Preparing to welcome your baby doesn’t mean purchasing every baby item on the market! We’ll help you differentiate between newborn must-haves and the baby products that you can live without.

Newborn Must-Haves

Nursery Must-Haves

Mom breastfeeding in nursery with all newborn must-haves

1) Crib Or Bassinet

For safety reasons, your baby should not share your bed. A crib or bassinet is a better place for your little one to sleep.

2) Crib Sheets

Your baby’s bed should be outfitted with a fitted sheet and nothing more. Buy more than one crib sheet for easy cleanup when there’s a mess.

3) Rocking Chair

During the first few weeks of your newborn’s life, you’ll spend a lot of time nursing your baby or feeding them a bottle. Invest in a comfortable rocking chair so you can both take it easy.

4) Humidifier

A humidifier pumps moisture into the air, which is helpful when your baby has a cold or cough. It also helps ward off dry skin.

5) Dresser And Changing Table

You need furniture that provides somewhere to store your baby’s clothes and somewhere to change their diaper.

You can always combine these two needs and use the top of your little one’s dresser as a changing table. Just be sure to take the proper safety precautions!

6) Clothes Hamper

Between spit up and blowouts, your newborn will probably go through more clothes than you think! A clothes hamper gives you somewhere to keep the dirty ones.

7) Diaper Pail

There will be lots of dirty, stinky diapers, and you’ll need somewhere to toss them. This can be a regular trash can or a specially made diaper pail.

8) Baby Monitor

Your peace of mind is everything when you have a newborn! A baby monitor will allow you to peek at your sleeping baby without going into the nursery and possibly waking them up.

9) White Noise Machine

The saying “sleep like a baby” doesn’t always ring true. A white noise machine can help calm your baby and drown out other noises so your newborn can sleep soundly.

10) First Aid Kit

Your baby first aid kit should have the basics (like a nasal aspirator) as well as items you’ll need if your baby gets sick. For a complete list of what to include, read our article here.

Feeding Must-Haves

11) Nursing Pillow

If you plan on breastfeeding, finding a comfortable breastfeeding position is essential. A special pillow can help.

12) Nursing Bra And Pads

Nursing bras that fit correctly help you stay comfortable and healthy. Nursing pads keep your bra and clothes dry between feedings.

13) Breast Pump

Breast pump is a newborn must-haves

If you’re not sure why you’ll need a breast pump, how often to pump, or how to wean off of it, read our breast pumping guide for new moms.

14) Nipple Cream

Breastfeeding can be uncomfortable for you, especially if you end up with sore or cracked nipples. Moisturize and protect your nipples with a nipple cream, like Mustela’s lanolin-free Nursing Comfort Balm.

15) Bottles

Even if you plan on breastfeeding your newborn, bottles and nipples are a must for when you aren’t with your baby or you just need a break from nursing.

16) Baby Formula

There are many different baby formulas to choose from. Talk with your pediatrician to choose a formula that you feel comfortable feeding your baby.

17) Insulated Bottle Carrier

Use an insulated bottle carrier when you’re traveling or on-the-go with your baby.

18) Nursing Cover

Mom using a nursing cover which is a newborn must-haves

If you feel more comfortable covering up when nursing in public, keep a nursing cover, light blanket, or swaddle on hand.

19) Bottle Brush Or Dishwasher Basket

Cleaning baby bottles thoroughly is imperative! If you wash them by hand, you’ll need a bottle brush. If you throw them in the dishwasher, use a dishwasher basket.

20) Bibs

Do what you can to keep your baby’s clothes clean by using a big for spit up and milk dribbles.

21) Burp Cloths

Also, keep lots of burp cloths on hand for the spit up and milk dribbles we just mentioned!

Diaper Changing Must-Haves

22) Diapers

Before you go on a diaper-buying-spree, decide whether you want to use disposable diapers or cloth ones. Obviously, you won’t need as many cloth diapers, but you’ll have to do a bit more laundry.

23) Baby Wipes

Mom changing baby diapers with newborn must-haves from mustela

Baby wipes are one thing you’ll need plenty of! Gently cleanse your baby’s skin at every diaper change with Mustela’s Soothing Cleansing Wipes.

24) Diaper Cream

Diaper cream is a must-have to keep your baby’s skin healthy and, well, soft as a baby’s bottom!

Go with Mustela’s EWG Verified Diaper Cream with Olive Oil and Aloe. Our talc-free formula leaves a moisturizing layer on your baby’s skin to soothe and diminish redness at every diaper change.

