Basic Necessities for a New Baby

Basic Necessities for a New Baby

Written by Natalie Klejwa, Contributing Writer

I’m not a child expert or anything. I’ve had a few babies. I’ve learned over the years that there is a lot of paraphernalia out there you could purchase or register for to get ready for your new family member, but most of it is completely unnecessary and a total waste of money.

This is my list of the good stuff that I have not regretted purchasing, and some of it I have only recently discovered. I wish I had read a list like this when I was starting out. I’m certain it would have saved me money, headache, and clutter.

Getting Ready for Mama

You need a few things to get through those first few weeks of nurturing a newborn! Here are the basic necessities for Mama:

  • Lansinoh Lanolin This is the only thing that solves the cracked, bleeding nipples problem of a nursing mama in those first couple of weeks. The nurses will tell you that you won’t have cracked, bleeding nipples if you “nurse right”. I’m fairly certain that’s a lie. You very likely will, and for two weeks it will be toe-curling pain. But…just because it hurts to nurse the first couple weeks doesn’t mean your nipples have to crack and bleed too. Just apply it to your nipples after every feeding. When I faithfully use lanolin, I avoid a lot of extra trouble. You really don’t need it after the first month…but save it for the next baby!
  • Wool Nursing Pads Don’t bother with disposables. They are crackly and uncomfortable. (Who wants to put paper next to their breasts?) I used cotton pads for several babies, and it was better than disposable…but now I’m turned on to all wool pads. They are expensive, but you only need two pair, one to wear and one to wash, and they will last for all your babies. They soak up a lot of milk, are warm, naturally anti-bacterial, and very comfortable.
  • Setting Their Hope in God by Andrew Case This is the book I use every day when I pray for my children. It is simply Scripture written into powerful prayers. Diapering them, feeding them, rocking them to sleep, stimulating their brains…all good things. But the most important time you will spend each day is the time you pray for them. If you want to raise young adults who follow hard after Christ…you’ll need the power of God at work in their lives. Start praying now. It will change your own life too! (The Kindle version is only $.99!!)

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Image by Caitlinator

Getting Ready For Baby

  • White Noise Machine This seriously helps babies sleep better and longer. Think about it. They are used to the white noise inside your womb, and then all of a sudden they’re exposed to the total quietness of large, empty spaces. Sudden noises can be very startling and unsettling. If you can make the transition from the womb to the world more seamless, you will be doing yourself and your baby a huge favor. In our home, our rambunctious kids make enough “white noise” to suffice during the daytime. But at night, both Baby and Mama sleep better with the sound of our white noise machine. A loud fan will also do the trick.
  • Aden & Anais Cotton Muslin Swaddle Wraps Once I discovered these little lovelies, I threw out my hundreds of flannel receiving blankets I had collected over the years. These wraps are stretchy, light, and offer a bundled “feel” while still allowing the limbs to move slightly…as if they are in the womb. Because they are light material, they won’t overheat your baby. I found three to be plenty, but I do laundry every day when I have a new baby. If you don’t have much laundry in your life, you may find that you need a few more for those times when your newborn spits up and has blow outs on them. As I recall, this is a daily occurrence in the life of a newborn.
  • Hanna Andersson Night Night Baby Sleepers Other than 10 white, onesie t-shirts, you don’t really need any other clothes. I usually buy mine used on Ebay…but my babies have LIVED in these for the first year of their lives. They are soft, comfortable sleepers and adorable, cozy play suits all in one. This brand is by far superior to any other brand I’ve tried. The zippers are so much better than snaps as far as ease of diaper changing, getting on and off. I don’t recommend buying things with snaps or buttons unless you are looking for things to do with your time. (Clothes with collars are also troublesome on a baby.) The cotton is super soft, high quality, and lasts for several babies. Other brands get holes in them or wear through…are thin…too fitted…etc. You can try to save money by going with an inferior product (believe me, I’ve gone that route more times than I care to remember), but you will end up paying the same price in the long run.
  • Cloth Diaper Stash I realize not everyone is a cloth diaper mama. That’s OK. I adore cloth diapers, and have had a lot of fun trying different kinds, but I’ve really settled on Bum Genius as my favorite brand. I loved using the all-in-one pockets for a few years. Now I’m using the Bum Genius All-In-One Elemental Organic with snaps. It took a while to get used to the snaps concept, but now I like not messing with pockets and velcro. I’ve found 15 to be the perfect number to last for two days.  You have to wash them every 48 hours anyway, so there’s no need to be storing more than that. These will not work for newborns.  I’ve just used disposable for those newborn days, but I did break down and buy 12 Fuzzi Buns x-small pocket dipes for this next baby while he/she is in the newborn stage. Mainly because the right cloth diapers handle those newborn blowouts (you know…the ones that go all the way up the back and out the top…somewhat like a volcano?) more gracefully than disposables.
  • Ergo Baby Carrier Everyone has their preference when it comes to these. There are some wonderful carriers to choose from! I would not go with a cheap brand unless you want to ruin your back. Might as well get a high quality carrier, use it for all your babies, and be happy. I’m not as excited about the Ergo for the newborn stage, so for my next baby I’m planning to try a Moby Wrap for those first couple of months. I bought mine from Simply Nurtured (owner, Courtney Dunkin, in a contributor here!)
  • Bouncer Seat.  You can’t NOT have one of these. If you are trying to save money…skip the swing and just get the bouncer. (Some of them are actually a bouncer/swing in one!) I really like the vibrating bouncers…they usually put a fussy baby to sleep in a pinch. (Wish they made them for big people…)

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Image by em 140

Planning for a Growing Baby

  • Activity Jumper  I use this from about 4 months until my babies are almost 2! They love to jump in it…and it is a great place to put them when you are doing family devotions with the older kids…or when you want to “contain” them for a period of time (maybe when you are making dinner…)
  • Gym Little babies LOVE these. They learn to reach, pull, bat, and grab. You can get cheap ones with no bells and whistles and just add your own toys to them with some links. I use mine every day from the time my babies are about 1 month until they are old enough to crawl away.
  • Pack and Play We’ve gone through three of these over the course of 8 children, mainly because we use them every day until our children are into their toddler years. They are great for travel, playtime, visiting relatives, etc. We even use them as a toddler bed if our toddler type isn’t quite ready to transition to a bigger bed when the new baby comes home. HERE is a link to a nice, big square sized one. I’m expecting our ninth baby in a couple of months, and since we are in need of replacing our older, very rickety model, we’re planning to get the Graco Modern Pack-N-Play Playard with Changer and Bassinet. I like to “hole up” in my room with a new baby for a few weeks, and because my current youngest will only be 21 months old and still in need of using our crib in the nursery, this model will enable me to have a changing table and “bassinet” in my room with me…with the added bonus of a future pack and play…all in one.
  • Play Yard This is similar to a pack and play, but provides a much larger play space. Once my babies are crawling, this goes up in our family room. It enables the kids to play with the baby in an enclosed area, ensuring that the baby will not crawl off and get into danger. We put this up outside, at the beach, etc. It is one of those contraptions that we definitely could NOT live without. Right now, we have our old pack and play in the play room downstairs so our 19 month old can play “with” the other kids and be safe, while the Play Yard is currently upstairs in the family room where he is safely contained when the kids and family are up in that area.

