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Newborn baby essential equipment, do you really need it all?

As a mom-to-be you get excited and start browsing the web, pinning on Pinterest, and filling your Amazon cart or baby registry with tons of products to compare. Chances are, if you’re analytical like me, you’ll spend hours reading blogs and reviews and going through a process of elimination as you narrow down (and circle back) to select the perfect product or best possible option. If you’re lucky enough to have a support system, everyone is offering advice on what you need to buy to prepare for the arrival of your baby and if you don’t have a circle of support, you are probably just as overwhelmed based on what you’re reading.

I’m sharing what I consider to be my top essential equipment for a newborn or and the list I made before having my baby. Of course, it’s worth mentioning that in the class of premature babies, I had a very preterm baby (almost extremely preterm baby.) and by the time we came out of the hospital he was already 3 months but probably just meeting the weight of a newborn. So really what I consider to be essential may not be essential for you. My sweet boy is currently about 20 months old and while we still have some complications (we’ll get to that in another post) I’d say it's a pretty good time to review my list.

Newborn baby essentials/must-haves equipment, what I thought I needed.

  1. Crib and essentials

  2. Changing pad and essentials

  3. Breast pump

  4. Nursing pillow

  5. Nursery glider or rocking chair

  6. Baby swing or bouncer

  7. Infant car seat and stroller

  8. Baby Wraps

  9. Baby carrier

  10. Baby monitor

  11. Diaper bag

  12. Diaper pail

  13. Bottle warmer

  14. Bottle sterilizer

  15. Bedside bassinet or Moses basket

  16. Changing table

  17. Bathtub

  18. Car bottle warmer

  19. Portable play pen with bassinet

Now ladies that's a long list, don’t get me wrong I eventually acquired most of it over time. But a lot of it I didn’t need the first months my baby came home and some things I still haven't bought to this day. I was overwhelmed with the fact that I’d need so much equipment to seemingly get by daily. I kept looking for all-in-one options or things that I know I could use longer than a year. I still haven't gotten a bottle sterilizer. I just got a large pot and pop those bad boys in boiling water. But if you tried any that were top tier, feel free to leave suggestions in the comment section.

I had so many ideas for my baby's nursery which included a rocking chair, never got that either and don’t see the need for one at this point. One of the products I spent a long time reviewing was a baby monitor... you guessed right, didn't get one either but if your baby is sleeping in another room then I get it.

At what age did you first put your baby in their own room? Bedside bassinet...didn't happen either. I also never got baby wraps for my baby but opted for an Ergobaby carrier instead, which I honestly hardly used but when I did it was comfartable and we can still use it even at this age (also when travelling). I got a convertible car seat that also accommodates a newborn. One of my closest friends who also had a baby at the same time got a Doona but I figured once my baby outgrows that I'd still need another car seat and another stroller.

Baby stroller and highchair

Once her baby started packing on the pounds it was practical. Just easy to get in and out, move around and no need to pick baby up if they are sleeping. If I do have another baby that would be a nice-to-have option. My mom got a flask and there was no need for a car bottle warmer.

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Newborn baby essentials/ must-haves, what I really needed.

  1. Bottle warmer

  2. Diaper pail

  3. Diaper bag

  4. Cocoon

  5. Changing table

  6. Breast pump

  7. Convertible Car Seat

  8. Bath tub

  9. Crib and essentials

Here's why these items made it to my list of essentials.

Bottle warmer: It was much more convenient using a bottle warmer especially in the wee hours of the morning. I tried two different bottle warmers. The first didn’t have any options for temperature control and so we’d always be gauging and guessing for the right amount of time. Then I got a Beaba Bib Espresso bain-marie/ warmer which had an option for 37 degrees and took all the guess work out of the previous and really allowed me to do it with my eyes closed if needed. The downside is that the same part that heats the water to dispense it, is the same area that holds the water for the bain-marie function and I really didn’t want to add little jars in water and have to clean it out several times a day so I just stuck with the water heater function.

Diaper pail: this may sound cliché’ I think this should be first on my list. I didn’t know how important this would be. Or maybe because it's handy but with lots of stinky diapers its poop galore and honestly, I’d recommend the Drekor classic pail. I’ve really had no need to change it. I still use it although it does require refill bags. It really does last a long time and replacing is so simple.

Diaper bag: I think this is an essential and is worth the splurge for great quality because you’ll probably be using it for a long time. It's great if it also has a portable changing pad lots of compartments and also a part for baby documents. In my case that part is detachable. When travelling for hospital visits it was quite handy having that part

Cocoon: I bought a baby cocoon and while I don’t use it anymore it took the guessing work out of it all and I know this is a personal preference, but I also had a baby at home on oxygen and I wanted him as close as possible to me most of the time. During our hospital visits I'd also use it on the bed and in the crib.

Convertible car seat: This is one of those items where I really wanted an all-in-one option. I wanted something that would last a bit longer instead of choosing an infant car seat and stroller set and then another set once my baby outgrew the first.

Changing table: This was gifted to me and was super practical. It contained a hamper and some storage compartments, so it was useful to change baby and have all the products I'd need right below.

Breast pump: If I didn't have a preemie this probably wouldn't be on my list of essentials but since no one plans the unexpected it's good to have on hand. If your preemie is in the NICU, during that separation period the best thing you can do is provide breast milk. While the hospital grade pump might be available it would be better to have your own with the right fit. I got the Pumpables breast pump and wish I had gotten it sooner. I think it would have made the journey just a little bit easier and maybe I may not have given up.

Crib & Essentials: Well because every baby needs a safe dedicated space for sleeping at some point. Even though I know people who have done without, and their babies are just fine.

While I was writing this post, I stumbled upon an Instagram post by trusting_birth on how baby accessories were created to replace the mother and her time and society says we need to buy a million things to have a baby and how many encourage separation between mother and baby. I liked how someone explained that the post was not saying that mothers don't need time to themselves but how society may encourage separation and it really wasn't about shaming but questioning societal norms. So, mom's please share, did you feel the need to buy lots of equipment before baby's arrival? Were there things that you regret buying or things that made the transition to motherhood easier?



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