted that decision.
The Best Car Seat Travel System Is Uppababy
We purchased the Uppababy Vista and there is absolutely nothing we didn’t and still don’t love about this stroller. It even comes with a bassinet. No need to keep buying new travel systems, this one will grow with you.
- bassinet and toddler seat
- 3 months to 50 pounds
- allows for Mesa car seat placement
- can be configured multiple ways (i.e. bassinet and toddler seat in place at once)
- large basket (I have packed lots of groceries in the basket area).
- able to fold
Mesa Car Seat
The Mesa is so incredibly easy to install, like you just can not go wrong with the installation. It also pops right into the Vista or the Cruz so if your baby is sleeping while you are running errands, no need to wake your child and remove him out of the car seat. Weight recommendations 4-35 lbs.
When it’s time to move into a convertible car seat, the Clek is a great choice. What I love the most about this car seat is the extended rear-facing use up to 50 pounds. It’s even sleek enough to fit down the aisle of an airplane.
We quickly learned a lightweight stroller was necessary to have. When you are doing a quick run in the grocery store, strolling around the park or domestic/international travel a lightweight stroller is a much better option than your normal everyday stroller. You won’t always want to use the heavier stroller. As I mentioned in travel essentials, the Minu was amazing to have on my son’s first flight to New York, it was just the two of us with my 2 hands and 2 arms.
*note- be sure to read your car seat manual from front to back, register all of your travel items and check for recalls.
JJ Cole Bundleme
The JJ Cole Bundleme bunting bag is great to have for cold days and nights when out and about. It’s so cozy and will keep your little one nice and warm. The Bundleme fits most strollers and car seats; it’s super easy to put in place. Although, I always keep a smaller blanket in our diaper bag, the Bundleme makes life a little easier because you won’t need to always carry around heavier blankets to keep them warm. This will do!
Best Budget Friendly Baby Carrier
As new parents, you will quickly learn the importance of having your hands free. The Infantino Baby Carrier is affordable with multiple ways to wear.
The weight range is 8-32 lbs. It’s also washable. The downside to this carrier, our son was a butterball he outgrew this one rather quickly.
Honest Company Diaper Bag
Vegan leather diaper bag, which carries as a backpack. Lots of storage and includes a changing pad.
Shopping Cart Cover– Baby Essentials First 3 Months & Beyond
Some may think a shopping cart cover is unnecessary because you can just wipe a grocery cart or high chair down. I personally consider this a baby must have for 6-12 months’ range. Especially considering the current times we’re in. It’s washable, expands to completely cover the cart or high chair and a crinkle toy to keep them busy.
Baby blankets to throw in the diaper bag or to have on the go.
My all-time favorite baby blanket is the cotton muslin swaddle blanket. I used this blanket for everything, as a breastfeeding cover, to swaddle my son, to cover him on cooler days or just to block a little sun. It has been washed sooo many times, and it’s still in great condition.
You will receive lots of baby blankets as gifts more than you probably will ever need.
Sleepy Time Baby Essentials
The nursery! Putting together the nursery and deciding on colors and furniture is the fun part. The part that’s the least stressful in all the decision making you need to do when expecting. To be clear, you do not have to set up the nursery right away; you can slowly put it together.
Some things to consider:
- Do you want a crib that will grow with the baby?
2. Will you co-sleep?- If the answer is yes, there is really no need to purchase a fancy expensive crib that will end up collecting laundry!
3. Extras- You don’t need any! No bumpers or toys, just a firm mattress and a fitted sheet. You can read American Academy of Pediatrics for a detailed safety list.
4. Consider cost- The crib and crib mattress add up, never mind everything else that’s needed. Put some items on your baby registry for your friends and family to chip in together to purchase as a gift.
Delta Children Lancaster 4-in-1 convertible baby crib. The Delta crib offers 3 different mattress heights, it converts to a toddler bed, daybed and a full size bed. It’s very similar to the 4-in-1 we purchased, but not the exact design.
The best crib mattress is the Newton Crib Mattress. The mattress is firm, lightweight, breathable and hypoallergenic. I’ve crawled in my son’s crib many times trying to get him back to sleep, and I can tell you the Newton is a very comfortable and sturdy mattress.
2-3 Crib sheets
Rocking Chair or Glider
A nice comfortable chair or a glider is an optional baby essential for the first 3 months and beyond. The days and nights can be exhausting and sometimes long. It’s important to have a comfortable space to snuggle, feed and comfort your baby.
