Newborn Essentials for Baby's First 6 Weeks

Despite all of the baby products on the market, your little one won't actually require a lot of gear. These newborn must-haves will get you through the first few weeks at home.

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Pampers Swaddlers Diapers
Courtesy of Target. Courtesy of Target

Have two packages of disposable diapers on hand (or enough cloth diapers for two days). Babies go through several diapers daily, so look for sales and stock up whenever possible. Make sure to purchase the right size diapers to avoid leakage.

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Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes
Courtesy of Amazon. Courtesy of Amazon

Disposable wipes are a lifesaver for diaper changes and yucky messes. Avoid purchasing wipes with fragrance to prevent irritating your baby's soft skin.

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Baby Bottles

Dr. Brown's Original Baby Bottle Newborn Feeding Set
Courtesy of Amazon. Courtesy of Amazon

For the first few weeks, your baby will seem like a sleeping and eating machine. Fortunately for you, the menu's pretty limited. If your baby is bottle fed, you'll need several 4-ounce and 8-ounce bottles, as well as a bottle brush for cleaning them.

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Nursing Essentials

Medela Pump in Style Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump with On-the-Go Tote

Are you breastfeeding your baby? You might want to stock up on nursing bras, disposable nursing pads, and a breast pump (such as this double electric pump by Medela).

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Burp Cloths

Burt's Bees Baby Cloths
Courtesy of Amazon

Whether you're breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, have about a dozen burp cloths on hand to protect your clothing. (Note that cloth diapers also make ideal burp cloths.)

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Comfortable Glider

Baby Relax Mikayla Swivel Gliding Recliner
Courtesy of Walmart. Courtesy of Walmart

Between late-night feedings and mid-day cuddle sessions, a comfortable chair is a newborn baby must-have. A glider that rocks or swivels will help soothe your baby to sleep and allow you to reach items like pacifiers and burping cloths without getting up. For a popular option with new parents, consider the Baby Relax Mikayla Swivel Gliding Recliner.

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Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib
Courtesy of Amazon. Courtesy of Amazon

Your baby's crib must meet all consumer safety requirements. Look for options that are convenient, stylish, and budget-friendly—such as the Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib. Also consider buying a couple of quilted mattress pads to prolong the life of your mattress, and waterproof liners if the pads aren't already lined. These newborn baby essentials will make your life easier in the first few weeks!

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Crib Sheets

Burt's Bees Baby Crib Sheets
Courtesy of Amazon. Courtesy of Amazon

With all of the options available on the market, you can find fitted crib sheets that suit your nursery decor. You'll probably want to wash them frequently, so have three or four in your collection. Don't put any top sheets or blankets in the crib, since these items increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

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Newborn Clothing Essentials

newborn baby on mom lap
Natalia Deriabina/Shutterstock

Newborns don't require an extensive wardrobe. Buy a couple of side-tie or side-snap T-shirts to put on your baby until their umbilical cord separates. After that, dress your little one in their "working" outfit, outlined in this newborn essentials list:

  • Bodysuits (four to six)
  • One-pieces (four to six
  • T-shirts (four to six)
  • Long pants (two to four pairs)
  • Gowns (two)
  • Socks or booties (four to six pairs)

Average newborn clothes fit babies weighing 5 to 7 pounds. Many infants will outgrow newborn clothing in the first few weeks. They'll wear multiple outfits a day because of messy blow outs and spit ups, so the number of pieces you really need depends on how many loads of laundry you want to do each day.

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Baby Sleeper

Gerber Baby Boys' 4-Pack Sleep 'N Play
Courtesy of Amazon.

Purchase a half-dozen stretchy sleepers that will cover your baby from neck to feet, like these boys' options from Gerber Baby (they also make adorable girls' sleepers!) These newborn must-haves are perfect for nighttime, and they're also ideal as all-around travel clothes. Babies grow out of sleepers quickly so don't give into the temptation to buy all the cute ones you see.

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Sleep Sacks

HALO Sleepsack
Courtesy of Amazon

Parents can't put blankets in a newborn's crib because they increase the risk of SIDS. Use a sleep sack instead (like this option from HALO) to keep your baby warm on cold nights.

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Baby Blankets

aden + anais essentials Muslin Swaddles
Courtesy of Target. Courtesy of Target

Moms and dads should have a few receiving blankets for swaddling their little one during naps and nighttime. These cozy blankets are usually made with thin, soft flannel or knit. If the weather is chilly, also have some heavier blankets like these for outdoor walks and car trips.