Basic Necessities for a New Baby

Basic Necessities for a New BabyBasic Necessities for a New Baby Wooden Kitchen Food

Basic Necessities for a New BabyBasic Necessities for a New Baby Haba Dolls

Basic Necessities for a New BabyBasic Necessities for a New Baby Haba Soft Clutching Doll

Basic Necessities for a New BabyBasic Necessities for a New Baby Bright Wooden Teether

Basic Necessities for a New BabyBasic Necessities for a New Baby Plain Wooden Teether

Basic Necessities for a New BabyBasic Necessities for a New Baby BumGenius with Snaps

Basic Necessities for a New BabyBasic Necessities for a New BabySeventh Generation Diapers and Wipes

Basic Necessities for a New BabyBasic Necessities for a New BabyOrganic Crib Sheet

Basic Necessities for a New BabyBasic Necessities for a New BabyMoby Wrap

Basic Necessities for a New BabyBasic Necessities for a New BabyErgo Baby Carrier

Basic Necessities for a New BabyBasic Necessities for a New BabyHerbal Salve

Basic Necessities for a New BabyBasic Necessities for a New BabyDr. Bronner’s Baby Soap

Basic Necessities for a New BabyBasic Necessities for a New BabyClay Baby Powder

Basic Necessities for a New BabyBasic Necessities for a New BabyNursing Cover

Basic Necessities for a New BabyBasic Necessities for a New BabyHomeopathic Teething Tablets

While there are countless other fun looking, necessary sounding gizmos and gadgets all designed to collect your money and supposedly bring you and your baby happiness, I’ve found these to be the indispensable items that we use on a daily basis in our home.

You may have noticed a lot of things…like baby bathtubs and baby towels, bumbo seats and nursing pillows…are missing. I’ve just found those to be more of a hassle than a help, and storing all the equipment can be tricky if you live in a small space.

Keep it simple on your budget, your storage space, and your sanity, and just enjoy that miraculous bundle of sweetness straight from heaven!

What are your “necessities” for a new baby?

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  1. This list is SO helpful to me. We are due with our first baby in May and just finished up our baby registry. The process was overwhelming to say the least. Thanks for taking the time to put this together. I noticed several of your items I have on my list. I was debating between a 2 in 1 bouncer/swing combo or spending a tad more money and purchasing a nicer bouncer seat. Hmmmm. Also, have you ever tried the Baby Bjorn carrier? That is the one I registered for and also a Moby wrap for when our little girl is a newborn. My only concern with the Moby is that it will be a hassle to put on and get situated – I would prefer one that has more of a fasten or snap straps or something.

    1. We had a Baby Bjorn. I wouldn’t really recommend it for a couple of reasons. 1) It’s only good up until 15 pounds (and your back will be killing you by that weight anyway). 2) You can’t nurse in it (the straps go across your chest). You can nurse in an Ergo. Plus, you can carry a child for as long as you want (they say up to 40 pounds). And the Ergo is super-easy to put on. It’s more money, but it’s totally worth it!

    2. Hi Brittnie! Congrats on your FIRST baby! How wonderful!! I have never tried the Baby Bjorn…but almost everyone I had talked to who had tried both the Bjorn and the Ergo…told me (when I was trying to decide!) to get the Ergo. THAT SAID…I do know a couple of friends who don’t have Ergos, and they SWEAR by their Bjorns!!! So it’s sort of a personal preference. As far as the bouncer/swing combo…that could be a terrific option. I do like to be able to pick up the whole bouncer (with the baby in it) and move it around with me if necessary…(I think another mommy mentioned this as well…) I don’t know if you can do that with the swing combo??? Anyone want to weigh in?

    3. I also really recommend the ergo for 4 months plus, but the moby before that. The infant insert in the ergo isn’t very comfy in my opinion. But you can do it, its just not as good as without it later. I used to put on the moby under my coat and then go to the store like that (so I put it on at home) and that worked great for me.

      I would stay away from the Bjorn like other people have said. I think you will be disappointed.

    4. I’ll chime in with the other replies and say that I didn’t love a Baby Bjorn. What I used instead is a fitted sling for the early months, and then I adore my Ergo from about 4-5 months onwards (though not before that- I don’t like it for little babies). This time around, I am switching over to a Moby (wrap-style carrier) for the newborn months, in hopes that it will keep baby just as snug and secure, but prevent the mild strain that the sling puts on my shoulders/back. I find the sling so easy to use, which is why I love it (and baby loves it, too) but the extra minute it will take to put on the Moby wrap will be worth it if my back is happier. 🙂

      1. I love my Moby Wrap but don’t like using it outside of the home. For baby #2, purchased a Baby K’Tan (at a local consignment store for $10!) and it’s basically just like a Moby without the wrapping. It’s what I’ve been using the most with my 5 week old! Comfy & super easy to use!!

    5. Brittnie – the Moby wrap looks intimidating, but you will get used to it. I can put in on in just 1-2 minutes, and it’s just so comfortable. Once my hubby wanted to use it, but I was not there and he had forgotten how, so he just googled it with his phone. Step-by-step instructions as well as YouTube videos are plentiful on the internet. 🙂 Another reason not to use a Bjorn is the way that it carries the baby. It holds them by the crotch which is bad for their hips. In a Moby, their whole bottom/legs are cradled and in an Ergo they are basically seated. These are much better choices for your baby’s hips and spine.

      1. That’s exactly what I was going to say! Whatever carrier you use, even if it’s a wrap or a sling, if the child is in a sitting position, the fabric should go almost to the knees, and their bottom should be slightly lower than their knees creating a slight M position. Best for babies hips and spine, they should not be dangling unsupported 🙂 I have an ABC carrier (Action Baby Carrier) and love it, I live in Queensland, Australia so needed something less padded but still supportive for bub and I. We needed it to be somewhat cool – this carrier is perfect, somewhat similar in style to the ergo, manduca etc but no padding, only two layers of cotton. I can walk around and do housework for hours and hardly even feel him on my back. Love it. I use a sling for the early months, this next baby is going to be born in the height of summer 38C+ (100.4F) heat, high humidity. I think a mesh sling might be the go.

  2. This list is very good….however, I would add that most of these need to be bought USED or else a new mommy is going to break the bank. Most of the items listed above are rather expensive. Shop consignment. 🙂
    I didn’t use an Ergo. I used a Moby and a Mai Tai….and loved every minute of it. 🙂 Every mommy is going to be different in their likes and dislikes.

