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6 things you ACTUALLY need with a Newborn

Disclosure: All the opinions in this article are my own and I am not paid to endorse any of the products linked below. However, some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase. Thanks for supporting!

Can we get real for a minute? Most of the stuff you buy/get when you're expecting your first kid is bullsh*t. In our world of "more more more" having a baby has become a gold mine for companies who want to take advantage of the very legit feelings of ignorance and nervousness to sell you AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.

So here I come to tell you 6 things you ACTUALLY need with a Newborn on day 1... and then you can decide what else you might want or need going forward. I'm not including diapers or clothes; you make that call. This is just stuff you (probably) won't think of OR stuff that replaces things you really don't need! In other words, this is not the definitive list of "everything you might want by the time they are 6 months," theres this thing called Amazon Prime and you can get that stuff later. This is the list of 6 things that you might not think of that you won't want to wait two days to get.... aka the 6 things you actually NEED with a newborn... and yes, number six feels super random but I promise, it's a GAME CHANGER!

OK starting out controversial here. I don't think you need a crib for at least the first six months of life. You might think from watching sitcoms and movies that you're going to be putting down your baby in their beautifully decorated nursery every night but chances are, you're not. And that's not a bad thing! Sleeping in the same room (or even the same bed) as your baby is preferable for MOST people.

In fact according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies and parents sleep better in the same room for at least the first six months AND have a decreased risk of SIDS. Add to this the reality that according to anonymous surveys over 70% of people admit to sleeping with their babies (which is unsafe in certain circumstances) and enter the Co-Sleeper Bassinet to save the day. With a Bassinet that can double as a side bed, mom can get the sleep she needs with baby just inches away for night feedings. I will be honest that I designed and built our co-sleeper (which we used only sparingly until we chose to co-sleep with Safe Sleep 7) so I can't speak to the build quality or design of the linked sleeper but I did do some research and what I liked about this one particularly was the ability for the long side in contact with the bed to be completely zipped down.

So to summarize, you don't need a crib and make sure your bassinet has one long side that is fully removable to convert it into a co-sleeper. It may be that you also eventually choose to "fully" co-sleep but that is a topic for another post.

Is this the most important thing on the list? Honestly, maybe. I'm wearing a baby in a moby wrap while writing this article. My wife and I have estimated that we have approximately spent 10,000 hours wearing our three children these last 6 years.

Baby wearing is good for neurological development, circulatory and respiratory health, and even core and neck strength. The truth is, human beings evolved as mammals who held their young constantly for the first 6-9 months of life and we do better the more that is the case. The problem is, holding a baby means being one handed for 6-9 months and the is both inconvenient and annoying. The solution? Well we started tying our babies to us 500,000 years ago and, go figure, we still do it today. Baby wearing has also been linked to better hormone regulation, psychological health, and general attachment among parents! It's hard to argue against it.

There are a million different options available to you but I am unashamedly partial to the Moby Wrap.

In fact, we have three. One for the house, one for the car, and one to cycle in so we can wash them regularly. I''ve been considering buying a forth to loan out to people who want to test drive one, so much am I a Moby Evangelist. That said, some people find one baby wearing device to be more or less simple or comfortable than others so you might need to try a few. I recommend trying a Moby Wrap first but whatever you do, don't give up on the concept of baby wearing even if Moby isn't the right fit. This, to me, is essential.

Look, I know this feels like the most obvious thing in the world but you would not BELIEVE how many people skip this. A pump is something you absolutely want on hand even if you plan to be home with your baby 95% of the time to feed "on demand." The thing is, if you need to pump to save yourself from mastitis or a clogged duct last minute, or to keep your supply up you want this somewhere accessible. And this is more common than you think, especially for first time moms.

Most people have some initial speed bumps and a pump can be a huge help for people who are going to stick with breastfeeding (which the CDC says is ideal). In fact, while over 80% of people initially attempt breast feeding (a number frankly that should be even higher) less than half of mamas make it to 3 months still doing it. Don't get me wrong, there is no shame in formula; fed is best but so many people get frustrated when they lack the resources (like a pump) and the knowledge to get through those hard moments.

So how do you pick a pump and go about getting one. First, check with your health insurance. Many insurers provide pumps as a benefit! Second, consider getting one from a friend who is done having kids or buy one used. A lot of moms have unopened pumps they never even opened and got from insurance or "just in case" (or are lightly used). If those fail, or if you have the resources and want to shell out for the best, I linked my wife's fav brand here.

