Necessary Newborn Items

Necessary Newborn Items. What baby layette items are actually necessary and what are just nice to have. Know which items to put on your baby registry.

Necessary Newborn Items. What baby layette items are actually necessary and what are just nice to have. Know which items to put on your baby registry. 

There are so, so, so, so, so, so (and so forth) many baby items out on the market. You can easily fill your space and empty your account with baby products. And I know I am a sucker for baby stuff. I am typically a very frugal person, but when it comes to baby stuff, I see no price tag.

The question becomes, what is necessary for baby, what is a nicety for baby, and what is basically useless for baby? This can be a hard question to answer; I think answers can vary from family to family based on lifestyle and also from baby to baby within the family. For instance, for Brayden, the swing was a nicety. For Kaitlyn and her reflux, it was necessary. For McKenna, it was useless–she wouldn’t even sit in it happily for playtime.

There are some categories that can be classified as necessary. A baby needs food, shelter, clothing, and cleanliness. Even those categories vary a lot based on lifestyle and baby.

Let’s say you are breastfeeding. Typically, all you would need is yourself and your baby.

Something I find necessary is Lansinoh. I have dry skin and live in a dry climate. If I didn’t have Lansinoh, or something similar, there is a good chance I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed because I would be too cracked and sore.

Some people might find something like fenugreek necessary for keeping up milk supply.

Some might find a breast pump necessary, some might never use it.

Some might want a nursing cover to nurse in public while others don’t mind breastfeeding without one.

What about bottlefeeding? Which brand is best? Do you NEED the diswasher insert for cleaning, and if so which one? What about a bottle warmer? And what brand of formula?

So you see, there are so many possibilities to what is a must.

Necessary Baby Items for Your Baby Registry


I do have a list of things I feel I NEED as a breastfeeding mom.

  • Lansinoh
  • Nursing Pillow
  • Nursing Pads
  • Nursing Bra
  • Burp Rag–though this was unnecessary with Brayden, a high need with Kaitlyn, and a nicety with McKenna.

I also have some things I find NICE, but I know I could live without them if necessary.

  • Pump
  • Bottles (just a couple–I only do one bottle a week)
  • Nursing Cover
  • Newman’s Nipple Cream (prescription only)–this should probably be a need. This stuff is so great while you are establishing nursing and getting over the fresh pains in your nipples. It also helps prevent the passing of bacteria, so I am told. We shall see.

I also have some new products I will be trying out with this baby–input on those coming in a future post.

For further commentary on feeding things, check out Baby Stuff I Love: Nursing/Bottle Feeding Stuff.

Necessary Newborn Items. What baby layette items are actually necessary and what are just nice to have. Know which items to put on your baby registry. 


Here are my NEEDs for baby.

  • Crib/Bassinet/Pack and play: I need one of these things. I find others nice to have, but not necessary. Along these lines, I need a sheet and a mattress protector.
  • Swaddle Blankets: I view swaddling as a need.
  • SnuggleU: I wouldn’t do newborn without it.
  • Monitor: The way our house is, I need the monitor. Not all people do. I find it invaluable to have a video monitor, though I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a need.

Here are the things I find NICE for sleep.

  • White Noise
  • Room Darkening (curtains or blinds)–depending on child

For some babies, like those with reflux, you might find you need a sleep positioner and/or something to life the mattress.


I am a disposable diaper person. NEEDS are simple.

  • Diapers
  • Wet wipes
  • Diaper cream
  • Garbage can

Here is what I find NICE.

  • Changing table with pad and changing pad cover


Bathing seems simple enough, and for many babies, it is. The difficulty arises for babies with Eczema. Then the exact needs are more complicated. I will just make this generic. Here is what you NEED.

  • Somewhere to wash. I think different people find different things comfortable here. I like a baby tub (I will be trying a new one this go around).
  • Soap/Shampoo. The brand will be up to your baby’s skin type.
  • Wash cloth
  • Towel
  • Lotion (I find it to be a need)


Here are some things you will NEED for grooming.