    1. However, I did just realize that you can buy most of these things one time and use them for all your kids. Very cost effective! 🙂

      1. Stacy…GREAT advice. Buying used really is the way to go if you can find some good deals on Craig’s List, Ebay, second hand stores or yard sales. If a new, pregnant mommy is reading this and has a baby shower coming up…these are some good things to register for as well…and get them FREE!!!

  3. Congratulations on expecting your precious nineth, Natalie!! How awesome! The timing of your post is perfect, as I am less than 3 months away from our third, and TOTALLY NESTING right now. We have minimal space, and I am going slightly crazy trying to arrange and think of the best way to fit everyone and everything. I appreciate your thoughts on effective essential baby gear, I definitely am going this direction this time around and this is very helpful. I’m donating the Boppy Pillow (never worked to my satisfaction, truly!) and planning to invest in a quality baby carrier/sling (why I didn’t use one much before?! hello – lifesaver!) and want to give some cloth diapering a go, along with my disposables. Have you ever used a rocking cradle, or had any success with one? We’ve pretty much just used our pack-n-play for a bassinet for the first 5 months. I am also considering skipping the changing table and going straight towards a dresser. Much more long term! I’d love to hear other’s preferences with early baby carriers 🙂 Thanks again for a wonderful post! 🙂

    1. We just use a dresser for our changing table. We put a no slip rug pad under the changing pad to keep it from sliding. I wouldn’t do it any other way. We’ve also loved our Fuzzi bunz perfect size diapers. We start using them as soon as the cord is healed. I’ve never had a blow out in one, only in disposables.

    2. Hey Kendra,

      I borrowed a rocking cradle with a couple of my earlier babies…but it was big and clumsy, they grew out of it so fast, and then I had no use for it anymore. I was glad I only borrowed it and could return it. I think you’re good with the pack and play, personally. The one I mentioned in the post has that extra “portable bassinet” so you don’t have to bend WAY over when you pick up the baby. AND the other plus is that you can just put that bassinet in the bed next to you…I love that. : )

    3. For me I need a change table, as I have a bad back, and I love that mine has a side rail, so its much less likely for baby to roll off, although of course I keep an eye on the baby. As for early baby carriers, I think you mean ergos, wraps, slings etc.? I use a moby for newborn to about 5 months and then an ergo from there into toddlerhood. I have a ring sling too but its not as comfy.

    4. I just found an awesome 34″ H dresser on craigslist that I bought (similar height as a changing table), and purchased a non-skid contoured changing pad to use on top. I used a changing table with my previous 2, but just sold it as I’m planning on all 3 kids sharing a room once baby transitions out of our room and space-saving is a must!

  4. I had a Baby Bjorn with our first baby and it killed my back. The Ergo is far superior. I just need to buy the infant insert before baby arrives. We did just fine without a bouncy seat. We just had a travel swing. I would add the My Brest Friend nursing pillow. It made breastfeeding so much easier as well as a mini cosleeper. It was much easier to nurse at night when baby is right next to me. Our first baby slept in hers until she was 8 months old.

  5. I couldn’t agree more with the vibrating bouncer seat. It was our go to item with my first son, and I tell every mom I know to put it on their list. Another item that I didn’t see but was a life saver was my sling/nursing cover. My son like to move a lot when nursing. Typical nursing covers would constantly be pulled up by those little hands, revealing more then I would like (I am VERY modest with any kind of skin showing). Using a sling nursing cover, my son could slip his hands out the sides, but I stayed fully covered at all times. 🙂

  6. Great list! And the best part about a bouncer? Lay a towel across it and put it next to the bathtub. Then you can pick up your squirmy, slippery baby and set them in the bouncer so you can dry them up and wrap them up easily!


  7. Great list! I love those swaddling blankets !! They are the best. One of my necessities was a Moses basket. I loved that thing.

  8. This is a really helpful list. I just wanted to add that my son used at least 20 diapers (bowel movements, not wet diapers) every day as a newborn. My pediatrician assured me that this was normal. I like to keep about 25 diapers on hand, and wash them daily.

  9. This is a great list! For me though I wouldn’t go with any swaddle blanket. We swaddled and re-swaddled our baby in it and no matter how tight or well my husband did it, she would break out of them…and immediately start crying! We went and bought Summer Infant Swaddleme in Cotton Knit and it was a miracle worker. You connect the swaddle via Velcro. It saved our sanity and made for a happy baby! 🙂

  10. Thank you for an in depth look at what is helpful to have when bringing home baby. I will definitely refer back to this when the time comes!

  11. I agree with much of the list, but not the “ways to contain a child”. We never used a pack-n-play (had one, but it didn’t get used) or a play yard (other than putting it around the Christmas tree each year and blocking off a room when it was under construction). Maybe it’s just different when you have a lot of children, but with two, I didn’t plan ways to keep my kids contained – they were usually just with me or someone else. (My second never even slept in a crib – she refused to be contained at all!)

    1. Some really wonderful things about helping wee ones to be content with some boundaries is that 1. You DO get to be with them while you take care of other responsibilities with other children…but you don’t have to be worried about them “escaping” and getting into danger. 2. You can take them out visiting and they will happily play in their “play place” next to you while you are able to enjoy fellowship with another mama and her children! (Love that!) 3. You are instilling into the very fabric of your children’s lives…the beautiful character quality of contentment and joy within loving boundaries…at a young age. This will pay off in HUGE dividends in their lives that will affect their future joy and happiness…on into adult hood. (I know I personally still struggle with NOT liking boundaries…they cramp my “style”!) Some mommies actually teach their babes to stay on a blanket…no play pen needed! I was never able to attain success with that…(I don’t think I really tried very hard! And I’ve got some real independent, push-the-limit, fire-crackers in my line up…sounds like you do too!) but I am always amazed when I see a small toddler who is happy to just “stay” on a blanket and play.

      1. I also love the idea of “blanket time” but have never put the time and energy into training for it. Always sounds like such a great idea!

      2. Natalie, my thoughts exactly. I think it is important to give them those boundaries at this age so they learn to be content. And practically speaking, this is especially helpful in public and at church! And at home, with one or two children, it’s not as big of a deal to keep everyone in one room, but as your family grows, those of different ages and stages spread out and mom is needed all over, so the play pen is nice. I have a Co-Sleeper brand one, but it’s a mini…perfect size for the side of the bed, but as they get mobile, it would be nice to have the regular size that converts to a play yard instead of the mini PLUS a play yard. I just had to toss my last two play yards (major holes from several babies in a row), so I’ll be needing another this time around! I love the blanket training concept, too! I tried that briefly, but I didn’t stick with it long enough to make it work well. Both of these things prevent mom from constantly chasing after babe, and it’s important that baby learn to listen and respond to mom instead of mom having to chase. If they’re mobile early, it’s even more crucial to have something to keep them safe and protected from all they can get into even with mom IN the room!

