What do you actually need for baby?

As I take on the role of “mom” for a third time, I like to think I have a little bit of experience about what is really necessary for when you bring home your little one for the first time! When we were expecting Oliver, everyone was so quick to tell me everything we just HAD to get for him, the house, for me, for AJ, etc. It was overwhelming and looking back, most of it was completely unnecessary and honestly a waste of money. There were countless items people swore made life with a newborn easier (also can we stop freaking out first time moms with all the exaggerated horror stories???), that I honestly never even touched! So after looking through our garage full to the brim with baby stuff, I decided to actually take a little walk down memory lane and see what we actually “couldn’t live without” in those first few months of newborn bliss.

So if you’ll allow me to be one of those “I just couldn’t live without it” people for a few minutes, read on to see what my top Baby Must Haves are!

Top Baby Must Haves:


I cannot express my love of the Dock-a-Tot! We first put Oliver in it when he was 6 weeks old and he was asleep for 8 hours! The covers are not only removable for easy cleaning, but they have so many fun patterns and cute colors to choose from. The design itself gives baby the feeling of comfort and security while they sleep and it can fit easily into most bassinets. Because of it’s size, it’s convenient to travel anywhere you and baby go.

Medela Breast Pump & Bottles

As someone who had a really difficult time breastfeeding (I’m talking countless lactation consultations, excruciating pain, blisters, little to no production, & the list goes on… but I’ll get into that at another time!), I was more than happy to switch over to an electric pump. Not only can it be covered by insurance, it eliminates the stress and pressure so many new moms experience with breastfeeding. They have so many options from hospital grade to help get your supply started, to hands-free for easy on the go. My favorite has been their Freestyle Flex. It’s portable (weighs less than a pound and easily fits into any diaper bag) and perfect for any mom on the go, especially if you’re already chasing around little ones!

Hatch Nightlight & Sound Machine

There’s something about a sound machine that just makes bedtime so much easier for little ones (and for parents, too) and I wish we had gotten these sooner! We love the Hatch lights because they double as a nightlight and as an “ok to wake” clock when your kids get a little older. They have tons of sound options as well as color options for the light itself. We use the “washing machine” sound with the “red” light at night and have the timer set to turn green when it’s time for the kids to wake up or if it’s ok to come out in the morning. Another cool feature is the ability to program it for automatic on/off for nap time and bedtime!

Swaddle Blankets

I had a few different people tell me all about the fancy and expensive swaddles that I just HAD to get or the baby would never sleep. Honestly, stumbling around in the middle of the night with a screaming newborn and major sleep deprivations, the last thing I wanted to deal with were all the straps and zippers of the swaddles we had been gifted or talked into buying. I ended up using these jersey blankets from Carter’s and they were perfect! They come in so many colors and patterns so they can be boy, girl, or gender neutral. They were also stretchy enough for the kids to find their hands if they needed to (they both loved to suck on their hands when they were sleeping), but they also stayed tight enough for them to feel secure and comforted when they were sleeping. AJ was a huge fan too, and that man is a MASTER when it comes to swaddling!

Baby Bouncer

The kids both loved this Ingenuity SmartBounce baby bouncer. But after sitting in the garage for a few years, it looked like it had been a little too well-loved so I decided to start looking for a replacement. I had a few friends who recently brought home their new babies and they all have been loving the 4Moms MamaRoo! After looking through a few different bouncer options and asking around, I kept coming back to the MamaRoo so that’s what we’ll be using for Baby #3! Having a designated “baby spot” is a huge convenience when trying to keep up with the rest of your day-to-day life as you adjust to your new normal.


When looking for a bassinet, both my mom and my mother-in-law offered to give us the bassinets AJ and I used as babies. We decided to use AJ’s because it had been in his family since his Grandma had started having her kids and we loved the idea of being able to add to such a meaningful family tradition. With this baby however, we are planning on using something different since we’ll be in the process of moving and I honestly don’t trust my little toddlers to be gentle enough to the family bassinet. We have had so many friends recommend the Snoo: Smart Baby Sleeper Bassinet and we are excited to give it a try! I love that they have the option of renting. Since the baby will only be in it for a few months, it makes more sense to be able to just rent it for the time being as opposed to purchasing it outright (plus it’s a little pricey!). It features all sorts of helpful sleep settings and I love that it has the ability to help soothe the baby and has it’s own swaddle capabilities.

Diapers and Wipes

I can’t make a list of “must haves” and not include the MOST important of all: DIAPERS & WIPES! I mean seriously, they’re the most essential thing you need for baby (other than food, obviously). We love Huggies because of their breathable material (no diaper rashes here!) and how they allow baby to move around in comfort. I put them on a subscription order through Amazon and it made my life so much easier since it was one less thing to worry about! I highly suggest getting nighttime diapers too once your little one starts sleeping longer stretches at night! I always thought it was just a marketing ploy to get people to spend more money, but let me tell you: it’s worth it!

Obviously this list won’t be for everyone, this is just what I found actually helpful in those first few months. So if you’re a new mom or a mom-to-be, don’t stress about not having things on this list or any other lists well-meaning friends and family members have sent your way. It’s a giant learning curve and through trial and error, you’ll really be the only one who actually knows what your new baby needs! You can find more inspo at my Amazon Profile here!

Just so you know, by shopping through my links I receive a small commission from some of the brands I work with. Happy Shopping!

Veteran Mamas: Share your baby must-haves in the comments below!

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