Smart Spending: Newborn Essentials from a Novice Mom

March 6, 2018raelaf
Blog post
I’m no expert on parenting. I’ve only been at it for about 6 months now. It still throws me off if someone asks me if I’m Theodore’s mom. 
So you probably shouldn’t even listen to me. But I’ve read dozens of “baby essential” and “things you must buy for your newborn” articles online that are full of specialized baby items that are unnecessary (. So I’ve decided to make my own newborn essential list
Because you really don’t need much to keep a newborn alive for the first few weeks. 
Because honestly, did I buy a special baby hooded towel for his first bath? No. Did I use a microfiber towel that I originally bought for my car? Yes.
Do I have a different outfit for him each day? No. Is he naked and swaddled up 90% of the time? Yes
Did I buy a special baby bath tub? No. Is he going to scream no matter where I bathe him? Yes.
So here is my short and sweet list of newborn essentials.

Diapers and Wipes I received a few boxes of diapers and wipes from my baby shower. That covered me for a few months before I ever had to buy my own. And yes, I use disposable diapers. It’s not that I don’t care about the planet and realize how much waste I’m producing. It’s that I just don’t want to wash 12 cloth diapers each day. Especially at the newborn stage. He was a brand new baby and I was a brand new mom that changed his diaper every time the little “wetness indicator” stripe turned blue. I really didn’t know any better and ended up changing his diaper like 20 times a day.

 Tip: Buy in bulk! I buy premium, name-brand diapers 90% of the time and I usually find good deals on Amazon. 


During the first few months, I only ever put clothes on Theo if I absolutely had to. Like if we were going out in public. The rest of the day he was either swaddled or cuddled up with me. This was great because I only had about 6 onesies for him anyways. Swaddling him was the best! It kept him happy and calm. It made it easy to carry him when he was in a nice compact package. Plus it was fun to roll him up like a little burrito. 

A Safe Place to Sleep


Because he’s gotta sleep somewhere. This could be in the form of a crib, bassinet, or even a co-sleeper. Ours was a little cozy bassinet (part of a pack-and-play). It seemed more secure than putting our tiny bundle into a giant crib. We kept him right next to my side of the bed at night. It was comforting having him so close and we knew he was nice and safe.

Car seat 

They actually won’t let you take the little guy home if you don’t have a car seat so I added this to the essentials list. It should probably be number one. You’ll most likely receive one during your baby shower, but if not then you’ll need one ahead of time so you can install it. We started with one that you can remove and snap into a stroller and eventually bought this convertible one as well. I like them both for different reasons but if you only wanted to get one, get the convertible. It will last you forever!


Nursing Pads (If you plan on nursing)

Unless you enjoy your tops begin soaked in milk most of the day then these are an absolute necessity. They make disposable and reusable ones. I’ve even seen ones that will collect the milk so it doesn’t go to waste. Either way, you’ll want at least a box of them to start out with. It will save you from cursing when you wake up in a puddle of milk.
Of course, you’ll need a few outfits for him. But I got plenty of clothes from my baby shower and several some sweet clients at work! I didn’t need to buy any clothes for him for the first 4 months. 
There are also a few essentials you’ll come home with from the hospital like creams and baby shampoo.
That’s it! How? Because we utilized a lot of items we already had around for the other stuff (at least for the first few weeks). And didn’t get sucked in to what the baby stores tell you to buy.
We used our Amazon Dot as a white noise machine instead of buying a specialized one for babies. You truly don’t need an $80 trash can for diapers in the beginning (because their diapers don’t stink yet). I didn’t need any special feeding equipment because I was nursing. I didn’t even need a diaper bag or stroller the first month because he was so easy to carry and I can just stick a diaper and some wipes in my purse.
Instead of a changing table or pad, we just laid a towel down on the the bed and changed him there.
I used hand towels that we already had for EVERYTHING! For bathing him (more on this in another post), as burp cloths, as a changing mat. 
So there you have it, a short and sweet list of newborn essentials to get you through the first few weeks. 
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