      3. My sister has 9 children, and she uses her play pen mostly for the safety of the baby. It’s nice to let the baby play on a blanket, without worrying that a bigger kid will step on them while running by or that baby will get some stray object in their mouth, which is much harder to keep track of with that many kids about. I’m on baby #4, and am starting to see her logic (I certainly didn’t back at #2!)

  12. My necessities are: prefolds, Bummis super whisper wraps, kissaluvs terry knit wipes, bravado original nursing bras, change table (I have a bad back), car seat (we choose convertible and its better for my back and cheaper in the long run too), moby wrap (newborn to about 5 months), ergo (about 4 months into toddlerhood), sleepers and onesies (not outfits, just sleepers!), a few receiving blankets for spit up, leaking breasts, swaddling etc., and later, a high chair that is one that goes on a chair. That’s about it really, babies aren’t complicated! 🙂 I’ve had two and another one due soon. I have been able to now see what works for us and what doesn’t.

  13. We are expecting our eighth and one item we haven’t had in the past, that the new mom seem to love, is a Bumbo seat. I love how you can put little ones in there and then put them in the middle of the table while you are eating. I’m thinking it could be a great addition to our school also.

    1. I DID get one with my eighth as well…on recommendation of a lot of younger moms. I’m selling it at our garage sale in the spring. : ) Maybe it was just my baby…but he kept tipping over in it!!! (The seat itself would NOT tip…he’d just tip over IN the seat…so he was hanging out the side…He was/and is a real escape artist…) Maybe if I had a more compliant one…

      1. Anyway I will be having our fourth blessing and something I wish I known about for the first one was soothies gel pads, I use them the first couple of weeks and never bleed or crack and really little discomfort. I do not even bother with any other creams, just the pads. Also, a travel swing is a good compromise between a large swing and bouncer, portability of of bouncer and of course the swinging action that always worked for my children. Also a note on bumboo seat, I found having the tray a necessary for keeping them in…we use this from 2-3 months till 5 or 6 months daily, but our children have had very soft heads and they tend to get flat spots if we are not super careful. So the bumboo is a life saver for that! Also, we love bum genius too and I suggest getting in their mailing list, because you can’t get used or less than perfect diapers for a fraction of the cost. I got 20 xsm aio

      2. Same here, bought one with my fourth and found it to be a waste of money. Both #4 and #5 tipped over in it so badly that we finally ditched it.

    2. We LOVED our bumbo seat! Found it, almost brand new, at a consignment shop and sold it back after we were done. But yes! I think you would find it very helpful:)

    3. I think it depends on the child. I bought a bumbo used on craigslist, and my previous 2 HATED it! They would only sit in for a couple minutes before they would arch their backs screaming as if they were very uncomfortable. They were much happier just being on the floor on a blanket or in the swing (if I wasn’t able to hold them)

    4. Please don’t ever put your Bumbo seat on a table. Babies can flip out of them and fall to the floor in a second even if you think you are being careful. Bumbos are only to be used on the floor – preferably carpeted.

  14. I agree with the first part of the list, but do not find the last portion of the list to be Necessities. These are extras that may have added benefits depending on the lifestyle of the family (though I disagree with most). I think maybe one of these items would be enough for a family.

    I think a great nursing bra is a necessity for breastfeeding moms.

  15. Thank you, thank you Natalie!! The timing of your list is perfect! We are expecting our first baby and really do think less is more so I appreciate your truly “road tested” advice! =) I’ll have to print this post and keep it with our many other before baby lists. We are not finding out the baby’s gender so we plan to purchase most everything with future babies in mind. I was wondering what your advice on a breast pump might be? I pray I will be able to successfully breastfeed our baby but I know a few women, including my mother, who where unable to. I’ve been looking into purchasing a used one or renting one, but both options can be quite expensive. Is this a purchase that I can wait on until after the baby is born? I worry about being unprepared and having to rush out and buy one, without having the time to find a good deal, yet if I buy ahead and don’t end up needing it’s also not a good investment. Thank you again for putting together this helpful list! Blessings to you and your growing family!

    1. I use the Lansinoh double affinity and it works fine, but I’ve heard wonderful things about the Medela pumps…I just couldn’t bring myself to pay that much! I bought one used on Craigslist and it only lasted me for 7 weeks. I also use the Lansinoh manual pump and that works great in a pinch, so you could get that and keep an eye out for a good deal on a used one. Don’t give up on nursing if it doesn’t work perfectly right away, keep with it and be patient with yourself and your baby…you’re both learning a new skill!

    2. Hi Valarie,
      As someone who wasn’t successful at breastfeeding my first (but am successfully breastfeeding my 2nd, yay!), I used the Medela Pump in Style Advanced to exclusively pump for my 1st baby for over a year! It can be done but it’s a lot of hard work. If you think you’ll be using your pump often or you’ll be separated from the baby, I’d recommend a double electric pump such as the Medela. If you’ll only be using it occasionally or to help deal with engorgement in the beginning, I’d recommend a manual hand pump (cheaper, smaller). Where I delivered with my 2nd, the lactation consultant in the hospital actually GAVE me the very handpump I’d been wanting so I essentially got it for “free.” It was the Medela HUGS kit, if you’ve seen it before, it has almost everything you need to pump right away. Hope this helps. BTW, if you ever need pumping advice, come back and find me on my blog. I love to help out other mommies because it can be quite tricky at first.

    3. I am also expecting our first baby in about a month, and just called our local hospital’s lactation consultant this morning with the same question. She actually recommended that I hold off on making the purchase until after I see what works best after the baby is born. The hospital actually has hospital grade double electric pumps available to new moms and could even give me a small hand pump to try if needed. Good luck with getting ready for your little one! 🙂

    4. I would caution you to be very careful in purchasing a used pump. According to the manufacturers and all the lactation consultants I have talked to, only the hospital-grade rentals are designed for multiple users. All the other models (including the Medela Pump-in-Style) draw the milk into parts of the machine, making cross-contamination inevitable. Even if you replace the tubing you still risk contaminating your babies milk with that of previous users. At the time of our baby’s birth, Hygeia ( was planning to produce a reusable pump. As far as I know, that is the only safe secondhand option.

  16. I think this is a great, basic list! I myself have also loved having a nursing stool and Bobby pillow to help with ergonomic breastfeeding. The only downside to this list, IMO, is all the baby containers! Bouncer, swing, gym, Pack ‘n Play, play yard… these are high price items, as well as taking up a LOT of space. I know there are times when a baby *must* be contained, but all these types of items put together lead to less physical touch happening. Wearing babe or letting him play on the floor/blanket nearby usually keeps him happier longer, takes up almost no floor space, and is just a fraction of the cost. I’m expecting my 6th baby in a few months and I got rid of the swing, activity center, walker and gym after the 2nd baby. Now I just use a Moses basket and small bouncy seat when I *have* to contain baby away from me, and a baby carrier the rest of the time. =] Less stuff, more contact.

