There’s a lot of newborn “must-haves” out there and are just NOT must-haves. Yes, if you have them you’ll probably use them and if you can borrow the from a friend, that’s even better! Should you be spending money on them if money is tight? Should you prioritize them over other actual necessities? Not according to me. Let me break it down for you:
- Newborn Size Clothes and Diapers:
Save yo’ money! When I asked you all on Instagram what was your BIGGEST “save yo money” when it came to newborn essentials, a TON of you answered DONT BUY NEWBORN SIZE CLOTHES! I have to agree with you lovely mamas and add NEWBORN SIZE DIAPERS to the list. Maybe it’s because I had a 10 pound baby (!!) but I felt like I bought way too many newborn size clothes and diapers. Chickie outgrew them so fast that a lot of them were left unused! Given your instagram responses, I gather I’m not alone in this.. Big baby or small baby, DONT OVER-BUY NEWBORN SIZE CLOTHES AND DIAPERS!
- Nipple Shield:
Must Have! If you’re thinking you’ll try breastfeeding your newborn, you should DEFINITELY get a nipple shield and BRING IT WITH YOU TO THE HOSPITAL. These guys are absolute lifesavers for sore or inverted nipples and even if you don’t end up using them, given their price ($7) I think it’s worth buying one just in case.
- Hands Free Pumping Bra:
Save yo’ money! As an exclusive pumper myself (more on this later!) I considered hands-free pumping to be NECESSITY- how else would I’ve gotten anything done around here? Well.. I’ll tell you how, you find cheap nursing bras that you like and you cut a tiny slit on them, where you fit the pumping flanges through. Yes, handsfree pumping is a necessity and it makes life easier BUT you don’t need a special bra for it! Most handsfree pumping bras out there are strapless which means you either have to be in a strapless bra all day (hell on Earth) OR, you have to put on the strapless bra each time you want to pump.. ain’t nobody got time for that! DIY hands free pumping bra is the way to go!
Borrow then buy! Have you heard of the Dock-A-Tot? It’s a baby docking station that you can move around the house for napping/diaper changes/tummy time on the go. It’s also approved for co-sleeping so the Dock can be great for those early months and middle of the night nursing- I was over terrified of rolling over on baby! We had the Dock and LOVED it, Chickie slept GREAT in it. Some of my favorite memories of her newborn days are of early mornings in our bed with Chickie in the Dock in between Mama and Dada. Bliss ✨
The Dock-A-Tot is not for every baby though! I’ve heard from co-workers and friends who their baby didn’t like the Dock or they didn’t use it enough because it wasn’t a good fit for the family. With the price tag of the Dock in mind, I think rather than straight up buying a Dock-A-Tot, you should first try to borrow it from a friend for a couple of weeks. If your baby likes it (like Chickie did!) it can be a lifesaver BUT if your baby doesn’t, no harm done to your wallet. There’s no need to go overboard with buying gadgets. Every baby is different and will like/dislike different things. The Dock is not for everyone so my advice is to try it out before you go all in.
- Newborn Car Seat:
Must Have- IF you live in the cold or take a lot of taxis/Ubers! Living in Boston I was worried about my tiny baby and the COLD. In case you didn’t know (I can do a full post about this if you’d like!) the car seat straps/harness should always go directly on baby- no coat/blanket in between. Given that Soph would only be about 6 months old when winter struck, I was terrified of carrying baby in my arms to the car and taking her coat off to put her in the car seat. Enter the Uppa Baby Mesa. Thanks to the Mesa, I would strap newborn Chick into her car seat AT HOME and bundle her up using JJ Cole’s Bundleme Infant Car Seat Cover. Then I would carry the whole car seat to the car and snap it on the base. SO EASY! The Mesa was also super helpful for taking taxis and Ubers since it VERY EASILY straps in to any car with a seat belt like this.
Note that newborn car seats are only used until baby is either too long for it or too heavy (25 pounds is the limit- Chickie is still 24.5 so we stuff her in the Mesa TO THIS DAY when we take ubers ?) so you could easily borrow this from a friend who’s on a different babytimeline than you are. Also- if it’s not too cold where you live and you mostly drive yourself, this is NOT a must-have! It does make life easier though.. Newborns sleep a lot through out the day so for the first 4 months I almost EXCLUSIVELY used the Mesa car seat in th stroller for taking baby around. That way, when she inevitably fell asleep I could just carry the whole car seat into the house..