Delta Changing Table. The best changing table option is one with dresser drawers. You will have the ability to have easy access to clothing if you need to change your baby. We also stored our cloth diapers in the top draw for easier access.
Instead of purchasing these items separately, you get everything you need in one kit.
- Changing pad
- Waterproof changing pad liner
- Changing pad cover
All 3 items are a must have for newborn essentials. I consider these to be baby items you need right away. I also think 3 changing pad covers are a good start.
One of the most important purchases you will make will be a baby monitor! I found comfort in knowing I always had eyes on my son while he was asleep.
Baby Essentials for 3-6 months
Baby Essentials For Playtime And Development
When your baby actually starts,teething varies from child to child. Some start “cutting teeth” as early as 4 months and other babies start later. Having a couple of options to get them through the discomfort is so helpful for their little gums.
Sophie The Giraffe
I absolutely swear by Sophie! She’s large enough for your little one to nibble on, easy to clean, sturdy and makes for a good squeaky toy.
You can never have too many teething toys, so I’ve added a few more we love in our house.
These adorable wrist and socks toys are wonderful to help with hand and eye coordination. They run on the smaller side.
The activity gym is great for tummy time and sensory stimulation. The gym grows with your baby into toddlerhood.
Health and Wellness Baby Essentials
High on the list of most essential things a newborn baby needs are health and wellness items such as a thermometer, nasal aspirator, medicine syringes and nasal drops to name a few. I am listing two of my favorite complete kits filled with baby essentials for the first 3 months and beyond that you will find extremely handy and so very necessary.
Baby first-aid kit
Summer complete nursery care kit has everything you need to get you started.
- medicine syringe
- nasal aspirator
- pacifier medicine dispenser
- forehead thermometer
- digital thermometer
- emergency information card
- nail clippers
- nail file
- gum massager
- finger brush
The little remedies new baby essentials kit has commonly used products that many moms love, including myself.
- gas relief drops
- butt paste
- saline spray/drops
- gripe water
- fever & pain reliever (tylenol)
- nasal aspirator
Baby Must Haves 6-12 months
Baby Proofing Gear
Once your baby starts crawling and walking, it’s time to childproof your home. They are on the move at this age; they get into everything if you blink it might be just enough time for them to get into something they probably shouldn’t be in. 🙂
Regalo Baby Gate– Regalo baby gate is recommended for ages 6 months – 24 months, it is adjustable in width and very easy to set up. We placed ours on the stairs.
Safety Essential kit– This kit includes plug protectors, cabinet & drawer latches and door knob covers.
Baby Proofing Kit– This is an easier set to work with because there are no screws involved.
Door Child Lock– These cabinet locks are easy to put in place but difficult for a child and even some adults to undo.
What Do You Need For Starting Solids?
- Booster seat when it’s time to move on from the highchair
- Bibs that are easy to clean
- Sippy cups
- Plates with suction
- Bowls with suction
As parents, we pretty much only have 3 choices. Make our own or purchase store bought. And then there’s the option to do a combination of both store bought and homemade.
For most of us, it is so important to start them off right with good wholesome foods because after all their growth is taking off so good quality foods are important. You do not need to be a superb cook or even have patience because making homemade baby food is incredibly easy. However, you need to have the time to make the food, highchair or a booster seat when your baby can sit up unassisted. You will also need plates and bowls with suction, utensils, don’t forget the sippy cup and an easy to clean bib.
Homemade baby food was a straightforward choice for us because it is cost effective and you know you will give your baby all-natural ingredients if that is important to you.
What Are Stage 1 Foods?
- Sweet potato
- Green beans
- Sweet potatoes
A good way to think of stage 1 baby foods are thin, smooth and runny. Be sure no chunks are present because of tongue thrust. They are foods that are lower allergy risk. Stage 1 baby foods are also usually those that are better tolerated and easily digested by little ones.
What Are Stage 2 Foods?
Stage 2 adds more texture and thickness. Later in this stage, depending on what is discussed between you and your child’s pediatrician, you will add spices around 8 to 9 months.
If you don’t know, I am every bit of a recipe follower and I am very good at it! Lol There isn’t much I’m making from scratch without a recipe to follow. As I stated above, we knew we would feed our son organic foods because it is what we eat, so it was great to find this book. There are some great tasty options and as you advance, you will find recipes for the entire family. If you are looking for recipes for homemade baby food, this is a splendid choice.