    1. I agree … more stuff is less contact! If I had tons of stuff … mostly plastic might I add … to place my baby in, than he wouldn’t be placed in daddys arms all the time! 🙂 He’s always in my soft carrier or in daddys arms.

    2. I agree with this! I’m expecting my 5th child (in 7 years) and we have never owned a play yard or pack n’ play, swing, bumbo, gym, etc. I have a bouncy seat I occasionally use when they are very young and a basic exersaucer (an old one with no built in toys so I out whatever on the tray) for when they are a little bigger.

      I am very much a minimalist. My essential baby list would be a car seat, good stroller, sling/carrier, cloth diapers, lanolin, good nursing bras, and that’s about it 🙂

  17. Thanks for the list! We are expecting in 5 weeks and have gotten most of this or have it on the baby registry. I’ve heard mom’s rave about the moby, milkies milksavers, lilypadz, and the undercover mama nursing tank too!

    Question: we are itching to get back to our outdoorsy lifestyle. Was wondering what would be the ideal sleep situation in a backpacking tent. It would have to be small. Would a bouncer work?

  18. With our second boy we didn’t need to get anything! It was great. My necessities:
    Pre folds with “imse vimse” diaper covers. The best and softest and it contains explosions like no disposable can! More economical than the pocket diapers or all-in-1s.
    Instead of a pack-n-play we have a baby Bjorn travel crib. There is no comparison in ease of set up and weight. Our boys are in it through their baby years next to our bed. Also, we travel overseas and to family’s houses so it’s great.
    I love the jumper and use it when I am fixing dinner or cleaning the kitchen, but I also think kids need to explore their surroundings safely.

    Overall, I tell my friends that they need a lot less than they think!

  19. I have to say, not everyone gets cracked or sore nipples. I occasionally used coconut oil and never had any problems. And if you’re an overproductive milk maker like me, you can’t buy enough reusable pads! I had 8 sets and still couldn’t go through a day without ending up in disposables! The Lasinoh ones seem to absorb the best and be the most comfortable.

    Also, we bought a white noise machine but I disliked it so much I returned it and bought a 99 cent white noise hour off Amazon and looped it on my iPod…much cheaper!

    And I agree with other moms…Ergo is awesome, but the Moby works for little bitties better, and I like being able to carry my baby facing out now that she’s into seeing everything.

    The one thing we got at 3 months that I wished I had bought before was the Tiny Love travel mobile–it clips on a pack n’ play or a stroller and plays nice music for 30 minutes. Its a lifesaver in the car!

    1. iPod “noise machine” is a great idea. I was thinking as I read this post that lullabies could be played off of Pandora as well.

      1. I agree about the sore nipples! It absolutely does not have to be that way! I’ve never dealt with cracked nipples or pain for that matter. Lanolin is great to use though, even preventatively.

  20. I have to politely disagree with the wool breast pads. I bought some that were totally organic and very soft (plus a pretty penny). Perhaps I am different than some mothers, but I soaked through those babies in a heartbeat, which left me with giant soaking circles on my shirt…. at work. Fabulous. I bought the Babies R Us disposable generic brand (way cheaper) and I swear by them. They were fantastic and never leaked. Plus if they were wet, I could toss them and put a clean pair in. Perhaps not the best for the environment, but I was never sitting in my office with a soaked shirt trying to figure out how to get out of my office again! And being a working mother, I was able to nurse for 10 months. It was great. It can be done!

  21. Also, the Bjorn-style carriers don’t facilitate proper hip alignment and are usually referred to as “crotch-danglers” buy the baby-wearing community. Save yourself money, hassle, and worry and invest in a better carrier than the Bjorn. Many brands and styles are out there – Ergo, Beco, wraps, mei tais, or a ring sling. I loved my Moby while my LO was a newborn, and now I’m loving my Beco and mei tai and plan to try out a ring sling and an Onya baby carrier (totally comfy but a little more pricey!!). Good luck new mamas!

  22. This is a great post!! I absolutely LOVE those swaddling blankets. We didn’t use anything else especially since our little guy was always so hot and sweaty. Those blankets are nice a thin so he was more comfortable when he slept. The only thing I would add to the list would be a Moses basket. I really loved ours and will use it again and again.

  23. Thanks for this list it is helpful. I am expecting #2 in about 2 months and working on my list of necessities especially since we moved into a lot smaller space since having our son a year and a half ago. My list so far is good nursing bras, Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter (liked it so much better than lanolin, not sticky), Boppy nursing pillow (I used it everyday, especially helpful after c-section), a rocker or glider (for baby but also relaxing for me), swaddle wraps, sleepers, onesies, blankets, cloth and disposable diapers (I currently use cloth part time due to laundry situation), pack n play, small travel swing and later travel bouncer (both fold flat and easily stored), and mei tai. I want to get a beco too as I could only use my mei tai through 6 mos (my baby was a lightweight and still is at not quite 20 lbs at 15 mos).

  24. I just did a post on this topic myself. We have a lot of similarities! One thing to note is that, for a lot of these bigger items, many moms are THRILLED to lend theirs out. You don’t have to resign yourself to buying all of this (even used) and storing it. Many of these items have a intensely helpful but relatively short shelf life. So borrow! Use the Bumbo for the couple of months that it is helpful, then return it or pass it on to another mom.

    1. GREAT point Katherine! I actually borrowed a couple of Bum Genius diapers from a young mom (I was skeptical about the cloth diaper thing…) to try them out. That’s how I discovered I loved them…and THEN invested in my own stash. I’ve loaned out my Ergo as well…so for those who are wondering which carrier might be best for them…wouldn’t it be nice to find other moms willing to let you “try” theirs before you buy?

  25. I am checking out that book on Amazon as I type. I have never been able to get my children to enjoy a bouncy seat. We have found that to be the waste in our home but the plug-in swing on the other hand has been marvelous!

  26. Great list, Natalie! I actually have a similar post in the works. I love hearing what other moms think about the essentials!

    One thing I’ve found odd through the years is that as families have started having fewer and fewer children, the market for baby products has exploded, with an astronomical amount of single-use gadgets and contraptions. With my first child, I thought I needed a lot of those extras and I see other moms do the same.

    Clothing has gone overboard these days! It’s nice to have a few cute outfits, but I know I tend to reach for the simple wrap-style t-shirts (kikomos or something??), onesies, and sleepers. Blankets, though, I prefer to have lots of handmade ones. My daughter and I make our own receiving blankets (and other types), and I love handmade knit and crocheted blankets, so I do like to have a nice, personalized stash of blankets. I don’t know if I even have a single store-bought one, though! I’ve heard good things about The ones you mentioned.

    I’m excited to see how you like your Moby! 🙂 I’m glad to see from other comments that moms realize the Bjorn and other similar carriers are bad! That’s that launched me into this business. I think the Ergo is fantastic, too, but I’ve got to say I love my Boba and find it is much softer and has better coverage. Both are fabulous, though, and I’m excited to try even more brands!

