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  • Rachel Dunn

Newborn Essentials - What's Really Needed in the First 12 weeks?

Updated: Oct 29, 2020

(Pictured: Leaving the hospital with our son)

You've made that baby registry and the list feels like it could go on forever. From swaddle blankets to the newest gadgets...what is really necessary, and what can wait? As a mother of 2 toddlers, I know first hand how overwhelming it can be to make a baby registry, so I have made a list of items that I personally found to be a necessity during the first 3 months:


  • 4-8 zipper footie pajamas (the buttons really become a pain, especially at 3:30 in the morning when its pitch dark and you're trying to change a diaper)

  • 6-8 body suits (long and short sleeve)

  • 4-6 pairs of pants

  • Zutano booties (these are the best! Don't even bother with socks, they will not stay on)

  • 1-2 caps/hats

  • Infant jacket or body suit (if it's winter)


  • Diapers (Start with size 1, if you end up having a baby under 8lbs, then ask someone to pick up newborn diapers before you get home from the hospital or ask the hospital for some)

  • Wipes

  • Diaper rash cream

  • Changing table

  • Diaper pail

  • Diaper bag/changing mat

  • Bottles (start with one kind and go from there)

  • Bottle warmer (only really necessary if you're storing formula or breast milk in the fridge)

  • Container of formula (the hospital usually sends you home with a bunch of samples)

  • Breast milk storage bags

  • Nursing pads

  • Breast pump & parts (covered through insurance)

  • 3-4 burp cloths

  • 2-3 pacifiers (usually provided by the hospital)

Bath/First Aid:

  • 3-4 swaddle blankets or wraps

  • Infant to toddler bath tub

  • Baby shampoo/body wash

  • Baby body lotion

  • 1-2 baby wash cloths (extra soft compared to your typical wash cloth)

  • 1-2 infant bath towels

  • Thermometer

  • Nose Frida

  • Humidifier

Baby Gear & More:

  • 1-2 bassinets (or another form of gear for the baby to sleep in. We have a 2 floor home and had a bassinet on each level for convenience.)

  • Boppy pillow or My Breast Friend pillow (for nursing and comfortable feeding)

  • Newborn lounger

  • Activity mat (for tummy time)

  • Baby bouncer seat (BabyBjorn makes a nice one we loved)

  • Infant swing (not to be used for sleeping)

  • Baby wear/baby carrier (feel like this is a preference thing and depends on the temperament of the baby - I know some moms who loved the K'tan, preferred wraps, or just used a standard baby carrier)

  • Noise machine

  • Baby shusher (battery operated noise device to bring on the go)

  • Infant car seat & base (we used the Chicco Keyfit carrier and loved it, which is rather inexpensive compared to some models out there)

  • Car mirror (for rear facing)

  • Snap & Go stroller (accommodates most infant carriers)

  • Baby monitor with video

  • Rocking chair

  • Crib & mattress (this can actually wait, but most new parents purchase this when decorating the nursery)

  • 2 waterproof mattress pads

  • 2-3 Crib sheets

  • Dreft laundry detergent (or a different mild/scent free detergent)

This probably isn't everything, but definitely covers 95% of your needs for the first 12 weeks! Happy shopping!!

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