Top 10 Essential Items for a Newborn Baby

Jun 22, 2023 | Newborn Photography

As much as I love taking beautiful maternity and newborn photos, I also love talking about all things pregnancy and newborn babies! Welcoming a newborn into your family is an occasion of immense joy and happiness and I always get so excited chatting about our individual experiences and journeys.

What items do you really need with a newborn baby? Everyone have a view on what are “normal” newborn must haves, like a crib, stroller or car seat and you can find plenty of examples online. Below, I have curated a list of the top 10 essential items for a newborn that I found particularly useful during the first few months that go beyond your usual must haves.

I am not associated with any of these brands or receive any affiliate commission. I simply enjoy sharing my own experience and helping other mums.

My top 10 essential items for a newborn

1. Muslins. Lots of them.

An absolute essential in a newborn’s kit is the humble muslin cloth. These lightweight, breathable fabrics are multifunctional marvels in newborn care. As a burp cloth, it is perfect for catching dribbles and protecting your clothes from spit-up. They can also serve as impromptu changing mats, comfort blankets, or nursing covers, thanks to their generous size and soft texture. You can use the oversized ones as swaddles too. Opt for cloths made of organic cotton or bamboo for their durability and eco-friendly qualities. I love the ones from Aden & Anais, or you can go for the super luxe Atelier Choux Paris.

2. Baby grows

Ok, this one is quite obvious, but don’t underestimate how many of these you will go through so they are definitely on my list of essential items for a newborn. You will change baby a lot, there’ll be spit up etc., so save the fancy outfits for when they’re a little older. Simple white cotton baby grows and vests is really all you need in the first few weeks. I love Baby Mori for their super soft organic ones. A great brand too if you are looking for a gift for a friend with a newborn baby. And when is the best time to start buying baby clothes? As your heart desires! You might like to wait until you are around 16-18 weeks as that’s when you are likely to find out your baby’s gender (if you want to!).

3. White noise machine

A definite for any list of essential items for a newborn. I credit my son’s good sleep and easy settling to one of those. While it may seem strange to use noise to help a baby sleep, the sounds a white noise machine produces are actually quite soothing for newborns. They mimic the ambient sounds of the womb, providing a comforting environment that can help your baby fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Ours is from Amazon and you can find it here.

4. Waterproof Changing Pad Liners

To extend the life of your changing pad or to turn any flat surface into an emergency changing table, waterproof liners are very practical which is why I added them to my essential items for a newborn list. They’re machine washable, making cleanup after those inevitable diaper disasters a breeze. I also find they’re coming in useful for potty training later on.

5. Turn your handbag into a changing bag

I never bought a proper changing bag myself but rather turned my normal tote bag into a diaper bag using an insert. There are lots of options on Amazon and Etsy. I opted to support a small German brand that you can find here. You can find an insert for a lot of classic tote handbags with them.

6. A swaddle to help them sleep

Together with the white noise machine, this has also been a game changer for our babies’ sleep in the early days. I never figured out how to do a proper secure swaddle from a muslin, so went through a range of ready made ones from Amazon. My favourite are these ones with a simple velcro fastening or the Miracle Blanket Swaddle that even Houdini would struggle to get out of.

7. Blackout blinds

By now, you might see a theme around baby sleep! I’m a bit of a stickler when it comes to total darkness for baby sleep. So we installed some black out roller blinds which I highly recommend. Certainly very essential items for a newborn in my opinion! For travelling we use the Tommee Tippee ones which are fine but not quite as efficient. Blackout blinds create an optimal sleep environment by effectively blocking out light (unless you want to get up at 5am during the summer!). They can be particularly useful for daytime naps and during long summer evenings, helping to keep your baby’s sleep routine on track regardless of the time or season.

8. Nappy bin

Ideally try to get one that contains odours as well as possible. You’ll find there are lots of different models, some of which are designed to seal each nappy individually, effectively trapping odours and making the task of diaper disposal more hygienic and less smelly. With a variety of styles available, you can find one that matches your nursery décor while keeping unpleasant scents at bay. This Angelcare one is very simple but actually very effective at trapping odours.

9. Wash cloths

Babies of all ages always really enjoy bath time. In addition to some gentle soap and shampoo, get at least 2 different wash clothes for “topping and tailing” – one for baby’s head and the other one for baby’s derriere! I love Liewood for just about anything and they also do very cute washcloths which are high on my list of essential items for a newborn.

10. Bouncy Seat

Last but not least, get a bouncy seat. Both of my kids spent a lot of time in these as they’re just incredibly practical and kids love them. The BabyBjörn Bouncer is a classic. It has lots of different choices for the cover seat, has little toy accessories and can be folded away neatly, making it an essential item for a newborn.

When should I buy baby essentials?

There is no right or wrong answer here and it simply depends on your preferences. Anywhere around your fifth or sixth month is usually great and you’ll have time to do a little research and get all the items you need.

In conclusion, while there are myriad products available for newborn care, some of the less obvious ones often prove to be incredibly useful. From white noise machines to blackout blinds, these items offer practical solutions that can make life with a newborn more manageable. Of course, every baby (and parent ;)) is unique, and what works wonders for one might not work for another but I hope you enjoyed my top 10 essential items for a newborn.

Do you have any newborn must haves to add? Drop me a comment below!

You might also enjoy the following posts:

When is the best time for a maternity photoshoot?

Best advice for new mums: as shared by you

Should I get newborn photos or wait a few months?

About me

I am maternity and newborn photographer based in Chelsea, London. Specialising in lifestyle maternity, baby & toddler, and family photography, I cover Central and West London, such as Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, Wandsworth, Battersea, Clapham, Richmond, Westminster, Mayfair and Notting Hill. Please do still get in touch if you live outside of these areas but would be interested in a family photoshoot together. Not quite ready to book? Follow me on Instagram and let’s stay in touch.




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