  • Nail grooming. You can use finger nail clippers or nail files…whatever you feel comfortable with
  • Brush: Your baby might have enough hair for a brush
  • Cotton balls and q-tips: You might find these handy for cleaning


Here is a real trick. How many clothes, and what kind, do you NEED? The number will depend on how often you want to do laundry. You do need to remember that babies often have accidents–pee and/or poop comes out of the diaper and requires a wardrobe change. So if you want to do laundry once a week, keep in mind that 7 outfits won’t necessarily do it for you. Maybe you want to do laundry every day, in which case seven should most like suffice.

My advice is to not go crazy. Remember these clothes right now will fit for about 3 months. Here are items I like–but I will leave quantity up to you.

  • Onsesies: I love onesies. For newborns, I especially like the cute onesie with the cotton pants. Nice and comfy and yet cute.
  • Footed PJs: I like them with zippers just because they are easier to deal with in the middle of the night. Doing up a ton of snaps at 2 AM is not my idea of fun.
  • Nightgown: I like these for newborns.
  • Zip up Sleeper
  • Socks
  • Sunhat
  • Warm hat
  • Outfits: You know–the cute things. The dresses, the pants and shirts…just don’t go overboard–especially in the newborn age. You will find that when you are staying home for the day, you much prefer comfort over cute–at least I do. That is why I like the onesie/pants combo.
  • Jacket
  • Shoes: Shoes are 100% a nicety with a baby


  • Carseat if you drive in a car
  • Diaper Bag, backpack, or purse–something to carry baby’s things with you when you leave the house


  • Stroller: I find this necessary for my lifestyle
  • Bjorn/Ergo/Sling: Some people might find this more appropriate for their lifestyle, or equally as important as the stroller. Or maybe just nice.
  • Swing: Some babies might find this to be a need, like it was with Kaitlyn.
  • Play Gym
  • Bouncer

Wondering what you will need for the nursery? See my ultimate nursery checklist.

If you want an idea of the number of each item people think you should get, simply google “Newborn Layette Checklist.” There are a lot of ideas out there 🙂

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7 thoughts on “Necessary Newborn Items”

  1. This is an amazing list and a great idea. When I was a new mom I didn't have any idea how much stuff to get. I ended up with too many "nice to haves" and not enough necessities. For example, my son had reflux so one package of burp clothes did not do the trick for us! We needed about 5 packages and that was with doing laundry twice a week! I would also add a category to your list: medical supplies for baby. I guess maybe these aren't absolutely necessary, but I really felt better having them on hand. I'm referring to things like infant acetaminophen, a thermometer, and if your baby boy is being circumcised you'll probably need vasoline and gauze. Good luck with your new arrival!

  2. Love this post! My youngest is now 4.5 months, and I pretty much agree with everything you listed. Needs/wants really are so personal, but I'm going to pass this along to some of my soon-to-be first time mom friends as it's a great start!

  3. I so agree that much of it depends on the baby and family dynamic. Neither of my babies spit up so the dozens of burp rags I had were pointless. Neither liked their car seat so the infant car seat was useless and I switched them to a convertible very early and just put them in my Ergobaby straight from the car. With my first I stocked up on newborn diapers and nursing pads. He was big and grew so fast I was left with a ton of diapers and my milk regulated and stopped leaking so quickly I had a bunch of leftover pads. To a new parent I would say to have the essentials and then if you feel like you really need something after baby comes borrow or buy used if possible because they won't use it for long (swings, bouncy seats, bath seats, etc, etc…)

  4. Janelle good point with the medical supplies list. I have on hand before baby the gas drops, gripe water, acetaminophen…of course we have the thermometer at this point since we have other kids. Thanks for pointing that out.The burp rag thing is funny. With three of my kids, the burp rag is/was literally unnecessary. Kaitlyn had reflux, and even though she was a silent refluxer and it rarely came out, we used it constantly and was necessary. So every baby can bring unique "must" and change that list up.

  5. Aubrey Jane, that is a great point. Something I did this time around was left tags on stuff and things unopened until we got Brinley home. That way I could return things if I found I didn't need them. It is great to have on hand in case you do because "running to the store" just isn't happening for most people. I am even hesitant to open diapers until I need them. Brinley is tiny and in newborn diapers, but I only open one package at a time because you never know when that growth spurt will change things. My girls were all about the same size, and Kaitlyn was into size one within two weeks but McKenna took probably close to a month or more to get there…I am sure it is in a newborn summary somewhere.


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