Newborn Essentials Every Parent Needs

16 December 2021

If you are expecting a baby, you may find yourself overwhelmed with the long lists of newborn essentials to be found online. A lot of this information contradicts itself, with some people saying one thing is essential and another person saying it’s not. It’s not even parents that have differing opinions, there are even some newborn essentials that medical professionals disagree one. That is why you should always do your research and think about what you, personally, want to use with your baby.

Of course, as time goes on you are likely to buy more and realise there are some things you can’t do without, as well as realising that some things were a waste of money and barely used. Having a baby is a learning curve, and this goes for what items you do and do not need. But, having a good idea of the key things to buy for a newborn is a vital part of planning for their arrival. To help you out, we have kept things as simple and straightforward as possible. Continue reading to find out the key things you need for a newborn, the things you can sometimes do without and how newborn gifts can help you stock up.

Key Things You Need For a Newborn

It will only take a minute of you looking for newborn essentials online to realise just how much information is out there, and how confusing it all can be. It doesn’t matter if you are a first time parent or you have been through the newborn stage before, it’s difficult to know what to buy in preparation for the arrival of your beautiful baby. There are some things that are deemed newborn essentials by professionals, and others which are considered ‘nice to have’ but are by no means a definite requirement. There are some things that you will consider to be a newborn essential, that other parents are happy to live without. There are some newborn essentials that every parent needs without question, and others that could be seen as a waste of money.

Having a set list of the things that you need for a newborn is extremely beneficial, regardless of your budget or planned parenting method. Not only does a list of newborn essentials ensure that you have all of the key items ready for when your baby arrives - you do not want to be caught short, realising you are missing a vital product when you need it most and having to send your partner out in the middle of the night in the hopes of finding one - but it helps with planning, budgeting and reducing stress before birth. Having a baby brings with it a tonne of additional responsibility and worry, you don’t want to add to that by feeling overwhelmed and disorganised with your baby supplies. With a list, you can tick things off as you go and make sure you have everything in order ahead of time.

A Helpful List of Newborn Essentials

Below is a list of the things we consider to be key newborn essentials; these are the things that everyone will agree are necessary to have before your baby arrives. This is a good place to start when you are getting organised before your baby comes. There are multiple options for all of these, so finding something within your budget range shouldn’t be too difficult.

  • Cots, plus a mattress and bedding

  • Baby swaddle blankets

  • Receiving blankets or muslin squares

  • Towels and flannels for bathing

  • Pram, buggy or travel system

  • Car seat, you will need this to travel home from the hospital

  • Sleep suits or long sleeved suits

  • Vests or short sleeved onesies

  • Bibs

  • Hats, mittens and layers to keep baby warm

  • Cardigans and jackets, especially important if your baby is born in winter

  • Nappies, wipes and creams

  • Changing mat

  • If breastfeeding, a nursing bra and breast pads

  • If not breastfeeding, bottles and teats

There are, of course, some things that are by no means an essential thing to have, but are a big help for new parents. For example, a lot of parents buy a baby bath for their little one. After the baby's first bath, you will see just how tricky it can be to bathe a baby without a baby bath. Though it’s not impossible, having a baby bath ready for the baby's first bath is something that a lot of parents will recommend. If you don’t have one straight away, you could find yourself buying one once you are faced with the task of washing a slippery, squirming baby.

Similarly, not having a baby rattle toy will not hinder the way you care for your child in any way. However, rattle toys for babies are very popular and this is because they are a good way to entertain, distract and interact with your little one. There are a lot of rattle toys for babies out there, but most newborns are happy with whatever baby rattle toy they are presented with. It’s not something you need to spend a lot of money on. After all, we all know how entertained babies can be by car keys. It’s usually best to choose soft rattle toys, as these are easier for a young baby to hold and it won’t hurt if they knock themselves with it.

Newborn Essential Gifts for New Parents

As a new parent, you are bound to receive a tonne of gifts from loved ones. It’s not uncommon for friends and family to buy baby swaddle blankets, baby clothes, soft toys and other gifts for new parents. This will help you to stock up on a lot of things, some of which you might not have thought of. If there are some specific items you are hoping for - perhaps you are throwing a baby shower and don’t want to end up with everyone buying clothes, as you would have too many - you could provide baby gift ideas and Scandinavian baby gift ideas. Baby gift ideas are a good way to guide someone towards buying something you really need, rather than something you may not use. If you are hoping to accessories your nursery with calming decorations and simple design, consider focusing your attention on Nordic baby gifts. Otherwise, you could receive clothing and toys that don’t match your personal style. Similarly, if you are worried about the amount of nappies you are going to get through as a new parent, consider asking a family member or friend for these as a gift. It may be a slightly boring gift, but it’s certainly a useful one.

The Newborn Essentials Verdict

As you can see, there is a lot of information to take in about newborn essentials and things you need for a newborn. Every website you visit is likely to have a slightly different list of essentials or a different opinion on what soon-to-be parents should buy. However, it doesn’t need to be the confusing sea of information you assume it to be. With a little bit of research, you will soon narrow everything down. 

Of course, there are specific things you will definitely need for a newborn. A safe space for them to sleep, a stockpile of nappies, season appropriate clothes and pram are all things that you will struggle to do without. Bibs, dummies, a changing mat and a car seat are also items that you are likely to need before your baby arrives. Saying that, there are also many things that you can avoid buying. An expensive breast pump, a baby bath, a Moses basket for beside the bed, a steam steriliser and a bouncy chair are all nice to have but there are many parents that handle looking after a newborn just fine without them. An array of baby toys, baby nail clippers and a lot of baby clothes are also not always necessary. It really depends on what you deem to be an essential for you, your baby and your parenting.

There are items you will need before your baby arrives, but there are also some items you can buy a few weeks or months into having your baby. For example, a newborn baby is too young to enjoy baby toys and therefore you can buy these further down the line. The key is to not worry about stocking up on everything beforehand, as long as you have the basic essentials before the birth you and your baby will be just fine.