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The Baby Stuff You Need & Don’t Need – From a Mom of Seven

As a mom of six (with my 7th due any day now) I have a lot of experience with babies and baby stuff. Not only have I given birth to six children myself, I worked in daycare for many years and as a private nanny. As a nanny, I cared for twin newborns from just four days old!

Do I have the extensive experience to share with you the best and most needed baby stuff? Yes! I consider myself a baby and baby gear expert at this point and my friends do too!

As I prep for the arrival of our 7th baby (5th boy!) I’m sharing my list of must-have items AND my most wanted items.

Note that the must-haves and wants are two different things. It’s important to keep that in mind when looking at baby items. There are SO many out there and I totally understand the impulse to buy all of the cute baby things!

My Must-Have Baby Items

This list will contain only my gotta-have items for the baby. As new parents, my husband and I had many more items than what’s on this list, but we’ve learned over the years that there are definitely some things you need and some things you don’t need.

  • Clothing – I know this can be an area where it’s hard to restrain yourself because baby clothing is just so cute! If you want a minimalist wardrobe for your baby, however, for each size I recommend about 7 sleepers, 7 onesies (long, short, or a mix depending on the season) with 7 pairs of matching pants, plus a small number of “going out” outfits. This number will depend on how often you leave the house with the baby. I’d have one for each day you plan to leave home. For me, as a stay-at-home mom, I really only need about 3-4 going out outfits because we stay home most days. Otherwise, I let my baby stay in sleepers or onesies (with pants if it’s cold) so he/she is comfy. Once your baby reaches 6 months you’ll probably want at least 7 outfits because you’re more likely to change them into regular clothes more often at that point and not just loungewear.
  • Crib/Bassinet/Cosleeper – If this is your first baby, there’s a good chance you don’t really know where your baby will end up sleeping all the time yet. I thought for sure my babies would sleep in a bassinet every single night for the first 4 months and then transition to a crib, but the reality is that we ended up doing a lot of co-sleeping too. Sleep is important to both you and your baby. Having a small bed you can keep in your room during the first few months has been very beneficial to me. Eventually, you’ll want to move the baby to his/her own room (if you have an extra room) and so a crib is great for then. One money-saving option is to purchase a mini crib that you can use in your room as a bassinet and then later as a main crib. I have a mini crib in our nursery and I love how much space it saves.
  • Nursery Furniture – I like to find a dresser that can double as a changing table. This saves money and space. I also have always had a rocking chair of some type.
  • Car Seat – Another must-have item is a car seat. You will have to have one of these. If you need to save money you can start with a convertible car seat that has a low weight requirement and can be used from birth. Personally, I prefer to have an infant car seat that I use for the first few months and then move my baby to a rear-facing convertible car seat between 9-12 months old.
  • Breastfeeding Essentials – I have an entire post on this, so I’d encourage you to check that out if you plan to breastfeed. If you have insurance, make sure you look into getting your free breast pump if you qualify.
  • A Swing or Bouncy Seat – If you can afford both, great! If not, I recommend having at least one because you’ll want a place where you can put your baby down when you aren’t holding him/her.
  • Diapers and Baby Wipes
  • Additionally, if you plan to give formula you’ll need bottles for sure. You’ll probably also want at least one or two bottles even if you breastfeed.
  • A High Chair – High chairs are one of those baby things you will for sure need eventually, but you don’t need one right away. You probably won’t start solid food until around 6 months. I have tried a lot of high chairs over the years and my absolute favorite is the Boon Flair high chair. It’s not sold anymore so you’ll need to look for it secondhand. It’s totally worth it though if you can get your hands on one. They are so easy to clean and move around your home.
  • A Few Blankets – You’ll want to have a few soft blankets for your baby. Personally, the muslin swaddles are my favorite. They are so versatile!
  • Burp Clothes – You don’t need a ton of these but I’d recommend having at least 3 or 4 to help with spit up.

The Baby Stuff I Have For Baby #7

Above I’ve listed out all of the things you HAVE to have for your baby. Now I’m going to share with you a list of the things I have for our 7th. This is a mix of must-have items and items I have either tried in the past and loved (which I’ll note) or new items I’m eager to try out to see if they help make my life with a baby easier.

My Must-Have and Most-Wanted List of Baby Stuff

Here you'll find a list of some of my all-time favorite baby essentials (with full reviews linked) plus some of the new baby gear items I'm excited to try out this time around.

Baby Stuff You Don’t Need

Obviously, this is a personal preference, but these are the items I have not found useful for my babies.

  • Baby bathrobe – looks cute, but just one of those extra things you really don’t need.
  • Shoes before baby walks – again, they look adorable but you really don’t need to put these on your baby until he/she is walking.

I’m so excited for our new baby to arrive and will certainly have lots of baby content for you in the weeks and months to come.

Baby Gifts

Are you here because you’re looking for a great baby shower gift for a new mom? Make sure you check out our best baby shower gifts post for lots of great ideas for your baby registry or gifts for that new mom in your life!

Remember that you can never go wrong with gift cards. That enables the new parents to get whatever they feel they need the most.

Peggy Nunn

Sunday 28th of August 2022

That is a great list. Thank you for putting it together.

Mia E.

Saturday 27th of August 2022

Such helpful ideas. I think it is easy to buy a lot of stuff that one doesn't end up using but this will make it easier to know what is good to have.

Lauryn R

Wednesday 24th of August 2022

This is such a helpful list of things that you need and don't need for baby! Thank you so much for sharing. I see so many things that I absolutely would have loved for mine, like the DockATot. They are kind of pricey but I could see myself using it A LOT so it would be worth it. We also had Sophie; it was such a great teether! I love the new fawn and camel too, how cute!