Whether you are a first-time parent or have been through this journey before, baby items are constantly evolving and changing. Innovations and new items arrive on the market all the time, so determining the must-have baby items for new parents can be tricky.
The team here at the bökee understands the parent life. Between the founders, we have five kids ranging from 2-7 years old, with twins in the mix, too! We know how essential it is to have what you need when you need it.
This urgency is why we invented the bökee in the first place! Our founders saw a need and created our innovative product that allows parents to prep bottles one-handed while holding their child. Not to mention it prevents breast milk spills too!
Babies need a lot of different things, and there are plenty of ways to get what you need. Whether you’re just looking for some essentials or are building a complete baby registry, here are our top picks for making sure you have what you need when your little one arrives.
Clothing in a Range of Sizes
It’s no secret that babies grow quickly, typically doubling their birth weight by five months. It’s also no secret that getting baby clothes is pretty fun. Who can pass up all the itty bitty outfits?
Stock up on practical clothes for your newborn but be sure to grab a range of sizes. For most babies, the newborn size doesn’t fit them for very long. In fact, that size doesn’t fit some babies at all, depending on their birth weight.
Having a few NB outfits and a bigger supply of 0-3 month and 3-6 month clothes on hand is a great start. If you have enough room for storage, go ahead and stock up on sizes up to 12 months, too. It can be a good idea to keep tags on and hold onto receipts until you meet your baby and see what size they need.
At a minimum, have plenty of onesies, sleepers, and socks or booties. Blowouts and spit-up mean that your baby will go through several outfits a day for the first few months. To avoid having to do laundry every day, try to have about ten of each of these staples in addition to all the cute outfits you're sure to find or receive as gifts.
Remember, there’s no reason you have to shop for brand new items. To stay within your budget, take advantage of thrift and consignment stores. You can also try to find a local mom swap on Facebook in your area! You can often find new or almost-new items for your baby.
Diapers and Diaper Gear
Just like clothes, your baby will likely go through diaper sizes quickly. Whether you use cloth or disposable, make sure you have a robust supply in several sizes so that you are ready. Again, you may not need many newborn size diapers. (By the way, if you haven’t seen these yet, you’ll think they are for a doll. They are so tiny!)
If you plan to use a diaper service, be sure you are signed up and know how to get it underway once you have your baby. Whether you have a service or not, you will also need a receptacle for the soiled cloth diapers as they await laundering.
A comfortable and utilitarian diaper bag or backpack is another must-have because you will now be carrying stuff for your child for the rest of your life. Ok, maybe not quite. But for a long time for sure.
Blankets and Layers
Remember all those blowouts and spit-ups we mentioned before? Those messes mean that you also need a hefty supply of blankets and layers for your baby. Lightweight receiving blankets don’t take up a lot of room and are easy to wash when the inevitable happens. They are also a safer choice than heavy blankets for sleeping.
Tired moms and dads everywhere also include a swaddle to their list of must-have baby items for new parents. Baby swaddles help soothe your child so that they - and you - can get some sleep.
Furniture and Carrying Gear
There is so much baby gear and nursery decor on the market that it’s just overwhelming. So what are the true must-haves?
- Carseat - Be sure you know how to install it correctly or have an expert do it for you.
- Crib, Bassinet, or Co-sleeper - Despite jokes to the contrary, your baby will sleep. And they will sleep a lot. Choose the type of safe sleeping arrangement that works best for you. Remember, sleeping on the back is best until at least age one.
- Baby Carrier - You will want a way to carry your child hands-free at least once in a while. If you plan to follow an attachment parenting style, babywearing is a key component.
- Stroller - Strollers have come a long way in recent years. Take some time to shop around and look at different styles to determine the best choice for your needs.
- Comfy Chair - Having a comfortable place to snuggle, rock, and feed your baby is crucial. You will spend a lot of time doing these activities in the first few months, and being comfy can make a significant difference in how you feel physically and emotionally.
There is so much more you can get when you have a baby. Changing table, monitor, swing, diaper wipe warmer…the list is endless.
Focus on the essentials first, and then see what your budget and space allow for. Remember, people had newborns long before all these gadgets and items were on the scene. You aren’t doing your child any harm if you don’t get all the things.
Some of us are from an era that included babies sitting in the sink for their bath. This works, but a baby bathtub makes your baby’s bath much simpler. You won’t need to bathe your newborn frequently at first, and it will be a little while before you need to use any soap or body wash. Until the umbilical cord stump falls off, stick to sponge baths for your baby.
With those caveats in mind, here are the essentials to have on hand for bath time:
- Baby Bathtub
- Infant Shampoo and Wash
Be sure to avoid added fragrances when choosing products for your baby’s skin.
If you have extra room in your budget, consider a faucet guard and bath thermometer to add layers of safety to your child’s bath routine. Toys and a mesh bag to hold them are also helpful once your baby gets old enough to sit up and play in the bath.
Nursing and Feeding Items
Your baby will eat around the clock at first, so having nursing and feeding items ready is crucial.
If you plan to breastfeed, it’s good to have these items:
- Nursing Bras
- Nursing Pads
- Nursing Pillow
- Breast Pump
- Breast Milk Storage Bags
For bottle-feeding, having 10-12 bottles on hand is a good start so that you don’t have to spend all day washing them. You may need to try different brands of nipples for the bottle as your baby may not take to certain ones. It’s also good to have a couple of bottle brushes to thoroughly clean everything between uses.
If you plan to use formula, don’t buy too much at first. Some babies are finicky eaters or develop sensitivities, so it can take a bit of trial and error to find the right choice. No matter how you choose to feed your baby, the bökee team is on your side and here to cheer you on.
To make bottle preparation simpler, be sure to have a bökee on hand. This innovative bottle prep tool allows you to make your baby’s bottle one-handed. We can almost guarantee that at some point, you’ll be frantically trying to prepare a bottle with a crying baby in your arms.