You also don’t need any special equipment geared toward baby food prep. We used the blender and food processor we already had. That’s it, easy peasy!
Newborn Must Haves And Regrets
I don’t have many regrets on newborn items received. I made every attempt to purchase the essentials and only register for the essentials. There are only a couple of items I found to be wasteful, which were a night light & sound machine, all the thousand baby blankets we received, bottle drying rack and the bassinet. These to me were not newborn must haves.
Baby Essentials, Not Just The Basics
Sit me up floor seat
|Age 0-8 months||||0-9 month|
DockATot vs Snuggle Me
Can Newborns Sleep In Snuggle Me?
Your baby should only sleep in the Snuggle Me while supervised. It is not to be used as a co-sleeper.
Do You Really Need A DockATot?
No, you don’t need a baby lounger at all. It is not a baby essential item. Whether you purchase a baby lounger is a personal choice. You may find your little one may love being in it, but it’s not a necessity.
Is There A Cheaper Version Of DockATot?
Snuggle Me Organic! The reason I purchased the snuggle me organic was because it is cheaper and organically made.
Is A Snuggle Me Worth It?
It is totally worth it. My husband and I always felt comfortable with our son sleeping in it during nap time while we did other things around the house. The raised sides made it great for tummy time and he enjoyed playing in it once he started sitting up.
Baby Essentials First 3 Months And Beyond FAQs
What newborn essentials do I need?
- Breast and bottle feeding essentials
- Cloth diapers or Disposable diapers
- Bath time essentials
- Baby clothing essentials
- Newborn and beyond travel gear
- Baby essentials for playtime & development
- Sleepy time baby essentials
- Health and wellness baby items
- Safety items
What do first time moms really need?
A friend or a family member to check on them often after having a new baby.
Time for self-care
Postpartum essentials for after care
Do I really need a baby bath tub?
A baby tub is great to have because it provides a greater sense of safety and control of your environment. A tub is too large to put your baby in early on, and babies are incredibly slippery when wet.
Why don’t they bathe babies right away while in the hospital?
Many hospitals are moving to delayed bathing for the first 24 hrs. The vernix, the white thick substance on a baby’s skin, helps protect their skin. Delayed bathing also allows for less interruption of skin to skin between mom and baby, and delaying the bath helps with temperature regulation for baby.
When should I start buying stuff for my baby?
When to purchase baby items is a personal choice. Some moms purchase baby items right away, and other moms wait until later into the pregnancy.
What should you not buy for a baby?
- Crib bumper
- Toys for a crib
- Baby food maker
- Bottle sterilizer
- Sleep sacks
- Baby shoes
Unnecessary baby items
- No need for a sleep schedule.
- No need to create a routine.
Should I buy newborn or 3 months clothing?
Babies grow fast, and sometimes they are born bigger than estimated. Always size up! Purchase 3 months instead of newborn.
Are the first 3 months the hardest?
The first 3 months is a huge adjustment, especially if it is your first child. It takes time to learn your baby’s cues, sleep pattern, feeding pattern, and simply trying to get the hang of motherhood.
What baby items do I need right away?
car seat (you cannot leave the hospital without one)
-bottles & formula if bottle feeding
-bassinet (if you prefer to co-sleep)
-baby first aid kit
How to clean cloth diapers
- Remove inserts from all diapers.
- Place in the washer, including all used bags.
- Place washer on “rinse/spin”. Do not add detergent.
- Place the washer on “heavy wash” with a full scoop of detergent.
- Place the washer on another “rinse/spin” cycle with no detergent.
- I used “time dry” for 40 minutes on medium. You will need to determine how many dry cycles you need to dry all of your diapers. I needed 3. If the sun is out, place diapers and inserts outside.
When should solid foods be introduced?
Every child is unique! Have the discussion with your pediatrician to determine if your baby is ready to start baby food. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends starting at 6 months.
Can you freeze homemade baby food?
Yes! You can freeze homemade baby food. The other significant thing about the “201 Organic Baby Purees” the author tells you, is how long and where you can store each item.
That’s It! I hope you find this list of newborn essentials helpful. If there were any items you couldn’t live without, leave comment. I would love to hear about them.