- 4 Moms Mamaroo:
Borrow then buy! Like the Dock-A-Tot, some people SWEAR by their Mamaroo while others say it’s a waste of money. The Mamaroo is a infant bouncer that you can control remotely from your phone. It’s soft, plush and sways in different ways. Considering it’s pricetag (and the fact it’s ONLY for months 0-6!!) I say borrow the Mamaroo first so you can make sure it’s a good fit before you buy it! If you’re not into the tech aspect of the Mamaroo (which is mostly what you’re paying for) there’s a ton of CHEAPER bouncer alternatives out there- if you answered my Instagram prompt, I’m linking YOUR favorites below! The borrow then buy goes for all of them though- each baby is different and what works for one baby won’t work for all. Make sure you are buying YOUR BABY’S MUST HAVES and not just buying generic must haves that won’t fit your lifestyle or baby’s preferences.
- Bottles & Binkies:
Save Yo Money! So at first glance, you probably think I’m NUTS to put binkies and bottles in the Save Yo Money category, right? Let me explain.. Babies are INDIVIDUALS and while bottles and binkies are generally a “Must Have,” there’s no way to predict what KIND of bottles or binkies will be a Must Have for YOUR baby. Before Chickie was born I stocked up on Phillips Avent bottles because my sister swore by them. Turns out though, these Como Tomo bottles worked MUCH BETTER for us- after four months of exclusively pumping I was able to go back to breastfeeding thanks to the Como Tomo bottles and their similarity to a real life boob! My suggestion is this: buy ONE bottle of the kinds that call your attention. Once you figure out which one baby likes, then you can stock up on those and donate the rest!
- Fancy Humidifier:
Save Yo Money! Since Chickie was born right before summertime we initially didn’t get a humidifier. In October, when the temps and humidity dipped we got this cheap(er) humidifier and it worked so so- it wasn’t FANTASTIC but it put out enough moisture in the air to make a difference. After about six month with this so so humidifier I decided to invest in a fancy one- we got the this one by Dyson. It was a total waste of money. It worked just as ‘so so’ as the cheaper one- still does. Don’t commit my same mistake and SAVE YO’ MONEY by buying a cheap humidifier.
- Pack and Play:
This is another Instagram response addition to the list. Personally, I used the our Pack and Play a LOT during the first month because our apartment has a ton of stairs and Chickie’s nursery is on the second floor. After my C-Section it took me about a month to be able to go up and down the stairs comfortably so I set up the Pack and Play downstairs and used it for diaper changes and naps through out the day that first month. Some of you said you put the pack and play in your room for sleeping that first month too. I used a combination of the bassinet that came with the Uppababy Vista stroller (with this stand) and the Dock-A-Tot for this. When Chickie got older and we started doing weekend trips, the Pack and Play was rescued from the back of the closet and once again put to good use. Our Pack and Play is this one but there are a ton in the market. If I could do it over again I would probably get a less bulky one. I will link to the ones most recommended to me via Instagram below. Thanks again for your responses! You da besttttest!
- Electric Nail Trimmer:
Must Have– particularly if you don’t have a baby nurse! I am not exaggerating when I say you will HATE cutting your baby’s nails. After cutting Chickie’s nails about 3 times and being TERRIFIED to cut her little fingers each time (and actually cutting her once!!!) I said enough is enough and got this guy, an electric nail trimmer. It made ALL the difference in the world! The little nail file spins automatically so you don’t have to struggle. It’s the best!
That’s all I can think of right this second.. The most important thing to remember when buying for your little one on the way is that EVERY BABY IS DIFFERENT and gravitates/finds comfort in different things- that’s why there’s SO MANY OPTIONS! Don’t go crazy buying generic “must haves” until you know what YOUR BABY’S must-haves are.
THANKS to all of you who sent me your newborn must-haves and helped me compile this list. If you think I missed anything, comment below and I’ll be sure to add your suggestions to the list! Thanks for stopping by.