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.
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.)
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.
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!
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).
Newborn Clothing Essentials
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.
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.
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.
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.
Baby Bath Tub
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.
Baby Shampoo and Wash
Stock up on specially formulated baby wash and shampoo. These newborn essentials are gentler on delicate skin than regular soaps.
Towels and Washcloths
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!
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.
If your newborn has hair, purchase a fine-toothed baby comb to gently style it after bathing.
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.
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.
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!)
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.
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.)
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.