    The best thing on this list is the reminder to pray for our children. Without that, we ultimately fail. I’ve never heard of the book you mentioned, but thank you for the recommendation! I’m going to check that out. New moms have a lot of reading time on their hands due to nursing, so making the time to pray for and over our children is never an issue. Oh, and on the nursing pillows that some have mentioned. I have to admit that I tend to favor the feel and support of a regular pillow best, but the perk of the Boppy (and other nursing pillows) is that it stays by mom’s “nursing spot” since nobody takes it to their bed for their own use. 🙂

      1. You crack me up…! : ) I can’t wait to try my Moby too. I put it on the other day and imagined a warm, curled up body in there. I’m getting so excited to “do it” again. I LOVE that newborn stage…there’s just nothing like it in the world. Oh…and about the blanket thing, you should know that I actually BOUGHT a hand knit blanket from a knitter friend recently because I adore her blankets so much. I love those fluffy things for “going out”, taking pictures…and for church. We live in MN…so fluff is what it’s all about…plus I love to quilt…and do have a stash of quilts to lay my babies on. I can’t ever get rid of those…they represent too much love. : ) I want to read your post when you publish it! Babies get us all gabby…don’t they?

  27. I am extremely disappointed that KOTH chose to perpetuate the myth that cracked and bleeding nipples are a normal part of life with a newborn. As a long time La Leche League leader, board certified lactation consultant and a mama with 5 years of personal breastfeeding experience under my belt, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that cracked and bleeding nipples are NOT NORMAL!

    Normal breastfeeding pain fits 3 criteria: It should be MILD, meaning it is no more than a 1 or a 2 on the 1-10 pain scale. If you are curling your toes or having anxiety about every nursing session, you need skilled help. It should be TEMPORARY, meaning it should last no more than 3-4 days after the baby is born. Longer than that and you need skilled help. Finally, it should be TRANSIENT, meaning it should only hurt when the baby initially latches on. If it hurts throughout the whole feeding or hurts in between feedings, you need skilled help.

    Hopefully, you noticed a theme… skilled help. I can work with a mother who is hurting and miserable and with seemingly minor adjustments, can often make a major difference in comfort level. Pain is not something just to be endured! Cracked and bleeding nipples open the door for bacterial and fungal infections (which lanolin will not stave off) and pain inhibits your milk let-down, making it harder for baby to get what he or she needs. If you are having pain, it is worth the time and money to see a knowlegeable lactation consultant. Seventy-five to 80% of the time, I can help a mama resolve her pain with one visit and my fee is less than one month of formula and certainly less than one doctor visit when you end up with mastitis or thrush that invaded through those nipple wounds.

    I realize this site is not intended to provide medical advice but please, please, please try to avoid sharing blantantly incorrect information on a topic of such vital importance.

    Oh, and by the way, in my five years of breastfeeding, the only time I had a bloody nipple was when my toddler accidentally bit me.

    1. Brenda, I can assure you that KOTH is not promoting a myth. : ) I am a guest poster on this blog and was merely sharing my own experience with 8 successfully breast fed babies. In addition, I know countless women, many with large families, who have successfully nursed their babies and yet experienced the very normal condition of painful nipples (yes…sometimes “toe curling!”) the first two weeks of breast feeding. Under normal conditions this pain resolves itself, and lanolin has helped many of us. I have consulted with several nursing specialists over the course of 18 years, and they have all confirmed that this is “normal” for many women. To call it a “myth” is to deny the real life experience of other women and to put unnecessary pressure on women who want to hang in there and have a successful nursing experience in spite of normal pain. This was not intended to be medical advice, but rather a simple tip to avoid cracked and bleeding nipples. A tip that is tried and true for many experienced mamas.

      1. Wanted to clarify something and avoid any confusion…when I’m referring to nurses in the original post…I’m talking about the nurses who work in the hospital and take care of women after they deliver their babies. Wonderful gals…but some of them are in their 20s with no children of their own…and have given some faulty advice based on their training…but not based on real life experience. The “nursing specialists” I refer to in my above comment are those I’ve consulted with either by telephone or by personal visit after being home with my baby for a few days. These women are trained specifically to assist women with lactation needs. I had one premature baby (29 weeks) that required some help (my first), and my #7 baby had a mouth/latching issue that required some consulting. I also did talk with two different lactation consultants with my 2nd and 3rd babies concerning the issue of painful nipples. All of these women were very encouraging, professional, and did let me know that pain is normal for many women, it does resolve with time, and it does not NECESSARILY mean you are doing something “wrong”.

      2. Natalie, I was not calling painful nipples a myth. As an IBCLC that works in both a hospital and in private practice, I am aware that there are lots of moms who have sore nipples. The myth is that anything more than mild pain is normal. Common is not the same thing as normal.

        A lactation specialist is not the same thing as an international board certified lactation consultant. Anyone can go to a weekend course and cone away with a lactation specialist certificate. The IBCLC is much, much more in-depth. A specialists may simply not have enough knowledge to help a mother adequately.

        Sometimes the issues that cause pain are more subtle. I often get the cases in my private practice that weren’t able to be resolved at the hospital so I have had to acquire special expertise in complex structural issues that many LC’s don’t have. I’m not trying to toot my own horn – just pointing out that someone shrugging their shoulders and telling you it’s normal doesn’t make it so. Normal and common are not the same.

        For instance, did anyone ever suggest seeking craniosacral therapy for your little one? Did anyone evaluate for a posterior or even sneakier submucosal tongue tie? Was palate shape assessed and latch adjusted according to palate shape? These all cause pain and all are commonly missed in the hospital setting.

    2. THANK YOU! I’m pretty sure cracked and bleeding nipples are not normal… wouldn’t that have been a huge problem for our ancient ancestors?

      The only time I ever had pain, was once when my actual breast hurt. I called my doula and she told me to take soy lecithin granules and vitamin c all day. It worked. I never had any pain during breastfeeding and my nipples never hurt or cracked or bled.

      1. I had cracked nipples for two of my four children, only mild, but due to poor latching (my first, and my fourth). Once we got them latching properly, all was good. Not a sign of pain for the other two, except on day 4 (too much milk!).

  28. I would second the use of a pack-n-play. We have VERY limited space and are on kiddo number 4. (young parents compared to those with more 🙂 however i would say that we were able to comfortably get by with the pack-n-play, good burp cloths (prefold diapers), box fan (our noise maker), solid umbrella stroller, bouncy seat, a comfortable place to nurse, and just recently someone gave us a swing which is a nice addition but not needed. Thank you for your post. I have recently seen those swaddle blankets and have not known what they were called. i hope to try them out since the regular ones have never worked well for us. I hope all goes well with kiddo number 9.

