He’s here, he’s here! Baby Jordan made his debut just a week after his parents moved into their new home in Oak Park. What a whirlwind of a time for this sweet family. I adored capturing their studio maternity session and was so excited to meet their baby boy. And oh my, what a precious bundle of joy he is!
I don’t want to skip over the fact that these two have not only settled into parenthood but also into a new home—with an in-home photography session, no less—in a matter of weeks. While I’m sure it’s been far from easy, they’ve remained as calm and peaceful as you can imagine, eager to soak in all the baby snuggles and not let this stage pass them by. Instead of getting caught up in the nursery setup and ever-present to-do list, they’ve made this work by staying in the moment and going one step at a time. I thought their story would be the perfect lead-in to my list of must-have baby registry items.
Whether you’re short on space, have a move coming up, or just want to keep things as simple as possible, here’s a list of baby essentials.
What Do Newborns Really Need?
Short answer: you!
With Pinterest and mom groups and endless online resources, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the prep work while waiting for your little one to arrive. If you find your baby registry growing by the minute with “must-have” items and a to-do list a mile long to get your home and nursery ready, I invite you to take a break from it all. To be honest, newborns don’t need much in the very beginning, and you have time to learn and get what you need as you go along.
Note: For brevity, I’m only covering at-home items. Of course, you’ll need an infant car seat and other travel items, too, but that’s an area you can spend more time and attention researching the safety, price, and functionality that fits your family.
Baby Registry Must-Haves | Basics for the Newborn Stage
Diapers, Wipes, & Diaper Cream
They say you can never have too many diapers, but that’s not entirely true. Almost all babies stay in certain sizes longer while spending only a few weeks in others, so add a balance of sizes to your baby registry.
I recommend sticking to gentle, unscented items in case your baby is sensitive. Some little ones struggle with diaper rash more than others, so it’s nice to have a small tube on hand, just in case.
Muslin Baby Blankets
Don’t underestimate a good muslin blanket. It serves many purposes: back-up swaddle, car seat cover, nursing cover, tummy-time floor mat, sun cover, light warmth, soothing comforter, and even a quick-grab burp cloth or changing mat if the real things are out of reach. It’s the ultimate multi-purpose baby item!
Onesies/Bodysuits & Socks
It’s fun to splurge on adorable baby outfits (we all do it!) But at home, you’ll need basic onesies (short or long-sleeve) that make diaper changes easy.
Somehow, babies tend to lose their tiny socks (or the washer eats them), so those are an item you might want extra of.
Sleep Sacks or Swaddles
Folding the perfect swaddle with a blanket in the middle of the night gets tricky. I recommend some easier, fuss-free zipper swaddles or sleep sacks.
This doesn’t have to be anything super fancy. A soothing sound machine mimics the womb to help your baby relax, sleep, and not startle at loud noises.
You’ll have to do some research for this one, depending on how you plan to feed your little one. With any method, you may want to start with the basics and then get any add-ons if needed. If you’re using bottles, you can find sampler boxes with different types to see what your baby likes best before getting a full pack. (The same goes for formula.) Don’t forget cleaning supplies (such as a brush) for nursing equipment or bottle feeding. A simple bottle warmer is a great idea, too.
You might get a pacifier or two at the hospital or whichever birthing plan you choose. You can try those first or get a small starter pack (don’t forget to look at the age on the box for nipple size and durability).
Enough said… You can also use these to line carriers and strollers for easy blowout cleanup for older babies.
Bassinet or Other Sleeping Setup
In addition to the crib, you may want a small, portable bedside bassinet during those first few months.
Infant First Aid Kit
An infant first aid kit will help with those little nails, tiny scratches, and stuffy noses.
Baby’s first fever is hard for every parent. Having some infant Tylenol on hand (per your pediatrician’s guidance) may help.
Consider your bath time setup for this one. You’ll need a bathtub or sink insert, no-tear baby soap, washcloths, and hooded towels. There are some great grow-with-me bathtub options out there, too!
Plus One Extra Important Newborn Must-Have…
Every baby is unique. Even twins prefer different swaddling methods, pacifier shapes (or none at all), and feeding items. Some like to bounce; some like to rock. Some enjoy facing out; some want to be snuggled in tight. Unfortunately, we can’t anticipate it all, and purchasing alllll the possibilities gets expensive and takes up space. Remember, you can always add on as needed; that way, you get what you really need on your baby registry.
I humbly believe a newborn photography session is also a must-have so you can remember every precious detail of this blissful stage. I’d love to help you document your family’s journey. Connect with me for more info.