This post about newborn essentials is sponsored by Carter’s, however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
I’m 38 weeks along in my pregnancy today! It’s hard to believe my due date has almost arrived already! With 4 other children keeping me busy at home, this pregnancy has flown by. So much so, that unlike my 1st pregnancy where the nursery was ready to go at about 25 weeks along, just last week it was still FAR from looking like a baby nursery! Then my step-sister went into labor 3 weeks early and had a beautiful baby boy on Saturday. She was due AFTER me.
That was the kick in the pants I needed to get my newborn essentials ready!
With each baby, I’ve found that my list of newborn essentials grows smaller and more refined. So today, I wanted to give you a look at my newborn essentials for our 5th baby. These are my MUST-HAVE items for baby’s first few days and weeks at home.
Newborn Essentials (From a Mom of Five)
Co-Sleeper, Bassinet, or Crib
I’m a co-sleeping mom, and for the first few months of my baby’s life, he will be in our room with us. I have an in-bed co-sleeper he will likely use a lot, but I also like to have a bassinet or something similar for our baby to sleep in next to the bed.
Co-sleeping isn’t for everyone though, so if you don’t plan to cosleep or have baby sleep in your room, you’ll want a crib for sure. Our children have all eventually transitioned to a crib after a few months, so we assembled our crib over the weekend. Even though the new baby will likely not sleep in it overnight for quite some time, it will be great for naps!
*Tips – One thing you really don’t need are the crib bedding sets. They are adorable but not very practical. *
Comfortable Rocking Chair or Glider
With my first daughter, I scrimped and saved and finally had enough money to purchase a wooden rocker/glider – secondhand. It did the job and I have continued to use a wooden glider for my other children, however, this time around, a more comfortable seat was at the top of my to-buy list. Maybe it’s that I’m getting older or maybe it’s because the padding on my glider has seen better days, but after rocking, especially an older, heavy baby for a bit of time, my rear end has been feeling the pain on that wooden glider.
Luckily for me, my mother-in-law offered me a super padded recliner! I am SO excited to be able to use that this time around for our 5th baby!
Diapers and Wipes
Diapers and wipes are newborn essentials, without a doubt, but I’ll add that you probably don’t want to stock up heavily on one brand until you’ve used it with your newborn to make sure they don’t have any sensitivities to the brand.
If you are trying to save money, you should consider cloth diapers for your newborn. Over the year I’ve saved hundreds if not thousands of dollars using cloth. They go through SO many diaper changes during their first few weeks, but my small stash of newborn cloth diapers has been really useful over the years!
A Diaper Changing Station
A changing table is nice to have, but it’s not a necessity if you’re looking to save some money on your nursery. If you purchase a shorter double dresser, you can easily use the top of that as a changing table.
However, if you don’t set up a changing table or a short double dresser, I would recommend that you assemble a diaper changing station at the very least. This could be as simple as a small laundry basket that holds diapers, wipes, cream, a changing pad and a change or two of clothing. Then, just keep all of those supplies handy in one location wherever you frequently change diapers.
Another option for a diaper changing station is a playard that also includes a changing pad or bassinet. Since we live in a two-story house, I usually set up a playard with a diaper station on the main level so I don’t have to walk up the steps every time our baby needs a diaper change. This is especially nice during the first few weeks as my body is healing after childbirth.
Breastfeeding Supplies or Bottles
Obviously, you’re going to need to feed your baby, but the supplies you’ll need depend on whether you plan to give your baby formula or breastmilk. I’ve always breastfed my babies, so while I don’t need bottles for the newborn weeks, I have always needed a breast pump, breast pads, and a good nursing pillow.
If you plan to bottle feed, I’d encourage you NOT to buy a huge supply of one brand of bottles. Try to get 1 bottle from a couple of different brands until you find out which one your newborn prefers. Once you know that, then you can stock up on the favorite style.
You can get by without a stroller but you will definitely need a car seat!