Bathtime Must-Haves

25) Towels

You’ll need soft bath towels to dry your little one off after you give them a bath.

26) Soft Washcloth

Go with a super-soft baby washcloth for ultimate comfort when you clean your baby’s delicate skin.

27) Baby Shampoo

Baby getting a bath with Mustela’s Foam Shampoo for Newborns

Keep your baby’s scalp and hair clean with Mustela’s Foam Shampoo for Newborns. This ultra-gentle shampoo is specially formulated to cleanse your baby's hair and scalp while minimizing cradle cap flakes.

28) Comb Or Brush

Your baby might not have much hair, but a comb or brush is still good to have on hand. Brushing your baby’s scalp with a soft brush can also help prevent and treat cradle cap.

29) Baby Nail Clippers

Your baby’s fingernails are tiny, but they will grow before you know it! You’ll want baby nail clippers to trim them because standard clippers will be too big for your infant’s tiny fingers.

Baby Clothing Must-Haves

30) Daily Basics

You might want a going-home outfit for your newborn, but otherwise, they won’t need special clothes. We recommend:

  • Short-sleeved onesies
  • Long-sleeved onesies
  • Pants
  • Socks
  • Hats
  • Footie pajamas

31) Seasonal Clothes

When it comes to newborn must-haves, think about what season your baby will be born in and buy for that season. By the time the next season rolls around, they’ll have outgrown their newborn clothes.

32) Baby Hangers

Hangers are not necessarily a newborn must-have but can be helpful depending on how you decide to organize your baby’s wardrobe.

33) Gentle Laundry Detergent

Your baby’s laundry detergent doesn’t have to be fragrant to be effective. In fact, a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic detergent might be the best choice for your newborn’s delicate skin.

34) Swaddles

For a newborn baby, being wrapped in a swaddle can be quite soothing. When your baby outgrows swaddling, consider using a sleep sack.

Traveling Must-Haves

35) Car Seat

Dad putting newborn in car seat

A car seat is a newborn must-have from the moment your baby is born because you’ll need it to take them home from the hospital. Safety first!

36) Diaper Bag

A well-packed diaper bag is another must-have. What should go in it? Read our diaper bag checklist here.

37) Stroller

Taking your newborn for a walk in a stroller can be a great way for you to get some fresh air and start moving after giving birth.

38) Baby Carrier

Wearing your baby keeps your hands free, which is priceless! Find a baby carrier or sling that is safe for newborns.

What You Can Live Without

Since every family is different, we can’t tell you exactly what you need and don’t need. However, below are a few items that you definitely can (or should!) do without.

Baby Bathrobe

A baby in a bathrobe sure is cute! However, bathrobes are impractical and unnecessary for babies. If you’re a minimalist, take the baby bathrobe off of your registry.

A baby towel is also something you can live without. You’ll need a cozy towel to dry your baby, but it doesn’t have to be a tiny hooded towel.

Wipe Warmer

Using a warm wipe on your baby’s bottom sounds nice, but it’s not a necessity. Plus, there are some concerns about wipe warmers, not to mention that they can dry out your wipes.

Changing Table

You’ll need a place to change your baby and store supplies, but it doesn’t have to be an actual changing table. As we mentioned earlier, you can skip it and let the top of the dresser serve as a place to change your little one.

Baby Bedding

Newborn sleeping


Baby bedding is not only unnecessary, but it’s also unsafe! No quilts, blankets, or pillows in your baby’s bed.

Baby Shoes

Shoes for a newborn? Skip them. Your baby won’t need shoes until they start walking.

Baby Food Maker

Instead of using a special baby food maker, a blender will do the trick. Plus, your newborn won’t be eating food for several months, so a baby food maker doesn’t make the newborn must-have list.

Bottle Warmer

A bottle warmer is another unnecessary baby item. Instead, you can simply warm your newborn’s bottles in a mug filled with hot water.

Just remember: no matter how you warm your little one’s bottle, always test the milk to make sure it’s not too hot before feeding your baby!

Stock Up On Newborn Must-Haves

Mom putting lotion on baby

What you’ll need to care for your baby depends on your family and lifestyle. But you can use the above list of newborn must-haves to get an idea of what you need and what you can live without.

Be sure to stock up on the essentials, like Mustela’s Foam Shampoo for Newborns and Diaper Cream with Olive Oil and Aloe — or cover all of your baby’s skincare needs with our convenient Newborn Arrival Gift Set. You’ll be ready to welcome your baby in no time!