Ok so another controversial one here. Anecdotally, sound machines can absolutely make your kid a lighter sleeper.... THAT BEING SAID, if you are going to be in the room with your baby (which again is preferred) and you make noise getting in and out of bed, with other kids, or simply being with your partner, the white noise can be a HUGE help.

Also, even though white noise can create a level of dependency it also gives you a level of security when you're out with your baby or away from home. New environments become instantly more familiar when the sound comes on. So on the whole, even though I prefer to sleep in silence (even though my partner is an AVID white noise sleeper) I am "pro" sound machine.

The best thing to do is to get an affordable, dedicated, plug in sound machine. Using your phone on the go or in a pinch can be great... until you get a call or want to pull up TikTok or IG to watch my latest videos 😉. So better to get the dedicated thing. I have owned several sound machines in the last decade so I have a have tested quite a few and currently I own five of which four of them are identical... I also know of at least two other large parenting creators with the exact same one (in the background of videos).

The reason I like THIS SOUND MACHINE is because of the tap on night light on top. You need this in the Newborn phase especially to be able to see if you usually sleep in pretty dark conditions (which is ideal for baby). If you search it on Amazon there are a million and they're all about the same price. Don't think about it, just trust me and order this one.

Swaddling your baby in a high quality good swaddle is going to make your life about 75% easier. Before you look, yes they're expensive.... which is weird because, I am cheap (like buy all my clothes second hand and get all my furniture from Facebook Marketplace cheap) but I shell out for good swaddles... why? Because, first, this is the primary thing touching my babies skin; and second, I want swaddling to be easy. Swaddles help imitate the soft warm confined conditions of the womb so swaddled babies are mega comfy (as long as they're good swaddles wrapped correctly) and subsequently sleep way better.

Plenty of companies are going to try and sell you on Velcro things or cheap material rectangular swaddles or other nonsense. Take if from me, 90% are garbage you don't want to use. Instead, buy 5-7 of THESE SWADDLES and call it a day. My wife is a newborn photographer so we have owned hundreds of swaddles. These are (by far) her favorites available on Amazon.

Speaking of... do you know how to swaddle a baby the right way? No? Cool, my wife made a video (plus you can follow her Insta for amazing cute baby photos, photography tips, and outfit ideas). WATCH HERE

Do you absolutely need swaddles? Yes. Do you absolutely have to spend $30 a swaddle for these. No... but chances are you'll thank me if you do. Also, these land at a GREAT price point for Baby Showers and all the colors are great so you don't have to worry about getting something hideous. A high quality swaddle is WAY better and more useful than whatever your aunt Susan thought was a cute baby outfit 😬🤮.

Do you know what I'm sitting on while I wrote this whole article (and most of the articles on my site)? Yup. An extra large Yoga Ball. Why? Because I wrote this while quietly bouncing my baby (who is in a Moby Wrap) who is taking an absolute MONSTER MARATHON NAP.

Why? Like the Moby Wrap, Swaddles, and (to a lessor extent) sound machine, the goal here is womb imitation. Rockers/glider chairs are usually crazy expensive and (in my opinion) ugly and, while yes they move they don't imitate anything like being in utero. It's why you always see parents standing and kinda bouncing their babies when they're fussy, not trying to glide around. It's a natural instinct we have (which super interesting side note is almost identical in all humans across cultural and geographic lines 🤯) to mimic that womb environment to soothe. The yoga ball, allows us to do this... sitting down (by the way, you can Venmo me whatever I just saved you at the chiropractor 😉)

This means you can work on the computer, watch a movie, or really do just about anything else while your baby naps... and when you need to get them back down in the middle of the night, you don't have to walk around bounding and shushing for an hour at 2am like a crazy person. You can even deflate it and take it with you on vacation etc. to keep conditions for your newborn consistent without having to be stuck at home. Yoga Ball is life y'all. Its the best $25 I've ever spent (in fact I have three 🤣)

That's the list! You made it through!

Is newborn parenting going to be easy? No. It's universally a challenge. But if you get all of the items on this list I can promise you it will be easier than it would have been. If you're thinking of skipping out on something listed above... don't. I hate buying unnecessary stuff that I give to Goodwill in one of our minimalism purges. EVERYTHING ON THIS LIST (except the bassinet) has made it through every purge and I can promise you, you will not regret.

Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments.

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