What do you really need for a new baby?

What do you really need for a new baby?

Baby registries, baby showers, stores dedicated entirely to infants – many parents can feel overwhelmed by the amount of accessories that new babies appear to require. But how much do you really need? How many of the 30 onesies size 0-3 months should you keep, and how many should you exchange or pass on to a friend in need? How many of the adorable outfits, also size 0-3 months, will you have an opportunity to use? How many diapers? How many car seats? How many baby carriers? You can end up with quite a few…

Here is a basic list of what you will likely need to help you through the first few months with your new baby:



5-10 onesies (depending on how often you want to do laundry)

5-7 sleepers or nightgowns

5-7 pairs of baby socks (be prepared to lose these and consider Zutano booties instead)

2-3 newborn hats for going out

2 or 3 really cute outfits for showing off


Cloth, using prefolds and multi-use covers:

4-6 diaper covers each in small and medium sizes

24-36 cloth inserts

*if using all-in-one or pocket diapers: enough diapers for at least two days (20-30)

Disposable to get you started: 2 packs of newborn diapers

2 packs of disposable wipes or 10-15 cloth wipes – shop rags work great!

Fresh olive oil for diaper changes and preventing the stickiness of the first few diapers

Bath Items

3-5 baby washcloths

1-2 towels (hooded baby towels, if desired, but adult ones work fine)

1 bottle of gentle baby wash if using soap. I recommend avoiding soap, and then using scent free and minimal ingredients, such as OG Baby and California Baby. No Johnson & Johnson!

Baby nail file

Digital thermometer – quick read. Ones that go inside the ears do not work for infants.

Bedding and Feeding

5-7 lightweight/receiving blankets

6 burp cloths (can use cloth diapers)

3 fitted sheets for crib, bassinet, or co sleeper (as needed)

If breastfeeding and pumping: 4-6 bottles; 5-8 bottles, if exclusively bottle feeding

*glass bottles are preferred. Even new BPA free plastics are shown to leach estrogens, stick to glass if able.

Breastfeeding pillow, if desired

Breast pump if planning to return to work. I recommend the Hygeia brand. They are very well made, closed-system, reliable and the motors are long-lasting. (Medela is a fine alternative)


A baby sling or carrier – I recommend you have at least one that is easy to use, so that you have the option to throw it on as you head into the store, rather than leaving baby in the car seat in the cart. Consider having two – one that is over-the-shoulder or pocket (good for quick and short use) and one that will balance the weight evenly on you, but might be more complex (like Ergo, Moby, Mai Tai…).

Rear-facing infant car seat, with enough bases to leave one in each vehicle

The biggest things newborns and parents need are love, patience, time, and food. If family members would like to help out, consider having them gift the following items:

Alternative Gifts

Meals! See our previous blog on MealBaby.com

Lactation Services ($ well spent on building confidence for Mom and baby)

House Cleaning

Cloth Diaper Services if they are available in your hometown, otherwise, they can come do your laundry once or twice 😉

Pet Walking

Chiropractic Care


Gardening and Lawn Care (for summer babies)

Snow Removal (for winter babies)

Company (after the first few weeks have passed)


These gifts offer new parents and families the support, time and space to focus on what’s really important, getting to know your wee one.


AnnMarie RianWanzeck, LM/CPM


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