My 10 Must-Have Newborn Baby Essentials

I’m having a contraction as I write this. (Don’t worry…nothing to run to the hospital about quite yet.) However, a wee bit o’ panic is certainly kicking in as countdown to baby boy #5 clearly nearing the end.

Do we have everything we need???

While I know in theory that baby can thrive on just love, boobs, and a bed, I do like a few extras on hand to make those newborn days a bit smoother. They may not be the latest and greatest products out there, but after having a few kids, I know that these ten products are the ones I don’t want to live without.

1. Swaddle wrap

My boys have loved being swaddled as newborns. While my husband is a CHAMP at getting those babies burritoed tightly, I just plain stink at it. A swaddle wrap is a lifesaver because the swaddling feature is built right in and all you have to handle is a bit of velcro. My go-to brand is the HALO SleepSack.

2. Boudreaux’s Butt Paste

I’ve tried a number of over-the-counter diaper rash creams, but it wasn’t until baby boy #3 that I discovered Boudreaux’s Butt Paste Diaper Rash Ointment. It’s been great for both daily prevention and fighting off tough rashes or reactions. The Butt Paste is a bit more expensive than other brands, but an entire tube lasted over a year so it’s well worth it.

3. Lots of comfy sleepers

I love a little man in a cute outfit, but in the day to day, I always go for the simple, cotton, one-piece sleepers. They’re cuddly and so easy when you’re changing a thousand diapers a day. However I DO recommend a zip-up sleeper over the snaps, because in the middle of the night, nothing will make you what to swear more than trying to get those blasted snaps to line up correctly.

4. Nipple salve

If we’re going to talk newborns and breastfeeding, we’ve GOT to talk nipples. Early breastfeeding (no matter how many times you’ve done it) is not without challenges and some nipple pain or tenderness early on. If you’re planning to breastfeed, I’ve found that a nipple salve is essential for both mama and baby to make the process a bit (for lack of a better word) smoother. My favorite is Lansinoh Breastfeeding Salve. One tube usually does the trick for those early months.

5. Lavender baby wash & lotion

One of my favorite baby rituals is to end the day giving little man a calming bath. You can find a ton of bath-time products out there, but what’s better than a nice soak in a lavender-scented bath? Follow it up with some nighttime lavender lotion, and baby will smell like a dream—and will hopefully sleep a bit better too! My hands-down favorite is Aveeno Baby Calming Comfort Bath and its accompanying lotion.

6. Wrap baby carrier

I love snuggling newborns. But with other kids running around, it’s hard to hold baby constantly. The best way to keep baby close and still have use of my hands is to use a baby wrap carrier. I’ve had a Sleepy Wrap since my oldest was born and have loved it. While wraps come with a learning curve to figure out how to maneuver all that fabric, it’s worth it.

7. Video monitor

I didn’t have a video monitor until we brought our third son home. I thought I didn’t need one. It seemed excessive. I was WRONG. Now that we have a video monitor, I will never go back. I love the ability to know the temperature of the room and see what baby is doing without the risk of waking him up by stepping foot inside the nursery.

8. Breast pump

We decided to choose breastfeeding for all our boys, at least for those early months. However, it has not been without struggle. A breast pump has been a lifesaver for everything from being unable to nurse while baby was in the NICU to simply alleviating discomfort in the middle of the night. Plus, a breast pump allowed me to continue nursing while I was also working full-time. Since I work from home now and nurse 90 percent of the time, I don’t need much more than this Medela Manual Breast Pump. However, if you’re in a different situation, I would talk to your pediatrician about which pump might be the best fit for your mom life.

9. Hand sanitizer

After bringing home one of our sons, we had both scarlet fever and a staph infection in the home within the first two months. When you have other kids in the house (especially ones who go to school or daycare), you feel like germs are everywhere. Hand-washing might be preferable but hand sanitizer is necessary in a quick pinch. We tend to keep a few bottles around the house and a portable one attached to the diaper bag for at least the first couple months.

10. Tubes of petroleum jelly

If you decide to circumcise your son, you’re going to become best friends with petroleum jelly. Take it from a mama who’s been up to her elbows in Vaseline: ALWAYS purchase a squeezable tube over the small jar. A tube allows for hands-free application and it’s so much faster when you’re trying to change a diaper quickly (those little boy fountains happen fast).


Interested in more newborn-related blogs from Life in Blue? Check out:

New Mom

New Mom

2 comments on “My 10 Must-Have Newborn Baby Essentials”

  1. Alisha says:

    I agree 100% with all of these must haves! I am HORRIBLE at the swaddling but, like your husband, mine is also a CHAMP. Love those halo swaddles! With my third child I nursed most of the time but I personally think the electric medela pump is so much easier. I totally had one of those bras and did other things, like get read by putting makeup on and doing hair, all while pumping. Still agree with you that for me a breast pump is a must have. Loved your list! I would just add burp cloths. I have gone through tons of those. Thanks for the post!

    1. How did I forget BURP CLOTHS?? haha….I better go see if I have any! And yes…I have had the electric pump as well in the past, but to be honest, I’m crazy impatient with it! I guess it all comes down to preferences. 🙂

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