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Knit Cap

Gerber Baby Caps
Courtesy of Amazon. Courtesy of Amazon

If you have a winter baby or live in a cold climate, invest in a knit cap for your little one. Because heat escapes from top of their head, caps help maintain their body temperature. Parents can also consider buying a baby snowsuit; otherwise, wrapping a well-clothed infant in a heavier blanket will suffice.

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Baby Bath Tub

The First Years Sure Comfort Deluxe
Courtesy of Amazon

Prepare for precious baby baths with a small plastic tub, which you can set up in the sink or bathtub. This one has an ergonomic design that grows with your little one into toddlerhood.

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Baby Shampoo and Wash

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon.

Stock up on specially formulated baby wash and shampoo. These newborn essentials are gentler on delicate skin than regular soaps.

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Towels and Washcloths

Simple Joys by Carter's Baby 8-Piece Towel and Washcloth Set
Courtesy of Amazon.

Parents and babies alike love snuggling up after bathtime. Don't forget the hooded towels and washcloths, like this adorable set from Simple Joys by Carter's!

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Aveeno Baby Calming Comfort Moisturizing Lotion
Courtesy of Amazon. Courtesy of Amazon

Rubbing lotion on your baby's skin after a bath keeps it moist. Always purchase lotions formulated for babies, and if your little one is prone to rashes or eczema, try oil made with calendula.

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Baby Comb

DermaFrida Baby Comb
Courtesy of Amazon. Courtesy of Amazon

If your newborn has hair, purchase a fine-toothed baby comb to gently style it after bathing.

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Nail Clippers

Safety 1st Sleepy Baby Nail Clipper
Courtesy of Amazon.

Newborn nails grow surprisingly quickly. Keeping your baby's nails short will prevent them from scratching themselves—and you. Use blunt clippers made especially for soft little nails.

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Baby Thermometer

FridaBaby Quick-Read Digital Rectal Thermometer
Courtesy of Amazon. Courtesy of Amazon

Newborns are uncooperative little patients when they're sick or they've just had immunizations, but a few must-have newborn items will help calm them. For example, parents should have a digital baby thermometer on hand to track temperatures. Also buy some infant acetaminophen, which can be used to treat fevers with a doctor's recommendation.

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Nasal Aspirator

Watolt Baby Nasal Aspirator
Courtesy of Amazon. Courtesy of Amazon

Newborns can't breathe easily through their mouths, but a nasal aspirator can help clear up stuffy noses. And don't worry about that startled look on your baby's face when you use it—it doesn't hurt.

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Diaper Bag

Skip Hop Diaper Bag Backpack
Courtesy of Amazon.

A diaper bag is a newborn baby must-have for outings. Choose a roomy style with compartments for organizing necessities. Bonus points if it also has a fold-out changing pad (you can't control your surroundings when Baby needs a diaper change!)

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Infant Car Seat

Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat.

An infant car seat is the only baby item you're absolutely required to have, as the hospital won't allow you to take your newborn home without one! Buy it a few weeks before your due date and practice securing it properly in your vehicles. Some car seats also double as infant carriers, allowing you to have an easy resting spot for your baby in a grocery store or restaurant.

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Chicco Bravo Trio Travel System
Courtesy of Amazon.

Walks around on the blocks, trips to the grocery store, and other outings are infinitely better with a well-designed stroller. Narrow down your options by shopping ahead of time and "test-driving" ones that fit your needs. For example, if you live in a city apartment, an easy-to-fold style improves storage capacity. On the other hand, if long suburban rambles are on your to-do list, a stroller with a sturdier frame and plenty of storage pockets might be just right. (As an alternative, invest in a baby carrier or wrap so you can wear your newborn around town.)

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Baby Monitor

Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor
Courtesy of Amazon.

Although most new parents are inclined to hover over their babies every moment, it's not always possible. A baby monitor offers some peace of mind in those times when you're out of earshot of your baby's cries or coos.

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Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine, Night Light and Time-to-Rise
Courtesy of Amazon.

You'll visit your baby many times throughout the night, and stumbling around the room when you're half-awake isn't safe. A low-level light won't startle either of you, and it's perfect for feeding or changing.

Updated by Nicole Harris
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