Bouncer or Swing
You’ll need a place where you can safely put your baby down when you can’t hold him/her. Something that moves seems to soothe them best. I put a swing in our nursery because that way I cut shut the nursery door and our little guy can sleep where his older siblings can’t bother him.
Basic Clothing Essentials
Your baby will definitely need some clothes! I’ve purchased a lot of brands of clothing for my babies over the years, but time and time again I come back to Carter’s. My babies and toddlers have had more clothing from Carter’s than all other brands combined. Carter’s Little Baby Basics are perfect for premies through 24 months.
There are four reasons I like to purchase Carter’s baby clothing. First, it’s affordable. Second, it’s adorable. Third, it’s comfortable. And fourth, it’s quality made. In fact, it’s so well made, that many of the clothes our new baby will wear have already been worn by my two boys AND my nephew. They still have so much wear left in them!
My older kids are SO excited for their new baby brother and have really wanted the opportunity to contribute to preparing for his arrival. I thought it would be fun to let them each pick out something special for him to wear. So, we headed into my local Carter’s store over the weekend. I knew that if I took them to Carter’s, they could pick out any of the Little Baby Basics and it would be something I’d love too.
It was so fun to watch my kids as they searched the store for the item they wanted most for him. My daughters, Maggie and Zellene, both decided on adorable zip-up cotton sleep & play outfits with fun nautical themes, perfect for a summer baby! They are both certain that he will love the beach just like they do.
It was not a bit surprising to me when Gideon, my youngest, chose a 3-piece Little Character Set with dogs. He was SO excited to find that set! He jumped up and down in the store and was so proud to carry it. And my other son, Jacob, thought the tiny pants were really cute. He loves comfy cotton pants himself. I showed him the selection of onesies to match the pants and he chose some adorable sleeveless bodysuits to match.
More than anything, Carter’s sleepers are newborn essentials in this house. They are so comfy and adorable! I’d be lying if I said I didn’t already have a good stockpile of Carter’s sleepers already, but I wanted to get this little guy at least one new Carter’s sleeper, just for him. Since none of the kids had chosen one on their own, I had them all look with me and we decided on an adorable cotton dinosaur sleeper. It has little dino feet and a dinosaur on the button. I can’t wait to see him in it!
Wondering how many of each type of clothing you’ll need? I like to make sure I have at least:
- 7 sleepers
- 7 onesies
- 4 matching pants to pair with the onesies
- 4 gowns
- 2 hats
- 5 pairs of socks
- 2 outfits
Some babies are born heavier and outgrow the newborn size pretty quickly, however, if your baby is small, you may find that you need to purchase a few more pieces for his or her wardrobe. Every mom is different though. Some love to keep their newborns in sleepers all day long, others like to change them into onesies with or without pants, and others like to put them into an outfit. If you’re a first-time mom, start with the basics and then purchase more once you know the things you’ll use the most. For me, the bulk of my baby’s wardrobe consists of sleepers and onesies with matching pants. I keep a few special outfits for trips out, like to church on Sunday. I also like gowns for nighttime. They make diaper changes in the middle of the night so much easier!
Whether you’re buying newborn clothing for your own baby or a gift for someone else, you really can’t go wrong with Carter’s Little Baby Basics! They have a great selection of baby girl clothes, baby boy clothes, and even gender neutral clothing. You can find a local Carter’s store in your area or shop Carter’s Little Baby Basics online.
Right now through June 30th, Carter’s is offering 20% off of your purchase of $40 or more! If you’re shopping online, use code CART4342. If you’re shopping in stores, you’ll want to ask the cashier to use code 066944.
Now that his nursery is stocked with all of the newborn essentials, complete with freshly-washed Carter’s Little Baby Basics, we are ready to meet this little guy! I can’t wait to share his arrival with you soon!
PS – Join me on Thursday from 1-2pm EST for the #lovecarterssweepstakes Twitter Chat! They are giving away 5 $100 Carters gift cards! RSVP here: http://bit.ly/LBB-RSVP and make sure you follow Carter’s on Twitter! I hope you’ll join me! #LoveCarters