  29. Pretty good list! I’m definitely with you on the Ergo and Hanna PJs especially.
    I’d add a Boppy pillow to my list. I know you don’t use it that long because once they get stronger, nursing is a little easier to manage. However, I didn’t have it with my first baby and then I got it with the second and found the first couple months to be WAY easier.
    As for the diapers, I’m a prefolds nut personally. However, I’m with you about the newborn stage! You need SO many. Every time I have a new baby we use a cloth diaper service for the first couple of months. It’s a real blessing to have someone else worry about diaper laundry. 🙂
    I too like you love my Ergo but not so much for the newborn stage. I didn’t care for slings or pocket carriers so I’m thinking a wrap is the way to go this time around.

  30. If you have a little baby, the Bjorn will work ok, until they get to be about 20 lbs. But I can still carry my 3-year-old in the Ergo if I want to. There’s NO possible way you could do that with a Bjorn. I even used the Ergo when my #2 daughter was just a few weeks old, with her legs tucked up under her like she would have been in a Moby. There’s really no comarison between a Bjorn and an Ergo. And if you wear your baby a lot, you don’t even need a bouncer! I only used it a handful of times the first couple of months.

    1. Not to mention resale value. You can get at least 50% back on an Ergo when you are done with it. (or if it doesn’t end up working for you) Bjorns are a dime a dozen at consignment shops here.

      1. I wear my babies a fair bit. But I had to go out and buy a bouncer (cheap one), as my son had jaundice that lasted for over 6 weeks and had to be put in the sunshine, skin exposed as much as possible 🙁 He hated just lying on a blanket and would cry. Eventually we found out it was just breastmilk jaundice, which is harmless. But he did love the bouncer at times, when I wasn’t wearing him.

  31. For white noise, I use an air purifier in my room (great white noise, while also circulating/purifying air as well). I LOVE my bobby for breastfeeding (esp. useful after having c-section, also helps reduce shoulder/back strain while nursing). A couple good nursing bras are essential. I’m gonna try the Bum Genius all-in-ones diapers with this baby (I used pre-folds w/pins for my 1st 17 years ago and hated the it so I used disposables with my last 2, but just recently found so many newer/easier alternatives to cloth diapering). I use pre-folds for burp rags. I buy a handful of receiving blankets (which I also use to cover with when nursing, no “hooter hider” needed). I’m using a 34″ H dresser w/non-skid contour changing pad (in lieu of additional changing table)…with 3 kids sharing a room once the new one transitions out of our room, space saving is necessary!

    For moms that choose to still breastfeed while going back to work, Medela Pump In Style is perfect! It’s also good to pump some “extra” if daddy would like to feed the baby a bottle once in a while, or if mommy would like to leave the house for a couple hours by herself.

    I haven’t used a baby carrier with my previous ones, but I’ll check out the Ergo for this one – thanks for the suggestion! (with 2 preschoolers in addition to a newborn, I’m gonna need my hands free!) Also, I’m gonna look into those sleepers as well (I usually use the gowns with elastic at the bottom to make nighttime diaper changes easy)

    1. Oh, and I have to add…I love a good comfy rocking chair to nurse, hold, cuddle with the baby 🙂 My mom bought me a rocker/recliner when my 1st child was born 17 years ago that I still have!

      1. Oh yeah a breast feeding pillow is a MUST and do is my rocking chair! I have the luna lullaby pillow and I love it!

  32. funny what one thinks is a “necessity” and another person thinks it’s not. Most of what you said I never had with any of my 4 babies and I seriously doubt I missed out.

    Only 2 pairs of wool pads? That may have worked my first time, but NOT my last. My super duper massive letdown was no match for wool pads(yeah I tried wool). I’m not a disposable fan, but the disposables rocked for when I was out in public and couldn’t just press down on my nipple to prevent the flood. We hated the baby tshirts and never used them. Give me the gowns instead that snap all the way down. Loved my boppy pillow or whatever it’s called. Absolutely loved the little thing I put in the tub to hold the baby while I bathed them. My stroller was worth every penny.

  33. I’m a first time mom to a 5 month old boy!
    I NEED:
    *My cloth diaper stash. I love using covers with prefolds. I have ALOT of prefolds.
    *Side snap short and long sleeve t’s … I love to leave them unsnapped and have skin to skin time on my chest with my son 🙂
    *socks withOUT elastic… my son has serious chubbiness!
    *coconut oil
    *Cloth nursing pads. I had lots of disposies and I only like my organic bamboo ones.
    *Organic bamboo swaddle blankies
    *My sakura bloom sling for newborn stage and after a little time, I have worn my ergo/boba g2 24/7
    *BURP cloths for spit up! I have a spitter! I realized he is sensitive to wheat though…
    *I was initially against having a swing/ bouncer … but I would NOT ever be able to get a shower (this is generally for at first) without being able to place baby in it right in front of the shower door or bathtub … I only use it for that.

    I had a doula who helped me begin breastfeeding and I guess it was having learned a perfect latch or maybe using my own breast milk on my nipples each time … but I never had any cracked or sore nipple problems. I did have a “pain” not sure what it was but my doula said take soy lecithin and vitamin c every few hours and that worked.

    For momma after delivery:

    *There’s a sits spray by earth momma angel baby that I forgot I had and realized after the first few days … well it was HEAVEN to use it. For me, recovery was painful and delivery was not.
    *use your own breast milk or coconut oil on your nipples
    *cloth pads … love these. Really. I don’t think my tender bits could have stood having disposie pads down there …

    *I have a few baby activity mat thingies … one is kick and play (with the kicky piano) … and my son LOVES it. I would only get that one. I don’t ever use the others.
    *Baby bath towels are pointless. I get that they make for really adorable pics ..
    *I don’t have a play yard or pack n play … and I don’t want them either.

    And white noise is your best friend! I learned I could actually go in the car with the baby IN his carseat NOT crying if his favorite soothing songs are played … you can buy them in iTunes if you have an iPhone and play them through the speakers in your car …

  34. I couldn’t live without my Moby style wrap or a BOPPY! For my first, I tried propping myself up on pillows and such, but after a few weeks, my back was aching every time we nursed, so I got a Boppy. My Boppy was used with all four of my babies, and I’ll have one with this fifth baby, too. It’s definitely on my must have list.

  35. I am a total lurker on this blog but I have to chime in, as a babysitter an Mom of almost 3 (due in 2 month) I love a moby wrap for when they are newborns, it is awkward to learn to do at first but practice a lot at home. I do not have a moby however I did go to the fabric store (with a 50% off coupon) and got 5 yards( I am petite) of a knit fabric, cut it in half length wise and tie it just like a moby wrap. Works perfectly when they are small and don’t weigh too much. I also got to pick a fabric I would like to wear a lot and a weight for how hot or cold it is. And I got 2 wraps for a whopping $10.00. I used a bjorn with my older 2 and agree it is great when they are little and then it KILLS your back, especially because those abs aren’t quite what they used to be. I bought an ergo for this baby and everyone I know who has one loves it. Also I have never heard a complaint about a mei tei. My advice is find a MOMS group or something similar and see if some of the ladies have some you can try.
    And I agree with a nursing pillow – A MUST!!!
    I have never cracked or bled nursing but the lansinoh really does make you feel better, and it is great for treating your woolies if you are using them.

