Baby Essentials: The Simple Basics

July 29, 2020

As a third-time mama, I feel like I've finally learned what basics make life with a baby more simplified and functional. Honestly, it's taken me a third baby to realize just how little you need and how content I am with just the essentials for baby. With my first-born, I thought I needed a little bit of everything - all types of outfits; every kind of blanket; and so on. Truly, there's no need for a closet full of outfits (babies grow SO quickly!) or a million gadgets and baby items. In fact, my mind and home feel less cluttered with fewer baby items. 

I went through so many "trial and errors" trying to find the exact, right thing for baby that I wasted money and a lot of fruitless time. With our third child, I narrowed down exactly what was needed and have been so pleased with the "less is more" shift in mindset. I thought it would be helpful to share the items I've deemed as essential so that you can be inspired as you prepare for baby, whether it's your first or your fourth!

Side-Snap Onesies - It can be so tricky getting tiny clothes over a newborn's head. It's one of my least favorite things, actually. And that's why I love having these white side-snap onesies. They're so simple and convenient. And really, those first few weeks there is no need to dress baby in the adult-like little outfits. I love keeping my baby in a sweet onesie with socks all swaddled up on me. I think any time of year, it's great to have the long-sleeve version. But if you have a summer baby and plan to take walks and what not, the short-sleeve version is also great. 

Muslin Burp Cloths - my babies are spitter-uppers and when teething begins the drool is just a whole lot. Not to mention, if you are breastfeeding, you will eventually find yourself pumping at some point - no one ever tells you you'll need something to pat dry with once you're done pumping. These are great to have for yourself too. I absolutely love the long rectangular shape of these cloths, their lightweight material, and neutral color. 

Muslin Blankets - I am a fan of these thin blankets for keeping baby comfortable at really any temperature. And all you need is three. I love to have one for swaddling the baby for newborn photos - a special blanket to potentially pass down one day. A second one to keep on hand when the other is in the wash. And a third to keep in the car.  This particular muslin blanket is nice and big (can be doubled or tripled for more warmth OR used to spread out on a soft surface for baby to lay out on). 

Footed Pants - These pants are the most adorable thing ever. And I prefer them to using socks. A lot of pants (to me) seem to be too tight around baby's waist, but these have such a soft, fold-down waist that don't press into that sweet baby belly. Hands-down my favorite footed pants I have ever used for my children. 

Baby Socks - It can be so hard to find a pair of socks that actually stay on baby's feet. But when you need a pair to keep your little one's toes warm, these stay on + they're nice and cozy too! 

NoseFrida - I know this little device seems gross. In fact, I thought so too when gifted one for Greer (I returned it to the store!). But then I had a stuffy baby who badly needed her nose cleared, and I caved and bought it. It's a game changer. Get one! And while you're at it, grab the extra hygiene filters that go with it. 

Hatch - White noise is your best friend when it comes to helping a baby sleep. They are so accustomed to hearing the world through the womb, and white noise mimics that. It's comforting to them. We love our Hatch (the girls have one in their room too)! The noises can be changed - we prefer just the white noise, but the ocean waves are great for soothing and calming. And a huge bonus (or so we think) is the ability to set the Hatch to red light. We keep our babies in a bassinet in our room for the first three months. When changing a diaper or nursing during the middle of the night, it's helpful to have a light to see by. But, you don't want something bright and startling to you or the baby. Red light encourages sleep, but also allows you to see what you're doing. Having the white noise + red light was a huge game changer for us! 

Mobile White Noise Machine - this is great for traveling! Use it while driving or to have on hand instead of taking the Hatch with you. 

Sleepers - These are great. I love a baby in a sweet little sleeper. My recommendation is that you avoid snaps at all cost and stick to zippers, especially if the zipper starts at the bottom (by the foot) and closes at the top (this is great for diaper changes). Cloud Island is probably my favorite brand (great price point and covers my must-haves in a sleeper)

Mamaroo - We love having a rocker for baby. Now not every baby likes one (Quinn didn't), but if they do, it's so helpful to have a safe resting spot for baby because at some point your arms do need a break. We ended up finding ours from Facebook Marketplace - it was  an exceptional deal from a great home - and we love how small its footprint is and that it does the job we need it to do. 

Baby Bjorn Bouncer - While having a swing is great, having something mobile to put baby in is also huge. We use this seat a ton in our house! And because we have very long babies, this seat is SO wonderful because our babies don't outgrow it before they're ready to be done using it. 

Bassinet - I mentioned we keep our babies in our room for the first several months. This bassinet is wonderful - small footprint, lightweight, safe. Not to mention it can be folded up for traveling or storage. 

Snuggle Me - If you're on your first baby, invest in this. Even if you're on your last baby, invest in this. It was a great way get our newborns to sleep without being when you want to shower. And while I am not a believer in co-sleeping, this is the only way we slept at all during the first few weeks. We kept it in the bed between us (the safest way we could), to get both Quinn and Wells to sleep without being held.

Wipe-Clean Changer - last but not least, I think this is one of the best items for baby, a wipe-clean changer. There are no covers to take off and clean, just a soft surface for baby that can be wiped clean with a baby wipe. I have absolutely loved our Keekaroo (we've had it since Greer was a newborn and still use it), but it seems they are hard to find. So it looks like this option could also be great too!

PRO TIP: always check to see if the baby item you need is on the Bed Bath & Beyond website. If they have it and allow coupons (like they do for the Hatch) then you can use a 20% off coupon! 

There are other baby items you will need - like a monitor, breast pump, breastmilk storage bags; etc. But I wanted to keep this list short to the items that have truly changed the functionality of our life with a newborn. Simple really is key because you'll be doing a lot of adjusting as you introduce a new member into your family. All of the items I picked to share are tried and true from our home and now to yours. I hope this collection of items gives you a starting place as your prepare for your bundle! 

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