  36. I love this list! Although not all is the same as what I think is essential, it is very similar. With my first son, I had an inexpensive carrier and hardly used it. I didn’t like it, nor did my son. With my second, I got a Moby wrap, and I loved it! We used it so much. Also, I loved my two different strollers – Graco Mosaic for the first, and a Kolcraft Contours Options Tandem with the second. They were worth every penny! And although I like the Pack’n’Play, that has mainly been for use at home. For travel, I love the Kidco PeaPod – it packs down so small, and fits in much easier than the pack’n’play.

  37. Love the list… while it may vary for mom to mom and baby to baby (mine were each very different and vocal in their needs) it helps highlight the truly useful from the commercial sell-fest… Babies don’t really need all that much! And a few extras help make life a little easier.

    My second lived in a simple cloth baby sling for the better part of 18 months, while the third was happiest with some personal space on a blanket to observe the rest of us. The first just needed to be near, with constant conversation, and started talking really early. And they continued these different preferences all the way to their present teen/adult years! (Except the sling baby walks on her own weight, but still wants to be with me close.)

  38. Great ideas and these necessities will vary according to each mother. I have 4 children and I have used lanolin with all of them. With my last one, she is almost 2 y.o. and I am still nursing her, I found that if I put a pea size amount of lanolin on my nipples every night after my shower it will keep them soft. Especially during winter months they tend to get dry. I also noticed that when babies are teething they will irritate my nipples in different ways. Not using the lanolin now, though!!!

    I also think the bouncer is an unnecessary money usage. I use the baby car seat on the floor, baby buckled in and hang a few items or safe toys on the handle. The baby can rock himself depending how big and spit fired they are and they are contained. And I don’t have to buy ONE more thing. 🙂

    I also could never wear a wrap because I have big breasts and they were so not comfortable.

    anyway, great tips!! 🙂

  39. I didn’t have time to read all the comments, so I’m not sure if someone else mentioned this already or not. But Lansinoh Lanolin is not the best stuff for sore, cracked nipples. It is very hard, does not rub in well and is not safe for babies to ingest (as in you need to put it on right after nursing and not nurse again until it’s had plenty of time to absorb). Earth Mama Angel Baby’s Natural Nipple Butter is a much better and safer product. It’s smooth and creamy and goes on easily. (Try smearing the hard Lanolin onto sore nipples – it’s almost more painful than leaving them alone – I’ve tried that before and didn’t like it!) Here’s what’s written on the side of the small jar I have: “Clinically tested, hospital recommended Natural Nipple Butter is lanolin-free. Safely moisturizes, soothes and protects sore nipples, baby’s chapped cheeks and lips too! Safe for mama and baby, no need to wash it off before nursing.” THIS product was so wonderful and a great relief to find it after having been told by so many people to use Lansinoh Lanolin.

    Oh and on another note, I LOVED my moby wrap! It’s not as good for a heavier toddler – although they DO say they work up to 35lbs.

    1. I so agree! Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter is amazing! I am so glad I went with it over Lanolin my first pregnancy and now I’m due with #2 soon and already have a new jar waiting for me. So soft and easy to put on and really really helped. I’m glad to see someone else who loves and recommends it too.

      1. And when you don’t need it for nipples anymore, you can use it on nappy rash – works fantastic and is safe to use on cloth nappies/diapers!

  40. Thanks for the ideas! I’m expecting my first baby and really have no idea what I need/want. This post was very timely!

  41. I might reword the title to say “My List of Favorite Baby Items.” A lot of them might be nice but certainly aren’t necessities, several are more luxuries than basics. It’s important to me to make the distinction, because many people feel like they have to buy a list of necessities that they may not have room for. It is always interesting to see what different people like.

    I have a tendency to badly cracked nipples, but from my experience with multiple midwives, it’s not that common with a good latch. I’m allergic to lanolin, so I squeeze out the contents of Vitamin E capsules.

    I use cloth nursing pads, but cotton. Many people are either allergic to or irritated by wool, so I’d test-run the wool before a baby was born.

    I have never used a white noise machine with my six babies, maybe nice, but not a necessity.

    I have never had a gym or play yard. Do have a walker that doesn’t really roll on our carpet so is similar to the activity jumper. Do like the bouncy chair. Have a pack ‘n play for baby to sleep in but not for containment.

    For clothing, we also use pretty much all sleepers. Have never used onesies under them though.

    1. I agree in reality the only necessities are some clothes, nappies/diapers ( I use cloth), wipes/washers, breastpads (I used cotton/bamboo blend), carseat if you have a car. Most other things are great and make you’re life easier. For the real ‘necessities’ think did they have this in Bible times? (after all they generally survived). The rest comes under ‘makes your life easier, or would be nice categories. My favourite non regrettable purchases are: Modern cloth nappies/diapers, cloth wipes, fabric breastpads, sling for early days (so far my newborns prefer to lay down for the first 2 months), then a soft structured gender neutral carrier for later on, basic bouncer, portacot, stroller (folds down small).

  42. You have no idea how helpful this list is! I am 24 weeks and finding myself TOTALLY overwhelmed with what to do and get for our registry! Thank you!

  43. Is there any good baby carriers for twins? I can imagine a woman walking with a baby strapped to the front side, and another to the rear. I dont think its a very pleasant configuration.

    1. I know in the newborn phase alot of people use two slings on their front for twins. Later on it would be alot harder when they’re bigger I guess. Go to ‘google images’ and type in ‘twins in slings’ and you’ll see a range of options to click on and explore. That’s where I saw the two sling idea.

    2. I am 15 weeks pregnant with twins. I know the Baby K’Tan has a lot of good reviews among twin moms (it can be configured multiple ways) though I think it will only work for infants

  44. I agree with you completely! I have 6 babies with a 6 year gap between my last 2. I definitly found with the more babies I had, the less “stuff” i wanted or needed. No one has time for un-necessary clutter. I have tried 9 different baby carriers/slings/wraps (not the ergo) and by far love the moby the most. I can still carry around my 18mth old (22lbs) with minimal back strain. The only thing I would say to this is I prefer sleeper snaps to zippers for new babies. I just find it easier to peek into the diaper to check for a poopie with snap sleepers (especially sleepy babies) The last thing i want to do to a sleepy baby is wake him back up when I double check to make sure the diaper is still clean! After a few months most babies bowels are more regulated and the poop less…but those first few weeks/months the poo at almost every diaper change! I save all my good baby clothes in bins and when I need extra I go to the thrift store! But I definitly agree with you, for the first year my babies lived in the sleepers (they were changed and clean ones) It made me sad to dress them some days…It just looked uncomfortable and un necessary for a baby to be put into jeans or tights. The more babies I had, the longer they would stay in their sleepers or rompers!

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